A Symposion of Praise: Horace Returns to Lyric in Odes IV
University of Wisconsin Press, 2004 - 320
Ten years after publishing his first collection of lyric poetry, Odes I-III, Horace (65 B.C.-8 B.C.) returned to lyric and published another book of fifteen odes, Odes IV. These later lyrics, which praise Augustus, the imperial family, and other political insiders, have often been treated more as propaganda than art. But in A Symposion of Praise, Timothy Johnson examines the richly textured ambiguities of Odes IV that engage the audience in the communal or "sympotic" formulation of Horace's praise. Surpassing propaganda, Odes IV reflects the finely nuanced and imaginative poetry of Callimachus rather than the traditions of Aristotelian and Ciceronian rhetoric, which advise that praise should present commonly admitted virtues and vices. In this way, Johnson demonstrates that Horace's application of competing perspectives establishes him as Pindar's rival.
Johnson shows the Horatian panegyrist is more than a dependent poet representing only the desires of his patrons. The poet forges the panegyric agenda, setting out the character of the praise (its mode, lyric, and content both positive and negative), and calls together a community to join in the creation and adaptation of Roman identities and civic ideologies. With this insightful reading, A Symposion of Praise will be of interest to historians of the Augustan period and its literature, and to scholars interested in the dynamics between personal expression and political power.
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A. Y. Campbell Achilles Aeneas Aeneid Apollo apotheosis audience Augustan Augustus Augustus's banquet becomes Caesar carpe diem celebration Censorinus chiastic Choerilus Cinara comic curse death divine drinking Drusus encomia encomium epic epinikion Fraenkel gnome gods Greek Hannibal Hannibal's heroes Horace Horace's lyric Horace's panegyric Horace's praise Horace's sympotic Horatian Horatian panegyric hymn immortal imperial praise interpretive Iullus Iullus Antonius lament laudandus Ligurinus Lollius Lollius's lover Lowrie Lyce Lyce's Lyne lyre lyric poet Maecenas Maximus metaphor Muse narrative nunc Octavian ode's Odes I-III panegyric panegyric praxis panegyrist patron person pest Phyllis Pindaric poem poet poet's poetic political praise poetry proelia proemium Putnam quae question race's recusatio rejection ritual Roman Rome Rome's satire seriocomic simile sing song stanzas strophe sympotic sympotic invitation sympotic persona sympotic pleasures Tecmessa themes Tiberius tion Torquatus tricolon Venus Vergil Vergilian verses victory Vindelici voice wine Xanthias