Download Traditions and Contexts in the Poetry of Horace by Tony Woodman, Denis Feeney PDF

Download Traditions and Contexts in the Poetry of Horace by Tony Woodman, Denis Feeney PDF

By Tony Woodman, Denis Feeney

This choice of freshly commissioned essays covers the total diversity of the works of a really flexible and cutting edge poet. The essays introduce readers to a number of severe ways to Horace and to Latin poetry, in addition to a couple of diversified contexts--political, philosophical, historic. the gathering sheds gentle not just on Horace yet on Augustan poetry generally.

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Example text

The threat of trouble was so severe that he had crossed the Adriatic at the most dangerous time of year, at great personal risk to himself, to deal with the matter personally. The Epode uses Horace’s own relationship with Maecenas paradigmatically to explore Amicus certus in re incerta cernitur  some of the major contemporary issues relating to the duties and obligations of friends to each other in time of war and the returns they might expect for the services they provide. The poem takes the form of a propemptikon, a farewell to a departing traveller.

Those who had supported Caesar should not now be endangering those efforts with unseemly demands. But the closing lines might be yet more pointed. The final quatrain is framed by benignitas tua () and discinctus . . nepos (), Horace’s grateful acceptance of the former and his rejection of the latter. This is the first occurrence of discinctus in its figurative sense of ‘dissolute’, ‘slovenly’: the usage implies a contrast with the traditional dress, and, by implication, the behaviour expected of the soldier (Servius, Aen.

Be in part return for benefits received, while simultaneously establishing a claim to gratia. Horace immediately and emphatically rejects any implication that he is looking for an immediate material reward in the form of more land. Once it is recalled that at the time of the poem’s composition, those who had supported Caesar in the war against Cleopatra were clamouring for their rewards, the pointedness of Horace’s example becomes apparent. To quieten their demands Caesar was compelled to offer for auction or exchange the properties belonging to himself and his friends.

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