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Mrs. Zeo. S. Morris


THIS edition is an abridgment of the three volumes devoted to Horace in "Macmillan's Classical Series," and owes its origin to representations made by many schoolmasters to the publishers as to the need existing for an edition of Horace with notes in a single volume. In the execution of my task I have been guided by the experience derived from actual use of the separate editions in form, and my aim has been simply to cut out such portions of the notes as seemed least important for young students, leaving the remainder, as far as possible, unaltered. The work has not been altogether easy or congenial. The charm of a note often lies in that part which is least strictly relevant, and comment is often most interesting when most discursive, nor is it a simple process to curtail without destroying, and to "be brief" without "becoming obscure." On the other hand there can be no question as to the convenience of having an author complete between two covers, and for most boys notes, in order to be used, must be moderate in length. In the present instance there are slightly more than two pages of notes to one of text, and, perhaps, in the case of a writer like Horace that represents an almost irreducible minimum of comment, unless it is held desirable to abbreviate notes into mere dogmatic statements specially designed for use in the examination-room.

My most hearty thanks are due to Professors A. Palmer and A. S. Wilkins who with rare generosity placed their editions at my disposal. As far as could be I have treated them tenderly, and it was only after practising with the pruningknife on my own productions that I began to deal with theirs. At any rate I have endeavoured not to misrepresent them or obtrude my views on theirs, and in the few instances where some modifications have been necessary they have been either indicated or are unimportant.

Lastly I owe a large debt to the printers and their excellent "Readers" for their constant skill and care, which only those who have had to pass a book of this nature through the press can fully appreciate.



June 1896.

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Q. HORATIUS FLACCUS was born on Dec. 8, 65 B.C., in the consulship of L. Aurelius Cotta and L. Manlius Torquatus,1 five years after Virgil and two years before C. Octavius, who subsequently became the emperor Augustus. The place of his birth was Venusia, a town in Apulia on the borders of Lucania 2 close to Mount Vultur and the 'far-echoing Aufidus.' 3 His father was a 'freedman' (libertinus), and had been a 'collector,' 5 probably of taxes, though others credit him with having been a 'dealer in salt-fish.' 26 Anyhow, when the young Horace was old enough to go to school, he had apparently saved a fair amount of money, though his son describes him as only 'the poor owner of a lean farm,' and he was certainly a man who deserves not to be forgotten. Freedman, tax-collector, and perhaps fish-hawker, he none the less saw the talent of his son and resolved to give him a chance in the world. Instead of sending him to the local school, where 'the big sons of big centurions, satchel and slate slung over their left arms,' 8 went carrying their monthly pence, he took him to Rome and procured for him the best teachers, notably a certain Orbilius Pupillus of Beneventum-the Keate9 of his day -whose birch 10 and whose lessons in Livius Andronicus left an impression on the pupil which has immortalised the master. Not only did his father spend money freely on him but he devoted himself personally to watching over the growth of his morals and character, and to inculcating on him such shrewd and homely maxims as his own experience dictated. Of the debt thus incurred the son

2 S. 2. 1. 34.

4 S. 1. 6. 45.

5 coactor S. 1. 6. 86; coactor exactionum (or auctionum), Suet. Vit.

6 ut creditum est, salsamentario, Suet. Vit.

7 S. 1. 6. 71.

1 Od. 3. 21. 1; Epod. 14. 6.

3 Od. 4. 9. 2.

8 S. 1. 6. 73. 9 Ep. 2. 1. 70 plagosus Orbilius. 10 He really used the 'taw' and the 'ferule'; si quos Orbilius ferula scuticaque cecidit, Suet. Vit.


was always deeply sensible, and the passage (S. 1. 6. 68 seq.) in which he answers the sneers of society on his origin by a full acknowledgment of how much he owed to the best of fathers' is possibly not among the most rhetorical, but is certainly among the most touching passages in classical literature.

When his school-days were over he went, after the fashion of the time, to complete his studies at what was practically the University of Athens, 'searching for truth amid the groves of the Academy '1 or, in other words, reading philosophy. Here he made the acquaintance of M. Junius Brutus, who after the murder of Caesar (44 B.C.) had been driven from Italy and visited Athens before taking up as propraetor the government of Macedonia. Horace seems to have gone with him to Asia Minor 2 and, when Brutus and Cassius raised a republican force with which to resist Octavian and Antony, he was appointed a military tribune and found himself, as he puts it with intentional exaggeration, 'in command of a Roman legion.' 3 He took part in the battle of Philippi (42 B.C.), which finally extinguished the hopes of the republican party, and, though his own description of himself as spirited away by Mercury the protector of poets and 'leaving his poor shield ingloriously behind him '4 must not be taken too literally, still we may well imagine that his exploits on that fatal field were not very distinguished. At any rate his military and republican ardour soon cooled and, instead of following his friends farther amid the 'stormy seas'5 of war, he took advantage of an amnesty offered by the conquerors and returned to Italy, where he found himself 'with his wings clipped and destitute of house and farm,' 6 his property near Venusia having probably been confiscated and assigned to some veteran of the victorious army.

By some means, however, he managed to procure a sort of clerkship in the treasury 7 on which to live. Meantime some of his writings, possibly some of the earlier Satires (e.g. 1. 7), attracted the notice of Varius and Virgil, who in 39 B.C. procured for the timid and stammering clerk an introduction to C. Cilnius Maecenas, the peace minister of Augustus and the great literary patron of the age. After a delay of nine months, during which Maecenas seems to have satisfied himself as to the talent and character of Horace, he welcomed him as an intimate member of that famous literary group which the great statesman loved to collect around

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