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Horace as Outsider
 3487145723, 9783487145723

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SPUDASMATA Studien zur Klassischen Philologie und ihren Grenzgebieten Begriindet von Hildebrecht Hommel und Ernst Zinn Herausgegeben von Gottfried Kiefner und Ulrich Kopf













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Eduardo Fraenkel dedicatur apud Oxonienses olim Literarum Humaniorum Principi et Patrono

@)IS09706 Gedruckt auf saurefreiem und alterungsbestandigem Papier Herstellung: Beltz Druckpartner, 69502 Hemsbach Umschlagentwurf: Inga Gtinther, Hildesheim Alie Rechte vorbehalten Printed in Germany © Georg Olms Verlag AG, Hildesheim 2011 www.olms.de · ISBN 978-3-487-14572-3 ISSN 0548-9705




Horace and his Problems



Vice and Virtue



The Broken Self



Horace and Republican Poetry


The Outsider: Further Perspectives



Roman Satura before Horace



The Sermones-1


The Sermones-II: Lucilius and Persius


The Iambi-I: The Rape of a Genre


The Iambi-II



The Lyrist: Carmina J.:...fil



The First Book of Epistles



Carmina IV: Poems 1~5



Carmina IV: Poems 6-15


The Second Book of Epistles and De Arte Poetica Liber


Appendix I: Was Horace a Jevy?


Appendix II: Pushkin and Horace


End Notes


Index Locorum Horatianorum


Index Nominum et Rerum




vm. IX.



Reference to the End Notes is usually made directly, but sometimes, for reasons of space, is signalledby an asteriskin text.



This book brings to an end a project begun over 40 years ago: a re-assessment, meant to be read as a whole, of major Roman poets of the Classical period. Five predecessors marked stages in its progress: Augustus and the New Poetry_and The Concept of Vates in Augustan Poetry (1967); Roman Catullus (1990); Augustan Propertius, (1996); Troy's Children (2005). They have been or will be supplemented by shorter essays on Propertius and Tibullus in the Brill Companions to those poets .. There were inevitably during these years many sidetrips, none of them irrelevant in any larger perspective. They included work on Pindar's Art (1984); on The Classical Epic Tradition (1986); an annotated edition of Lelio Guidiccioni's Latin Poems (1992); the translation into English of the first volume of Professor Dr. Michael von Albrecht's A History of Roman Literature (1997); Latin Compositions (1976); a number of my own original Latin poems (including Nos manet Oceanus circumvagus, Latinitas 1998); and many lengthy articles on a variety of authors both ancient and modern. In much of this work labour was happily lightened by the indispensable collaboration of my wife, Dr. Frances Newman. During the writing of Horace as Outsider, I received assistance from many different quarters. In first and honoured place here I must set the Sindaco of Venosa, Dott.ssa Carmine Miranda Castelgrande, whose extraordinary kindness supplied me at a critical moment with invaluable bibliographical and other help. What wonderful generosity, among her many other more pressing concerns, to find a place for mine. Long may her city and its relationship with its famous alumnus Q. Horatius Flaccus flourish! Evviva Venosa! Further Italian courtesies were not lacking. The Biblioteca Nazionale Vittore Emanuele Ill, Naples, furnished me immediately upon request with a periodical which had been inaccessible in the United States, and unstintingly gave other helpful advice. With similar, unhesitating courtesy the Librarian of the Biblioteca Benedetto Croce, Naples, allowed me to consult an essential volume from his treasures. Dott.ssa Marcella Pisano of the Biblioteca di Storia Moderna e



Contemporanea, Rome, was equally kind. How true it is that Italy is at the very heart of our European civilisation: degna nutrice de le chiare genti, eh' a i dz men Jose hi trionfilr del mondo .... In Londori, the immense resources of the British Library supplied some out of the way titles. Back in Urbana, the holdings of the University of Illinois Library in general, and of our Classics Library (and Vahlen Collection) in particular, administered by the patient, learned courtesy of Dr. Bruce Swann,· never failed to astonish. Ms. Helen Sullivan, Manager, Slavic Reference Service, Slavic and East European Library, also provided invaluable assistance. Once again I am grateful for help given in different ways and at different stages by ·my wife, cui quidquid boni quidquid utile. hie reperitur omne debetur; by the late Dr. David Phillips, formerly Scholar. of Exeter College, Oxford, who inter extrema suae immortalis erga me benevolentiae testimonia kindly procured for me a copy of Ettore Ciccotti' s 1943 article; by Professor William Calder III and his research assistant Dr. Marcus Heckencamp; by the papyrologist Professor Stephen Bay, one of Michael Browne's former doctoral students here in Urbana, and now of Brigham Young University; by Professor Peter Parsons of Oxford; and by all who have assisted my labours, in quibus non ultimum locum obtinet filiola dilectissima mea Victoria, quae prima elementa linguae graecae Michae.le docente hausit, Latinitatis matre. Ut caput in magnis ubi non est tangere signis .... If I have audaciously ventured to dedicate my unpretentious work on this one particular poet, seen under this one particular aspect, to Eduard Fraenkel, it is because, out of my now partial and hazy memories of the Oxford of 1946-52, there still looms one who, thanks to his great book on Horace, seems-to adapt what Homer's Circe says of Teiresias-otoc; 1tE1tvuok IV what the vates does. Eventually lusisti satis (epp. II. 2. 214) gives ·.·him his conge. The game is up. · >Horace re-emphasises that play does not cancel out the pains he took with his poetry. The artist may seem to be playing, may wear that mask, but in.truth he will be on the rack (ludentis speciem dabit et torquebitur, epp. II. 2. 124). Tellingly, the comparison here is explicitly with the pantomime performer (125). The associated noun. ludicra both describes theatrical shows (epp. II. 1. 180) and Horace's own verses (epp. I. 1. 10). But s~ch a ludio (cf. Livy VII. 2 on the origins of Roman satura) is a magician (ut magus, epp. II. 1. 213), deceiving his audience; and the playing poet may himself in tum be tricked: an me ludit amabilis I insania?, carm. III. 4, 5-6. · The madman enjoying an imaginary show (epp. n. 2. 128 ff.) may be a good example of that mutual deception (Coleridge's "willing suspension of disbelief' on either side) which we, and he: call art, and the Formalists 3ayM1,,transraticinality. Cf. Aristotle, Poetics.1451b 5-6. Horace's own tuque pedestribus I dices historiis, in a mock-recusatio, hands off history to Maecenas,carm. H. 12. 9-10. 1.1


Chapter One

Germane to this argument is Europe's question (carm. III. 27. 39--41): an vitiis carentem I ludit imago Ivana? Here, it is as if the deception provided by an empty image would be the only way to preserve her from defilement, and that may be the ultimate, carnival explanation of Horace's art, the self-made madman / innocent watching a sometimes terrifying illusion. It is linked both with the poet's "life-lie" about his infancy, and with the appeal ofcarm. III. 1. 4 to virgines puerique, anticipating the later appeals of the Carmen Saeculare and of carm. IV. 6. In Europe's case, the image was not empty. Innocence was lost. Since the Romans of his day were on the whole neither children nor innocents, would Horace fare any better? The metaphor of the sexually used and soiled slave / book in epp. I. 20 already answers our question. Elsewhere, Horace speaks of his lyric as iocosa imago (carm. I. 12. 34), art amusing echo, reflection (but in what mirror?) of an alternative universe-a point to be resumed. A poet showing this depth of sophistication about the poetic process is a conscious trickster/ player. He may be approached from this Platonic premise (icaw1ttpov, Rep. X. 596d 9) without suspicion of any attempt to denigrate his genius. Yet we must also ask: when and why does innocent "play" in Horace the artist become what Plato would have censured as a weuyµevriEV'tlp oup too nervous to do well. It is to this topic that we must now turn.


Nugae 13 The most astonishing sight which the recent visitor to Rome enjoysjs furnished .by the newly restored and exhibited paintings in Augustus'.House, Palatina Domus Augusti. 14 The elegant fantasy, the half-comic, half·serious masks, the delicacy of colour and the poetry of touch astonish. In the> cubicolo superiore-what G. Carretoni called the "Room of the , Masks" 15-a painted frieze shows a testa satiresca, which puts the clownish · althe centre of the whole enterprise. The patron who commissioned and ·lived with these masterpieces was a man of the most unusual artistic and )imaginative sensibility, and it will be for the student of Horace's reuvre _in /pariicular, as of the aesthetics of Augustan literature in general, as essential .·tbcome to terms with the_serevelations as it is for the student of Proust to l?dme to terms with the art of Vermeer and the music of Debussy. ,;;·;This should not surprise. From the time when Etruscan kings built the Cfrcus Maximus; and imported their version of the satura, the Romans had Ja.id the carnival world the compliment of incorporating it into their culture. {~'.~Augustus'palace one encounters an ethereal version of Plautus' circus ~oster ecce adest! (Cornicula, fr. 1). · The theme was already introduced (above, p. 136). There, we spoke of ''parasitic" humour of Augustus' offer to Horace, sent through Maece;·_s,of a position on his personal staff, and noted that the parasite is a figure :ihe New Comedy (cf. Hor., epp. II. I. 173). What had the emperor heard 6iit the relationship between poet and patron? If Maecenas was fond of ;,,r1bomic histrio Bathyllus, what was the theatricality of his dinners, or. generally of the atmosphere at court? Augustus speaks of himself as , tor in life's mime (Suet., Aug. §99). Tellingly, Horace uses scaena ~ he describes the lively horseplay on the part of Scipio, Laelius and il.ius in the apologia which he prefixes to his second book of Sermones I, 62-74). We also find here nugari: 0


,ugae / nugari always seem to imply some degree of make-beHeve, playing,_ aHsation." They may even take in the mime (CIL I. 2. 1861), even perhaps \me (Varro, sat. 513, Astbury): cf. Augustine, sed maiorum nugae etc. (Conf. 5):'See the discussions in Roman Catullus, pp. 7 ff. and in B. Swann, Martial's '"J/us(Hildesheim 1994), pp. 47-55. Horace's instances of nugae are: serm. I. 9. 244;Il. 6. 43; epp. I. 18. 16; I. 19. 42; II. 2. 141; A.P. 322,451 (bis). 1 .. e,.,Irene Iacopi, La Casa di Augusto: le pitture (Milan 2007);_Rosso Pom1:e·, 'decorazione p1ttorica nelle collezioni del Museo di Napoli e a Pompei, a iMariaLuisa Nava et al. (Milan 2008). End Notes, below, p.486. Simon, Augustus. Kunst und Leben in Rom um die Zeitenwende (Munich (j}:)points(p. 218) to the use of real doors in this room com~ined with its Wall )ipgs to create the impression that on entering it one was steppmg onto a stage.




quid, cum est Lucilius ausus primus in hunc operis componere carmina morem, detrahere et pellem, nitidus qua quisque per ora · cederet, introrsum turpis, num Laelius aut qui duxit ab oppressa meritum Carthagine nomen ingenio offensi aut laeso doluere Metello famosisque Lupo cooperto versibus? atqui primores popuH arripuit populumque tributim, scilicet uni aequus virtuti atque eius amicis. qtiin ubi.se a vulgo et scaena in secreta remorant virtus Scipiadae et mitis sapientia Laeli, n ugari cum illo et discincti ludere donec decoqueretur bolus soliti.


The Outsider: Further Perspectives

Chapter Five



Lucilius was the first who had the imagination to write poems in this fashion, to flay from each man the skin that laid a glossy surface over the ugliness within. But did Laelius or the deservedly famous Scipio Africanus take umbrage at such a talent? Did the insults the poet levelled at Metellus make them indignant, or the scandalous verses with which he showered Lupus? Yes, he laid hands on the Roman people's leaders, on the people itself tribe by tribe, for his only loyalty was to honour and honour's friends. And yet, .whenever the honourable Scipio and sage Laelius had left the public stage to seek retreat, they would, play the fool with him, and take off their belts to romp around while waiting for their simple supper to be ready.

:Scipio and Laelius then as simply following the performance they had given on 'the public stage of affairs in Rome with a private; comic exodium in their · ~ountry residences, shared by Lucilius? And did this inherited role make 1 Jlorace in his dealings with Maecenas simply an actor with a falsetto voice ;(~roµqxloc; evxMcrµan again: cf. quin etiam canet indoctum, sed dulce ,·

>the archaic scansion of the last syllable of condiderit echoes the voice of the if}speritus, schooled in the language of the past _;Judice:cf. Gallus 4. 4, Buechner. The notion that the rul~r / patron is uniquely alified to pass judgment on literary works is already found for example in Baca . 'fides 5. 3, 5: yvcoan... op8roc; (of Hiero). Horace uses it again of the emperor: ~ia, epp. II. 1. 245; cf. iudicium Principis,Ovid, Fasti I. 19-20. It continued into . - Rome. According to the account in Theophanes Cont. (ed. Bekker, p. 450, 12,J));;the emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus (t959) not only used to "correct" ·~~ixyro,p8ou; cf. op8&c;of Hiero above) the painters and other craftsmen of Con' •· tinople, but was himself the best practitioner of arts he had never learned (J;v ou ,. discussing the Callimachean poetry / 1t6voc; ideal (tou ra.µ{ou 1t6vo; eiµf, )g~. 6. I; el;e1t6va.aa., Theocr. VII. 51; cf. Asclepiades no. XXVIII, G.-P.; 1C01to; ,Prodromos, below, p. 147), to which he certainly subscribed, he resorts, for ex"pie; to a pantomimic comparison: nunc Satyrum, nunc agrestem Cyclopa :V?tur,epp. II. 2. 125. Did Augustus perceive Horace in this way when he made :9{his "grotesque body"? Above, p. 103;below, p. 447.


Chapter Five

µeµa8l]K£V = O"Olj)O (cf. Horace, A.P. 295-303). This is the kind of thing that blue-blooded les ·at the Comnenian court might have heard with relish. What was said .. eir day by Anglo-Norman barons about upstart smart-alecks such as Jcet or, in a later century, Wolsey? What was said in Augustus' circle out Horace? Prodromos courts the favour ofsuch men by making fun of · (own profession. So does Horace (epp. ll. 1. 119 ff.; II. 2. 92 ff.). Eventually Prodromos develops the theme of the "poor poet" ( 15-18): Kal eµa.8ov tll ypaµµata. µEtll ltOA.A.OU tou ICOltOU. 'Aq,' oo ta.xcxyeyova ypaµµanKoc; texvhric;, 't"~ iyooµ1out~V µavvav· Eltt8uµio Kai to iycoµlvICIX1 uf3p{~cota ypaµµattKO., A.Eyco µEta 60.Kpuoov...


Chapter Five


So I le!lflledletters, and what a lot of work that took! But right from the time I became a craftsman of letters, I have been in want both of bread and something tasty to go on it. I despise all to do with letters, and with tears I say . , . This topos, ultimately stemming from Hipponax, was given new life by Callimachus (cf. la. HI. 38-39: ~uv B' b µapyoi; ~ Moooai; I ~eooa; Epigr; 32. 1: oiB • o'ti µro 1tAOmouKEVealx.ipei;). Horace's:-and Ovid's! (Tr. IV. 10. 21-22)-fathers had used mainly negative exempla vitiorum (serm. I. 4. 106; some positive at 121-22). Prodromos' uses only positive, except that they are really negatives in disguise, and that is his gimmick, what the Formalists would call his npHiSM,his "dominant" ploy. Horat:e's own paupertas audax (epp. II. 2. 51) led on to literary success. Did not Prodroµios'? Prodromos shows the artificiality of his art by his_ composition in other moods even of erotic verses (e.g. Trypanis, nos. 62_ and 63: cf. Horace, ia. 14 and 15). In more official vein, he wrote panegydc, yet not of the univocal variety, but rather "full of personal observations and emotions, of gentle lyricism and· mockery (even self-mockery)" (Kazhdan). Is there something here of the spirit of Horace's Letter to Augustus, where one notes the ironic description of the vates (epp. II. I. 11924)? Of Ovid? Prodromos evidently enjoyed the patronage of the court, and wrote_to amuse and flatt~r. In doing that, like Horace, he was quite willing to make a fool of himself (cf. carm. IV. 1. 29-40). Is this_then the picture we must draw of a "parasitic" Horace? No, not entirely, ·precisely because of the national energies of Imperial Rome to · which allusion was already made. Horace was not a Prodromos, but he reminds us all the same that the literary man, especially if he writes nugae, has in him much of the actor, the show-off. It is when the artist confuses his · stage with real-,life, forgets the bounds defining his role that, like Naevius, like Ovid, he ends up dying in Utica or Tomi. Horace was too circumspect for that. He always made sure that his grande decus columenque (carm. II. 17. 4) was there to hold him up, and rein him in: But a talent cribbed and confined must surely irk. And when such support was not there?

Alexander Pushkin 21 'Pcoµri1taµl3cxcrwia, 'tO crov KAroi;OU1to't'OAel'tat.(A.P. IX. 647). Again here 'Pcoµriis the "New Rome," Constantinople. But .eventually even Con. stantinople would fall, yet in that ruin prove the truth .of the epigram. It transmitted its. legacy elsewhere, since this too is a note of the Roman gen-


Full texts of the poems excerpted here are given below, pp. 459 ff.

.The Outsider: Further Perspectives


ius, that, as Hannibal discovered, it endures (carm. IV. 4. 53-68). 22 It lin~ gered in that last bastion of Rome's Eastern Empire, the Russia of the Czars I Caesars and their successors. 23 Here we need no longer talk in general - terms of a kindred spirit. Horace was felt by Russian writers as a direc:t in- fluence, heard as a still living voice. ': Marmoream reliqui. Founding his new capital on the Baltic in 1703, _ , Peter the Great (1672-1721} had been Romulus and Augustus~and Con, stantine-in one. Certainly, amid the neo-classical splendours of St. Peters; burg, her imperial authors were quite aware of their inheritance, and the duty it imposed upon them too of ''receiving" their Roman past. Already in \the 18th century G. R. Derzhavin had adapted Horace's Exegi monumendtlm.In 1836, a year before his death, a greatef successor took up the task. , JI naM'1THHK ce6e B03.!{BHr ••• "I have raised a monument to myself .... '.' ·.Peter might equally have said this, but in fact these immortal _lines were ~ritten, as part of his reception ~f Horace, by a poet described as the grand' son of an Ethiopian who had been known by the Semitic name of "Hanni~· ibal," "the Negro of Peter the Great." 24 Freed fro01 slavery to the Turkish Sultan, presented to the Czar, Hannibal had been Peter's godson and favour·te; enjoying that ambiguous l 8th-century status which in a less .exalted · egree Dr. Johnson' s servant Frank Barber, a former slave, shared. Even his )>et-grandson's physiognomy may be thought still to bear the-traces of his .·rigins. 25 He certainly celebrated them. And as the Treaty of Rome, the founding document of the European Union, gned in the Sala degli Orazi e Curiazion the Roman Capitol, with Bemini's Urban_ III and Algardi's InnocentX lookingon, confirms. 23The Marquis de Custine's La Russie en 1839 is still essential reading. What else · the double eagle emphasising in the Russian national crest, except the claim to rperiumover both halves of the Empire?It explains much in European history. 24 • This was the title of a biography of his ancestor which Pushkin planned but ever finished. See now Hugh Barnes, Gannibal: the Moor of Petersbutg (London 5; American ed. The Stolen Prince, New York 2006). "Gannibal" (anglice annibal": cf. I'aMJ1emI Hamlet) was said to have been a prince in his native land, 't; for all his privileged status at the Russian court, apparently in fear of Peter's· . ice he destroyed an autobiographyhe had written. The slave condition left him· , like Horace, with no justiciable claim to an ancestralidentity. •-See,for example,·the engraving of the 22-23 year-old poet by E. I. Geitman, 'roduced in Robin Edmonds,Pushkin: the Man and his Age (New York 1995), )ng p. 80. In Evgeny Onegin (I. 50. 11) Pushkinrefers to "my Africa." The stanza · ns: "Will the hour of my freedomever come?" The poet imagines himself sailover the sea to an idyllicAfrica, where he will only sigh over the gloomy, un~ndly Russia he has abandoned.Horace's youthful proposal to leave for the Isles · e Blest (ia. 16) may be compared.Alan Huffman has explored the logic of all (above, p. 16).


Chapter Five

The Outsider: Further Perspectives

This poet was Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837); whose Russian ancestry in other respects was as noble as ·could be desired, and whose rigorously Classical education took place, with that of other sons of leading families, at a boarding school in the park of the Summer Palace outside St. Petersburg, more or less under the Czar's own eye. During his life, his sense of pride or self-worth was marred at times by self-disgust (Onegin, but cf. Horace). At his death he was- he continues to be- prince of Russian letters. His career was ended abruptly, by a duel. Afterwards, Prince Vyazemsky, his poet-friend, "the Russian Tibullus" of his day; wrote of him to the Grand Duke Michael (then staying in Rome) that he was "not understood in his lifetime either by his casual acquaintances or by his intimates." Did the · ultimate wreck he made of his life feel its first crack in his awareness of outsider (even African) status? In any case, blending into his Horatian Pamyatnik (1835), "The Memorial," elements reminiscent also of Propertitis, he wrote both an interesting parallel with and contrast to Horace's original. His poem, which takes as its epigraph Horace's Exegi monumentum, is discussed in detail below (Appendix 2). Some preliminary points about this and other poems may :t,e made already. Pushkin's poetry demands to be read aloud, and fortunately, unlike the case of Latin, where we so sorely miss, for example, Virgil's vox et os et hypocrisis, there are still native speakers able to do that. Like Dante, he is able to clothe the most humdrum, even fanciful or inconsequential, thought . with sounding eloquence. He allows us to understand faintly how much we lose in silently, hastily, scanning the printed pages of our Classical texts. He was a vates in an uncompromising sense. Already in 1827 one of his poems (l1o3T) redefined for the Romantic Age what "poet" means:

· burning coal, has wrenched out his old, lying tongue, and replaced it with ithe sting of a "wise serpent." 26 Under the shock of his experience, he col.,,lapses, to be roused by a cry from heaven:


Iloxa ue TPe6yer no:na K CBJIIUeHHOH )KepTBeAnoiIJIOH, B 3a60Tax cyeTHOro CBeTa OH MaJIOJzyWHO norpy)KeH. Until Apollo demands the poet's attendance at his holy sacrifice, among the , cares of the vain world his small soul is weighed down.

ll .6ora rnac KOMHeB033BaJI: «BoccTaHE,,npopoK, H BIDK,D;b, H BHeMJIH, HcnoJIHHC&aonero. Moeii, H, o6XO,IJ;JI MOpJIH 3eMJIH, fnaro.110M)KrHcep.n;uanro.neii!» And the voice of God called out to me: "Arise, prophet,_and see and hear. Be filled with my will, and, traversing seas and.lands, with your word fire the hearts of men." :_,e3.;,"Filled"here is wholly in the Hebrew manner (M71J):cf. plenum, carm. III. 25. 2: ',~9ove, p. 96. The IE root pin- in both the Latin and the Russian here is the same. ':;?:,The archaic rJiaroJIOM(cf. "Glagolitic" as in Janacek's Glagolitic Mass) is a reiigjous word (cf. A{yyoc;, 1:21).

• A brief excerpt from the already mentioned, Horatian Pamyatnik is also frtelevant The poet has claimed that the people's path to his monument will ::;,,never be overgrown: H ,n;onro 6y,n;yTeM nro6e3eH JIHapo;zy, · llTO 'IYBCTBa ,n;o6pLieJIJIHpoiinpo6y)K,Lla.11, tJTOB MOH)KeCTOKHH BeKBOCCJJaBHJI JI CB06o;zy . If MHJIOCTb K Ila,ll;WHM npH3LIBaJI. BeneH&IOEo)KHIO,o My3a, 6y,n;&nocnymHa! He Tpe6yJI BeHua, O6u,n&IHe CT}}amac&, Xaany H KJieBerynpHeMJIHpaBHo.n;ymHO, H He ocnopHaaii rnynua.



,,And for long I will be loved by the people for rousing.feelings of good with my . lyre, for glorifying freedom in my cruel age, and calling down mercy upon the ''''fallen. Show obedience, o Muse, to the divine command. Fear no insult, .demand no .:crown. Accept with indifference praise and calumny, and pick no quarrel with the fool. · .,.'. The Classicist notes the chiasmus: two participles inside, two genitives outside.

"Apollo demands": is not this an echo of CallimacheaiI Apollo's &vroya. • (Aet.-pref. 25)? Of Horace, carm. 1.31 and 32 (Apollinem, 31. 1; poscim~;~; 32. 1)? Perhaps in the continuation we hear too another great poet, Pla!PT166v, A.P. VII. 713. 5). Are Roman books of saturae a compilation (farrago, Juv. I. 86) even when written by the same author? Perhaps indeed one author compiled the I:rop6i;. 7 Examples (470-465 B.C.) in the Museo ~heologico, Naples: inv. S 2337 · (stater); S 2340 (drachma); cf. G. C. Brauer, Taras. Its History and Coinage (La Rochelle, New York 1986), pp. 37 (silver), 82 (gold). 8 Cf. Acopteic;,Aristotle, Poetics 1448a 30-31. He notes a flourishing Athenian· genre of oa,;upttcT) 1toh101c;anyway (ibid. 1449a 20-23), for him the eventual ancestor of tragedy. 9 0. Taplin's challenging Comic Angels (above, p. 104) is again relevant.


But this more sober line of enquiry refutes itself. In the study of so _Roman and so primitive a genre, can Greek sophistication of this sort be helpful? Must we not rather, at the outset, look within the Latin tradition: sdtura quidem tota nostra est (Quintilian X. 1. 93)? 10 Satura / xop,;aoia: pre-literary satura at Rome What in fact does the Latin noun satura -mean? Diomedes grammaticus (Keil I. 1, 485-86) offers several derivations. One, popular with conventional literary histories, is from the lanX satura, interpreted as the "full dish" of varied primitiae ("first fruits") said to be offered by Roman farmers at harvest time to the gods. This interpretation is often linked with an epigram · of Meleager (A.A XII. 95), in which 1taiorov'Proµa'tqv A.01tcxoa (10) means · ._aWould expect parody and political comment of sorts, and this allegiance ;might explain Horace's otherwise puzzling assertions about Eupolis atque ,.CratinusAristophanesque poetae in serm. I. 4. l ff. Livy's remark that the ·.\'laughter and unchecked merriment" (risus ac solutus iocus) of these early erformances eventually had to be restrained by law, re-echoed in Horace ,)erm. Il. I. 1-2; epp. Il. I. 152), would parallel the µT]x:roµqxieia0m 6vo...aa-cinva of democratic Athens. 15 >.;:;::.-

!At its pre-Tarentine, pre-literary root, however, Roman satura was the ·.duct of a native {Roman) and a foreign {Etruscan) influence. This double "tage shows itself in the very word satura, to be linked, certainly with )in satur, "replete", but also with Etruscan -satr, "speak." 16

' ~ E.g. schol. ad Aristophanes, Birds 1297 (Syracosios in 415): In Athens atleast ·effort at censorship was short-lived, like its predecessor of 440-39. .· · .•.·For the derivation from the Etruscan -satr, see B. Snell, "Etrusco-Latina," Studi Jiani di Filologia Classica 17 (1940), 215, with reference to P. Meriggi. ·


Chapter Six

The native Roman contribution was a tribal, religious. experience of full · bellies (cf. eq,ayov 1tav'ta; 1ea1.ixop'tacr81,cmv, NT Matt. 14:20, rendered by Jerome as. manducaverunt omnes et saturati sunt)-and its accompanying . exalted mood, finding expression in words and gestures, in some sort of rough and ready comedy, but leaving scope for recognition, revelation. for their part were more complex. They too knew a celeThe Etruscans bration oHertility (Hor., epp. II. I. 145), in their case however also yoked to marriage rites (Catullus 61. 126'-27, Eisenhut). They knew the importance .. of sympathetic magic, when, for example, the whirling chariots of their circuses imitated/ encouraged the regular return of the sun, 17 essential to national survival. And, we deduce from ·uvy, in times of public affliction, they practised the condemnation and confession of public sin, and the appeasement of the anger of the gods, with theaid of istri, "players." Part of their performance, one guesses, was· some re-enactment of the conquest of evil by a heroic champion. The title of one of Ennius' saturae, the "Battle of Death and Life" (Mortem ac Vitam ... contendentes, Quintilian IX. 2. 36), fits in perfectly with this (see End Notes, below, P: 487), and may be compared with Humbaba defeated by Gilgamesh (tr. A. George, pp. 41-47), or Cacus by Hercules (Aen. Vill. 190 ff.; Ovid, Fasti I. 543 ff.). "Cacu" is an Etruscan name, if not an Etruscan monster, and the monster's story is told in Virgil at the end of a festive banquet. In a mime of Novius this theme became Mortis et Vitae ludicium. ludicium here signals the recurring motif of the apocalyptic, resurrecting trial, familiar from The Frogs (and earlier from Aeschylus' Eumenides), but also adapted in Seneca's Apocolocyntosis. Hence its attenuat~d version in Lucilius (Book II) and 1n Horace (serm. I. 7). This might (but need not) be an example of Attic influence. The Etruscan element of satura, as described by Livy, was in one aspect a stage performance by istri. Both these non-Latin· nouns, istri (Plautus' histrio) and the previously noted -satr, show the triliteral root str. 18 These 17

All Circuses were dedicated to the sun and moon: see Anth. Lat. 197, ed. Riese, · I. 1, De Circensibus, pp. 161-62; cf. Circus imago poli, v. l, Soli, v. 17; Tacitus, Ann. XV. 74, Soli. Augustus put Soli donum dedit on the obelisk.he:!brughtfrom Heliopolis and dedicated in the Circus Maximus in 10 B.c.(GIL VI. 701: see J. H. Humphrey, Roman Circuses [London 1986), pp. 91 ff., 269). He also rebuiltil neoAttic Temple of Apollo (Sosianus} in circo, facing the Theatre of Marcellus. 18 As in ia'tOpem. Cf. 'st' in Hebrew ilntll,"drink," ilntll~."feast," "banquet"; and (with "s" and "r" only) 1'llfll, "satyr, demon (with he-goat's form, or fet:t)," Brown, s.v. p. 972. ',tlJ~ (Micah 2:5) is sometimes translated "satire." That would suit its context (it seems to imply "public lament"), but the root (ms/) is quite different. The more usual meaning seems to have been "comparison," "proverb," "parable," which of course might often be ironic enough. See TWATV, cols. 69-73 (K.-M. Beyse).

Roman Satura before Horace


"histrionic" presentations would obviously come to Rome as soon as the Etruscan nobility acquired influence there. 4. The two traditions, Etruscan and Roman, which had met as soon as Rome encountered Etruria, were reinforced under the Tarquins. In· any case, the . process of mingling was given further stimulus in 364. Since Campania was at one time und.er Etruscan sway, 19 Italian and Etruscan must have also met at.Atella-and, outside Campania, in Calabria, at Messapian / Lacedaemonian Tarentum . 5. They mingled, but also co-existed. The native Roman element persisted in folk-usage. The Etruscan enlivens Plautine comedy, as Horace attests when he compares Plautus to Dossennus (epp. II. 1. 173), a name from Oscan farce but with a typically Etruscan suffix. It lies behind such stage per~ . forrnances as the praetexta, or the mime, in which the sententiae of Publil., ius Syrus and the criticism of Julius Caesar by Laberius are both tokens o( a kinship with the rustic saws and sallies of th.esatura; and lies too behind the pantomime, practised in Etruria, 20 influential upon Catullus, though the pantomime and Catullus were obviously subje_ctto other influences as well. Pre-literary satura then, as the student of Roman literature.comes to it; would be a hybrid: on the Roman side a mixture of good cheer and easy ·•··~adinage after a filling feast; of raucous laughter; of the. exchange· of home .· !1J1ths,though without the intention of seriously offending; of sexual pleas- . antries shared with the womenfolk (for Greek "iambic" parallels see below, ·p.249); perhaps too with some sadness'.21 On the other, Etruscan side, there iould be the admission of public sin; and, as a concrete illustration of Life toritending with Death, the staged represent~tion of the successful defeat by


See M. Pallottino, Etruscologia (Milan 1992), index, s.v. Campania; Gli . truschi, Una nuova Immagine, ed. M. Cristofani (Florence 1993), p. 42. · 20 / Cf. J.-R. Jannot, "Les danseurs aux haches ou le ballet de Phinee," Mela~ges pques Heurgon (Rome 1976), pp. 471-85. Jannot calls attention tothe gesticulat- . ·hands of the dancers in the tomb paintings (especially as preserved in the 19th' #ntury water colours by Ruspi), a typical mark of pantomimic X£tpovoµia. Pallot}no suggests that there were Etruscan mimes (Etruscologia, p. 353). See also G. .~olonna on theatre-like platforms constructed in front of some Etruscan tombs ···. re praetextae may have been staged: "StruttUre teatriformi in Etruria," Spectae,s sportifs et sceniques dans le monde etrusco-italique (Ecole fran~aise de Rome .2; ed. J.P. Thuillier [1993], pp. 321-347). For pantomime in Attica, 0. Weinich,Epigramm und Pdntomimus, pp. 125 ff., with plate 1 facing p. 176. · }:Virgil exploits this for Dido, Aen .. IV. 80-83: cf. Shakespeare's Feste (festus, , . ivus) at the end of Twelfth Night. This is tragedy-or the shadow of it. At another yel, "sadness" may be post-prandial or post-coital: "not wisely, but too well."


Chapter Six

a tribal champion of the demon personifying the threat which such. sin had raised-the germ of (inter alia) the laterpraetexta. Pre-literary satura may i-;;_deedbe illustrated from the literary tradition. If, in the_early 4th c., the Etruscan istri had a special purpose: to ward off the consequences of, in some sense atone for, the sins of the people and the enmity of the gods, manifested by a public plague, we find a pointer to this in a fragment of comedy/ satura attributed to Naeyius (Buechner, FPL, p. 36, no; 61, in Satyra; Courtney; Frag. Latin Poets, p. 3):

Roman Satura before Horace 25

Wipo of Burgundy. Here is another contest between Death and Life .. Tellingly, it culminates in rhyme: Victimae paschali laudes immolent Christiani. Agnus redemit oves: Christus innocens Patri reconciliavit peccatores. Mors et Vita duello _ conflixere mirando: dux vitae mortuus regnat vivus.

quianam Saturnium populum pepulisti? Why have you struck Saturn's people?

Populus is said to be an Etruscan word (puplu), and Saturims (Etr. Satres, another str root) was certainly a favourite Etruscan god (cf. Satricum, Saturnia). It is foteresting that.a "satiric" quotation mentions Saturn, appears to be an alliterative saturnian, and is dialogic. Does it question and even remonstrate wi~h some angry god in a way reminiscent of the Old Testament prophets, or of the Psalms?22 Was such a topic developed by the istrisummoned to deal with the plague of 364? Perhaps, as already suggested, a mythical scene (Death vs. Life) was presented on that occasion, in which a popular champion worsted a demonic opponent, a theme still inspiring both an Eiinian satura and a Novian Atellane. A remnant of this would be the · combat to the death between gladiators at funerals, ·an Etruscan practice 23 first recorded in Rome at the funeral of M. Brutus in 264. Folk memory is amazingly retentive. In later centuries, English "mummers" (µ'iµoi) ·with blackened faces (the beginnings of a mask) would visit houses in the parish as Christmas approached, and re-enact St. George's conquest of the dragon. 24 Again the Roman liturgy provides a parallel, for example in the (sung) eleventh--century Easter Sequence Victimae paschali laudes, perhaps by 22 Compare from the Roman liturgy (based on Joel 2:17): Paree, Domine, parce populo tuo, l.ne in aeternum irascaris nobis ("Spare, o Lord, spare Thy people, / lest Thou be angry with us for ever."). Cf. "Why hast thou cast us off! _OGod? Is it for ever?" Ps. 74:1. The Psalmist is often troubled by the thought that" God seems to reject precisely His own people. 23 See, for example, the Tomba Golini Il (delle Bighe) in the museum at Orvieto, a funeral banquet but with anned figures on the wall at the back. Gladiatorial combats . did not originate in Samnium, as Samnites might suggest (cf. Hor., epp. IT. 2. 98). · The Etruscans simply used as gladiators their Samnite prisoners. 24 Recent speculations about the roots in popular usage of Shakespeare's drama show how rich a vein of enquiry all this mines: cf. R. Weimann, Shakespeare und die Tradition des Volkstheaters (Berlin 1967).


Let Christians offer their sacrifices of praise to the Easter Victim. The Lamb has bought back the sheep, the innocent Christ has reconciled. sinners to the Father. Death and Life have fought in wonderful combat. The Prince of Life was dead, and now lives and reigns.

If all these then were literary satura's motley auctores, they were perhaps difficult parents from which to expect a serene and radiant child. But, once baby was born, she was nourished by important wet~nurses. Beginnings of Roman literary satura: Livy

Livy's account amplifies rather than contradicts Quintilian's tota nostra. .In364, as he reports, there was an outbreak of plague at Rome. For Hebrews (e.g. Exodus 7 ff.) and Greeks (Homer, Iliad I. 61-67) alike, a visitation of this sort was clear evidence of divine anger with the community. In •• their respon~e, the Romans, renewing their contacts with Etruscan practices ·at their very source, added some kind ·of stage performance to the chariot : _andhorse races of the Ludi Romani, celebrated in the already EtruscaOCir~ cus Maximus. · •-•-·· The venue is noteworthy. The sun's eternal return was_the condition of >~bal life, and its circling course was sympath~tically re-enacted by the rac')ng chariots. And traditions persist. The only circus programme to survive ;.;from antiquity (Pap. Oxy. 2707) still shows an.entr'acte of (amongst other /.things) mimes. · ,., It was in the cosmic and resurrecting context of the circus that, accord·,',ingto Livy, Etruscan istri confronted the angry darkness of the supernatural, 'and laughed it, if not into oblivion, at least into perspective. What in fact does he tell us (VII. 2. 4-12: textum Oxoniensem hie illic resarsi)? Sine carmine ullo, sine imitandorum carminum actu ludiones ex Etru. ria acciti ad tibicinis modos saltantes baud indecoros motus more Tusco 25

·athised. Were there social reasons which coloured .the impression made on Romans by Lucilius' poetry? When Naevius earlier aimed an epigram at the Metelli, he had been crudely rebuffed, and later suffered jail and exile. Perhaps the untrammelled freedom assumed by Lucilius was so shocking to imperial writers that its natur~ was exaggerated (Quintilian's insania on Catullus 93 illustrates the point). There was already· tit-for.:tat. Mimesters exercised their wit ·;;ithis expense (ad Herenn. II. 13. § 19).

The Sermones-/l:

Lucilius and Persius


All four features mentioned recur in- and serve to unify~ the work of Lucilian Horace. But in recurring they are modified. 16 Some examples may· be drawn from the muvre as a whole:

A profound engagement with public themes. This is much more visible in the carmina than in the sermones. In the latter, Horace dare not put anyone (least of all a senator who had governed Asia!) on trial;· dare not tresp~ss into the curia or lay down standards of civic rectitude. In some respects the Epistles are more outspoken: on the question, for example, of the pursuit of niotiey (virtus post nummos, I. 1. 54), of juror (I 2). In the Sermones he wriggles out of his _dilemma by resorting instead to'· · The'confessional ego. This is his habitual stance, and to it we owe, for instance, the stories of his father's training (serm. I. 4) and his first introduct.i8n'to Maecenas (I. 6)~ His admission only of mediocria vitia (4. 139-40; ,,: .6/65) was noted above (p. 49). In later pieces; more self-conscious, he J plumbs greater depths. In serm. II. 3, turning inward to view his own bro~friness, he uses Damasippus, a failed businessman, to "objectify" his ;>~eaknesses. In II. 7, this role is handed over to a slave; Davos. These are voices from under the floorboards; conversations with his own past. After · the· vatic experiment of ia. 16, whose unreal fantasy is cruelly exposed by . comparison with Lucilius' patriotism, he is unwilling to put in play his own :,ego more openly: perhaps because he was never quite sure what it was, cer~ {t~inly because, lacking a legally recognisable father, he had no locus standi. '>}!is withdrawals in the so-called "Roman cycle" at the start of Carmina m fst:e!the conclusions of 1 and 3) are symptomatic. We have alr~ady noted the curious "life-lie" which he introduces into ode 4 here. · (f Elsewhere, like Lucilius, he allows his Sermones to give us a partial i~Hmpse into the secrets of his bedroom, though in his case to prove what a good citizen he is (I. 2). In I. 5 his call girl fails to show and he uses the· , :!!sappointment to poke fun at himself. Some of this thematic he displaces the Iambi, where there is a .strong whiff of Archilochus, for example, in · fno;12; and, in more gracious mood, to the Carmina.


,, ~flections on language and style. Again this is characteristic, but in the ,}~rticular instances of serm. I. 4 and 10 he turns the tables quite mislead. ly on Lucilius himself. This is of a piece with Horace's general and ~1,;,.:l~Y.noted hostiHty to earlier Republican poetry, and has the advantage for of muffling his failure to echo Lucilius' social criticisms more loudly.

W~ ,,1,.·.i'•;-··

)'}~ The earlier discussion of vitium and virtus in Horace (c. II; pp. 46 ff.) is again Jevant. . ·


Chapter Eight

The Sermones-JJ: Lucilius and Persius

It also blunts Lucilius' implied point: that bad style signifies bad morals because it denies the very basis of civil discourse. In Horace's Epistles and Ars Poetica, the evidence of the poet's interest in style becomes overwhelming. Was it from Lucilius that he borrowed the recusatio (e.g. carm. I. 6; IV. 15; epp. II. 1. 250 ff.)? More self-consciously the man of letters than Lucilius, however, he largely (not wholly) decouples such matters from moral and public choices.

agros (carm. III. 5. 55), getting out of town for the weekend. This is where he looks, not back to Lucilius, who, even though he owned estates enough, never talks about retreating to them, but ahead to Ausonius.

Naming and shaming. Here there is a notable difference from h_ismodel. Certainly the Sermones teem with proper names: Balbinus, Rufillus, Gargonius, Tigellius, Nomentanus .... But Lucilius, writing under the Republic, naturally looked for protection to a patron, in his case Scipio Minor, famous scion of a famous family. Secure under this shield, he could launch his shafts with impunity against his patron's inimici. And, in the Rome of those days, amicitiae and inimicitiae were an inevitable part of social structures, as the nobilesjostled for votes and office and prizes for themselves or their proteges. - The imperial Rome which Horace knew was not like that. The emperor's position was not owed to the victory of a faction but to the will of· the gods (a point taken up on Constantine's Arch). He had no inimici, since · any citizen who asked for forgiveness after the Civil Wars had freely received it, and the last thing he wanted was to arouse new resentments. For him, clementia et civilitas (Suet., Aug. §§51, 53) were the order of the day. Horace's attacks then-on characters such as Cervius, Canidia Albuci, Turius (serm. II. 1. 47-49)-are not conducted against identifiable offenders, but against types. Such a modification, even denial, of the stance he had earlier proclaimed in Sermones I. 4. 1 ff. suited him perfectly. The son of an ei-slave, whatever his legal status, was not perceived as a free burgher of a free -borough, fully entitled to chide, on behalf of the respectable and conventionally observant, the erring members of the community. Known by a borrowed name, what foothold had he? His literary merit lies in his manipulation of these restrictions so that they seem, no longer confining, but liberating. This is why he so often emulates Greek rather than Roman patterns: stipare Platona Menandro (serm. II. 3. 11). Here we may locate his fondness for his Sabine farm: o rus, quando ego te aspiciam? (serm. II. 6. 60). In a society to which, in· theory at leas~, the Urbs was still all-important, he joins those Romans, even noble Romans, who viewed the countryside, not as farmland; not as income-producing, status-enhancing real estate, not (like Virgil in the Georgics) as destiny, but, like Catullus, as escape. He even modifies his picture of Scipio and Laelius (serm. II. 1. 71) to suit this notion; and of Regulus, tendens Venafranos in


Old Comedy and the Carniva/ 11 Hine omnis pendet Lucilius (sc. a prisca comoedia, serm. I. 4. 2, 6). Old Comedy a carnival phenomenon? As Lucilius' disciple (serm. II. 1. 34), Horace himself, who began-and meant to end.....:.hisreuvre with the name ofCratinus (serm I. 4. I; epp. I. 19. 1), imposes thi8enquiry on us. The carnival is the public feast at which all the normal values of staid, workaday life are dislocated, reversed. It is characterised by metamorphosis, the mixture/ transformation of opposites (a kind of-callida iunctura), an emphasis on the grotesque body, the intervention of twins and doubles; by metaphor, sometimes unexpectedly realised; 18 by the recurring, ironic leitmotif; by parody, puns, profanities, drunkenness, sex, masking, unmasking, laughter; by a special space (the public square, the street, the corrid~r. the threshold, height, depth); and by a special, emotionally measured, time. . Some of these features do occur in Horace, as disiecti membra poetae: carm. II. 20 and its grotesque body inevitably spring to mind. As vir mercurialis, as homo ludens-and homo nugabundus-he might in other circumstances have developed this kind of art. But, because he comes to his task with. a personal agenda; on a more general view he falls wofully short of understanding either the Old Comedy and its carnival spirit, or his much touted Lucilius. He distorts both because he wants to reduce them to versions of his nagging father. But Attic Old Comedy existed, not to ram ho~e the proprieties by incessant repetition, but, by subverting the rules he cherished so devoutly, to establish a parallel universe. This is what Roman painting of his day did so successfully, notably in the House of Augustus, · with its masks and testa satiresca, but also, for example, in the m.urals19 of Cubiculum E of the Villa della Farnesina (30...:.20B.C:); and this is what Horace could never bring himself wholeheartedly to accept. 17

On Old Comedy and the carnival, see Jean-Claude Carriere, Le Carriaval et la

Politique, Centre de Recherches d'Histoire ancienne, vol. 2(> (Paris 1979); O. Taplin, f!omic Angels (above, p. 104). _This whole field of enquiry was defined by M. Bakhtm, Dostoevsky (1963), Rabelais (1965). Any more general enquiries about the applicability to Horace ofBakhtin's theories must be left to others. · 18 . As when the "King's Eye" turns out to_be a~ act~al official (Ach. 92) by what S. Eisenstein calls the "Aristophanes effect.'; -. ' 19

Now in the Palazzo Massimo. A light and refined decoration is unexpectedly · connected to a frieze·of grotesque figures. Above, p. 80, n. 20. · ·


The Sermones-11: Lucilius and Persius

Chapter Eight ·

Of course societies depend on some sort of rules and, inevitably, this rule-driven decorum expels certain anarchic features of human behaviour to the margins, to and then off the stage, to and then off the sports~field, to and then from the dinner party. The ancients continually made use, for example, of the topos of the Lapiths and Centaurs, where at a wedding feast the Centaurs drank. too much, got out of hand and began to assault their hosts' womenfolk, as a warning against any misbehaviour (already Homer, Od. XXI. 295-304). So did Horace (carm. I. 18. 8). But the body has to be served. Everyone is born, eats, excretes, drinks, urinates, accommodates sexual desire, begets / bears, dies. That is instinctive, la condition humaine. In this world, wine, women and song, offering escape into a second universe, set pure reason at a discount. In the face of the last enemy, laughter is the primitive weapon of choice (cf. carm. IV. 12. 7) makes it 27-28). The skull's rictus (risu diducere rictum, serm. l.


indeed the last non-choice. The importance of such an alternative universe is shown by the patronage it enjoys·from the gods, Bacchus as well as Venus, in Homer Aphrodite q,1.AOµµ£i&fic;. Religion's holy days are holidays, orgia may inspire orgies·· (Pentheus .on the Bacchants, Eur., Bacchae 260-62; below, p. 235, on Eleusis). The dancing and music which accompany these celebrations, shifting, exalting, transforming, mind-altering, but going nowhere, are a triumph over space and time, since the 01 'tO't£, ai lie iepeta.t A.a9p~ 1tpoo10uom ta.i~ yuva.i~t JCA.£'1fl'YCXµta~ ltpo; to oo; a1topp11t6v n cmµPoUA,£'\JOUOtV. avaq,rovouot 6e 1tpo; aUft11.a; lt,J:rses were guided by artistic (generic) requirements more than by the ,wids of reportage. The poet's begging songs are to· be associated with 'Jtopular festivals and processions such as the eiresione, the chelidon''jJkoronisma and so on, accompanied as they were by ribaldry and inJ~:(Certainly, Hipponax shows himself acquainted with the Thargelia, iJlteir ceremony of the q,a.pµa.1C6c; (scapegoat: cf. OT Lev. 16:9:...10,20:}lAJways ready ·to dress inherited elements of· every type, whether voµI~, beliefs, idioms or superstitions, in literary guise, the poet did not l~ct either this ritual fund of jest and amusement. · '.~iniann Frankel also doubts the "plebeian," popular origins of Hippo.j'J-Ii.s poems constituted, as far as may be seen, an· impudent and gro,~ entertainment literature." 18 In modem (Bakhtinian) terms, it seems, ri~1:1ax was a "carnival" poet. The conclusion is relevant to Catullus. relation of such a genre to what went on at. Eleusis in historical . ~>is not easily traced. Did the Eleusiriian ceremony itself once involve .. s~~rifice of a virgin, as Burkert has argued? 19 We find something of this



oiili' £Vyuva#v illie-rm JCa9i,µevT], oKou 11.eyouaiva1ttmv in Arist9phanes, Frogs 375; above, n. 8.

J[euye6'ocro1A.6icica;11AO(jlVtOa; 11icaµmri\va; atOE'tE,ltOlT]'tOOV (jlUA.OV aicav6oMyrov, oY,:' £1tECOV ic6aµov AEA\l')'tCJµEVov O:O"ICT]O"O:V'tE;, KpT)VT]; £~ \epfi; ltlVE'tEAl'tOV-uorop. . CJT)µEpov 'Apx1Mxo10ical apcrevo; ~µap 'Oµfipo\i CJ1tEVOoµEV · oicpTJ'ttJP ou 0EXE6'iiopo1t61:a;. Off with you and your songs about "loccae" and "Iophnides" an,d "camasenes," tribe of poetic thom-pluckers! You elaborate your complex pattern of words and drink simple water from your sacred spring. Today we pour libation to honour the feast of Archilochus and manly Homer. The mixing bowlis not at home to water-drinkers. This epigram, which icaµmrqvac; at least suggests may be a covert swipe at Callimachus' Galatea, is a tissue of Alexandrian key words: cpEuy~0•, 24 :q>uA.ov,icpTJVTJropertius' metre is of course elegiac, but iambic Archilochus had written el~giacs, and Lucilius is called iambicus by Apuleius even when hexameters are m question (Apol. 10). The carnival spirit matters more than the pedantic letter.

ifY, 2. 54-56) had perhaps challenged a re-evaluation. What Apollonius Rhodius {h?d to say in his Ilepl. 'Apx1Mxou (Athen. X. 451 d) we would dearly like to know, 'Qut evidently the question of the poet's place in literature was important enough to be addressed by the Alexandrians; · 23 ,,,, The language indicates that Callimachus already knew the derivation of iaµ~o; ,;from iov Pa~ElValso given, for example, by schol. B ad Hephaestionis Enchiridiµ6.x11v &eioov·ta '.IT]V BoumxA.e1.ov).By contrast, in his final poem 116, a sort of. prefatory piece set at the wrong end, 32 Catullus had sharply separated the Callimachean and Archilochian manners, and had opted in the last analysis for the latter. Although Callimachus had chosen as his spokesman Hipponax, the two most famous representatives of the iambic .genre were easily assimilated. Again Horace supplies the evidence (ia. 6. 13-14): ·

Horace and Callimachus

Horace was aware of Callimachus' effort to recover a different version of the iaµf3oc;. In the lasfbut one epistle of Book I, he r~views his achievement to date (epp. I. 19. 23-33): 30 1

... Parios ego primus iambos ostendi Latio, numeros animosquesecutus Archilochi,non reset agentia verba.Lycamben. ac ne me foliis ideo brevioribusornes quod timui mutare modos et carminis artem, temperat Archilochi Musam pede mascula Sappho, temperat Alcaeus; sed rebus et ordine dispar, nee socerum quaerit quernversibus oblinat atris, nee sponsae Iaqueumfamoso carminenectit. hunc ego, non alio dictum prius ore, Latinus volgavi fidicen.

qualis Lycambae spretus infido gener, aut acer hostis Bupalo. ·


Like the son-in-law scorned by treacherous.Lycambes, or the enemy bitter against Bupalus. A final point about Horace's claim to be Archilochus' successor. A rereading of an old Oxyrhynchus papyrus (Obbink, "4708. Archilochus, Elegies") shows that the iambic / elegiac could accommodate an epic thrust. A last twitch of this impulse explains why in Constantinople Georgios Pisides (7th c.) could use iambics to write heroic eulogy. In Latin, it had engendered iambic Catullus' hexametric poem 64. In Horace, it inspired the Aratean Ars Poetica, whose polemical intent and vatic proclamation we must certainly not mis-hear, but which, after beginning with a testa satiresca, ends unworthily with mockery of the great, and vatic, Empedocles.


I was the first to show Parian iambs to Latium, following the rhythms and spirit · of Archilochus, but not his topics and language that hunted down Lycambes. I · do not deserve a lesser crown for hesitating to change his metres and poetic art: after all, Sappho, masculine enough in her handlingof metre, merely plays variations on Archifochus' ·music, and so does Alcaeus, though his topics and arrangement are different. He does not look for a father-in-lawto smear with poisonous verses, or weave a noose for his betrothed.:Witha scandalous poem. It was Alcaeus, untranslated before, whom I made available as lyric poet of Latium. 28. Fraenkel rightly argues (Horace, p. 344) from the evidence of the poet's general usage that Archilochi and Musam must go together. This leavespede to qualify mascula, which could hardly stand on its own. Compare the affectionately alliterative vivuntque commissi ea/ores I Aeoliae fidibus puellae, carm. IV. 9 .. 11-12. Can a puella be mascula? In the passage cited, Horace is not prying into Sappho's bedroom, merely noting that her poetic techniquerivals that of any male. 29


Troy's Children, p. 138, note. "Dido'; is a royal title linked with the root seen in the Hebrew Je!fu!iah,"the darling of the Lord." Her personal name is Elissa/ Eliza. 30 See also Augustus and the New Poetry, pp. 339 ff.

Some Horatian Nastiness

In his epistle, Horace claims to have spared Lycambes, and it is true enough, as Leo pointed out many years ago, 33 that his Iambi have had their 31

Diomedes: Diom., Ars Gramm. III in.GLI, 485, 11-17 Keil: Iambus est carmen . maledicum plerumque trimetro versu et epodo sequente conpositum .. .. appel/atu~ · . est autem ttapa :roiaµ{J{t;eiv, quod est maledicere. cuius carminis praecipui scriptores apud Graecos Archilochus et Hipponax, apud Romanos Lucilius et Catullus et Horatius et Bibaculus. 32 Colin Macleod, "Catullus I 16," Collected Essays (Oxford 1983), pp. 181'-86. 33 De Horatio et Archilocho (Gottingen1900).


Chapter Nine

The Iambi-I: The Rape ofa Genre

teeth drawn when it comes to most of their objects.-But what about Lycam-, bes' daughters? What did the Iambi have to say about women which could have rivalled Callimachus' courtesies? What indeed? The poet's admirers forget just how unpleasant for women the iamb in his hands could still be. What do we hear in ia. 8?

crescit odor, cum pene soluto indomitam properat rabiem sedare; neque illi iam manet umida creta colorque stercore fucatus crocodili, iamque subando tenta cubilia tectaque rumpit! vel mea cum saevis agitatfastidia verbis: 'Inachia langues minus ac me; lnachiam ter nocte potes, mihi semper ad unuin mollis opus. pereat male, quae te Lesbia quaerenti taurum monstravit inertem, cum mihi Cous adesset Amyntas, cuius in indomito constantior inguine nervus quam nova collibus arbor inhaeret. muricibus Tyriis iteratae vellera Janae cui properabantur? tibi nempe, ne foret aequalis inter conviva, magis quern diligeret mulier sua quam te. · o ego non felix, quam tu fugis, ut pavet acris agna lupos capreaeque leones.'


Rogare longo putidam te saeculo ~ires quid enervet meas, cum sit tibi dens ater et rugis vetus _ frontem senectus exaret, hietque turpis inter aridas nates podex velut crudae bovis? sed incitat me pectus et mammae putres, equina quales ubera, venterque mollis et femur tumentibus exile suris additum. esto beata, funus atque imagines ducant triumphales tuum, nee sit marita, quae rotundioribus onusta bacis ambulet. quid, quod libelli Stoici inter sericos iacere pulvillos amant? illiterati num minus nervi rigent, minusve languet fascinum? quod ut superbo provoces ab inguine, ore allaborandum est tibi.





Time has made you stink, yet you keep asking what saps my manhood, though your tooth is black and old age furrows your brow with wrinkles, and between your dry buttocks gapes what looks like the ugly orifice of a coarse cow. But is it your breast which rouses my appetite and your withered dugs like a mare's udders and your sagging belly and thin thigh-over your swelling ankles? You may be rich, your ancestors' busts may lead off your funeral procession, and no wife may strut along loaded with rounder pearls [than yours]. Yes, you even like to leave Stoic treatises lying among your silken pillows. But do the sinews of a poor uneducated man freeze any less,•or does his prick slacken any less? To rouse that from its disdainful loin, you will need to work overtime with your mouth. _15.Were the libelli Stoici treatises on erotic topics? Such is the suggestion made in the Gabinetto Segreto (Museo Arch., Naples) by the curators of that collection. Another effusion in this vein pools in ia. 12: Quid tibi vis, mulier, nigris dignissima barris? munera quid mihi quidve tabellas mittis nee firmo iuveni neque naris obesae? namque sagacius unus odoror, polypus an gravis hirsutis cubet hircus in alis, quam canis acer ubi lateat sus. qui sudor vietis et quam malus undique membris






What are you after, woman, fit mate for grey elephants? Why keep sending me presents or billets-doux? My youth may be immature, my taste is still refined. _,_::.Noone smarter than me when it comes to sniffing out whether some wen or the i> . foul goat is lurking in an armpit- not even the keen hound hunting for the boar. What a sweat in her aged limbs and how unbearable at every point the smell when, limp though my member may be, she is in such a rush to sate her uncont,rolled frenzy! Her chalk and make~up, daubed on with the aid of a crocodile's _ droppings, are too damp to stay put, her sow's heat bursts the taut coverlets and ·-•-the very ceiling! Or she hounds my disgust with her words of reproach: 'That In,: ~chia gives you a livelier time than me. You can make out with her three times in ?ne night, while_with me you go slack at a single go. A pox on Lesbia who, pvhen I was looking for a mate, pointed out to me a plodding ox like you, though , ·-,I could have had Coan Amyntas. His loin doesn't lose its zip, his sinew is more · , §teadfast that a young tree clinging to the hillside. For whom were we in such a ;hurry with the twice-dipped purple stuffs? For you of course, so that no one at -_the party among your friends would be more loved by his woman than you. O Ipoor me, you run away from me, fearful as -alamb runs from the hungry wolves ' or wild goats_from the lions.'


\Hne 7 here, the dialogue ends, and Horace speaks about the woman in ~.third person. He does not bother to answer the protest she begins at line }Augustus himself had indulged in some "iambic" humor. 34 That was the ., ateur. In a major poet, what justification can there be for this sort of -. ing, unless it is generically determined, for example, by the topos of the


\'?fBuechner, FPL, p. 134, from Martial XI. 20. Cf. his quip about Horace's penis in~pired by this iambus?), below, p. 447.


Chapter Nine

The Iambi-/:

"grotesque body"? But in Horace's case is it? To what extent? And why have only women grotesque bodies?

The Rape of a Genre


The doorkeeper's feet are seven fathomslong, and his sandals five oxskins thick. ·

It took ten cobblersto fashionthem.

And again:

A Different Iambic Temperat Archilochi Musam pede mascula Sappho. Was a literary iambic possible of a' different sort from that of Archilochus and Hipponax? Philodemus, Horace's contemporary, remarks: Kett l:ampID nva iaµf311Cmc; 1tot£t 1e«1 'Apx,O.ox,oi;ouJCi«µf311Croi; (P. Here. 460, fr. 8. I0-13). 35 Was there then a "Sapphic" iambic? If there was, did Horace know that, as his use of 1t£,a 6v6µ«-m in his poetry might suggest-and did he deliberately turn his back on it? To answer these questions, we need to ask again· about the original nature of the iambic. Both the Hymn to Demeter and Euripides indicated that·laughter was part of the world in which iambic was still a women's genre. And interestingly, Demetrius uses of Sappho the verb the . hymn uses of Iambe-cr1CID1t't£t.We already noted crJCIDµµa:m in the repartee of the Haloa. The whole context may be quoted (De Eloc. §§166-67): .ito 1CIX1 ft l:ampcoltEpl µev.icaUouc; ~6oucm lCIXAAtEltTJpooicrm\ 'yot. The text is reproduced here from that of Hall and Geldart (OCT). ;;,'r~emetres are variants of the glyconic: 41

..• glee •.. they concealed ... fasting on the days of Rarian Demeter

Apparently, women were not silenced on these occasions. In Rome, the originally Etruscanfescennina iocatio immortalised by Catullus in poem 61 .would be another example of this age-old "flyting." Yet he spares the bride. His the groom who is the butt of his quips (141-50, Eisenhut). The rites recorded by Callimachus and Apollonius seem to point to some early stage of what became the iambic repartee, yet one in which the women were allowed to give as good as they got. In literature, iambic Catullus also preserves a hexametric dialogue between the sexes (poem 62), in which the girls certainly have the chance to utter their regrets about their loss of virginity, but in which the men, rather than uttering any abuse, link that with nature's eternal cycle of growth and change. The Archilochian iambic by contrast had suppressed the woman's right of reply, and an epigram composed by Dioscorides in the late 3rd century derives its pathos from the fact that it represents the other half of a missing dialogue. Its last line and word may allude to and seek to answer the slur in v. 27 of the Cologne papyrus · (A.P. VII. 351. 7-10 = Gow and Page, Hell. Epigrams no. XVII: cf. West, Iambi etElegi Graeci, I, p. 15):

HMIXOPIONB 6) tplc; µaicap roe;litKat-

roc;taya8cx VUV£)(ElJ(OV µex8eouc;Kal.oa{µovac;out' ev cxyuiaic; erl>oµevou8' "Hprtc;ev µqalq, tEµEV£l· · Ei6' ~µ£v µaxM>iKai cxtao8aM>l,OUKiiv £K£ivoc; e!;TjµErov rvfioia tEKVatEKElV. -ij8£A.£V

'YµT]v'Yµevai' &,

'Yµ11v'Yµevai' &..

touµtv µeya 1mlxa;tu.

We (daughters of Lycambes) swear by all the gods. We never set eyes on Archilochus either in the street or in the great precinct of Hera. Had we been lewd and lascivious, he would never have wanted to beget by us legitimate children.

ti)c;6' 116uto auKov. _ !J>fioei~ r' otav fo8inc; olvov t£ mnc;7tOAUV. 'YµT]v'Yµevai' &, 'Yµ11v'Yµevai' &. 6)xa{p£t£ xaip£t' iiv6pec;;KiivO'UVE1trta8e µoi 7tA.akouvtac; ii6ea8e.

4. Cf. true;WCJ7t£p TJK[urovtEKOO], P. Colon. inv. 751 I, v. 27;

Clearly at least some of this poetry found its true home in the "iambic" worship of a goddess ("in the precinct of Hera"). But Hera was the patroness of marriage.

Aristophanes .


In some ways, at least where women are concerned, Aristophanes illus:.:· trates the resources and scope of the iambic much better than what we now have of Archilochus. The end of the Peace, celebrating a wedding, is dk.. . vided by the Ravennas and Venetos into f\µ1x6pux (1332-57). This pro~· duces another version of the xopo~ 0tpov'tlc;'Opa't{cp. In other aspects of his poetry, there are senses in which Horace is far more Callimachean than the professed Roman Callimachus. But not in this one most sensitive spot. Here, with the help of Cercidas (5. 31, Powell), he reverts to Archilochus. Why?

The Rape of a Genre


secrated"), so that she could more easily pass over into the unknown. 43 ,\};If this was the origin of the iamb ("one-step dance';?), it is clear how •~µeh the Greeks civilised this primal impulse. Eleusis no longer empha- · }sedthe loss or death-which were presupposed-so much as the resurrecJqn and recovery. And its women were not merely the .victims of curses, t1twere allowed a response, even a dialogic response. Hence perhaps ulti, ately th,at series of stunningly outspoken heroines, doomed ancl yet some-Pr:mimetically more than ever alive, with which Attic (iambic) tragedy .f-\r~entsus. But from the same root spring comedy's reversals of macho __yes, the E1C1CA.1lO'UX~oucrm of the Il the iaµlxn to be useful to the dawning lyrical talent. Why not beati~e-see ··_,·; p. 371, n. 16; A ceremonial plate from Ai Khamun, with a priest walking }rthe chariot of Cybele and Nike and holding a parasol over the heads of the oddesses, is seen in Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures (below; p. 368, n. 9). This _ aps a relic of Alexander's presence in that part of the world. · , otably in Carm. IV. The Prima Porta statue in fact already honours deities of ;;including Sol. The veiled Augustus of the Via Labicana statue is also relevant.

Chapter Ten

The Iambi- II

with dissenters, 21 Callimachus, it was noted, found problems with Archilochus. Horace ingeniously circumvents the difficulty by taking from Archilochus simply a framework. In the. Greek poet, the speaker (eventually identified as Charon the car.. penter) began by anonymously forswearing the attractions of wealth (22. 1, D.): OUµot ta fuyero tOU7t0A.'UXl)'UCJOU µ£A.El•.•

From this base, the poem launches into a long µmcaptcrµ6c; of the country life and the varying occupations of its changing seasons; its rustic fare; the daily decencies afforded by a chaste country wife._Its details appeal to the sensibility one finds in Greco-Roman painting. Such themes in general 'were profoundly congenial: to Horace himself elsewhere (cf. rustica Phidyle, carm. m. 23); and, more largely, to Virgil (Geo. Il 513 ff.), to Tibullus (cf. I. 10. 39-44), even to the artists of the Ara Maxima (Tellus). That was nostalgia, even propaganda. What degree of iambic realism did ,they have either for Horace or in Horace's day? Epic Virgil; who developed the theme of the "hollow" pastoral (pastor agens telis, Aen. IV. 71), is also aware of quite the opposite (Geo. I. 507-08; Aen. vm 8). This latter passage is influenced by Virgil's habit of seeing his mythical Italian war in .terms of the Civil Wars of his own day, and Lucan 's allusion to rus vacuum . (VII. 395) shows that it was a topos of the time. Had Horace himself expe·rienced such devastation at first hand, perhaps from some visit to Venusia after he returned to Italy from Philippi? His poem will not then, with Tibullus, anticipate some melancholic 18th-century paesaggip; it will not be a call with the Georgics, in progress at the time, to get back to Roman basics. . Instead, loyal in this respect to its Archilochian beginning, it elaborates a ? 1booby-trapped contrast between an imaginary (and meant to be seen as : :imaginary) paradise, 24 and the too' familiar spoilage of earth and· man " ,wrought by time and greed and civil violence. · · The speaker regulates our diet, even the kinds of fish we may eat (49-. .•52). Here we find ourselves in Ennian territory (cf. his Latin adaptation of ithe Hedyphagetica of Archestratus). What there was play is here made seri:'ous. Cercidas had perhaps criticised [o)w[o}Fpay[ot]>In any case, Horace's Alfius is quite the reverse of Archilochus' Charon: not a contributor to the common good but a taker, afaenerator, even though ••he had himself praised the ploughboy for being solutus omnifaenore (v. 4). ; How cruel· then that, knowing the nastiness of his exactions, he still persists. ;t Is Horace's poem linked with a far more cutting social criticism in \v6gue at the time (hinc usura vorax avidumque in tempor.a faenus I et con; cussa fides et multis utile bellum, Lucan I. 181-82, perhaps from Livy)? iWere there those in high places in Rome who blamed moneylenders, at ·least in part, for the Civil War? Certainly, after carrying off the loot of Al:exandria (where there was a large Jewish community) to Rome, .Octavian .used it in a way that led to a lowering oOnterest rates and an increase iri the ,Price of land (Suet., Aug. 41; Dio LI. 21. 5). Is Horace propagandising on :bisbehalf? Whatever the truth of all that, this theme certainly triggered here \Me of the poet's own deepest aversions: aerugo et cura peculi (AP. 330); ,J,fter scabiem tantdm et contagia lucri (epp. I. 12. 14). ·!) Poets of the Tinmia. already comedify the Golden Age (cf. Athen., l)eipnos. VI. 267-68), and an example of mild irony at the expense of such ;,yisions is still offered by Cervantes (Don Quijote, I. 52, "epilogos"). Our :.~wn age is more acquainted with dystopias. Horace's handling of his topic )~I.cesa form which subverts one of the noplest ideals of the regime, the f~covery of the countryside. 30 Did Horace himself rationally plan this sub..,._,.; -~ • .




-The Stratford (Ontario) Festival, for example, chose for its 2007 season the JJtemeof "The Outsider." The keynote play was Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice(1596). · 3 Compare the neo-Attic motif of an acanthusscroll with birds which Augustus to illustrate the fruitfulness of nature secured by Golden Age government tiureafruges ... Copia, Hor., epp. I. 12. 28-29;fruges ... uberes, carm.JV. 15. 5). ., Greece this symbolism may be traced back to the beginningof the 4th c. B.C., and ?tater spread to Pergamum: see, for example, a pillar with acanthus volutes in the ..useo Montemartini (MC inv.. 1320), dated to. the first c. B.C. and described as . ighly refined vegetal decoration of Pergamene inspiration:" An imposing·frieze ¥SO with acanthus volutes (MC 1810-1814) from the ,Augustanperiod was exca'.

° .sed

Chapter Ten

The Iambi-II

version, or is his attack on Alfius the welling up of a deep, irrational resentment against the whole· "mercantile" spirit, dives agris, dives positis in faenore nummis? He repeats himself (serm. I. 2. 13 = A.P. 421). As the son of a coactor, even a coactor atgentarius (Suetonius), an "unsavoury trade that involved moneylending" (Nisbet and Hubbard), had he been too close to that for comfort? Although Alfius' imagined countryman, at the climax of his idyllic picture, sees children beaming around his cottage, they are not his (although he has children, dismissed in a conventional phrase at v. 40), but vernae, home~bom slave-children. They are ditis examen domus (65), "a swarm that · proves a house's wealth." Perhaps examen is "the pointer on a scale," indicating the weight of a farmer's produce: contrast the adjective in Tibullus' · turbaque vernarum, saturi bona signi coloni (II. 1. 23). Even in this culminating detail then Alfius' greed is visible. What such bonded vernae had Horace seen, and felt that he escaped being of their number by a hair's breadth? Here the verna vitiosus of epp. II. 2. 6 and 18 would retrospectively take on existential meaning .. Are these .vernae as a whole the privileged members of Maecenas' circle, earning their place by contributing to a social lie: the idyllic champaign, the wealthy landlord benignly looking in on things-and eager all the.time to get back to the Forum putealque Libonis (epp. I. 19. 8)? Such latent criticism would condemn a whole society. Not then in the end a poem of pleasant tone at all: Archilochian perhaps, but one wonders what Augustan purpose it could serve. And, at this point of assessment, the comparative method reminds the student that ia. 2 famously inspired the Vida retirada of the Spanish 16th c. mystic Fray Luis de Le6n:

. This was, in its fashion, a "Golden Age" poem. The careful structure of { the Iambi is revealed when we find that their penultimate poem (16) also ;seeks a Golden Age. This, the.most significant poem of the book, taking a :,public stance on a matter. of grave social import, looks Archilochian, but ;)has in the end very little to do with Archilochus. Did he ever think of mass {:;evacuation to the Isles of the Blest as a solution to his country's ills?31 · /{,:, The times threaten Rome's ruin (1-14). The only remedy is to imitate \the Phocaeans, who once fled their native city (15-34). We must forswear past and be off (35-62). . Our destination is slightly less well defined (41-46):


jQue descansadavida, la del que huye el mundanalruido, y sigue la escondida senda por donde ban ido los pocos sabios queen el mundoban sido! What a life of ease, that of him who flees the noise of the world and follows the hidden path along which have gone the few sages the world.hasknown! There follows a picture of some garden paradise, the whole-fillectwith Hor- .·. atian reminiscences. Study of Fray Luis' long poem in its entirety will show how differently he received, and in so doing exalted, his original. Its author, who seems to have been familiar with Hebrew, was perhaps a Jew. vated 'in the Horti Sallustiani along with a statue of Apollo citharoedus (MC 2227). . This motif, seen both in Rome on the Ara Pacis and on a .marblepanel preserved in ·· the Prado (E- 628) may ultimately share the inspirationof Virgil's fourth Eclogue, and in any case is guyed (as we eventuallyfind ouOby Horace here.



Nos manet Oceanuscircumvagus:arva, beata petamus arva divites et insulas, reddit ubi Cererem tellus inarata quotannis et imputata floret usque vinea, germinatet numquamfallentistermes olivae suamquepulla ficus omat arborem ... !~(The echoing Ocean awaits us. The plains, the happy plains! Those Jet ils seek · and the rich isles, where unploughedthe earth returns its bounty every year, and the vine flourishes always unpruned: where the olive shoot buds without fail; iWherethe dark fig lends beauty to its native tree.

,ffin some Biblical

Canaan, in this promised land there is honey, abun~ \\'.ater, milk. At v. 51, the apocalyptic style becomes apophatic: no :fof prey, no east wind to devastate the fields, no searing heat, nobear :'.prowls, no serpents, 32 no visits from a raiding Argo, no shameless. no Phoenician sailors (representing an immoral trade by sea*), no i;s~us (symbolising disturbing and tricky foreign intrusion), no plagues a,rm the cattle, no baleful star. Virgil (Geo. II. 136-76) and Propertius ,.22) use such language of Italy. For Horace. that is as yet impossible. : .~.conclusion reverses the Greek topos according to which Zeus has i,~~ed men for their sins by hiding away what might help· them (Hesiod:






YAi-chilochus may have advised the Thasians to seek another home (fr. 54, D.; ...5), ;though that is not clear. Long after Archilochus' death, the Phocaeans; . 19nedby Persia, lost a good.part of their population to emigration westwards etod. I. 165). If Horace had found any closer parallel to his thesis in Archilofpresumably he would have used it. His originalpoem mines various sources. 'I:h,eexpulsion or absence of serpents was a feature of ancient Utopias, already ••in the Ancient Orient ("Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta," adduced by Bot}k. TWAT II, cols. 504, 507). It recurs, for example,in the lfli«.le,sf!{tali~~ (Geo. Mynors, p. }3~54; cf.Prop. III. 22. 27). A Latin panegyrist (VII. 9.:3'[;#,};'$1; ])?describes Britain as a land without harmful snakes, and thitno doubt influd the later legend of St. Patrick's work in Ireland. See al~o'Augustan Properfp.183; End Notes, below, p. 479 ad c. I, p. 11.


Chapter Ten

Erga 47). Yes, Jupiter has hidden away those shores, ever since he set in motion the succession of the ages from bronze to iron-but only to keep . them in reserve for men of goodwill. - And then the unexpected. Who can act as guide (65-66)? quorum piis secunda vate me datur fuga. From the good are granted escape, with me to act as seer.

This is extraordinary. As in the Aeneid, a vates will guide the morally innocent, not however to found, but across the seas, away from, Rome! Fraenkel has documented how, at various points, Horace echoes in his iambus ·the language of the .Roman Senate, appealing for better advice if any listener has any, proposing provisionally and modestly the speaker's · soluti~n. Evidently at the outset here this was a mere pose. Even if the sug. gestion to sail· away into the blue had been real, what locus standi in the Roman res publica did the freedman's son have to make it? But, suddenly, Horace advances a claim on public attention after all. He is a vates, a poet / prophet, and in case that was puzzling to listeners, he applies the noun in the very next poem (v. 44) to Stesichorus of Sicilian Himera, admired by the ancients for his powerlully epic manner, his gran.deur. This is not the place to _detailthe Republican history of vates, 33 a term · despised by Ennius, which in recent memory Lucretius had used contemptuously of those likely to frighten Memmius away from attaining Epicurean truth. Stoic, mystically inclined Posidonius had rehabilitated it (followed by Gallus?). Just as Virgil has been tentatively intruding the word in its better sense into his Eclogues (7. 28; 9. 34) Horace has picked it up and is running with it in a poem of amazing boldness. Anticlimactically, in Carmina IV, he will tum the vates into an Ennian eulogist, a J3ap6oc;(below, p. 398). But Horace's proposal is also a piece of impractical romanticism, and how then is such a poem Archilochian? As at Philippi, Horace is running in the wrong direction! Augustan orthodoxy is quite clear that, whatever Julius' dreams about Iulion / Ilion may have been, whatever Cleopatra's about Alexandria, the seat of empire is to remain Rome. The poet later makes Ju110herself expound the impossibilityof even contemplating, for example, a return to Troy (carm. ID. 3. 58-60). His iambus remains a splendidforay into utopian, Tibullan temtln. 34

The Iambi-II


· Iambus 1, a terrifying cri de coeur, may be linked with Iambus 16. The first propounds the national dilemma, to which the second provides an impossible answer. "I punish the children for the sins of the fathers to the third and fourth· generations" (Exodus 20:5). What Horace has done, ~hether consciously or not, is to recast Rome's founding myth (perhaps originally owed to Etruria) in Semitic terms, those of Cain and Abel. It was already suggested that he may show knowledge of some.doctrine of inherited guilt . (the offence that Sets the children's teeth on edge), of what the Greek Fa> thers later called 1tpomx:topucr1a.µap·da, "ancestral sin." Augustan orthodoxy spends much time on reconciling Romulus and Remus (e.g. Aen; I. 292; compare &cnu 'Peµoio, A.P. IX. 219. 3, Diodorus seeking to please Tiberius). In Horace, no such balm. · Iambus 6 is meant to reinforce the Archilochian pose, but how curious t~af it leaves its adversary unnamed. Horace's innocent friends are being , assailed by some ignoble cur (canis ignavus, 1-2) that dare face them but . dare not face real wolves (1-2). Horace gallantly challenges the.creature to tum its threats against him, for he is a faithful sheepdog - his friends, we Ofind, are the shepherds (pastoribus, 635)-ready to chase its enemy over the (deep snows with ear pricked up; This is lability enough, but suddenly tsheepdog Horace is more. He has grown horns (12), and must presumably ':'}>ea bull (•en' Latin (sermo) of the educated classes of his day. Editors are ruffled by .. ~ ,presence of a single instance of brevis brevians (iambic shortening) in ~.hexameters (A.P. 65, pdli1s: cf. ferf-, How profound the feeling here which prematurely triggered this upwelling; t,,} .fo this last stanza of the four, the spring is caught and frozen by art's ''perfection. A tree picturesquely crowns the rocks from which it seems to iJlow. In imagination, we hear its loquaces lymphae, its babbling waters 6 '::fall.2 Now however its movement and sound are lent by the reciting, lyrical /(oice; We are looking at some Campanian paesaggio, of the sort made fa?nious by Poussin and Dughet. With the promise of blood, the sacred object {iis,subsumed into a human ego, its unchanging motion transferred to, fixed \forever, on the canvas,.on the page, in the.glittering, deadly glass. ,ic .. -,,,.;,

:\,;;:,~ome. ~f Horace' s metres at times. produce, thanks to their contrast of · ,old ,tradition and new context, a carnival effect. It is·also the task of the car'riival to resurrect. What, fo~ example, about the Marcellus of carm. I. 12? ),'This Pindaric ode consists of 15 sapphic stanzas (3+9+3). 27 Quern virum ~ut:heroa lyra vel acri I tibia sumes celebrare, Clio ... ? It begins with a (teversed and edited) motto 28 from the se_cond Olympian (in Heyne's nu< eration 181 lines long, arranged in five triads), addressed to Theron, the !fiystically inclined despot of Acragas. Written in 476, Pindar's piece is gazzling. A. Turyn (1952) gallantly tries to give names to its. metres, though theode's more recent German editors (Snell/ Maeltler, 1971) make no effort ,to define them except to say that they seem to have an iambic base; learly the musical score was essential to their analysis and appreciation. '.?>"Theron's Acragas, whose-temples still impress, was the home of so brilliant a poet and cosmologist / shaman-and political adversary of despotas Empedocles, disliked by Horace, as the end of the Ars Poetica ~~~ws.In 476 Pindar, whose epinician is not without notes of heart-rending pathos, offered to the hard-pressed tyrant,_whose chariot had just won the


?,?'jWith loquaces lymphae here cf. Theocritus' icmaxe; ... i>6rop,Id. I. 7-8. ·. _ci~ace explores the pastoral at quite another level from either him, or Virgil, or if}~deedFray Luis de Le6n. That too is part of hi.sdiscontents. 27 ,{) This looks like triadic structure, though not in Pindar;s sense. In less defensive trt{Jtllt'llKocpKa'taµEµ'lfWroe; OUXtllt'a.~ioov UPXE'tat;Isocr., Antid. §300: i\lhov (= laetius) fu, uit' a.v6por; 'A811vaiou ~11µ1008£iev,11 61?,('ti\c; hepoov ci:iµcrc11't0c; £0 mx801£V.Cf. 'Quarto Planeta, cuya luz aclama / Tanto Orizonte, que tu Nombre adora,' addressed to the Habsburg Felipe IV in 1631 (End Notes, below, p. 493). The theme is Messianic: "All on earth Thy sceptre claim," Eng. tr. oflgnaz Franz' (1719-90) Grosser Got,. Horace does not shun such traditions.



'>\_, ;'fhe allusion to parum

casti luci maintains this mixed genealogy.In an ~1:1tltor who claims the right of callida iun.ctura we must be wary of present),1.g;too facile an interpretation of his paradoxical phrase. 39 "Licentious 'J~v:es," whatever their Roman history, were in Jewish eyes the haunts of !!IP~re Astarte, goddess of hunting, war and sex. Her role is well estabin Gilgamesh. If for other Semites she was a personification of the · ilenergy of brute creation, the Jews regarded her with horror and conJ~µipt. In the Septuagint (I Kings [= I Sam.] 7:3 and 12:10), for example, :tfifiQJ:eektext reads awnI awEoetknow about Astarte?4° · · i},,l):orace has fitted his (politically fraught, if emotionally apt) Pindaric _9cl,~lintoa stiffly formal setting, using a metre in which the only unusual ~~tll.reis the single word forming the adoneus at v. 40 (cf. IL 6. 8). The ppWc in which he writes here was certainly familiar at Rome, but as an eto~ic''.measure. Philodemus (Anth. Pal. V. 132. 7) and Catullus (35. 1617);pote its use in their songs by young ladies of a certain class. Yet Al-, ~.~~s.had written sapphics, as carm. I. 10 reminds us, and the poet had al, qy,.attemptedto rescue the metre for Roman purposes in carm. I. 2. Here ,~~;:iµiother effort at rescue. x~utAstarte / Venus seemed to intrude even here. Human beings are not ps},~ecorders. In adapting Pindar to sapphics, could Horace erase such ~M~mporary associations? Can one write sapphics and provoke only ,,eJPpries of Pindar? Horace himself uses iocosa imago at the start of this ,o~IilJvv.3-4) to give some hint of the lev~l at which he wants us to accept ?W~at kind of self-consciousness does that imply? What self-doubt about .oµtcm:~eof his efforts? What shadow that falls across his meaning? puriously, he uses exactly the same phrase in another sapphic piece (I. :,~ 1 .~) when he is reminding Maecenas of the applause which greeted hiin Pompey' s theatre, on.the occasion of his re-appearan~e there after a bout



i-;i;rhe Greco-Roman topos in fact is quite different. It is not the wood which is ll(li~d b.ut the sacrilegious intruder (Callimachus, Hy. 6. 31 ff.); and, for the Ro--~Il,!i; Lucus already means "a sacred grove" (OLD: cf. CJL I. 2. 366 and 401; Lucan ;;3~9'ff.). Tacitus describes even the Druids' Lucias saevis superstitionibus sacri n.,XIV. 30). Horace's parum casti is coloured by another tr~dition. QnAstarte, cf. TWATVI (1989), cols. 453-63 (H.-P. Miiller).


Chapter Eleven

of illness. Maecenas evidently enjoyed his moment of public recognition (carm. II. 17. 25-26). But even here there is ambiguity (Pompey before Pharsalia, Lucan VII. 9 ff.). Can one ever trust the fleeting favours of what the poet elsewhere, addressing Maecenas (I. 1. 7), calls the mobilium turba Quiritium? Virtue herself neither takes up nor lays down the fasces of authority arbitrio popularis aurae (ill. 2. 20). In saying this sort of thing, the poet pleased his masters well (m,eprimis Urbis ... placuisse, epp. I. 20. 23). Maecenas, powerful, unelected, continued to lurk in the shadows. For the imperial family, the mention of Marcellus lent to carmen I. 12 its own pathos. Perhaps it asks us to take Horace as Orpheus' successor (cf. vv. 7-12 here), since in the Ars Poetica (392) Orpheus is certainly the archetypical vates. But the pathos is not diminished. Every reader of the Georgics knew. that Orpheus had descended to hell, and seen the shades of young men dead before their time: impositique rogis iuvenes ante ora parentum (IV. 477). But, for all his skill, they did not come back. If the poet h_imselfdid, his return froni there had not been blessed. And, not so much in retrospect as in the vates' vertical time_,is doomed Theron a portent of a .doomed Augustus, dead Marcellus of a Julio~Claudian line that would peter.· out less than a century later with that second Augustus, Nero? Fortuna saevo laeta negotio Augustus himself blamed Fortune for some of his troubles in finding heirs (R.G. 14; cf. Suet., Tib . .§23, atroxfortuna). Horace shares these sentiments. A sense of lack of control, of the inability to steer one's own life towards one's own goals, was earlier noted (p. 23) as one of the legacies of the slave mentality: quid quisque vitet numquam homini satis I cautum est in horas (carm. II. 13. 13-14). The poet adds to that the inability even to know what his "own goals" might be. Hence his continual use of the O'U"f~ 1epw~ of assertions that he prefers obscurity and simplicity to fame and wealth (that is, prefers to make no choices at all). This is a topic to which we must return. Towards the end of the first book of Carmina Horace makes explicit in two consecutive poems (34 and 35) his uneasy sense of Hfe's irrationality. The l"rrst begins with an apparent conversion from Epicureanism to pious belief; The poet has witnessed a bolt of lightning in a clear sky,41 evident proof of Jupiter's might-except that Jupiter becomes shortly the vaguer



The ode is paraphrasedby SeamusHeaney,"AnythingCan Happen" in District and Circle (London and New York 2006), p. 13. His title is Herodotean:Ei'.TJ ~' /xv 1t&v,IV. 195.

The Lyrist: Carmina I-III


deus, and then is identified with Fortune, able to lift the cap of power from 'one head and set it on another. Here the reader will think of Livy's story (I. 34. 8-9) of Tanaquil, and the eagle which lifted and then put back the pilleus on her husband's head (his good fortune would evidently persist). If .the image as Horace uses it alludes to the suicide of Cleopatra, to be celeibrated in ode 37, in the longer term it offered little reassurance to Cleopatra's conquerors. Her Isis would after all endure.* Apuleius proves that. Carmen 34 traced a development by which Diespiter became capricious Fortuna. Its companion ode 35 follows a reverse path. Fortune, at first celebrated as the topsy-turvy principle at Work in history, is asked towards the end to be Augustus'·guardian spirit as he prepares both_to assail the Britons and send his armies to the East. The poem indeed might have concluded at this point. It continues with two stanzas expostulating over the horrors of Rome's Civil Wars. 'May Fortune reforge on a different anvil swords now :blunted by such unholy outrages, for use instead against the tribes of Asia and Arabia!' (38-40). Now the goddess becomes, not the capricious power :of earlier Greek/ Hellenistic thought, not the presiding genius of the Civil· , War (as in Lucan), but as it were the guardian deity of Rome (Fortuna .-Populi Romani, Fortuna Augusta). This is the imperial propagandist. Publilius Syrus had talked of Fortune as "glassy." The details of the contrasting portrait of Fortuna and her powers which Horace paints in this . poem (35. 5-16) attract all the more attention. Her votaries include peasant ;and merchant alike: Dacian, Scythian, the inhabited world and its peoples•and bold Latium; they include the mothers of foreign kings, empurpled des; pots. All are fearful that she may cast down the upright column amid scenes •of revolution and the wreck of established government (surely a theme from some quasi-baroque painting). Here come the barbarians! Eventually, in , spite of Cavafy, they did.42 Once again, Horace becomes a late-antique poet. The goddess has attendants (17 ff.): grim Compulsion, with nails and •.·wedges in her brazen hand, her cruel clamp, her molt~n lead: all these tokens of the ghastly tortures she inflicts on men. Spes and Fides, Hope and Loyalty (rarest of figures!), wait on her. Whenever Fortune changes her allegiance 43 and in anger leaves the houses of the mighty, Loyalty goes with 4i The poem by C. Cavafes (1863-1933) alluded to here is no. 200 (pp. 222:--23) in Medieval and Modern Greek Poetry, ed. C. A. Trypanis(Oxfordrepr. 1968). · 43 Mutata ... veste (23-24) usually means "wearing mourning garb." But in this. contextmust we not think also of mutata Fides, ofLucan's mutatus Curio (IV. 819), of "loyalty betrayed"? Cf. jidem mutatosque deos, carm. I. 5. 5-~, Horacetends to be suspiciousofjides anyway:laesa ... jide,.I. 33. 4; periura patns jides, Ill. 24. 59: above,p. 136.


The Lyrist: Carmina I-III

Chapter Eleven

her. Away then slips the disloyal troop of erstwhile toadies, away the perjured harlots, away the friends, cunning enough, once the wine barrels are drunk dry, to dodge any sharing of a common doom. This is a series of engravings by satirical Hogarth. Did Horace have no visual models in mind here also? Strange company for Loyalty to keep, and the behaviour in this catalogue of the Fides by which the Romans set so much store has been found confusing. She seems to· depart with Fortune, but should she not be precisely the goddess who stays with the downfallen in their hour of misery? Horace pays lip-service to this traditional notion when he later condemns the fickleness of the vulgus infidum (25). But at v. 21 Fides is paired with Spes; and as early as Hesiod (and certainly in Thucydides) Hope, 'EM~, can delude the sufferer into believing that something good is still in store when in fact it is not. -Plato develops this point (Laws I. 644d; cf. Rep. I. 331a 1-9). Yet at Rome Spes was associated with both Pompey and Octaviari already by Cicero, and later she became a particular goddess of the imperial house. 44 In Horace's bleak pictures we have apparently eine Umwertung aller Werte, "a re-evaluation of all values." Spes is Fortune's . friend. And, if Fides is loyal, she is loyal orily to disloyalty. One may ask what psychological experiences (at Philippi?) underlay this extraordinary 1ta.pa 1tpocrS0Kia.v.What inherited beliefs in a divine power incomprehensible to human reasonings? What implicit commentary therefore on official themes? The switch in thought then at v. 29, by which this unstable goddess is asked to guard the emperor and his armies as they set out on their path: of conquest, is violent. This indeed was imperial orthodoxy but, after what we have heard of her, could she be relied on, even if she gave her momentary assent now? Are not the troubles of Rome's Civil Wars much too serious to be included in this theodicy? Yet elsewhere we find that the Civil War was itself a ludus Fortunae (carm. II. 1. 3). The poet has been carried away by his sense of Fortune's giddy and cruel vicissitudes, and in the end his prayers echo hollowly into his own v_astuniverse of disappointments. Towards the end of the first collection (III. 29) the· theme is resumed, again in alcaics. Maecenas should not always be fretting about public affairs. The self-sufficient, cheerful man takes things as they come.

44 See further on all this "Hope the Deceiver": Pseudo-Seneca De Spe (Anth. Lat. 415 Riese); ed. Michael S. Arnistrong (Spudasmata 70, Hildesheim 1998), especially "Spes at Rome," pp. 30 ff. In the later Empire there were the Horti Spei Veteris (area of Porta Maggiore), begun by Septimius Severns.


\e::so far; so good. Verse 48 marks another point at which a poem might hve concluded with one of Horace's characteristically _thought-provoking --~d•musical) half-ends. Instead, suddenly he breaks out into a denunciation °rFortune's inhuman caprice. He ceases to think about Maecenas at all. he personally is the one who must learn a lesson. Ludus echoes the · stII1entioned ludus Fortunae of the Civil War (III. 29._49~52): 0

'.ow: -~,


Fortuna saevo laeta negotio et ludum insolentem ludere pertinax transmutat incertos honores nunc mihi, nunc alii benigna. :"'.iortune takes pleasure in her g~isly task, never slackening in her mocking game. :She shifts her fleeting marks of distinction around, and gives her favours now to \iie, now to another.· ·

ihhtionof Epigr. 28 and Hy. Ap. l lO~li), and Callimachus had him,~d,apted the Pindaric epinician to elegiacs (frr. 383 and 384). But Titius, ....'e:Ins;'may not necessarily have been writing or re-forming lyric; He ig~(have been writing tragedy: an tragica desaevit et ampullatur in arte? · 4:'llleite Callimachean vocabulary here:. compare T\'t~ 'tpa-ycpooc;.Moucrcx. ~ij{~owa, fr. 215). The Suda-lexicon tells us that Pindar wrote 'tpa-yuccx }1.cx'fa;Whatwere these? What had Titius been up to (see below, p. 360)? ;hiycase, in Book IV of his Carmina (2. 1-26), the cautious Horace will




Chapter Twelve

The First Book of Epistles

reiterate his view of the impossibility of Romanising "audacious," "lawless" Pindar. One_ of the group, a now unknown Celsus (perhaps the Celsus commemorated by Ovid in Ex Ponto I. 9), comes in for a certain amount of re~ proof. He has been filching (ideas? turns of phrase?) from the poems already safeguarded in the Temple of the Palatine Apollo. He should be careful that he is not, like the ·crow in the fable, left exposed to ridicule if the_ owners of his borrowed feathers ever reclaim their property. He recurs in epistle 8 below, and this allusion may prepare for his treatment there. What indeed of Florus himself? Porphyrio mentions him as the· author of eclectic saturae cJrawing from Ennius, as well as Lucilius and "Varro" (presumably Atacinus). In Horace, these are perhaps the frigida curarum fomenta mentioned in v. 26, "cold poultices against the pains of care." The covert allusion.to Musa's treatment of Augustus perhaps makes that a compliment though, in literary contexts, frigidus is not a term of praise. The poet's definition of the aims of satura in that case would be instructive. Florus should take up instead caelestis sapientia, "philosophy which points apthe way to the stars," a phrase smacking of Cercidas' oi>pavw~ lC'OO>V plied to Bion. The young man unhappily has_quarrelled with one he should regard as his brother, Munatius (fraternum, 35). Horace wonders if that quarrel has been patched up. He eagerly awaits their homecoming. This is an avuncular piece, allowing the poet to pose proprietorially and patronisingly: as a secure member of the Maecenatian / Augustan literary establishment (17); as the expert man of letters who has been there, done that (or else found out that it is not worth doing), and who has turned his attention to higher things. Floros himself is not (at least by implication) spared. If he has adapted Varro Atacinus he has backed a loser (serm. I. 10. 46). His verses are no remedy for the human condition. His reflections on human conduct have not prevented him from committing what Horace had already described as Rome's original sin (ia. 7. 17-20), quarrelling with a brother. Patruae verbera linguae (carm. ill. 12. 3): as a critic, Horace was not shy. He had learned high standards from his father. -But what ki_ndofreception did his literary / moral pronunciamientos meet among the many aspirants to the Muses' favour at Rome? He is always willing to re-establish his credentials, to rehearse the names of his (sometimes highly placed) admirers (serm. I. 10; carm. IV. 3; Iovis, epp. I. 19). Was he uneasy?

elationship with another member of Maecenas' circle, who also had the ]>port of highly placed admirers and, we gather, of highly placed fans: the gist Propertius, someone perhaps descended from the ancient nobility of ome's erstwhile rival, Veii. 13 Propertius was mannered, self-conscious, roud of his ingenium, niore than a new Callimachus (though that would aveibeen achievement enough!)-a new Mimnermus. Horace, who had his 9-~nviews about Mimnermus (epp. l 6. 65), was offended and annoyed by !11is'\i1toicp1:tft~ / poseur; worse still, he was jealous of his pop star success, 14 ;?In reaction, and rather surprisingly in one who habitually depreciates legy, Horace appears to have cultivated the friendship of the elegist Albius jbullus, and even sought his literary opinion on his own: work, or at least 9ft"his sermones (1). Did he perhaps share with him a liking.for Cerinthus (cf;Tib. IV. 3. 11; 4. 15; Hor., serm.I. 2. 81)-and, more significantly, for ):,[concept of the vates?15 Tibullus _was patronised by Messalla Corvinus, )inself a poet, even, it appears, of Greek pastorals (Cata/. 9. 13-20); · and essalla was among those showing an early interest in -what Horace wrote ermd. 10. 85). All this suggests that some sermones at least were first ad in Messalla's circle, where Tibullus could most easily have listened ·:g.offered constructive comments. _iJnmodern criticism, Tibullus is interpreted as an artist of intricate musi_lijy and complex thought,· who developed a subtle critique of the "Urban" Jtryof the circle around Maecenas, including that of Horace. This critical tfrnative even touched, as was noted, on the role of the vates. ;c 1]:te epistle addressed to such a poet presents two difficulties, one minor, _tpajor. To take the minor first, Tibullus himself alludes to his health as ,R~~in (I. 3), and not long after Horace's poem was published he did ac1lll)".succumb. Horace's valetudo (10) turns out then to be one of those yi~rvague, conventional compliments used to friends without any reliable ,µri.dation, But what else here is of this .sort? How deep was Horace's ·e11dship with Tibullus? If it was superficial, why honour him with an {s,tlf!?Was there an ulterior motive? . C There is a major problem in the allusion to Cassius of Parma.* What is cibullus writing at the moment, Horace asks. Is he preoccupied with trying


The very next epistle (4). brief as it is, may indeed show an uncle's tongue. On the evidence of exasperated remarks in Horace's Letter to Florus (epp. II. 2. 90-101) it is often suggested that the poet enjoyed an uneasy


!3;\reientum :r); •


... auxilio regis Propertii (Servius ad Aen. VII. 697, from Cato

1)!":Sch6larsnote quotations from Pi"opertius' poetry among the graffiti at Pompeii c::l:ianz.,..Hosius, Gesch. rom. Ut. II, p. 203, infra). There are none from Horace. 5 .} ;S~e ''Saturno Rege: Themes of the Golden Age in Tibullus and Other Augustan ·-,~;'.'above p. 64, n. 21; and my "The Interpretation of Tibullus" in Brill's Comnion to Tibullus,ed. Theodora Chrysostomou (forthcoming). -


The First Book o/Epistles

Chapter Twelve

to outdo a literary rival: scribere quod Cassi Parmensis opuscula vincat (3)? This was jolting. Cassius of Panna, oile of Julius' assassins, was a virulent critic also of Octavian (Suet., Aug. §4; cf. Pliny, NB. XXXI. 2). Were his epistolary rants meant as some kind of formal, "Lucilian," political satire? He is now a forgotten·figure of Roman literature: forgotten because he had ·the misfortune to be on the losing side. According to Porphyrio, it was Cassius who was the real author of the Thyestes which later won so much acclaim for V arius, and of many other tragedies. After the defeat at Actium Varius allegedly killed him in Athens, and then purloined the text he had found Cassius still revising.,. Much of this· is no doubt quite inaccurateCassius' murderer, for example, is said to have been, not Varius Rufus, but one Q. Attius Vari.Is-but it suggests the degree of animosity between victors and vanquished. Why then does Horace introduce here in so brief a poem such an indiscreet allusion? And what literary rivalry is he hinting at? It is true that Aero, for what his evidence is worth, speaks of Cassius as one who dabbled in various genres, including elegy, and elegies could have been in Horace's mind here. But he was chiefly known as a dramatist. Is there room then for a different suggestion? The Tibullan corpus as it has come down to us is disparate. It contains pieces written by a pseudonymous Lygdamus, by a Sulpicia. This confusion tends rather to confirm the common notion that, when eventually some editor was cleaning out the desk of Tibullan / Messallan elegy, he decided to cram certain minor bits and pieces together with Tibullus' genuine poems simply as makeweights. But how is that later notion of amorphous hodge-podge reconcilable with Quintilian' s idea (X. 1. 93) that Tibullus was Propertius' superior? On the strength of 16 languorous poems in two books? In any case, this editor may have been, not some literary amateur, but Domitius Marsus, himself a poet (and elegist) of repute, who perhaps indicated his discharge of that responsibility by attaching to the corpus his own brief poem of farewell (Buechner, no. 7, p. 143), and by that act authenticated for us the whole three books offered as Tibullus' work by the traditio. Menander' s Glycera recurs in the ode ·Horace addres~ed to Tibullus . (carm. I. 33). With such associations, can that be just a name plucked from the roll of hetaerae-Lyde, Lyce and so on-which fonns part of the poet's repertoire, to be paralleled with Phryne, Cretaea, Hymnis in Lucilius? But ···. Roman elegy is akin, not merely to the iambic and to New Comedy, but also to the minie (cf. the infatuated.lover's monologue at Propertius III. 6, addressed precisely to a "Lygdamus"). Was Tibullus then a bold experimenter who decided that the mask assumed by the elegiac poet, already an


lastic fit, might be made even more elastic? That such a poet might (chalnging Propertius, whose Lygdamus is silent?) cast himself as a Lygdamus, yen as a girl in love? 16 At this point, the art of the elegist begins to shade !Othat of the dramatist / satirist, such as Cassius is said to have been. No 11e;supposesthat the playwright "is" any of the multiple characters on his ge. ·This epistle may then have been an anti-Propertian gambit. Horace · eded to find-and found in Tibullus-a different; more congenial talent. .. · And, so artlessly brief, the epistle would also be pait of Horace's con,. µing skirmish with elegy (cf. A.P. 77). Tibullus has (if this is not simply a oj:atian wish-list) everything Horace has not: good looks, wisdom, elo.,ence, connections, reputation, health, easy circumstances, money:erything except what counts, mental tranquillity (12-13). His artistic ex. riments too are taking him into dangerous company. Horace prefers his )nfortable stye (15-16): me pinguem.etnitidumbene curatacute vises cum ridere voles Epicuride gregeporcum. .You must visit me, sleek and gleamingin my carefully groomed skin-when ,' ou want a good laugh at a pig from Epicurus' herd. -:~t-tanrestless Horace ever be comfortable (cf. 8. 12, below)? Underneath J-'carlcature, the self-loathing is great. ':'Jt_'.isnoteworthy that the poet still feels the need to face the Republican H:);IIe chose differently from Cassius. How does he like his place at the f?J.,iticamensa (Augustus' phrase: Vita Hor., X. 16, B.), the trough?

gf,~~ fifth

epistle is addressed to Torquatus, a patronus causarum, the l?#i.?f ~ famous family, whose ancestor, T. Manlius Torquatus, had reputiy'.ji~361 slain a gigantic Gaulish adversary and taken from him for -his ']J~omment his twisted gold collar or torques. Torquatus is asked to join cp~et at dinner, although he may expect only humble entertainment. He. )~:learn to relax. Away with giddy hopes and struggles (on the part of f\~ent:s;naturally) over money l Together they will celebrate Augustus'

?ay. /11",,ygdarnus" (Mylhv~. Myoriv, 11.u~ro?) is not a commonname at all. It seems Ji1(thatTibullus (or the Tibullan corpus) and Propertiuswould employ it, but Jltis should be treated as mere coincidence.Perhaps Tibuilus had written a , ~~us. cycle but held it back fom generalpublicationbecause of the risky triviJ~µig_. of Apollo citharoedus in no. 4. - A Tibullusposing as a Sulpiciawould not .#Jr;l?,~nso revolutionaryas appears.What aboutAlcaeus' ionici a minore put into · · .._uth..of a lovelorn woman (10 L.-P. ~ Horace,carm. HI. 12)? In choosing to ,, ...te''this particular poem by his model,Horace made his.own dramatic leanings aiifeyident.See also End Notes,p. 497, below.



Chapter Twelve

The First Book of Epistles .

As on other occasions, Philodemus' invitation to Piso to celebrate Epicurus' birthday (A.P. XI. 44) is in the poet's mind. But Torquatus is also the dedicatee of the· desolating carm. IV. 7. There, perhaps the last survivor of his once great clan, he is described as eloquent and a man of pietas, which we may understand as a profound devotion to his family and its history, though (as Aeneas shows) no Roman would have wished to separate that from "piety" more generally. · Both poems are united by the use of heredis. Inconsultus in line 15 of the first excerpt here obviously puns on iuris consultus. Horace is trying to get through to his addressee by talking his jargon (epp. I. 5. 13-15):

,;~gone their way, as its single use by Propertius (ill, 23. 6) suggests, It is · !tr.dlycomplimentary; cf. already Cic., Pro Caelio, §61, ad vinum diserti, nWHor., epp. I. 19. 16. Part of the topos anyway is that the thrill provided ')vine is in the end illusory. Pindar (fr. 124a. b, p. 103, Sn.-M.) and Bac'>1\id~s(20B. 10-16, Sn.-M.) already knew that. Horace himself had fil'.fiedagainst a tongue loosened by wine (carm. I. 18. 16). Gallus had ' .Mout its cost (Ovid, Tr. II. 446). I-{pw feebly these cliches echo when compared with Horace's unex~ ..ed'devotion elsewhere to· Bacchus, of which a couple of examples were "t~c:l(abovefrom the Carmina. 18 How much here the romance and feeling. ,;[;religiosityare missing! epistle concludes. All Torquatus needs to do is write back with ,);t1int about the number of guests he would expect to meet, and those he ~9fing along himself. A wonderful thing for the freedman's son to.think 11~~,:taining the descendant of the magistrate who had closed the gates of · ~mple of Janus in 235, the last consul to do so before Augustus. But is· Jnyitation he sends-which must of course already have been ac~ ·..7 .really that of one insider to another? Or rather .an exchange ·be.e,~;twochildless, aging men, both living now on words? What other rea:2Julc:l have induced Torquatus to come?

parcus ob heredis curam nimiumque severus adsidet insano: potare et spargere flores incipiam patiarque vel inconsultus haberi. A man who is thrifty out of a sense of responsibility to his heir, and too austere, occupies a bench nex·t to the lunatic. Let me rather drink deep and scatter flowers around. Do I care if such behaviour on my part is thought to be ill-judged?

And in carm. IV. 7 (19-20): cuncta manus avidas fugient heredis, quae dederis animo.

amico ·

There waits your heir, but everything that you have previously presented to your own friendly spirit will elude his greedy grasp ..

Horace had already enlarged on this topic (carm. II. 14. 25-28). And yet, what extraordinary advice to offer to a member of a Roman gens which has carefully ensured its continu~nce over the years by a diligent attention to marriage settlements, children, wills, and all the rest of the apparatus by. which men seek to defy their last enemy .17 Augustus was just as careful for himself- and just as anxious to ensure the fruitfulness of the old families, as Horace would shortly inform the public in his Carmen Saeculare. Here, how can he echo his gloomy saws from carm. II .. 14? The only.answer can be that Torquatus really did have no heir, and these rather crass remarks are intended as some sort of "never mind." But only an heirless and uninvolved Horace could think that any consolation. Was he uninvolved? The epistle eventually develops into an encomium of the euq>poauvri of the banquet (16-20), to which it has formed an invitation. Wine will release. us from all our cares! Fecundi calices, quern nonfecere disertum? (19). But disertum here is a word out of favour once the Neoteroi (cf. Catullus 12. 9) · 17

A fine passage in Pliny, N.H. VII. §§139-40, where we hear Q. Caecilius Metellus on his father Lucius and his accomplishments (221 B.C.). Children are among .the ten highest and greatest ambitions which a man has for his life.


~~;rise; wonderment, is the beginning of any fruitful relationship with. t~~auties of the world in which man Hves, whether as philosopher or '):M,:eut surprise· and wonderment may hamper peace of mind, and phi0auµa~£tV (Plut., de '' fi~rs as early as Pythagoras had advised µ11aev ji3). ,ffis remark had been taken up by his successors: Democri.tus, §~j)h!lnes,Epicurus, and by their rivals the Stoics. This is what epistle 6 :~mends to the now unknown Numicius; a longish poem (68 lines) and i'o/wl:iich the sermonising spirit is very close. One notes, for example, )cz{37), a goddess hailed in a diatribe by Propertius (Ill. 7. l; cf. beaia t{~nia,"Lady Money," More, Utopia, 1639 ed., p. 263). W~ wise,' argues Horace, 'we will avoid undue attachment to anynatural beauty, even to virtue. Death awaits. every man. If we ~:"tQatvirtue is what will solve our problems, then pursue it single-


::~y,~iito ·._.


already mentioned (above, p; 97, n.. 44) youthful, sympotic, .J1d~ntal Bacchi dredged up at Punta Epitaffia and now in the Castello di Bai~ 'e)ccimpared.There they are given a certain mystical significance. ; 19.8.,'._99. The

tA{~Jstider,the past, and equally Maecenas' tolerance in listening to such an 2 Perhaps it was meant as a compliment to his understanding paJg~)But equally, put in these terms, it is not the mark of a poet at un,·~1:{'ease with the new world to which his talents have opened the door. ;~t\Mena, the country was no refuge. Horace likes to tell us that it is. \frepretending? Did he realise that Mena was right? Was all his talk 'J~ifSabinum a pose? Who in the end was Horace?



of the book approaches. It is preceded by two epistles, 8 and bich'touch on Tiberius' affairs. '~:~··;ye,>. 'll>,inpvanusCelsus was .already met (epp. I. 3. 15 ff.). There; he was. ,t·0 ~tib11t purloining other poets' fine feathers, especially if their works 'ybeen distinguished by acceptance into the Palatine Library (and .:W:~reaccessible to the comparatist). Here (e.pisile 8) we learn that 1?'.~t¥1,fpromoted to be Tiberius' scriba (2), private secretary, a post #{the'one which, when Augustus offered it to him on his own staff, tripied down. . .

,r~r~~d, Celsus is to receive another warning, a unique repetition.Was :-~'iu~us?If so, for the moment at least, he conceals his annoyance. A letter on the receipt of such an honour demands an address .to l(i);·a goddess mentioned (3. 13; 19. 28) but not elsewhere actu6~edjllEpistles I, though she had been conjured in mock irony at ;f':'~iHere; she is made the mouthpiece of the poem. There is g'piriclaric about this (one thinks of the opening of Py. 4), there ~~-··-_,

~-~t~ry •'



It is the same verb for Horace, even though English speakers might employ two different words to translate it in it's varying contexts here.


~ 1fapologia

may be contrasted with Propertius'. (III. 9).


Chapter Twelve

grandiose, in this case overblown. The device enables Horace to address his correspondent in the third person, to tum an expected "thou" into an "it." Is there mock-irony here too? Celsus must be overjoyed (we assume. The poet does not tell us). What a contrast with Horace, who, in a phrase refined from the Sermones (II. 7. 2829), reports that at the time of writing he is in one of his characteristically restless moods (12): Romae Tibur amem ventosus, Tibure Roman. Fickle as the breeze, in Rome I prefer Tivoli, in Tivoli Rome. Yet he has found time and concentration enough to write this poem! This is the sort of captatio benevolentiae practised by Messana, who, as an uncomprehending Aper relates in Tacitus (Dial. 20), liked to open his remarks in · court with some reference to his poor state of health. All the· more reason then, the jury was meant to deduce, to pay attention to the forthcoming speech, which could only be delivered by so ailing a patronus out of his intense conviction of the defendant's innocence. Just so Pindar explains that he has overridden his lack of leisure (a.crxo:>da.,Isth. 1. 2) to make time to. praise his patron's achievement. Antipater of Thessaly picks up the noun in a poem to L. Calpumius Piso ('t{~ ~ Moooa.~ oua.'to~ a.crxoA.tT);A.P. IX. 428. 6). As in .ia. 2, Horace springs his trap at the· end. How is Celsus getting along with the young Prince and his staff? Is he discharging his duties to their satisfaction (14)? ut placeat iuveni percontare, utque cohorti. Ask him how he stands in the favour of the young Prince, in that of his suite. Tiberius is referred to by the noun which in serm. II. 5. 62 (iuvenis) and carm. I. 2. 41 (iuvenem) describes Octavian / Augustus; cf. iuvenum nobilium cliens of Virgil and his patrons, carm. IV. 12. 15. Later, Ovid describes Gerrrianicus as iuvenum princeps (Ex Ponto II. 5. 41). Even so, these last lines of the poem sound rather ungenerous (15-17): si dicet 'recte,' primum gaudere, subinde praeceptum ailriculis hoe instillare memento: 'ut tu fortunam, sic nos te, Celse, feremus.'

If he answers ' excellent,' begin by congratulating him, but then be careful to drop into his ears this piece of advice: 'Just as you bear with your good fortune, in that measure, Celsus, we will bear with you.'

Subinde (15) may indeed mean "often" (the Italian sovente, the French souvent), as at serm. II. 5. 103. Any whiff of that here? Fortunam must be


The First Book o/Epistles

''.rideistood within the semantic range Horace likes to impose on it. 'As you with Fortune's gift .... '· . '\,B11t presumably the best judge of his private secretary's discretion and haviour will be Tiberius. Who are the "we" of feremus? If they include ;f.iice, what will entitle him to pronounce? Is this a plurale maiestatis? :h!i,,an unbearably patronising note on which to end a letter of congratula11i-Pr is Horace simply concerned to demonstrate his superior place in -~~tju,s' literary counsels? But why not give Celsus a chance, and leave it y()i)nger men (including his employer) to assess his performance? ,J11;both letters, one (3) mentioning him, the other (8) to him, Celsus rea caution, overt in the first, in the second implied. A question arises. tjtlt)heir timing. In 20 B.C., as Epistles I came out, was Celsus appointed ')~tjtly, so that no verdict on his performance was yet possible? In that not allow him, as has been urged, the benefit of the doubt? If he i~t>i~ucceed in his post, how awkward for Horace-'--and how offensive ~~-§.heir apparent, as he then seemed-to have gone permanently on rei;&ifo,tpistle 8 with the suggestion that he might not. How· churlish in to have left hanging in the air the. notion that Celsus' work was in J{;;~:based on easily detectible plagiarisms. What implicit criticism of Jtius' ability to judge literature! Of his ability to judge the men he chose · isijntimates! But this is the very quality for which he is praised in the t:;ipistle (9. 4). )iidifferent scenario possible? Suppose ut placeat iuveni covertly hints p.ig{ours' in Rome of poor relations between Prince and secretary. Had i~Malready made a fool of himself, and is Horace wanting post factum in. if'Y~',epistles to perpetuate his reputation as a wise old bird who saw it p.gall'along? Celsus, it has perhaps turned out, was a bounder: an unpµ\m1sfplagiarist and moreover lacking in the discretion needed for his id,~~t!al position. But, from a Ciceroni.an standpoint (e;g. Rab. Post; \y.hat qegree of nastiness the poet would show in playing to Tiberius' ient'neuroses in order to kick someone who was down! ··;i'sµrprise that Hora~e was restless, mente minus validus quam corpore 7)i'C~lsus had turned his small talent into a carte d' entree giving ad·~1po)J1e future. Horace saw in him his own better double. Aging now, ~s41brhaps jealous of a success he himself found so elusive. The previriiitliseemed to indicate that he chafed at his obligations to steadfastly 'it:Miecenas. With Tiberius, Celsus might climb far higher-and on a tl~lt':nLMore reason for the poet's discontents? ~i'h~c.!>Celsus already failed for aspiring too high? Horace knew too \tltiJ.fµtility of ambition in himself to spare its indulgence in another.

·_ ~ar








The First Book of Epistles

Chapter Twelve

Whatever the truth of it all, we owe the elements of this diagnosis to the outsider poet himself, and that is his redeeming quality. Horace was anxious to be favourably viewed by the rising star. The very . next wistle (9) is addressed to Tiberius, and forms a .letter of recommendation asking for an appointment for one Septimius, perhaps not so much a literary man as a soldier. Of cours.e Horace dare not himself make any claim of friendship upon Claudius (1) Nero (4). The proper naines are evocative even now. But Septimius appears to think he can support him as someone worthy of so great an establishment (4)dignum mente domoque legentis honesta Neronis, ... worthy of the demeanour and household of a Nero so honourable in his choices. The trochaic rhythms of this line remind the listener of Homer's at>tt; £1t£tta 1teov6eicuAivetoAfuxc;avai.611; (Od. XI. 598: Sisyphus' frustrations in Hades, a line already noted in antiquity). Closely interpreted, the parallel would hint that Tiberius' efforts to select honourable members for his household are continually and punishingly baffled by fate. His life-long resentments against so many are well attested, if treated less sympathetically, by others. But perhaps Horace had not formulated any precise thought when the creative process put this vers donne in his mind .. Curiously, the rhythm recurs at epp. II. 2. l, addressed to Floros, Tiberius' amicus.

-and, to avoid the charge of failing to respond to his petitioner's request, Horace will put on some cockney cheek (Jrons urbana, 11) and commend his friend to a place on Tiberius' staff. Heinze well deduces that this letter would not have stayed in the collec. tion .if the request had been refused. Would the earlier derogatory remarks about Celsus have survived if they had not already been borne out by, his dismissal from favour? This is not the letter of an outsider, on the surface at least, so much as that of one anxious to establish his position, anxious therefore about staying inside. It is beautifully composed, but, in a country mouse, why the anxiety? If we regard the last poem of all in this book as not so much a letter as a disguised· epifogue, epistle 10·becomes the centr,epi~ce of the ·19 that remain. It is addressed to Aristius Fuscus, an old and intimate friend of the poet, already encountered in serm. I. 9 and carm. I. 22, .though otherwise nothing is known of him. Jewish origin has been conjectured (he respects tricesima sabbata at serm. I. 9. 69; integer vitae at carm. I. 22. 1 shares its theme with the first Psalm). Horace pretends to be dictating a letter to him from his country farm, and indeed from behind the shelter of the ruined Temple of Vacuna, a Sabine goddess of indeterminate attributes, among them those of Victory. We hear some familiar motifs. Aristius prefers the town, Horace the country. But what has the country to fear from the corn-


·.s~n?Its meadows are better than marble floors, its freely rushing stream itiod as any aqueduct confining its wat~r in lead pipes. This is the 18th~ juryfeeling for Nature, 'illustrated, for example, in Joseph Warton (The hysiast; or the lover of nature, 1744), already experienced in antiquity · 'pµ.-coc;k1µrov twice in Euripides, Hippolytus 73-'-87; £V 6' a.ypo'is xap1c;, A.P. IX. 360. 3, Metrodorus). There may indeed .be here ;i:~entiment shared by members of the Imperial family itself. 23 ~The·theme is enlarged. 'If the Stoics are right to tell us that we should ?\~greeably to nature," any nian who makes the wrong moral choices nature is will pay dearly for his mistake. To become too atL ,, :to anything is to have trouble surrendering it, if that time comes. \,~he stag and the horse. The horse was losing in the struggle for the J1;1g;so he called in the help.of man, at the cost of accepting bit and .:½tonce the bargain was made, there was no going back.' Here the Pll~ars to be drawing on a parable of "vatic" (ia. 17. 44) Stesichorus, Jge,QJlY, Aristotle (Rhet. II, 1393b. 9-22), in which he had warned the ;,s\lqfHimera against over-enthusiasm for, their later tyrant; Phalaris. Jhi:Swarning was too late for Augustan Rome. . . ,~~fat aut servit collecta pecunia cuique (47): "the money you have ~tf.lV!'&,Yis either your master or your servant." A Stoic maxim (and cf. :~ttf~:?4, Lk.16:13), as so often, makes a ringing conclusion. 'tile lesson of this centrally placed epistle? What is its relevance ~t~W.p~raryRoman life, to the kind of life Horace. himself was ex,Jtq,..Je,a,cl? That of rejection of the new Urbs, with the splendour of its 'g?t~~ples ·and palaces (nova haec magnificentia, Livy I. 56. 2), the }'.ulc's~rivenienceof its abundant siphons and fountains established by p,~Z,S,11rely not, as the very next epistle (with others) will confirm. But t,b.~iJ.\{Ji{tlie significance of the locale post fanum putre. Vacunae where ~u{~hat he has been dictating his letter? Again, there is something f'*bout this detail, something of Claude, of Wordsworth. What from the Campanian paesaggio, from Tintem Abbey? Vive.re ,{:;'convenienter (12): what definition of nature as "Nature" is this? 0






_jjj,tijs;>omnium templorum conditor ac restitutor, had been busy regjµ)clre,furbishing such sacred sites in Rome. Horace celebrated his .faµious ode (ill. 6). But Rome's temples would crumble again. .;I~~ki.~e, more successful, poetic rescue of humbler (but still sacred)

!)i.Jlf a

.t/~~Jt);'Aug. §72. 6; S. Settis, La Villadi Livia. Le pareti ingannevoli(above, ,)f48).A'visit

to the murals now in the Palazzo Massimo is enlightening ..


ruins, not now in the Urbs but in the countryside? After the collapse of urban structures at the end of the Western Empire, the country estates, villae, would survive as self-sufficient economic units, and this would be the · - model eventually followed by the monasteries in their effort to keep something alive during the depredations of the Northern and Saracen barbarians. Lose one, the others are left. Is the autarkic, vatic poet, in spite of his official propaganda in carm. IV in the service of Roma aeterna (below p. 367), outsider enough to be already dimly aware of what things would come to in the end? 24 Horace needs the challenge provided by Aristius Fuscus. This is a poem whose value for the comparatist' s enquiries is still to be understood.

In epistle 11, Bullatius (otherwise unknown) has been travelling around · the Aegean islands and the beautiful cities of Asia Minot, th~ latter a theme familiar from Catullus, and even now in ruins still evocative to the modern visitor. What are his impressions? Is he tired of being always on the move? 'I myself could even live in a hole such as Lebedus, if there, forgetful of my friends and forgotten by them, with Sophocles' hero I could watch the sea's turbulence from a sheltering shore. ' 25 'But the traveller with Rome as his destination is not satisfied with such compromises. What matters is a sound disposition. That makes your lovely cities irrelevant. If Fortune smiles, even at Rome we can praise their foreign attractions without needing to go there' (cf. laudabunt alii, carm. I. 7. 1). 'Take what Fortune offers. It is reason and common sense that quell care, not places with an ocean view. On the other side, you will find that rushing over the sea changes nothing if you are part of your own baggage. We think 24

The First Book 1J/Epistles

Chapter Twelve

Cf. Lebedus in the very next poem (7-8) and note. Compare in general such passages as Rutilius Namatianus, De Reditu Suo, I. 47-66; Hildebert (ll-12th c.), par tibi, Roma, nihil, cum sis prope tota ruina, cited in Raby, History of ChristianLatin Poetry, pp. 266-68. Is Horace indeed the first late-antique poet, alternating praises of aurea Roma (Ausonius, Ordo Urbium Nobilium, I. 1: 4th c.), implicit in. epistle 11 here (and cf. regia Roma at 7. 44), or of the Roman ideal in general, with , idyllic descriptions of Nature? Yet Horace's ia. 2 attests a personal problem, and equally the Sturm und Drang of his Aufidus (above, pp. 35-36), when contrasted with Ausonius' serene Masella. 25 Lebedus, once an important city in Asia Minor, since decayed, was still the headquarters of the ~iovuoiaicot 'tEX\'l'ta.t(theatricalartists) of the region. An evoca-/ tion of the mariner, now safely on shore and in bed beneath a sheltering roof, listen-· ing to the pouring rain (10), found also in Cicero (ad Att. II. 7. 4), is ascribed to Sophocles' Tympanistae, though of its plot nothingis known. Lucretius' Suave, mari . magno (II. 1) has a similar thought: cf. Tib. I. 1. 45-48. The preceding line 9 here in Horace is the or.iginalof Pope's "the world forgetting,by the world forgot" (Eloisa to Abelard, 208).


,~ and pony expresses will take us to a good life, but. what you seek is , ,1\It is even at Farmer City, so long as you keep your mental balance.' . masterly poem (and the laudes ltaliae of Propertius Ill. 22 do not an~r.it), with some wonderful lines:


caelum, non animum, mutant qui trans mare currunt. (27) quod petis hie est, est Ulubris, animus si te non deficit aequus.(29--JO) :;;~i!~~:.


Jtis not however always easy to follow, partly because its two halves \~ cohere. If the man of inner calm can be happy anywhere, why ieave ~µs? Flatteringly for his emperor, the poet uses Rome to symbolise the }~hich the restless traveller is seeking, almost as.if it were some nev. §aj~m, to reach which he must abandon all temporary stopovers, howltwelcoming for the moment. 26 This at least takes back some of the imi:~ons of the previous poem (epp. I. 10). But not,. in the end, entirely. It :}.Rome that matters. Each man's goal is within himself and; once he that, he can be happy even at Ulubrae (a little town among the piptine marshes)-even at D.eadwood Creek. Even with Cassiodorus at \iarium, with Benedict at Monte Cassino? ',ls;_Horace talking to us or himself? Is a second voice heard in vv. 7-10 Q'I') or not (Heinze, Borzsak)? Is there deliberate irresolution? Th~ reader j,Jhe allusion to Fortuna (20) and the use of the verb fortuno (22; in and Livy but only here in Horace). If Fortune smiles, Rome will be gij~h. But in the end we have to win the inner struggle, Then it does not ~#~t\Vhere we may find ourselves. The edifying Stoic cosmopolitanism ~--~/.\.,:mundo,Lucan II. 383 of Cato; cf. the religious 1eo c_oni. ffamowitz, Pindar; Paean 6. 58-59. How old was Horace's Pindanc cmppanson "' himself to 11bee (carm. IV. 2. 27; cf. Py. 10. 54) before it was actually incorpo. into a published poem? Did the reciting vates actually try out various flights of y in provisional samples and then later fuse them into more polished contexts?


Brutus 51. §191; cf. Seneca, Epp. 7. 10~11). It took the genius ofHorace to substitute, for Plato, a Platonic q>UM~, custos, Augustus. 50 The·epistle remains one of the most opaque documents we have from the poet, to some extent because, whatever his, "edict" was (10), and however important it was, he did not .choose to transmit it totidem verbis to posterity. What promised to be an apologia pro poetae vita speaks therefore only in muffled tones. If the poet was really so successful as all that, so well adjusted to his ambience, should he not, by this time, after the bold language of carm. III. 30, have been able to explain himself in clearer terms? · Epistle 20 concludes the collection. Horace bids farewell to his book, which is itching for the wider world, like some sexually precocious young slave. 51 'All right,' he says, 'be off, even though many trials and tribulations · await. You will be admired in Rome while you have novelty on your side. But then your lover will be sated; and after that, soiled by being passed from hand to hand among the common crowd, you will find that exile to. Africa or Spain looms. You will even become a school text. There at least ·you can pass on a few details about your author: that he overcame his disadvantage of birth and spread his wings more widely than his nest; that he · was quick to lose his temper, and quick to regain his equanimity; that he was 44 years old as he wrote.' . The image of the slave, climaxing what was meant to be the poet's last work, recurs at the start of Epistles II. 2 (puerum, 2), in what was actually, in all probability, his last work. By chance? So his book will suffer the loss of its chastity (pudico, 3) by going out to . find its audience. Catullus' address to his book at the start of his poems has been interpreted in the same sense, with less plausibility (arido modo pumice expolitum, Cat. I. 2 ~ pumice mumlus, Hor., epp. I. 20. 2).52 Nowadays; with no agreed sexual morality, and chastity rated a neurosis, this sort of innuendo has little force. In Rome, such things still mattered. One thinks of Cicero on Verres' early career (Verr. 5. §§3~-34). In Augustan Roine, perhaps they mattered more. Yet Horace here comes over as another young · Verres. Once again, he plays the buffoon in orderto .disarm his audience. 50

Cf. lovis auribus, 19. 43. This equationof Augustuswith Jupiter is insistent in surely not Horace (e.g. carm. III. 5 init., where praesens divus is 8e~ E1tt1p!lVTli;), without official connivance.Cf. Z.ijva.tov Aiveao,iv, A.P. IX. 307. 4 (Philippuson Tiberius or Caligula).The Naples statue (above,pp. 82,218) is again relevant. 51 The reader is reminded of Tibullus on Marathus' desertion(I. 9). In general on this epistle, W. S. Anderson, "Horatius liber, child and freedman's free son," Arethusa 28 (1995), 151-164. 52 Propertiusseems to interpret the metaphorquite innocently:III. 1. 8. ·.


The First Book of Epistles

Chapter Twelve

ij:utwho precisely will be in exile at Utica or Herda (v. 13)? Utica was ~r,eNaevius fled, and Cato met his death. Herda had played some part in sar's •campaign against Pompey's lieutenants in Spain (Caesar, Bell. ·}+u 41 ff.; Lucan IV: 144, 261). Why these names with these associaµs%Who is the old, lisping schoo.lmaster (18), with a surprisingly colour}p~st, rambling on to his class (who, with the future on their side, do not faJiurse care) in the symbolically late afternoon sun about his glory


. .


•;, prace transmutes libertino patre natum (serm. I. 6. 6, 45, 46) into Ub(!rkH~atum patre (20). Did that tinkering help? In his intended last poem, · ii::he still nags. ..;,lmiist quote again two lines already heard (epp. I. 20. 22-23): \·'/


ut, quantumgeneri demas,virtutibusaddas; me primis Urbis belli placuissedomique. :he pleased the leading men of Rome belli domique (23)? The .passage ~izling. No doubt Horace had done something on the home front (domi) \1:grace to the new regime, the new Golden Age. But in what way had "~clfavour belli? As a soldier, he had done nothing for Caes~, 54 and :~not boast about Brutus! Belli domique has to be understood as one .:~emerisms, common in Latin and frequent also in Greek and Hebrew, 'ged, to cover all possibilities ("exhaust the universe of discourse") like riim(lrique at 16. 25. 55 And what is this distinction between genusand t,~~j22)? In the epitaph of Scipio Hispanus (p. 197 above) we found:




\i:irtutes·generis mieis moribusaccumulavi. ",~~dedto the gloriousachievementsof my hotiseby my character. -~~~ner cruelly comments that this meant he had nothing else to show. ?~~tic6aµcp'tOOV 6t' UU'tO'U euayyeAtOOV T\yeve0Atoc;'tO'U0eou (= Augustus), Priene inscriptions 105. 40 (9 B.C.). See epp. I. 5. 9-11; E. Norden, Die. Geburt des Kindes (repr. Stuttgart 1958), p. 157, n. 2; Guglielmo Braun, "La originaria nazionalita di Orazio," Archeografo Triestino 5 (1877-78), 279-80; below, p.·. 372, on shamash. ·


:'':k:youth I have chosen," Ps. 89:4, NEB) and untainted should appear ,~ i~hr•and sol iustitiae (:ip1Y. 1ZJl.)1ZJ, Malachi 4:2 ""carm. IV. 2. 46-47), · e4,ing,in his wings" (:l'!lJ:JJ ~!l11.)~ ales in terris, carm. L 2. 42). 16 \tJhe situation was stabilised, how Jong did this Mercury, this Hnedicus, intend to stay? The Roman nobilis lived for the annual I\i:th,e Campus Martius from which, using fair means or foul, he tr1erge l\S victor, to strut for a year on the stage of the public theA1~ifire:those he had worsted-and before the Roman plebs (o plebs, •··•}114.l )- amid the pomp of public office, before eventually. setting lj;\ij~'.support of the most efficient killing machine the Mediterra*~t\l.f;,l}adever seen, to recoup his expenses from the provinces; per''''j('.~j:>conquer some new province and win from his admiring fel,\c~pme a triumph raising him for one delirious day to the level of I. 1. 6-8; epp. I. 17. 33-34). :ijJhis feverish competition could be sustained only for brief bouts. ~}~cipio Maior, Scipio Asiaticus, Scipio Minor, for example, were it1~itory figures. At the end, Julius Caesar himself, four times a.tripr/was finished off by assassins. His stays in Rome were anyway 'f~d;t>y long absences. Perhaps he even planned, like Constantine :.hifiiehis capital to the East. But Octavian meant to stay, not for a Jif~r•a•year, but permanently; and, as this truth gradually percolated )sppsciousness of the Roman upper class and its great families, it ",ilyhave been unwelcome. How could they bear to be robbed of the · "£!':and adrenalin of their great game? Their resentment bred, not '1:,{wconspiracies. They failed. ',figr,ia'(Prop. IV. 6. 62): but liberty cannot be restored by tyranny, SJ,lre.whole contradiction dragging down Carmina IV. Pindar's ,!!;§ho:,vrilong ago that tyrants grow suspicious and tired O,:(ncow; ■ 4;Jv,q,ucrrov,Py. 3. 7, both addressed to :ij1ero). Cum tot sustmeas et :gffi~,:sqlus says Horace at the start of Epistles II. 1, addressed (by· Solus, "alone": that is certainly a religious term ,.~XitC>/A;ugustus. u,fI~i~n,eral needs officers, an administrator needs deputies. There iix/ibi◊fsuitable young men, unexpected since Peace (as C71ZJ a basic






fueie,(klip; "wing") is related to OJ:>(knm, "gnats," "lice"). !:>J::> may describe sj9fonse~ts and birds-and the overshadowing power of Jahwe (Ps. 17:8 J(i:itly,~oi:nparecJ to the outspread wings of the Sun-disk. If knp is the root of i~Vdipicit:c:onopium (ia. 9. 16) neatly combines both Hebrew notions. Oct\v~~jlt"slowto learn from such ancient ideas, and Horace, shocked before i:iaJI9,;:l5),'. now .became in Carmina IV, with his hinted identification of Au,,, '1$u~}.,hismouthpiece. "-r ..



Carmina N: Poems 1-5

Chapter Thirteen


part of the Hebrew theory of monarchy) was traditionally 1CoupotpO