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have done my best to determine the date of each poem so far as there are reasonable grounds to argue upon. The principal authorities on this subject now relied upon and referred to in this book are Franke (Fasti Horatiani, Berlin, 1839) and Kirchner (Quaestiones Horatianae, Leipzic, 1834). These two writers differ materially from one another, and both of them from Bentley, who in his Preface has laid down a scheme determining the dates of the several books, without stating the grounds on which he founds it. It will be seen that I prefer Franke's opinion on this subject to Kirchner's, but that there are many instances in which his zeal appears to outstrip his judgment in determining the date of particular poems.
Of the other books that I have used I have been most indebted to Estré's Prosopographeia Horatiana (Amsterdam, 1846), a most favourable specimen of industry and judgment.
I have studied with much pleasure the fragments of the Greek Lyric poets, with whose entire works Horace must have been familiar. The little that is left may make us mourn for what is lost. So much beauty has perished as the world will never see again. There is more power of tenderness and passionate feeling in some of Sappho's small fragments than in all that Horace ever wrote. Such passages of these poets as he appears to have imitated, intentionally or otherwise, I have given, so far as they can be gathered from the fragments now remaining, the edition of which by Bergk (Leipzic, 1843) is that which I have used. Most of them had been quoted before.
This leads me to say that I have not loaded the notes with nearly so many quotations as most who have gone before me. I have tried to confine myself to such passages as throw light upon the text, or appear to have been imitated by or copied from Horace. When I have met with a quotation in any of the late commentators
that appeared to have originated from himself, I have given his name. Where on the other hand, as is the case very often, the quotation is only one of the common stock that has accumulated from the Scholiasts downwards, I have given credit for it to no one, but do not on that account wish to have the credit of it myself. If any have been suggested by my own memory or reading, I have not inquired whether others had thought of them before, and shall hope that I may not appear to have defrauded any one. I have been careful as far as possible to let Horace illustrate himself, without however distracting the reader by referring him backwards and forwards to passages that will throw no light upon the text.
The MSS. generally and most of the editions have inscriptions or headings to the different poems. That these were not given them by Horace himself is clear, but they appear in the earliest MSS., and are supposed by some to have been invented by the grammarians almost contemporary with the author. They vary very much in the different MSS., and as they are quite arbitrary modern editors have seen the propriety of abandoning them. At the same time, as Kirchner says justly enough (Qu. Hor. p. 20), they have their value as showing the opinion of very early grammarians as to the scope of the different poems, and I have accordingly referred to them where they could be of any use in settling disputed points.
I had supposed before I began that much that now appears in the notes might be omitted by merely referring the reader to the Dictionaries of Antiquities and Biography edited by Dr. Smith. But valuable as those works are, I found that the articles were not and could not be so drawn up as to save the necessity, in many instances, of independent notes in such a commentary and for such an author as this. I have often referred to them, and if I ought to have done so oftener the omission has been unintentional.
I meant at first to give an Index of the principal words to form a Concordance at the end of the Volume; but I found there was no room for it, and I hope that, as I have made the Index to the notes pretty copious, and have given a full Index of Proper Names expressed or referred to in the text, the want of the other Index will not be much felt.
I had hoped it would be possible to give engravings of a few coins, medals, vases, &c., to illustrate various allusions; but the Publishers are anxious to keep the price of the work as moderate as they can, and the engravings have therefore been omitted.
THE materials for Horace's life are derived almost entirely from his own works. A few additional facts are got from a short memoir attributed to Suetonius.
He was born on the 8th December, A.U.c. 689 (B.c. 65), at or near Venusia (Venosa), in the Apennines, on the borders of Lucania and Apulia. His father was a freedman 2, having, as his name proves, been the slave of some person of the Horatia gens. As Horace implies that he himself was ingenuus3, his father must have obtained his freedom before his birth. He afterwards followed the calling of a coactor', a collector of money in some way or other, it is not known in what. He made in this capacity enough to purchase an estate, probably a small one, near the above town where the poet was born. We hear nothing of his mother, except that Horace speaks of both his parents with affections. His father, probably seeing signs of talent in him as a child, ⚫was not content to have him educated at a provincial school, but took him (at what age he does not say, but probably about twelve) to Rome, where he became a pupil of Orbilius Pupillus, who had a school of much note, attended by boys of good family, and whom Horace remembered all his life as an irritable teacher, given unnecessarily to the use of the rod. With him he learnt grammar, the earlier Latin authors, and Homer. He attended other masters (of rhetoric, poetry, and music perhaps) as Roman boys were wont, and had the advantage (to which he afterwards looked back with gratitude) of his father's care and moral training during this part of his education. It was usual for young men of birth and ability to be sent to Athens to finish their education by the study of Greek literature and philosophy under native teachers; and Horace went there too, at what age is not known, but probably when
1 C. iii. 4. 9; C. iv. 9. 2; S. ii. 1. 34.
3 S. i. 6. 8.
› S. i. 6. 96.
2 S. i. 6. 6. 46. 47.
4 S. i. 6. 86.
Epp. ii. 1. 71; ibid. 2. 41.