Virgil was a Roman poet (best known for writing The Aeneid) who was always, for some reason, linked to flies. He built a bronze statue of a fly that guarded the Gates of Naples for a long time, and it was said that this musca magica, magic fly, would keep its annoying real life counterparts away from the city as long as it remained intact. Legend has it that Virgil’s bones after his death protected Naples against attackers, causing them to be attacked by swarms of flies. And it is even said that it was Virgil who first used the expression “time flies” (although in Latin, of course).

Perhaps the craziest fly story regarding Virgil, however, is that of his “pet fly”. In reality, Virgil didn’t keep a fly as a pet, but he then found out that the government was planning to confiscate the lands of the rich, and parcel it out to war veterans, except for those lands that contained mausoleums. Virgil then had an incredibly lavish funeral (with mourners, an orchestra, invited celebrities and lots of poetry reading) organized for a house fly that, he said, had been his beloved pet. Then, the insect’s body was buried in an expensive mausoleum. The whole thing costed Virgil about 800.000 sesterces, but he saved his lands from the government.

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    Love me some Roman storytime.
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    ^^ did not know that! New facts about awesome Roman poet: Obtained!
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