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The term for a short pastoral poem, comes from έχλογή (a choice), the title given in Greek to collections of elegant extracts. The Latinized form ecloga was used, however, for any short poem and attached itself particularly to Virgil's pastorals which their author had called bucolica. The terms eclogue, bucolic, and idyll have been widely used as synonyms, except that grammarians have made an effort to confine ‘eclogue’ to poems in dialogue form. The alternative spelling ‘aeglogue’ was prompted by a mistaken derivation from the Greek ἀίϵ, a goat.

Subjects: Literature.

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