A Commentary on Horace: Odes by R. G. M. Nisbet

By R. G. M. Nisbet

This remark takes severe account of contemporary writing at the Odes. It offers with specific questions of interpretation, and indicates how Horace mixed the tact of a court-poet with a humane individualism, and the way he wrote inside of a literary culture with no wasting a hugely own voice. notwithstanding the booklet isn't really meant for rookies, the editors goal all through at readability.

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Thy. 459 f. ‘retro mare / iacta fugamus mole’ (cf. ‘jetty’ from the French jete´e), Sidon. carm. 2. 57 f. ‘itur in aequor / molibus et veteres tellus nova contrahit undas’. Most editors interpret iactis as ‘dropped’; cf. Virg. Aen. 9. 711 f. ‘saxea pila cadit, magnis quam molibus ante / constructam pelago iaciunt’, where molibus refers to blocks of masonry. But in our view the parallels cited above seem to be more convincing illustrations of what H says; the stages in the building of such piers are described in Vitruv.

While it would be absurd to suppose that he is undermining the very system that he professes to support (even Lyne’s phrase ‘benignly subversive’ goes too far), it is true that by adopting a predominantly private stance, Horace has written a poem which is less overtly patriotic than the other Roman Odes. There is some reason in the conjecture that the portentous opening has been grafted onto a more personal piece to serve as an introduction to the series. We have spoken so far of Lucretius, but Horace was also influenced by the end of the recently issued second Georgic, which in the same philosophical tradition had drawn a contrast between the happiness of farmers and the pomp of the rich (2.

Desiderantem quod satis est: cf. 3. 16. 44, serm. 1. 1. 62, epist. 1. 2. 46 ‘quod satis est cui contingit nil amplius optet’, Sen. epist. 119. 7 ‘numquam parum est quod satis est’. As H’s countryman is assumed (not wholly realistically) to have quod satis est, he does not need to worry about survival. Ancient moralists of various schools preach on this text; cf. Epic. fr. 473 Usener ¼ V 68 Bailey ˇPäbí ƒŒÆíeí fiøffl Oºßªïí ôe ƒŒÆíüí, G. A. , Krenkel on Lucil. 205 ff. (¼ 203 ff. M). desidero, like the English ‘want’, can mean either ‘desire’ or ‘need’; here it has to mean the former.

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