Essay Notes for Horace’s Odes
Vile potabis modicis Sabinum / cantharis, Graeca quod ipse testa / conditum levi? [You will drink an inferior Sabine wine from small cups, which I put into a Greek jar having sealed it]? (Odes 1. 20. 1-3). How apt is it to describe the Odes as ‘Sabine wine in Greek jars’? Unity and design in Horace Although examples og greek lyric metre can be found in horace’s odes, the most striking parallelism perhaps is the way both collections open. ?P12: Horace the champion of aurea mediocritas? Horace shares the Hellenistic poets familiarity with many methods of arrangement and metre but he doesn’t really on any of them exclusively. Modern poetic sequence by ML Rosenthal and Sally Gall? Keat’s Odes by Helen Vendler? Horace a successful satirist and the adapter into Latin of the iambic spirit of Archilochus and Hipponax. His Odes purported to revive the Greek lyrics poets. P14 For all intents and purposes, however, lyric had been dormant for hundreds of years when Horace decided to transfer it to an intractable language and an alien culture. ?His odes have a diversity of metres adressees and themes – an elaborate attempt to place the does both within Horace’s oeuvre and within a larger poetic tradition.
P19: Displays nine different meters and this diversity is reinforced by variation of theme and addresse. The metres establish Horace’s affliation with Greek lyric and serve to set Horace apart from that tradition. They were use by and even named after Horace’s Greek predecessors. P21: A lyric poem was a poem composed in one of the metres traditionally associated with the lyre (23) Horace himself in the last ode of this collection and in a later epistle, retrospectively defined his own poetic achievement in largely metrical terms.
It is essentially an attempt to recreate the wonderful immediacy of Greek lyric but the actual conditions of performance had so changed by Horace’s time that the address often functions as a metaphor for the reader. ?DElveloped with constant reference to Greek models. Having set the Odes apart from his pwn earlier satires and from his Greek predecessors in lyric, HOrav explores their status with reference to one other important genre, epic. P27: Horace used the conceir in his very last ode 4. 15 which disclaims any ability to write heroic epic. =When I wished to sing of wars and conquered cities, Phoebus stuck his lyre to warn me not to spread my sails on the Tyrrhenean Sea. (1-4) P34: As a literary apology, this and other recusationes ultimately go back to Callimachus’ expression of literary preferences in the prologue to his Aetia. In that work C contrasted the thundering Zeus whom he could not imitate with the restrained and restraining Apolla, the fat sheep with the thin (leptalehn) Muse Apollo. ? Traditions and Contexts in the Poetry of Horace, edd. Tony Woodman and Denis Feeney (reviewed by Charles Witke, University of Michigan). Cambridge University Press 2002.
Tony Woodman likewise confront the lyric Horace with predecessors in this case Catullus and Greek lyric. Horace’e references to Aeolian or Lesbian poetry are to be contrued to include Sappho as well as Alcaeus. ?RGM Nisbet addresses detailed and learned criticism to Odes 3,21, the wine jar.? Alessandro Brachiesi (47)‘ Viewed thus, the poem is a meditation on the unique status of Rome vis-a-vis Greek culture, as well as a self reflexive utterance about the position of poetry in Roman society. ’ What does this quotation mean?? Clearly metaphorical. The components represent: Sabine wine symbolizes Horace’s poetry and it does this in two ways.
First, wine is a good symbol for Horace’s Odes because wine is a common topic of the poems and an integral part of the Epicurean philosophy he espouses (refs). Sabine wine in particular is a country pleasure which at its mention makes comment on the relaxed country life which his philosophy endorese. Second, in this instance, juxtaposed with the Greek jars, the adjective Sabine is clearly has an identity to both Italy as a whole and more specifically to Horace’s own farm, gifted to him by Maecenas, the explicit addressee of Odes 1. 1 (refs). ‘Sabine wine’ is thus indicative both of Latin poetry and specifically Horace’s lyric poetry.
In this way also, the word ‘Sabinum’ is also a form of praise to his patron Maecenas (the main theme of 1. 20) as they will be drinking the Sabine wine transferred to jars on the estate which Maecenas gave to Horace. The use of the adjective vile to describe the Sabine wine on line 1, further signifies their friendship as it demonstrates Horace’s confidence that Maecenas can rise above pomp and luxury (note modicis – they will drink from plain cups and not engraved silver) and enjoy a simple friendship – a second philosophy Horace advocates with the mention of Sabine wine. ?As David West mentions in his ‘Text,
Translation and Commentary of Horace Odes 1, it is likely that Horace uses the Greek jars ‘to improve the flavor of his ordinary local wine’ (p96). In light of this the Greek jars element of the metaphor represents Greek poetry forms – the ‘containers’ of Horace’s poetry are the lyric forms developed by Greek writers such as Sappho and Alcaeus, which he adapts, improves and pays homage to in his work.? In sum, describing Horace’s poetry as ‘Sabine wine in Greek jars’ suggests that Horace is writing a distinctive form of Latin, Horatian poetry within traditional Greek structures.
This is a reading which I think has considerable validity – indeed, the manner in which Horace comments upon and plays with the link between his own poetry and his Greek predecessors is not only striking itself, but can also be seen as part of a wider literary project in the first Century BCE, as Latin authors attempt to challenge and lay claim to the forms of their Greek influences. ?Why did they say it?? How accurate is it? ?Horace’s philosophy on life and wine? Odes: ?Wider project bringing Greek verse into Latin literature and to show off his educated knowledge of Greek place names/literature?
Odes: ? Widely acknowledged that his Greek models were x y z ? Odes: ? Horace rejects the thought, expressed succinctly by Anchises in Virgil’s Aeneid, that the Greeks do literature and the Romans are famous in war. (6. 847-53) In his long prophecy Aeneas in the underworld. excudent alii spirantia mollius aera? (credo equidem), vivos ducent de marmore vultus,? orabunt causas melius, caelique meatus? discribent radio et surgentia sidera dicent:? tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento? (hae tibi erunt artes), pacique imponere morem,? parcere subiectis et debellare superbos. Others (i. . Greeks) will beat out bronze so that it breathes in softer lines, so I indeed believe, and will bring out living faces from marble; they will plead their cases better, and will describe the wanderings of the heavens with the geometer’s rod and will speak of the surging stars: you, Roman, be mindful of ruling peoples with empire (these will be your arts); add civilisation to peace; spare the defeated, and war down the proud. ?Within project of 1st century literature – Virgil rewriting Homer in Latin, Lucretius writing Epicurus, Book 5 bemoans the latin language being inadequate. osmos and atomism termed in Greek. See those texts in the wider project of Augustus – big period of strife, aurea saecula – The golden age. Quinn, text and intro In the Odes it is the Greek lyric poets of the seventh century BC, especially Alcaeus, who provide the Greek model, but that model is made the vehicle of Roman themes, the attitudes expressed are those of a very distinctive personality moulded by a culture as remote from the culture of Sappho and Alcaeus as that which produced Virgil is remote from that of Homer.
The Odes are set in the everyday life of a society which had recreated in Italy and in Latin, the ideals and cultural values of the Greek-speaking Hellenistic world. In place of simple, lyric directness of the Sappho and Alcaeus… The Odes are a demonstration that poetry, which is neither didactic not ostensibly serious in tone can be the expression of a philosophy of life. The context most often is that of everyday social life in that section of urban society which had the leisure to devote itself to a life of wine, women and song. To make these themes the basis for a Roman recreation of the traditional forms of lyric..
The simple, intense emotions of early Greek lyric match the simple syntactical perfection with which they are expressed and the culture of which they are a product. 1. 6? Patriotic epic praising the greatest solider of the age which includes a compliment to Augustus at the centre point of the poem. In this poem, Horace pleads his incapacity to meet the expectations of the expectations of his patron and suggests the name of another poet who could do it better. This polite ‘recusatio’ is common in Latin and Greek literature and echoes the practise of one of Horace’s Greek lyric poet models, Callimachus (p28 in D. est) ? Trends of a recusatio 😕 – flickers of seriousness to wit. Self mockery – (potens vetat – Horace’s powerful Muse refuses but her power is only over the lyre). She/Horace know their limitations and strengths.? — contrast between sublime and slender (tenues grandia – the modest plea of incapacity and suggestion that Horace’s friend Varius could do it better).? — Parodies of the Iliad and Odyssey in the second stanza ( this is the sort of mess Horace would make of it if he were to write an epic). Epic diction also – Horace showing off his mastery. — Reference to him intending to write love poetry in the last stanza of the battle.? 1. 6: I, Agrippa do not try to sing these things nor the heavy anger of Peleus’ son who did not know how to yield not the hourney through the sea of tricky Ulysses nor the ruthless house of Peolops, since I am too slender for grand themes while shame and the Muse who has power over the unwarlike lyre forbid me to wear out your praises and Caesar’s with my lack of talent. H rejects heroic subjects and modes on the grounds of inability.
He proves his point my deliberately botching epic in his catalog of rejected topics where the divine wrath of Achilles, the (mhviv) of the Iliad is cut down to cholic stomachum and the Odysseus’ richly associative Greek epithet (polutropos) much travelled/experienced/suffering. wiley is mis translated by duplicis tricky. The 4th stanza where he seems more successful in the heroic style is is signif that his list of epic topics are posed as a question, who can sing of these? Not me. The final verse announces convivial and erotic poetry as an alternative to these impossible heroes.? 7-20 – we sing of banquets we sing of battles carried on by maidens attacking youths with their cut nails. = heroics of a personal and private term. 1. 7 Opening lines takes the form of a priamel. ?Catalogue of Greek cities: Rhodes, Mitylene and Ephesus are three of the wealthy Greek cies which Romans would have visited while engaged in political or military duties. ?In 5-8, the focus shifts to Athens and to literature and the tone becomes sardonic. The one task of these poets is to celebrate the city.
Horace talks about the Greek’s perpetuo carmine which associates these writers with writers of long old fashioned epics. Some will like Rhodes, (etc) but I prefer Tibur. This activity is defined even more precisely as the phrase carmine perpetuo is a translation of Callimachus’ aeisma dihnekes, a technical expression for long, continuous poetry. Horace is then distancing himself from such poetry and so the first part of the ode is consistent with the recusatio. (p36 unity) The olive they ostentatiously wear (praeponere) is the emblem of Athens.
In the third stanza also, these cities are the homes of the leaders of the Greek expedition to Troy in the Iliad – Argos the home of Diomede, Mycenae of Agammemnon – each provided with a translation various of its stock epithet. H makes fun of long epics on Greek mythology and at writings in praise of Greek cities. Then he turns to Italy and against the Greek places famous for their temple of Artemis and shrines of Olympian Gods, Horace sets the local cults of Tibur (east of Rome in the Sabine Hills). An attempt to set Italian deities above those of the Greeks and an Italian town over the place names of Greece. One attempt to echo the desire of Augustus to reproduce the glories of Greece and to excel them. With Poetry amongst these glories, Horace endeavours to do this. =1. 7: First half of the poem recapsulates elements of the recusatio. The Catalogue of famous Greek cities of which are surpassed by the Ilatlian countryside around Tibus. Horaces interest is geographic and literary – the cities mentioned are all sites of heroic myths.? He initially denies that he will compose epic but then exploits that genre for his own purpose. 1. 6 announced a program for lyric as opposed to epic and 1. 7 and 1. which enacted that program by domesticating epic material in the service of conviva and erotica respectively. 1. 19 comes as a climax or culmination of this sequence as it reunites both lyric themes in a single poem and because it is written in the Alcaic meter. (p41) the postponement of the Alcaic to the final emphatic position in the Odes is surely honourific. UNilke so many of the odes that precede it, it makes no obvious epic allusions and reworks no epic themes for there is no longer any need to do so. The dialectiv beterrn lyric and epic that was carried out in the Parade Odes has finally been resolved. 1. 8
Rome in the age of Horace was a Hellenistic city, interpenetrated by all forms of Greek culture. To ask whether a poem of part of a poem is Hellenistic or Augustan is a waste of time – by its very nature, Augustan includes Hellenistic. 1. 9 ‘four year old Sabine wine’. This ode describes the house near the mountain accompanied by a long fire – another county pleasure as is the Sabine wine. Horace uses Greek words, no where else seen in extant latin literature. When the slave in 1. 9 is called Thaliarchus, Greek for ‘lord of the feast’ the four year old wine in a two handled cup (diota), there are two clear examples of this.
Horace is perhaps hinting that here in the Italian landscape with Italian wine he is enjoying a symposium, a Greek drinking party, as lyric poets such as Alcaeus onwards had done. He is theref once again claiming his place as a Roman the great lyric poets of Greece. (Fragment of Alcaeus frag 338 – p42 dw) 1. 20 Other Points of praise for Maecenas? 1. 26 ‘To sanctify this Larnia by a new lyre and by a Lesbian plectrum’. = The new strings (not the Greek lyre or the cithara but the Latin fides beside the Greek plectrum demonstrate that Horace has accommodated Greek music to Latin measures. . 32 In Ode 1. 32 Horace’ kletic poem addressed to the lyre: (he expresses his plans for his verse appealing to Apollo’s lyre for inspiration, with the expectation that they are worthy to be accompanied by Apollo’s lyre. 1) ‘age, dic, Latinum, barbite, carmen’/ ‘Lesbio primum modulate civi’ ? = 2) Reference to one of his Greek models, Alcaeus. ?= Alcaeic poetry in Sapphic metre. ?= Stanza III summarises some of Alcaeus’ subject matter (canebat Liberum – singing to Bacchus drinking songs, songs in praise of Venus’ muses and puerum, cupid – about love homo and hetero).
All of which are themes that can easily be indentified in Horace’s Odes. Trying to identify himself as the successor of Alcaeus. 1. 38 Horace loves the simple life 3. 1 Why should I change my Sabine valley, for the heavier burden of excess wealth?? Thus Horace concludes by stating that he would not exchange his peaceful, if humble, Sabine valley for “the greater burden of wealth” 3. 3 I have created a monument more lasting than bronze? and loftier than the royal structure of the pyramids,? that which neither devouring rain, nor the unrestrained North Wind? ay be able to destroy nor the immeasurable? succession of years and the flight of time.? I shall not wholly die and a greater part of me? will evade Libitina [Goddess of Death]; continually I,? newly arisen, may be strengthened with ensuing praise so long ? as the high priest climbs the Capitoline with the silent maiden.? It may be said that where the raging Aufidus roars? and where, short of water, Daunus ruled his rustic people,? powerful from a humble birth, I first brought Aeolian verse? to Italian measures. Assume the arrogance ? sought for by those who have a claim to recognition, ? nd with the Delphian laurel,? Melpomene, willingly crown my head. Epistles 1. 20 http://www. jstor. org/pss/638992 Horace: Odes and Epodes Edited by Michele Lowrie, Horace and the Greek Lyric Poets – Denis Feeney p202? At the end of his first odes he voices the hope that the reader of his collection would insert him into the canon of the Greek lyric bards (1. 1 and 1. 32). Alcaeus and Sappho were amongst the nine lyrics poets in the canon. (between 650 and 400 BCE)? At times, Horace’s audacity is marvellous and we cannot always be sure of the poet’s intent.
Unity and design in Horace’s Odes By Matthew S. Santirocco The Parade Odes: The Poetics of Initiation Horace’s acknowledged models, Alcaeus and Sappho composed rather early in the period. Epistle 1. 1 purports to abandon versus et cetera ludicra ‘verses and other playthings’ (10) it is looking back to the body of lyric that preceded it. ?The nymphs, satyrs, muses and thertraditional elements of the scene point to the Greesources of Horace’s inspiration. The Lesbian lyre, Lesboum barbiton (34) further specifies these as Sappho and Alcaeus. Horace: Behind the Public Poetry. By R. 0. A.
M. LYNE. Review by Ellen Oliensis (1) HONOURING HORACE Review by (2) S. J. HARRISON (ed. ): Homage to Horace. A Bimillenary Celebration. Pp. x + 380. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995. Cased. R. CORTEZ TOVAR, J. C. FERNANDEZ CORTE (edd. ): Bimilenario de Horacio. (Acta Salmanticensia, Estudios Filologicos, 258. ) Pp. 431. Salamanca:E dicionesU niversidadd e Salamanca,1 994. P aper. R. O. A. M. LYNE: Horace. Behind the Public Poetry. Review: Some Recent Perspectives on Horace Author(s): David Armstrong (3) The Epodesa re treatedb y L. C. Watson, “Horace’sE podes:t he Impotence of Iambos? , which admirably discusses the conventions of the poems’ archaic and Hellenistic models-a topic which needs more study still. Margaret Hubbard contributes a piece on the Pindaric background of Epist. 1. 3 which offers among many other good things a palmary note on frigida curarumfo menta (26) as a reflection of several passages of Pindar Review – Horace Book 1 – NH (4) 204: Yet while admitting that Horace was a very literary poet the reader may think that he might get a little more credit for independence than he does here. The apparently original theme of i. and iv. 7 is attributed to Hellenistic sources which have not sur-vived. The hints of a love interest in II come, it is suggested, from a lost Greek prototype, and in the same poem Horace is not even given the credit for the Tyrrhenian waves (‘derived from some Greek commonplace’). On 13. 18 f. it is stated that ‘Horace is no doubt imitating the phraseology of some Greek poem’; and the lost Hellenistic poem is again invoked in connection with dulce loquentem (22. 24), unnecessarily, it would seem, in view of Sappho’s 38v wv•Elaas, which of course the authors quote. 06: The opening section of the introduction provides an admirable summary of the characteristics of the Horatian ode. It deals with Horace’s models and other literary influences, emphasizing his unacknowledged debt to Hellenistic poetry, in particular to Callimachus; with the different categories of ode, convivial, erotic, hymnic, political; with the various themes, Horace’s own poetry, the country, friendship; with his style, prosaic and down-to-earth; and, briefly, with structure and the arrangement of the poems within the book.
We are warned against interpreting the poetry in the light of preconceptions about the author’s personality. Review: Recent Studies of Horace’s Odes Author(s): A. J. Woodman (5) MATTHEW S. SANTIROCCO: Unity and Design in Horace’s Odes. Pp. X + 251. Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1986. ?24. DAVIDH . PORTER:H orace’s Poetic Journey:a. Readingo f Odes 1-3. Pp. xiv+281; 9 diagrams. Princeton University Press, 1987. ?22. PETER CONNOR: Horace’s Lyric Poetry. the Force of Humour. (Ramus Monographs, 2. ) Pp. x+221. Victoria: Aureal Publications, 1987.
Australian $24. S devotes most of his book to discussing all poems in Odes 1-3 in order of their appearanceT. he parade odes are programmatic neither in their metres (two of which neverr ecur) nor in their addressees (who are relatively more important than the average)t;h ey are chosen to identify H. ‘s place amongst Greek lyric predecessors (Catullusf’a vourite metre being conspicuous by its absence) and their number suggesttsh e canon of nine into which H. desires insertion (1. 1. 35 inseres). Review: D. WEST: Horace Odes I: Carpe Diem. Pp. xiii + 203. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995. untitled] Author(s): F. Jones (7) t-addresseer elationshipin 1. 9, 1. 11,a nd 1. 38,t he possibler elevanceo f Octavian’s sejao urney from Samos to Brundisiumt o 1. 14, and the idea that Venusi s like a strokeo f lightnining 1. 19. 9. I n this Ode W. guessest hat the wine is Sabine( p. 95) on the basis of the beginninogf the next Ode:e lsewhereh e commentso n the use of inter-poemc ontactsa t a more generlaelv el( p. 44, p. 84). The Function of Wine in Horace’s Odes Author(s): Steele Commager Source: Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, Vol. 88 (1957), pp. 8-80 Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press 68: Libera vina is designated as one of the four traditional subjects of lyric poetry (A. P. 85), and it is ine’s liberating effect which seems to have struck Horace most forcibly. 75: “Did Horace Woo the Muse with Wine? “‘6 Although the love affair – that with the Latin language itself – is the only one we can be sure was real, Horace seems to have neglected the poet’s traditional enticement to his heavenly mistress.? =16 Such is the sub-title of an article by A. P. McKinlay, “The Wine Element in Horace,” CJ 42 (1946) 161-68, 229-36.
See this article for an exhaustive treatment of the subject, and for referencest o works on specializedt opics. 79/80: Immortality is the dimension of an eternal present. Wine represents seizing of the present, a reedom from contingencies of past and future alike. 80: Wine, a verecundusB acchus (C. 1. 27. 3), promotes harmonious interchange among men: Bacchus, as god of poetry, symbolically enacts the poet’s civilizing influence. Wine also represents a commitment to present life, a freedom from temporal delays: Bacchus suggests the poet’s freedom from the temporal world itself, and his commitment to eternal life.
Wine and the symposium by Gregson Davies (Cambridge Companion to Horace) p207-221 207: The collection of odes in Book 1 is framed by opening and closing poems that give prominence to the leitmotif of wine. Thus the dedicatory poem to his patron, Maecenas (Odes 1. 1), which presents the programme of the Odes as a whole, takes the rhetorical form of a priamel in which the climactic term features the poet-speaker’s choice of a Dionysian community of Nymphs and Satyrs dancing and singing together in a sacred grove and crowned with ivy (29–34).
The main vocation championed by the speaker is the composition of lyric poetry in the tradition of Archaic Greek (Lesbian) lyric, but the setting is onsonant with the sympotic muse,since the presence of the Bacchic entourage is hardly conceivable without wine-induced ekstasis. 208: In the concluding ode of Book 1 (Odes 1. 38) Horace foregrounds the banquet wreath (corona) as an emblem for his lyric values (aesthetic and philosophical) in a dense poem that functions as a virtual thematic signature: Persicos odi, puer, apparatus, isplicent nexae philyra coronae; mitte sectari, rosa quo locorum sera moretur. simplici myrto nihil adlabores sedulus curo: neque te ministrum gregson davis dedecet myrtus, neque me sub arta vite bibentem. I detest Persian paraphernalia, my boy, wreaths woven on linden bark displease me; stop trying to track own those rare places where a late rose lingers on. Take care that in your zeal you work no extra ornament into the plain myrtle:myrtle is most fitting both to you, as you serve, and to me, as I drink, beneaththe dense vine.
Since the last word of the poem (and the liber) is bibentem (‘drinking’), the poet leaves the reader with a self-portrayal that is clearly emblematic for the whole book. As illustrations of the former we may cite the hilarious ode addressed to the personified wine-jar (3. 21), and the short encomium of the vine (1. 18). Both of these poems operate as powerful metonymic references to the pleasures of the symposium, as their final scenes disclose – in the former case, Bacchus, Venus and the Graces are requested to be present at a prolonged symposium. 210: In the Soracte Ode (Odes 1. ) the person who controls the wine is given a Greek name that bespeaks his function, ‘Thaliarchus’ (‘ruler of the revels’). 211: Since the finest wines were, then as now, relatively expensive, the poet often proclaims his wish to savour the best vintages when accepting invitations to dine at the villas of the wealthy, such as his patron and friend, Maecenas. 213/14: That outlook is derived from two principal sources that coalesce in the Odes: the lyric ethos first expressed in robust form in the archaic poetry of Archilochus (and elaborated in Lesbian melic verse), and the Hellenistic philosophy of Epicureanism. 14: Horatian wisdom (sapientia and its cognates are frequent in his lyric discourse) takes the shape of an enlightened hedonism in which the spectre of mortality serves as foil for the valorisation of the pleasures of the convivial lifestyle. The ode that famously encapsulates this view of sapientia in the terse phrase, carpe diem, merits a brief analysis (Odes 1. 11): The New Nisbet-Hubbard HoraceAuthor(s): Kenneth QuinnSource: Arion, Vol. 9, No. 2/3, Horace Issue (Summer – Autumn, 1970), pp. 264-273Published by: Trustees of Boston University
Horace the DualityAuthor(s): Grant ShowermanSource: The Classical Journal, Vol. 6, No. 6 (Mar. , 1911), pp. 244-251Published by: The Classical Association of the Middle West and South 244: There is a Horace of ordinary Italian manners and ideals, and a Horace of the higher culture of Rome and Athens; a more natural Horace, simple and direct, and a less natural Horace, clothed upon with the artificialities of life in the capital; an unconventional and a conventional Horace. 244/245: And yet, whatever his liking for the city and its artificialities, his real nature called for the country and its simplicity.
It is the Horace of Venusia and the Sabines who is the more genuine. Criticism has occasionally detected the note of affectation in some of the more formal compositions addressed to Augustus and his household; but the most captious critic will hesitate to bring such a charge against the odes which celebrate the life of the fields and hamlets of Italy and the prowess of its citizen soldiers of time gone by, or against the mellow epistles and lyrics in which the poet philosophizes upon the spectacle of human life. 45: The real Horace is seen with greatest distinctness when he sings of the beauty and fruitfulness of Italy. It is no land of the imagi-nation which he visualizes for us, nor yet a Homericized or a The-ocritean Italy, but the Italy of his own time, the Italy of his own birth and experience, and the Italy of today. 251: Among the results of Horace’s urban experience, it is wholly natural that none should be more prominent than the influence of Hellenism upon his work.
His debt to Greek literature is great. The metrical conveyance of most of his lyrics, many of the lyrics themselves, a wealth of literary ornament, much of the richness of his intellectual furnishing, and no small part of his sureness of taste and execution-all these Greece gave him, as she has given them to many others. But much of this is only a clothing upon of the real Horace by the artificial Horace of the literary coterie.
There is the Hellenic Horace who experiments with Greek meter, draws heavily on Greek geography and Greek mythology, employs Greek nomenclature, stages Greek scenery, engages in labored imitation of the Homeric simile (always labored when it is not Homeric), or frankly translates and adapts Greek lyrics; and there is the more genuine Horace who employs the native trochee and iamb and the long-since naturalized hexameter, and lets Italian gods and heroes speak from Italian scenes, or in his own person discourses homely Italian wisdom, and is Greek in nothing but form even when his conveyance is sapphic or alcaic.
The real Horace is an Italian poet, and a Roman. He is Italian by birth and experience, Italian in person, habit, and temperament, Italian in his love of Italy and her life, and in his clear vision of her natural charms. He is Roman in his pride in Rome’s past and present, in his faith in her destiny, and in the intimate relation of his art to life. His schoolmistress was Greece; the mother from whom he derived his powers was Italy; and his immediate inspira-tion was Rome.
To call Horace Greek rather than Roman would be to be blinded to the essential by the presence of graceful form and a partial and after all not very great identity of matter. Horace’s Debt to Greek LiteratureAuthor(s): W. K. SmithSource: The Classical Review, Vol. 49, No. 3 (Jul. , 1935), pp. 109-116Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Classical Association 109: Horace’s imitation of Greek authors, where this imitation is conscious. 109: The state-ments, consisting often of single lines or sentences, he supposed to be trans-lated quotations from the Greek original, the comments which followed each being Horace’s own.
This arrangement is supported by the presence of several words which are obviously translations of Greek technical terms; the scholiast, in fact, quotes several of the Greek equivalents. Yet in many places the distinction between statement and comment does not seem to be definitely established; moreover a comparison with other pass-ages of Horace’s works where quotations from Greek authors are out of the question shows that this method is only one of Horace’s peculiarities of style. In Book I of the Epistles, for instance, a hypothetical sentence is most commonly introduced by a short statement, fter which follow the comments, also in the form of statements. 113: Since therefore Horace was compos-ing a work of the traditional Greek pattern, to the degree and in the direc-tions already discussed, its value as a practical textbook is somewhat altered, especially as some of the conditions had ceased to exist in Greece itself between the time of Aristotle and Neoptolemus, while account must be taken of the difference of circumstances in Greece and at Rome. 113: Horace has drawn upon Greek sources. 14: The belief that the Ars Poetica was written about the same time as the First Book of the Epistles is confirmed by many similarities2 of tone and subject, such as the references to Homer, including paraphrases in both of the opening lines of the Odyssey. The most important passage to be con-sidered in this connection is the auto-biographical opening of the first epistle of the book, especially lines 10-12 : nunc itaque et uersus et cetera ludicra pono; quid uerum atque decens curo et rogo et omnis in hoc sum: condo et compono quae mox depromere possim. 14: It will be remembered that Quintilian draws a distinction be-tween Horace and Catullus, because, whereas the latter was a writer of simple iambi, Horace was a writer of iambi with the short line, the epodos, inter-vening. To each genre was attached the name of its Evbpe7r , the inventor, or the poet who first gained distinction in that mode. Among Latin writers the same claim is made by those who first used the mode in Latin literature. Horace himself claims to be in Latin literature the ebperTrSo f Parian iambics,5 in the Epodes, and of Aeolian song,” in the Odes.
In the latter case, the two Sapphic poems of Catullus are disre-garded. The second ode of the Fourth Book seems to show that he had con-templated the possibilities of becoming the Roman Pindar, but had wisely re-cognized that the task was beyond him, and, following his own precept,7 shouldered the load he could carry. = 4 A. P. 73 seq. SEh. I, 19, 23. 6 Od. III, 30, 13, and 3E. I, 19, 32. SA. P. 38. * v. 6o. 9 Sat. I, 1o, I9. 115: Horace’s favourite method of utilizing Greek originals appears to consist of starting a poem with a line or two of translation, forming as it were a text, and then adding a Roman setting.
Examples of this are to be seen in Odes, I, 18 and 37. In each case the opening words are borrowed from Alcaeus, with whose general out-look Horace can have had little sym-pathy. The advice just quoted does not evi-dently apply to single words and phrases; ‘uerbo uerbum reddere’ would be a just description of his method of taking over several Greek compound epithets, such as 4peetaviq, which he renders by ‘bello furiosa ‘,3 and r-roXvdovvto9,wh ich becomes ‘multi nominis ‘. 4 Further, he claims for his generation the privilege formerly conceded of taking over actual Greek words, provided they are ‘parce detorta ‘. Several grammatical and syntactical usages also are ascribed usually to this kind of imitation. Most of the Greek lyric writers seem to have been imitated by Horace in the Odes, and no doubt, if a larger portion of their works had survived, the sources of many more themes would be identi-fied. Such was Horace’s familiarity with Greek literature that he had almost decided himself to write poems in Greek, had not Quirinus-or his common sense-dissuaded him. 6 Whereas in the Odes we are consider-ing a case of imitation direct of the Greek authors. = 3 Od. II, I6, 5. SOd. III, 9, 7. 6 A. P. 3. 6 Sat. 1, 1o, 31. 116: The ancients in general considered that, so far from a poet being better for originality of subject matter, usually imitation led to the display of greater creative skill. Finally, there is in Horace some of the same nationalistic spirit which is found in the introductions to Cicero’s philosophical works. Just as Cicero believed that most of the subjects treated in Greek could be handled equally well in Latin, so Horace felt that his countrymen were in many spheres of writing as fully endowed with talent as the Greeks, if only they would use their talent well.
Study of Greek methods would show how they could be equalle! : in their own fields. Horace and His BimillenniumAuthor(s): Willis A. EllisSource: The Classical Journal, Vol. 28, No. 9 (Jun. , 1933), pp. 643-656Published by: The Classical Association of the Middle West and South 646: And Horace, like Vergil, takes us to the country. Vergil sings – and sings beautifully – of the farmer’s life, but he has not the personal touch of Horace. Horace is himself a part of his country scenes.
We cannot think of the Sabine farm without thinking of him. 647: To his friend Quinctius he describes his farm in some detail and with evident pride and fondness, but his feeling for it he best sums up in the words addressed to his caretaker – “the little farm which makes me myself again. ” 649: If I should name my favorites, my list would be very much like other lists made by admirers of the poet. He has borrowed the Greek measures, he has borrowed Greek decoration, but the poems are Roman. The Greek Muse speaks Latin. 56: Whatever his weaknesses or shortcomings, Horace had quali-ties that compel our admiration. “On some Greek Lyrical Metres;” Professor Malden. Transactions of the Philological Society Volume 1, Issue 1, pages 10–28, January 1854 http://onlinelibrary. wiley. com/doi/10. 1111/j. 1467-968X. 1854. tb00764. x/abstract The first line of Horace’s Ode to Varus is a mere translation of a line of Azcseus in the same metre, pq8hv ;no +uret;qq rrp6repov 8&8peov & p d h . Horace fully exploited the metrical possibilities offered to him by Greek lyric verse. Bibliography: