Horace: Satires, Book 1

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Cambridge University Press, Jan 12, 2012 - History - 370 pages
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"Christoph Wieland (1804: 14) once wrote that reading Horace's satires was like going for a walk with him: always stopping for little detours and arriving exactly where you want to be or else right back where you started. My own extended stroll has been as zigzagging and stop-start as any Horatian ramble, spanning two continents, three departments and fifteen years, while the card index gave way to the memory stick and the son who was an infant when the book was commissioned reached adulthood. I find it as hard to know where Horace is going now as when I first encountered him (which is nothing but a compliment). Commentators have many vices, above all myopia. I once asked a colleague to remind me where in Latin literature I had read the old saying about bringing (unwanted) wood to the forest. A flicker of embarrassment before the gentle reply: 'In Horace's tenth satire, I think.' Plagiarism is another occupational hazard. I have ransacked the wisdom-hoards ofmany fellow-commentators, with an unfair bias, some may complain, towards my contemporaries. But the aim of this book is to encourage appreciation of the Satires as literature and collect in pocket form the most penetrating Horatian criticism of the last two decades. A third liability is un-Horatian long-windedness (and a fourth last-minute additions)"-- Provided by publisher.

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About the author (2012)

Horace is one of the most noted poets and satirists of Ancient times. Born Quintus Horatius Flaccus, to a former slave in 65 B.C., Horace was taken to Rome and Athens to be educated. He joined Brutus's army after the assassination of Julius Caesar, and later came under favor of the emperor Octavian. Horace used his observations of politics to great advantage in his works. Horace is chiefly remembered for his four books of Odes. Technically and lyrically stunning, they contain word organization and imagery that is employed masterfully. He is also noted for the brilliant satires that brought him to the attention of the poet Virgil. Virgil introduce him to Maecenas, a wealthy patron, who would help Horace throughout his life. Horace earned a great reputation during his lifetime and was an example to many later generations of poets. Horace died in 8 B.C., a few months after his friend and patron Maecenas.

E. J. Gowers is Senior Lecturer in Classics, University of Cambridge and Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge. Her first book, The Loaded Table (1993), about the representation of food in Latin literature, won the Premio Langhe Ceretto in 1994. With William Fitzgerald, she co-edited Ennius Perennis (Cambridge Classical Journal supplementary volume 31, 2007), to which she contributed a chapter and the introduction. She has written numerous articles on Roman satire and has also published widely on other aspects of Latin literature and culture, including Apuleius, Columella, Ovid, Terence, Valerius Maximus, Virgil, Roman food, trees, Sicily, the Emperor Augustus and the Cloaca Maxima. She regularly reviews books for the Times Literary Supplement and other journals.

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