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great Romans, and all his writings abound in allusions to Stoic commonplaces and paradoxes.

At Athens, too, he probably studied for the first time Archilochus, Alcaeus, and the Greek lyric poets who were to be his models in the Odes and Epodes.

Among his fellow-students were Marcus Cicero, son of the orator, M. Valerius Messalla, and many other sons of distinguished houses. His studies were interrupted after the assassination of Caesar, B.c. 44, by the civil war, in which with others of the young Roman nobility he joined the party of Brutus and Cassius against the triumvirs. Plutarch relates that Brutus, in the intervals of preparation for the campaign, attended the lectures of Theomnestus at Athens. He may there have met Horace, to whom, in spite of his youth and humble birth, he gave the position of military tribune.1 In this capacity Horace probably accompanied Brutus in his progress through Thessaly and Macedonia, and in the next year crossed to Asia with him, there to await the gathering of the forces of Cassius. Returning to Macedonia in the autumn of B.C. 42, he took part in the battle of Philippi, from which he escaped to Italy to find his father dead and his little estate confiscated for the use of the veterans of the triumvirs. Many passages of his works may be referred to these experiences of war and travel.2


In the epistle to Florus, Horace resumes the early history of his life thus:

'I was brought up at Rome, and there was taught
What ills to Greece Achilles' anger wrought;
Then Athens bettered that dear lore of song;
She taught me to distinguish right from wrong,

1 Suet., Bello Philippensi excitus a Marco Bruto imperatore tribunus militum meruit.

2 Studies at Athens, Epp. 2. 2. 43-46; military tribune, Sat. 1. 6. 48, Epp. 1. 20. 23; campaign of Philippi, Epp. 2. 2. 46, Odes 2. 7, 3. 4. 26; anecdote of Brutus' proconsular court, Sat. 1. 7; scenes of travel: Thessaly and Macedonia in winter, Odes 1. 37. 20, Epp. 1. 3. 3; the Hellespont, Epp. 1. 3. 4; description of Lebedos, Epp. 1. 11. 7.

32. 2. 46 sqq.

And in the groves of Academe to sound
The way to truth, if so she might be found.
But from that spot so pleasant and so gay,
Hard times and troublous swept my youth away
On civil war's tempestuous tide, to fight
In ranks unmeet to cope with Caesar's might.
Whence when Philippi, with my pinions clipped,
Struck to the dust, of land and fortune stripped,
Turned me adrift, through poverty grown rash,
At the versemonger's craft I made a dash.'

- Martin.

The next few years were the hardest of Horace's life. He supported himself, according to Suetonius, by means of a clerkship in the quaestor's office,1 which he may have bought with borrowed money or obtained through the influence of his father's friends. The period of probation, however, did not last long. His 'dash at the versemonger's craft,' won him the friendship of Vergil and Varius, the rising poets of the age, who, in B.C. 39, introduced him to Maecenas, the great minister of Augustus:

'Lucky I will not call myself, as though

Thy friendship I to mere good fortune owe.
No chance it was secured me thy regards,
But Vergil first, that best of men and bards,
And then kind Varius mentioned what I was.
Before you brought, with many a faltering pause
Dropping some few brief words (for bashfulness
Robbed me of utterance), I did not profess
That I was sprung of lineage old and great,
Or used to canter round my own estate
On Satureian barb, but what and who

I was as plainly told. As usual, you

Brief answer make me. I retire, and then,
Some nine months after, summoning me again,
You bid me 'mongst your friends assume a place;
And proud I feel that thus I won your grace,
Not by an ancestry long known to fame,
But by my life, and heart devoid of blame.'

-Sat. 1. 6, Martin.

1 Suet., Victisque partibus venia impetrata scriptum quaestorium comparavit.

The date of this event is plausibly fixed by Sat. 2. 6. 40, written about B.C. 31, in which Horace says that he has enjoyed Maecenas' friendship for nearly eight years. From this time forth Horace's path was made smooth. In B.c. 37 (?) he accompanied Maecenas on the journey to Brundisium, of which he has preserved a record in Sat. 1. 5.1 About B.C. 35, he published the first book of Satires,2 and about B.C. 30, the second book of Satires and the Epodes. Some time after the publication of the first book of Satires, and before the publication of the Epodes, Maecenas presented Horace with a small estate beautifully situated about thirty miles from Rome and twelve miles from Tibur, among the Sabine hills - the famous Sabine Farm. This gift may, perhaps, be compared to the pension that saved Tennyson for poetry. About ten years later, in B.C. 23, Horace collected and published with a dedication to Maecenas and an epilogue, the first three books of the Odes. The earliest Ode that can be positively dated is 1. 37, written in B.C. 30, but several of the light compliments or sketches from the Greek may be contemporary with the Epodes and Satires.5

'Before a volume of which every other line is as familiar as a proverb criticism is almost silenced.' 6

Three or four years later the first book of the Epistles was published. It consists of twenty little letters of friendship or moral essays varying in length from about twenty to about one hundred lines of hexameter verse. In urbanity, refine-ment, gentle good sense, and genial world wisdom, they are justly deemed the finest flower of Latin literature.

Horace's fame was now established, and his chief work done. His frank but dignified acceptance of the empire won him the

1 See Kirkland's notes.

2 See Kirkland's Introduction.

3 See Introduction to Epodes. 4 Cf. Epode 1. 30–32. n.

5 For dates of Odes, cf. on 1. 2, 1. 3, 1. 14, 1. 26, 1. 29, 1. 35, 1. 37, 2. 13,

3. 1-6, 3. 8, 3. 14.

6 Mackail, Lat. Lit. p. 112.

See the whole chapter.

7 Cf. on odes, 1. 2, 1. 12, 1. 37, 3. 1-6, 3. 3. 16, 3. 4. 41 sqq., 3. 14, 3. 25. 4, 4. 4, 4. 5, 4. 14, 4. 15.

favor of Augustus, who, in B.C. 17, commissioned him to write the Carmen Saeculare.1 The fourth book of odes, too, was composed mainly at the request of the emperor, and largely in celebration of the empire and the imperial family. The list

of Horace's works closes with the second book of Epistles, three long essays in hexameter verse on questions of literary criticism and taste. The first, addressed to Augustus, was called forth by the explicit request of the emperor. The third is generally known as the Ars Poetica.

Horace died at the age of fifty-seven, B.C. 8, a few months after Maecenas, near whom he was buried on the Esquiline. He was never married. In the epilogue to the first book of Epistles, he describes himself thus:

'Say, that though born a freedman's son, possessed

Of slender means, beyond the parent nest

I soared on ampler wing; thus what in birth

I lack, let that be added to my worth.
Say, that in war, and also here at home,

I stood well with the foremost men of Rome;
That small in stature, prematurely gray,
Sunshine was life to me and gladness; say
Besides, though hasty in my temper, I
Was just as quick to put my anger by.'

Elsewhere he hints that when the dark locks clustered over his low forehead he needed no adventitious recommendations to the graces of the fair.5 But he is already something of a valetudinarian at the time of the journey to Brundisium, and, though he saw enough of the gay life of the capital in his youth to portray it with smiling irony, his own part in it was probably less than his more boisterous admirers would have us believe, and with advancing years his rôle must have become more and more that of Thackeray's benevolent 'Fogy.' The

1 Cf. infra, p. 447.

2 Cf. infra, pp. 395, 407.

3 Suet., 'Irasci me tibi scito quod non in plerisque eiusmodi scriptis mecum potissimum loquaris. An vereris ne apud posteros infame tibi sit quod videaris familiaris nobis esse?'

4 Cf. on Odes, 2. 17.

5 Epp. 1. 14. 33.

attempt to find biographical material in his Lydes and Lydias has long since been abandoned by all intelligent critics.

The Odes have been a school book, a classic, and a 'Golden Treasury' for nineteen centuries, and there is no sign of a failure in their perennial charm for the majority of lovers of poetry.


The Syntax of the Odes presents few difficulties. The student should observe the differences between poetry and normal prose, the most of which he has already met in Vergil. By way of supplement to the notes especial attention is called here to the following constructions:

1. The free use of the 'complementary' infinitive.

a) With verbs: A. G. 273. c; B. 328; G. L. 423. n. 2; H. 533. I. II. Cf. 1. 1. 8, 1. 15. 7, 1. 15. 27, 1. 37. 30, 2. 3. 11, 2. 4. 23, 2. 12. 28, 2. 16. 39, 2. 18. 21, 2. 18. 40, 1. 34. 12, n., 4. 4. 62, 4. 9. 49. These and the countless other cases admit of classification on a graduated scale beginning with volo cupio possum and the like.

b) With adjectives and participles: A. G. 273. d; B. 333; G. L. 421. 1. c; H. 533. II. 3. Cf. 1. 1. 18, 1. 3. 25, 1. 6. 6, 1. 10. 7, 1. 12. 26, 1. 12. 11, 1. 19. 8, 1. 24. 17, 1. 35. 2, 1. 37. 10, 2. 2. 7, 2. 4. 11, 2. 6. 2, 3. 3. 50, 3. 6. 38, 3. 7. 25, 3. 8. 11, 3. 11. 4, 3. 12. 10, 3. 21. 6, 3. 21. 22, 3. 29. 50, 4. 6. 39, 4. 8. 8, 4. 9. 52, 4. 12. 19, 20, 4. 13. 7, 4. 14. 23. C. S. 25, etc., etc.

2. The occasional use of the infinitive of purpose: A. G. 273. e; B. 326. n.; G. L. 421. 1. a; H. 533. II. 2. Cf. 1. 2. 8. n.; 1. 12. 2. n.; 1. 23. 10; 3. 8. 11 (?), 1. 26. 3 (?).

3. The various forms of prohibition with present and perfect subjunctive or periphrasis of imperative and infinitive: A. G. 266. b, 269. a; B. 276; G. L. 263, 271. 2; H. 489. Cf. 1. 11. 1. n.; 2. 11. 3, 4; in 1. 33. 1, 2. 4. 1, 4. 9. 1 and the like ne with pres. subj. may be taken as purpose of following statements. Cf. also mitte sectari 1. 38. 3 with 1. 9. 13, 3. 29. 11.

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