Definition of eclogue
: a poem in which shepherds converse
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The Poetic History of eclogue
Although the eclogue appears in the Idylls of the Greek poet Theocritus, it was the 10 Eclogues (or Bucolics) of the Roman poet Virgil that gave us the word eclogue. (The Latin title Eclogae literally means "selections.") The eclogue was popular in the Renaissance and through the 17th century, when less formal eclogues were written. The poems traditionally depicted rural life as free from the complexity and corruption of more citified realms. The eclogue fell out of favor when the poets of the Romantic period rebelled against the artificiality of the pastoral. In more modern times, though, the term eclogue has been applied to pastoral poems involving the conversations of people other than shepherds, often with heavy doses of irony.
Origin and Etymology of eclogue
Middle English eclog, from Latin Eclogae, title of Virgil's pastorals, literally, selections, plural of ecloga, from Greek eklogē, from eklegein to select
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
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