Horace's Narrative Odes 0198150539, 9780198150534

This book analyzes the different use of lyric and narrative in Horace's Odes. On the formal level, numerous odes co

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Horace's Narrative Odes
 0198150539, 9780198150534

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Horace’s Narrative




Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford 0x2 6dp Oxford New York Athens Auckland Bangkok Bogota Bombay Buenos Aires Calcutta Cape Town Dar es Salaam Delhi Florence Hong Kong Istanbul Karachi Kuala Lumpur Madras M adrid Melbourne Mexico City Nairobi Paris Singapore Taipei Tokyo Toronto and associated companies in Berlin Ibadan Oxford is a trade mark of Oxford University Press Published in the United States by Oxford University Press Inc., New York © Michèle Lowrie 1997 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press. Within the UK, exceptions are allowed in respect of any fair dealing for the purpose o f research or private study, or criticism or review, as perm itted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, or in the case of reprographic reproduction in accordance with the terms of the licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside these terms and in other countries should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, a t the address above British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Data available Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Data available ISBN 0-19-815053-9 1 3 5 7 9

xo 8 6 4 2

Typeset by J&L Composition Ltd, Filey, North Yorkshire Printed in Great Britain on acid-free paper by Biddles Ltd, Guildford and King’s Lynn

for Seth


This book analyses the place of narrative within lyric as exemplified in Horace’s O des. I consider the theoretical antinomy between narrative and lyric, all the while recognizing narrative’s historical importance for the lyric genre, and more specifically its importance within this parti­ cular oeuvre. In addition to providing close readings of the odes that tell stories, I attempt to give an account of the larger story Horace’s O d es tell as a unified corpus. This story contains many disjunctions, but by and large, the O d e s narrate their poet’s autobiography: how he struggles to balance the claims of aesthetics and the poetics of the small associated with Roman Callimacheanism, with the cultural need for political poetry in the aftermath of civil war. A different solution emerges from the two collections, O d es 1-3 and O d e s 4, though each employs similar techniques. I am less interested in measuring Horace’s story against historical truth—that is, in analysing such pressure as Augustus may have placed on him to write praise poetry·—than in understanding the story itself, whether true or false. I apologize, sincerely, if conventionally, for adding to the already vast bibliography on Horace’s O des —I know the labour of sifting through it. Constraints of space prohibit extensive discussion of sec­ ondary sources: the references indicate what has been formative for me, and offer clues for following up earlier bibliography. My transla­ tions are for the Latinless reader and aim for accuracy, though not literalness. Unless stated otherwise, I follow Borzsäk’s (1984) text, not out of any great love for it, but because it seems more economical to point out where one follows the less conventional reading, than to adopt a more radical text such as Shackleton Bailey (1985) and signal the acceptance of tradition. Where emphasis has been added, it is mine. I have tried to gloss technical vocabulary for the benefit of non-classicists, but fear my attempts will not satisfy those unfamiliar with these terms while annoying those who know them. Please forgive.


P reface

The following have read all or parts of drafts at various stages and made countless improvements for which I am most grateful: Seth Benardete, Cynthia Damon, Lowell Edmunds, Denis Feeney, Don Fowler, Micaela Janan, Joel Lidov, Joyce Lowrie, Phillip Mitsis, Gregory Nagy, Michael Putnam, Richard Thomas, and the anonymous readers. I am thankful for the criticism from the audiences who have responded to various portions of this book presented at the American Philological Association, Bryn Mawr, the City University of New York, the Classical Association, the Classical Association of the Atlantic States, Cornell, Harvard, New York University, Princeton, Rutgers, and Wesleyan. Comments by John Bodel, Stephen Harrison, Mary Jaeger, Christina Kraus, Jim Luce, R. G. M. Nisbet, Deborah Roberts, Seth Schein, Sarolta Takäcs, Brent Vine, Stephen Wheeler, Tony Woodman, have all made a difference. I thank my students for bearing with me, and single out Thomas Livesey and Menakshi Venkatasubramian for mak­ ing me see things in different ways. Space, again, prohibits attribution of individual helpful remarks (or objections), although I occasionally attribute comments worth mention that I hesitate to endorse. The grant of a Presidential Fellowship from New York University gave me much-needed time to concentrate on writing. Rosemary Brooks provided invaluable editorial assistance as has Elizabeth Alsop at OUP. I thank C lassical W o rld for permission to reprint revisions of part of Lowrie (1994). Several people deserve special thanks. Richard Tarrant gave generous and critical advice during and after supervising the dissertation, ‘Hor­ ace's Lyric Exempla' (Harvard 1990), out of which this book grew. Although less than a third derives from my dissertation, all of which has undergone substantial revision, exemplarity remains a constant concern. John Henderson’s reading of the penultimate draft: shook up my formalist certainties, and challenged me far more than I will ever admit. To my husband, Seth Fagen, I owe happiness, and more.



A b b r e v ia tio n s


In tro d u c tio n

Part I. The Poetics of Presence/The Poetics of Immortality 1. Lyric Discourses


2. The Time of Writing and of Song


3 . Forbidding Mourning


Part II. Lyric Narratives 4 . Programmatic Narrative: Degrees of Relevance 5 . History and Epic: Civil War

97 138

6. Personal Narrative and the Fantastic, or, the Poet Out o f Bounds 7 . History and Epic: The Roman Odes

187 224

8. Narrative Seduction


9 . Praising Caesar


R eferences


In d e x L o co ru m


G en era l In d e x


M.L. N e w York U n iv e rsity F eb ru a ry



c Gentili Klotz LSJ

Mynors NH (1970) NH (1978) O LD



Radt Sk SLG



V West

E. Courtney (1993) (ed.), T he F ra g m e n ta ry L a tin P oets (Oxford). B. Gentili (1958) (ed.), A n a c re o n (Rome). A. Klotz (1953) (ed.). T ragicoru m fr a g m e n ta . G reek-E n glish L exicon, with a supplement (1968) (Oxford; ist pubi. 1843). R. A. B. Mynors (1958) C. V alerii C a tu lli c a rm in a (Oxford). R. G. M. Nisbet and M. Hubbard (1970) (eds.), A C o m m e n ta r y on H orace: O d e s B o o k 1 (Oxford). eid. (1978) (eds.), A C o m m e n ta r y on H orace: O d e s B o o k 2 (Oxford). O x fo rd L a tin D ic tio n a r y (1982) (Oxford). H. Peter (1993) (ed.), H isto ric o r u m R o m a n o r u m R eliq u ia e, 2 vols. (Stuttgart; voi. 1, 2nd edn. 1914; voi. 2, ist pub. 1906). R. Pfeiffer (1985) C a llim a c h u s (Oxford; ist pub. 1949). D. Page (1962) P o e ta e M e lic i G raeci (Oxford). S. Radt (1985) (ed.), T ragicoru m G ra eco ru m F ra g m en ta , voi. 3: A esch ylu s (Gottingen). O. Skutsch (1985) T h e A n n a ls o f Q u in tu s E n n iu s (Oxford). D. Page (1974) (ed.). S u p p le m e n tu m L yricis G raecis (Oxford). B. Snell and H. Maehler (1970) (eds.) B acch ylidis c a rm in a cum fragmentis (Leipzig); also B. Snell and H. Maehler (1975) (eds.) P in d a ru s, p a r s II, fr a g m e n ta (Leipzig). T h esau ru s L in g u a e L a tin a e (1900- ) (Leipzig). E. -M. Voigt (1971) (ed.), S a p p h o e t A lcaeu s: F ra g m en ta (Amsterdam). M. L. West ( 1989 ) (ed.) la m b i e t E legi G raeci2 (Oxford).


‘Narrative’ is hardly the first word to come to mind when thinking about Horace’s O des. Why is this? Because ostensibly the O d e s are lyric, and narrative belongs to other genres. Because Horace speaks as a lyric ego, as if to persuade rather than inform or entertain his addressee (and his reader).1 Because the central didactic message of the O d e s is carpe d ie m , a maxim that not only enjoins us to live in the present, but evokes the poetry of the present: its locus is the symposium (Davis 1991). Sympotic poetry entails conversation and song, but song that keeps to the moment, inscribes its own occasion, and does not go on at length about the events of the mythic past. Such is a simplified version of commonplace assumptions about the genre and philosophy of the O des —assumptions that are reasonable, if not entirely correct. We may, however, raise objections: Horace does tell stories, and myth is central to epinician—to name only the most conspicuous of the lyric subgenres to contain extended narrative.12 Moreover, telling stories is one mode of discourse. And the digressions into myth hardly amount to an interest in the past p e r se, but rather aim to tell us something of present relevance. A concern that runs throughout this book is the relation of unity to disunity. On the one hand, narrative is a type of discourse distinct from the direct utterance that constitutes lyric; on the other, this distinction hardly excludes it. My question is how a category of dis­ course at variance with an essential aspect of the genre in which it is found, can be made to fit without bursting at the seams. This question 1 On Horace as a ‘speaking’ poet, see Heinze ( 1923 ) esp. 180-4 on persuasion; Citroni ( 1983 ). 2 That is, that has survived. Dithyramb is the primary lyric genre associated with narrative in antiquity, Pickard-Cambridge (1927) ch. 1; Harvey (1955) 173—4. Bacchylides’ dithyrambs, though fragmentary, give some indication o f what a lyric primarily concerned with narrative would look like. The high degree o f narrative in Stesichorus seems to be exceptional, M. L. West (1971); also Herington (1985) 19-20.

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is of particular interest for a poet like Horace, who tends to p r e s s the limits of unity wherever possible. To attempt an answer requires looking as much at Horace’s definition of lyric, as at the aspects of his poetry that overstep the limits of his definition. This book therefore addresses lyric as much as it does narrative. Am I putting the cart before the horse? To reach my aim, would it not be more productive to begin by looking at the centre instead of at a secondary or marginal category of discourse? I think we can only truly approach the centre by examining the edges, the points where lyric begins to turn into something else. Horace’s hallmarks are negation and disavowal; his poetry defines itself largely by saying what it is not. It is precisely on the boundaries of what is not, or not overtly lyric that distinguishing generic and discursive categories will emerge.3 A favourite Horatian technique for establishing limits is to make some explicit statement, which his subsequent practice contradicts, but only by so much. He moves from an initial limiting gesture, to an expansive one, back to a compromise between the two. That is, his crossing the limits he has established, in itself serves a definitional purpose.4 In the meantime the actual border blurs. What does that mean for lyric? Can lyric be what he tells us it is, when he so ostentatiously fails to abide by what he tells us? Is it strictly the initial definition, or is it the initial definition plus the hazy area that surrounds it? Is the transgression itself central to Horace’s conception of his genre, or even to the very concept of genre? For my topic, such questions entail a further one: is lyric distinct from narrative in the sense of excluding it, or does lyric rather include what is distinct from itself? Categories which at first appear antithetical at a certain point begin to look more inclusive. This means that two categories operate at the same time: lyric narrowly construed to exclude narrative, and lyric broadly construed to include it. Beyond the relation of lyric to narrative, this book is also about the articulation of incompatibles, that is, it is about the structure of the relationship as much as about the relationship itself. This question has led to a number of other divides more familiar to the study of Latin poetry: public/private, gen u s gra n d e!g en u s te n u e (the high and the light 3 See W ilkinson (1968) 93 with n. 1 on Horace’s ‘negativity’, which includes ‘refusal, dissuasion or deprecation’. Davis (1991) makes of disavowal almost a technical term for the double process o f assimilation and disavowal. 4 This holds true throughout the Horatian corpus. See Freudenburg (1993) for Horace’s theory o f satire.

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styles), epic/lyric. The terms of these dichotomies, which in theory line up together neatly to form a general alliance between high, public, and epic, over against light, private, and lyric, in practice consistently overstep the borders. The same goes for male/female, civilized/barbarian, East/West, rational/irrational—the categories multiply. I examine the lyric/narrative dichotomy as a way into the central bothersome question of Horatian lyric: what keeps these poems together when they try so hard to drive themselves apart? My aims are twofold. I first seek to understand the role of narrative in Horatian lyric by the close reading of poems that contain stories told at some length; this is a formal concern. These poems deserve separate analysis because many of them share difficulties of interpreta­ tion which can be elucidated by bringing them under the same analytic lens.5 Their departure from the norm reveals something central about Horatian lyric and its definition. Contrary to the status of narrative as a formal category, the actual odes containing narrative are far from marginal’. Many of Horace’s narratives have to do with politics, whether they narrate contemporary or ancient history (C. 1. 37, 2. 1 and the Roman Odes 3. 3, 3. 4 and 3. 5, for example). These poems raise some of the most controversial questions in the study of Augu­ stan poetry: the poet’s relation to Augustus, his poetry’s relation to praise, and to political discourse. Some questions informing the close readings are: how narrative affects the lyric voice; how the telling of a story is integrated into the context of its telling; what the motivations are, both explicit and implicit, for engaging in story-telling; how the content of the story sits in relation to its rhetorical motivation. This last is particularly impor­ tant for the mytho-historical exemplum, since the degree of closeness of the fit between the chosen story and the point it exemplifies, allows us to examine the gap between poetic and rhetorical demands. The story’s appropriateness will also be an im portant gauge for the correla­ tion of political and poetic aims where story-telling either makes or deflects direct statements about civil war ór the princeps. My second aim is to transgress the constraints of formalistic defini­ tions of narrative or lyric by considering the larger narrative that is Horace’s O des. This narrative tells a story about the role of the poet in relation to the ruler, society, friendship, eroticism, and, in large part, to 5 Harrison (1993) brings together many o f these poems within the more restricted context o f genre.

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poetry itself. In other words, the story is about power: about desiring it and the obstacles in its way. The lyric stance as narrowly construed keeps the poet to a ‘safe’ place where it does not matter if he conflicts (or not) with the new principate. Such studied irrelevancy is a large part of Horace’s story, and the retreat to an Epicurean garden of aesthetics has its appeal. But not only does Horace tell a larger story that itself encompasses the lyric garden, the act of telling it gives him the power to determine to a large degree the reception of his age, among his contemporaries as well as posterity. Horace is a political poet even at his most reclusive. The tug-of-war between lyric and narrative surpasses the formal conflict within the aesthetic realm, to encompass that between aesthetics and ideology. In order to gain access to this story, we must engage in a lyric manner of reading: by fitting together units of sense at all levels, from the smallest, the word, through the larger sentences and stanzas, to individual odes, to books and collections. Each collection, O d e s 1-3 and O d e s 4, tells its own story, and the two conjoined tell yet another. Contrary to a narrative whose aim is to get the story told—a trans­ parent ideal existing only in theory (if there)—lyric narrative throws up obstacles to sense-making. Pre-eminent among the obstacles is lyric form: the stanza, the metre, the very texture of the language directs attention toward the signifier. The repetition of basic units such as the stanza within poems and the recurrence of metres as we read from poem to poem keeps the linear time of narrative from moving for­ ward. In contrast to such circularity, the finality of the ends of stanzas, poems, books, and collections, creates multiple breaks that set provi­ sional closure on sense again and again. Lyric keeps fragmenting any monolithic narrative sense. Our task is to address the problem of discontinuity at all levels in the attempt to see to a whole, which, I believe, does have a consistency beyond the internal contradictions of its constituent parts. Unity and its dark cousin disunity have tended to migrate over the course of this century. The question is not only what source gives rise to unity or its antonym, but what textual entity can be said to possess it. The source can be the author, the text, the reader, or the less localized process of communication involving all three. The author and reader can be understood as real historical persons outside of the text, as functions of textuality, or as both—a scenario which entails a doubling between the historical author and the author as manifested in the text, between a historical reader (me, for instance) and the implied

reader the text constructs as a guide to the historical reader. This implied reader may differ yet again from the addressee. Any of these scenarios could pertain equally well to any of a number of entities: an individual poem, a book, a collection of books published as a unit, all the books of an author in the same genre, a poet’s literary corpus across generic divides. Furthermore, within each entity, unity can be gauged according to the object of representation, the logical coherence of thought or of imagery, or the consistency of the discourse that conveys the representation or thought. Despite Horace’s often quoted s im p l e x . . . e t u n u m (‘single and one’, A .P . 23), unity does not admit of a singular definition. Depending on one’s object of study, different sources of unity stand out as more plausible— and vice versa. The mind of the author per­ force leads one to consider the corpus as a whole. Interest in genre makes other works by other authors more relevant than works in other genres by the same author, and similarly entails a greater focus on the act of communication: genre is a contract with the reader. Interest in discrete works of art, whether individual poems or a collection, brings back the mind of the author, though not writ large as in the interest in entire corpora, but rather as manifested in one train of thought. It is in this context that the doubling of the author as a historical personage and as evidenced in the text comes into play. Analysis purports to reveal the thought expressed in the text rather than claiming to attain to some deep-seated habit of thought of a historical author, who may very well have generally had other concerns (poets like Calvus come to mind). If consistency of discourse rather than coherence of thought (or imagery) is the main aim of analyses of poems or collections, the act of communication as a whole again assumes greater importance for unity than the mind of the author understood as something transcen­ dent and external. All of these positions have been important for the understanding of unity in Horace. A survey or account of this issue in the literary criticism of this century would overstep the boundaries of my sub­ ject—I mean only to point out that the very issue of unity admits of a certain disunity, one that keeps resurfacing no matter how we define the problem. Let us take some representative instances from Horatian scholarship.6



6 This survey touches only on unity. General surveys are Harrison (1995 h) and D. P. Fowler (1993).

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Few people would now locate unity in the object of representation; such a neo-classical stance goes against our sense that a Horatian ode typically ends up in a different place from where it started. And yet this criterion has plagued the interpretation of C. i. 9 ( v id e s u t a lta ) until very recently (Edmunds 1992). How does the beginning with the snow-covered mountain square with the ending in an urban summer scene? How does the symposium mediate the transition? The objects within the poem have no unity except in the discourse that brings them together. Over against ‘subject matter/ Nisbet and Hubbard (1970: xxiii) identify ‘formal structures’ as the criterion for unity in individual odes. Whether these be understood as rhetorical structures of argument or as constellations of poetic topoi, emphasis shifts away from what is represented to the representing discourse. But subject matter, if insufficient as an organizing principle for individuated poetic utterances, nevertheless cannot be dismissed so easily. As one of many constitutive factors in genre definition (epic is about heroes, lyric about lovers and drinkers), subject matter is a powerful tool for the generation of conventions and topoi. The identification of ‘formal structures’ entails a familiarity with the conventions governing them, and this in turn entails looking outside an individual poem or author if not as the source of unity, at least as the single determining factor. Fraenkel’s famous analysis of C. 3. 4 against the backdrop of Pindar’s P y th ia n 1 starts from the premiss that we find it hard to see the relation between the personal and the political parts of the ode (1957: 273-85). But instead of revealing some hitherto unobserved logical connection that would tie together the two parts, he looks outside the poem itself to an intertext. Pindar’s formulation of the relation of poetic to political power, α ρ μ ο ν ία (har­ mony), is brought to bear also on C. 3. 4. Such a solution—whether or not this instance satisfies as an interpretation—calls into question the extent to which we can look at either individual poems or poetic voices as autonomous wholes. If something is lacking in the poem it must be found so m ew h ere, if not inside. Nisbet and Hubbard in the next generation accordingly devote their energies to charting intertexts and topoi to fill in the gaps in individual odes (1970 and 1978). Although the individual ode has held and continues to hold pride of place as the object of analysis, the difficulty of considering a poem a self-sufficient entity—even by Horatians with New Critical leanings such as Commager— opens the way for a number of different methods of broadening the spectrum, even beyond such considerations as topoi,


genre, intertexts, and traditions. The mind of the author is often adduced to account for the repetition of subjects, topoi, and motifs from one poem to the next, and from this it is only a step to the interest manifested in the 1980s in the unity of collections. Commager sees unity in individual poems as well as in their parti­ cipation in ‘Horace’s total output’. Although his interest in recurrent themes would appear to assign some continuity to the lyric genre, he rather locates the originative force of these recurrent images in the mind of the author: ‘Certain themes and images are persistent and point to what seem to be the abiding concerns or habits of his imagination’ (1967: viii).7 Reckford, who finds a unity in the collection over and above the v a r ia tio of individual treatments, also grounds it in the author: ‘A “field of force” exists, not just . . . in the separate strophe or ode, but in the collection. . . . not the organic unity (sim p le x e t u n u m ) of the single ode, or the A e n e ià , but an implied, subjective unity, partly evident in the way one poem sheds light on another . . . ; partly, too, in our growing intuition of the personality of Horace . . .’ (1969: 16-17). I must admit to a certain scepticism about the mind of the author used in this way since it seems to mask, through an appeal to a transcendent external reality, a mere externalization of an internal similarity. The appeal to the author begs the question of what it all adds up to and displaces the object of study from something accessible to something out of our ken; it mystifies. I am happy to use proper names as metonymies for texts: Horace stands for everything that has come down to us under his name. But I balk at the study of person­ ality, the subject of historians or psychologists. The v ita H o r a ti (24) tells us that Horace liked to have sex in rooms completely surrounded by mirrors so that he could view the act of coitus no matter which direction he looked. What is the status of the difference between this piece of information, usually politely overlooked by critics and com­ mentators, and the other more palatable and deemed more useful information that Augustus called Horace by all sorts of playful nick­ names (p u r is s im u m p e n e m , ‘a very pure prick’, and h o m u n c io n e m lepidissim u m , ‘a very charming little man’, 16)? If we admit the latter, why is the former out of bounds, apart of course from questions of authenticity—but how to determine authenticity? The question before 7 Such seems to be the conception underlying Lyne’s (1995) poetic biography o f Horace’s politics, although his chapter on unity addresses only that o f poems (59-67).

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us has changed from the unity of texts to that of persons; the latter explodes the confines of the former. I prefer the limitation of a view of the author as the externalization of the text, the true object of literary study, to a transcendent reality whose relevance may be tangential. The ‘mind of the author’ as manifested in the text is, after all, what remains of the historical Horace and it is a m u lta . . . p a r s (‘great part’, C. 3. 30. 6).8

However one goes about defining the mind of the author, coherence of thought is more easily referred to it, than are some other equally important aspects of poetry. Sound and the visual properties of words on the page can develop their own resonances beyond denotative functions. Nietzsche’s famous appraisal of Horace suggests that words may develop signifying capacities on their own: ‘This mosaic of words, in which every word by sound, by position, and by meaning diffuses its influence to right and left and over the whole’ (Wilkinson 1968: 4). Sound and position have as much to do with the network of inter­ connections within the whole as does meaning. It is hard to determine whether the image of the vine D. West discovers at the end of C. 1. 11, where reseces (‘you will cut back’, 7) and carpe (‘pluck’, 8) connote pruning (1967: 57-64), is more a feature of the meaning of these words or of their close position. If the latter, does the image redound to the author or to the superadded capacity of words to resonate in proximity to one another? The question about how the proximity of words generates meaning can be asked on a larger scale about poems. If an ode is in Nietzsche’s image a mosaic of words, a book is a mosaic of poems. The textual artefact consists of many pieces, which in turn consist of smaller ones. Whereas the mosaic of the poem should generate a coherent picture, the mosaic of the book or collection should by analogy generate a series of pictures that add up to a larger narrative. The interest in poetry books and collections that dominated Horatian scholarship in the 1980s represents such an approach.9 While the individual ode remains the primary unit of signification, the progress of meaning over the course of a collection depends as much on the position of poems within the larger whole as on the simple accumulation of mass. Porter uses the metaphor of the ‘journey’, but one could equally well 8 Conte (1994) xix speaks o f ‘the text’s intentionality— which is not a naive recourse to the author’s intention.’ 9 Porter (1987); Santirocco (1986); Putnam (1986); Dettmer (1983).


speak of an argument. Coherence of thought within this larger entity faces greater challenges than within a single ode, because sense must be made of apparently contradictory stances. The articulation of each stance may have its own interpretive problems, but these are com­ pounded when brought together. The disavowal of the high style in C. i. 6, for instance, must be measured against its embrace in the Roman Odes—a disparity that need not be addressed if we take individual poems as self-sufficient.10 This does not mean that the contradictions have to be erased or smoothed over, but they do have to be situated within a context of developing thought in which one can see how one stance leads to another, until the final product looks different from the point of departure. This ‘thought’ is an argument made through the text. Davis (1991) proposes a different solution to the issue of unity along the lines of Bundy’s (1986) work on Pindar. Instead of trying to resolve contradictions on the level of thought, he looks for consistency of discourse. Individual poems demonstrate again and again the same discursive aim: to privilege the present genre over other ways of representing reality. Whether lyric contrasts with epic, elegy, or iam­ bus, it emerges as stronger. Hence there is no need to look for a bigger picture that carves out a space for both epic and elegy in Horace’s programme; every gesture re-enacts the same movement, the return to lyric. Epic and elegy serve not so much as alternatives in their own right, as foils for the genre at hand. Unity resides in the aim of the rhetoric, which in turn defines the genre. Such unity is confined to individual utterances; they prove their allegiance to the genre they define by re-enacting the generic definition again and again.11 If concentration on the collection as the prime literary artefact risks oversimplifying the issues of unity within the individual poems that comprise the larger whole, Davis’s approach fails to take into consid10 Syndikus (1972) 18-20 emphasizes the way that details are integrated into the whole in Roman art and poetry in contrast to the Greek appreciation o f the thing in itself, but nevertheless has strong reservations about the need for the larger whole to be self-consistent. Although he speaks in his introduction o f ‘Fügstücken’ that fit together, he warns in his interpretation o f C. 2. 9 against attempts to find Horace’s ‘Grundanschauungen’ by fitting together individual utterances into a unity like ‘Mosaiksteine’, clearly in reference to Nietzsche: ‘Man vergißt dabei daß jede Gattung, ja jede Gedicht­ situation ihre Eigengesetzlichkeit hat und daß die Einzelaussagen und Einzelbilder eines Gedichtes durch sie weitgehend bestimmt werden können’ (396). His organizational procedure o f treating one poem after another privileges the free-standing poem. Ancona’s (1994) approach is similar, except that instead o f genre, it is the poet’s male autonomy that keeps asserting itself in the face o f eroticism and the passage o f time.

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eration an important difference between Horace and Pindar: the fact that Pindar composed his victory odes for individual occasions with­ out necessary reference to other occasions, while Horace’s O d e s do in fact belong to a whole larger than the sum of its parts. His collections were not put together by Alexandrian scholars. The ideal would be a criticism that managed to consider both coherence of thought and of discourse at the levels of poem, collection, and genre, but loss of unity at the critical level threatens those who attempt too much. My own focus on narrative within lyric is an attempt to narrow the scope of endeavour to a category of discourse that has im portant implications for the construction of thought within poems, at the same time as to broaden the discussion to the argument developing over the course of each collection. The lyric narratives occur in a meaningful order in O d e s 1-3 and in O d e s 4. Their incre­ mental construction of a larger argument about poetics emerges over the course of this book as it does over the collection itself. But in my discussion of unity, I have let disunity slip by the wayside. What is disunity but our failure to understand? Warnings not to push too hard abound, and the accusation of ‘over-reading’ reveals a deep distrust of the relocation o f sense-making to w a r d the reader, away from the author or the text. Collinge, who is remarkable in considering structure on the three levels of phrase, an ode’s thought, and the collection, remarks of Nietzsche’s mosaic that ‘every piece has its place and it is the function of some to be neutral’ (1961: 2)—not that this neutral piece is exempted from fitting, only that one should not always press for meaning.12 Fraenkel is not afraid to say that a poem fails the unity test, but his location of disunity in some failure of the poet, whether immaturity or aiming too high, is frequently countervailed by the interpretive insights of subsequent readers.13 Is it Horace these insights vindicate, or is it rather ourselves? Williams emphasizes the

reader’s co-operation in a poem’s intelligibility: ‘it is, as it were, only when the reader’s imagination is fitted to the evidence which is the poem that the latter becomes complete and intelligible’ (1969: 19). Unity as a category of intelligibility is something that resides not within the poetry as a free-standing aesthetic artefact, nor solely in the poet’s mind, but is rather a function of communication. W ithout a reader to fulfil reception, the communication fails. This understanding paves the way for Davis’s rhetorical conception of unity, as well as for reception theory, exemplified for Horace by Edmunds (1992). The real threat comes not from the over-readers—they are at least trying hard to keep up their end of things—but from those who question the possibility of unity at all, who wonder if communication as a system is not flawed. Davis’s attempt to anticipate and forestall the deconstructive argument is revelatory. He predicts a scepticism about the ‘impression of solidity’ implied in his account of Horatian lyric discourse, a scepticism that will try to show the ‘unconscious “slip­ page” and ineluctable “supplements’” of ‘unsuspected cracks . . . in the ideological foundations of these lyric “arguments’” (1991: 9). His own unity is hardly static: he disclaims ‘an unassailable logical solidity reposing on a univocal text’ in favour of greater ‘coherence (“unity”) at the ideational level’ than post-modernists would suppose. But where does that leave those of us who may not consider our­ selves among the ‘stricter practitioners of deconstruction and related post-structuralist movements’, but who nevertheless appreciate the many challenges Horace sets to his own achievement of unity? This question brings me back to the same structure that I find troubling throughout this book. Is disunity in opposition to unity in an antag­ onistic way, so that the one excludes the other, or is there a larger category of unity that can accommodate slippage and supplement and other such cracks in the foundation? To appropriate Davis’s architec­ tural metaphor, are the chinks of disunity threats to the edifice, or do they rather play an inherent structural role so that Horace’s m o n u ­ m e n tu m may expand and contract without crumbling? I believe the latter. But this image of even a breathing monum ent risks the stasis of formalism. Let us remember that m o n u m e n tu m (monument, remin­ der, tomb, literary corpus) is not only a piece of architecture, but a speech act. Horace speaks to us from beyond the tomb, not perhaps without static in the reception, but his poetry needs our thought to make it complete, and it is our job to lend it to him. An additional word about supplementarity—not in literature, but in


12 Collinge (1961) 128 advises a ‘middle course between two extremes o f appreciation. Let him [the reader] avoid the rocks on the left hand, by refusing to regard each ode as a complete and purely inward-looking entity and nothing more, without plunging into the hazard on the right, a whirlpool o f cross-references and comparisons between the ode before him and many another’. 13 Fraenkel (1957) 196 o f C. r. 37: ‘The ode as a whole lacks unity, and its detail too often betrays the effort without that happiness of execution which Horace commands where he is at his best. After admitting this m uch we should not, however, blind ourselves to the noble devotion which induced the poet to pursue a high ideal.’ Macleod (1974) and Berres (1974) represent significant advances in the understanding o f this ode.


In tro d u c tio n

criticism. Davis brings to Horace the rhetorical criticism Bundy brought to Pindar. Bundy’s work left a gap in that he did not and did not try to account for the rhetorical and poetic function of the myth in epinician. This gap was filled by Young (1968) and Köhnken (1971) among others. Davis similarly leaves something out of his analysis of Horatian discourse, not so much ‘the myth’—there is no such thing in Horatian lyric—but rather a subcategory of discourse: narrative.14 Since narrative is implicated in many of Horace’s excur­ suses into the high style, much of Horace’s political poetry falls outside of Davis’s purview, most especially the Roman Odes. My study is not meant as a corrective—it was well under way before I had read Davis, whose work is complete in itself—but rather as a supplement. The parallel with the history of Pindaric scholarship was by no means intentional on my part but the inevitable product of the priorities of rhetorical analysis: direct speech is primary, narrative secondary.15 The application of this kind of analysis to lyric poetry will perforce focus first on direct speech since that is by and large what lyric purports to be, and then on whatever remains. Beyond my point about this particular study lies a further truth about the role of scholarship in unity. The appeal to unity is something readers do once they have reached a point in their interpretation that satisfies the need to perceive intelligibility. This appeal camouflages an attempt at closure—the closure we want to put on a text so that we may move on to something else. But we always leave something out for the next generation to discover. From this point of view, literature’s resistance to complete unity on all fronts serves as a defensive measure: it keeps readers coming back to attempt interpretation all over again, to see if this time around we can recuperate everything into our interpretation without surplus. Our satisfaction may represent a real 14 Although Davis (1991) 78-114 addresses the poet’s narratives about himself, his interest lies more in the poet’s self-definition than in the type of discourse. Indicative is his treatment o f C. 3. 4, where he examines the ‘autobiography1 in the first half as a means o f authenticating the praise in the latter half, but stops short o f the ‘extensive narration o f the Gigantomachy’ (my emphasis) 107. 15 The parallel with Pindaric scholarship, however, should not be pressed too far. Readers o f Pindar have had to struggle hard to establish any kind o f unity for their author against a scholarly tradition that kept resisting internal poetic cohesion. The parallel is made by Davis (1991) 9-10 and Kennedy (1975) *4, who, however, notes that Pasquali (1920), Collinge (1961), and Williams (1968) defended Horatian unity— the first long before Bundy (1986) or his precursors. For the history o f Pindaric scholarship, particularly regarding unity, Köhnken (1971) introduction; Young (1964).


advance, but we should not deceive ourselves into thinking we have ever achieved more than provisional closure. Horace’s image of the m onument brings up a further aspect of unity. Monuments are not free-standing, but occupy specific places in urban and cultural topography. They fill certain needs at certain times, others at others. I have chosen to analyse a single genre by a single author (and to focus mostly on a single work) out of a conviction that to begin to understand the Augustan age, we must look at how each participant orchestrates the contradictions before putting together a whole. The Augustan age creates Horace as much as Horace creates the Augustan age, but neither is univocal. The age projected by the S atires is different from the one projected by either collection of O d e s , by the E pistles , or the ca rm en saeculare. The differences are partly chronolo­ gical, partly generic; each work responds differently to different cul­ tural pressures. Horace’s version, if we can add it up, functions differently from Vergil’s, from that of the architects of the temple of the Palatine Apollo, from that of Augustus himself. The risk entailed in working down from the culture rather than up from the individual artistic response to it is a simplification of both. I say this because the culture that gave rise to Horace no longer exists, while the corpus of his poetry does. To try to read how his culture shaped Horace’s O d e s would entail reconstructing the culture to a large extent from his poetry, and then reapplying our reconstruction. My reading of Horace’s O d es charts only one of many shifting ideologies that comprise his cultural context. Horace deploys the myth of the v a te s (bard) to lead us to believe that he is responsible for creating his own culture. Like all myths, it serves a particular need and is at least partially true. I accept this fiction for the purpose of the analysis, but, as we will see in O d e s 4, even within the poetry it can hold for only so long. My primary concern is the dis/unity involved in the relation of lyric to narrative. Lyric is a genre that primarily enacts, so the incorporation of narrative creates a discursive dissonance. I will argue that lyric ways of making sense are essentially antithetical to narrative ways of making sense, but I do not mean by this that the two are incapable of resolu­ tion. Indeed, historically narrative has been an important component of lyric and cannot for that reason be excluded on the grounds of ‘not fitting’. Likewise predominantly narrative genres employ lyricizing techniques. The ‘pure’ forms of either lyric or narrative one might posit theoretically do not exist. Narrative and lyric are incompatible

In tro d u c tio n

and inextricable at the same time. The dis/unity created by the neces­ sary struggle between mutually implicated opposites defies stability, without throwing it over as a desirable poetic state. This study comes in two parts. The chapters in Part I, ‘The Poetics of Presence/The Poetics of Immortality’, lay the theoretical ground for the close readings of actual narratives in Part II. Part I analyses Horace’s lyric as fundamentally a poetry of speech, in the here and now, between an T and a ‘you’, as opposed to a poetry of narration, of the past, about third persons. This formal difference opens onto larger issues: Horace’s conceptions of the time of speaking, the immortality of the spoken utterance, and its relation to recollecting the past in mourning. How does the immortality accorded to poetry and to the praise it confers, square with the injunction not to mourn, that is, to let go of the past? Chapter i, ‘Lyric Discourses’, defines Horatian lyric primarily as fictitious utterance. The difference between the presence and absence of this utterance’s implied recipient is examined via the figures of apostrophe and address. H o r a tia n l y r i c s preference for a ‘present’ addressee contrasts with our modern expectations of lyric, wherein apostrophe confutes the logic of narrative. In this light, I examine the distinction, ancient and modern, between narrative and discourse proper as types of utterance. The final stanza of C. 3. 3 sets this distinction into relation with parallel ones between epic and lyric, and the high and light styles. Finally, this chapter considers the tension between narrative’s pointed and subordinate role when exemplifying an argument, and the tendency of exempla to strive for autonomy. The next two chapters explore the difficulty of maintaining the strict phonocentrism of a poetics of presence, the privileging of utterance over writing, of the n o w over other temporalities. Song and the here and now—lyric’s centre—cannot entirely eclipse writing or the pro­ gression of linear time. A number of dichotomies overlap with the lyric/narrative distinction. Chapter 2, ‘The Time of Writing and of Song’, looks at linear versus cyclical time, and writing versus song. These two distinctions have implications for Horace’s contradictory definition of his poetry as belonging to both the here and now, and eternity. His understanding of time as simultaneously transient and repeatable is similarly im portant for poetry’s function as a guarantor of praise. In Chapter 3, ‘Forbidding Mourning’, the generic split between elegy and epic as polar opposites between which and in contradistinc­ tion to which Horace defines his lyric comes to the fore. Lyric attempts


to escape from both mourning’s obsessive relation to the past and the historical contingency of praise poetry. The golden mean emerges as the principle that mediates between generic extremes. The majority of Horatian narratives are affiliated generically with either epic or elegy, as the analyses in Part II will show. The stronger influence is epic, the dominant colouring of the poems discussed in the chapters entitled ‘History and Epic’ ($ and 7). Elegy not unexpectedly colours the love poetry and heroine narratives. Part II, ‘Lyric Narratives’, examines the logical unity of individual poems through close readings of odes that contain formal narrative, whether the relation of past events or embedded stories. In Chapter 4, ‘Programmatic Narrative’, one set of poems, C. 1. 6, 1. 7, and 1. 8, demonstrates narrative pointedness, and links small-scale poetry with Callimachean poetics. C. 1. 15 challenges this rhetorical and aesthetic strategy with an epic scale narrative that appears to be told for its own sake. The struggle between pointedness and rhetorical independence will become important especially for the interpretation of the Roman Odes and the heroine narratives in book three. Chapters 5, 6, 7, and 9 address political poetry. Chapters 5 and 7, ‘History and Epic: Civil War’ and ‘History and Epic: The Roman Odes’, consider the discursive shape of Horace’s treatment of the two predominant political issues of the day: civil war and its Augustan aftermath. Neither can be narrated directly, though each uses different techniques to displace narration. The intervening chapter, ‘Personal Narrative and the Fantastic, or, the Poet Out of Bounds’, traces the development among the poems telling the poet’s own story—or stories. Stock motifs tell a larger-scale story about the poet’s progression from love lyrist to political poet. Chapter 8, ‘Narrative Seduction’, marks a retreat in O d e s 3 from politics, back to love lyric. These erotic narratives raise the issue of interpretability. We crave a narrative sense that lyric disrupts. The discussion of O d e s 1-3 follows grosso m o d o the order of poems within the collection, in the belief that a larger unity inhabits the oeuvre as a whole. An independent story emerges over the course of reading the narrative poems as they occur. This story corresponds largely to that charted by the books on arrangement written in the 1980 s (discussed above), but simplified. These poems take us from the poetics of C. i. 6 to the political issues of the Roman Odes, and back again to poetics. In Santirocco’s (1986) and Porter’s (1987) analyses, the movement of O d es 1-3 follows a much more variegated course, with dramatic ups and downs in the poet’s confidence in his ability to

In tro d u c tio n

address politics. Horace’s lyric narratives cut across the predominant issues in each book, and result in a story of their own. Chapter 9 brings together the last of the poet’s stories about himself, C. 3. 25, and the praise poetry of O d es 4. Each responds in different ways to the Callimachean aesthetics of C. 1. 6. Whereas the poet finally leaves narration behind to embrace a truly lyric praise of Caesar in C. 3. 25, in O d e s 4 he comes gradually closer to relating the res g esta e (accomplishments) of Augustus. C. 4.15 finally deconstructs the debate between aesthetics and politics begun in C. 1. 6, and brings Horace’s lyric career, once more, to a close.


The Poetics o f Presence/The Poetics of Immortality


Lyric Discourses

The degree zero of lyric discourse is utterance, a dramatic speaking out grounded in occasion (Heinze 1923; Johnson 1982: 4, 30; Nussbaum 1981: 2099 e t a l ) . This said, we must qualify. Occasion and speech are always subject to fiction, and thereby fail to provide more than a semblance of origins. Utterance, within its realm, is all-encompassing, and all-empowering, so that narrative (the formal category) is one possible speech act among others. Narrative, what we do when we order words into sense, is utterance. How then does it relate to lyric? History, with the help of poets, creates different ways of lyric speaking out at different times. Sappho reads differently from Horace, or Mar­ vel, or Keats, or Ashbury. Each poet reinvents a way to speak out that in turn requires us to reconfigure our own notion of lyric utterance. This chapter sets up a formal distinction between lyric and narrative in the attempt to show why narrative poses a disruptive threat to Horaces version of lyric, that is, lyric narrowly defined as the small, private space of aesthetics.1 In the larger picture, it could rather turn out that lyric as an aesthetic category poses a distinct threat to a narrative desire to make sense.1

1 On the assumption that lyric and narrative are antithetical, the following is an indicative, if random selection: Santirocco (1986) 171; Brooks (1984) 4, 20-1; Grimal (1978) 187; Genette (1976); Todorov (1978) 139 chart. Kinney (1992) 1-14 traces the poetry/narrative dichotomy in narratology. Helm (1935) 352-3 comments on Statius’ om ission o f speeches by gods and mythological scenes when imitating Horace. Kroll (1924) 239 notes the rarity o f ballad material in Horatian lyric, despite precedent in Greek lyric such as Sappho 44 V. Johnson (1982) 3 divides lyric (for the purpose o f examining pronouns) into types: (1) an Τ-You’ relation, which has a ‘story) (2) meditative poetry, where the poet speaks to himself, (3) poetry where the poet disappears. The last includes dialogue, dramatic m onologue, and straight narrative. But he privileges the first category and ‘song’ over ‘story’, and opposes ‘lyric’ to ‘ballads’ (35, with n. 18).


P oetics o f P resen ce/P oetics o f I m m o r ta lity P




S ays O ’

If lyric speaks out, it presumably speaks to someone (or thing). The directedness of the utterance is one of the more malleable elements for constructing one’s version of lyric. The romantic paradigm of a drama internal to a single mind differs radically from the essentially rhetorical poetry of antiquity in which the invocation of an addressee sets up an I/thou situation that (usually) pervades the poem (Johnson 1982: ch. 1). The difference is one of speaking to oneself, or speaking within the parameters of an address to someone or thing other than one’s self, however much a product of imagination that other may be. The internalization of romantic poetry is what allows Culler in his essay, ‘A postrophe’ (1981: 135-54), to set the kind of poetry that says ‘0 ’ against narrative poetry. His account reveals both similarities and differences between classical poetry and some of our post-romantic assumptions.

L y ric D iscou rses

It is a question of interiority versus exteriority; of speaking to oneself versus dialogue— that is, half a dialogue; of overhearing versus hearing; of self-presence versus presence to another. This does not mean that the Horatian addressee is not as much a construct of the poetry as anything else, or that the addressee is imagined as being there when the address is made, or that the poet must address animate beings. This kind of lyric is rhetorical in the sense that the demands of the address structure the discourse. Horace’s Ό ’ is not generally the Ό ’ of apos­ trophe (the address of someone not there) but of direct address; the question at issue is the degree of isolation of the Ό ’ or the vocative from the rest of the discourse.2 A standard instance of entirely directed address is the ode to Chloe: Vitas inuleo me similis, Chloe, quaerenti pavidam montibus aviis matrem non sine vano aurarum et siluae metu.

This internalization is important because it works against narrative and its accompaniments: sequentiality, causality, time, teleological meaning. As Shelley put the matter with high poetic disdain,

nam seu mobilibus veris inhorruit adventus foliis, seu virides rubum dimovere lacertae, et corde et genibus tremit.

there is this difference between a story and a poem, that a story is a catalogue o f detached facts which have no other connection than time, place, circumstance, cause and effect; the other is the creation o f actions according to the unchangeable forms o f human nature as existing in the mind o f the creator, which is itself the image o f all other minds.

atqui non ego te tigris ut aspera Gaetulusve leo frangere persequor: tandem desine matrem tempestiva sequi viro.

This puts the case for apostrophic poetry against narrative. If one brings together in a poem a boy, some birds, a few blessed creatures, and some mountains, meadows, hills and groves, one tends to place them in a narrative where one thing leads to another; the events which form ask to be temporally located; soon one has a poem which would provoke Shelley’s strictures. But if one puts into a poem thou shepherd boy, ye blessed creatures, ye birds, they are immediately associated with what might be called a timeless present but is better seen as a temporality o f writing. Even if the birds were only glimpsed once in the past, to apostrophize them as ‘ye birds’ is to locate them in the time of the apostrophe— a special temporality which is the set o f all moments at which writing can say ‘now.’ This is a time o f discourse rather than story. So located by apostrophes, birds, creatures, boys, etc., resist being organized into events that can be narrated, for they are inserted in the poem as elements of the event which the poem is attempting to be. (Culler 1981: 148-9)

Horatian lyric does not so much purport to reveal the mind of its creator, to use Shelley’s phrase, as to let us hear what that creator says.


(C. i. 2.3) You avoid me, Chloe, like a fawn / seeking his fearful mother in the trackless mountains / not without empty fear / o f breezes and woods. / For whether the coming o f spring has shuddered, / leaves in motion, or the green lizards / have parted the brambles, / he trembles in heart and knees. / But I don’t follow you like a harsh tigress / or Gaetulian lion to break you: / finally stop following your mother, / ripe for a man.

The proximity of the pronoun m e to the vocative C h loe in the first line announces the relation between a real first and second person, which 2 Culler (1981) 136-7 confuses apostrophe with address, though he is right to insist that we not explain apostrophe away by the conventions o f address in classical poetry. His actual citations are all true apostrophes. Heinze (1923) 176, after listing a number o f possible types o f address and their dramatic situations, speaks o f this one (about Alcaeus): ‘als er aus der Ferne seinen Mitbürgern berichten will, wie es ihm ergangen, da redet er nicht sie an, sondern führt einen Boten ein: geh hin und erzähl ihnen dies. Man sieht den Dichter, sieht die Situation; ganz anders, als wenn er einfach erzählte und dabei der fernen Mitbürger apostrophierend gedächte.’

P oetics o f P resen ce/P oetics o f I m m o r ta lity

L yric D iscou rses

the juxtaposition ego te (9) later supports. The poet expresses a real desire to the addressee: he wants to seduce her. The utterance consists of a rhetoric of persuasion. How then do the expansion of the simile and the middle stanza function within this context? Does this diversion take us away from the rhetoric into a realm of pure poetry? The imagery suggests not. For one, the language of predator and prey is a standard image for sexual seduction, so that the rhetorical aim is reinscribed into an apparently decorative comparison. Even the rus­ tling leaves and lizards parting the brambles can be read as sexually charged (Ancona 1994: 70-4; Bannon 1993). More of this poem func­ tions within the economy of the address perhaps than most, but it demonstrates the extent to which the poet aims to communicate. When Horace addresses the wine jar (O n a ta m e c u m con su le M a n lio , . . . p ia testa, C. 3. 21. 1-4), he does not think or talk to himself and then break out of his interiority to apostrophize the jar; as has been demonstrated by Norden (1956: 143-63), the entire poem is structured according to the demands of this address.3 The poem follows the conventions of the hymn and its conventionality makes the discourse recognizable and witty. If we did not recognize the conventions, the address to the jar would be strange indeed. The distinction between apostrophe and direct address does not depend on the presence of the addressee (pace Syndikus 1972: 15). In C. 3. 10 the lover, who has been

shut out in the cold by Lyce (paraclausithyron), perforce constructs an utterance to someone absent. But inasmuch as the poem is structured entirely as a message to her, it does not present the ruminations of a mind alone. We can imagine all sorts of unnecessary contingencies: Lyce listens behind the door, the poem is sent as a letter, slipped under the door, etc. What matters is not the addressee’s receipt of the utterance, but rather the construction of the utterance for the purpose of receipt. Even Hor­ ace’s embarrassing’ apostrophe of Rome (q u id debeas, o R o m a , N e ro n ibus, / testis M e ta u ru m flu m e n e t H a s d ru b a l / d e v ic tu s . . ., ‘What you owe the Nerones, O Rome, / the Metaurus River testifies, and conquered Hasdrubal’, C. 4. 4. 37-9) structures an argument ( testis with indirect question); it is no plain invocation.4 The apostrophe to Bacchus at C. 3. 3. 13—15 at first appears merely a conventional decorative variation in a list.5 Given the role of Bacchus in the poet’s gradual empowerment to sing political poetry (Silk 1969; chs. 6 and 9), this apostrophe, coming imme­ diately after the name of Augustus and before the first mytho-historical narrative of the Roman Odes, marks the special place of the god. The hardest Ό ’ to accommodate in Horace’s lyrics is his apostrophe of Augustus, or rather of an impersonal person who evokes Augustus:6


3 Similar in their inanimate addressees are C. i. 14, 2. 13, 3. 13. Very rare are poems with no even implied addressee: C. 1. 15, 1. 34, 2. 15. Lamia in C. 1. 36 is the virtual addressee without having his name in the vocative. In C. 1. 3, Vergil is the virtual addressee, although the ship carrying him is actually addressed. In C. 2. 5, the poet addresses him self in the second person, but see N H (1978) 77 for alternative views, and it is debated whether Neobuie addresses herself in C. 3. 12. The tu in C. 2. 18 is unspecified, though many suspect Maecenas, the addressee o f the previous poem, NH (1978) 289. The unnamed addressee o f the first two stanzas o f C. 3. 19 is not necessarily, though likely, the same as Telephe (26). The Roman Odes are thought to share the implied addressee o f the first poem in the sequence, virginibus puerisque (C. 3. x. 4), and the Romane o f the last (C. 3. 6. 2), with subsidiary addresses to Muses in the middle (C. 3. 3. 70, 3. 4. 2). C. 3. 9 is unusual in being amoebean— all address without the voice of the poet. C. 3. 24, discussed below, has an unusual apostrophe, but no address. Strange addressees include Caesar ( C. 1. 2. 52), which dangles as the poem ’s last word off an ablative absolute, and 0 Roma (C. 4. 4. 37), discussed below. It is frequent for there to be additional ‘side’ addressees, as to slave boys, e.g. C. 3. 19. 10 (puer). The most difficult shift is in C. i. 28, from Archytas to a passer-by— but the shock resides not in the switch o f addressee, but in the delay o f the revelation that the speaker is a dead man. West (1995) 134 suggests that Archytas is not a real addressee, but ‘the com m on Latin trick of enlivening the utterance by pretending to speak to a person not present’, i.e. an apos­ trophe. All in all the exceptions to the normal situation, where the poet structures the poem as an address to a named person, are few.


o quisquis7 volet impias caedis et rabiem tollere civicam, si quaeret pater urbium subscribi statuis, indomitam audeat refrenare licentiam . . . (C. 3. 24. 25-9) O whoever wishes to abolish / impious slaughter and civic rage, / if he seeks to be inscribed on statues / as Father o f Cities, let him dare / rein in licence not mastered . . .

4 The most ‘embarrassing’— by which Culler means hard to translate into realistic terms— Horatian apostrophe is put in the mouth o f a character: Regulus ends his speech with ‘0 pudori0 magna Carthago, probrosis/altior Italiae ruinis!’ (C. 3. 5. 38-40). Exclama­ tion separates this apostrophe absolutely from the rest o f the speech. This is not a ‘real’ address o f pudor or Carthage, but the externalization o f an internal thought: ‘how shameful that great Carthage should prove higher than the disgraceful ruins o f Italy.’ No, my translation out of figurality is no equivalent o f the apostrophe, but an attempt to do the same with the hymn to the wine-jar reveals the difference. 5 Silk (1969) 200 thinks this ode is addressed to Bacchus. 6 On whether this is Augustus, see Fraenkel (1957) 242 (pro); Quinn (1980) ad loc. (con). Horace leaves the identity of the person who would aspire to such things open, but historically, only one person fits the bill. 7 Shackleton Bailey (1985). Borzsàk (1984) palliates the shock with a comma between 0 and quisquis.

P oetics o f P resen ce/P oetics o f I m m o r ta lity

L yric D iscou rses

plus the third person? Horace’s inability to address the princeps directly, at least in the first collection of O des, motivates the oddness of this apostrophe—and it is a real apostrophe.89This poem is one of a number in which the poet seems to be meditating to himself, but since such odes tend to be public and moral, this differs signifi­ cantly from an internal, private meditation; its real addressee is the wider audience of the Roman people, as the Roman Odes specify {v ir g in ib u s p u e r is q u e , C. 3. 1.4; R o m a n e , C. 3.6. 2).9 The public nature of the utterance removes this kind of ode from the category of private thought. Apostrophe here breaks into this meditation as a plea and a command (a u d e a t); q u isq u is is not the ode’s addressee. Paradoxically, to achieve the effect of apostrophe, the lyric poet uses the third person. This kind of address, however, transgresses the norm. But perhaps we can turn this interior/exterior distinction inside out. It could be that Horace and ancient lyric inhabit the world of apos­ trophe so completely that there is no sense of breaking away from oneself.10* Shock would rather attend the representation of a mind thinking alone without the organizing constraints of addressing

another. The places in ancient poetry where apostrophe embarrasses are not in lyric, but in narrative passages; e.g. Homer’s apostrophes of Patroclus in the I lia d and the swineherd in the O dyssey, Catullus’ of the heroes (64. 22-4).11 Here the time of discourse reasserts itself in a time otherwise presented as a time of story. Culler’s point about the incom­ patibility of these two kinds of time holds for classical poetry, at least when narrative is the base. The question, however, remains whether address, as distinct from apostrophe, is subject to narrative construction such that a lyric based on address would lack poeticity because it comes too close to narrative. Culler shows that for the New Criticism, reading lyric means by and large reconstructing the context in which the fictional utterance could be imagined to take place, in other words, in render­ ing lyric into narrative (1985; 38-40 ) . 12 For lyric to make sense, it must be narrated, it must be put into the framework of that to which it is conventionally opposed. Culler focuses on apostrophe to show that it cannot be narrated; we cannot invent a natural context into which to erase the fictitiousness of the utterance. Outside of poetry, no one would ever say ‘Hail to thee, blithe Spirit/Bird thou never wert!’ (his example) or 0 q u isq u is v o le t im p ia s / caedis e t ra b ie m tollere c ivica m (mine). Lyric resists narrative and resists naturalization. But, I would argue, even the most naturalistic address does the same. Can we really imagine a context in which Horace (as opposed to the poet) would say to Lydia (supposing a real girl lay behind this name):

24 O quisquis?

8 On the problem o f addressing Augustus in Odes 1-3, Feeney (1993) 53-4. In te duce, Caesar (C. i. 2. 52), the ablative absolute te, when the subject is also second person singular, marks the swerve from the address o f Mercury to that o f Caesar— they are the same, but different. 9 Heinze (i960) 172. All o f the places where the discourse is not closely tied to the addressee are ‘public’ and/or moralizing. The disquisition on audacity in C. 1. 3 appears separate from the first two stanzas addressed to the ship, despite the sea-faring link. Although the questions and address o f the Muse in C. 1. 12 make the debate internal, the poet deliberates about the public issue o f whom to praise; he muses outward. C. 1. 15 will be discussed in Ch. 4. C. 1. 34 has no addressee, but the confession o f faith is a rational outward statement that hardly conforms to our postclassical expectations o f ‘confessional’ poetry. The same metre and similarity of subject in the following poem, a hymn to Fortune, allows the latter’s addressee to colour C. 1. 34. C. 2. 15 also lacks an addressee and is similarly moralizing. The identity o f the addressee in C. 2. 18 is unclear; the tu (17) provides a foil for the poet’s statements about wealth and the inevitability o f death. Public occasions require public addressees: o plebs and 0 pueri et puellae (C. 3. 14. i and 10). The switch in addressee, another puer (17), but this time a slave, marks the switch from public celebration to private. The final address to Melpomene in C. 3. 30 may seem incidental, but the poet’s boast about his poetry is hardly directed inward. In the only poem where the poet does not really seem to speak to his addressee (Pyrrha, C. 1. 5. 3) but rather to muse to himself, the votive tablet, which bears some relation to the poem itself, allows for the public expression o f what the poem says. See Johnson’s (1982) 4 comments on the distribu­ tion o f meditative versus ‘I-You’ poem s in Horace. 10 Eliot thought the ancient lyric system of address was a disguise, see Johnson (1982) 1-2, 8. If communication encompasses ‘self-communication or self-revelation’, as Nussbaum (1981) 2099 has it, address and apostrophe fold into one another.


L ydia, die, p e r o m n is / te d eos oro, S y b a rin c u r p ro p e re s a m a n d o / p erd ere?

(‘Lydia, say, I beg / by all the gods, why are you rushing to destroy Sybaris / with love?’ C. 1. 8. 1-3). Maybe we can imagine that much if we rearrange the words and destroy the metre (p e r o m n is d eos te oro), but can we imagine his saying the whole poem without interruption, 11 Homer’s formulaic apostrophe to Patroclus particularly disturbs because it parti­ cipates in the narrative; aorist, a narrative tense, combines with a vocative: προσέφης, Πατρόκλεες ίππεν (you spoke, horseman Patroclus, II. 16. 20, 744, 843). The one nonformulaic apostrophe announces Patroclus’ death (ενθ’ dpa τοι, Πάτροκλε, φάνη βιότοιο τελευτή, then indeed life’s end appeared to you, Patroclus, I l 16. 787) and thereby reveals why the figure shocks: the possibility o f directing speech to the perma­ nently absent. C. 1. 28 reveals the inverse: the possibility that the dead may speak. It is indicative o f of H.’s interest in these questions that the first addressee, Archytas, func­ tions more along the lines of an apostrophe, West (1995) 134, and the second, the passer-by, along those o f address. 13 Nussbaum (1981) 2099-100 remarks that we are given the information we need to understand the relation between the speakers, that is, for us to construct a narrative. But this is not always so, e.g. in C. 3. 27 (Ch. 8).


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or his comparing the situation to Achilles’ on Scyros? I, for one, cannot. The difficulties critics have had pinning down ‘the attitude of the poet’ not only here but throughout show the inadequacy of this kind of reading. And yet, we cannot help doing it. C. 1.27 demands narrative construction to an even greater degree. The gap between the poet’s teasing demand that Megylla’s brother reveal his heart’s desire and his exclamation a, m ise r (‘ah, miserable boy’, r8) on hearing the revelation, is a gap caused by the conflict between the lyric convention of representing the poet’s speech and a logical, narrative need: the information must have been given for the poet’s exclamation to make sense. We know that a proper name occupies the gap, but we do not know what it is, and there is no space in the stanza for us to slip one in. De Man addresses this issue by locating a paradox: ‘The principle of intelligibility, in lyric poetry, depends on the phenomenalization of the poetic voice’, but ‘this voice is in no circumstance immediately avail­ able as an actual, sensory experience.’ He recognizes a variety of strategies for making this voice ‘manifest’, but warns against reducing it to ‘mere figure of speech or play of the letter, for this would deprive it of the attribute of aesthetic presence that determines the hermeneu­ tics of the lyric’ (1985: 5$). The difference between lyric and narrative lies exactly in the competing demands for intelligibility and for aes­ thetic presence. Culler makes apostrophe the basis of lyric because it disrupts narrative coherence. Ancient lyric, with its structures of address, falls out of the picture. I propose a revision of his (implied) definition: lyric is whatever disrupts narrative coherence. But a pro­ blem immediately raises its head: narrative itself disrupts narrative coherence. Epic ‘coheres’ no more, or less, than lyric. Let me revise my revision. There are two literary principles; each needs the other. Narrative desire drives toward logical sense, lyric desire toward aes­ thetic sense.13 Inasmuch as Vergil’s A e n e id thwarts its own coherence as a narrative, it partakes of lyric (Putnam 1995-6). Inasmuch as Horace’s O des strive toward coherence, they partake of narrative. Lyric may claim access to intelligibility, and narrative to aesthetic presence, each to the extent that it subjects itself to the other.

13 See Johnson (1982) 69 for the antithesis between ‘linear unity’ and lyric’s irrational rationality.



a r r a t iv e / D is c o u r s e

The formal distinction I have been making between ‘discourse’ and ‘narrative’ as modes of speech goes back to the differentiation of m im esis from a p a n g e lia or diegesis made by Plato and taken up by Aristotle. The narrative/discourse dichotomy, however, is not quite the same as m im e sis/a p a n g e lia in that the latter has to do more with who speaks or is represented speaking, than with the kind of discourse spoken. Let us consider these terms as they pertain to lyric. The difficulty with both Plato’s and Aristotle’s discussions is that they fail to define the mode proper to lyric.14 At R e p u b lic 394b-c Socrates gives drama as an example of m im esis, dithyramb of a p an gelia, epic of the mixture of the two. It is ironic in light of the modern dichotomy narrative/lyric that a lyric subgenre should be given as the instance of ‘pure’ narrative. If m im e sis here means ‘impersonation’ or ‘enactment’ and a p a n g elia means ‘narrative’ or the more open-ended ‘report’, the only possible speech act in one’s own voice is giving a report.15 Aristotle’s version of the scheme at P oetics 1448* is no better for lyric even if he assigns epic a more standard association with narrative, including both speeches and narrative proper.16 His distinc­ tion between ‘remaining oneself’ and ‘becoming someone else’ could be useful for lyric provided we take ‘remaining oneself’ in the sense that the speaking voice represents not the historical poet but the lyric ego or speaker, even if this ego happens to be impersonating someone else.17 (In other words, the distinction is only useful if we conflate its terms.) The lyric ego in combination with Platonic m im esis produces what we most often find in lyric: a voice enacting its own speech, selfimpersonation.18 It is this quality that makes ancient lyric dramatic. 14 Genette (1979); Johnson (1982) 76-95 analyses the lack o f a theory o f lyric in all o f classical antiquity. 15 See Halliwell (1986) beginning chapter 4 for a history o f mimesis, the term and the idea. 16 Russell (1981) 151, Genette (1979)· Lucas (1978) 67 offers two schemes for this vexed passage. The first is tripartite: (1) mixed, the poet at one time narrating at another ‘becoming someone else’, i.e. assuming the role o f a character, as Homer does, (2) with the poet maintaining unchanged the part o f the narrator (e.g. Plato’s dithyramb), (3) with the imitators acting and taking part throughout (i.e. drama). The second is bipartite: (1) with the poet narrating: either (λ) becoming (at times) someone else, like Homer, or (b) maintaining the part o f narrator unchanged, (2) the dramatic manner as in the first scheme. Whichever the case for epic, lyric remains unaccounted for. 17 As in C. i. 28, 3. 9, 3. 12; Heinze (i960) 172 and 175-6. See Dover (1964) 206-12. 18 The identity o f the lyric ego is complex, particularly in choral lyric, where in some genres ego may represent the chorus. For epinician, ego is best understood as a flexible category: the poet or the chorus, who speak in his stead on the scene, see Lidov (1993) 75-6 on Lefkowitz (1991).


P oetics o f P resen ce/P oetics o f I m m o r ta lity

L y ric D iscou rses

Aristotle’s formulation, even if it does not itself include lyric, opens the way for a poet to adopt a persona, even if the persona is none other than the poet’s self.19 Plato and Aristotle aside, the distinction important for our purposes is between enacting versus recounting, showing versus telling. And here we run into a problem: recounting is as much a mode of discourse as enacting.20 The initial distinction narrative/discourse turns out to be flawed since narrative, understood as recounting and telling (versus enacting and showing), is a subcategory of discourse. This flaw is poetically productive. On the one hand, discourse and narrative are distinct. We can describe this distinction more accurately in technical terms (enactment, recounting), but the ordinary language distinction reflects a split that will be indicative for our sense that for Horace telling stories is not lyric’s primary purpose, which is rather to enact speech. On the other hand, narrative is one kind of discourse among others, so that it can properly be called ‘narrative discourse’, and, in Horatian terms, can be accommodated to lyric. Rather than referring consistently to ‘lyric enactment’ I prefer to accept the more ordinary distinction between narrative and discourse with its illogicality: a distinction in which one term can be understood as a subcategory of the other so that instead of narrative/discourse, our dichotomy looks rather like this: narrative discourse/discourse. The logical situation becomes even more complex in that discourse itself demands narrative construction.21 The tendency—almost a requirement— of commentators beginning with Porphyrio to preface their comments with an a rg u m e n tu m or plot summary makes the point.22 In C. i. 8—to return to our instance above—the reader

constructs a story out of the poet’s I/thou reproach: Lydia has destroyed Sybaris’ moral fibre through love. A standard aspect of analyses of this poem is inquiry into the poet’s role in the story. Is he a jealous rival? A concerned avuncular figure really addressing Sybaris rather than Lydia? Interpreting the poet’s role is more like interpreting a character in a play than interpreting a first-person narrator in a novel. The way in which a drama is narrative is different from the way a novel is, even though they both convey stories. Although C. i. 8 (re)presents a story, we cannot say that a story is actually told. Some further distinctions within the realm of narrative will be useful. Tomashevsky’s distinction between ‘story’ (fa b u la ) and ‘plot’ (szu je t) is a fundamental premiss of narratology (Lemon and Reis 1965: 66-8; Martin (1986) 108 summarizes later variations). F abu la is the raw material of szu jet, which organizes fa b u la into the plot as we encounter it in a particular narrative. Genette makes a different set of distinctions: ‘s to r y (the totality of the narrated events), n a rr a tiv e (the discourse, oral or written, that narrates them), and n a r r a tin g (the real or Active act that produces that discourse— in other words, the very fact of recounting)’ (1972: 71-6; 1988: 13) 23 Subsequent narratology has called attention to the fact that Genette’s ‘narrating’ is not of the same type as the two other terms and is not rigorously distinguished from ‘narrative’ (Bai 1977: 6; Culler 1981: 170). However, Genette’s third term is useful in that it reveals his assumption of a narrated narrative when he calls the ‘narrating’ ‘the very fact of recounting’. But if narrative is the discourse that conveys the totality of represented events (to substitute synonyms that do not always bring us back to ‘narr-’), we have already seen that enactment is another possibility. Furthermore, subsequent narratology takes into account the represen­ tation of stories outside of narration understood as recounting, both within literature and in other media such as film or painting.24 Although narrative perforce entails the representation of a story, it does not have to represent the story through narrating or narration. For my purposes, ‘narrating’ or the act of telling a story, is as much at issue as the narrative itself. Although one must always make narrative


19 Burnett (1983) 6: ‘the archaic poets, like poets everywhere, invented both ego and occasion when they composed their songs. “I” might mean “I, a Singer”, “I, a Lover”, “I, a Citizen”, and . . . “I, a Young Girl”, “I, an Old Creature”.’ 20 Chatman (1978) 32· De Jong (1991) looks at narrative by characters within enacted drama. 21 Johnson (1982) 80, 82. As D. P. Fowler (1989) 1x9 remarks, ‘Many elegies and lyrics do have a plot, and move through time like a novel or epic.’ Part of the question is what constitutes a ‘ "natural” place to stop’, less obvious in lyric than in genres or modes of discourse constituted by the plot’s demands, where the ends o f story and o f discourse correspond to a greater degree. The argumentum may include the poet’s speech act as part o f the ode’s ‘plot’. E.g. Porphyrio on C. 1. 8: haec Lydia amica uidetur fuisse Sybaris nomine adulescentis, cui imputat, quod amore implicitum residem fecerit exercitationum campestrium (‘This Lydia seems to have been the girlfriend o f a youth named Sybaris; he charges her with making him lazy in athletics by involving him in love.’ My emphasis).

23 ‘Narrating’ is an awkward noun in English; I sometimes use ‘telling’ or ‘narration’ instead, but only where the latter cannot be confused with ‘narrative’ proper. 24 Chatman (1978) examines narrative in film as well as fiction and also considers static visual representation such as painting and comic strips (34-41). One o f his chapters is entitled ‘Discourse: Nonnarrated stories’.


P oetics o f P resen ce/P oetics o f I m m o r ta lity

sense out of the situations represented in poems, the vast majority of Horace’s O d e s contain little trace of narration.25 In C. 3. 19, Horace contrasts the boor, who narrates (n arras , 3) the distance between Codrus and Inachus, the genealogy of the house of Aeacus, and the Trojan war—notably epic and tragic topics—with his own interest in lyric’s proper concerns: the price of wine and the preparation for the symposium. The general absence of narrative lends special importance to the odes that do contain it. The complexities inherent in the realm of discourse have an effect on poetry that is concerned with the status of the poet’s speech and is sensitive to generic decorum. Genre is at least partially constituted by conventions of representation. What interests me in Horace’s incor­ poration of story-telling in lyric is not the dramatic enactment of stories, but rather the places where the poet recounts a story, where the speaking voice steps away from the moment of enactment. Unless otherwise stated, I prefer to keep the ordinary meaning of narrative as assumed by Genette (i.e. a narrated narrative) and will ordinarily use it to mean the discourse recounting a story.26 Horace, like other ancient poets, could rely on the reader’s or audience’s general knowledge of the basic stories (fa b u la e ), whether myth (Teucer in C. 1. 7), ancient history (Regulus in C. 3. $), or contemporary history (Cleopatra in C. 1. 37). Interest consequently centres on what the poet brings to the story: the crystallized version and the details of the narration shaping the story (s zu je t). Questions 25 C. 1.15 is the only poem to consist entirely o f narration. Since hymnic narratives (as at C. i. 10. 9-16, i. 12. 41-4, 1. 34. 5-12— a narrative lacking a proper hymn, Carm. Saec. 37-44— a parenthetic narrative?) are generally well enough understood, I address these only when relevant, unless they occur in the odes listed below. Many hym n s in fact contain no narrative, e.g. C. 1. 21, 1. 30, 3. 21, 3. 22. The m ost important criterion for formal narrative is the perfect tense, especially in the third person. Although I do not analyse every instance, those where (in m y judgement) the poet engages in narration: C. I. 7, i. 8, i. 15, i. 22, i . 37, 2. i, 2. 7, 2. 13, 2. 19, 2. 20 (a special case o f prediction), 3. 3, 3· 4, 3· 5, 3· 7,3· n , 3· 27, 4. 4, 4. 6, 4. 14. Other m inor or distorted instances (e.g. C. 1. 2, X. 3, 3. 16, 4. 9) are discussed in passing. C. 4. 15 offers a special case o f a series of in all likelihood present perfects (Ch. 9). 20 Narrative construction pertains not only to an ode’s dramatic situation, but to the larger structure o f individual collections— essentially the concern o f 1980s’ scholarship on arrangement. Furthermore there are discontinuous stories we stitch together as we read the Odes in order, such as the progressive development in the stories the poet tells about him self (ch. six). Santirocco’s (1986) 150-68 and (1984) analysis of the odes to Maecenas tells a story that develops through the Odes. The difference between these narratives and ordinary narrative lies in the location o f the narrating. In a ‘narrated narrative’ the speaking voice constructs the plot, in ‘non-narrated narratives’ the task devolves on the reader.

L yric D iscou rses


are: what details are included or excluded, what is taken for granted, where the emphasis falls, the motivation for telling a story, as well as th is story, and the degree of fit between story and context, in short, the differences between the tradition(s) and the version at hand. From a lyric point of view, the interest of a narrative resides as much in the fact of recounting as in the story. This interest comes from the general formal opposition of narrative to discourse in terms not only of representation, but of time (Benveniste 1971: 205-11). In narrative, the speaking voice steps backwards in time from the discourse of the moment. A divide separates the time of speech from the time of the events,27 and the formal constraints of narrative place it in overall opposition to lyric discourse: past tenses prevail over present or future, the third person eclipses the first and second, and words referring to the moment of speaking (here, now, tomorrow) are excluded.28 An event must be related. Lyric discourse, by contrast, is characterized by a first person speaking to a second and accompanied by all of the apparatus of the here and now; the ‘event’ is the act of communication (Davis 1991: 6). This temporal division from discourse is intrinsic to the narrative speech act. Speech cannot perform an action (promise, console, exhort) when it tells a story, other than the very telling of the story. The act of telling may c o n vey a promise or consolation or exhortation, but this superadded effect derives from the rhetorical context. If a narrative has an illocutionary force outside of telling the story, it will derive from the rhetorical purpose that motivates the story’s telling, that is, it will redound to the discourse which frames it.29 Ancient lyric in general presents itself as predominantly ‘rhetorical’ (rather than, e.g. ‘contemplative’) because its primary mode is the enactment of speech.30 If epic generally adheres to the restrictions of narrative discourse, lyric has the freedom to utter a much wider range of speech acts. It is widely agreed that the various manifestations of archaic Greek lyric arose out of—or at least mimic— utterances con27 Genette (1972) 77-8; Bakhtin (1981) 255-6: ‘If I relate (or write about) an event that has just happened to me, then I as the teller (or writer) o f this event am already outside the time and space in which the event occurred.’ 28 Johnson (1982) 72; Genette (1976) 8-9; Benveniste (1971) 205-11; Heinze (1969) 174 on hie. 29 For ‘illocution’ and ‘illocutionary force’, Austin (1962) 91, 98-132, 144-51. 30 See Davis’s (1991) subtitle, The Rhetoric o f Horatian Lyric Discourse, Schrijvers (1973) 142-44; Lausberg (i960) 59-65; Kibédi Varga (1970) 84-98 on neo-classical lyric and tragedy; Heinze (1923) 176 and 182 on difference from narrative, on exclusion o f the contemplative (182).

L yric D iscou rses

ditioned by their social function.31 Congratulations at a wedding engendered wedding songs (hymenaion, epithalamian); praise of an athletic victor the victory ode (epinician); saying farewell the send-off poem (propempticon).32 Such speech acts were linked to ritual occa­ sions, but certain occasions offered the opportunity for a multiplicity of appropriate utterances and the possibility of reperforming a song from another occasion breaks any ‘natural’ connection between the song’s invented present and the moment of performance.33 At the symposium, the drinking song took its place alongside erotic songs, political songs, etc. What makes the songs rhetorical is not that a particular occasion caused their composition, but the way they pre­ suppose a context in which their utterance could take place. Lyric is hard to define in part because the range of appropriate utterances theoretically encompasses the range of those in life.34 Narration takes its place alongside exhortation, prayer, praise, rebuke, and the rest, but differs categorically in imposing restrictions on discourse. The dominance of enacted speech in Horace is such that he takes pains to situate even slight variations from this mode, such as narrative or contemplation, within a rhetorical context that grounds them in a present moment. The reason for this is simple: narrative serves not only the truth, but also a persuasive aim.35 The exception is C. i. 15, where no dramatic context justifies the telling of Paris’ abduction of Helen. Similarly, Horace refuses to bide by the formal constraints of narrative for very long. Instead of telling one story, Horace often lists stories as instances, subverting our interest in plot: the apotheoses of 31 Bibliography in Kurke (1991) 1 nn. 1 and 2; Rossi (1971); Calame (1974); Harvey (1955). This is a myth o f origins, which, like all such myths, tells only a partial truth. See Winkler (1990) 165 on Sappho’s poetry readings, occasions that would not generate the content o f songs: ‘the institution o f lyric composition was strong enough to occasion her songs as songs! 32 These different utterances gave rise to different lyric subgenres and to clusters of topoi that cross generic boundaries, such as the propempticon, ‘genres’ in Cairns’s (1972) sense; see A. Fowler (1982) i n - 1 8 . 33 See Burnett’s (1983) 2 -6 salutary remarks against naive occasionalism and on the invention o f occasion. 34 Also because occasion does not determine genre absolutely. The paean (ostensibly a hymn to Apollo) for instance was sung on a variety of occasions— although its generic status thereby becomes questionable, Harvey (1955) 172-3. 35 Because o f its interestedness narratio does not come first in the dispositio o f a speech and must be embedded. On the utilitas o f narratio, see e.g. A d Herennium 1. 12. Kibédi Varga (1970) 76 cites neo-classical handbooks and remarks: ‘La narration est l’exposition du fait, disent les traités, ou, plus exactement: «une exposition propre à persuader d’une chose faite ou de la manière dont elle a été faite» (Le Gras, p. 112). Cette precision est capitale, car elle fait toute la difference entre la narration de l’orateur et celle de l’historien; celui-ci est «uniquement occupé du vrai», tandis que «l’intérét du vrai n’est pas le seul qui dirige [le] discours» de l’orateur (Grevier, pp. 348-9).’


Pollux, Hercules, Bacchus, and Quirinus (C. 3. 3. 9 - 1 6 ) ; the brief stories about Amphiaraus, Philip II, and the generalizing sea captains, which follow a gnome about the corrupting influence of wealth (C. 3. 16. 11-15). Often no more than a token perfect in the third person sets the stage for a speech by a mythological character, so that the poet does not merely relate a series of past actions in past tenses, but rather returns to enacted speech so that the speaker enacts someone else’s speaking in the manner of drama (C. 1. 7, 1. 15, 3. 3, 3. 5, 3. 11, 3· 27, E podes 13).36 The reader again confronts a voice speaking in the here and now, albeit not the same here and now as the poet’s.37 Horace’s tendency to return to another speaking voice within his narratives minimizes the proportion of narrative to discourse, while still taking us away from the moment of speaking.


i s c o u r s e / N a r r a t iv e

The energy Horace expends in his attempts to exert formal control over narrative reveals the threat it poses to a rhetorical universe. Instead, however, of attempting to eradicate the threat—an impossi­ bility in any case—Horace exploits it to poetic advantage. But Horace by no means invented the struggle between motivated discourse and the desire to tell something for itself. A glance at Greek lyric, a story and an instance, will reveal the stakes. Narrative is an important component of Greek lyric, and, in extant poetry, almost always answers a rhetorical need, even if such a need fails to account totally for the narrative’s presence.38 Even epic presents 36 Helm (1935) 353. Euripidean messenger speeches often include direct speech, de Jong (1991) 131 with bibliography n. 35, Appendix H, but Horace’s direct speeches within narrative tend to dominate, unlike Euripides’ two-verse average (132). 37 De Jong (1991) 138-9 considers the return o f the dominant dramatic mode within messenger narratives: techniques such as the historic present and direct speech are used by the messenger ‘in order to make his narrative a dramatic one’ (my emphasis); nevertheless, ‘it is a narrative, a verbal representation o f action, instead o f action performed on stage.’ 38 Although narrative occurs to som e extent in all branches o f Greek lyric, it is more securely grounded in the ‘choral’ genres. I have been unable to find a general treatment o f the issue. For the early Latin lyric attested by Cicero’s account o f Cato’s Origines (fr. 118 Peter), where song in praise o f famous m en was sung in a convivial context, it is impossible to tell whether the praise entailed narration (or the mere record o f salient facts, as sometimes in victory odes). Zorzetti (1990) 304 supposes that the m emory o f this tradition lingered on, despite the complete loss o f these texts, as Cicero’s desire for them attests ( utinam exstarent illa carmina . . ., Brut. 75). The eclipse o f the early Roman archaic lyric described, by Zorzetti (1990 and 1990—91), meant that Horace had to reinvent the genre as a literary artefact as well as a social phenomenon.


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L yric D iscou rses

itself as an address to the Muse and would follow a hymn in ancient performance, and one can understand tragedy as a ritual to which the story is subordinate.39 Clearly there are degrees. Dithyramb has unfor­ tunately left insufficient traces for us to reconstruct the extent to which and, more importantly, how narrative manifested itself (Pickard-Cambridge 1927: ch. 1; Harvey 1955: 173-4). The space given to narrative bears no relation to its rhetorical purpose. However much space it occupies, the myth in epinician reflects glory on the victor, whether by analogy or expansion or simply through the collocation of illustrious gods or heroes with the victor within the same utterance.40 The story about Simonides’ invention of a memory system lays bare a tension between the myth’s rhetorical role in epinician (victory ode), and concerns that break such narrow bounds ( P M G 519, also Cousin 1975-80: ad loc.). Scopas (the name is disputed), who had commis­ sioned an ode from Simonides, told him to seek half of his payment from Castor and Pollux, since he had praised them equally to himself. At the victory banquet a message came to Simonides that two young men outside wanted to speak to him urgently. He left the hall and found no one, but meanwhile the roof collapsed, leaving the dead banqueters unrecognizable. Simonides reaped the second half of his payment from the gods, who saved his life. The memory system was invented by his recollecting the seating arrangement in the attempt to identify the corpses for burial. Cicero calls the purpose of Simonides’ writing on Castor and Pollux ornamentation: in q u o m u lta o rn a n d i cau sa p o e ta r u m m o re in C a sto re m sc rip ta e t P o llu cem fu is s e n t (‘in which much was written in honor of Castor and Pollux for the sake of adornment, after the manner of poets’, d e O ra t. 2. 86). Quintilian calls it digression and also adds the crucial word praise: q u o d m o re p o e tis fr e q u e n tis sim o degressus in la u d es C a sto ris ac P ollu cis e x ie r a t (‘because, having digressed in a manner very frequent among poets, he had departed onto praise of Castor and Pollux’, 11. 2. 11). Ornamentation and digression are categories of supplementarity: ornament adds something extra, digression takes you away from the centre, which, for epinician, is praise of the victor.

Scopas fails—along with the ancient rhetoricians—to understand that this ‘extra’ section is an essential feature of the genre, that praise of the gods redounds to the praise of the victor, that the victor’s praise belongs to a larger social and religious context that demands the narration of myth. This failure drives a split between central and secondary features, that is, formal ones.41 His misunderstanding reveals the essential disparity between narrative understood as a formal category, and a larger perspective. The story teaches us not to tamper with the narrative; that its formal, rhetorical subordination masks a power that completely overturns the hierarchy. One could argue that society produces victors in order to get the national myth told. Ibycus 282a also demonstrates how the rhetorically subordinate can gain the upper hand.42 It is a triadic ode by a poet we normally associate with love poetry.43 The fragment begins in the middle (at an antistrophe), recounting in broad strokes the Trojan war. The amount of space occupied by the narrative is disproportionate to the poet’s utterance, which keeps breaking into the narrative to disavow telling of the Trojan war, a subject which keeps getting the better of him:

39 Hence the complaint ον δέν προς τον Δ ιόνυσον (nothing to do with Dionysus). 40 The myth is made relevant. Bundy’s (1986) strict functionalism does not account for the myth’s poetic resonances; Köhnken (1971) unifies form and function and demonstrates the compatibility o f poetry with rhetoric. It is the social occasion of the m om ent that impels narration. The myth consequently has a different status in the victory ode from that in epic or drama, where representation is a more primary concern.


νϋν Sé μοι ovre ξειναπάταν Πάριν . . ςτηθνμιον ovre τανίσφυρον νμνην Κασσάνδραν . . . (ίο— 12)

I do not want to sing o f / host-deceiving Paris, or of / slender-ankled Cassandra

41 Köhnken (1971) argues in his introduction against the myth as mere decoration and unmotivated digression on the one hand, a purely allegorical screen for contem ­ porary history on the other. The digressive understanding o f the myth is ancient (10 n. 60). 42 PM G i = SLG S 151 (text as in SLG). This poem is not technically a recusatio (refusal poem), but displays a similar tension between what it purports to do and what it does. Woodbury (1985); Feeney (1993) 54. 43 Davies (1988) has shown the falsity o f the monody/choral lyric distinction, parti­ cularly as something that can determ ine subject matter or style, and prefers a division according to metre and dialect. A separate but related issue is whether lyric was performed solo or by the chorus, bibliography at Bing (1993) 190 n. 27. In the absence o f rival terms, I continue to use ‘m onody’ and choral lyric’ as shorthand for the division between Sappho, Alcaeus, and Anacreon on the one hand, Aleman, Stesichorus, Ibycus, Simonides, Pindar, and Bacchylides on the other (Davies 1988: 63) without prejudice as to performance practice. Horace keeps the groups distinct, but, despite occasional metrical comments on Pindar and the like ( numeris . . . / lege solutis, C. 4. 2. 11—12; Archilochus, Epist. 1. 19. 24-5; Anacreon, Epodes 14. 12), tends in the Odes to define differences according to subject matter and stylistic height.

L yric D iscou rses

P oetics o f P resen ce/P oetics o f I m m o r ta lity κ α ί τα μ εν αν Μ οίσ α ι σ εσ ο φ ισ μ ενα ι


i s a v o w in g



a r r a t iv e

ευ 'Ε λικω νίδες εμ β α ίεν ^λόγω ι^, θνατος S’ οΰ κεν avrjp

Homer is the prime exemplar for the conferral of immortality through poetry. Evoking Homer reinforces Ibycus’ exemplarity and proves the point by analogy about himself. On the one hand, no matter how much space the narrative may take up, as soon as it is told for some purpose exterior to itself, it becomes logically and rhetorically subordinate;45 on the other, its poetic power exceeds the bounds of its purpose. Ibycus appears to apologize, but his appropriation of the master narrative (Homer) not only confers glory on Polycrates, but elevates his own poetic status. Narrative in lyric may always have an ornamental, digressive, sec­ ondary, supplemental status. This makes it poetically productive, espe­ cially in the hands of a poet who delights in excursuses u ltra te r m in u m (‘beyond the limit’).

Much of Horace is about poetry: about genre, about style, about discourse, about traditions and their innovations. Is the poetry about poetry inside or outside the poetry itself? When Horace proclaims, via an entire repertory of symbols and codes, that his poetry is lyric, is the proclamation itself lyric, or does it lie outside lyric?46 These are the questions of self-reference. Referring to one’s self entails stepping outside of oneself; subject and object are the same, split but not divided. It is not a simple question of exteriority; the objective com­ ment occurs within.47 One of the most baffling things about poetry is that vast quantities of it are about itself. It should be about birds and shepherd boys and animated landscapes, but instead it is about poetic vocations, about turning the stylus, about not being up to praising Caesar. Do such things fit their own definitions? Metapoetics makes my head spin. In asking how Horatian narrative fits its lyric context, I ask both interior and exterior sorts of questions. The former entail looking at what form lyric narrative takes when subjected to the pressures of generic decorum, and necessarily at the generic pressures themselves.48 The latter mean looking at Horace’s explicit statements or rhetorical gestures of either accommodation or distancing, and how these exter­ ior comments affect our perception of what Horace does. If I could divide these issues, I would first present a section on genre and style in and of themselves, and then one on how Horace talks about them, but their mutual implication makes this difficult. Let us look at these issues in Horatian lyric as pertains to narrative, taking inside and outside together. Mode of representation was and is an im portant generic indicator. Plato and Aristotle both cite different genres to illustrate what they mean by the distinction of enactment from recounting; the converse obtains if our emphasis shifts to the question of what differentiates one genre from another. Mode of discourse, manner of representation are

44 On the text, Woodbury (1985) 203. 45 Pindar’s frequent use o f the relative pronoun as a transition into mythic narrative is a grammatical emblem o f the myth’s subordinate rhetorical status, Des Places (1947) 4 8 50. Sappho’s ‘ballad’ material is regularly assigned to hymenaion (wedding hymn), the assumption being that the grounding rhetorical context has been lost. Alcaeus 42V, an almost entirely mythic poem (if complete), begins with an indication o f a narrator: ώς Aóyos·.

46 For lyric symbols and codes, see Davis (1991) especially 114-44. 47 Derrida uses the language o f the ‘fold’ {pii) for this phenomenon, sometimes calling it ‘invagination’, i.e. exteriority has been folded into interiority so that these logical (and physical) pockets partake of both. With specific reference to genre, Derrida (1980); general discussion in Culler (1982) 192-205. 48 In Greek studies ‘lyric narrative’ is used differently, specifically o f inset narratives with ring composition, Slater (1983), Hurst (1984).

διερος τα εκ α σ τα εϊττοι ναών δάσος αριθμός . . .


The skilled Muses of Helicon / could well embark even on these things / in speech. But no mortal man alive / could tell the details of the ships, / how great a number . . .

Then the poet continues telling the story, despite what he has averred— or rather, he steps aside to let the Muses tell the story. Finally, at the very end (marked by a coronis), the poet makes the analogy that justifies the ‘digression’: το ΐς μ εν ττεδα κ ά λλεος αίεν κα ί συ, Π ο λύ κ ρ α τες, κλέος άφ θιτον εζεΐς ώς κ α τ αοιδαν και εμ ον κλέος.

(46—8 )44

They always partake o f beauty; / even you, Polycrates, will have / everlasting fame, as far as my song / is concerned, and my fame.

P oetics o f P resen ce/P oetics o f I m m o r ta lity

L yric D iscou rses

factors among others. When Horace uses narrative in a genre that primarily enacts, the switch in discourse and manner of representation necessarily affects the constitution of the genre. The somewhat alien nature of narrative in Horace’s O d es makes it a vehicle for including other alien’ elements. Narrative form often goes hand in hand with content primarily associated with genres other than lyric (epic espe­ cially, but also elegy). Inversely, Horace manipulates his mode of discourse as a technique to open his lyric to other genres. Generic openness is a well-recognized feature of Latin poetry that allies it with Hellenistic poetry over against earlier Greek poetry.49 Greek drama, however, was hardly a closed genre, but it functioned within its constituting tradition, as opposed to adopting rules already encoded elsewhere.50 It only makes sense to speak of genre—a dialectic between restriction and rebellion, between establishing boundaries and crossing them— at the point of reinventing tradition, when individual works engage in dialogue with their predecessors of the same kind.51 Dialogue across the lines of the major kinds happens as soon as we have evidence for the existence of more than one kind.53 Genre is a

category of belatedness (and originality) always already in place that becomes more acute at the end stages of a tradition. The generic openness of Augustan poetry derives at least partially from its historical situation.53 Latin literature can be thought of as the successive reinvention of the Greek literary kinds, and of filling in slots left empty, (Conte 1994: 116-17). Reinvention was needed not only because of the translation into a different culture but because some time-honoured kinds had petered out. When Horace decided to com­ pose lyric, despite experimentation by Callimachus, Theocritus, Lae­ vius, and Catullus, the kind was dead, that is, there was no living tradition of lyric to generate some sort of ‘natural’, rule-generating form.54 In adopting lyric metres in the first century bc , Horace rein­ vented a genre that did not exist as such in the minds of contemporary readers outside literary history. Epigram had supplanted lyric, and while epigram provides a bridge between archaic and Horatian lyric, Horace distances himself from epigram on the programmatic level.55 Small wonder that self-definition plays such a large role in a genre for all intents and purposes new; before crossing boundaries, Horace had to set them up.56 In singling out Alcaeus as his most formative pre­ decessor in O d es 1-3, Horace made a choice by no means inevitable.57 He could have chosen Sappho or Pindar or Stesichorus, to name others who would have shaped Horace’s lyric in decisively different ways— signally, to produce a poetry either more inclined to love interests, or to politics—and indeed the influence of the other lyrists gives rise to subtle alterations in the O d es’ fabric. The turn more towards Pindar, and to Simonides (Barchiesi 1996) in O d e s 4 is one of the essential differences between the first and second collections.


49 Kroll’s (1924) metaphor ‘Kreuzung der Gattungen’ assumes a genre has a true ‘natural’ form, that can be modified (improved?) by hybridization. Genette (1977) 41921 critiques attempts to naturalize the objects o f generic classification. The cleft between Hellenistic poetry and earlier Greek poetry is described in different ways: for Nagy (1990a) 9 genre compensates for the lost occasionality o f archaic poetry; Murray (1985) 39 sees a progression from ‘living genres’, motivated by occasion, to ‘dead genres’, artistic forms surviving outside their original context. On generic transformation as a historical process disallowing fixity, A. Fowler (1982). ‘Genre’ means different things in different contexts, Murray (1985) 39; Russell (1981) 148. A. Fowler (1982) 54 ff. makes a significant con­ tribution by pointing out that not all genre distinctions belong to the same category. He distinguishes between ‘kind’, as in epic, tragedy, comedy, lyric, etc. (54-87); ‘subgenre’, e.g. epinician within lyric; ‘rhetorical genre’, e.g. the propempticon which occurs in different kinds, and generally the sets o f topoi Cairns (1972) means by genre (111-18); ‘m ode’, one kind’s colouring o f another, as in an epic m ode within lyric (106-11). 50 Temporal distance matters. Euripides differs from Aeschylus, but from Seneca’s or Racine’s perspective, both belong to ‘Greek tragedy’ over and above tragedy more broadly construed. 51 This point is unrecoverable; it happened before recorded literature. The Niobe and Meleager exempla in Iliad 24 and 9 may derive from another epic tradition— a sign of generic awareness. D. F. Kennedy (1989) 210: ‘Genre is not something that pre-exists texts, but something that texts constantly re-constitute. Genres are only ever intertextual frames, only ever constructed in discourse’; ‘In the repetition that attracts the description “generic”, there is inevitably a recontextualization, involving marks o f repetition and traces of citation from other sources, which brings about generic change in the very act o f repetition.’ 52 For the controversy over Sappho’s dialogue with epic, Ferrari (1986) with biblio­ graphy 441 nn. 2 and 3. Whether Sappho looks to Homer or to a heroic elegiac poetry within Aeolic, generic difference still obtains in her epicizing fragments.


53 See Harrison’s (1993) 131-7 overview o f the topic for Horatian lyric. 54 In Murray’s (1985) terms, Horace’s reinvention o f lyric is also ‘dead’ in that it is divorced from its originating context. The earlier efforts by Catullus and others are isolated instances, not attempts to recreate a genre. 55 Witness the exclusion o f the phalaecean hendecasyllable, a typical epigrammatic metre used notably by Catullus, and the names o f epigrammatists in favour o f lyric poets in programmatic contexts, Syndikus (1972) 9. 5 who under­ stands sermones deorum exclusively o f subject matter (‘epic themes’, ‘grand themes’) and equates subject with genre (‘subjects not appropriate to his chosen genre’, 142).


65 Recent scholarship emphasizes Horace’s reduction o f the grander, the accommoda­ tion instead of the transgression, e.g. Santirocco (1986) 35-9 on C. 1. 6-8, Harrison (1993) 153-4 on C. 3. 27, 161 generally on the absorption o f non-lyric material. Davis (1991) focuses on how Horace transforms the material he disavows, especially for reasons o f generic propriety, so that it ‘fits’. This movement reacts against an earlier trend to take the grand manner in the Odes for granted, e.g. Campbell (1924) 58. Accommodation can only ever rectify a prior transgression. 66 Some overlook this technique’s archaic origins and focus on its Alexandrian character, e.g. Lyne (1978) 32-6. Older scholarship rightly sees this as a technique shared by Callimachus and Pindar, bibliography at Newman (1967a) 45 item a.

P oetics o f P resen ce/P oetics o f I m m o r ta lity

L yric D iscou rses

establishing. In addition, it explains.67 Why is overt language necessary above and beyond the accommodation in the fabric of the text? Why does Horace not let us figure it out on our own, without authorial intervention?68 No answer wholly satisfies. Since communication between author and reader goes only in one direction, generic mark­ ings crave redundancy (A. Fowler 1982: 21). All the more so when a genre reinvents itself. Self-reference is endemic in the smaller genres because they are anxious about their identity. Although epic may show self-awareness about how its narrative unfolds, even in the hands of Vergil it does not have the need to be about itself to the same degree; it takes its importance (more) for granted. Part of the difference lies in epic’s primary, if not exclusive, aim: to tell a story. No matter how much it engages in meta-narrative, it nevertheless must get the story told, and to that extent must be about something besides itself. Overt language guides us up and down the stylistic register, across the boundaries of generic difference, so that we know, if only retro­ spectively, where we are. Such language tells us that the poet knows what he is doing (and that he knows we know etc.). What can make your head spin is that such language does not simply denote what is going on within the poem from the outside, it functions as part of the poem as well. In the final stanza of C. 3. 3 Horace adapts a lyric rhetorical gesture, the so-called A b bru ch sform el, from Pindar.69 In infusing a high-style lyric device with Alexandrian stylistic vocabulary, Horace both recognizes the poetic height of the ode and reduces it to scale. What disturbs is not that Horace has it both ways, but that he has it both ways tw ic e (or more). Say we accept Horace’s accommodation. It soothes; everything is made to fit. The explicit statements match the poetry proper. Horace speaks in the first person in the here and now, and he tells us to live in the present—genre and philosophy likewise accord seamlessly. Or do

they? According to Mette’s formulation ‘“genus tenue”, und “mensa tenuis’” (slender style and slender table) the congruent style and life are both te n u is (1961). No m en sa g ra n d is corresponds to Horace’s forays into the genus g ran de. This imbalance reveals something impor­ tant about Horace’s genre, style, discourse, philosophy. The excursuses into epic, the high style, narrative, myth, and history depart from a centre that is lyric, tenue, discourse, sympotic. These departures are assimilated, but assimilation should not lull us into thinking they are not departures. Narrative takes us back in time, away from the moment of utterance, it resists to some degree the imperative of carpe d iem . Narrative’s accommodation shows its need to be brought into the fold of the genre; telling stories is risky, or is presented as such, because it resists lyric as defined by the speaking moment. For both the philosophy and the genre of Horatian lyric, narrative represents a diversion—both a turning away and an occupation of the mind. In the latter meaning of entertainment, narrative does fulfil the demand for the pleasures of the moment: the events of the story are enacted again and again at each telling. Telling the story brings the past into the present. We come full circle.

67 Irony, as in Harrison (1993) 147-8, is o f course part o f the story. 68 Landor said o f the similar final stanza o f C. 2. 1 ‘better without’, Campbell (1924) 231; Page (1977) 188 wishes Horace had omitted the first stanza o f C. 1. 24, which basically serves to indicate genre. Derrida (1980) 185 asks: ‘peut-on identifier une oeuvre d’art, quelle quelle soit et singulièrement une oeuvre d’art discursive, qui ne porte la marque d’un genre et qui ne la signale, remarque ou donne à remarquer de quelque fa^on?’ 69 N H (1978) 29, on the similar ending o f C. 2. 1, with bibliography. Compare the ending refrain in Theocritus 1. 127: λήγετε βονκολικάς, Μοΐσαι, ire λη γετ doiSäs (‘Stop, Muses, come now stop the bucolic song’). Thyrsis identifies the genre o f the song he asks the Muses to stop. Horace combines two requests o f the Muse: to stop the poem, and to stop making generic disturbances.


E xem plary R elevance

Perhaps Horace’s most important technique for grounding narrative in the moment of speaking is exemplification; argument lends rele­ vance.70 The rhetorical structure of exemplification prevents stories from being told ‘for their own sake’, although the structure may be added to justify telling the story.71 Far from mere ornamentation, the presentation of a story in exemplary form arises from a generic pres­ sure that makes discourse prior and demands motivation for story­ telling. Horace’s narratives do not theoretically have the liberty to be 70 Davis (1991) 2-3 coins the term ‘lyric argument’. His book writes a poetic rhetoric and demonstrates how poetry makes persuasive arguments. See Heinze (1923) 182 on the didacticism o f Horace’s rare personal narratives. 71 Fraenkel (1957) 192-3 begins by saying that the myth in C. 3. 27 serves ‘to exemplify and to strengthen the moral o f the preceding stanzas’, but ends up turning the situation around: ‘what induced Horace to write this ode was not his wish to dissuade a young lady from a voyage, but his intention to recast the old tale o f Europa in the new style o f his lyrics. His pretended feelings for Galatea provided a suitable pretext for giving the poem a semblance of spontaneity and making it conform to the majority o f his odes.’


P oetics o f P resen ce/P oetics o f I m m o r ta lity

entirely about their story.72 But the exemplum is a figure, that is, it exists as its own entity beyond its rhetorical purpose. Even in this most grounded5 way of getting a story told, narrative cannot help but take liberties it does not in theory have. The struggle between relevance and sheer illogic opens a gap wherein lies poetic meaning. Exemplification knits— or attempts to—the narrative into a rheto­ rical context of persuasion. As Aristotle tells us, the exemplum is the rhetorical equivalent of an induction, the argument from a particular instance or precedent: κ α λ ώ π α ρ ά δ ε ιγ μ α δ ε ε π α γ ω γ ή ν ρ η τ ο ρ ικ ή ν (Ί call an exemplum a rhetorical induction, R h et. i. 2. 8 = i356b4~5).73 As opposed to deduction, where a particular instance follows from the general principle, in induction the general principle derives from the particular instance. Danae’s story grounds the gnome in C. 3. 16.74 The exemplum is necessary to the argument and is not a simple instance added for clarification; it constitutes the argument and consequently cannot be isolated from its context without detriment to the thought as a whole. Aristotle, however, defines the p a r a d e ig m a for the purposes of rhetoric; the extent to which in poetry a narrative exemplum is necessary to its grounding context must be addressed instance by instance. At stake is a poem s unity, both as a rhetorical construct and, a separate but related issue, as a literary artefact. Even in Antiquity the exemplum was recognized as tricky.75 The a u c to r a d A le x a n d ru m comments that because most things resemble each other in some respect and differ in another, there will not only be an abundance of exempla at our disposal, it will be easy to refute another’s.76 In debate, one can turn the opponent’s exemplum around 72 Gnomai similarly ‘should’ relate to the subject matter, N. T. Kennedy (1975) 16-17. Independent narratives incite censure, as Kennedy (x8) continues on Horace and Greek myth: ‘his references to it are all contained within passages of comparison, not passages of narrative . . . when by contrast he indulges in full-blown myth, as in 3. 27 (Europa and the bull), he rivals the tedium o f Ovid’s worst poetry.’ 73 Kassel (1976) places this statement in double brackets, which signify ‘additions which either are or could be Aristotle’s own’. Whether or not Aristotle was the actual author, the idea had an important place in the tradition, see references in Kassel, including Quintilian 5. 11. 2, and Solmsen (1941) 39 · 74 The telling o f the story as contrary to fact (she would have been sufficiently well guarded had Jupiter not turned him self into money) signals that it is told for some purpose. 75 Goldhill (1994) demonstrates the impossibility o f controlling exemplarity, in theory and in practical criticism.

76 τα γά ρ π λείστα τω ν έρ γω ν rfj μ εν όμοια, rfj δε ανόμοια α λλη λος εστιν. ώστε δια την αιτίαν ταύτην καί π α ρα δειγμά τω ν εύπορη σομεν καί τοΐς ύπό των ά λλω ν λεγόμ ενό is ου χα λεπώ ς άντεροΰμεν


8 14 .


43 38 °

—n ) ·

L yric D iscou rses


by pointing out discrepancies. To avoid this sort of refutation, he recom­ mends taking exempla that are proper to the point, and emphasizes similarity, whether direct or opposite.77 Quintilian likewise prefers the comparison that bears the closest resemblance and uses no admixture of metaphor.78 Extra, unassimilable material threatens one’s point. A weakness subject to refutation in rhetoric opens poetic opportu­ nities. Refutation p e r se is irrelevant, but the slippage between context and any kind of overt or implied comparison, whether simile or exem­ plum, opens questions of unity. One question is internal to the poem’s argument: does the exemplum persuade the addressee? We cannot know unless the addressee is so represented. I mean rather: does the exemplum support the point the speaker is making? If not, the argu­ ment’s unity breaks down. Another question lies outside rhetoric: whether or not the exemplum ‘succeeds’ rhetorically, what does its success, or lack thereof, add to the poem’s meaning? Any comparison opens these questions, but a simile and an exemplum differ in that the latter is implicated in an argument. (A simile in an argument becomes an exemplum.) The difficulty of dealing with the unlike part of a comparison—already high in a simile—is compounded when the com­ parison serves not simply to illustrate but to persuade.79 The residue of the unlike creates an excess of meaning that must be confronted.80 One standard way an exemplum may differ from the point it means to prove is through the a fo r tio r i argument. S e d u t s u n t e x e m p la in te rim to ta sim ilia , . . . sic in te rim ex m a io rib u s a d m in o ra , ex m in o rib u s a d m a io ra d u c u n tu r (‘But just as there are sometimes exempla similar in all respects, . . . so sometimes they are drawn from the greater to the less, from the less to the greater’, Quintilian, 5. 11. 9). All of Horace’s mythological and historical exempla in the O d es are ex m a io rib u s a d m in o ra (from the greater to the less).81 The past lends itself to greater 77 λαμβάνειν δε δει τα παραδείγματα οικεία τώ πράγματι, 32 . 3 = Ι 439 *ϊ> παραδείγματα δ’ εστί πράξεις ομοιαι γεγενημεναι καί εναντίαι ταΐς νϋν ύφ’ ημών λεγομεναις, 8. I = i4 2 9 a2 l - 2 .

78 proximas exemplo vires habet similitudo, praecipueque illa quae ducitur citra ullam tralationum mixturam ex rebus paene paribus (5. 11. 22). 79 Nimis (1987) gets around narrow considerations o f similarity in similes via semio­ tics; bibliography 183 n. r. 80 Feeney (1992) 33 addresses this problem for Catullus 68B. 81 Sometimes for universalism. Achilles’ death and Tithonus’ long age prove nihil est ab omni parte beatum, (‘nothing is blessed in every respect’, C. 2 .1 6 .2 9 -3 0 ), and the moral then devolves upon T and ‘you’. Death will likewise come for Torquatus, just as it did for Hippolytus and Pirithous, C. 4. 7, 25-8. Sometimes for humorous effect. Achilles, Ajax, and Agamemnon offer parallels to Xanthias in C. 2. 4: they all love slave girls. Danae’s seduction by a shower o f gold is reduced to a metaphor for bribery in C. 3. 16.


P oetics o f P resen ce/P oetics o f I m m o r ta lity

loftiness or extremity. Willcock paraphrases the logic of the loftier type thus: ‘you must do this, because X, who was in more or less the same situation as you, and a more significant person, did it.’ His summary of the Niobe exemplum in I lia d 24. 599-629 introduces greater extremity: ‘Niobe’s situation as described is clearly very like Priam’s, only more so. Priam has lost one son: Niobe lost all twelve; and yet Niobe ate food. A fo r tio r i Priam should eat.’ (1964: 141-2). Some degree of disparity is built into the logic of the ex m a io rib u s (the ex m in o rib u s as well), and does not necessarily open the argument to refutation or disunity even on the rhetorical level. The rhetorical effectiveness of an exemplum contributes to its poetic function, but does not, however, exhaust it. The Niobe exemplum is a case in point. Although the extent to which the Homeric text implies the standard story is controversial, Niobe in the later tradition becomes the paradigm of inconsolability: she turned into an eternally weeping stone.82 On the rhetorical level the a fo r tio r i argument works: ‘if even Niobe was consoled, how much more should you be consoled who have endured lesser suffering.’ Achilles does persuade Priam to eat. But if we remember the standard version in which Niobe turned to stone from grief, the exemplum has great poetic resonance: no matter how much Priam acquiesces to eating in Achilles’ company, the con­ solation fails. On the poetic level of communication between the poet and audience, the exemplum functions as a simile. Although Achilles could be refuted by the objection that Niobe was not in fact consoled, that he got the story wrong, the poet controls both Achilles’ version, with its rhetorical aim, and the greater import of the exemplum, which tells us something about Priam above and beyond the scene depicted. Poetic meaning oversteps the restricted purview of the rhetoricians’ logic; its unity may even thrive on irrationalities of argumentation. We must distinguish the harmonious elements in an exemplum from the disruptive, and attempt to determine whether they disrupt the argument or the poem, whether the poet makes the speaker use a flawed argument, or it is a question of language escaping the poet’s control— or our own. Exemplification is dangerous not because it is anarchic, but because logic and illogic lie side by side, two peas in a pod. 82 Oehler (1925) 7: ‘Achilles konnte dem Priamus nicht von Niobes Tod erzählen, ohne den Zweck des Exemplums zu stören.’ Later versions in Oehler (1925) 94—5, 103, 119. On the issue o f ‘ad hoc composition’ in Homer, Willcock (1964 and 1977) and Braswell (1971); a different view in Nagy (1992).

2 The Time of Writing and o f Song

I start from the premise that lyric time is the h ie e t nunc. But there are many different kinds of h ere a n d n ow . There is the n o w of the poet’s composition, the n o w of our reading, the n o w of the utterance repre­ sented in the poem. Are these the same or do we perceive them as separate but intertwined? ‘A postrophe resists narrative because its n o w is not a moment in a temporal sequence but a n o w of discourse, of writing. The temporality of writing is scarcely understood, difficult to think, but it seems to be that toward which the lyric strives’ (Culler 1981: 152). Lyric strives for this temporality despite the framework of address. The ‘time of writing’ is an odd time that is no time but an atemporal possibility of iteration. It is the time of composition as well as of reception, whether reading or performance. The ‘time of writing’ has further implications in that it calls into question any originary time of utterance (to be distinguished from composition), which is the time rhetorical poetry purports to inhabit. The uniqueness of the time of utterance is at variance with the iteration that makes poetry possible and ensures its immortality. Horatian lyric is equally concerned with a transient and an eternal here a n d n ow , with the contemporary n o w of history and the timelessness granted by poetry. The temporal difference between the time of the story and of the narrating must be addressed in a poetry that takes pains to represent itself as the poetry of the here a n d now . The excursus into the past entailed in telling a story is matched in Horatian lyric by a projection of the poem as a whole into the future of immortality—by inscription onto the m o n u m e n tu m . Furthermore, Horace’s narratives are by and large interested. That is, they relate to the dramatic present of the poem’s situation. A large part of my aim in this study as a whole is to investigate how this interestedness works. This chapter shows that Horace’s lyric present is hardly single; its multiplicity, its implication in both past and future has consequences for narrative’s relation to it. An important function of narrative in lyric poetry is to confer praise—


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one manifestation of interestedness— and praise entails the re-enact­ ment of past events through utterance in the present, which will in turn be preserved into the future. Horaces now , the time of utterance within the poem, the time of writing the poem, is the pivot on which these issues turn. The locus for Horace’s n o w is the injunction widely recognized as a cliché: carpe diem . Although the imagistic force of plucking keeps the phrase from triteness (D. West 1967: 58-64), its quotability makes it easy to dismiss, to subject to trivialization and accusations of sentimentality. C a rp e d ie m offers a convenient shorthand for expressing a broader constellation of ideas linked with the symposium, particularly the cen­ tral role of death (Davis 1991: 145, 163-7). In Davis’s words: ‘the lyric convivium becomes a microcosm for a certain plane of human existence in which poetry and ethical values intersect’ (1991: 181). Both poetry and ethics take a stand against the inevitability of death, not by resisting, but by acceptance. In recognizing that a time will come when the author’s personal presence will vanish, Horace’s poetry compensates for this absence by the insistence on the here and now. N o w continually moves forward: a new n o w makes up for the loss of the original. The author’s present yields to the reader’s present, which is in theory infi­ nitely repeatable and therefore sidesteps death—at least for the reader as an abstraction. Individual readers must replace their predecessors, and poetry is the vehicle for such immortality. Any work of literature achieves immortality through being read. What distinguishes lyric, and Horatian lyric in particular, is the way the utterance of a speaking ego inscribes the ever-recurring present into the fabric of the text.

to the addressee as opposed to the reader. The idealized temporality is natural and cyclical. The inevitable return of the seasons compensates for individual death with new life. The contingent temporality is human, linear, unrepeatable; it culminates in death.12 It is this feature of coming to an end that allows for narration; without closure, an event—whether past or future—could not be narrated. The perception of these two kinds of temporality gives rise to the crisis of the ‘spring poem’.3 The temporal markers in C. i. 4 provide a well-known instance:4



I n t e r s e c t io n


L in e a r


C y c l ic a l T

im e

Let us first consider two kinds of n o w in Horatian lyric. The first is idealized and repeatable; it takes life and poetry outside the contin­ gencies of history. In enjoining on his addressees and readers the symposium, Horace utters a timeless message: ‘live in the present.’ This present allows us to re-enact the speech of Horace’s poetry through reading; it recurs. The other n o w is historical and single, and consequently continually being lost.1 It is the moment of speaking 1 Frankel (1974) i i 3-53 distinguishes between the present tense as an actual historical tense and as an unmarked, atemporal ‘tense.’


Solvitur acris hiems grata vice veris et Favoni, trahuntque siccas machinae carinas, ac neque iam stabulis gaudet pecus aut arator igni, nec prata canis albicant pruinis. iam Cytherea choros ducit Venus inminente luna, iunctaeque Nymphis Gratiae decentes alterno terram quatiunt pede, dum gravis Cyclopum Vulcanus ardens visit officinas. nunc decet aut viridi nitidum caput impedire myrto aut flore, terrae quem ferunt solutae; nunc et in umbrosis Fauno decet immolare lucis, seu poscat agna, sive malit haedo. pallida Mors aequo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas regumque turris, o beate Sesti, vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat inchoare longam: iam te premet nox fabulaeque Manes et domus exilis Plutonia, quo simul mearis, nec regna vini sortiere talis, nec tenerum Lycidan mirabere, quo calet iuventus nunc omnis et m ox virgines tepebunt. Bitter winter melts with a pleasant turn o f spring and the West wind, / and the pulleys drag the dry keels, / no longer does the flock enjoy the stables, or the ploughman the hearth, / nor are the meadows white with frost. / Now Venus from Cythera leads the dances under the m oon above, / and the handsome Graces linking arms with the Nymphs / strike the earth with either foot, while ardent Vulcan / oversees the burdened workshops of the Cyclopes. / Now it is 3 Davis (1991) 145-88; Commager (1967) 265-91; Rudd (i960) 380. 3 Davis (1991) 159 shows that any season can set the opposition o f the different temporalities into effect. 4 Collinge (1961) 97-8 shows how the structure conveys two kinds o f time: ‘a circle and a line.’

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right to bind our glossy hair with green myrtle / or the flower the melting earth bears; / now it is right to offer Faunus sacrifice in the shady groves, / whether he wants a she or a he, prefers lamb or kid. / Pale Death with level foot knocks at the huts o f paupers / and towers o f kings. O blessed Sestius, / the short sum o f life forbids us start on a long hope; / soon night will press you, and the Shades o f fable, / and Pluto’s narrow house; as soon as you go there, / the die’s cast will not appoint you to rule the wine, / nor will you marvel at tender Lycidas, for whom all the youth / now grows hot and the maidens will soon grow warm.

(16) no longer means now’ in the sense of a returning point in a cycle, but rather ‘soon’.9 The future p r e m e t (16), followed by the future perfect m earis (17) and its accompanying futures sortiere and m irabere ( 18-19) present linear time: this will happen, and once it has, you will no longer enjoy the irretrievable present. The poet’s prediction is a narrative set in the future.10 The concluding clause brings home time’s inexorable advance with the progression of tenses and adverbs from the present calet . . . n u n c (19-20) into the future m o x . . . te p e b u n t (20). Ia m and nunc, each repeated in the cyclical time section (3, 5, 9, 11), become singular after the entry of death (16, 20). Indeed, there are a number of other repeated words before death’s entry (so lvitu r ; 1, solutae, 10; terram , η, terrae, 10; decet, 9, ii), but the only repetition within the last two stanzas is the telling n e c . . . n e c { 18-19). Rhyme and metrical correspondence in line and stanza position give a warning: n o x . . . m o x (16, 20). The verbal fabric of the poem mirrors its content. The perpetual alternation pre­ valent in cyclical time yields to the succession of young girls in the steps of the young men as admirers of Lycidas, u b i p u e r itia m excesserit (Ordii 1843: at m ox). Everyone is getting older. The poem ends with the linear, historical time that characterizes narrative, but over against the unrealistic long hope Horace dissuades Sestius from entertaining (15), Horace reinscribes the repeatable sym­ posium into the final stanza through negation.11 Instead of giving a gruesome description of the d o m u s exilis P lu to n ia ( 17 ), Horace tells Sestius what he will be missing in life: the sympotic-erotic world symbolized by wine (v in i, 18) and a love-interest, Lycidas. Negation is a characteristically Horatian technique for bringing together incom­ patibles. Just as winter makes itself present through negated imagery in the advent of spring ( n e q u e . . . nec, 3-4), so life, in a reverse gesture, asserts its presence in death (n e c . . . nec, 18-19).12 By denying Sestius’ future presence at the symposium (instead of affirming his death), Horace makes Sestius’ historical transience overlap with the cyclical time of celebration. The two kinds of time are also interwoven in that the festivities denied Sestius are generic, while the festival of Faunus enjoined in the cyclical time section is particular (9 - 12).13 Death

The first three stanzas of the ode entail repeatable time. The emphasis falls on a n o w {tarn, 3, 5; n unc, 9, 11) that is subject to return and to alternation (g ra ta vice, 1; a lte rn o . . . p e d e , 7).5 This moment is inhab­ ited by the seasons ( h iem s, veris. F avon i —a seasonable wind, 1) and the gods or other immortals (Venus, the Graces, nymphs, Vulcan, the Cyclopes, 5-8); the mortals, human and animal, are replaceable figures rather than individuals (p e c u s and arator, 3; a g n a and h aedo, 12). The return of spring brings an obligation of celebration, but d e c e t (9, 11) is impersonal; the fitting moment of celebration will keep returning for all time.56 While any spring occurs in history and will be experienced by individuals, spring itself is eternal and the individuals will be replaced. Only after death breaks into the poem in the fourth stanza does the poet address a particular historical addressee.7 Up to this point there is a range of appropriate behaviour; a u t . . . a u t (9-10) and seu . . . sive (12) leave things open. The choice of myrtle or wild flowers, a lamb or a kid, allows for alternation. This is the process death cuts short; the contrast between the alternating feet of the dance of the Graces (a lte rn o . . . p e d e , 7) and the single, levelling foot of death (aequ o . . . p e d e , 13) is a verbal icon of the different kinds of time. The dance, a historical event in any instance, is subject to iteration in a way that death for any individual is not. Once death erupts asyndetically into the poem with a marked series of plosives (p a llid a . . . p u ls a t p e d e p a u p e ru m , 13), time advances in a line.8 5 Rudd (i960) 383 notes how cyclic themes are indicated by vices. 6 Davis (1991) 155 notes that decet and iuvat often mark the appropriateness o f the ‘carpe diem response’. 7 The addressee’s identity as a historical person opens the poem to political inter­ pretation, e.g. Santirocco (1986) 31; Lyne (1995) 73-5. Will (1982) traces possible references to Sestius’ wealth from the brick and amphora trade (the ships, 2, officinas, 8, etc.). 8 See Quinn (1963) 20-1 on the abrupt transition in m ood that comes with death’s entrance.


la m

9 Syndikus (1972) 70 and 74 emphasizes the role o f the schon words. 10 On future narratives, see Ch. 4, on C. 1. 15 and Ch. 6, on C. 2. 20. 11 See Davis (1991) 155 on spes longa; 160-1 on the indirect prescription to enjoy life conveyed via negation. 12 See Syndikus (1972) 76 on negation and its balance in the first and last stanzas. 13 Syndikus (1972) 76 on the movement from particular to general.

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knocks on the door of life with an iterative verb (p u ls a t , 13). The images of rolling the dice for the office of master of ceremonies and of admiring an entirely replaceable and conventional te n e ru m L ycid a n situate the sympotic-erotic imagery in a moment of anticipation rather than fulfilment. Anticipation ipso fa c to entails the forward motion of time’s continuation. But perhaps the most significant emblem for the inextricability of the two kinds of time is the calendar, evoked in scholarship to pin down the poem’s dramatic date to the Ides of February. Barr (1962) suggests this particular date since it accords with the coming of Favo­ nius, a sacrifice to Faunus in his temple on the Insula Tiberia and the beginning of the festival of the dead, dies p a re n ta le s, on the same day. Although the coincidence of the sacrifice to Faunus with the festival of the dead should by no means be taken as a totalizing explanation for Death’s sudden appearance in this poem contrary to our expectations from Greek epigram (Syndikus 1972: 70-8), what is interesting for lyric time is the possibility of ascribing a date on the calendar— presumably possible even if Barr’s thesis does not hold (NH 1970: C. 1.4. i i list objections).14 If the sacrifice to Faunus suggests a particular day in the year, it does not in itself suggest a particular day in history since the date would recur every year.1516The Roman calendar, with its list of dates and what was allowed or required of each date, traces the repeatable time of the year through the linear time of the succession of years.10 The philosophical message about the incommensurability of our individual lives with the cycles of the natural world, the ‘content’ of the poem, accords with the fact of the poém.17 The death of its historical author has no effect on the repeatability of his voice. Unlike the historical Horace, the poet Horace still lives; the former could say n on o m n is m o r ia r (T will not all die’, C. 3. 30. 6), but the latter v o lita t

v iv u s p e r ora v ir u m (‘keeps flying alive through the mouths of men’, based on Ennius’ epitaph). Horace’s lyric n o w embraces neither kind of temporality to the exclusion of the other, but rather poetry’s transfor­ mation of the historical into the eternal through the mutual implica­ tion of the two kinds of time. It dwells in the paradox of the repeatability of a unique utterance. Horace’s presentation of tempor­ ality within his poetry accords with our own access to the poetry now from the remove of two millennia. The momentary coexistence of the utterance to Sestius with the eternal present has given way to the momentary coexistence of our reading the poem with the eternal present. The actual present has changed, but each participates in similarity across time. This is familiar territory for readers of Horace. But in C. 1. 4 it requires an application of the temporal oppositions within the poem to the poem as an artefact to produce an allegory of its eternity. This issue comes to the fore when poetics is the topic.

14 See Feeney (1993) 57-60 on the difference the Roman calendar makes to Horace over against the Greek poets’ conception o f time. 15 Those who would leap to the conclusion that this poem ’s dramatic date can be determined with precision by combining the Ides of February with 23 bc, the year of Sestius’ suffect consulship, will be disappointed that Sestius could not have entered office before June, N H (1970) xxxvi. 16 Michels (1967) describes the pre-Julian calendar; for the Julian calendar as an object and its social importance, Salzman (1990) introduction. 17 Santirocco (1986) 31 joins the poem ’s content with its existence as artefact: spring may be ‘an inceptive allusion, a reference to the commencement o f the Odes themselves’.


i s a v o w in g


r it t e n



Scriberis Vario fortis et hostium victor Maeonii carminis alite, quam rem cumque ferox navibus aut equis miles te duce gesserit. nos, Agrippa, neque haec dicere, nec gravem Pelidae stomachum cedere nescii, nec cursus duplicis per mare Ulixei, nec saevam Pelopis domum conamur, tenues grandia, dum Pudor18 imbellisque lyrae Musa potens vetat laudes egregii Caesaris et tuas culpa deterere ingeni. quis Martem tunica tectum adamantina digne scripserit aut pulvere Troico nigrum Merionen aut ope Palladis Tydiden superis parem?

18 Shackleton Bailey’s (1985) personification.


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nos convivia, nos proelia virginum sectis in iuvenes unguibus acrium cantamus, vacui sive quid urimur, 19 non praeter solitum leves. (C. i. 6 )

among the Romans of ‘Dichten und Singen,’ of literary writing and song.21 The distinction between writing and utterance is crucial for the relation of the time represented within the poem to the h ie e t n unc, both as the historical and as the timeless present. It is tempting to link song with the timeless present (lyric) and writing with the historically contingent one (narrative), but, as I aim to show, these terms are mutally implicated so that a simple one-on-one correspondence fails. In representing his poetic discourse as utterance, Horace embraces a phonocentric tradition that privileges the spoken word over the writ­ ten word, a present, authoritative voice over a voice that lives without speaking and reminds us of the author’s absence more than an orally repeated utterance ever does. This is the stance that informs archaic poetry and is especially important for lyric’s self-dramatization.22 Horace achieves several goals in using the vocabulary of song for his lyric. He first of all inscribes himself into the performance tradition of Greek lyric, effectively accomplishing his wish in C. 1. 1: q u o d si m e lyricis v a tib u s inseres, / s u b lim i fe r ia m sid era vertice (‘but if you add me to the lyric seers, I will hit the stars with the top of my head’, 35-6). Furthermore, he aligns his poetic production with the philosophical position advocated throughout the oeuvre: carpe d iem . The lyric h ie e t n u n c is contingent on the presence of a speaking lyric ego. What I am calling Horace’s ‘poetics of presence’ is his construction of his poetry as a rhetorical situation in which a speaker (not a writer) addresses an utterance to an addressee in the here and now. The rhetorical construction of Horatian lyric privileges the present

You will be written up by Varius, a Homeric songbird, / as brave and a winner over foes, / whatever deed your fierce soldier does / on ship or horse with you in command. / I, Agrippa, do not speak o f such things, or o f / the brooding bile o f Peleus’ unyielding son, / or double Ulysses’ sea journeys / or Pelops’ cruel house, / I do not try— I am light, these things are grand— / at least while Modesty and the potent Muse of the peaceful lyre forbid / me wear thin the praise o f excellent Caear and yours / through want o f genius. / Who could write Mars his due with his tunic / o f adamant, or Meriones, black with Trojan dust, / or the son o f Tydeus by Pallas’ aid / equal to gods? / I sing parties, I sing battles of girls / sharp with nails filed against boys, / I sing, carefree— or if some passion does burn me, / no lighter than usual.

C. i. 6 is known primarily as a recu satio to Agrippa that heralds the poet’s adherence to the canons of Roman Callimacheanism.20 A less recognized aspect is that Horace’s stylistic manifesto goes along with a pronouncement about his mode of discourse that in turn has implica­ tions for poetic immortality and the ‘time of writing’. Horace consis­ tently refers in O d es 1-3 to his lyric poetry as song or utterance; in the fourth book of O d es reference to the physical, written aspect of his lyric composition occurs within a very restricted context. I will con­ sider C. i. 6 twice: first here as a poetic statement about lyric utterance, second, in Chapter 4, in terms of the model it establishes for nonnarrative stories. Both aspects have wide-reaching implications for Horace’s poetics and technique. Writing and utterance come into conflict in C. 1. 6. Scribere occurs in the O d es only twice, both times here: scriberis V ario (i) and q u is . . . d ig n e sc rip se rit (13-14). Both refer to what others will or could or could not do; what the poet does or attempts to do lies instead in the field of utterance: n os . . . n eq u e haec d ic e r e . . . c o n a m u r (5-9) and nos . . . c a n ta m u s (17-19). His Muse is explicitly defined: lyrae M u sa (io). This is a contrast that has until recently been overlooked, most likely as a result of the assumption of what Wilamowitz calls the easy equation 19 Shackleton Bailey’s (1985) punctuation. 20 Ahern (1991); Santirocco (1986) 34-6; N H (1970) 81; Kambylis (1965) 142 n. 61; Wimmel (i960). See Davis (1991) 33-9 for the paradox o f disavowal.


21 Wilamowitz-Moellendorf (1924) i. 180-1. See e.g. Shorey and Laing’s (i960) school commentary translation o f the poem ’s first line: ‘Varius will sing o f thy bravery and thy victories over the enemy·, lit., thou w ilt be written o f by Varius.’ Recently the contrast has been noticed by Feeney (1993) 55 and Putnam (1995). I thank Michael Putnam for sharing his paper with me in advance o f publication. Feeney contrasts the use o f writing terminology in Horace for what others do with what the poet does qua lyrist: books o f philosophy (C. 1. 29. 13-14); his own past iambs are objects to be burnt (C. 1. 16. 1-3); written inscriptions on tombs (C. 3. 11. 51-2) and statues (C. 3. 24. 27-8); epics to be composed in writing (C. 1. 6. 1, 14). Only in Odes 4 does the poet use chartae o f his own work (discussed below). Tabula in C. 1. 5. 13 means a votive, not a writing tablet. 22 Let me underscore that I amtalking about stances, that is, the wayauthors present their activitywithin their work. Horace certainly thought that Homer wrote: Troiani belli scriptorem, Epist. 1 .2 . 1. Poets’stances change according to genre. Horace speaks of not only his own poetry but that of others differently in the lyric and in the Satires and Epistles. In the Odes, he presents Homer’s poetry according to the way Homer speaks of

poetry, as song. In his hexameters, he adopts a more ‘realistic’ stance and speaks of Homer as a writer. I refer to Homer as an oral poet not in the modern sense of oral composition—though that is relevant—but in the sense that he claims to sing.


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moment, the presence of the speaker, the philosophy that locates value in the lived moment, and last but not least, speaking or song over writing. Clearly, this is not the whole picture, but as the picture given us, it is the point of reference for considering other kinds of lyric time. History enters C. i. 6 with the poet’s refusal to write Agrippa’s res gestae: q u a m rem c u m q u e . . . g e sse rit (2-3). Instead, he affirms as his subject repeatable events ( c o n v iv ia and p r o e lia v ir g in u m 17) and a frequentative mode of discourse to represent them: c a n ta m u s (19). The poet’s choice offers a number of distinctions. It is a question of subject matter appropriate to the genre, sympotic/erotic topics rather than military events; one of poetry concerned with the ego, symposia etc., versus praise ( la u d e s 11); one of style, ten u es g r a n d ia (9); one of writing versus singing; one of historical versus iterable time. The isolation of these dichotomies outside of the fabric of the poem makes it appear easy to align each with the others so that writing, historical time, military events, praise, the g ra n d e all fall on the same side over against singing, iterable time, symposia and erotic topics, ego-centred poetry, the tenue. Epic contrasts with lyric, narrative with enactment. In some respects this is an accurate representation, and it is important to recognize that Horace’s programmatic statements are not about genre or style in isolation. This neat picture, however, becomes skewed first through the disavowal of writing itself and second through the citation of Homer in the second and fourth stanzas. Although the advantages of presenting oneself as a singing poet are obvious in terms of adopting the mantle of lyric tradition, these advantages come with a price. There is something disingenuous about a poet in Horace’s day and age distancing himself from writing. Truth— or at least realism—suffers.23 One solution would be to let

any mention of writing drop, by and large Vergil’s solution. The disavowal of writing as something others do, however, reminds us that it is also our own poet’s activity, particularly if we have already read the S atires, where scribere is the standard word for poetic com­ position.24 Why bring up writing at all? The solution is again to be found in the poetic tradition, specifically in the conventions of Hellenistic poetry. Although we might expect oral poetry to treat heroic themes and written poetry to be light, Horace reverses the terms. The themes of his song are ten u es (c o n v iv ia and p ro e lia v irg in u m , 17), those he disavows along with writing are g ra n d ia , namely, Agrippa’s res gestae, the topics of epic, specifically the I lia d (P elid a e sto m a c h u m , 6 ) and the O d y sse y (c u r s u s . . . U lixei, 7), and of tragedy (s a e v a m P elopis d o m u m , 8).25 Where we start off thinking that writing corresponds very well to res gestae, the epic topics which are disavowed in a parallel movement begin not to fit. This reversal of the association of g ra n d ia with orality (e.g. Homer) and writing with the te n u e (e.g. Hellenistic poetry’s own aesthetic) also, however, forms part of a tradition. By representing himself as singing, Horace aligns himself with the lyric tradition, by joining this song to light subjects, he aligns himself with a more contemporary aesthetic. Both Callima­ chus and Vergil, advocates of the tenue, likewise consistently represent themselves as singing, with the exception of rare passages or meta­ phors which rupture the fiction of song.26 Horace alludes here to two of the most overt and central instances. The intervention of Alexan­ drian poetry colours Horace’s representation of Homer. In the prologue to the A itia , Callimachus places a writing-tablet on his knees and Apollo immediately addresses him not as a writer but as a bard.


καί γά ρ o re π ρ ώ τισ το ν εμ οΐς επ ί δόλτον έ'θηκα 23 I hardly mean that Horace did not ‘perform’ the Odes among his circle, but this performance is not essential to the work’s reception in the same way it was for archaic lyric. Murray (1985) 43: ‘the problem o f occasion o f performance is not so simple: the question o f actual performance is subordinate to the deliberate intent to evoke the image of sympotic performance.’ Actual performance practice gets out of line with its representation, Nagy (1990«) ch. i, esp. 26. Current scholarship, e.g. Du Quesnay (1995) and von Albrecht (1992), has recently been turning more toward the formerly eccentric view of Bonavia-Hunt (1969) that the carmen saeculare was not an isolated instance of Horatian performance, whether or not this means the historical poet actually sang. The literalist view that takes the vocabulary o f song as representing actual practice must take into account the application of this vocabulary to genres where there is no question of performance, see Harrison’s (1995 c) 119-22 remarks on the use o f lyra and plectrum in Ovid and Statius with reference to epic. A further question is the distinction between recitation and singing, monodie and choral performance. I plan to return to these issues elsewhere.

γο ν ν α σ ιν , Α π ό λ λ ω ν εΐπ εν ο μ ο ι Λ όκιος24 The Satires were recited as well; the lexical differences between Odes and Satires reflect generic pressures, not actual performance. 25 For Horace’s ‘proving’ his culpa . . . ingeni (12) for such topics through ‘botching’ the first lines o f the Iliad and Odyssey, see Ahern (1991) 302—5; Santirocco (1986) 35; NH (1970) C. I. 6. 6 and 7. 26 All o f these authors use metaphors from writing, Vergil’s volvere fata, for instance, that have implications for their poetry, but this is different from openly calling their actual poetry writing. In C. x. 5, the votive tablet bears some indirect relation to the poem itself, as does the inscription closing C. 3. 11 (discussed Ch. 8). The philyra disavowed in C. 1. 38 likewise evokes a writing material, but not overtly (discussed Ch. 6).

T h e T im e o f W r itin g a n d o f S on g “ ....................................... aoiSe,

το μ εν θύος

θρεφ α ι, τη ν Μ ούσαν




ώ γα θ ε λετττα λ εη ν”

(Aitìa I. 2 1 - 4 Pf) For when I first put a writing-tablet / on my knees, Lycian Apollo said to me, / ‘. . . singer, bring up your victim for sacrifice to be as fat as possible, / but your Muse, my good man, to be slender.’

I take it that π ρ ώ τ ισ τ ο ν (first) implies that this is a moment not of recording an already composed song, but the very moment of com­ position. Apollo effectively tells Callimachus his writing is to be song. The stylistic vocabulary of delicacy makes the fiction elegant. What is extraordinary about this passage is that Callimachus does not in his extant corpus use the language of writing casually of his own composi­ tion, nor even refer to the writing of poetry in a neutral sense.27 Written poetry in Callimachus has something slightly wrong, some­ thing overly marked about it. What is im portant for Horatian purposes in the juxtaposition of a writing-tablet and ά οιδ έ in the prologue to the A itia , is the admission in a programmatic passage that the fiction of singing, elsewhere care­ fully maintained, is a poetic choice. For Callimachus, unlike the Latin poets before the Augustans, song is the traditional way to refer to poetry.28 Although the Hellenistic poets became more and more will­ ing to talk in a realistic vein about their poetry as writing, Callimachus locates his own poetry within the older tradition. The momentary appearance of the realistic image of the tablet reveals the tradition of song as a poetic construct. One other passage in the Aitia implies the preservation of the work itself in book form, albeit not overtly. Callimachus asks the Graces to anoint his elegies, so that they may last many a year.29 This passage is 27 Bing (1988) collects references to writing in Greek poetry without differentiating among the Hellenistic poets’ valuation o f writing one way or the other. Detailed discus­ sion o f Callimachus’ attitude toward writing is forthcoming in a monograph I am preparing on writing and singing in Latin poetry. 28 Newman (1965); Wilamowitz-Moellendorf (1924) i. 180-1. For Ennius’ negative attitude to song, see Sk at musae fr. 1; res atque poemata fr. 12; melos fr. 293; Musas quas memorant nosce nos esse Camenas fr. 487. Catullus and Lucretius use the vocabulary of song as well as o f writing. It is indicative that for both poets, song appears to adhere to high-style Alexandrian poetry, rather than e.g. to the less formal polymetrics. 29 eXXare νυν, ίΧ εγο ισ ι S’ ίν ιφ η σ α σ θ ε Χιττωσας / χ ΐίρ α ς ίμ ο ΐς , ΐνα μ ο ι πονΧν μένω σιν

eros, fr. 7 - Ι 3_ Ι 4 · D. F. Fowler (1994) 2 5 1 η· ‘both apiece ofbizarrerie and a reference to the material reality o f the book, anointed with cedar oil.’ I think the bizarre formula­ tion comes from Callimachus’ reluctance to identify his poetry with writing.


interesting for two reasons. The first, that the technicalities of finishing off a book-roll with cedar oil lie under the surface and are stated in a highly metaphorical vein. Second, that Callimachus links the longevity if not immortality of his elegies with their preservation as an object. Writing and the book impinge on Callimachus’ usual phonocentrism at two crucial poetic moments: composition and preservation. The prologue to the A itia clearly pertains to C. 1. 6 in other respects as well, but since all of these issues are shrouded in con­ troversy, I will only remark that Callimachus also appears to set up a series of dichotomies that have to do with style, genre, subject matter, and mode of discourse. Extricating one set of terms from the others may be impossible. Does the category of length and size, for instance, have to do strictly with genre (epic versus elegy),30 or is it an aspect of style within branches of elegy?31 Size, more obviously a generic consideration, appears to slide into the fat/delicate dicho­ tomy (ττα χισ τον / . . . λεττταλεην, 23-4), more obviously a stylistic one. Does the ev σ είσ μ α δ ιη νεκ ές (one continuous song, 3) refer to a mode of discourse, and, if so, is the continuity one of narrative structure or of unity in the story or plot?32 Similarly, is the subject matter the Telchines would prefer, namely kings and heroes (3, 5), a generic consideration as in epic, or a question of praise, that is, kings and heroes in narrative elegy?33 Given how these categories overlap in Vergil and Horace as well, I doubt we can pin Callimachus’ objections down to a single criterion. Although it is important not to retroject Vergil and Horace back into Callimachus, for our pur­ poses here the question is rather what the Latin poets would have taken from their Alexandrian predecessor. The opening of E clogue 6 alludes to the prologue of the A itia (Farrell 1991: 293-6). The most salient resemblance is Apollo’s intervention and his advice which employs the fat/delicate dichotomy in contrasting flock animals with song. Vergil does not use the language of writing of his own poetry except for here, where he refers to the inscription of 30 Length: ev ττοΧΧαΐς . . . χιΧιάσιν, 4; όΧιγόστιχος, 9; την μακρήν, ίο; μακράν, 15! σχοίνω Περσίδι, ι8. Size: Ιττ\ τυτθόν, ή μ€γάΧη . . . γυνή, 12. All o f these terms are discussed at length by Cameron (1995), with extensive bibliography. 31 The traditional view that Callimachus disavows epic is challenged by Cameron (1992) and (1995) ch. xo, who sees the distinction rather as one internal to elegy. The debate concerns not simply the identity o f the works alluded to as foil, but whether the distinctions are stylistic or generic. 32 Cameron (1995) ch. 12. 33 On narrative elegy, see Bowie (1986) 27-35; Cameron (1992).

T h e T im e o f W r itin g a n d o f S o n g

Varus’ name at the top of the poem’s own p a g in a (12).34 Furthermore, it is similarly difficult to extricate a disavowal of genre from a dis­ avowal of style. Praise is an overt issue. prima Syracosio dignata est ludere versu nostra neque erubuit silvas habitare Thalea, cum canerem reges et proelia, Cynthius aurem vellit et admonuit: ‘pastorem, Tityre, pinguis pascere oportet ovis, deductum dicere carmen.’ nunc ego (namque super tibi erunt qui dicere laudes, Vare, tuas cupiant et tristia condere bella) agrestem tenui meditabor harundine Musam: non iniussa cano, si quis tamen haec quoque, si quis captus amore leget, te nostrae, Vare, myricae, te nemus omne canet; nec Phoebo gratior ulla est quam sibi quae Vari praescripsit pagina nomen. (.Eclogue 6 . 1-12) My Thalea first deemed it worthy to play in Sicilian verse, / and did not blush to inhabit the woods. / While I was singing kings and battles, Cynthius (Apollo) / plucked my ear and warned: ‘Tityrus, a shepherd / should pasture his ewes to be fat, should sing a song spun fine.’ / Now I (for there will be more than enough who will want to speak / your praise, Varus, and record your wars) / will rehearse a rustic Muse on a slender reed: / I sing things not unordered. If someone, however, / someone caught by love reads these things also, our tamarisks, Varus, / will sing o f you, the whole grove of you; nor is any page more pleasing to Phoebus / than the one which has written Varus’ name at its head.

While reges e t p r o e lia (3) derive from the ‘kings and heroes’ the Telchines criticize Callimachus for avoiding, Vergil adds battles to the disavowed subject matter. This anticipates the disavowal of Agrippa’s res g esta e in C. 1. 6. As in Callimachus, it is not clear whether the 34 Uncom pounded scribere does not occur in Vergil at all. The compound forms o f the verb do occur, but when o f poetry (rather than e.g. enlistment), they mean not com po­ sition but recording. The single com pound pertaining to Vergil’s own poetry is here (Eel. 6. 12), in the same line as the only occurrence o f pagina. Charta, biblus and other words denoting the apparatus of writing are similarly absent ( tabellae are always planks, pumex always o f rock formations). Vergil’s Mopsus wrote a song on a tree (Eel. 5. 13-14)) but of his own poetry Vergil elsewhere maintains the language o f song. The paradigm for the faithlessness o f writing compared to the speaking voice is Helenus’ advice that Aeneas implore the Sibyl to sing herself (ipsa canat, Aen. 3. 4-57 ) and not write her prophecy on leaves as usual (Aen. 3. 443—51)· Reading, an oral activity practiced upon a written artefact, falls somewhere between orality and writing.


subject matter serves as an index of genre (epic), or a fat style, or praise.35 What Vergil was doing when interrupted by the epiphany, however, differs significantly from Callimachus’ activity. His process of composition was song; no writing tablets here. Also, he was not look­ ing at a blank slate, but was already set on a particular subject (emphasized by Cameron 1995: 454). Apollo does not call him ‘singer’, but ‘shepherd’, in accord both with the pastoral genre and the Muses’ address of Callimachus’ own forebear Hesiod, a poet who ‘truly’ sang, in the prologue to the Theogony. By the end of the passage Vergil refers not only to his poetry as something to be read (10), but as an object with a titu lu s (11-12).36 As the unique instance of overt Vergilian self-reference implicated in writing, we may wonder ‘why here?’ What intervenes between Apollo’s epiphany and the writing terminology is an address to Varus which disavows praise ( lau des , 6), particularly of war (bella, 7). The battles Apollo told him not to sing (p ro e lia , 3) are reiterated, as is rex if we take Varus to be such in the sense of ‘great man’. I submit that in refusing to praise Varus in the conventional way, Vergil compensates. What stands out in the context of Horace’s reading of this passage is the conjunction of the issue of praise with Vergil’s display of his awareness of the fictitiousness of his song. Vergil’s poetry does praise Varus, but not at length, a task he hands on to others in lines 6 and 7. Vergil uses can ere for his own poetic production ( n on in iu ssa cano, 9), but his poetry in this very prologue will sing of Varus whenever 3S The assumption that subject matter is short-hand for genre is not entirely wrong, but often unexamined, e.g. Clausen (1964) 195 and (1987) 1-2. 30 The final sentence o f this passage used to be called obscure, Cartault (1897) 258. Servius paraphrases and explains: nec enim pagina ulla Apollini est gratior, quam quae Vari nomen gestat in titulo: quod ideo dicit, quia hanc eclogam constat in honorem Vari esse praescriptam. From this, together with a com ment in Donatus’ life o f Vergil that this eclogue went by the name ‘Silenus’ or ‘Varus’ it has been adduced that the titulus was literal and that ad Varum stood at the top o f the page: Brummer (1969): “ ‘numerus’ eclogarum manifestus est, nam decem sunt, ex quibus proprie bucolicae septem esse creduntur, quod ex his excipiantur Pollio, Silenus, et Gallus’ (302-4); ‘sexta [continet] μ€ταμορφώσ€ίς’ et dicitur ‘Varus’ vel ‘Silenus’” (309-10); von Leutsch (1865) 220; Vahlen (1907) 391-2; Cartault (1897) 259; Voss (1830) II 15. Coleman (1977) ad loc. asserts that ‘the noun probably refers to publication o f the poem on its own individual sheet; the verb confirms that the title o f the poem included Varus’ name.’ I suspect that the alternative name ‘Silenus’, along with the other attested nicknames, shows that such names were derived rather from material within the poem . The philological point, however, whether right or wrong, is insufficient for understanding why Vergil chooses to speak about his poetry here as a physical, written object. Putnam (1970) 198 remarks on the break in ‘one of the strict conventions o f pastoral poetry: its stance as an oral art’, and attributes this break to the highly metapoetic nature o f the rest o f the poem.


P oetics o f P resen ce/P oetics o f I m m o r ta lity

someone reads it:

/ c a p tu s a m o re leget, te nostrae. Vare, m yricae, / te n e m u s o m n e ca n et, io - i i ) . While the practice of reading out loud makes legere a verb of utterance, still, singing that is activated by reading is not literal song. And reading necessitates preservation on a page. Mention by Vergil in this ‘delicate’ genre is preferable to the conventional la u d es of the nameless hordes (su p e r tib i e ru n t q u i dicere laudes, / . . . tu a s c u p ia n t, 6-7) precisely because it will ensure immor­ tality.37 Writing is adduced as the guarantee. This is not so say that Vergil denies writing, or utterance for that matter, to the alternative poets, but rather that when it comes to Vergil’s offering his praise, however brief, as superior to that of others, he adds reference to writing to underscore his point. The close conjunction of praise with a reference to a page, is part and parcel of the new, Roman dimension Vergil adds to Callimachus (Farrell 1991: 296 with n. 59). For the Greek poet, the representation of his poetry as song has mostly to do with belonging to tradition. Letting down the fiction underscores his self-consciousness in this regard. Vergil lets down his own fiction of song when he in fact goes about doing what he disavows. No, his praise is not extensive, but it is nevertheless praise, and in acquiescing to praise in ever so controlled a way, he concomitantly reveals the fictionality of his song. Callimachus led the way, but Vergil displaces the apparatus of writing onto the issue that concerns him in the opening of E clogue 6: how to praise in a delicate way. Putting Varus’ name at the top of the page, or rather, stating this placement of Varus’ name at the top of the page, marks the potentially perpetual renewal of his name in pastoral song. This renewal can take place even in the absence of an original, first person singing voice—hence the rather strange displacement of the song onto the tamarisks and grove, and of the page’s apparently automatic writ­ ing of Varus’ name at its own head. The dependence of praise’s long­ evity on poetic immortality necessitates grounding the evanescence of song in the physical reality of the page and an ever-replaceable sympa­ thetic reader. What is interesting about the distinction between the immortality of song and the immortality of writing, is that writing comes into consideration not to ensure the poetry’s own longevity, as in Callimachus fr. 7, but that of the la u d a n d u s. Where Callimachus and Vergil both admit to writing one way or si q u is

37 White (1993) 22: ‘The compliment consists in the mere mention o f their n a m e ,. . . What [Varus] is told in the seven lines reserved to him is that a cameo appearance can be as glamorous as an entire poem in his honor.’

T h e T im e o f W r itin g a n d o f S o n g


another in the D ic h te r w e ih e scene, Horace’s version disavows writing entirely.38 He rather pushes it in C. 1. 6 onto others. But his disavowal protests too much, itself breaking the illusion of song. For Horace the issue comprises style, genre, praise, and writing’s eternity. P u d o r and the Muse are the gods who forbid; the two together express his sense of poetic boundaries. The poetics of presence does not allow for the future, for the conservation essential to successful praise, hence the lyric poet cannot write Agrippa’s praises— except of course to sing them by way of refusal. Let us return to the stylistic paradox of C. 1. 6: ‘serious’ themes are accorded prosaic treatment in writing, ‘light’ ones the dignity of utterance and song. Singing, here in conjunction with the te n u e (9), has been transferred from its expected context, Homeric verse and praise poetry, i.e. g ra n d ia , to the less formal subject matter of wine and women (17); writing takes the place of song, not for Homer himself, but for the composition of Homeric verse in a contemporary setting. Part of the problem with writing up Agrippa’s exploits is the subject, res g esta e (q u a m rem c u m q u e / . . . gesserit, 3-4), and part is their writing (scriberis, 1). Horace pushes this package of subject-cum-style onto Varius, who plays the role of a contemporary a lte r H o m e ru s.39 A disparity intervenes between Agrippa’s expectation of writing, and the Homeric-type song of Varius (M a e o n ii c a rm in is a lite, 2).40 The logic of 38 The missing link in the line o f imitation is Horace’s very different version at Sat. 1. 10. 31—5· The numerical coincidence o f recusationes in the sixth poem o f both Eclogues and Odes may be reinforced by paronomasia in the names o f Varus, whose praise Vergil declines to sing, and o f Varius, the poet Horace suggests in his stead. Nettleship’s (Conington (1881) 69) suggestion, based on Servius’ com ment on E. 6. 6, that Varus may have taken part in the German war o f 3 8 bc, which was headed by Agrippa (Coleman (1977) E. 6. 7), might mean that the two poets refused to praise people who had at some point fought together (!). 39 Varius’ authorship o f epos (Sat. 1 .10. 43-4), o f whatever sort, and tragedy (his Thyestes in Quintilian 10. 1. 98, Tacitus Dial. 12. 6) makes him a reasonable surrogate. The panegyricus or laudes Augusti Porphyrio says is imitated at Epist. 1. 16. 27 may have been made up on the basis o f this poem and on Epist. 2 .1 .2 4 5 -5 0 , NH (1970) 81; C 275; Kiessling and Heinze (1914) at Epist. 1. 16. 27-9. Bickel (1950) 29-31 thinks scholarly scepticism about the existence of the praise poem adds insult to the injury o f Varius’ eclipse by Vergil. His eagerness to reconstruct petty rivalries among those in the circle o f Maecenas’, however, calls his judgement into question. Castorina (1974) cautions against conflating Varius’ epos with either the De morte or the Panegyricus Augusti; it is likely to have been a standard mythological epic in several books, though we can say nothing about it. Varius could o f course have included praise o f Augustus— and Agrippa—-in a more standard epic in the manner o f the Aeneid, Harrison (1993) 139, with further bibliography nn. 19 and 21. 40 Jacobson (1987) shows the special connection o f ‘Maeonian’ to swans and poets as singing birds. Ahern (1991) 310 wonders ‘what the dour Agrippa. . . would have thought about entrusting his reputation to a bird o f Maeonian song’. Scriberis better represents Agrippa’s expectations.

T h e T im e o f W r itin g a n d o f S o n g

Horace’s disavowal works along two lines. He cannot praise Agrippa because, unlike Varius, he is no Homer. A second reason is that he sings and does not write. Since this reason becomes clear only gradu­ ally over the course of the poem, Varius’ song does not yet stand out as a contrast with the writing demanded. In the transition from Varius to himself, Horace sets up what Fraenkel calls a c o m p a r a tio p a r a ta c tic a (1957: 233): a comparison implied by the juxtaposition of two terms, and in Horace often of more. This strategy will repeat itself in the final two stanzas, where Horace compares his poetry no longer to Varius’, but to that of Homer himself. First the comparison to Varius. S cribere is the proper term for composing res gestae, and is appropriate for Agrippa.41 In the second stanza, however, Horace distances himself not from writing Roman praise poetry, but from Homeric epic and tragedy.42 The contrast to scriberis V ario (i) etc. in n os . . . n eq u e haec dicere / . . . c o n a m u r (5, 9) first assimilates Agrippa’s exploits to Homeric and tragic subjects, and second establishes a difference between the writing suggested to Var­ ius, and the poet’s dicere. The poet first states positively what Varius will do (if he accedes), then negatively that he himself will not do something stylistically equivalent, thereby equating praise poetry with epic (Achilles and Odysseus) and tragedy (house of Atreus). The representation of Homer as a praise poet is not unusual (e.g. C. 4. 9), but with tragedy the issue is rather one of stylistic height. Ring composition closes the first section by coming back to Agrippa (11) with a contrast not quite parallel: T don’t touch heroic themes, so long as my Muse prohibits my praising Caesar and you.’ The conflation of heroic with historical themes turns a compliment to Agrippa (and to Caesar) by implying that their exploits are on par with those of the mythic heroes. D icere hardly calls attention to itself, even after the emphatic first word scriberis , but the emphasis on utterance becomes marked only once the entire process of disavowal recurs in the final two stanzas. A second c o m p a r a tio p a r a ta c tic a creates a second double contrast: between the Homeric subject matter in the fourth stanza and the light themes asserted in the last; and sc rip se rit with ca n ta m u s. The implica­ tion is: T don’t w r ite H o m e ric topics, but sin g of s y m p o tic a n d ero tic 41 NH (1970) ad loc.: ‘The verb . . . suits historical epic.’ 42 Reference to Varius’ Thyestes may, however, evoke praise poetry in that this tragedy was performed at Augustus’ triple triumph in 29 bc.


ones.’ Only after the assimilation of praise poetry to Homer in the first two stanzas does it make any sense to disavow Homeric subjects in the fourth. Although the future passive scriberis and the perfect subjunc­ tive scrip se rit appear oddly prosaic and emphatic,43 dicere attracts attention only after the similarly emphatic n os . . . c a n ta m u s, when we revise scribere and dicere to denote not unmarked, interchangeable methods of composition, but ones that are contrasted. With the controversial fourth stanza I would suggest that the attempts to find the expected answer to q u is . . . dign e sc rip se rit have failed not so much in providing valid answers, but in looking too much to q u is as the word which governs the question.44 Answers given have been 'only another Homer’, ‘Varius’ ‘no one’, ‘not me’, ‘I can’, or various combinations, such as Davis’s ‘only another Homer such as Varius’ (1987α).45 But all of these answers fade into each other: ‘only another Homer like Varius, that is, not me, unless we change the ground rules, in which case, m o d The predicate dig n e sc rip se rit (14) is separated from q u is for punch. Ahern’s analysis of this stanza’s humorous distortion of I lia d 5 puts the subject matter, and the style in which it is presented, on par with the Homeric red u ctio in the second stanza (1991: 305-10). The notion of w r itin g H o m e r a d d s point; one does not write Homeric material because Homer used the voca­ bulary of song, and if one should try, it would produce the scholarly nightmare Ahern suggests, whereby Horace wittily demonstrates his ‘incompetence’ to write such verse by substituting one companion of Diomedes, Meriones, for another, Sthenelus, in the confrontation between Ares and Diomedes. That such a substitution can be sup­ ported by the Homeric scholia further reinforces its scholarly, written nature. Instead of ‘no one’, ‘only another Homer’, ‘Varius’, ‘not Γ, or even ‘I can’— all proposed answers to q u is —the question q u is dig n e scrip se rit elicits the reponse, ‘But Homer did not write’, or alternatively, ‘But you cannot recreate Homer worthily through writing.’46 It is not subject matter that makes Homer, but style. This formulation inciden43 N H (1970) ad loc. remark on the prosaic quality o f the first. 44 NH (1970) C. i. 6. 13 argue against either deletion (Peerlkamp) or Housman’s transposition of the stanza after the first, reading qui for quis. They give good stylistic reasons for the inadequacy o f the transposition; I hope my analysis o f the poem ’s internal rhetorical progression helps lay to rest this stanza’s ‘problematic’ status. 45 NH (1970) ad loc. in order o f citation: Russell, NH , Peerlkamp, Fraenkel; Commager (1967) 114 suggests T can’; Ahern (1991) 311 supports ‘no one’. 46 More precisely: ‘Homer did not claim to write’ and ‘you get Homer wrong in claiming to write.’

P oetics o f P resen ce/P oetics o f I m m o r ta lity

T h e T im e o f W r itin g a n d o f S on g

tally leaves Varius a way out. As a ‘bird of Maeonian s o n g he could disavow w r itin g up res g esta e on the same terms. Deconstruction has changed our view of the singing/writing dichot­ omy from what it would have been had this interpretation been written twenty or thirty years ago. The attempt of Callimachus and the Augustans to validate their poetry as a recreation of earlier Greek poetry fits a broader Western pattern of ‘phonocentrism’ and the privileging of presence. But this poetry does not naively embrace its own fictions; it rather constructs itself in entire self-consciousness and irony, and this in turn bears the heavy traces of writing. Horace’s irony is marked by ostentatious display in his adapting the convention of the fiction. His emphatic disavowal of writing is a protest that calls attention to the very fiction he creates, and pointedly reveals his awareness. Horace’s irony allows for a farther reading of the fourth stanza of C. i. 6. If we take his disavowal of written poetry as disingenuous, the answer to q u is d ig n e scripserit, at least on this level of reading, becomes none other than the poet himself. Commager suggested ‘Horace’ as the answer to q u is (1967: 114), and let it go at that. Horace on one level asks who could write a version of Homeric song that would be fitting for written poetry, which, despite his asseveration, his poetry is. The ‘worthy’ version is the stanza itself. But we then confront another Horatian paradox: the elegant reduction of I lia d 5, complete with a disingenuous distortion, is the proper way to sing Homeric subjects according to the code of Callimachean aesthetics at Rome— hence, within the poem’s fictions, the version is not written at all, but sung. If the response elicited from the question q u is d ig n e sc rip se rit is ‘but Homer sang’, Horace’s ‘sung’ version proves itself worthy of, though not identical to, Homer through the assertion of song. Although Horace does not refer to his lyric poetry as writing else­ where in O d e s 1-3, the trappings of the written text adhere to his lyric twice in the fourth book. The context in each case is poetry’s ability to confer immortality through praise.

virtus et favor et lingua potentium vatum divitibus consecrat insulis.


non / . . . clarius indicant laudes, quam Calabrae Pierides, neque, si chartae sileant, quod bene feceris, mercedem tuleris, quid foret Iliae Mavortisque puer, si taciturnitas obstaret meritis invida Romuli? ereptum Stygiis fluctibus Aeacum


(C. 4. 8 . 13, 19-27) (such things) do not disclose praise / more brightly than the Muses o f Calabria nor, / if paper be silent, would you gain / recompense for your good deeds. What would become / o f the son of Ilia and Mars, if grudging silence / stood against Romulus’ deserts? / Virtue and favour and the tongue o f potent seers / consecrates Aeacus, snatched from Styx’s waves, / in the isles o f the blessed. vixere fortes ante Agamemnona multi, sed omnes inlacrimabiles urgentur ignotique longa nocte, carent quia vate sacro. paulum sepultae distat inertiae celata virtus, non ego te meis chartis inornatum sileri, totve tuos patiar labores impune, Lolli, carpere lividas obliviones. (C. 4. 9. 2 5 -3 4 ) Many brave men lived before Agamemnon, / but all are pressed, unwept and unknown, / by a long night, / through lack of a sacred seer. / Hidden Virtue is a short step from / buried sloth. I will not suffer you / to be kept silent, unadorned by my paper, / or allow pale forgetting to carp unpunished / at your so many labours. C h a rta occurs twice, once each in adjacent odes of similar themes. Paper is the means of recording song. In each case Horace underscores the dependence of his writing on utterance, or at least on the negation of silence ( n eq u e . . . silea n t, C. 4. 8. 20-1, lin gu a p o te n tiu m / v a tu m , C. 4. 8. 26-7; n on / . . . s i l e r i / . . . p a tia r , C. 4. 9. 30-2). The paradox of this poetry is that, though written, it still talks. Feeney remarks that Horace pointedly inserts ‘his written c h a rta e into the oral terminology of his Pindaric model, N e m . 7. 11-16’ (1993: 55). Pindar matters in this context not only as a foundational lyric predecessor, but specifi­ cally as a praise poet. Writing comes up when praise is at stake, both here and in C. 1.6, and in phonocentric poetry appears to imply that the need to praise may be something of an imposition. In O d e s 4 in particular, the issue of panegyric becomes acute (see Ch. 9).



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A tension arises between the attempt to recreate the immediacy of song, an immediacy which must always vanish after each reading, and the necessity of permanence demanded by praise. Even Homer attained immortality through paper, not an unbroken oral tradition.47 For poets who aspired to the impression of presence inherent in song, but knew their longevity was dependent on paper, it was impossible to maintain unbroken the fiction of singing. Immortality, their own and that of those praised in their work, depends on the eternal recreation of the presence of song, which ironically depends on something equally fragile: the written record. In his disavowal of written poetry in C. i. 6, Horace ostensibly resists the demands of immortality to focus rather on the present, represented by the immediacy of wine (c o n v iv ia ), women (p ro e lia v ir g in u m ), and song (c a n ta m u s). This poetic stance conforms to the moral prescription: ca rp e d ie m q u a m m in im u m credu la p o ste ro (‘pluck the day, trusting as little as possible in the next one’ C. i. n . 8). The posterity guaranteed by writing yields in C. i. 6 to the higher moral and poetic claims of song. But the present keeps moving forward. The frequentative c a n ta m u s shows that Horace embraces the present not just on this particular occasion: this is an ever-recurring, habitual, poetic and moral position. Ironically, to achieve perpetuity in this ever-advancing present, a poet must submit to writing. Horace offers a double paradox: he praises Agrippa and Augustus, while pretending not to, and writes the poem, while disavowing writing.

(‘honey-voiced hymns, the source of later words,’ O. 11. 4-5). Comparison with Pindar reveals a slippage between song and writing that holds for Horace as well.49 Both poets use the metaphor of monumentality for their work. The question is how someone like Horace, reading Greek poetry in the Palatine Library, would take Pindar’s architectural metaphors, which by his time had become silent metaphors for writing.50 The essential differences between them have to do with the issues of praise, time, and social context. O ly m p ia n 6 presents a building as the poet’s work, and P y th ia n 6 as the work of the family of the la u d a n d u s, respectively subjective and objective in Bundy’s (1986) terms.51 Horace, who can­ not write a straight victory ode for social and poetic reasons, compen­ sates by severing the mutual relation of la u d a to r to la u d a n d u s, and by locating priority in the poet; the m o n u m e n tu m is a metaphor for his own work outside of any obligation to praise anyone other than himself. While Pindar readily makes claims that his song has the power to immortalize others, Horace, who unlike Pindar is not afraid to assert his own poetic immortality, only comes around to embra­ cing praise in O d es 4, however much he may actually praise in O d es μ ε λ ιγ ά ρ ν ε ς ύ μ ν ο ι / υ σ τ έρ ω ν άρ χά λ ό γ ω ν

Χ ρ υ σ έ ας υττοστάσαντες ε ύ τ ε ιχ ε ΐ ττροθύρω θαλά μ ου κίονας ώς ore θαητον μ έγα ρ ο ν π ά ξ ο μ ε ν άρ χομ ένου δ’ έρ γο υ πρόσωττον χρη θέμεν τ η λ α υ γέ ς , εΐ δ’ ειη μ εν Ό λυμττιονίκας, β ω μ ώ τ ε μ α ντειω τα μ ία ς Δ ιο ς εν Π ίςα , συνοικισ τη ρ τ ε τά ν κλεινό ν Σ νρ α κ ο σ σ α ν, τίνα κεν φ ύ γ ο ι ύμνον

S on g and th e


onum entum

My juxtaposition of C. i. 6 where writing is disavowed with the passages in O d e s 4 where writing anchors spoken praise in eternity, eclipses the immortalizing aspect of song p e r se.48 For Pindar, song, like writing for a later age, is permanent; it is a source for later words: 47 Feeney (1993) 56 asks a telling question of Greek lyric, which can be asked of Homer as well: ‘how . . . were such poems preserved if they were never repeated, and what does repetition imply for the integrity of the speaking “I” and its authenticating original setting?’ See Burnett (1983) 4-5. 48 I offer special thanks to Denis Feeney for his valuable response to m y interpretation o f C. i. 6, APA 1993, and for making his comments available to me in writing.

κείνος άνηρ, έττικΰρσαις άφθονω ν αστώ ν εν ίμ ερτα ΐς αοιδαΐς;

(Ο. 6.


49 Most analyses o f the relation o f Horace to Pindar focus on specific instances, e.g. Fraenkel (1957) 432-40, Highbarger (1935), or on specific techniques such as long sentences, delay o f the subject to the end o f the sentence, abrupt transitions, the use of myth, the Abbruchsformel, and so on, e.g. Waszink (1966) with general bibliography i n η. ί. N. T. Kennedy (1975) also addresses poetics. 30 Reference to writing in poetry goes further back than the Alexandrians (e.g. Aesch., cos λέγει γέρον γράμμα, fr. 331 Radt), but is not characteristic o f Greek lyric poetry, especially when self-referential. 31 P. 6 is discussed as a precedent by Woodman (1974) 118-19; Pöschl (1991) 248-62; Pasquali (1920) 748-50. 33 On differences between Horace’s two collections, Feeney (1993) 54. On differences between Horace and Pindar, see N. T. Kennedy (1975) 13.

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Like a wondrous hall, we will build, setting golden pillars under the sanctuary’s good-walled portal; we must set a far-shining front on our work as it begins. If someone should be an Olympic victor, and guardian at the prophetic altar o f Zeus in Pisa, and a fellow-founder of famous Syracuse, what hymn would that man escape, meeting with ungrudging citizens in delightful song?

Horace’s m o n u m e n tu m which makes of poetry an extension of himself ( m u lta p a r s . . . m ei, 6),53 and does not, like Pindar’s poetry, seek out on its own an external object of praise.54 Horace has undergone a displacement away from an integrated role not only in his own social rank—his status as freedman’s son contrasts with the personal author­ ity of an aristocratic Alcaeus or Pindar—but in the shift in poetry’s role away from the public space, from the ‘publicly sanctioned speech offered to kings and aristocrats by Pindar’ (Feeney 1993: 53). The poet was less essential to those in power, with the result that within its own more limited sphere, poetry attempts to gain the upper hand.55 But distance from a genre that requires praise has advantages to be weighed against social connectedness. Horace’s poetry has greater liberty to be ‘art for art’s sake’ and Horace may be simply realistic in subordinating the eternity at least of the less famous la u d a n d i to his own. His poetry after all survived, where the numerous historical praise epics did not. No matter how much Pindaric epinician proves itself as art, its linkage to praise and to occasion prevents it from becoming pure art; that is not its purpose. Pindar’s literariness has to do with those aspects of his poetry (e.g. the myth, the style) that guarantee the poem’s aesthetic— as opposed to social—value. This makes the praise worth having. Horace, the value of whose poetry as pure art is unquestioned, must rather create social and political rele­ vance for himself through such constructs as the role of v a te s .56

Π υθ ιονικ ος 'ivff ο λβ ίο ισ ιν Έ μ μενί8αις π ο τ ά μ ιά τ’ Ά κ ρ ά γ α ν τ ι καί μ ά ν Ξ ενοκ ρά τει έτο ιμ ο ς ύμνω ν θησαυρός εν π ο λυχρ ύ σ ω Α π ο λ λ ω ν ία τ ε τ ε ίχ ισ τ α ι νάπα· τον ο ύ τε χειμ έρ ιο ς ομ βρος, επ α κ τός ελθυίν εριβρόμ ου νεφελας στρατός ά μ ε ίλ ιχ ο ς , οϋ τ άνεμος ες μ υ χ ο ύ ς ά λος ά ξ ο ισ ι π α μ φ όρω χερ ά δ ει τυ π τομ ενον. φ ά ει 8ε π ρ όσ ω π ον εν καθαρω π α τρ ι τε ω , Θ ρα σ ύβ ουλε, κοινόν τ ε γε ν εά λ ό γ ο ισ ι θνατώ ν εύ8ο£ον άρμα τ ι νικάν Κ ρ ισ α ία ις ενί π τ υ χ α ΐς ά π α γ γ ε λ ε ΐ. (Ρ. 6. 5—18 )

. . . where, for the prosperous Emmenidae, and Acragas by the river, and certainly for Xenocrates, a ready-built treasury house o f songs for Pythian victory has been erected in Apollo’s golden valley. This neither winter’s rain, coming an implacable alien host o f roaring cloud, nor wind will drive into the hollows o f the sea, pounded with jumbled debris. But its fa9ade, in clear light, will announce a chariot victory, glorious by the words o f mortals, in Crisa’s valleys, shared with your father, Thrasyboulos, and your race. Exegi monumentum aere perennius regalique situ pyramidum altius, quod non imber edax, non Aquilo impotens possit diruere aut innumerabilis annorum series et fuga temporum, non omnis moriar, multaque pars mei vitabit Libitinam. (C. 3. 30. 1-7) I have wrought a monument more lasting than bronze / and higher than the royal site o f the pyramids, / which neither eating rain nor the raging North wind / could demolish, nor the numberless / series of years or the flight of time. / I will not all die, and a great part o f me / will shun the goddess of death.

For Pindar the architecture is bound to the

la u d a n d u s,

in contrast to


53 The commentators on both Pindaric passages do not equate the building with the poetry, but rather with the fame o f the victor as embodied in the poetry: the attributes o f poet and victor are intertwined, Kirkwood (1982) at O. 6. 1-4; Gildersleeve (1890) at P. 6. 7. Horace’s monumentum is centred in the poet, Pöschl (1991) 248. The end o f the poem enacts the shift in focus by the poet’s claim to the Delphic laurel, traditionally the perquisite o f victors and at Rome specifically o f the triumphator, Pöschl (1991) 2Ó2. 54 On the Pindaric 8ίφα (thirst) and related motives that express the necessity or propriety that determines the relationship between song and merit’, see Bundy (1986) 10 with n. 31,11, 42. The possibility o f reversal in these motives (merit thirsts for song, song for merit) underscores the reciprocal relation. 55 Wallace-Hadrill’s (1989) 10 comment about patronage is relevant to the thorny issue o f praise: ‘patronage was not a sharply defined relationship with a predictable set o f services exchanged between men of a given social distance. Rather, we are dealing with a varied, illdefined and unpredictable set of exchanges unified by reference to values deeply embedded in Roman ideology. It may emerge that the anxiety o f the poets to integrate their own activity within this Roman value system and legitimate the ambiguous figure o f the poet is more revealing than the connections with specific social practices.’ 56 On the connection between the vates and song in Augustan poetry, see Newman (1967b) 28 and (1965). Fraenkel (1957) 283—5 contrasts the organic social and religious

fabric that Pindar can take as a basis for ‘unchallenged validity’ with Horace’s lonely genius— a set of polarized romantic constructions. See Ross (1975) 152 on the poet’s authority and its history.


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A second difference is each poet’s conception of time, and with it, the relation of time to death. While Pindar is concerned with solidity, he has nothing of Horace’s conception of longevity.57 Pindar does not have the sense which is so acute for the Romans of the passage of years and his architecture does not carry the weight of monumentality it does for Horace, but is one image among others.58 Pindar’s th a la m o s, m egaron , and th esa u ro s are not tombs.59 Horace’s m o n u m e n tu m is inextricably linked to memory as a bulwark against death and is therefore also covertly associated with writing.60 For Pindar the tem­ porality that preserves memory depends on the iteration of repeated performance, as we can see from what fails to happen for Phalaris: ε χ θ ρ ό Φαλαρι,ν κ ατέχει, π α ν τ ό φ ά η ς , / οιΐδβ v l v φ ό ρ μ ιγ γ ε ς ύ π ω ρ ό φ ια ι κ ο ινα νία ν / μ α λ θ α κ ό ν π α ίδ ω ν ό ά ρ ο ισ ί δ έκ ο ντα ι (‘hateful speech oppresses Phalaris everywhere, nor do lyres under the roof receive him in gentle partnership with boys’ low voices’ P. i. 96-8). But Horace’s immortality depends on praise at the intersection of two kinds of time: u sq u e ego p o ste ra / crescam la u d e recens (continually will I grow ever new with posterity’s praise’, C. 3. 30. 7-8). Continuity (u sq u e ) and freshness ( recens ) correspond to the two temporal axes we saw in the discussion of C. 1. 4 and ensure eternal re-enactment. But, we may ask, what is the difference between preservation via song repeated by others, and writing re-enacted by others through reading? This difference lies not in the material quality of song or writing p e r se, but in the relation of each to society. Song, particularly choral performance, requires communal organization, presumably by profes­ sionals who have such performance as their specific social function.61 Reading by contrast lends itself to greater privacy and isolation, even if

done by a slave. Here, however, we run into a problem. Feeney remarks on our romantic desire to drive a wedge of authenticity between the Greek lyrists and Horace: the former are more sincere, spontaneous, grounded in social context, original, natural, and oral—which leaves Horace an artificiality we cling to as critics (1993: 55). But the Greek poetry appears as artificial as anything else once we start looking at the authenticity’s construction, and a ray of genuineness shines out from Horace’s mask. How to describe the differences without reductive polarization? I think we must start with the realization that it is not only art that is artificial, but the very social fabric that ‘grounds’ it. Artificiality makes things no less real. The question is how they are constructed. Horace attempts to recuperate the social context available to the Greek lyrists through displacement. Horace’s poetry is coextensive with the Roman empire in both time and space. The geography that will be visited by thè immortal poet-swan in C. 2. 20 covers the extreme points of the Roman empire, and the peoples inhabiting these lands will come to know not simply him, but him as poetry: m e . . . n o scen t (‘they will know me’, 17-19) could be of the poet’s reputation; m e d isc e t (‘he will learn me’, 19-20) must be of his poetry.62 Tempor­ ality manifests itself in G 3. 30 through the d u m -c la u se : d u m C a p ito ­ liu m / sc a n d e t cu m ta c ita v irg in e p o n tife x (‘as long as the chief priest climbs the Capitoline with the silent Vestal virgin’, 8-9). Although Horace’s poetry does not participate, as Pindar’s would, in the sacred rites performed by pontifex and Vestal, their presence in his poetry marks the place of an integrated social context. The performance of the ca rm en saecu lare later makes a more literal attempt to regain such a context. In light of the ca rm en saecu lare as a song in the manner of Pindar, it is significant that writing occurs in both collections of O d e s in con­ junction only with the praise of secondary figures. Augustus, the most important recipient of praise, displays in Horace’s treatment no anxi­ ety about being immortalized in apparently transient song. Horace can hand written praise down to anyone else. In C. 1. 6 we expect the disavowal of praise to apply to the princeps; instead Horace addresses his right-hand man Agrippa (Feeney 1993: 54)· The addressee of G 4. 9

57 See Woodman (1974) 119 on nature’s violent threat to Pindar’s thesauros versus the gradual wearing away o f years in Horace’s image; Feeney (1993) 58 on the Roman aspect o f Horace’s conception o f time: ‘a continuous linked sequence o f years’ and ‘an organized grid through which natural time flows, or flies’. 58 Architectural imagery is no more central than e.g. the wedding cup that opens O. 7. Each highlights a different aspect of song, the former solidity and fame, the latter its function as a social contract. 59 On the monumentum as tombstone, Kiessling and Heinze (1917) C. 3. 30. 1; as epitaph. Woodman (1974) 1x6-17. 60 Ernout and Meillet (1932) at moneo: ‘M onumentum . . . est tout ce qui rappelle le souvenir. . . et particulièrement ce qui rappelle le souvenir d’un mori: tombeau (μνήμα), statue, inscription(s), etc.’ Monumentum not only means ‘a written memorial, document record’ and ‘a literary work, book’ but in its architectural meaning of ‘commemorative public building, temple or sim.’ later developed the special meaning ‘library’, OLD. 61 At P. i. 92-4 the original acclaim is handed down to professional writers (λογίοις) and poets (άοώοΐς).


62 N H (1978) 332 show that the ambition for world-wide fame goes back to Aleman; the difference, as they note at line 17, is that the Romans thought o f ‘world-wide’ fame in terms of their own political dominion.


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is the anticlimactic Lollius. Oddly enough, though Horace seems to be offering Censorinus poems of praise in C. 4. 8, the poem itself does not contain praise, but rather the assertion of poetry’s power to praise. Horace’s gesture of realism—with something of an implication of lack of seriousness—vanishes when it comes to Augustus, where he repre­ sents himself as best he can with the full authority of a poet of utterance who can lead communal song: d ic im u s / . . . d ic im u s ( C. 4. 5. 38-9); ca rm e n . . . I v a tis H o r a ti (C. 4. 6. 43-4); can em u s, the last word of the O d e s (C . 4. 15. 32).

3 Forbidding Mourning

vitio vitium repelle (Seneca, Epist. 13. 12)

Memory in O d es 1-3 looks forward: the m o n u m e n tu m does not so much preserve the past as project Horace’s future immortality. Death, for Horace, has no sting. How then to cope with the death of others, particularly with the primary impulse arising from death and memory that is mourning? Can poetry compensate for death? Does a place exist for mourning in a poetics of presence? The usual threat to the ethics of carpe d ie m arises from anxiety about the future (death); less frequent, but no less disruptive, is brooding over the past (mourning). The injunction of C. 1. 24, 1. 33, and 2. 9 offers a simple answer: ‘don’t m ourn’. But—there is always a ‘but’— the very injunction not to mourn inscribes others’ mourning on the tombstone of the m o n u m e n ­ tu m . Furthermore, the alternative Horace offers in C. 2. 9, praise Augustus Caesar, disturbs (Putnam 1990). This alternative, however construed, offers a poetic solution to a poetic problem. The three odes Horace devotes to mourning are all addressed to contemporary poets, Vergil (C. 1. 24), Albius (C. 1. 33), and Valgius (C. 2. 9), a sign that these poems are as much about poetry as about grief. In each poem as well, mourning and mourning song are conjoined. The death of Quintilius calls for Horace’s Muse to teach lu gu bris c a n tu s (‘mourning songs’, C. 1. 24. 2-3); Horace wants Albius to stop his m isera b ilis . . . elegos (‘pitiful elegies’ C. 1. 33. 2-3); Valgius’ poetry is first called fle b ilib u s m o d is (‘tearful modes’, C. 2. 9. 9), more pejorative is the phrase with which Horace enjoins a change in subject matter: m o lliu m . . . q u e re lla ru m (‘soft complaints’, 17-18). The alternative, praise, also belongs to the realm of song: c a n te m u s (‘let us sing’, C. 2. 9. 19). The poetry of Horace’s contemporaries serves as foil to the defini-



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F o rb id d in g M o u r n in g

tion of his own. The issue is partially one of genre, partially one of the appropriate relation of mourning or praise to the time of lyric dis­ course. Elegy occupies one extreme, represented by the elegists Albius and Valgius;1 epic the other. Vergil falls in both camps, overtly in C. i. 24 as a poet of m ourning song, by allusion in C. 2. 9 as poet of both mourning and praise. By analogy to the distinction between epic, the genre, and praise, a mode of discourse, I will differentiate elegy as a genre from mourning song, and use the shorthand elegos to mean not simply lament, or elegiac couplets, but poetry that engages in mourning. This chapter addresses both issues: the polarized relation of m ourn­ ing and praise to lyric time, and how the extremes of epic and elegy help define the lyric genre. C. 2. 9 unites both aspects.12 The definition of lyric, however, takes place largely through the negotiation, and negation, of rival extremes. Where mourning stands for memory that looks too much to the past, the actual alternative offered is not what we would expect: an insistence on the present. Instead of an invitation to a symposium, or some other emblem of lyric, the sugges­ tion that Valgius join Horace in singing the praise of Augustus Caesar ensures the present’s continuation into the future. Similarly, elegy and epic both overlap with lyric, and revolve around it at some remove. These issues are im portant for lyric’s relation to narrative not only because of the relation of poetic memory to lyric time, but the polarity that sets epic against elegy as rival genres is fundamental to the modal colouring of Horace’s lyric narratives.3 Virtually every Horatian nar­ rative bears the traces of a non-lyric genre; epic and elegy, while not exclusive influences, are primary. The link between epic and praise naturally gives an epic tinge to the odes where narrative contributes to the praise of Caesar. Elegy colours the narratives having to do with mythic heroines and infuses their eroticism. Can lyric appropriate its rivals without diluting its own identity? This question is closely related to another: can lyric narrate without departing from its discursive centre, enactment? The structure of defining the middle not in itself, but with relation to opposing extremes is that of the mean. A u re a m e d io c rita s (the

golden mean) is a Horatian catch-phrase as susceptible to trivialization as carpe d ie m (pluck the day), and it is essential that each of these maxims not be understood as static.4 So far, I have tried to show that the Horatian n o w is by no means univalent; m e d io c rita s is likewise not a single point but an ever-shifting and elusive goal. Both maxims are well enough understood in Horatian ethics, and since Davis (1991), the relevance of carpe d ie m to Horace’s definition of lyric as a genre is clear; what remains is to understand how a u re a m e d io c rita s structures Horatian poetics.5

1 Despite lack o f proof, ‘there can be no reasonable doubt’ that Albius is Tibullus, NH (1970) 368. For objections (with bibliography), Brouwers (1937). 2 For a more extended discussion that includes C. x. 24 and 1. 33, Lowrie (1994). 3 I am indebted to Davis’s (1991) 39-69 discussion of the disavowal of elegy as the counterpart to Horace’s disavowal of the high style.


e d io c r it a s

Mourning for Horace transgresses the limits, it heads into excess: sed le v iu s f i t p a tie n tia , / q u ic q u id corrigere e st n efas (‘But whatever is wrong to undo / becomes lighter with suffering’, C. 1. 24. 19-20); n e d o lea s p lu s n im io m e m o r (‘don’t grieve remembering more than too much’, C. i. 33. i ). In telling elegists not to grieve, Horace implies not only that elegy is excessively single-minded, but also that lyric is different. Figuring out what lyric is, however, depends at least partially on reversing what Horace criticizes in his rivals. But we cannot directly reverse such injunctions as the opening stanza of C. 1. 33: Albi, ne doleas plus nimio memor inmitis Glycerae, neu miserabilis decantes elegos, cur tibi iunior laesa praeniteat fide. Albius, don’t grieve remembering more than too much / bitter Glycera, stop chanting / your wretched elegies, asking why someone younger / outshines you, your loyalty wounded.

This would mislead us into thinking that Horatian lyric does not grieve, that it is not mindful, that it has no erotic objects, and never complains about younger rivals. What can be directly negated is excess: n e . . . p lu s n im io. 4 The epithet aurea is Horace’s stamp, and later becomes, like carpe diem, a cliché, NH (1978) 169. 5 For mediocritas in Horace’s ethics, see e.g. W ilkinson (1968) 21-2; Oates (1936). See Syndikus (1972) 74—5 on the ethics o f nunc. Davis (1991), the m ost far-reaching study o f carpe diem and aurea mediocritas, stops just short o f articulating these terms as principles o f generic definition beyond the ethical position.


P oetics o f P resen ce/P oetics o f I m m o r ta lity

F o rb id d in g M o u r n in g

Horace is often—rightly—considered a poet of the mean. His m e d ­ is stylistic as well as philosophic. He tells us to drink and be merry, but not too much (C. i. 18. 7), to engage in love-making, but not to let it become violent or to set much stake by it (C. 1. 17, 3. 14. 21-8). Stylistically, he tempers levity with grandeur, elevation with humour, and so on. The avoidance of extremes is in essence a negative formulation of an idea which is difficult to state positively. Negation is a powerful poetic tool because the idea negated is brought before our eyes: A lb i, n e do lea s (‘Albius, don’t grieve’, C. 1. 33. 1); t u n e quaesieris (‘don’t ask’, C. 1. 11. 1); n e q u is . . . tr a n s ilia t (‘lest someone leap over’, C. i. 18. 7); m itte secta ri (‘leave off pursuit’, C. 1. 38. 3); non se m p e r im b res (‘the rains do not always’, C. 2. 9. 1). In Horace’s hands, the mean is represented through the negation of the two extremes. The ode in which Horace coins the phrase a u rea m e d io c rita s (C. 2. io. 5) consists in large part of dichotomy, negation, and comparatives, none of which defines the mean positively.6 No emotion straddles hope and fear, no situation is not either hostile or favourable; neutrality is achieved by setting the one extreme against the other, hope against hostile circumstances, fear against favourable, but like the word n eu ter (neither one of two), does not signify anything in itself. Aristotle’s definition of the mean in the second book of the N ic o m a ch ea n E th ics sets virtue somewhere between two vices:

rather speaks simply of excess (p lu s n im io ). Aristotle makes sure to distinguish this mean from the arithmetic mean: six is the arithmetic mean between two and ten, but the mean ‘relative to us’ should be understood according to a principle of appropriateness or decorum. While six pounds of meat may be too much for the beginning athlete, it would not be enough for Milo (iio ó a29-b5). Aristotle expresses the idea of decorum concretely: το δ’o r e δει κ α ί e f i οΐς κα ί ττρος οϋς κ α ί ου €ν€κα κ α ί ώς Sei (‘the principle of when it is necessary, and on which conditions, and in reference to whom, and why, and as it is necessary’, n o 6 b2i-2). Horace would appreciate decorum changing according to circumstance. But what would perhaps have most appealed to Horace as a poet is Aristotle’s practical advice at the end of the book. Since either extreme is further from its opposite than from the mean (n o 8 b27-3o), and since the mean is often closer to one vice than to the other,8 the way to achieve the mean is negative, through avoidance, rather than a positive search for something in itself: ‘he who aims at the intermediate must first depart from what is the more contrary to it’ (1 io9a3o-i). Aristotle follows with an exemplum: Circe’s advice to Odysseus to steer closer to Scylla than Charybdis since losing six men is preferable to losing the whole ship (O d . 12. 108-10).9 Although Horace does not use Scylla and Charybdis in C. 2. 10, he does open the poem with the conven­ tional image of steering a ship between shore and deep.10 Useful for poetry in Aristotle’s advice is that the mean can be the aim in contra­ distinction to either extreme at different times. In C. 2. 9 one extreme is represented, excessive mourning and excessive elegy, against which lyric opposes itself. At other times, as in C. 1. 6, lyric defines itself against the other extreme, praise poetry and the epic high style. As a principle of poetic definition the mean tells us by and large what lyric is not, without defining positively what it is. C. 2. 9 repre­ sents both extremes: Valgius’ perpetual mourning for Mystes is coun­ tered by a suggestion of singing the praises of Augustus— the contemporary venue for civic poetry. Neither of these possibilities

io crita s

Excellence, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect; and again it is a mean because the vices respectively fall short o f or exceed what is right in both passions and actions, while excellence both finds and chooses that which is intermediate.7 (Eth. Nie. iio 6 b3 6 -n o 7 a6)

The translation of this definition into poetics requires adjustment. It is im portant not to understand the vices of excess and deficiency as absolutes, but relative to one another on a scale (Hardie 1968: 14451). An excess of one of the vices means a deficiency of its opposite: a coward exceeds in fear and falls short in confidence (n o 7 b3-4). Such language of excess and deficiency is unwieldy for poetry, and Horace 6 Elder (1952) 154: ‘may not one at times feel that the poet describes the extremes with a deal more spirit than the middle course?’ 7 This and other translations o f Aristotle are from Barnes (1984) 1742-52. I cite Bekker numbers.

8 ‘To the mean in some cases the deficiency, in som e the excess is more opposed, e.g. it is not rashness, which is an excess, but cowardice, which is a deficiency, that is more opposed to courage’ (ir o 9 ai- 3 ).

9 Aristotle attributes the advice to Calypso and quotes Odysseus’ words, but the import is clear. 10 NH (1978) 158-9 comment on the moral applications o f Scylla and Charybdis in the context o f the voyage o f life metaphor, but do not note that Aristotle him self uses this image in his discussion o f the mean.


P oetics o f P resen ce/P oetics o f I m m o r ta lity

F o rb id d in g M o u r n in g

represents Horatian lyric in itself; each goes too far in one direction (Putnam 1990: 229, discussed below). How then does this poem function in the definition of appropriate poetry? Where is the mean?

did not reach manhood. / Come, stop your soft complaints / and let us sing rather the new trophies / o f Augustus Caesar and / frozen Niphates, / that the Persian river, added / to conquered peoples, churns lesser eddies / and the Geloni ride on tiny plains / within bounds.


L y r ic P

r a is e

Non semper imbres nubibus hispidos manant in agros, aut mare Caspium vexant inaequales procellae usque, nec Armeniis in oris, amice Valgi, stat glacies iners menses per omnis aut Aquilonibus querqueta Gargani laborant et foliis viduantur orni: tu semper urges flebilibus modis Mysten ademptum, nec tibi Vespero surgente decedunt amores, nec rapidum fugiente solem. at non ter aevo functus amabilem ploravit omnis Antilochum senex annos, nec impubem parentes Troilon aut Phrygiae sorores flevere semper, desine mollium tandem querellarum, et potius nova cantemus Augusti tropaea Caesaris et rigidum Niphaten, Medumque flumen gentibus additum victis minores volvere vertices, intraque praescriptum Gelonos exiguis equitare campis.

Has Mystes died, or has Valgius merely lost him to another lover?11 Horace does not specify, in part because the issue is the appropriate poetic response to loss, so that death or infidelity amount to the same thing, in part because he assimilates mourning song with the erotic concerns of elegy. Unlike lyric, with its emphasis on an ever-changing, and hence eternal, n ow , elegy is obsessed with one thing all the time. Valgius’ elegy is defined negatively by analogy with the weather and with myth, both universalizing realms.12 His unchanging subject m at­ ter is out of harmony with human experience. As has often been noted (e.g. Syndikus 1972: 395), se m p e r (always) articulates the analogies: n o n se m p e r (1) of the weather and tu se m p e r (9) of Valgius each occupies the first position in the stanza; after such emphasis, se m p e r of the mythic section moves to climactic position at the end of the sentence but still in the first line of a stanza, a t n on . . . n ec . . . se m p e r (13-17). The following two poems as well continue the empha­ sis on n on sem per, C. 2. 9 contains a variant of the phrase three times, the next twice, the one after that once.13 The phrase functions as a leitmotiv around the central poem, at the half-way point of the middle book, in which Horace articulates the principle of a u re a m e d io c rita s ,14 Horace’s critique of Valgius has to do more than with his unvaried subject; it also has to do with his relation to the poetic tradition. Horace pegs Valgius as a neoteric through a multiple allusion that itself creates an icon of sem per .15 nec tibi Vespero surgente decedunt amores, nec rapidum fugiente solem. (C. 2. 9. 10-12)

(C. 2. 9) Not always does the rain fall from the clouds / on the squalid field nor do rough storms / worry the Caspian sea continually, / nor on Amenian shores, / friend Valgius, does ice stand inert / month in, month out, nor do the North winds / labour Gargara’s oak groves nor are the ash trees / widowed o f leaves: / You always dwell with tearful modes on Mystes / who was taken, your love leaves you / not when the evening star rises, nor when it flees / the consuming sun. / But the man of three generations did not lament / lovely Antilochus all his years, nor did his parents / or Phrygian sisters always mourn Troilus / who

11 Quinti (1963) 160; Anderson (r968); Murgatroyd (1975); NH (1978) 136, 144; Putnam (1990) 217 n. 5. 12 On myth and nature as a ‘grammar’ for construing experience, Commager (1967) 236. Weather and myth likewise support the exhortation in Epodes 13 and C. 1. 7; the latter makes the same point, neque . . . perpetuos (16-17). 13 neque . . . semper, C. 2. io. 1-2 and 19; non semper, C. 2. i i . 9. 14 Aspects of this arrangement in Santirocco (1986) 91—3. 15 N H (1978) 135-6; Putnam (1990) 230 with n. 18 remarks on the derivative nature o f Valgius’ emotions and their expression, and notes other vocabulary taken from the Vergilian passage.


P oetics o f P resen ce/P oetics o f I m m o r ta lity

F o rb id d in g M o u r n in g

your love leaves you / not when the evening star rises, nor when it flees / the consuming sun.

will join ( ca n te m u s , C. 2. 9. 19). This appears somewhat peculiar in comparison with the programmatic statement made in C. 1. 6, in which Horace refuses to sing the la u d es egregii C aesaris e t tu a s (The praise of excellent Caesar and yours’, 11, tu u s in reference to Agrippa) and embraces topics which are at least partially elegiac: nos co n vivia , nos p ro e lia v ir g in u m / sectis in iu ven es u n g u ib u s a c riu m / c a n ta m u s (T sing parties, I sing battles of girls / sharp with nails filed against boys’, 17 - 19).18 If each poem defines lyric, taken together they seem to cancel each other out. In C. 1.6 the extreme of praise poetry is corrected to sympotic/erotic poetry, in C. 2. 9 erotic poetry is corrected to praise poetry. The shift from the indicative c a n ta m u s (we habitually sing’, C. i. 6. 19) to the subjunctive c a n te m u s (‘let us habitually sing’, C. 2. 9. 19) suggests that Horatian lyric is closer to elegy than to praise poetry; it is a question of coming relatively closer to one of the poetic kinds to which lyric is opposed. To apply the Scylla and Charybdis analogy (only somewhat facetiously) to Horace, in avoiding the Charybdis of elegy in C. 2. 9, he must lose a few men to the Scylla of praise poetry; conversely in C. 1. 6, the ‘evil’ more to be avoided is epic-style praise. If we transfer the structure of the Aristotelian mean to the hierarchy of genres, elegy is less elevated than lyric, epic more elevated. In Aristotle’s language, we could say that elegy has a deficiency of height and epic an excess of height. To achieve the generic mean, Horatian lyric must be more serious and political than elegy though less so than epic, and more amatory than epic though less so than elegy. More often praise poetry plays Charybdis— a factor that makes C. 2. 9 unusual and leads to difficulty of interpretation. Horace does offer a positive model for lyric in his portrait of Alcaeus in C. i. 32. The categories turn out to be the same. Alcaeus’ political poetry is balanced by erotic poetry, each occupying one stanza.19


ipse cava solans aegrum testudine amorem te, dulcis coniunx, te solo in litore secum, te veniente die, te decedente canebat. (Vergil, Georgies 4. 464-6) He him self [Orpheus], consoling his heart-sick love with a hollow turtle, sang o f you, sweet wife, you, to himself on the empty shore, you, when the day came, you, when it left. te matutinus flentem conspexit Eous et flentem paulo vidit post Hesperus idem (Cinna, Zmyrna fr. 6C) The morning star saw you weeping, and the same, as the evening star, saw you weeping shortly after.

Whether or not Valgius himself alluded to Vergil and Cinna, Horace attaches to him not only an image of eternal mourning, but the eternal citation of a certain poetic tradition.16 Repetition is not only iconic within each passage (fle n te m in both lines of Cinna, te four times in Vergil, in both lines at the beginning of the verse and after the caesura), but in each passage’s imitation of its predecessor. Vergil takes up te from Cinna and retains its metrical position; Horace transposes Cinna’s fle n te m to Valgius’ poetry, fle b ilib u s m o d is (9), and takes a m o r and decedere from Vergil. Horace also conflates elements from both: China’s evening star and Vergil’s application of mourning to song. But Horace does one better than either Cinna or Vergil by choosing sem p er as the word to repeat. Horace’s poetic criticism is not confined to elegy in the narrow sense, but extends to elegos more broadly construed as the poetry of mourning.17 Vergil’s Orpheus is paradigmatic for elegos, and C. 1. 24 manifests a one-sided, Orphic Vergil. Horace widens Valgius’ scope by proposing instead the opposite extreme, one that has to do with Vergil’s other side: a song of praise for Augustus, in which he also 10 Valgius’ documented admiration o f Cinna (if. 2 C; NH (1978) 135) tempts one to believe he used the image himself. 17 The metrical distinction between the hexameters o f Cinna’s Zmyrna and the ending o f the Georgies, often called epyllion, and the couplets o f Latin love elegy is irrelevant here.

[barbite . . .] Lesbio primum modulate civi, qui ferox bello tamen inter arma, sive iactatam religarat udo litore navim, Liberum et Musas Veneremque et illi semper haerentem puerum canebat 18 C. 2. 9 is often set against Horatian recusationes, particularly C. 1. 6: Davis (1991) 58; Putnam (1990) 234; Syndikus (1972) 396. 19 For the ranking o f the two kinds o f poetry and its instability, Feeney (1993) 47.



P o etics o f P resen ce/P oetics o f I m m o r ta lity

F o rb id d in g M o u r n in g

et Lycum nigris oculis nigroque crine decorum.

(n o 6 b2i-2). Epic’s ‘chill detachment’ is here the antidote to elegy’s ‘egoistic involutions’ and serves to bring elegy closer to lyric on the flexible scale; we must understand Horace’s exhortation to Valgius not as an absolute, but as relative to the starting point.20 Horace’s lyric definition, though mostly negative, is not entirely so. If Horace’s turn from Valgius’ elegos to praise poetry cancels out his turn from praise poetry in C. 1. 6 to c o n v iv ia and p ro e lia v irg in u m , what remains is the symposium. In Santirocco’s (1986: 91-3) analysis a reversal obtains in the interaction of C. 2. 9 and 2. 11 around the middle or ‘mean’ poem C. 2. 10, that is similar to the way C. 1. 6 and 2. 9 offset each other. Where C. 2. 9 progresses from eroticism to politics, C. 2. i i , equally paraenetic, progresses in the opposite direction from politics to eroticism and a sympotic scene. Where Quinctius looks too much to the future, Valgius looks too much to the past. In each case lyric offers instead the present. The antidote to grieving over a lover is Augustus’ triumphs, a particular moment of history.21 The antidote to anxiety over the future is also the present, but in this case the generic, repeatable present of the symposium.22 C. 2. 11 does not, however, quite reverse the terms of C. 2. 9; Lyde is to be invited not merely as a d e v iu m sc o rtu m (‘reclusive whore’, 21), but as a contributor to the sympotic festivities through her lyre (22). Eroticism is not an end in itself but rather subordinate to the properly lyric activity of the sym­ posium. This subordination offers the final correction to Valgius: elegos is countered by praise poetry, political concerns are in turn countered by the symposium, which puts the erotic back in its proper place, not dismissed, but subsumed into lyric. Horace’s Alcaeus also sings of L ib e ru m (‘Bacchus’, C. 1. 32. 9), sandwiched between political and erotic topics. If the mean is one extreme tempered by the other, lyric turns out to be the negation neither of praise poetry nor of elegy simply put, but

(C. i. 32. 5-12) lyre, first played by a citizen o f Lesbos, / who, neverthess, fierce in war among the weapons, / or if he had tied his tossed ship / on the wet shore, / sang of Liber and the Muses, and Venus, / and that boy always clinging to her, / and Lycus, beautiful with black eyes / and black hair.

Such polarized subject matter leaves us wondering what properly belongs to lyric. Aristotle’s discussion of our relative perception of each extreme depending on our situation in the schema is relevant here. There are three kinds o f disposition, then, two o f them vices, involving excess and deficiency and one an excellence, viz. the mean, and all are in a sense opposed to all; for the extreme states are contrary both to the intermediate state and to each other, and the intermediate to the extremes . . . For the brave man appears rash relatively to the coward, and cowardly relatively to the rash man . . . Hence also the people at the extremes push the intermediate man each over to the other, and the brave man is called rash by the coward, cowardly by the rash man . . . (Eth. Nie. u o 8 bii- 2 ó )

For generic definition, the relative appearance of things according to one’s position on the scale will mean that to the elegist Valgius, Horace’s lyric appears to be praise poetry, and to the epic poet Varius, elegy. Although it partakes of each extreme, lyric is neither. Putnam, who understands C. 2. 9 as veering from one unproductive poetic mode (elegy) to another (epic-style praise), asks a series of impassioned questions which reveal that he is looking for the mean, but cannot find it in this poem. The last is: Do we not rather expect Horatian lyric and Horatian eroticism to lie some­ where in between these limits and to comprise an intensely felt poetry that brilliantly accommodates both public and private spheres and whose erotic centre, by flexibility of feeling, avoids elegy’s egoistic involutions on the one hand, epic’s chill detachment on the other? (1990: 229)

The answer is ‘yes’. But what we expect and what we get are rather different, precisely because our expectations are determined by what Horace says rather than what he does. There is no poem that manages to be public and private, political and erotic, in perfect balance all at once. To borrow Aristotle’s words, Horace chooses his subject and style according to ‘the principle of when it is necessary, and on which conditions, and in reference to whom, and why, and as it is necessary’

20 Davis (1991) 58: ‘The contradiction [between C. r. 6 and 2. 9] seems pronounced at the level o f content, but recedes into insignificance at the level o f structure; for disavowal and assimilation . . . are conjoint techniques o f privileging the particular genre to which one is currrently committed. The genres themselves are, in principle and practice, reversi­ ble, because the ‘disavowals’ are essentially tactical.’ Out o f context Davis appears to abandon content for rhetoric, but he aims to show how similar rhetorical strategies serve the greater purpose o f decorum ( kairos), which determines the content o f the moment. 21 I mean the idea of the particular moment; the ode’s date o f com position is harder to pin down, N H (1978) 138. 22 Putnam (1990) 228 calls the symposium in C. 2. 11 a ‘festivity that abstracts its participants from time’.


Poetics o f Presence/Poetics o f Immortality

rather each negated and tempered by the other. The alternation from disavowal of the one to disavowal of the other carves out a space that is both and neither. Furthermore, the alternation in itself adheres to the injunction non semper. A further means of tempering extremes is a technique that has come to be recognized as a particularly Horatian trait: the colouring of one extreme by the other.23 The subject dis­ avowed in C. i. 6, warfare, makes itself manifest via assimilation in the subject that is embraced, proelia virginum (17) (Santirocco 1986: 36; Davis 1991: 33-4). We oscillate between perceptions of similarity and difference; each shows traces of the other. In C. 2. 9 the weather and the mythological exempla are eroticized; elegiac concerns extend their force over the two realms, nature and myth, that ostensibly provide counter-examples. The vocabulary of eroticism in the weather includes hispidos, manant, vexant, inaequales, glacies iners, laborant, viduantur

(‘squalid’, ooze’, ‘worry’, ‘rough’, ‘inert ice’, ‘labour’, ‘widowed’, i-8).24 The motif of the puer delicatus (pretty boy) which originates with Mystes adheres as well to the mourned mythic figures: Antilochus is amabilis (13) and Troilus impubem (15) (Davis 1991: 57-8; NH 1978: 146-7; Syndikus 1972: 395.). The geography likewise remains consistent across the poem, but here the influence probably works in reverse. The proposal of Augustus’ victories in the East as a preferable subject for song moti­ vates the choice of geography of the first two stanzas (Davis 1991: 59-60; Putnam 1990: 226; NH 1978:137). The unity created is hardly single; it is rather an assimilation of contraries each to the other. A further feature balancing the elegiac and laudatory sections of the poem is Vergilian allusion (Putnam 1990: 230-5; NH 1978: 137). The italicized words are also in C. 2. 9. 19-23, with Medumque flumen (21) for the Euphrates. addam urbes Asiae domitas pulsumque Niphaten fidentemque fuga Parthum versisque sagittis; et duo rapta manu diverso ex hoste tropaea (Georg.

3. 30-2)

I will add the conquered cities of Asia and the defeated Niphates, and the Parthian trusting in flight and backwards arrows, and two trophies snatched from the enemy, East and West. 23 Much o f Davis (1991) revolves around the assimilation o f the disavowed.

24 Putnam (1990) 2x9-21; NH (1978) 133-6; Syndikus (1972) 392-5; Williams (1968) 671-3; Bücheier (1882) 230-1.


F o rb id d in g M o u r n in g

hie Lelegas Carasque sagittiferosque Gelonos finxerat; Euphrates ibat iam mollior undis, extremique hominum Morini, Rhenusque bicornis, indomitique Dahae, et pontem indignatus Araxes. (Aen. 8. 725-8)

Here he had depicted the Lelegae, and Carae, and arrow-bearing Geloni: now the Euphrates was rolling more softly, and the Morini, the outermost o f men, and two-horned Rhine, and unconquered Dahae, and the Araxes, chafing at its bridge.

Whether or not Horace was also imitating the unpublished A e n e id , he was certainly imitating the G eorgies, as the presence of two allusions to this work emphasizes.25 What, besides providing unity, does allusion to Vergil convey in an ode addressed to another poet? The question is whether praise of Augustus Caesar is a legitimate poetic alternative to elegos or merely another poetic dead end.26 Although I grant half of the pessimistic hypothesis, that the Augustan poets’ praise of the princeps also contained admonition and qualifica­ tion, I understand these techniques within an encomiastic context. Safeguarding the genuineness of the praising voice is essential to successful praise. Many of Pindar’s odes to Hieron—paradigmatic for the praise of a head of state— use dark or negative figures in the myths. A striking instance is P y th ia n 3, whose message on the limita­ tions to human life and happiness is imparted with the help of the figures of Coronis and Asclepius.27 Nisbet and Hubbard refer to ‘the Pindaric tradition that a poet may address sententious admonition to his betters’ (1970: 92-3); a standard Pindaric motif is the qualification of the la u d a n d u s’s blessedness as subject to mortal limitations.28 The deferral of praise to a future time or work (as in the subjunctive ca n te m u s ) confers praise through the utterance itself.29 Warning, 25 N H (1978) and Putnam (1990) think Horace imitates both Vergilian passages. My arguments about the Georgies as representative o f a varied kind o f poetry also apply to the Aeneid. 26 Putnam (1990) 230-5 argues that Horace was proposing to Valgius one sterile poetic m ode for another and that the recommendation to imitate Vergil implies there are no non-derivative poetic modes available to Valgius. 27 Orpheus and Asclepius both tried with some success to bring back the dead. 28 Bundy (1986) 28 on the ‘vicissitude foil’ cites O. 7. 94-5, P. 7. 20-2, I. 3. 18, all o f which focus on change over time. This topos is important for the application o f the non semper m otif to Augustus. 29 Slater (1969) 86-94; Bundy (1986) 43 and 74 on ‘voluntative encomiastic futures’. If Pindar is not sufficient parallel, the futures cantabimus, recines, and dicetur (C. 3. 28. 9, r i, 16) hardly defer song, but enact it.


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F o rb id d in g M o u r n in g

qualification and deferral all are encomiastic rhetorical strategies which do not in themselves undermine praise, but guarantee the sincerity of the speaker and legitimate the praise. Vergil, as a friend of both poet and addressee, provides a positive model to Valgius for the possibility of accommodating a wider poetic range (Davis 1991: 59). Their names occur in sequence at Sat. 1. 10. 81-2: V ergiliusque , / V algius. In one way, the citation of Vergil’s Orpheus rebukes Valgius for never changing; in another, it aligns him with a strong poetic tradition. This poetic tradition is not above criticism, but even within the G eorgies , there are other possibilities. Both poets in all likelihood wrote praise poetry as well as e le g o s30 The Vergilian allusions cover the range. Although fragments only from Valgius’ lighter works are extant, he was thought capable of writing praise poetry—an indication that he probably did so.3031 If Valgius wrote or was attempting to write poetry in the high style, this would soften Horace’s criticism in the first part of the ode, and make the progres­ sion from one kind of poetry to another a complimentary reflection of Valgius’ own poetic career. Horace is saying, ‘Now that you have mastered Vergil’s elegiac mode, get on with it and see if you can aspire to the level of his praise poetry.’ The charge that the poem veers too much in the opposite direction, however, must be answered, particularly since Horace himself warns against such a swing:

virtus est medium vitiorum et utrimque reductum.

non ego, avarum cum veto te fieri, vappam iubeo ac nebulonem: est inter Tanain quiddam socerumque Viselli, est modus in rebus, sunt certi denique fines, quos ultra citraque nequit consistere rectum. (Sat. i. i. 103-7) I do not, when I forbid you become a miser, ask for a roué and a tramp; there is something between Tanais and Visellius’ father-in-law, there is a mean in things, there are after all sure limits, on this and that side o f which right cannot stand. 30 In addition to bucolic, see Valgius fr. 5C. 31 Pace Davis (1991) 253-4 n. 46 and NH (1978) at C. 2. 12. 10. O f Panegyricus in Messallam 179-89 (est tibi qui possit magnis se accingere rebus / Valgius; aeterno propior non alter Homero, ‘There is someone available to you who could gird himself for great deeds: Valgius; no other is closer to eternal Homer’), C 287 remarks that he must have at least made a show o f more ambitious composition’.


(Epist. i. 18. 9) Virtue is a mean o f vices and shrinks from either side.

The good must pull back from b o th vices. Does Horace obey his own rule? If elegos and praise represent falling short of (c itra ) and surpass­ ing (u ltra ) what is right, how does setting the one against the other help? On one reading of C. 1. 3, it is Vergil’s voyage into the realm of epic that occasions our lyric poet to reflect on hum an audacity in crossing natural and divine limits (n efas, 26 ) .32 If C. 2. 9 cites the A e n e id as well as the G eorgies, Horace would appear to be advocating a path he might admire, but is unwilling to follow. The answer lies in the movement itself, in the right combination of the two extremes, and above all in the reduction of epic-style praise to a lyric context. The Vergil of this poem represents the mean to Valgius, as does the poem itself. What distinguishes Horatian lyric and the G eorgies from elegos or praise poetry in their hypothetical pure forms, is their comprehending a range of poetic modes within a middle ground. Similar to the courageous man who experiences fear and confidence in just proportion, Horace and Vergil engage in mourning song and praise without excess. C. 2. 9 corrects the more one-sided Vergil by recognizing Orpheus as one among other Vergilian modes, but similarly, Orpheus provides an antidote to Vergilian praise. The prescription to Valgius is not simply to turn from one poetic mode to another in absolute terms, but rather the very motion of turning. C. 2. 9 represents the mean not because it contains both elegiac and enco­ miastic elements within the same poem, but because the very motion of turning away from one excessive polarity enacts what is essential in the mean: not to cling to one way of doing things. Part of the reason elegos plays the role of the mode to turn away from, is that it leaves itself open to criticism of uniformity; when the time comes to turn away from praise poetry the grounds shift.33 Even in lyric there is a time to praise and to turn to public concerns. The plural in c a n te m u s (19) suggests such a public dimension. But, just as Horace circumscribes his own mourning for Quintilius within the 32 Pucci (1991) with bibliography. On Horace’s admiration o f such audacity, Elder (1952). 33 Stylistic height, as in the tenues grandia (light/grand) juxtaposition (C. 1. 6. 9) is one such ground. In C. 2. 11 the objection depends on lyric time: political cares (18) prevent enjoyment of the hie et nunc.



P oetics o f P resen ce/P oetics o f I m m o r ta lity

F o rb id d in g M o u r n in g

bounds of divine and natural right—that is, what can be spoken, or what is poetic ( q u ic q u id corrigere e st nefas, ‘whatever is wrong to undo’, C. i. 2 4 . 20)34—so his praise remains within human bounds and keeps from crossing into excess.35 The transition from the elegiac section of the poem into epic and praise is itself modified: Antilochus and Troilus are epic-style heroes cut down to elegiac p u e r i (boys). Sexual imagery and the language of restriction maintain the same concerns as in the first part of the poem. The contrast between Valgius’ m o lliu m . . . q u e re lla ru m (17-18) and the subjugation of rig id u m N ip h a te n (20) replaces sexual impotence with mastery.36 The landscape reflects the shift: in ers (inert) and rig id u s (stiff) both refer to frozen landscapes (5 and 20), but impotence yields to erection. Imagistic reversal occurs within imagistic continuity. Horace manipulates the conventions of triumph pageantry with the sexual overtones and the representation of conquest over prominent features of the landscape (NH 1978: at C. 2. 9. 20). But this imagery also creates signification within the confines of the poem. The land­ scape, particularly of similar geography, returns us to the poem’s beginning. D e sin e . . . ta n d e m (17-18) enacts a fall into history which functions as an antidote to Valgius’ sem per. Now it is appropriate to praise Caesar. But the message conveyed by the landscape at the beginning of the poem applies equally to the end: n on sem per. Poetry and life are again congruent; it will not always be appropriate to praise and, while the Euphrates may now churn lesser eddies, rivers are, like the weather, notoriously hard to control.37 But the most important limitation to praise is the fulfilment of the injunction in the statement itself. Rather than focusing on the expansion of empire, Horace chooses language which brings restriction to the fore. There is some­ thing not so much niggardly in the praise, but reduced. In tra . . . p r a e s c r ip tu m (23) applies equally well to the generic reduction of encomium. Such limitations should not be taken as anti-encomiastic any more than the injunction not to wish to bring Quintilius back to life detracts from genuine grief over his death; they rather keep enco-

mium and mourning within the range of human and poetic capability, within the range of fas.

34 On the association o f fas (divine sanction) with fari (to speak), Maltby (1991) ad loc.; Benveniste (1969) ii. 133—42. 33 Putnam (1990) appears to want it both ways: Horace’s praise is qualified and excessive at the same time. His argument is o f course more sophisticated: it is because Horace qualifies his praise that advocating praise poetry to Valgius represents a sterile extreme. 36 Putnam (1990) 223 emphasizes sexual imagery. 37 See Quint (1993) 29-31 on the rivers in Vergil’s Actium episode, the same passage that shares the Geloni and Euphrates with this poem, quoted above.

A paradox of exhorting other poets not to grieve overly much is that the injunction itself inscribes their grief in memory. Poetry may not compensate for loss in an absolute way, but the lyric Horace bears a resemblance to Orpheus after all. In life, each fails to bring back the dead, but by writing grief into song each immortalizes both desire and its object. The difference between them is poetic: Horace’s song moves on and counters the reifying permanence of his Muse by insisting on the passage of time. Horace’s lyric falls in the middle ground of the mean, a point not fixed but always shifting away from the greater extreme of the moment. In generic terms, this means coming closer at different times to the public spirit of epic or to the more personal concerns of elegy. The Alcaeus of C. 1. 32 is a positive model for a dual rather than a singular lyric. In temporal terms, it means a commutation of personal memory into a poetic, immortalizing memory. Memory for Horace does not so much look back as forward; it is projected onto his future readership. If narrative represents a temporary retreat from the lyric present into the past, it is brought back to the present in two ways. First, through serving some rhetorical purpose that is grounded in the moment of speaking; secondly, through inscription onto the m o n u ­ m e n tu m . These are the momentary and the eternal presents. Decorum is always a struggle for Horace: to aim for an ideal which is ever shifting. ‘Matters concerned with conduct and questions of what is good for us have no fixity’ (Aristotle E N 1104^4-5). Even virtue should be sought in moderation: in s a n i sa p ie n s n o m e n fe r a t, a eq u u s in iqu i, / u ltra q u a m sa tis e st v ir tu te m si p e t a t ip sa m (‘let the wise man bear the name of insane, and the just of unjust if he should seek virtue herself beyond what is enough’, E pist. 1. 6. 15-16). Likewise for poetic decorum. Horace’s tendency to balance two extremes is reflected in the kinds of narrative he tells. Many of these belong to the gen u s g ra n d e and add to the praise of Gaesar. They are inevitably attenuated in some way. Some also belong to the g e n u s te n u e (C . 3. 11 and 3. 27, as well as the personal narratives), and these likewise suffer compensatory heigh­ tening. As a guiding principle, the mean refuses to offer stability, but this does not mean that it has no unity. The mean offers Horace a combination of flexibility and balance that allows lyric to claim pre­ eminence over other genres, and other conceptions of time. Far from a moderate position, the mean allows for totalizing poetic ambition.


Lyric Narratives

4 Programmatic Narrative: Degrees of Relevance

With this chapter begins the close reading of Horace’s narratives, but we will hardly leave poetics behind. This is not because all of Horace’s poetry is metapoetry, though that may be true. The poems with extended mythological narratives in the O d es opening sweep are paradigmatic for the narratives in the rest of the collection. C. i. 7 in particular offers itself as the solution to the questions it raises. C. i. 7 and 1. 8 come on the heels of C. 1.6 and engage in dialogue with its canons of style and genre (Santirocco 1986: 34-9). They belong to the Parade Odes, in itself suggesting programmatic import (Santi­ rocco 1986: 14-15). Adjacent positioning reinforces the type they establish in both form and rhetorical structure. For form: after a brief introduction containing an explicit narrative marker (such as a third person perfect), a character’s speech may take over until the end of the story, even of the poem.1 As for rhetorical structure, the narrative in each poem is an exemplum that relates in multiple ways to the framing argument. This multiplicity consists in part of the communication of different messages to the addressee and the reader.12 Although exemp­ lary function does not exhaust the narratives’ poeticity, participation in an argument knits into the poem’s speaking fabric any excursuses into alternative modes of discourse. C. i. 15 likewise displays a bond with C. 1. 6, and also falls in a programmatic sequence.3 The poem’s structure is unique: it consists entirely of mythic narrative. Although a character’s speech (Nereus) 1 The most com m on form o f the mythological narratives. For speeches ending odes, Helm (1935) 353. 2 On internal and external rhetorical structures, Edmunds (1992) 4; Schrijvers (1973)

143· 3 After the metrical parade (C. 1. 1-10 or 12) comes a parade o f allusions to Greek lyric predecessors (C. 1. 12-18), Lowrie (1995).



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quickly takes over from the first stanza’s impersonal narrator, a familiar form among Horatian narratives, the absence of a rhetorical frame motivating the telling of the story has driven critics to allegory. We want narrative to be tied to the here a n d n ow ; to relate to the poet’s experience (on the lack of such grounding, Helm 1935: 364). The allegory of Antony as Paris falls back on contemporary history to justify an unparalleled unmotivated departure from the lyric n o w into myth. In contrast to the narratives of C. 1.7 and 1.8, which are tightly bound to their contexts, C. 1. 15 offers precedent for the reverse: a free-standing narrative. Horace later plays the two extremes against each other.

aspect of the opening lines of epic, the invocation to the Muse, is not ‘translated’ since what interests him is the encapsulation of plot. I refrain from going over Horace’s ‘mistranslations’ of μ ή ν ις (‘wrath’) as sto m a c h u s and π ο λ ύ τ ρ ο π ο ς (‘versatile’) as d u p le x since they have been the object of study ancient and recent; I focus rather on these lines’ mode of presentation.6 While we would not expect a summary of a plot to be in narrative form with full-fledged third person perfect verbs, Horace avoids even the subordination of narrative to indirect statement (after dicere), and rather conveys the plots strictly through nouns and adjectives. Achilles’ wrath is static (g ra v e m . . . sto m a c h u m , 5 - 6 ) ; the closest we come to a verb is the epexegetic infinitive in cedere n escii (literally ‘not knowing to yield’, 6). Odysseus’ return home is denoted by a noun ( cursus , 7), the cruelty of Pelops’ house by an epithet ( s a e v a m , 8). Where the epics combine a statement of basic subject (μ ή ν ιν . . . Π η λη ϊά δ € ω Ά χ ιλ ή ο ς / ονλομεντην, ‘the destructive wrath of Peleus’ son Achilles’, LI. 1. 1-2; άνδρα . . . π ο λύ τρ ο π ο ν, ‘a versatile man’, O d. 1.1 ) with a relative clause that gives an overview of the plot and introduces a finite verb (ή μ υ ρ ι Ά χ α ιο ΐς α λ γ έ ίθ η κ ζ , ‘which caused much pain for the Achaeans’, 17. r. 2; δς μ ά λ α π ο λ λ ά / π λ ά γ χ θ η , ‘who wandered very much’. O d. 1 . 1-2), Horace tightens the structure with adjectival and adverbial phrases: cedere nescii (6); p e r m a re (7). Both lines denoting epic consist of a noun (sto m a c h u m ; cursus) with the hero in the genitive—the Iliadic model, not the Odyssean. With the fourth stanza, Horace gives us a sample of ‘Homeric’ narrative. Again, he refuses to narrate.

(N o)


a r r a t in g i n



. 6

We saw in ‘Disavowing Written Poetry’ (Ch. 2) that C. 1. 6 takes a stand on genre, on style, on praise, on subject matter, on method of composition. It does not take an overt stand on the mode of discourse proper to Horatian lyric. Does it make a statement anyway? The kind of poetry disavowed, represented by Horace’s ‘botching’ Homer in the second and fourth stanza (Ahern 1991; Davis 1991: 36-9), is made lyric over against its original epic version at least partially through the eclipse of narrative markers. These versions serve as paradigms for how to treat such material in lyric, that is, they describe what the poet does not do and prescribe what he should do, at the same time. The poet disavows among other things a set of plots, specifically the plots of the Ilia d , the O dyssey, and a representative strand of Greek tragedy.4 nec gravem Pelidae stomachum cedere nescii, nec cursus duplicis per mare Ulixei, nec saevam Pelopis domum

quis Martem tunica tectum adamantina digne scripserit aut pulvere Troico nigrum Merionen aut ope Palladis Tydiden superis parem? (C. i . 6 . 13-16)

(C. i. 6. 5-8)

nor the brooding bile of Peleus’ unyielding son, / or double Ulysses’ sea journeys / or Pelops’ cruel house. Horace imitates the first lines of the epics because it was conventional in this genre to identify the plot with the opening words.5 The other 4 For the association o f tragedy with specific houses, Aristotle, Poetics 1453“ 18-22. 5 He refers to these poem s as it were by title; for first lines as titles, Edmunds (1992) 65-70; Kenney (1970).

Who could write Mars his due with his tunic / of adamant, or Meriones, black with Trojan dust, / or the son of Tydeus by Pallas’ aid / equal to gods? While we might take te c tu m (13) not as a participle, but as an infinitive dependent on sc rip se rit (14), the parallel of the following adjectives 6 Ahern (1991); Davis (1991) 37; Santirocco (1986) 34-6; N H (1970) ad loc. cite Charisius Gramm. 1. 271: ‘tapinosis est rei magnae humilis expositio ut apud Horatium Flaccum Pelidae stomachum cedere n e s c i i The juxtaposition magnae humilis is in the spirit o f Callimachus at Rome.


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P ro g ra m m a tic N a r r a tiv e

( n ig ru m , 15; p a r e m , 16) points away from indirect statement. The ablative of means in o p e P a lla d is (15) implies an action that is itself conveyed by an adjective: su p eris p a r e m (16). Horace’s version is completely static; it does not contain a true verb. Furthermore the connection of the three characters, Mars, Meriones, and Tydides is not articulated by action or causality, but by a u t . . . a u t (14-1$) as if they were three unrelated objects. Even e t (a tq u e in 15 to retain the scan­ sion) would imply greater connection. Knowledge of Homer’s narra­ tive must supply the connections. Stasis in action corresponds to the artfulness of the words’ arrange­ ment within their stanzas. The position of g ra v e m (5) at the end of the line heightens the anticlimax of sto m a c h u m (6) in the next. We were expecting something serious, particularly since the next word is Achilles’ patronymic; it turns out that the lack of seriousness of s to m a c h u m reverts to g ra v e m as we realize it deflates ο ύ λο μ ένη ν (‘destructive’) (NH 1970: ad loc.). The proper names in lines 6-8 fall first at the beginning of the line, then at the end, then in the middle of an adjective / noun pair. The preponderant sounds are p , d, I, ( P elid a e . . . cedere . . . d u p lic is p e r . . . U lix ei . . . P elopis . . . d o m u m ). In the fourth stanza, there is v a r ia tio in word order: chiasmus of modifiers, nouns adjacent to each other (M a r te m tu n ic a te c tu m a d a m a n tin a ); modifiers adjacent to nouns, chiasmus of parts of speech (p u lv e r e Troico n ig ru m .M erio n en ); an adjective/noun pair encircles the line ( T ydiden su p eris p a r e m ). Two of the proper names begin in m, two in t. Assonance of t and c and a in the first line (M a r te m tu n ica te c tu m a d a m a n tin a ) yields to p and d in the last phrase (o p e P a lla d is T ydiden su p eris p a r e m ) . This care in the construction of units, whether line or stanza, is a mark of the new poetry Horace affirms and proves his Muse’s power (M u sa p o te n s, 10). Applied as it is to subject matter traditionally associated with narrative, this craft has terrific transformatory force. Horace’s lyre negates war (im b e llis . . . lyrae, io). Homer’s narrative of action and adventure becomes a still and Alexandrian jewel. Two points. First, the conspicuous refusal to narrate belongs to the anti-high style stance. Second, the technique of Horace’s poetic state­ ments contribute as much as what they actually say. In the fourth stanza lyric proves its superiority through the eclipse of narration, but furthermore by managing to convey the story’s bare bones even with­ out narration proper. The phrase p r o e lia v ir g in u m fi 7) is emblematic for more than the

assimilation of the disavowed and its reduction to a more appropriate sphere.7 In transforming battles to a suitable topic for lyric poetry, the poet cannot do away with them altogether; disavowal makes present through negation what the poet could, but does not simply leave out. In avowing p r o e lia v ir g in u m Horace fails to erase battles from his in b ellis lyra (10), just as in b ellis itself retains battles through negation. The qualification v ir g in u m effectively signals the victory of lyric over epic, but at the price of epic’s metaphoric return. The following two poems also bring back epic, C. 1. 7 through allusion to the O d y sse y in the Teucer exemplum (which may also allude to tragedy), C. 1. 8 through the Achilles exemplum. Santirocco makes the point that in each case epic is reduced, Teucer to a sympotic, Achilles to an erotic situation, and that these two reductions corre­ spond to the subject matter avowed in C. 1. 6: c o n v iv ia and p ro e lia v ir g in u m (17) (1986: 36-8). But more than subject matter returns (and is reduced): praise poetry, epic and tragedy, the high style, narrative itself all raise their heads. The return of the disavowed pervades Horatian narratives, particularly the Roman Odes. The interaction of C. i. 7 and 1. 8 with C. 1. 6 sets the pattern.


B eyond D

is u n it y :


1. 7



. 8

Laudabunt alii claram Rhodon aut Mytilenen aut Epheson bimarisve Corinthi moenia, vel Baccho Thebas vel Apolline Delphos insignis aut Thessala Tempe; sunt, quibus unum opus est intactae Palladis urbem carmine perpetuo celebrare et undique decerptam fronti praeponere olivam; plurimus in Iunonis honorem aptum dicet equis Argos ditesque Mycenas: me nec tam patiens Lacedaemon, nec tam Larisae percussit campus opimae, quam domus Albuneae resonantis

7 On the privatization o f the heroic, Santirocco (1986) 36. For generic contaminatio by metaphor, Davis (1991) 38. Davis (1989) 343 calls this classic feature o f the recusatio ζthe appropriation o f a counterterm’.

L y ric N a rra tiv e s

et praeceps Anio ac Tiburni lucus et uda mobilibus pomaria rivis, albus ut obscuro deterget nubila caelo saepe Notus, neque parturit imbris perpetuos, sic tu sapiens finire memento tristitiam vitaeque labores molli, Plance, mero, seu te fulgentia signis castra tenent, seu densa tenebit Tiburis umbra tui. Teucer Salamina patremque cum fugeret, tamen uda Lyaeo tempora populea fertur vinxisse corona, sic tristis adfatus amicos: ‘quo nos cumque feret melior fortuna parente, ibimus, o socii comitesque. nil desperandum Teucro duce et auspice Teucro: certus enim promisit Apollo ambiguam tellure nova Salamina futuram. o fortes peioraque passi mecum saepe viri, nunc vino pellite curas; cras ingens iterabimus aequor.’ (C. i. 7) Others will praise famed Rhodes or Mytilene / or Ephesus or Corinth’s walls at two seas / or Thebes, known for Bacchus, or Delphi, for Apollo, / or Thessalian Tempe. / There are those whose one work is to celebrate / in endless song virgin Pallas’ city / and to place an olive crown snatched from anywhere on their brow; / many will call Argos good for horses / or Mycenae rich in Juno’s honour. / As for me, enduring Lacedaemon / or the plain o f fertile Larisa affects me not / so much as the dwelling o f sonorous Albunea / and headlong Anio, the groves of Tiburnus / and the moist orchards on shifting banks. / As clear Notus often wipes the clouds from a dark sky / and does not spawn rain / endlessly, so, you, wisely remember to end / sadness and the labours o f life, Plancus, / with strong, gentle wine, whether the standard-flashing camp / holds you, or the dense shade / of your home Tibur. Teucer, when he fled / Salamis and his father, is said to have wreathed / his temples, soaked from drinking, with a poplar garland, / and addressed his sad friends like this: / ‘Wherever Fortune takes us, a better parent than mine, / we will go, O my friends and companions. / There is no need to despair: I, Teucer, am your leader, I, Teucer, your guide. / Firm Apollo promised / in a new land Salamis would be two. / O brave men who have often suffered worse / with me, now drive away your cares with wine. / Tomorrow we will plough the huge sea once more.’

P ro g ra m m a tic N a r r a tiv e


The unity of C. 1.7 has been in question since before Porphyrio.8 One issue is to find the link between the opening priamel (a preamble consisting of a list), which continues C. 1. 6’s poetics, and the poem’s second half, a paraenesis (exhortation) philosophically advising Plan­ cus to drown his cares in drink.9 Another is to resolve contradictions on both philosophical and poetic levels arising from these issues’ different formulation in the two parts. At stake are the distinctions between the high and the light style, epic and lyric, Latin poetry and Greek, narrative and non-narrative poetry—categories inherited from C. i. 6. This poem challenges such distinctions, not by eradicating them, but by making it impossible to maintain them in their pure form. Metre offers the first sign of rebellion from the programme of C. 1. 6. Suddenly, we find ourselves in a full-fledged epic hexameter (Davis 1991: 192). Admittedly, the second line of the epodic couplet brings the heroics down to scale, but if we assume we are reading lyric, the inclusion of epic elements surprises more than their compensatory attenuation. The metre, consisting of one line that resists the pro­ gramme and one that falls into line (so to speak), is an icon of the simultaneous resistance and accommodation informing all aspects of this poem. C. 1.7 challenges C. 1. 6 both internally, in the relation between the priamel and the exemplum, and externally, through a productive interaction with C. 1. 6.10 Callimachean terms from the prologue of the A itia link the beginning of C. 1. 7 to C. 1. 6, and the standing of the concluding narrative must be measured against these terms. It is not simply the contrast between the priamel’s travelogue and the sympotic 8 Porphyrio rejects a division into two poem s at line 15, where the priamel meets the exhortation to Plancus. This division has made its way into some manuscripts, Borzsak (1984) ad loc. Although no one now considers dividing the poem , its reputation has suffered. Fraenkel (1937) 65-6 compares C. 1. 7 negatively to Epodes 13, which he calls, by contrast, a ‘perfect unity’; also N H (1970) 94. The unity o f Epodes 13 is hardly straightforward, Mankin (1989); Lowrie (1992). 9 Davis (1991) 16-18 and 189-99 g °es a long way toward unity: the privileging o f lyric in the priamel accords with the message to Plancus. Neither poetry nor life should resist change (carmine perpetuo 6; neque . . . / perpetuos, sic tu . . . 16-17). 10 Extensive formal parallels link the poems. Each opens with a verb denoting poetic composition followed by a foil: scriberis Vario (C. i. 6. i) , laudabunt alii (C. 1. 7. 1). Praise o f a political figure in C. 1. 6 (laudes, 11), returns in C. 1. 7 as the praise o f cities ( laudabunt alii claram Rhodon . . ., i ff.). The contrast o f the poet with Varius (Vario, C. i. 6. i, line-initial nos, 5, 17) becomes a developed priamel (alii, C. x. 7. 1, sunt quibus, 5, plurimus, 8, line-initial me, 10).


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P ro g ra m m a tic N a r r a tiv e

ending that troubles the poem’s unity. On the surface, C. i. 7 offers an instance of the poetry affirmed in C. 1. 6 and in its own priamel: the symposium. But the narrative form of the exemplum and allusions to epic and tragedy signal an elevation only partially cut by the sympotic context. The conflation of epic with tragedy in the person of Varius finds its counterpart in the likely double allusion to the O dyssey and to Pacuvius’ (if not Sophocles’) Teucer in the exemplum concluding C. 1. 7 (NH 1970: C. i. 7. 21, 2$, 30). These disavowed genres return in C. i. 7 through allusion and subject matter, but also through form. Beyond the hexameter, the exemplum enacts an epic-style narrative, complete with dramatic speech, that further challenges the distinctions made in C. 1. 6. C. i . 7 also revises C. 1 . 6 in the relation of poet to politician. C. 1 .7 is no recu sa tio ; it refuses no one anything. Where the dramatic impetus for engaging in poetics in C. 1. 6 is the polite refusal to praise Agrippa, praise in C. 1. 7 has been displaced onto cities and is not at issue in the poet’s relation to Plancus, whose founding of Lyons goes unm en­ tioned. Rather, the poet offers advice, effectively taking for himself the position of dominance. Plancus’ reputation as an opportunist made it easy for Horace to withhold praise beyond the address itself (NH 1970: 9 0 -1 ; Lyne 1995: 81 on great men). The step from the loyal Agrippa to Plancus is certainly down, even though the latter did invent the name ‘A ugustus’. Epic for Agrippa falls within the range of the conceivable—though already at a remove from the real candidate for epic at the time—but for Plancus? Epic in this poem is not ‘for’ Plancus, but rather for the poet himself. That he advises engaging in the markedly poetic, and specifically lyric, activity of the symposium further enhances his upper hand. Mention of Plancus waits until after the overtly programmatic priamel, so that it is not the dramatic situation between the poet and the political figure that motivates the programmatic statement, but the other way around. The refusal to praise Agrippa (at least apparently) motivates the refusal of epic and tragedy in C. 1. 6; the programme in C. 1. 7 is made strictly on poetic grounds. The priamel is the locus for the return of the distinctions made in C. i. 6.11 A priamel focuses attention on a climactic term and aids in its

definition through contrast or analogy.1112*The significance of the cli­ mactic term here, Tibur, is not single. It functions as shorthand for the concept ‘home’, part of the philosophical message to Plancus, and also bears a symbolic burden for the poetry avowed. Two sets of terms govern the priamel’s poetics: the names of cities and words denoting poetic utterance ( la u d a b u n t , 1, celebrare, 6, dicet, 9). The disavowal of praise poetry ( la u d a b u n t alii, 1), Callimachean language ( u n u m op u s e st c a rm in e p e rp e tu o celebrare, 5— 6),13 and the valorization of ‘small’ Tibur over the glamorous Greek cities all reinforce C. 1. 6’s affirmation of the tenue. The progression within the cities themselves forms some­ thing of a reverse literary history which answers the conflation of epic, tragedy, and praise poetry of the previous poem. While the first stanza evokes Greek cities and cult centres (the objects of Hellenistic praise poetry), we move backwards to Athens (tragedy?) in the second stanza, and then to a group of cities modified by their Homeric epithets, clearly evoking epic.14 Horace at the same time distances himself from these poetic endeavours, particularly from imitating Homer (Vitelli 1975: 386; D. West 1967: 112-13), and places himself next in literary history. Tibur—instead of the expected city, Rome—marks a retreat from the high genres of Greek poetry and instead of a verb of composition, we find p e rc u s sit (11), which creates a personal and ‘sincere’ effect.15 Subjectivity in priamels goes back to Sappho 16, and accords with the poet’s commitment to small genres (Race 1982: 63-4; Fraenkel 1957: 231). The actual depiction of Tibur, with its waterfall and fertile orchards, likewise sets a small-genre locus a m o e n u s in contrast to the cities of Greece with their literary patrimony (Vitelli 1975: 387; Syndikus 1972: 99). In lieu of the public importance of the Greek cities with their Olympian gods (B accho and A p o llin e , 3, Iu n o n is

11 This priamel appears disproportionately long taken as mere foil, without due given its poetic and philosophic contributions to the whole. The only comparably dispropor­ tionate priamel in Pindar is I. 7, where the comparata glorify Thebes directly and are therefore ‘relevant’ while the cities in C. 1. 7 are foil.

12 Bundy (1986) 5; Race (1982) 1-7. Bundy’s ‘foil’, ‘climax’, and ‘cap’ have become standard terminology. 13 NH (1970) ad loc. cite Callimachus’ ev άβισμα διηνΐκές (Aitia, fr. i. 3); Davis (1991) 191-2; Vitelli (1975) 382-6. 14 aptum equis - ίππόβοτον and preserves the position o f the line-initial formula "Αργος Is ίππόβοτον (II. 3. 75 etc.); ditis o f Mycenae = πολύχρυσος (II. 7. 180 etc.); Larisae campus opimae is a clever equivalent o f the oblique-case Λάρισαν ίριβώλακα (Il 2. 841; 17. 301), even though the Homeric Larisa was apparently not the one in Thessaly, but in Mysia or elsewhere, Leaf (1886) Iliad 2. 841, 17. 301. 15 For percutio, Davis (1991) 195-6; subjectivity o f me (10), Syndikus (1972) 102. Elder (1953) 4 and Vaio (1966) misunderstand the focusing aspect o f the priamel and the authority conveyed by the preference o f the lyric ego. With the pronominal cap (me, 10), we find another priamel in miniature, where Lacedaemon and Larisa are rejected, Race (1982) 126; N H (1970) ad loc.


Lyric Narratives

P ro g ra m m a tic N a r r a tiv e

8), Tiburnus, a legendary founder of Tibur, is a local hero (Davis 1991: 190: the gods’ adding lustre to a place is an encomiastic topos). Albunea’s waterfall not only belongs to a local nymph, it recalls Callimachus’ sacred spring and the poetic associations of clear water at the end of the H y m n to A p o llo (108-12); u n d iq u e (7) may also refer to άττό π α ν τ ό ς , from the same hymn ( n o ) .16 Disparity enters here in both poetics and philosophy. The poet’s valuation of a L a tin Tibur over G reek cities flouts the priamel’s form, which derives from archaic Greek poetic techniques, and the citation of Callimachus to make such a valuation. The Greek myth closing the poem also calls the preference of Latin into question. This disparity may be underplayed as the usual appropriation of Greek tradition for a Roman purpose, and the citation of Callimachus had likewise become a Roman poetic gesture. But Tibur creates a similar disparity in the message to Plancus. The philosophical issue revolves around the definition of hom e. D o m u s introduces Tibur. The word’s initial, literal, meaning—the grove is the waterfall’s home—underlies one of larger importance for the poem as a whole: Tibur represents h om e, against the a b ro a d of the Greek cities (Race 1982: 126-7; 1978: 194 n - c)· Switching to Latin proper names marks our arrival, so to speak, on home turf; the two dichotomies, Latin/Greek, home/abroad, overlap.17 Whereas ear­ lier in the poem, one place-name succeeded on another, here Albunea, Anio, Tiburnus, and the orchards all signify the same place. A n d words (13) replace o r words (1-4). The sheer number of elements listed gives the impression that the poet knows all its nooks and crannies, even if idealized (on Tibur’s privilege, Davis 1991: 193-4)· This emphasis on Tibur conveys the singular importance of place: ‘There’s no place like home.’ But just as the valuation of Tibur as a L a tin place comes up against the G reek means of expression and the G reek exemplum that ends the poem, so the valuation of h o m e over a b r o a d is called into question by what the poet actually enjoins on Plancus and, again, by the exemplum. There are two problems, and the unity of this poem must be worked out twice. The locus of each is the mythological exemplum. At first

glance, the Teucer narrative supports the affirmation of the symposium both as a way of relieving cares and as an emblem of light poetry. But in a second gesture the choice of a Greek hero with epic and tragic overtones conflicts with light poetry’s privilege and the valuation of Latin over Greek. Teucer’s story furthermore leads to inconsistency in the worth accorded h o m e (see Syndikus 1972: 95). In both poetics and philosophy the poem progresses from a relatively simple view to one that corrects and complicates. ‘There’s no place like home’ yields to Teucer, who, in the act of going into exile, finds his home town, Salamis, abroad. The exclusive affirmation of light poetry yields to a poetry that has greater weight and presses the limits of the lyric kind narrowly construed. Paradox inhabits each levels but rather than driv­ ing the poem apart, I understand these tensions to hold it together.

i o6

16 Vitelli (1975) 386. Corinth’s epithet bimaris (2) may in this context provide a similar contrast to Albunea’s waterfall as the muddy course o f the Euphrates does to the sacred spring. 17 Horace’s home/abroad opposition has affinities with several o f Pindar: near/far, οίκεθΐον/ό,λλότριον, Hubbard (1985) 11-27 and 33-60.

H om e

Let us trace the argument about h o m e s worth from the priamel, through the paraenesis, to the narrative. Cairns (1972: 211-13) identi­ fies the conventions of the first half of this poem as epibaterion, con­ ventions that govern what one says on arriving home, and his analysis of them against Menander Rhetor’s prescription sheds light on the priamel’s focus on h om e. Epibaterion accounts for the expression of affection for the native city, the priamel itself as a means of comparison, the praise of the founder, and its physical description. A striking aspect of this epibaterion is that it is not Plancus, ostensibly the person who would be coming home, who speaks, but the poet. This is important because the topoi deployed in the priamel create such an expectation, but Plancus has not yet been mentioned, nor, when mentioned {tu , 17; P lan ce, 19), does he appear to be coming home. The displacement of these topoi into the mouth of the poet contributes both to the unfold­ ing argument and to the poet’s (limited) avowal of praise. Instead of a tried and true object of praise, Horace praises a place that symbolizes his own poetry; this praise redounds to the addressee only because it is his home. The designation h o m e accords value to the spot as unique, and establishes the first proposition: ‘There’s no place like home.’ The distance between the poet’s statement of his regard for Tibur (11—14) and the introduction of Plancus (17-19) guarantees the poet’s sincerity by removing the appearance of motivation for complimenting the addressee’s home town. Horace’s technique looks to Pindar in two respects: establishing good faith in offering praise, and the poet’s application to himself of what is perhaps more relevant to the addres-


L yric N a rra tiv e s

see.1819Horace uses this technique here not to avoid giving offence, but rather to join the poet with the addressee in their affection for Tibur ( m e . . . p e rc u s sit [ T ib u r], ίο- n ; T ib u ris . . . tu i, 2 1 ). This linkage of poet and addressee is important in creating a parallel between the poetic and philosophic strands of the poem. Tibur’s position as the climax of the priamel creates the expectation that the poet’s advice will similarly privilege home in the dissolution of cares: ‘There’s no place like home.’ But the transition to the exhorta­ tion proper is mediated by a simile, mid-stanza, otherwise unheralded. The abruptness of the transition distracts from the essential difference of the message to follow. At first reading, we cannot tell to what the clearing sky is compared. We might expect to return to Tibur’s atmo­ spheric conditions, but with sic tu (17) the poem assumes a Horatian twist and the figurative status of the weather becomes apparent (Bliss i960: 33). The weather and myth (a combination that also defines cares in E p o d es 13 and in C. 2. 9) reinforce the argument about the inevitability of change—a good thing for cares—and open possibilities for indirect expression. The simile links up with the poetic concerns of the priamel by repeating p e rp e tu o s (17) from line 6; Horace’s prefer­ ence of the ‘small’ in poetry goes hand in hand with his advocation of the symposium in life (Davis 1991: 198; Mette 1961). Instead of reassuring Plancus everything will be all right once he returns home to Tibur (as we might expect), the poet propounds a different message: to abandon cares under any circumstances, wher­ ever one might be: seu te fu lg e n tia sig n is / ca stra te n e n t seu d en sa te n e b it / T ib u ris u m b r a tu i (19-21).19 Switching from the present to the future tense of the same verb universalizes over time: ‘drink your cares away both now, in the army, and later, at home.’ The juxtaposition of castra with Tibur universalizes in space, with concrete instances substituting for the abstract d o m i m ilitia e q u e (Davis 1991: 197). The contrast of light and dark in fu lg e n tia and d en sa . . . u m b r a recalls the contrast between a lb u s and obscuro (15), but the meaning has shifted: in the first instance, the point was the transformation over time from a sombre to a cheerful state; in the second, the banishing of cares in all conditions, both bright and dark. Three universalizing pairs, now and in the future, at home and abroad, in brilliance and in darkness, are distributed over two disjunctive clauses. They render otiose any question 18 Lefkowitz’s (1963) 220-4 discussion o f Pythian 3 illustrates the latter phenomenon; also N. 8. 35-9 and I 7. 40-3 (183 and 228 f.); Gildersleeve (1890), on P. 3. 107, includes O. 3. 45. See Wilkinson (1968) 105 n. 4. 19 On Teucer’s indifference to place, Bliss (1960) 33.

P ro g ra m m a tic N a r r a tiv e


of Plancus’ actual location at the time of the poem’s composition; the message is ‘no matter where you are or ever will be, relieve your cares.’ After the emphasis on Tibur, the suggestion that one can relieve cares elsewhere than at home surprises. The Teucer exemplum takes the notion of being at home even further—so much further that it completely overturns the initial association of home with a particular place. Like the simile, the expansive and analogic form of the narrative exemplum allows for the development of ideas with multiple rele­ vance—both open new sections without mediation (Davis 1991: 197 discusses parataxis). Teucer’s name opens the myth mid-line, and sentence asyndeton ( c u m points forward to ta m e n , 22)30 reinforces an abruptness which masks the difference in argument in each section. As often, the exemplum contributes to an a fo r tio r i argument.31 ‘Drink, because Teucer, who was going into exile, drank.’ Teucer embodies the extreme of self-composure in exile; exile negates home. Horace enacts exile verbally by erasing the abstract p a tr ia (fatherland) with the concrete S a la m in a p a tr e m q u e (21), the proper name of Teucer’s p a tr ia , and p a te r, a paronomasia of p a tr ia . In the face of banishment, Teucer resolves to transfer his home elsewhere. Cicero Tusc. 5. 108 presents Teucer as an exemplum of readiness to make a homeland anywhere, and probably cites Pacuvius: ita q u e a d o m n e m ra tio n em Teucri v o x a c c o m m o d a ri p o te s t: 'p a tr ia e s t u b ic u m q u e e s t b e n e ’ (‘and so Teucer’s m o t can be accommodated to every situation: “home is wherever one is well’”, trag. ine. 92 Klotz).22 This is the message Horace dramatizes with Teucer’s story. Although the exemplum is a figure of thought, here the concrete example stands for the abstract idea in the manner of a trope; instead of supporting an argument with an example, Horace conveys the argument in its entirety through the exemplum (Caplan 1954: lviii). The somewhat prosaic combination of cum with ta m e n (22) marks the presence of argumentation.33 Teucer’s willingness to face the sea again is made all the more poignant by the association of Tibur with rest in C. 2. 6 (Stroux 193$: 318). It is a place for one lasso m a ris e t v ia r u m / m ilitia e q u e (‘tired of the sea, and 20 An exemplum is introduced without connection also at C. 3. 4. 42. 21 Quintilian’s ‘from the greater to the less’, JO 5. 11. 9. Vitelli (1975) 391-2. 22 NH (1970) C. i. 7. 25 with other instances o f the topos; Stroux (1935) 320 ff.; Silk (1952). Even if the quotation is not from Pacuvius’ Teucer, it is certainly an early tragic fragment Horace would have known. 23 Tamen occurs just under a third as often in the Odes ( 15 times, and not at all in the Epodes), as in the Satires and Epistles together (48 times, including variants). The Odes show a higher degree o f ‘prosaic’ words than other elevated Roman poetry, Axelson (1945) 113·


Lyric Narratives

journeys, and the army’, 7-8) and Teucer is certainly facing the sea and voyages ( ite ra b im u s aequ or, 32), if not the army. Teucer’s more extreme situation shows Plancus an intensified version of his own, but it is left to us to supply the comparison (‘but you may go home’). S p e c u la rity

The exemplum reflects its frame on multiple narrative levels. Teucer’s s to r y reinforces the poet’s advice to drink, and Teucer serves as the analogue to Plancus; as discourse, it embeds paraenesis since Teucer’s pep talk to his companions reflects the poet’s to Plancus, and Teucer becomes the analogue of the poet himself; the n a rr a tin g of a story from myth with allusions to epic calls its disavowal into question. On the story level, the comparison between Teucer and Plancus relies on an analogy set up by verbal correspondences.2425Externally, the histor­ ical coincidence of each figure’s having lost a brother supports the resemblance. Teucer was banished by Telamon for returning to Salamis without his brother Ajax, who committed suicide at Troy. L. Munatius Plancus lost his brother L. Plotius Plancus in the proscriptions of 43 b c .2s

24 uda Lyaeo (22) corresponds to molli . . . mero (19); tristis (24) to tristitiam (18); vino pellite curas (31) to finire / . . . tristitiam vitaeque labores / m o lli. . . mero (17-19); quo nos cumque f e r e t. . . fortuna (25) to seu te fulgentia signis / castra tenent, seu densa tenebit / Tiburis umbra tui (19-21). 25 Kumaniecki (1947) first noticed the parallel between Plancus and Teucer; NH (1970) 94 and Pöschl (1981) reject it and see no allusion to the deaths o f the brothers. More balanced are D. West (1967) 115-17, Williams (1968) 83-5, and Cairns (1972) 215, though West has since retracted his opinion (1995) 35. L. Plotius Plancus, L. Munatius Plancus’ brother, stood third on the proscription list o f 43 bc, after Paullus Aemilius Lepidus, the brother o f Lepidus the triumvir, and L. Caesar, Antony’s uncle (Appian, Bell, civ. 4. 12). Although the first two survived, Plotius Plancus did not. The literary issue is whether Horace’s choice o f Teucer in the exemplum draws attention to the proscription o f Plancus’ brother, and whether this is a covert slap in the face, as in Lyne (1995) 172-3. The story o f Telamon’s banishing Teucer from the Attic Salamis for returning without his brother Ajax was certainly known through Pacuvius’ version o f Sophocles’ Teucer (fr. 576-9 Radt), D. West (1967) 116, and additionally through Sophocles’ Aias 1008 ff. Williams’ version makes the best sense. Plancus, since he was in Gaul, may not have been near enough to save his brother, just as Teucer, being in Mysia, could not save Ajax. Velleius Paterculus (2. 67. 3-4) says that Munatius Plancus had his brother proscribed and that soldiers followed the triumphal car o f Lepidus and Plancus repeating de germanis non de Gallis duo triumphant consules (‘the two consuls triumph over the Germans [pun on brothers], not the Gauls’). Williams thinks both parts unlikely to be true: Lepidus and Plancus celebrated separate triumphs; neither was yet consul; only Plancus triumphed over Gaul. He suggests a hostile source— and vicious wit— in Pollio’s orationes against Plancus; the story about Plancus’ proscribing his brother would then postdate the ode. Horace offers understated consolation for an uncomfortable situation.

P ro g ra m m a tic N a r r a tiv e


Teucer, however, represents a stage beyond Plancus.26 Not only was his situation more extreme, his ability to cope was more advanced. Horace situates Teucer at a liminal point: he has been banished and is prepared to depart, but it is the last meal before he sets off with his friends. This moment fits the initial simile of the exhortation, where the sky still holds traces of cloud, but the wind is wiping them away. Rough times still await the Salaminians since they must cross the seas yet again (32), but Apollo has promised them a new home (28-9). This moment enacts the poet’s exhortation to Plancus: Teucer is already drunk. M e r u m and u d u s imply more than moderate drinking, and coron a (23) suggests a symposium.27 The difference is one of syntactic mood: the exhortation is imperative; the myth indicative. The myth mirrors the exhortation, but not simply; it doubles and intensifies. Teucer goes one step further: he has already coped with his own cares—an analogue for Plancus—and now helps his friends with theirs—an analogue for the poet. We associate Teucer with Plancus because his symposium offers him a model (story level), but his paraenesis to his friends corresponds much more to the speech act of the poet (discourse level). Horace links Teucer’s a m ic i (24), the recipients of the encouragement, with Plancus by verbal reminiscences: tr is titia m (18), tr istis (24). Many of the simi­ larities between the exemplum and the poet’s exhortation occur in Teucer’s speech.28 Direct quotation lets Teucer’s voice take over from the poet’s and his speech reflects the poet’s not only in utterance (what is said), but in enunciation (the fact of saying).29 Another Pindaric technique is relevant: the myth may not only offer a paradigm (positive or negative) to the la u d a n d u s or for the la u d a to r. 26 Vitelli (1975) 392 sees Teucer’s double relevance to Plancus: the situations are parallel; Teucer’s exhortation applies to Plancus. 27 Hercules’ association with the poplar garland, N H (1970) ad loc., suggests Teucer as a Stoic hero known for his vitae labores. 28 Quo nos cumque feret . . . fortuna (25) is the abstraction hidden under seu te fulgentia tignis / castra tenent, seu densa tenebit / Tiburis umbra tui (19-21), and nunc vino pellite curas (31) compresses tu sapiens finire memento / tristitiam vitaeque labores / molli . . . mero (17-19). Both phrases convert the poet’s message to Plancus into more ordinary language: curas (31) is a plain version o f tristitiam vitaeque labores (18); likewise vino (31) for m o lli. . . mero (19); pellite (31) for finire (17); quo . . . cumque (25) for seu . . . castra seu . . . Tiburis umbra (19-21). Syndikus (1972) 105 comments that the myth clarifies the central section. 29 Dällenbach (1977) 62: ‘une reflection est un énoncé qui renvoie à l’énoncé, à l’énonciation ou au code du récit.’ See Chambers (1984) 28-35 for reflectivity on multi­ ple levels o f discourse in embedded stories.


L yric N a rra tiv e s

P r o g ra m m a tic N a r r a tiv e

but refer to both simultaneously (Hubbard 1985: 133). Among other examples, Hubbard analyses the relevance of Ixion in P .2 for both Hieron and the poet. Ixion is important not just in that the poet acts according to his warning (τον ε ν ε ρ γ ε τ α ν ά γ α ν α ΐς α μ ο ιβ α ΐς ε π ο ιχ ο μ έ ν ο ν ς τ ίν ε σ θ α ι, ‘repay your benefactor, honouring him with gentle return of favour", 24), but in the similarity of their speech act: the poet’s warning to Hieron is certainly more tactful and less bald than Ixion’s—partly because it is made in the voice and through the example of Ixion—but it nevertheless belongs to the same category of speech. C. 1.7 follows Pindaric technique not only in the tactful mixture of admonition and encouragement to Plancus,30 but in the twofold mirroring of utterance and enunciation.

Repetition of the signifier in the same form, in the same metrical position, shows that the names of the two cities, if not the places themselves, are interchangeable. Furthermore, allusion to the O d y sse y and the plight of Odysseus on his way home reinforces this interpreta­ tion by colouring Teucer’s exile paradoxically as a n o sto s (‘homecoming’). If Teucer is the paradigm of the man who can make himself at home anywhere, Odysseus is that of the man who comes home despite hardship. O fo rte s p e io r a q u e p a ss i / m e c u m sa ep e v ir i (30-1) brings to mind both Odysseus’ self-encouragement: τ ε τ λ α θ ι δ η , κ ρ α δ ίη - κ α ί κ ν ν τ ε ρ ο ν ά λ λ ο π ο τ ε τ λ η ς (‘bear up, heart; you once endured some­ thing even more a bitch’, O d. 20. 18); and that of his men: ’X? φ ί λ ο ι , ο ύ γ ά ρ 7τώ τ ι κ α κ ώ ν ά δ α η μ ο ν ε ς ε ί μ ε ν , (Ό friends, for we are not at all lacking in knowledge of evils’, O d. 12. 208).33 The O d y sse y allusions set Teucer in an analogic relation to Odysseus. Despite Teucer’s presumed expectation that he had completed his n ostos by coming back to his fatherland, setting off to found a new city is a further nostos. A second Salamis will replace the first. Allusion to the O d y sse y turns Teucer’s exile into a paradoxical homecoming, and revises Horace’s own ver­ sion of the epic in C. 1. 6: cursu s d u p lic is p e r m a re U lix ei (7). For C. 1. 7, it is not the hero but the cursus which is du plex.

B eyon d H om e

lust as Teucer represents a further stage than Plancus in handling his cares, he also takes the poet’s message about finding oneself at home to a new level.31 Although Teucer and his companions are leaving Sala­ mis, they will find Salamis abroad. F u geret (22) means exile, but in face of repeating their journey ( ite ra b im u s a eq u o r , 32), the oracle from Apollo tells them that, although they are leaving Salamis, they are also going to Salamis: certu s e n im p r o m is it A p o llo / a m b ig u a m tellu re n o v a S a la m in a fu tu r a m (28-9). The homonymy of the two cities signifies more than the exile’s nostalgia for home. Teucer’s example revises the narrowly local notion of home advanced by the privileging of Tibur. H o m e even in its local sense turns out not to be unique, and thereby becomes replaceable. In contrast to a local understanding of home, the poet’s exhortation to drink and relieve cares allows for a different and more abstract understanding of what it means to ‘be at home’ Teucer, although deprived of his literal home, regains his home in a different sense. The new Salamis can replace what Teucer lost only because he has the inner strength to ‘be at home’ in a place other than his first, local home. Horace heightens the place-name’s importance by the oracle: Apollo invests the name with divine authority. A m b ig u u s here has the special meaning ‘that may be one or the other of two’.32 30 N H (1970) 92-3 for ‘the Pindaric tradition that a poet may address sententious admonition to his betters’ For mixed advice and consolation, Bliss (1960) 46; Stroux (1935) 317. 31 Vitelli (1975) 388-91. Syndikus (1972) 95 ff. analyses a similar movement of thought in Epist. 1. 11. 32 TLL, OLD 6; N H (1970) ad loc. point to the tension between certus (28) and ambiguam (29).

B e y o n d L igh tn ess

With the allusion to Homer— reinforced by the myth’s narrative form—we come to the crux of the conflicts in Horace’s programme. Just as the idea of exile as a n o sto s is paradoxical, likewise the allusion to Homer after the poet’s rejection of c a rm in a p e r p e tu a conveys con­ tradictory poetic signals. The myth corrects. The initial privileging of h o m e over a b ro a d yields to a more complex understanding on both conceptual and programmatic levels. Teucer’s example collapses the difference between apparently polar opposites: he who makes his home abroad calls into question the validity of the distinction. This con­ ceptual point is directed toward Plancus. On the programmatic level, the point is directed toward the reader. Epic has been brought into lyric, but has also been lyricized in the process (Davis 1991: 18). 33 NH (1970) C. i. 7. 30. This may be an instance of Vergilian imitation of Horace (Aen. i. 198), made perhaps more likely by the role of Teucer as the one from whom Dido learned of the Trojan War (Aen. 1. 619 ff). The analogy with Aeneas, a man who also finds his homecoming in exile, is strong.


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Teucer, a high-style hero whose tale alludes to epic and tragedy, becomes a paradigm for the symposium and all it means for lyric. This generic/stylistic assimilation is paralleled by a dissolution of the distinction between Latin and Greek. Allusion to Callimachus makes its way into the priamel, where Latin is ostensibly privileged over Greek, and the very presence of this Hellenistic author reveals the Greek element of Latin poetry. Conversely, the ‘Greek’ myth turns out to have a very Roman source, whether or not Pacuvius. The selfawareness displayed here is high. F ertu r (23) nods at the myth’s deriva­ tion from some source, and points up the manipulation of a literary construct. If, narrowly construed, Horace’s poetry is Latin as opposed to Greek, it is nevertheless still Greek in a larger sense. The locus classicus for this Horatian statement is R o m a n a e fid ic e n lyrae (‘lyrist of the Roman lyre’, C. 4. 3. 23); what the juxtaposition of Greek and Latin words expresses in C. 4. 3 is expressed in C. r. 7 by the juxta­ position of larger sections of the poem, the priamel and the myth. Teucer makes his home abroad, but the myth brings something foreign home. Horace consistently overturns his own antithetical categories. This motion dramatizes his struggle to rise above the polarities necessary for poetic definition. Every poet undergoes such a process, but Horace cannot simply take over the accommodation worked out by his highstyle lyric predecessors—Pindar, Stesichorus, Ibycus, Simonides— as a ready-made solution. He must work it out for himself, and show us that, and how, he does so. It is perhaps for this reason that the predecessors cited in this poem are not the Archaic lyrists whose achievement Horace tries to match, but rather Homer, tragic poets, and Callimachus. Horace clarifies the debate by using non-lyrists as the representatives of different extremes, just as the archaic lyrists used Homer before him (for complex intertextual layers of Horace’s relation to the lyrists’ definition of Homer, Barchiesi 1996: especially 29-30). If Sappho and Pindar were chosen to represent the light and high styles, erotic and praise poetry, it would obscure the history of Callimachus’ role in the debate, and Homer’s paradigmatic function. Furthermore, such a restriction would foreclose the applicability beyond lyric of a debate of wide relevance to Latin poetry. Pindar does, however, pro­ vide a model for serious lyric and for a lyric way of telling a story. Pindaric technique has manifested itself several times in the course of this analysis, and C. 1. 2 and 1. 12 in particular hold the place for a truly high-style, Pindaric lyric in the collection’s opening sequence.

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Pindaric technique is used here without overt allusion to Pindar himself, because simply to make himself over as a new Pindar would limit Horace’s options within lyric and hamper his imitation of Homer over and above the imitation of Homer as already accommodated through Archaic lyric. Every genre (or style, or other defining cate­ gory) must appropriate its opposite anew. It is an act of will and of ambition. The corrective movement in C. r. 7 only goes so far in answering the internal contradiction of this poem and its relation to C. 1. 6. Horace’s poetry may in fact contradict itself—but the conflicting, self-imposed demands to be Greek and Latin, elegant and serious, and the rest, are met through a newly integrated style and genre. The demands each set of categories places on the others produce a dynamic internal debate. Nowhere is Horace entirely light, nor entirely high-style, but these are the polarities that define the extremes, for Horace, his predecessors, and his contemporaries. This is the dynamic of the golden mean (see Ch. 3), and it is Horace’s manifesto. Formally the narrative technique of the Teucer exemplum offers a mean between the high and the light styles; it brings poetic elevation into a small compass. Teucer’s speech colours the exemplum with an epic and tragic mode, and his doubling of his name hits the tone of the high style.34 But the actual narrating grounds the myth squarely in the lyric kind.35 F ertu r (23) governs the narrative syntactically, so that the single (potentially) action verb ( v in x isse , 23) is subordinated. Beyond identifying the voice as a poet scholar’s, f e r tu r highlights the fact of speaking. The selection of a particular moment, Teucer’s paraenesis, lets the other details of the known story fall away. This technique maintains a tactful, but understanding silence about the addressee’s troubles, and further allows for the indirect expression of the addres­ see’s cares, of the consoling message, of the poetic programme itself. While indirect expression itself is a poetic quality, the density of messages in this poem, and particularly their manifold relevance, characterizes lyric. These remarks, about how the various messages change over the course of the poem, entail reading backwards (Elder 1953: 5; Williams (1980) p a s s im on p ra e c e d e n tia e se q u e n tib u s ). But if we read through in 34 Syndikus (1972) 105; NH (1970) ad loc. Some editors punctuate after auspice and take Teucri for Teucro-, this not only goes against the grain o f the line (NH ), but removes the high-style effect. 35 Pace Helm (1935) 355, who denies narration.


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order, the narrative takes us away from the beginning and opens out on a different world, at a remove from the lyric hie e t nunc. We become involved with Teucer s story and with Teucer’s speech, and at the end we are left so to speak hanging. Closure is achieved not by any return, but by looking into the distance: cras ingens ite ra b im u s a e q u o r (32). The last line looks to the future and to a journey. Ironically, it is one Teucer has made before—so for him it is a return. The last two lines effectively mirror the pattern in the last part of the poem as a whole: n u n c vin o p e llite curas (31) responds to the lyric present where drinking is enjoined, but this yields to a broader perspective. Sea voyages often are metaphors for poetic voyages (Cody 1976: 82-5; Kambylis 1965: 149-55).36 The a e q u o r of C. 1. 7 is ingens , i.e. epic/high style. Horace puts off to tomorrow (eras, 32) engaging in the high style and praising Rome— among other places to the Roman Odes. But what about ite ra b im u s (32)? Perhaps he has already, in his own way, done so here.

Lydia, say, I beg / by all the gods, why are you rushing to destroy Sybaris / with love? Why does he, / tolerant o f dust and sun, desert the sunny Campus? / Why does he not ride / among his cadet peers and restrain the / Gallic horse with wolf-toothed bit? / Why does he fear the tawny Tiber? Why / does he avoid the olive lotion / more carefully than viper’s blood and no longer wear / weaponbruises on his arms, famous for hurling the discus, / the javelin often across the goal? / Why does he hide, as they say / the son o f Thetis the sea-goddess did at the tearful / death-rites o f Troy, so manly garb not / hurl him before his time into slaughter and the Lycian throngs?


Lydia, die, per omnis te deos oro, Sybarin cur properes amando perdere? cur apricum oderit Campum patiens pulveris atque solis? cur neque militaris inter aequalis equitat, Gallica nec lupatis temperat ora frenis? cur timet flavum Tiberim tangere? cur olivum sanguine viperino cautius vitat neque iam livida gestat armis bracchia, saepe disco, saepe trans finem iaculo nobilis expedito? quid latet, ut marinae filium dicunt Thetidis sub lacrimosa Troiae funera, ne virilis cultus in caedem et Lycias proriperet catervas? (C. i. 8)37 36 Vergil’s dangerous trip to Attica in C i. 3 is often understood as his undertaking the Aeneid, Santirocco (1986) 189 n. 46. One strand o f interpretation o f the allegorical ship in C. i . 14 is as a ship o f poetry, Davis (1989); Zumwalt (1977). In C. 4, 15. 1-4, Horace’s sails are parva, in accord with the tenues grandia dichotomy in C. 1. 6, and the sea is o f a distinctly epic sort. 37 I prefer Shackleton Bailey’s (1985) text, with the direct equitat (6) and temperat (7), to the more widely accepted subjunctives, which make o f lines 1-7 a single sentence with indirect questions. I adopt his text for the whole poem.

1. 8. 1). With these words returns a full-fledged I/thou lyric situation: a poet talking to a woman, eliciting her talk in return, or at least pretending to. Of course, he is asking her about her love for another, so it is not quite the erotic situation heralded at the end of C. 1. 6, but neither is C. i . 7 quite the straightforward drinking party we might expect from c o n vivia (C. 1.6. 17). Horace leaves behind explicit poetics in C. 1. 8, but just as the first half of C. 1.7 answers the poetics of C. 1. 6, the ending of C. i. 8 looks back in form to the ending of C. 1. 7, a pivot to the poems around it. An exemplum concludes the two without returning to the lyric here a n d now. Poetics does come into play through the relation of this poem to the two preceding, through the correspondence of the Achilles exemplum to the Homeric Achilles in C. 1. 6, which parallels the corre­ spondence of the allusions to the O d y sse y in C. 1. 7 and C. 1. 6. And explicitness does not completely vanish: d ic u n t (14) marks the difference between narrative and the discourse (die, 1) opening the poem.38 The exemplum in this poem again sets up a specular relation between a high-style myth and a lyric situation. Again, the poetic debate turns on issues of stylistic height, genre, and mode of discourse. But this exemplum is not only much shorter than the one in C. 1. 7, it engages in fewer reflective levels. While a similar specularity informs the story level, and the story’s telling contributes to a widening of possibilities for lyric discourse, the poem forgoes reflection on the level of enunciation. Neither Achilles nor Thetis speaks. This exemplum closes the progression from C. 1. 6 to C. 1. 8, and the diminished complexity of its exemplum provides a simpler opportunity for the reader to come to terms with Horace’s poetics, a closural gesture.39 L ydia, d ic (C .

38 Jaeger (1995) 189 suggests that the repetition o f dicere ‘invites the reader to compare two acts o f speaking’, each o f which belongs to the same craft o f speaking in verse, i.e. poetry. 39 That is, for this train of thought. A shared reference to the Campus Martius points forward to C. r. 9, Jaeger (1995) 180. C. 1. 7, 1. 8, and x. 9 are connected in that all bear traces o f Epodes 13: C. 1. 7 shares an epodic metre, sympotic situation, and concludes with an exemplum and another’s speech; C. r. 8 concludes with an exemplum about Achilles; C. 1. 9 begins with a reminiscence o f Alcaeus 338 V.



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A more extreme situation again marks the exemplum. On the level of story, it reveals a darker side to the framing context, which is presented in itself as a light-hearted, Hellenistic love affair (Syndikus 1972: 106; bibliography at Jaeger 1995: 181 n. 10), wherein significant names wrap meaning up: Lydia, with her Eastern name, makes Sybaris sybaritic.40 The exemplum creates meaning rather through analogy. Compared to Sybaris’ military/athletic training, Achilles faces actual warfare and, as the reader knows, certain death. Horace’s formulation makes the danger apparent (Dyson 1988: 165): n e v ir ilis / cu ltu s in c a ed em e t L ycias p r o r ip e r e t c a terva s ? (15-6). What he leaves unsaid, however, is equally relevant: Achilles will die at Troy. Although the relevance of unmentioned aspects of mythology always remains open, our knowledge of Achilles’ future death is here activated by in ca edem (16). Achilles’ death, like Teucer’s exile, presents a further stage than his analogue’s situation in the frame. Sybaris is training for warfare ( m ilita r is , 5), but war does not immediately threaten. The exemplum reveals the situation in the frame, but we must be careful to determine exactly what: not Sybaris’ future death any more than Plancus’ exile in C. i . 7, but rather Lydia’s fears.41*The Achilles exemplum gives the answer to the poet’s questions, always w h y ? (cur·, 2, 3, 5, 8; q u id , 13. Dyson 1988: 168). The first questions allow us to reconstruct the dramatic situation of the poem (Jaeger 1995: 181): The cause of Sybaris’ avoidance of sports is Lydia’s love.’ The intervening ones give us a portrait of Sybaris, especially of Sybaris before the affair, but the final question directs our attention at least partially back to the addressee. It is her feelings which correspond to Thetis’ fears for her son: the lady fears for the hero’s life. This exemplum, like that in C. 1. 7, reflects its frame in more than one way; here the addressee and a third party each have their own analogues in the exemplum. Achilles’ hiding on Scyros, especially given the love affair of the frame, brings to mind Deidamia (Apollodorus 3. 13. 8). She, however, goes unmentioned, nor is there any reference to Achilles’ love. Instead the periphrasis denoting Achilles brings another woman into the poem: his mother, m a r in a e f iliu m . . . T h e tid is (13-14). The substitu­ tion of mother for girlfriend in an erotic context plays a role in the poem’s stylistic and generic height. As with the Teucer exemplum in

C. 1.7, emphasis in recent scholarship has been on how a heroic story has been cut down to scale through a light context: instead of the heroic Achilles as the analogue to Sybaris, Horace gives us Achilles in girls’ clothes, sneaking into bed with a princess. Achilles is hiding (la te t, ut, . . . , 13), but no girls’ clothing, no princess, nothing erotic is depicted a t all. Negation represents the fear: n e v ir ilis / cu ltu s in ca ed em e t L ycias p r o r ip e r e t ca te rv a s (16). War substitutes for the erotic story, leaving only manly garb to suggest its opposite. Thetis legitimates the fear in a way that a girlfriend could not. Allusion to Pindar in this negative purpose clause furthermore makes a poetic statement. Unlike the treatment in C. 1. 7 which uses Pindaric technique without allusion to Pindar, here Horace directly confronts his most important predecessor for the treatment of the heroic within the lyric genre. As in other respects, C. 1. 8 clarifies the issues of C. 1. 7. The apparent scaling down of height in this poem is counteracted by reference to a higher style of lyric poetry: ο φ ρ α θ α λ α σ σ ία ις α ν έ μ ω ν ρ ι π α ί ο ι π ε μ φ θ ε ίς Ì υ π ό Τ ρ ο ία ν

40 Jaeger (1995) 184-6 pursues further ramifications o f Sybaris’ name. 41 Dyson (1988), unlike others, takes seriously the exemplum’s message. His emphasis on Lydia’s legitimate fears shows Thetis to be Lydia’s analogue in the exemplum rather than Deidamia, as first appears.

δ ο ρ ίκ τ υ π ο ν ά λ α λ ά ν Λ υ κ ί ω ν τ ε π ρ ο σ μ έ ν ο ι κ α ί Φ ρ υ γ ώ ν / Δ α ρ δ ά ν ω ν τ ε

(cso that, sent by the winds’ sea blasts under spear-crashing Troy, he might withstand the battle cry of the Lycians, and Phrygians, and Dardanians’, N . 3. 59-61).42 The essential context linking the two passages is the hero’s training for war. Achilles’ rustic athletics have been transferred to Rome, but the purpose of athletic training is the same: warfare. Sybaris and the Achilles of C. 1. 8 risk letting go to waste their training on the Campus or under Chiron. The transfer of Pindar’s phrase to Thetis’ fears marks the red u ctio of Achilles’ heroic upbringing to an erotic or personal context, but the Pindaric source prevents the poem from becoming in entirety the light Hellenistic piece it is often said to be. Evocation of Pindar at the end of the poem encourages us to reread the beginning with epinician in mind. Sybaris’ (former) tolerance of dust (p a tie n s p u lv e ris, 4) recalls the Olympic association of the dust that the athlete in C. 1. 1 raises ( s u n t q u o s cu rricu lo p u lv e r e m O ly m p i42 NH (1970) C. i. 8. 16. Echinger and Maurach (1984) 75 are sceptical about conscious imitation of Pindar on the grounds that the situations in the two poem s are too different. Although Horace uses sub (14) temporally where Pindar’s ύπό is spatial, the coincidence o f Achilles as the son o f Thetis {N-qpeos θύγατρα, γόνον ré οΐ φέρτατον, ‘Nereus’ daughter, and her m ighty child’, 57), Troy, the Lycians in a purpose clause, whether positive or negative, gives sufficient verbal linkage beyond contextual similarity, which I find great.

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‘there are those whom it pleases to raise Olympic dust with their chariot’, 3-4). The Campus Martius is the Roman equivalent of the Greek Olympia; each is sunny ( a p ricu s , 3; evSeieXov . . . Κ ρ ό ν ιο ν , Cronus’ sunny hill, O. 1. h i ) . 43 Pindar joins the javelin with the discus (I 1. 24-5), as does Horace (11-12). The representa­ tion of athletics in the cu r questions instead of the actual dramatic situation not only contrasts two worlds, m ilitia and am or, but contrasts two kinds of poetry. Horace demonstrates the kind of poem he is n o t writing, epinician, by n o t writing the kind of poem he pretends he is, Alexandrian erotics. Horace creates a model of m ilitia a m o r is different from elegy. His does not entail the poet’s personal involvement: the p r o e lia v ir g in u m (C. i. 6. 17) of which he sings are directed not at him, but in iu ven es (18). The poet’s distance from the erotic relationship here matches the distance from an actual symposium in C. 1. 7, which, though enjoined, does not take place. This distance may be disingenuous—and voyeur­ istic— and the poet’s passionate involvement with Lydia in G 1. 13 and elsewhere may correct our initial impression (Santirocco 1986: 38), but until we reach these poems, this detachment serves a purpose: to establish a sense of authorial control. The poet chooses to write this way; passion does not overwhelm him. Of course, the elegists choose their own medium as well, but the divorce of the poetic product from involved feeling reinforces a conscious choice. The poet states the unimportance of his momentary feelings in C. 1. 6. 19-20: ca n ta m u s, v a c u i siv e q u id u rim u r, J n o n p r a e te r so litu m leves. Whether or not the poet feels passion, he sings no lighter than usual. That is, he is usually light, whatever he feels. So he says. If these three poems teach any lesson, it is to measure the explicit statements against the poetry itself—not so much for truth or falsity, but rather to chart the ever-shifting interaction of elements whose ostensible opposition defines the outer limits: height versus lightness, etc. Horace’s lightness in a pure sense is as compromised as his seriousness. He cuts every gesture toward height, contradicts every lowering. Let us return to the epic allusions in C. 1. 7 and 1. 8, and their relation to the disavowal of epic in C. 1. 6 (Santirocco 1986: 39). The cu m / collegisse iu v a t,

43 The other attested instances o f apricus modifying campus postdate this poem and the campus in these instances is in the country, TLL campus B. 2. b. epitheta. On Olympia’s exposure to the sun, Gerber (1982) line h i .

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seafaring in C. 1. 7 and militarism in C. 1. 8 engage the essential subject matter of the Homeric epics, but the accommodation to lyric goes beyond the privatization of the motifs. Horace chooses a lesser hero than Odysseus in C. 1. 7, and the Achilles of C. 1. 8 derives not from the I lia d but the epic cycle (NH 1970: C. 1. 8. 13). Similarly the Pindaric allusion is cut down to size: instead of glorifying Achilles’ martial purpose, it emphasizes the discrepancy between the hero’s training and his hiding on Scyros. But heightening gestures balance the lowering ones. The parallel between Sybaris and Achilles implies that martial activities will eventually prevail (Dyson 1988: 165 with n. 6, 167), and the intimation of erotic defeat carries a poetic message as well. The reduction of high genres only partially succeeds. Even as foil, epinician lends this poem greater seriousness than its bantering tone suggests. A high-style epithet and periphrasis, m a r in a e filiu m . . . T h e tid is (14-15), may nudge Lydia in the ribs with the disparity, but also leaves an irreducible trace of high diction, like the repetition of Teucer’s name in C. 1. 7 .44 The surface morality of the poet’s repri­ mand conveys old-fashioned morals together with a wink. To attempt to extricate the one from the other in an attempt to find Horace’s ‘true’ opinion must fail. In addition to content, the exemplum’s narrative shape also strikes a balance. As in the Teucer exemplum (fertur.; C. i. 7. 23), the poet derives authority from the poetic tradition: d ic u n t (14). These distancing verbs push overt narration into indirect discourse. In C. i. 7 the personal construction with fe r tu r (23) allows the subject to remain in the nominative. Here, however, not even a full indirect statement follows d ic u n t we must supply the infinitive latu isse from q u id la te t (13). The secondary sequence of the purpose clause shows that the force of the perfect infinitive is felt, despite the word’s absence. The standard signal of narrative, a past tense, here vanishes: Horace is not really narrating. But the traces of narrative cannot be completely erased: Horace really is narrating, but pretending not to. Even with the act of narrating hidden, Achilles’ story follows in order. The negative purpose clause is futile, and indirectly reveals the eventual outcome of the story: after hiding Achilles will in fact face the Lycian throngs. We are left with a final image that sobers and turns us away from the h ie e t n u n c to myth. Scholars often remark that 44 Dyson (1988) 167; Cairns (1977) *37; NH (1970)

c -

i· 8. 13: ‘heroic dignity.’


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the poem consists entirely of questions. It follows that the poem consists entirely of discourse. Our modern editions put question marks at the end of the sentences, and the poem ends with a question mark.45 But if we consider what the poem s final sentence actually asks, questioning pertains only to q u id latet? The position of the question mark at the end follows convention and occurs at the end of the entire sentence—but while the simile comparing Sybaris to Achilles may be syntactically subordinate to the question, it is not in itself questioned. Despite all of the formal signs of resistance to narrative, Horace nevertheless relates an event. The immediacy of the poet’s questioning discourse yields to a hint of a narration of broader significance. Commager remarks on the myth concluding E p o d es 13: ‘instead of providing a parallel the myth takes the form of a parabola, drawing the poem’s meaning away in another direc­ tion’ (1967: 173). I would revise: in addition to providing a parallel, the myth draws the meaning in another direction. Description, as in the concluding depiction of an erotic scene in the next poem, can have this effect as well; but the mythic material of even a lyricized narration enhances the sense of a private world opening onto a larger perspective. This poem, like C. 1. 7, ends looking into the future of a story only partially told.46 I have delayed addressing an im portant scholarly debate about this poem in the hope that the discussion of how Horace walks a fine line between the high and the light, epic and lyric and the rest will reveal the inadequacy of any polarized understanding, in this case of pro- or anti-Augustanism. Quinn suggests an anti-Augustan stance, and reads this as an entirely pro-love, pro-lyric, pacifist poem taking a stand against militarism (1963: 137-41). Athletic training was part of Augu­ stan pre-military training, and m ilita r is (5) highlights the association of sports with war.47 West thinks Quinn’s emphasis on the violent images in Sybaris’ training ( lu p a tis . . . fren is, 6-7; sa n g u in e vip erin o , 9) shows an un-Roman aversion to the realities of violence, and that Horace’s tone is teasing and light-hearted anyway; on no account

should Horace be understood to criticize military training (1967: 1204).48 How do we balance all that Horace gets past the censor in this poem against the knowledge that Achilles will die at war? The interweaving of m ilitia and a m o r demonstrates the extent to which Horace inhabits polarity, even if the poles collapse. Horace’s technique of representing things by their opposites or negations calls into question any overt affirmation—not to be found in this poem anyway, and not simply because it consists of questions. Furthermore, C. i. 6 sets any affirmation of love or war into a poetic debate. Horace refuses to praise Agrippa (and Augustus in parentheses) on grounds of generic decorum, not politics: T do not do that kind of poetry.’ The statement displaces. But displacement, like negation, hardly erases the issue; it brings it to the fore by relegating it to the background. Narrative will play a conspicuous role in Horace’s attempts to address the questions of Augustanism, particularly in the Roman Odes, but that is not the task of this cluster of poems. C. 1. 6, 1. 7, and 1. 8 together raise issues that will be important later, but instead of coming down on one side or another, they let the various polarities sit in dynamic opposi­ tion. If Horace oversteps limits (tr a n s fin e m iacu lo n o b ilis ex p ed ito , C. 1. 8. 12),49 he also holds back (n e v ir ilis / cu ltu s in ca ed em e t L ycias p r o r ip e r e t catervas, C. 1. 8. 16). This goes for both poetics and politics.

45 Wingo (1972) 133 notes the remarkable— from our point o f view— failure to develop a sign to distinguish interrogation in the Latin punctuation o f the classical age. Before punctuation, a greater burden o f distinguishing question from statement fell on the reader. 46 The myth also reflects the frame in the slice of story represented: Sybaris’ and Achilles’ stories are unfinished. 47 Dyson (1988) 164-5, with bibliography; Santirocco (1986) 38; Syndikus (1972) 106 n. 4.


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Pastor cum traheret per freta navibus Idaeis Helenen perfidus hospitam, ingrato celeris obruit otio ventos, ut caneret fera Nereus fata: ‘Mala ducis avi domum, quam multo repetet Graecia milite, coniurata tuas rumpere nuptias et regnum Priami vetus. 48 See Cairns (1977) 138. Dyson (1988) 168-9 achieves balance: ‘the poem . . . accommodates insight into the more sombre aspects o f the programme without distort­ ing the stance which Horace, as spokesman for the regime, might reasonably be sup­ posed to have taken.’ 49 I apply this phrase to poetics on the analogy o f Pindar P. 1. 42—5 and N. 7. 70—3, where javelin imagery pertains to poetic bounds, Most (1985) 192-5, bibliography 192 nn. 42 and 43; Kirkwood (1982) 134-5 and 273.


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heu, heu, quantus equis, quantus adest viris sudor, quanta moves funera Dardanae genti! iam galeam Pallas et aegida currusque et rabiem parat. nequiquam Veneris praesidio ferox pectes caesariem grataque feminis inbelli cithara carmina divides, nequiquam thalamo gravis hastas et calami spicula Cnosii vitabis strepitumque et celerem sequi Aiacem: tamen, heu serus, adulteros crines pulvere collines. non Laertiaden, exitium tuae genti, non Pylium Nestora respicis? urgent inpavidi te Salaminius Teucer, te Sthenelus sciens pugnae, sive opus est imperitare equis, non auriga piger. Merionen quoque nosces, ecce furit te reperire atrox Tydides melior patre, quem tu, cervus uti vallis in altera visum parte lupum graminis inmemor, sublimi fugies mollis anhelitu, non hoc pollicitus tuae. iracunda diem proferet Ilio matronisque Phrygum classis Achillei; post certas hiemes uret Achaicus ignis Iliacas domos.’ (C. i . 15)

When the shepherd Paris was treacherously / dragging off Helen, his hostess, over the sea in Idaean ships, / Nereus squelched the swift winds / with unpleasing leisure / so he could sing rude fate: Til-omened you lead home / a woman Greece will reclaim with much soldiery, / sworn to break your marriage / and Priam’s ancient rule. / Alas alas, how much sweat do I see / for horses and men! What death-rites you set / in motion for the Dardan race! Now Pallas / gets her helmet, aegis, chariot, and rage. / Fierce with Venus’ protection in vain / will you comb your locks and play / songs pleasing to women, on the peaceful lyre, / in vain will you avoid in the bedroom / the heavy javelins and Cretan arrow-canes / and noise and Ajax, swift at pursuit. / Nevertheless, alas late, you will smear / your adulterer’s hair with dust. / Have you no respect for Laertes’ son, / death to your race, none for Nestor


o f Pylos? / Fearless press on you Teucer from Salamis, / Sthenelus who knows how to fight, / or if there is need to command horses, / no lazy charioteer. Meriones you will also know. / Here frightful Tydeus’ son, better than his father, / rages to find you, / whom you will flee, like a stag forgetting to graze / the w olf seen elsewhere in the valley, / soft with panting breath— / not what you promised your girl. / Achilles’ wrathful fleet will postpone / the day for Ilium and Phrygian wives; / after sure winters Achaean fire / will burn their homes.’ With the waning of structuralism, it has become clear that, in general terms, meaning is not inherent in discourse and its structures, but contextual, a function o f the pragmatic situation in which the discourse occurs. Indeed, there is some . . . debate as to whether it makes any sense to attempt to distinguish text from context, although to many it does seem that meaning is precisely the perception of a relationship between discourse and its context (however difficult it may be, in purely formal terms, to distin­ guish one from the other). As far as narrative goes, common language has always recognized the contextual nature of meaning through the concept o f ‘point’: the ‘same’ story can have a quite different point when it is told in different situations. Consider, for example, a ‘faggot’ joke told by gay people among themselves, by straight people among themselves, by a straight person to a gay person and even, just conceivably, by a gay person to a straight person. In each o f these cases, the significance of the story is determined less by its actual content than by the point o f its being told, that is, the relationships mediated by the act o f narration. That is why, when one looks hard at stories, it becomes extremely difficult to distinguish them from their telling, so true is it that people ‘do things with narrative’, just as they do with words. A story is always . . . someone telling someone else that something happened (be it fictionally or otherwise), and this narrative act is always available as a vehicle whereby people may ‘do things’— that is (and the double meaning is itself significant), relate. (C h am b ers 1984: 3 - 4 )

So far we have looked at stories whose point has been determined by an act of communication between speaker and addressee; this is the pragmatic situation of exemplification. The relation of speaker and addressee embeds another act of communication between poet and reader, and this embedding gives us clues to the message expressed to us as well, although the actual message may differ. Still, the reflection in the text serves as a guide to interpretation. With C. 1. 15 there is no

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guide. No situation motivates the telling of the rape of Helen; there is no addressee.50 We are literally and figuratively at sea. But readers feel that the narrative must reflect something, it must carry some message, preferably a didactic one, and this poem has consequently spawned an allegorical interpretation: Paris and Helen are Antony and Cleopatra.51 The narrated story under this interpretation still reflects, but its spec­ ularity relates not to some other story within the poem, but to history outside. Its point is to convey an analogy between the Trojan War and the Civil Wars; Rome repeats the history of her ancestral source. The connection between Rome and Troy is overtly made in C. 3. 3. Why not covertly here? The thrust of the allegorical interpretation is, to use Chambers’s terminology, to rela te the story to something; its telling must have p o i n t If there is nothing to which it can relate w ith in the poem, the relation must be sought w ith o u t. I am less interested in the truth or falsity of the allegorical interpretation than in its necessity. The question this poem poses is not only ‘what does it mean?’ but also ‘how do we determine what it means?’ These questions, I think, are a central part of the message. It is not just the content that communicates meaning, but the manner of representation. By remov­ ing any represented rhetorical context, Horace with this ode alerts us to narrative’s possibilities of signification outside of a pointed rheto­ rical relation. By this I mean that while a figure such as the exemplum uses a narrative to convey some message, this message does not exhaust its meaning. The narrative will also engage in communication with the reader above and beyond its communication with the addres­ see, and it will convey a different message that consists both of the message to the addressee and of something in addition. Telling a story without an internal addressee removes an obvious source of point. The point that remains is paradoxically less easy to pin down since it is directed at us. Part of this poem’s point is to make us ask how we recognize the point. I read this poem as having to do with poetry mostly, though not entirely, because of relations this poem establishes with other poems

within the collection, and because of its place in the collection itself— both features external to the poem as a single unity. But these externals are not outside Horace’s poetry the way history is; the collection itself provides a context of communication. The reason I look for such external guides to interpretation is that this poem offers little by way of internal ones—but that is my point.52 The first external factor is a number of links with C. 1. 6-1. 8. This is the first poem after C. 1. 6 in the second Asclepiadean, a fact of paltry significance were it not that the other odes of book 1 in this metre are also about poetry (C. 1. 24 and 1.33). The number of proper names in this poem that already occur in C. 1. 6-1. 8 also deserves note. After C. i. 7 the epithet S a la m in iu s (23) bears a special meaning for Teucer; mention of Achilles is hardly unusual, but he appears at the poem’s conclusion (34) as in C. 1. 8; the same goes for Diomedes, but as in C. i. 6, he is called by his patronymic Tydides, the first word in the fourth line of each stanza (C. 1. 6. 16, 1. 15. 28); additionally, he is found in close proximity to Meriones. Nisbet and Hubbard (1970: C. 1. 6. 15): ‘But even if Diomede and Meriones appeared together in one of the Cyclic poems, one would still want to know why Horace mentions this non-Homeric association not once (which would be explicable) but twice.’ Ahern uses C. 1. 15 to help explicate the puzzling Iliadic stanza in C. i. 6: the sequence of three names, Sthenelus, Meriones, and Tydides (C. i. 15. 24-8), ‘suggests a tradition in which the roles of Meriones and Sthenelus, in relation to Diomedes, were in some mea­ sure conflated’ (1991: 309). I would add that the conjunction also serves to link the two poems. But these verbal parallels would signify nothing in themselves without another that has to do with the lyre— the one internal feature that alerts readers to metapoetry. In b elli cith a ra (15) recalls the poet’s own in b ellisq u e ly ra e (C. 1. 6. 10). After the poet disavows epic and the high style in C. 1. 6, here returns his unwarlike lyre in the company of all the epic characters who populate the disavowal and its aftermath.53 Furthermore, this lyre is transferred to Paris who makes an appearance as a love-poet in the wrong sort of poem. The cou p d e grace is that this is an entirely narrative poem that tells the story of the Trojan war. The only other place Horace comes close to narrating the Trojan War, he negates every event with respect to its uniqueness or primacy: n on sola . . . a r s it / . . . H elen e


50 This is the only Horatian ode to consist entirely of narrative; it is also unusual in not having a second person addressee, Heinze (1923) 172. JI N H (1970) 189-90. Fraenkel (1957) stands out in resisting allegory, not only here (188 n. 2), but in his analyses of C. 3. n and 3. 27 where he espouses ‘narrative for narrative’s stake’ (192-9). Helm (1935) 366 calls the myth a ‘Selbstzweck’. Smith (1972) sets up a dichotom y between allegory and plain story, neither of which satisfies, and attempts a solution in the analysis of human character through the ‘single fateful example’ o f Paris (74). That is, he finds a didactic message without allegory.


52 Davis (1991) 25-8 also reads this poem in the context o f Horace’s lyric programme. 53 The only two times Horace uses inbellis o f the lyre, Davis (1991) 26-7.


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. . . / p r im u s v e Teucer . . . d i r e x i t . . . n on sem el Ilios / v e x a ta etc., ‘not alone did Helen burn, or first did Teucer direct . . ., not once was Ilium harrassed etc.’, C. 4. 9. 13-25. Of course, Horace cuts C. 1. 15 also down to lyric scale in all sorts of ways, a topic discussed below, but here I simply emphasize that this poem engages in the same debate about genre, style, and discourse set into motion by C. 1. 6. A further external factor that makes this poem about poetry is its placement in a series of poems that allude to or otherwise evoke the majority of poets included in the Alexandrian lyric canon. Since I have argued elsewhere for a parade of lyric predecessors’, suffice it to say that C. i. 12-18 evoke in turn: Pindar, Sappho, Alcaeus, Bacchylides, Stesichorus, Anacreon, with a repetition of Alcaeus to mark closure (Lowrie 1995). If the Parade Odes display an impressive range of metres, this second parade calls to m ind the poets who represent the lyric tradition—in both monodie and choral manifestations. This poem marks the place of the admittedly rare entirely mythological poem within the tradition.54 C. i. 15 not only establishes a role for rhetorically unmotivated narrative in Horace’s collection, but legitimates this form through the citation of precedent in archaic lyric. Dithyramb is the lyric sub­ genre associated with pure narrative, and a number of other features also create a dithyrambic mode in this poem.55 Porphyrio alleges

Bacchylides as a model on the basis of the parallel between Proteus’ prediction of the Trojan War and Cassandra’s (NH 1970: 188). The parallel structure of Bacchylides’ dithyramb 15 S-M, which contains an epic narrative ending with a speech by Menelaus,50 reinforces the connection.57 Dithyramb, as a type of choral lyric, implies poetic height, but involves less distance from monody than epic or tragedy. Syndikus traces thematic and verbal links between this poem and Alcaeus 283 V, a monodie model that, in its fragmentary state, also lacks a lyricizing context (1972: 171-2). For Horace, Alcaeus represents the extreme of poetic height within monody.58 Davis emphasizes the epic, and particularly Iliadic, background to the poem and downplays Porphyrio’s remark (1991: 25 with n. 18). But Horace is following a high lyric pattern that parodies epic.59 His choice to allude extensively to Homer replays lyric’s relation to epic in Alcaeus 238 V. In C. 1. 6-8 the reference point for the high style was epic, here the filtering of epic through lyric is treated as already part of the lyric tradition. This comparatively rare type of lyric comes after the Pindarizing of C. 1. 12, the self-parody in C. 1. 13 that deflates the Sapphic catalogue of emotions, the ship allegory that looks to Alcaeus in C. 1. 14; it comes before a Stesichorean palinode in C. 1. 16, reference to Anacreon’s lyre in C. i. 17, and the Alcaic motto opening C. 1. 18. This context would not put this poem in line with a strand of the lyric tradition, if its own form did not make the connection independently. The final external is C. 1. 15’s placement after another poem that has

54 In addition to Stesichorus and Bacchylides’ dithyrambs, Sappho 44 V, Alcaeus 283 V, and Pindar P 4 have been adduced as archaic instances o f purely mythological narratives in lyric, Syndikus (1972) 171. P. 4, while largely mythological, is by no means pure narrative, and even a slight nod to contextualization grounds a story in a pointed rhetorical context. The classification o f Sappho 44 V as epithalamion attempts to give it a motivating social context, though this has problems. Page (1955) 71-4; Burnet (1983) 220 n. 27. Even if not a wedding song, the fragment is still thought to belong to ceremonial poetry. Elsewhere Page (1955) 130 says, ‘there is still no evidence that Sappho ever composed a legendary narrative either for presentation at cult or ceremony, or as a literary exercise . . . , or indeed for any purpose but to illustrate, in brief allusions, her own and her companions’ emotions and adventures.’ Alcaeus 42 V is a better candidate for m onody if complete, but the second person address to Helen lyricizes what might otherwise be pure narrative, Heinze (1923) 176, and the juxtaposition o f the two myths, Paris and Helen, Peleus and Thetis, creates a specular relationship used at least partially to blame the addressee— a rhetorical context. With supplements as in Page (1955) 278, Troy is destroyed in language not unlike here: yfvjn 8 ’ ωλεσε Zevs / “Ιλιον ϊραν (‘Zeus destroyed holy Ilion with fire’, 3—4); ol δ’ άπώλοντ’ άμφ Έ[λεναι Φρύγες re / καί πόλις αυτών (‘they were destroyed around Helen, the Phrygians and their city’ 15-16); ira­ cunda diem proferet IUo / matronisque Phrygum classis Achillei; / post certas hiemes uret Achaicus / ignis Iliacas domos (33-6). For pure mythic narrative in lyric, this leaves only some choral genres, and even there poorly attested. 55 For the narrative content o f dithyramb, Harvey (1955) 173.

50 That Menelaus’ speech ended the poem is likely but not absolutely certain, Fraenkel (1957) 189 n. 5. 57 Fraenkel (1957) 189; NH (1970) 188-9: their collection o f prophecies to Paris shows that it was a conventional m otif in epic, choral lyric, and later tragedy, all high genres in accord with Porphyrio’s attribution to Bacchylides. They judge that Horace owes more to ‘a com m on type o f early Greek lyric’, namely ‘the pastiche o f epic narrative’ than to the parallel Alexandrian prophecies. Syndikus (1972) 132 n. 11 and Kroll (1924) 220 put more emphasis on the Alexandrians (both list parallels). Cairns (1971) 447-8 makes the parallel between the syntactical structure o f the opening o f Simonides 13 D -P M G 38 (543) and the syntax o f C. 1. 15. 1-4. He concludes that this form represents a distinct category o f poem characteristic o f early Greek lyric, and that Porphyrio was probably right to look to Greek lyric as a model for this ode, and almost certainly right about Bacchylides. 58 Alcaeus joins the other choral, or at least high-style lyric poets (Pindar, Simonides, Stesichorus), in the list o f lyrici C. 4. 9. 6-8. Horace has company in grouping these four together: Dionysius of Halicarnassus de imitatione 421, taken up by Quintilian 10. x. 61 ff. 39 Lyric versions o f epic themes generally took on Homeric diction, as in Sappho 44 V, Page (1955) 65-70. Horace’s emphasis on Paris rather than Helen, as in the archaic lyrists, derives from an interest in the relation o f the lover to the soldier.


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given rise to allegory, and that also takes place at sea. Although it is generally agreed that C. i. 14 calls for allegorical interpretation, no agreement attends the allegory’s identity.60 The impetus for the ‘ship of state’ interpretation is to make relevant to the present of history a poem that, like C. 1. 15, offers insufficient guide to its own interpreta­ tion. Quintilian, the author of the potentially misleading ‘ship of state’ allegory, makes this clear: allegoria . . . a liu d verbis, a liu d sen su o ste n d it . . . [quotes the beginning of C. 1. 14] to tu sq u e ille H o r a ti locus, q u o n a v e m p ro re p u b lic a , flu c tu s e t te m p e sta te s p ro bellis civilib u s, p o r tu m

(‘allegory shows one thing in words, another in sense . . . [as in C. 1. 14] and that whole Horatian passage, in which he says ship for republic, waves and storms for civil war, harbour for peace and concord’, Quintilian, 8. 6. 44). I do not su g g e s t that C. i. 15 is an allegory for poetry rather than for contemporary politics, parallel to the recent reception of C. 1. 14, but rather that neither poem is ‘about’ poetry or politics in totality. Each poem opens itself to this kind of interpretation because of our need for it to signify. If these poems are ‘about’ anything besides a ship and Paris, they are about the need for allegory, and the impossibility of pinning meaning down to any single signification. C. 1. 15 not only raises the question of how poetry communicates meaning, but also reinforces several aspects of narrative already met in C. 1. 6-8 which will be important later in the collection. I will first discuss this poem as an instance of narrative, then address how it challenges the aesthetics of C. 1. 6. The first thing to happen in C. 1. 15 is that time in the story, along with the poet’s narrative, stops: in g ra to celeris o b r u it o tio / v e n to s (3-4). This is not the first event mentioned, which is rather the scene-setting background information, couched in a standard c u m - circumstantial clause, that the story is the rape o f Helen: p a s to r c u m tr a h e r e t . . . (12). We are not told about the actual rape, but rather that during the voyage (an image of temporal progression) Nereus imposed a temporal pause, o tiu m . Why? To tell a story. Our poet’s story hardly gets off the ground when we are diverted into Nereus’ story, which turns out to be the same story at a later point in time. Even the choice of Nereus rather than another of the prophetic sea gods keeps to the same story;61 as Achilles’ grandfather, he can reasonably be concerned. Nereus’ pro-

p r o p a c e a tq u e co n co rd ia d ic it

60 Davis (1989); Woodman (1980); Zumwalt (1977); Syndikus (1972) 162-70; NH (1970) 179-82; Seel (1970); Anderson (1966); Fraenkel (1957) 154-8. 61 Others listed by NH (1970) ad loc.

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phecy is paradigmatic for Horatian narratives in that it disrupts linear time, it reimposes a speaking voice, and, despite the lack of a second person addressee in the poem, it directs the narrative embedded within it to a definite second person, Paris. All of these elements re-establish discourse. Unlike C. 1. 7, 1. 8 and the rest, however, the embedded story turns out to be the same as the one that frames it. Prophecy is a peculiar narratological category. The story is known to the reader since it has taken place in the past, but it represents the future to the time of its utterance (Kroll 1924: 220). This device allows for the substitution of the future tense for the perfect, and since prophecy is usually directed at someone, here Paris, the second person also takes the place of the standard third person of ordinary narra­ tive.62 Nereus’ speech uses mostly the future tense, mixed in with the historical present—a present that takes its temporal value from the verbs around it, here future. Some of Nereus’ presents are true ( q u a n ta m o v e s fu n e r a D a r d a n a e / g en ti! ia m g a le a m P allas e t a e g id a / cu rru sq u e e t ra b iem p a r a t, 10-12; n on L a e rtia d e n . . . respicisÌ 22), intended to show that future events are already in motion, but some of these represent real futures, marked with emotion for ecstatic vividness (‘enargeia’): heu, heu, q u a n tu s equis, q u a n tu s a d e s t v ir is / su d o r (910); ecce f u r i t te reperire a tr o x Ϊ T ydides (27—8); u r g e n t . . . te, (23).63 The prophecy’s directedness keeps it from impersonal narrative and anchors it in the lyric present—the stopped time of the poet’s narra­ tion. Every stanza in Nereus’ speech contains a second person until the last, which is entirely in the future third person. As in the final stanzas of C. 1.7 and 1. 8, we are directed away from the lyric moment to a less personal world. Genette calls this sort of inset narrative a ‘prolepse homodiegétique interne’ (1972: 105-15), meaning that a later part of the story is brought out of its chronological position, that the inset narrative has to do with the same story line, that the events in the narrative do not go beyond the end of the story. But in the Proustian narrative he analyses, the narrator is at liberty to divulge his retrospective know­ ledge out of sequence; he communicates to the reader. Prospective knowledge in the ancient poem m ust be given to a god or prophet, however much it belongs in fact to the temporal posterity of the 6z Compare Chiron’s prophecy to Achilles, Epodes 13: second person (12, 13, 15, 16); futures and imperatives (i6 , 17); true present leading into the future (13-14). 03 On prophetic presents, N H (1970) C. 1. 15. 27 with bibliography and Pseudo-Acro’s com ment.

13 3

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speaking voice, since the future is communicated to an internal char­ acter. What is peculiar from a narratological view is that the inset narration in this poem entirely eclipses the poet’s narrative and replaces it with what he could have narrated had he told the story straight through in his own voice. The ‘denouement’ of the Trojan war occurs in the last stanza, a conventional type of closure, with the ending at the end. It is characteristic of this poem’s interest in time that before the eventual end, Nereus tells Paris otherwise gratuitously that Achilles’ anger will postpone the destruction of Troy, in structural balance to the delay caused in the first stanza by Nereus’ desire to sing the fates. Both delays occasion poetic production, Achilles’ anger the Ilia d , the in g r a tu m o tiu m (3) the poem itself. This o tiu m (‘leisure’), in g r a tu m (‘displeasing’) to Paris, becomes g r a tu m (‘pleasing’) to Hor­ ace’s audience, just as Paris’ own poetry is g ra tu m to his (14-15). The identity of the poet’s and the internal narrator’s story raises important questions for the form of lyric narratives. Why embed? What is at stake in narrating that the poet minimizes it in his own voice? If Horace wanted one poem of pure narrative in his collection, why not tell the whole story straight through? Generic restraint offers a simple answer. Prophecy justifies the story’s condensation through being spoken by a character. The dramatic situation is the utterance, not the action of the inset story. It is hard to imagine a situation in which our lyric poet would simply narrate an epic story like the Trojan War. Even the narration of Cleopatra’s flight in C. 1. 37 with its epic overtones finds justification in the dramatic moment of setting up the celebration: the poet announces to his sodales (‘companions’, 4) that it is now appropriate to drink, and explains why they can now bring out the formerly inappropriate Caecuban. The poet’s own condensation of the Trojan War or other such narrative without any dramatic reason for doing so would violate the appropriate proportion of time of story to time of utterance. Even the I lia d with its large scale must reduce the time of the story to more manageable proportions than the ten years of the Trojan War, but the time of reading comes much closer to the time of the action. Here temporal summary goes hand in hand with the restriction of the material to its relevance to the addressee. Prophecy re-establishes the defining features of lyric that would be eclipsed by straight narrative: the here and now, and directedness. A chronological narration of the events depicted in the poem would be flat, unlyric. Imagining such a thing reveals how essential to lyric is not only a dramatic situation, but also the act of speaking.

Furthermore, it is not only the poet’s narrative that is made lyric by Nereus’ prophecy. Nereus’ narrative is itself neither an event by event narration, nor does it follow the classic ring-composition structure of inset narratives in Homer. His speech breaks into two equal parts (520; 21-36) and the event which would logically fall at the end of the entire speech falls instead at the end of the first part: ta m en , heu serus, a d u lte ro s / crines p u lv e r e collines (19-20). Paris’ death balances the destruction of Troy at the end of the second part (Syndikus 1972: 175), but this division does not therefore keep Paris out of the second part, where he returns to be pursued in an epic simile (29-32). The first part resists straightforward narrative by the subordination of the events to warning. Nereus makes a direct connection between Paris’ present action and its future results: d u cts . . . q u a m . . . re p e te t (5-6). The second part resists narrative by presenting a series of epic heroes in a list (21-8). In addition to the ordering of events, the events themselves resist being pinned down to the narrative norm of Homer and the Homeric tradition. Despite numerous parallels on a verbal level, this poem does not reproduce the Iliad's plot—nor even plots in the Epic Cycle (parallels in Wickham 1877-91; NH 1970: p a s s im ). Paris, unlike Achilles, is not known as a poet. V eneris p ra e sid io fe r o x (13) suggests his rescue by Aphrodite in I lia d 3 (380 ff.), but it is not clear whether this phrase points to a specific action here or implies a more general condition. In the I lia d Paris neither flees Oilean Ajax, nor dies, nor is Diomedes the hero to pursue him.64 Generic restraint and the scaling down of epic material, however, are only a partial answer. This poem addresses in a different form the overt poetics of C. i. 6. Horace not only sets limits to his lyric; he tells us he does so. P u d o r / in b ellisq u e lyra e M u s a (9-10) are the forces Horace invokes in C. i. 6 that keep him from poetic transgression. Paris, here—in a significant innovation— also a poet with an unwarlike lyre (C. 1. 15. 15), differs from Horace in lacking p u d o r. He transgresses. The viola­ tion of hospitality ( h o sp ita m , 2) is obvious. As a p a sto r, he should not be sailing (p a s t o r . . . p e r f r e ta n avibu s, i). He has no faith: p e rfid u s (2); n on hoc p o llic itu s ( 3 2 ) .65 His behaviour is at odds with his poetry. As a


64 The confrontation with Menelaus in Iliad 3 provides many points o f contact, but Menelaus is not mentioned here even in passing. NH (1970) C. 1. 15. 27 cite Heinze for the idea that Diomedes substitutes for Menelaus ‘because the latter’s glory was rather tarnished in the post-epic tradition’, and suggest that he may have already appeared in Bacchylides. It then becomes hard to recuperate the duel with Menelaus as the intertext. 65 Is Horace punning on fidesl For the connection o f the lyre to faith, Putnam (1993 ) 127.


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love poet, he causes war. His cowardice is matched by a poetic failure; in the simile he is in m e m o r (30). Davis sees Paris as representative of ‘the p e rv e rsio n of lyric discourse: a lover who mimics the lyric stance with his non-belligerent cith ara, but whose resemblance to the authen­ tic love-lyrist remains external and contingent.’ Paris, whose fear of death is antithetical to ‘both the Horatian (lyric) and the Homeric (epic) hero’, is the ‘antitype, not merely of Teucer and Diomedes, but of the philosophically grounded lyrist’ (1991: 27-8).66 Paris fails not because of his transgression from lyric to epic, though this is also a problem. Paris’ life is divided from his poetry.67 Contrary to Horace, who brings together his life and his poetry, and the Home­ ric Achilles, who is both the epic hero p a r excellence and a singer of κ λ έ α α ν δ ρ ώ ν (‘fame of men’, II. 9. 186-9), Paris’ poetic endeavours do not match his life.68 He fails at epic because he fails at lyric. Davis understands this failure in moral terms: neither the epic hero nor the lyrist should fear death. Under these terms Horace’s apparently light lyric matches the seriousness of epic. But Davis’s interpretation has important consequences as a generic statement as well, and can be applied to the poet composing the ode in view of his disavowal of epic and its concomitants in C. 1. 6. Horace, like Paris, crosses boundaries and the analogy between them is that each is a lyric poet who finds himself in an epic poem, but where Paris’ moral failure makes him both a poor lyrist and a poor epic hero, our poet’s moral code not only saves Horatian lyric from triviality, however light it may be stylistically, but enables his excursions, if not into epic itself, at least into epic-like ventures within the constraints of his genre. For Paris, epic and lyric are opposed, and he furthermore takes his lyric in the direction of elegy. Horace rather mediates between extremes. Vocabulary belonging to two different poetic domains pervades this poem. In the mouth of Nereus, the elegiac language of m o llitia (‘soft­ ness’) serves as a reproach to Paris in pointed contrast to the numerous reminiscences of Homeric phrasing.69 Paris is fe r o x only in the m ilitia a m o r is (‘warfare of love’), not the real one; his hair, which he combs

V eneris p ra e sid io fe r o x (13), will end up smeared with dirt, as well as with the epithet a d u lte ro s (19). He is called m o llis (31) in the simile, in contrast to his pursuer, who is a tr o x (27)—a scornful reminiscence of fe r o x (13), also at the end of the line. The shorthand tu a e (32), a ‘mark of τ α π ε ίν ω σ ις [reduction]’ and ‘more suited to elegy than to high poetry’ (NH 1970: ad loc.), cuts Paris down along with the style. In contrast, all the true epic heroes have stalwart epithets: celerem seq u i (18-19); in p a v id i (23); scien s p u g n a e (24-25); a tr o x (27) (NH 1970: ad loc. trace Homerie reminiscences). The periphrasis in ira c u n d a . . . classis A c h illei (33-4) belongs to the high style, as does ‘Homeric litotes’ in n on a u rig a p ig e r (26); the imitation of Homeric scansion in the final line takes the cake.70 Such stylistically contrasted vocabulary in Nereus’ speech must be understood differently, however, in the mouth of the poet. Where Nereus makes a moral point, the poet presents a very un-Homeric Paris. Horace’s Paris makes a point about lyric in a poem that is, after all, lyric. Nereus’ ethical concerns are also voiced by the poet, but the poet says something about poetry above and beyond his internal narrator’s concerns. Where Nereus uses epic and elegiac language to drive the two realms apart, Horace rather uses the language to bring the realms together. Paris is a bad lyric poet because he cannot cope with epic and drives his lyric over to elegy. Horace, by contrast brings either extreme back to lyric—the movement of the mean.

00 He adds a poetic dimension to Smith’s (1972) understanding o f Paris as a negative moral exemplum. 67 The metaphor in carmina divides (15) is thought to be technical, but its precise meaning has escaped us, N H (1970) ad loc. It may serve as a metaphor for this split. 68 On the accord between life and poetry in Horace, Mette (1961). Achilles’ song and Paris’ lyre both refer the reader to the genre in which it occurs. On κλέα ανδρών, Nagy (1979) 96-7; on a similar phenomenon in Epodes 13, Lowrie (T992) 427. 69 For the mollitia vocabulary, Davis (1991) 26. The commentaries trace pervasive epic phraseology.

The first poems in the collection to contain formal narrative offer themselves as paradigms for reading. C. 1. 6, 1. 7, and 1. 8 together form a group that suggests narrative must have point to be accom­ modated to lyric.71 C. i . 15 challenges the argument for pointedness by 70 N H (1970) C. i. 15. 26 and 36. Renehan (1988) 315-7 criticizes Shackleton Bailey’s (1985) daggering o f Iliacas (36) and gives strong support to Postgate’s (1922) 33 observa­ tion that Homeric scansion o f Ίλιος with an initial digamma allows Biacas (36) to make position (so that ignis is not an unusual trochee but a normal spondee). Postgate’s observation is a strong blow against those who argue for early composition for this ode. ‘Early composition’ almost always implies that a poem is som ehow bad or lacks sophistication. Fraenkel (1957) 191-2 calls attention to similar vocabulary in Epodes 10. Recent criticism o f the Epodes tells against a lack o f sophistication in these ‘early’ pieces, e.g. Oliensis (1991). Fraenkel’s (191 n. 5) argument in objection to imperitare (25) undermines itself, he points out that it ‘had a lofty ring as early as Plautus’, may have been Ennian, and is used once in Vergil. This ‘lofty’ context accords perfectly with the poem’s high-style diction. Davis (1991) 28 severs the connection o f ‘early’ with ‘pointless exercise in imitation’. 71 As in Williams’s (1969) 45 comment on C. 3. 3: ‘traditional mythical material needs an ulterior purpose if it is to find a place in personal poetry.’


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staging itself as a free-standing allegory, entirely taken up with a meaning outside itself.72 Pointedness returns, but displaced. And C. i. 15 does not quite stand on its own. C. 1. 14 before it raises the issue of allegory, and its ship, floundering at sea, finds its analogue in the ship of C. i. 15, likewise struggling with the problematics of allegory. 1 The spatial juxtaposition of these two poems in itself frames an inter­ pretive debate. Can interpretation ever come to port? Again, Horace sets up a dichotomy he overturns. Narrative in lyric is irreducible; it cannot fully be made relevant. Yet it similarly cannot sit there in full independence, being without meaning. Inset stories always invite specularity. We must set the two stories against each other. Teucer offers rhetorical proof to Plancus in C. 1. 7: ‘drink and be happy wherever you are.’ Achilles’ example suggests to Lydia that she will not be able to control Sybaris in C. 1. 8. But in C. 1. 15 the identity of the embedded and the framing story short-circuits their compar­ ison. Conversely, Teucer and Achilles take us away from Plancus and Sybaris, and Paris recalls Antony. This tension between something’s own significance and a superadded meaning has the structure of a trope. In Quintilian’s definition, tro p o s e st v e rb i v e l serm o n is a p ro p r ia sig n ifica tio n e in a lia m cu m v ir tu te m u ta tio (‘a trope is the efficacious change of a word or speech from its own meaning into another’, 8. 6. i).73 But such a change can by no means erase the prior significance; the two must sit together.74 The dichotomy itself stages the polarities around and between which lyric carves out a space for its own production, and for the possibility of its interpretation.75 In the act of interpretation, we largely follow the signals given us—but what to do when they conflict? Exemplarity tells

us to look for logical connection, for didactic purpose, and so we do, but the figurai status of the exemplum confutes narrow logic, and the lesson turns out to be not to look for any moral to the story. Allegory similarly locates its meaning elsewhere, but Horace ostentatiously withholds the clues for where that elsewhere might be. Nevertheless, when we throw up our hands and declare anarchy, countless inter­ woven connections re-establish dialogue, within poems, between poems, between poems and the world. C. 1. 15 talks to C. 1. 14 about allegory, it talks to C. 1. 6 about genre, style, modes of discourse, to C. i. 7 and i. 8 about the pointedness of exemplarity and its failure. Contemporary politics—Agrippa’s exploits, Plancus’ versatility, what really goes on in the Campus Martius, Antony’s failure to resolve love with war—make themselves felt without commandeering these poems’ focus. Polarity, dichotomy—this structure manifests itself again and again in the O des. Why? It allows lyric to define the terms according to which it wants to be read, without authorizing any single, exclusive method of reading.


72 ‘To say one thing and mean another’ is a mark o f all poetry, Williams (1980) passim·, Riffaterre (1984) 1. Both speak o f ‘indirection’; the latter contrasts poetic ‘significance’ with referential ‘meaning’ (1-6). 73 Quintilian is interested not only in the trope as a figure o f speech, but as a larger structure applicable to sense and composition: verti. . . formas non verborum modo, sed et sensuum et compositionis (‘to change not only the forms o f words, but even o f meanings and composition’, 8. 6. 3). 74 Williams (1980) 189 speaks o f ‘ostensible’ and ‘unspoken’ fields which ‘co-exist’. 75 Conte’s (1986) 38 remarks on the figurai structure o f allusion pertain to the construction o f meaning between any two poles: ‘In the art o f allusion, as in every rhetorical figure, the poetry lies in the simultaneous presence of two different realities that try to indicate a single reality. The single reality can perhaps never be defined directly, but it is specific and is known to the poet. The poetry lies in the area carved out between the letter and the sense. It exists by refusing to be only one or the other. This still unknown area, this tension between meanings can be described only by referring to the two known limits that demarcate it.’

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5 History and Epic: Civil War

The conflation of epic, tragedy, and history in C. i. 6 sets the stage for Horace’s political voice. History, ancient or contemporary, entails a stylistic elevation Horace flags with generic terms, citations of highstyle predecessors, or the like. Homer, the paradigm for epic and praise poetry, is a prime candidate for this role. History, like epic, departs from lyric as narrowly construed in subject matter, style, and mode of discourse. The narration of events falls away from the idealized eternal present into linear time. Tragedy makes the trauma of civil war (almost) utterable. Writing history is a political act that could not for any ancient be divorced from praise or blame—wherein lies its danger. The chapters entitled ‘History and Epic’ address two constellations of poems where Horace treads poetic and political danger. The first is the transition from book i to book 2 of the O d e s where Horace approaches civil war (Pöschl 1991: 74 brings together C. 1. 37 and 2. 1; also Henderson forthcoming). The suppression of Antony in C. 1. 37 obscures historical reality, and Horace retreats into a mythologizing epic mode. In C. 2. 1, Horace displaces his own implication in the danger of writing civil war onto Pollio’s history. Each poem skirts direct treatment, but even so, Horace marks their departure from lyric ‘proper’ by splicing C. 1. 38, a strong assertion of the tenue, between them, and by reasserting lyric levity at the close of C. 2. 1. C. i. 37 and 2. 1, at the turn from the first to the second book, pave the way for the Roman Odes at the beginning of the third, where we find another cluster of narratives in C. 3. 3, 3. 4, and 3. 5. The reassertion of the te n u e at the end of C. 2. 1 effectively postpones mytho-historical subjects until their return in the Roman Odes (Porter 1987: 111; Santirocco 1986: 84; NH 1978: 10), where strong epic colouring accompanies the emergence of contemporary politics as a major concern. The final stanza of C. 3. 3 reiterates Horace’s ambiva­ lence about the propriety of myth and history to his Muse before his


fuller embrace of the g ra n d e in the following poems. If the suicides of Cleopatra and Cato in C. 1. 37 and 2. 1 stand for resistance to the Caesarian cause, the Roman Odes effect an accommodation to Augustus, if not to Octavian. Civil war is laid to a partial, uneasy rest. I focus on how the narration of stories communicates a political message, how the medium protects the poet’s autonomy, how Horatian lyric resists occasionality, and transforms the contemporary into an ideal sphere.

F ig u r in g C

iv i l




leo patra)

Nunc est bibendum, nunc pede libero pulsanda tellus, nunc Saliaribus ornare pulvinar deorum tempus erat dapibus, sodales. antehac nefas depromere Caecubum cellis avitis, dum Capitolio regina dementis ruinas fimus et imperio parabat contaminato cum grege turpium morbo virorum, quidlibet inpotens sperare fortunaque dulci ebria; sed minuit furorem vix una sospes navis ab ignibus, mentemque lymphatam Mareotico redegit in veros timores Caesar ab Italia volantem remis adurgens, accipiter velut mollis columbas aut leporem citus venator in campis nivalis Haemoniae, daret ut catenis fatale monstrum, quae generosius perire quaerens nec muliebriter expavit ensem, nec latentis classe cita reparavit oras, ausa et iacentem visere regiam voltu sereno, fortis et asperas tractare serpentes, ut atrum corpore combiberet venenum,


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deliberata morte ferocior: saevis Liburnis scilicet invidens privata deduci superbo non humilis mulier triumpho.

Questions from the previous chapter, ‘Programmatic Narrative’, con­ tinue to be relevant: balancing the g ra n d e with the ten u e, rendering narrative into lyric, the relation of story to discourse. New questions are (more) political. Beyond stylistics, C. 1. 6 addresses praise. Horace’s disavowal of praising Agrippa (1-4) and Augustus (11-12) in G 1. 6 states overtly the practical problem confronted in C. 1. 37. In archaic lyric, narrative lends praise to a victor, by recounting his deeds, or indirectly through myth. This ode narrates to a remarkable degree, and alone in the first collection ostensibly celebrates a victory of Caesar. The victory was one in a civil war, and the reference to Varius’ T h yestes at C. 1. 6. 8, which was performed at Augustus’ triple trium ph in celebration of this victory among others, reveals the concern about the relation of art to propaganda. After disavowing Caesar’s praise in C. 1. 6, does Horace praise him here? Answers are divided. Putnam states the ‘pessimistic’ hypothesis (1990: 234): Cleopatra’s ‘heroic suicide and final refusal to be con­ veyed in a Roman’s proud triumph’ is a ‘reminder that the individual can still stand up to Rome, and be glorified through a lyric poet’s candor’.3 The primacy of the individual against institutionalized power is a cornerstone of anti-imperialistic criticism. The standard counter-argument is that exalting the defeated enemy likewise exalts the victor, consequently praise of Cleopatra further enhances the praise of Caesar. Fraenkel (1957: 160): ‘you ought not to humiliate your defeated enemy, . . . by trying to degrade him you will in fact degrade yourself.’ Davis’s argument starts from this premiss (1991: 233-42). Cleopatra’s upgrading from d e tr a c ta n d a to la u d a n d a makes her a worthy adversary, contrary to her initial manifestation; Caesar’s role in her education redounds to his credit. My answer, I fear, is not clear-cut. Such questions bring me very quickly to aporia— a response elevated poetry often demands in the face of moral issues, particularly when political. On the one hand, the ode’s celebration of victory is irreducible; on the other, I will argue that civil war keeps erupting in the poem in various ways. Civil war explodes divisions into clear-cut categories.

(C. i.


N ow it is time to drink, now with free foot / to pound the earth, now was the time / to hurry and spread the gods’ couch / with the Salian feast, companions. / Before it was wrong to bring the Caecuban / from the ancestral cellar, while the queen / prepared crazed ruin for the Capitoline / and death to empire / with her sick flock o f foul / men only in illness, out of control / to hope for anything and drunk / on sweet fortune. But / scarcely one ship safe from the flames / lessened her fury and Caesar pressing with oars / brought her mind, crazed with Mareotic, / back to true fears, / like the eagle the soft doves / or the swift hunter the hare / in the fields o f snowy Haemonia, / so as to give chains / to the monstrous portent; she, who / seeking to die more nobly feared / the sword not like a woman and / chose not the hidden shores over the swiff fleet, / dared with calm face even to see / her palace lying in ruin, brave at handling / rough snakes, to drink their / black venom into her body, / more fierce through deliberate death, / indeed begrudging the cruel Liburnian ships / to be led, she, a private woman / not humble, in proud triumph. Repugnance and fascination are the twin poles of the process in which a political imperative to reject and eliminate the debasing ‘low’ conflicts powerfully and unpredictably with a desire for the Other. (Stallybrass and White (1986) 4-5)

Horace’s ‘Cleopatra Ode’ is one of his most narrative poems. The sequence of action verbs in the perfect and the sweep of the latter two-thirds of the poem in a single period (from line 12 on) creates excitement and elevates the tone.1 The story is charged: Cleopatra’s attempts against the Roman state and her transformation in defeat. The poem’s narrative character lends colouring from a range of other genres (epic, tragedy, dithyramb), and from the lyric high style of Pindar.12 In addition to everything else disavowed in C. 1. 6, Horace inches toward narrating the res g e sta e (‘accomplishments’) of Caesar. 1 Syndikus (1972) 333-6; Fraenkel (1957) 160. Pöschl (1991) ιο ί sees the ode as a single period in three parts. 2 Epic: (or Pindar) Fraenkel (1957) 160; tragedy: Leeman (1985); dithyramb: A. Hardie (1976); Pindar (=epinician): Syndikus (1972) 333-4; Macleod (1982) with a trace o f dithyramb. Each designation has its own validity; together they constitute the high style.

3 Seth Benardete suggests to me another pessimistic reading. Non applies to every word in the last line: she is not humble, she is not a woman, it was not a triumph.

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M y th a n d H is to r y

strange monsters, / . . . We saw the tawny Tiber, / its waves violently hurled back from the Etruscan bank, / go overthrow the king’s monuments / and Vesta’s temple, / while he boasts he is Ilia’s avenger / — she who complains too much— and wanders and slips / over the left bank, without Jupiter’s approval, / an uxorious river. / He will hear that citizens sharpened the sword, / by which the grievous Parthians would better have died, / he, the youth made rare / — his parents’ fault— will hear o f battles.

Horace turns one of the seminal events of contemporary history into myth (Pöschl 1991: 87). R es gesta e and mythos coincide. What startles about this miniature epic/drama is that it depicts not ancient history embellished over time, but something recent.4 Horace consistently mythologizes the representation of contemporary events, especially those revolving around Augustus. This technique transforms the con­ tingent and transient here and now into a more idealized time frame.5 A prime instance of mythologized history, also civil war, is the opening of C. 1. 2. Iam satis terris nivis atque dirae grandinis misit pater et rubente dextera sacras iaculatus arces terruit urbem, terruit gentis, grave ne rediret saeculum Pyrrhae nova monstra questae, . . .


vidimus flavom Tiberim retortis litore Etrusco violenter undis ire deiectum monumenta regis templaque Vestae, Iliae dum se nimium querenti iactat ultorem, vagus et sinistra labitur ripa love non probante uxorius amnis, audiet civis acuisse ferrum, quo graves Persae melius perirent, audiet pugnas vitio parentum rara iuventus.


Already enough snow and dreadful sleet / has the Father sent to earth, and, by spearing / the sacred citadels with a flash o f his right hand, / frightened the city, / frightened the people: Pyrrha’s hard age / might return, she who lamented 4 Aeschylus’ Persians— itself an anomaly— is analogous not only in its sympathy for the defeated enemy, but in treating contemporary history. 3 Although treatment o f contemporary history was prevalent in Roman epic, the lack o f extant exemplars makes it impossible to know what solutions poets found to the problem of contemporary representation. Perhaps the transformation of known events into myth was less strange to them than to us, but the consistency with which Horace and Vergil displace direct representation o f the contemporary (temporally, through focus on the enemy, refraction through another medium such as ecphrasis or another’s writing) suggests aesthetic difficulty. Cicero’s consulatus suus adds the anomaly of self-praise.


Jupiter’s bad weather and the Tiber’s misbehaviour appear unm oti­ vated until line 21, when the poet says future generations will hear of civil war. Even then, we must put two and two together. The fear of a return to the age of Pyrrha (5-6), the Tiber’s sudden decision to avenge Ilia’s drowning centuries after the fact (13-20), retroject us into the mythic past (White 1993: 179), and occlude the recent tur­ moil. Narration takes place through strictly symbolic gestures. Meteor­ ological disturbance, as often, signifies political disorder, but Jupiter’s hurling of snow, hail, and thunderbolts, and the Tiber’s overflowing do not narrate the civil wars, but substitute for narrative. Prayer (p r e ­ ca m u r ; cwe pray’, 30) reconnects us with the present, but while it might make more sense to pray that the gods let C a esa r end civil war (as in Vergil, G eorgies 1. 500-1: h u n c saltern everso iu v e n e m su ccu rrere saeclo / n e p ro h ib e te . At least do not prevent this youth from succouring a century overturned’), the poet asks which god will save Rome ( cu i d a b it p a r tis scelus e x p ia n d i / Iu p p iter? cTo whom will Jupiter give the part of expiating crime?’ 29-30). Myth supplants history, and Caesar fully enters the poem only in the last line, when it turns out that Mercury may come in his guise: te duce, C a e sa r (52). In the next poem, the relevance of the entirely mythic narrative is obscure. The protagonist has no name, but an im portant character­ istic: illi ro b u r e t aes trip le x / circa p e c tu s erat, q u i fr a g ile m tru c i / c o m m is it p e la g o ra te m / p rim u s, ‘he had wood and triple bronze, around his chest, who first entrusted his fragile raft to the harsh sea’, C. i. 3. 9-12. The story revolves around the transgression of boundaries (sea-faring, Daedalus’ flying, Hercules’ breaking through to Acheron) and daring (a u d a x , ‘bold’, 25 and 27 ). The poem’s final lines draw the point with the first person plural: ca elu m ip s u m p e tim u s s tu ltitia n eq u e / p e r n o stru m p a ti m u r scelus / ira c u n d a lo v e m p o n e re fu lm in a , ‘we seek the very sky in our stupidity and do not allow Jupiter to lay down his angry bolts through our crime’ (38 - 40 ). Jupiter’s lightning bolts in the previous poem and scelus (crime), often of civil war, reveal the context (West 1995: 17). Allegory displaces any historical content.


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C. i. 37, though less symbolic and abstract than C. 1.2 and 1.3, hardly narrates history any more ‘naturalistically’ (NH 1970: 407-11; Syndikus 1972: 336-7; Paladini 1958). Antony drops out of the picture. Two years, 31 and 30 Be, condense into three scenes (threat, conflict and chase, defeat) following smoothly one on the other. Reference to Octavian’s triumph in 29 bc broadens the time frame beyond the events represented in the ode, since the poet purportedly celebrates in immediate response to Cleopatra’s death. Formally this smoothness relies on selective focus (forgoing the unmotivated detail of realism), and the enjambment of long periods (C. 1. 37. 12-13, 21-2; Syndikus 1972: 334). Certain aspects confute the Tacts’ as known from Dio and Plutarch, and elevate falsely on both sides (NH 1970: 408-10): Caesar did not pursue Cleopatra himself; she did plan to hide her fleet until thwarted by logistics; her palace did not collapse physically; the snakes’ historicity is tenuous. These dispa­ rities between historical ‘reality’ and its representation turn history into myth. Feeney’s cautions about reading epic also pertain to lyricized history: ‘A special handicap for most moderns as readers of ancient epic is our insensible assumption of the naturalistic novel as the norm for narrative— a norm which itself often remains unexamined, since classicists tend to assume that naturalism is “natural”’ (1991: 43). Horace does for Cleopatra what Homer did for the Trojan War.6

If exaltation into myth is poetry’s job, this poem nevertheless sur­ prises on two counts: in being a lyric elevation of the c o n tem p o ra ry. When Horace identifies the subjects appropriate to lyric in C. 1. 6, we hardly anticipate that ‘c o n v iv ia ’ and ‘p r o e lia v ir g in u m ’ (17) will take the form of a victory party celebrating a defeated queen.

myth was often regarded . . . as the distinctive adornment which a poet used to transform his kernel o f historical raw material into a true epic, with the true epic qualities of grandeur, emotional impact, and elevation: ‘so, taking the Trojan war, which actually happened, he adorned it with his manufacturing of myths— and he did the same to the wandering o f Odysseus’ (. . . Str. 1. 2. 9). Such an attitude goes back at least to Thucydides, who speaks o f Homer adorning his poetry with a view to exaggeration as a result o f being a poet (1. 10. 3). It is canonized in the Hellenistic apotheosis o f Homer: the relief of Archelaus o f Priene shows the figures o f Myth and History sacrificing at an altar before the divine figure o f Homer. . . . the quintessence o f the epic effect qua epic was felt to be located in the mythic elements which were imposed upon the ‘facts’ o f history and tradition. (Feeney (1991) 45) 6 And what Vergil did for Rome’s early history—though it may look the other way around: mythic elevation lends historicity to a murky tradition. The Aetieid was an exception in Roman epic in that its main subject and temporal point o f reference is the mythic past. Earlier Roman epics were historical, see White’s (1993) 78-82 survey. Ennius’ Annales grounds Roman history in myth, but very quickly brings it up to date— the usual scheme in the historiography o f his day, e.g. Cato’s Origines. Or if they were mythic, as in Livius Andronicus’ Odyssia or Varro Atacinus’ Argonautae, they were ‘translations’.

F oreign W a r /C iv il W a r

The erasure of Antony in favour of the dazzling Cleopatra transforms the battle of Actium from internal to external conflict, from civil war to foreign war.7 ‘No one would guess, from reading this poem, that this had been primarily a civil war’ (Nussbaum 1971: 92). Maybe no one would guess, but everyone nevertheless kn ow s. This shift in perspective is not entirely Horace’s doing, but reflects the terms of the war, or—to be less neutral—the terms of Octavian’s propaganda. We know from Plutarch (A n to n y 60. 1) and Dio (50. 4. 4) that the senate declared war against Cleopatra and not Antony, whose supporters had already joined him in the East. ‘The new war was not going to be a civil war’ (Eder 1990: 100; bibliography at Ahi 1984: 44 n. 7). Such circum­ stances facilitate Antony’s eclipse. Still, the choice was the poet’s: Vergil mentions Antony by name in his Actium scene (A e n . 8. 685). Horace’s suppression of civil war supports on the face of things the optimistic position: he accepts the party line. The very first line, however, reinscribes civil war through allusion to Alcaeus. The motto serves a number of purposes. It grounds a heavily narrative, epicizing poem in the lyric tradition by enacting a moment of celebration and by citing a foundational lyric predecessor.8 The citation also offers precedent for a historically contingent lyric. ‘Nunc est bibendum’ (i) translates ν ΰ ν χ ρ η μ ε θ ύ σ θ η ν (now it is neces­ sary to get drunk’, Alcaeus 332) and occasionality enters with the next clause: erret 8η κ ά τ θ α ν ε Μ ν ρ σ ιλ ο ς (‘since Myrsilus is dead’). ‘The educated reader, who knows the Greek original, will understand that the tyrant is dead’ (NH 1970: ad loc.). Alcaeus justifies a political lyric, but historical differences also gain salience through the implicit comparison. Both poems respond to the 7 This transformation answers the wish closing C. 1. 35, two poems previous: o utinam nova / incude diffingas retusum in / Massagetas Arabasque ferrum (Ό, would that you forge against the Massagetae and the Arabs, our blunted sword on a new anvil’, 38-40). 8 Williams (1968) 754 lists Horatian techniques for personalizing otherwise imperso­ nal compositions, including, as here, preparing for celebration.

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success, whether momentary or more permanent, of one aristocratic faction in an in te rn a l political dispute.9 This fact has not received sufficient recognition. Although b e llu m civ ile is a very Roman concep­ tion, the competition between aristocrats that set it in motion had Greek precedent.101*Between Alcaeus and Horace, however, the poet’s relation to power shifted. For Alcaeus, as a prominent member of one of the aristocratic factions, public and private celebration coincide: his poetry advertises his allegiances q u a political agent. Horace approx­ imates his predecessor’s political engagement by addressing his sodales (4), the political equivalent of έ τ α ΐρ ο ι (‘companions’) and the poetic of φ ίλ ο ι (‘friends’), and by calling for a lec tiste rn iu m (‘supplication to the gods’, 2-4), but Horace celebrates in private and is no political player.11 Still, his poetry’s political role reaches beyond his own engagement. On the one hand, he links himself to the victorious party by adopting the mantle of spokesman: Horace reflects Octavian’s propaganda in pro­ jecting the civil power struggle onto the legitimating sphere of foreign conflict. On the other, Horace cites Alcaeus’ engagement; the allusion reminds us the dispute is internal.

aorist, engenders an occasional celebration. Horace likewise posits the occasion’s historicity: tricolonic n u n c (1-2) contrasts emphatically with the stanza-initial a n te h a c (5). Imperfects and perfects tell the story: p a r a b a t (8), m in u it (12), re d e g it (15), d a r e t (20), e x p a v it (23), r e p a r a v it (24). Historical contingency, for Horaee at any rate, is, how­ ever, only half the story. The very allusion to Alcaeus inscribes the potential repetition of such events on a textual level. The ‘now’ of Alcaeus, while individual and transient, nevertheless returns as the equally transient ‘now’ of Horace. But the immediate shift from pre­ sent esito the imperfect te m p u s e ra t even within the times governed by n u n c (1-4) reveals lyric time’s transience—and lack of uniformity. The choice of the moment of celebration is a powerful lyric marker; the events are not presented strictly on their own, but filtered through the iterable symposium and the poet’s location in a particular now’. The weird conjunction of n u n c with er a t (2-4), however, warns against trying too hard to extricate lyric from historical temporality (a differ­ ent view in NH ad loc.). History has repeated itself; the poetic situation remains the same. What is the difference? Occasionally demands a narration of the occasion’s cause. The story told and the narrating discourse elevate— crucial for transforming history into myth—but Horace at the same time limits the high style on both fronts. After the initial lyric grounding, the symposium fades as we become involved in narrative tenses. As often when short poems narrate, the full story is told backwards: here the celebration, logically subsequent to Cleopatra’s death, takes a prior position. The choice of a temporal adverb ( d u m , 6) over a causal n a m (‘for’) occludes the narrative’s explanatory function, but it nevertheless belongs to the large class wherein a poet begins with the present and offers the past as justifica­ tion.13 The d u m clause provides the background in the imperfect to

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For Alcaeus as for Horace, a non-repeatable, historical event causes the ‘now’ of the particular symposium. Myrsilus’ death, closed in the 9 See Page (1955) 149-243 for Lesbos’ history. Nadeau (1980) 206 calls attention to the reminiscence o f republican slogans in Alcaeus’ song at C. 2. 13. 31 (pugnas et exactos tyrannos), a sign that Horace drew the parallel. 10 Bellum civile by definition occurs between citizens. Slave revolts and the Social Wars may have been comparable internal disturbances, but it is particularly rivalry among citizens to the detriment o f the state that constitutes civil war. Horace makes the comparison in C. 3. 14, when he orders the slave-boy to fetch a wine-jar dating from the Marsian War, if one escaped Spartacus (17-20), and alludes as well to Philippi, even though technically only the latter was civil war. These references bring together Italian disturbances in contrast to the present peace, symbolized by Augustus’ successful return home from waging war abroad in Spain. For the distinction o f sociale from civile warfare, Florus, Epist. 2. 6 (3. 18. 1) is indicative: sociale bellum vocetur licet, ut extenuemus invidiam, si verum tamen volumus, illud civile bellum fu it (‘it is allowed that it be called war “among allies”, to lessen the harm, but if we desire the truth, however, that war was civil’). The difference between the Roman and the Greek situations resides in a stronger Roman conception o f the state. 11 On Horace’s awareness o f the difference between his aristocratic predecessor and his own status as freedman’s son, Feeney (1993) 53. For the controversy over whether the celebration is public or private, Pöschl (1991) 76-8: ‘Eine scharfe Grenze zwischen öffentlich und privat kann man da vielleicht gar nicht ziehen’ (78). Horace conflates a difference that existed for him, but simply did not for Alcaeus— with a different result.


12 Narrative’s function as explanation is standard procedure for rhetorically motivated poetry. Some examples from Catullus are poem 35, where nam explains the girl’s love for Caecilius in a sentence articulated by temporal markers (quo tempore . . . ex eo, ‘from which time . . . from that time’, 13-15); poem 36, where nam introduces the narrative section (3-10) explaining why Volusius’ Annales are invited to discharge a vow; poem 44, nam explains how the poet caught his cold (narrative from xo to 1j). Quinn (1989) puts the latter two narrative sections in parentheses, as if they were not essential to the present m oment of utterance, in 36 a request, in 44 a thanksgiving in prayer form. Both poems have inanimate addressees, Volusius’ Annales and the poet’s farm, which demonstrates the strength of the need for a rhetorical ground to utterance. Much o f these poem s’ wit derives from their unconventional addressees; a ‘naturalistic’ account in chronological order would destroy not only their charm, but their readability.


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the highlighted perfect tense events: the chase and suicide of Cleopa­ tra. Such a sequence of perfects is unusual in Horace, but unlike what is called lyric narrative’ in Homer and Pindar (Slater 1983; Köhnken 1983), ring composition does not close the circle.13 As in C. 1. 7 and 1. 8, ending the poem with the end of the narration forgoes closure; we become engrossed with the story and ‘forget’ the poet is speaking. The effect of such an open ending is sublime, and here disturbing, since the poet does not authorize a single interpretation of Cleopatra’s death. Lyricizing techniques temper the expansive event by event narration of epic or history. The extension of sentences through appositional adjectives leaves the narrative tenses behind and condenses the action. Adjectives and participles, some introducing infinitives, are piled up one after another in lieu of finite verbs ( in p o te n s . . . -q u e . . . ebria, 10-12; au sa e t . . . visere, fo r tis e t . . . tra cta re , . . . ferocior , . . . in v id e n s . . . d ed u ci, 25-31). These colourful adjectives modify the queen. Caesar likewise has a participial clause a d u rg en s (17) and expansion in simile (17-20), but none of the words attaching to him indicates character. Comparison to a hawk suggests decisiveness, swiftness, and nobility, but his action itself is not modified by adjectives or adverbs, so that his depiction is neat and clear. The device of adjective plus infinitive achieves particular effect in the last two stanzas. The lack of a finite verb turns Cleopatra into an icon or spectacle at the moment of death.14 Her actions (the infinitives) depend on her state (adjectives). Emphasis falls on the character that generates the actions, and the effect is more stative than narrative. Negation in the final line com­ plicates the visual effect. We first see Cleopatra gazing calmly (v o ltu sereno, 26) at her ruined palace, then handling the snakes, then n o t being led in a triumphal procession. We see her dying, but not dead. Other lyricizing devices also resist narrative understood narrowly as a series of action verbs. The relative pronoun {q u a e ), which continues the narrative at line 21 and refocuses our attention on Cleopatra after the similes, is a Pindaric gesture (Davis 1991: 240). As is narrative compression; selective focus does not begin at Alexandria, but goes back to Pindar and archaic lyric. By concentrating such diverse events into a single compass, Horace eliminates the extra details that consti­ tute realism. The chase symbolizes Cleopatra’s fear and her reversal in

fortune; her death heroizes. The streamlining of events into crystal­ lized, but sequential images, effects a compromise between the tableau and the verbal equivalent of a rolling camera.15


13 The CatuUan inset narratives cited above all close before the poem’s end, where the rhetorical context returns. 14 Compare the visual effect o f the final stanza o f C. i. 9, where the lack o f finite verb (technically in repetantur, 20) allows for the freezing o f an image.

T h e S to r y

Despite the clear sequence of actions and their easy summary (the poet celebrates freedom now that the queen, who threatened the city, is defeated; Caesar chased her; she killed herself), it is difficult to say not what the story is, but what it is about. The poem does not represent the battle of Actium, but it hardly represents anything else. A repre­ sentation of Actium should, according to naturalistic convention, show a naval battle between Antony and Octavian, with focus on the latter. Such is Vergil’s version, though hardly naturalistic.1*5 Instead, Antony disappears, and Octavian is not the protagonist. What purpose does the focus on Cleopatra serve that a conventional battle scene could not meet? Charles Martindale gives a sample fem­ inist reading (also Wyke 1992: 106-12): The Ode attempts to fix the meaning of Actium in the West in terms of social, racial and sexual ideologies. Libertas resides with the victory o f Caesar. The omission o f other leading participants foregrounds the opposition between woman and man, the queen o f Egypt and Rome’s leader, the latter an embodi­ ment of virtus (the quality o f being a vir). Cleopatra thus becomes the O ther’ in terms o f both race and sex. (1993: 12)

What does this mean given this poem’s suppression of civil war? The substitution of foreign war for civil war replaces a conflict between likes with one between radical others.17 Instead of two rational male Roman aristocrats, the figure of Cleopatra allows a more clear-cut opposition: male versus female, Roman versus Egyptian, rational ver­ sus irrational, civilized versus barbarian.18 In the images projected on 15 The many film versions all tend to epic scale ( Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton lasts four hours). A film o f this poem would hardly last twenty minutes. 16 Propertius, like Horace, leaves Antony out, and focuses on Cleopatra (4. 6. 21-2, 63-6), although he is not loath to m ention Antony’s suicide as an Augustan victory (3. 9. 56). Ovid makes Cleopatra the subject o f defeat, but slips mention o f Antony in as well under the anonymous R om an i. . . ducis (‘Roman leader’, Met. 15. 826). 17 At Epodes 7. 12, another civil war poem, Horace tells us that violence is not the custom o f wolves or lions nisi in dispar (‘except against the unlike’). 18 The poets emphasize her Egyptian aspect to make her more exotic and foreign than, as a Macedonian by descent and Greek by culture, she really was. Mareotico (14), Aegyptia coniarne (Vergil, Aen. 8. 688), coniunx Aegyptia and Canopo (Ovid, Met. 15. 826-8), Nilum (Propertius 4. 6. 63) all underscore Egypt.


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both sides, Antony was already associated with Bacchus, effeminacy, intemperance, and the East (P. Zänker 1988: 33-77). The substitution makes the imagery all the more clear. Cleopatra is crazed, female, barbarian, Egyptian—the very icon of the Other. Her prominence as the enemy comforts, because in such a series of dichotomies we know which side to be on, whereas in civil war one side of the dichotomy looks like the other. How to choose?19 Such is the situation when Cleopatra threatens the Capitoline. By the end of the poem, however, Cleopatra has undergone a transforma­ tion that upsets these clean-cut dichotomies. We return to the old chestnut: to what extent does Cleopatra’s transformation redeem her? to what extent does her heroization undermine the celebration of Caesar’s victory? If Cleopatra initially masks civil war with a series of clear dichotomies that provide an icon of foreign war, what happens to the discourse of praise when the dichotomies break down? Let us look more closely at the text. Cleopatra changes from a regina (7), drunk on sweet fortune ( 11-12), -in the throes of immoderate hope (ίο - n ) and fu r o r (12), surrounded by a flock of men of questionable sexuality (9-10) to something of a Stoic hero who looks on ruin v o ltu seren o (26); though v ic ta she becomes in v ic ta through the mastery of her own death. She is comparable to the iu s tu m e t ten a cem p ro p o s iti v ir u m (The just man, who holds to his purpose’) of the opening of C. 3 .3 , whom ruin will strike in p a v id u m (unafraid, 8). Conflict with a real v ir —no eunuch he—impels the reversal. From drunk, she becomes sober and brave (fo r tis , 26, d elib era ta , 29); from barbarian, she becomes civilized, almost a philosopher ( v o ltu sereno, 26); Pöschl even suggests her noble suicide makes her Roman (1991: h i ) ; from female she becomes not female ( nec m u lieb riter, 22) and masters the phallus in the form of sword (23) and snakes (26-7); her masculinity compensates for the femininity of her male entourage (9-10); from regin a she becomes a p r iv a ta m u lie r (31-2). The close correspondence of reversed elements at the beginning and end of the poem creates density. Rather than narrative proper, the juxtaposition and reversal of certain categories tells the real story. Represented is a series of respects in which Cleopatra gains. She loses her life, and Martindale points out that there is no real way for women to win’ in this discourse (1993: 12-13), but given that she has lost, what does she gain? Or: what constitutes our admiration of her once transformed?

Cleopatra’s suicide conforms to the type of the noble death. Like the gladiator who earns nobility and admiration for dying willingly in the face of the inevitable, Cleopatra wins our awe.30 The paradox is that the dregs of. society, the most depraved, could show the utmost dis­ cipline and courage—the cherished values of the élite. Cleopatra also resembles the gladiator in that she has not only lost everything, but has passed outside the realm of ordinary humanity. The transition between her fury and her soberness is key. True fears correct her false hopes (in veros tim ores, 15) and she emerges from the two similes as a frightened animal (while Caesar, who enters as a noble animal, exits as a human ven ator, 19). This experience of fear does not subjugate her, but drives her beyond hope or fear: she emerges as something extra-human and implicated in death: fa ta le m o n s tru m (21 ).21 This phrase has caused much ink to flow (Mench 1972; Luce 1963), but I think the relation of our admiration for Cleopatra to her departure from humanity has not been sufficiently explored. Once she passes to the other side, we look on her with a d m ira tio , with awe and respect, but also with dread and horror for her self-mastery in defeat, her nobility within depravity. I make the parallel with the gladiator because he is one of a number of figures that inspires this paradoxical response, and we can see the paradox better in a context removed from our preconceptions about this poem. Cleopatra’s death differs from the gladiator’s because it is a suicide, but it is all too easy to whitewash the horror of the noble death with philosophical acceptance. Another parallel is Horace’s Regulus. Characteristic of all is their removal from human society before the ‘moment of truth’. The gladiator takes a horrible oath that separates him from ordinary men and places him among the depraved (u ri, vin c iri, verberari, fe r ro q u e n ecari p a tio r, T suffer to be burned, bound, flogged, and killed by the sword’, Barton 1993: 14 with n. 11). Regulus insists on his own removal from society as a prisoner of war—the d e m in u tio c a p itis (loss of civil rights)—and refuses for that reason to embrace his wife and children: fe r tu r p u d ic a e con iu gis o scu lu m / p a r -

19 See Henderson (1987) 150 on the likeness o f the civil opponent.

20 Barton (1993) 15-25: the gladiator serves as a model for the ‘good man in Seneca, but even Cicero mixes admiration with his contempt {Tusc. Disp. 2. 17. 41). Henderson (1987) 150 warns against taking too far the gladiator analogy in civil war: gladiators were equipped with different weapons and were often o f different nationalities. 21 For the monstrum as contrary to nature, TLL viii. 1446. Doves and hares are paradigms of fear which answer veros timores (15), but they also signify, in conjunction with monstrum, non-hum an. The alternative to being human is to be an animal or a god, Arist. P ol I. 1253*3-6, 28-9; Vernant in Vernant and Vidal-Naquet (1972) 122-30 on Soph. OT; Feeney (1991) 159-60. Passing out o f humanity to divinity or animal status is tragic.


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v o sq u e n atos, u t ca p itis m in or, / a b se rem o visse (‘He is said to have averted, because a hostage, his chaste wife’s kiss and his small children’, C. 3. 5. 41-3).22 Cleopatra’s metamorphosis from queen to m o n stru m takes her out of humanity—a tragic movement exemplified by Oedipus’ fall from king to scapegoat, who must be driven into exile for the purification of the city (Burkert 1979: 72; Vernant in Vernant and Vidal-Naquet 1972: 122—30). The gladiator terrifies because he has accepted inevitable death as the precondition for his remaining life. Regulus inspires awe not simply because of his fearlessness in the face of incipient torture (49-50), but because he has chosen it this way. Cleo­ patra likewise seeks her death: p e r ir e qu a eren s (22). The adverb qualify­ ing this phrase is gen erosiu s (21)—she seeks a more noble death—but like Regulus and the gladiator, she already lies within death’s realm. She is fa ta lis not because she is fated but because she wreaks destruction.23 These parallels underscore her passage to a special area on the border of humanity in the context of which her suicide should be understood. We admire something supernatural, a m o n stru m . Pöschl collects parallels for m o n s tru m (1991: 91), to show against Luce (1963) that the wonder involved is inherently negative. Both cite Cicero on Catiline: n eq u e ego u m q u a m fu isse ta le m o n s tru m in terris

speech on Spurius Maelius, who paid for his attempt at tyranny with his life: n on p r o scelere id m a g is q u a m p r o m o n stro h a b e n d u m , nec sa tis

u llu m p u to , ta m ex c o n tra riis d iv e rsisq u e a tq u e in te r se p u g n a n tib u s

(‘and I think there has never been such a freak on earth, conflated from natural tastes and desires so contrary, and diverse, and fighting among themselves’, p r o C aelio 12). Two things stand out here for Cleopatra. The paradox in te r se p u g ­ n a n tib u s (‘fighting among themselves’) applies to civil strife, and Catiline’s threat is internal. Cicero specifies as much, again with n a tu r a e s tu d iis c u p id ita tib u s q u e c o n fla tu m

m o n s tr u m : n u lla ia m p e rn ic ie s a m o n stro illo a tq u e p ro d ig io m o e n ib u s

(‘now no harm from that freak will be devised against the very walls, within the walls’, in C at. 2. 1). Emphasis on the walls shows that part of Catiline’s monstrosity is that the enemy is not outside, but inside.24 Livy also offers parallels in Cincinnatus’ ip sis in tra m o e n ia c o m p a r a b itu r

On the deminutio capitis o f prisoners o f war. Kiessling and Heinze (1917) ad loc.; Kornhardt (1954). 23 N H (1970) C. i. 37. 21: ‘“bringing doom ” rather than “sent by the fates”.’ But she brings doom mostly to herself. 24 The same motifs, monstrum, walls, and internal strife, accrue to Lucius and Marcus Antonius: monstra quaedam ista et portenta sunt et prodigia rei publicae, moveri sedibus huic urbi melius est atque in alias, si fieri possit, terras demigrare, . . . quam illos . . . intra haec moenia videre (‘They are freaks, portents, prodigies o f the state. It would be better for this city to move and migrate, if possible, to other lands than to see them inside these walls’, Cic. Phil. 13. 49).

esse sa n g u in e eiu s e x p ia tu m , n isi tecta p a rie te sq u e in tra q u a e ta n tu m a m e n tia e c o n c e p tu m esset d is sip a r e n tu r (‘This should be considered not so much a crime, as a freak of nature, nor that sufficient expiation has been made with his blood, unless the roof and walls, between which such madness was conceived, are destroyed’, 4. 15. 7—8)·25 Maelius sought rule (d e regno agitare, ‘agitate for rule’, 4. 13. 4), he was a threat to the res p u b lic a (‘state’) which was averted by v ir tu s (‘m anhood’). Cincinnatus, who was made dictator to avert the threat, congratulated his master of the horse, Servilius Ahala, on killing Maelius: tu m d ic ta to r ‘M a c te v ir tu te ’, in q u it,

‘C. S ervili, esto lib e ra ta re p u b lica ’

(‘Then the dictator said, “Congratulations, Servilius, for liberating the state’”, 4. 14. 7).26 Cincinnatus’ calling for expiation of the m o n ­ stru m and the destruction of his house implies that Maelius was sacer (‘object of religious awe’; Ogilvie 1965: 550; Weissenborn and Müller 1965: 4.15.7). Cleopatra’s story contains aspects of this pattern of internal disruption: a regina’s (‘queen’s’) threat to the lib erta s (‘free­ dom’) of the republic is averted by v ir tu s (‘manhood’). As m o n s tru m she is something like sacra, if not technically so. Horace represents her regia (‘palace’) as destroyed (25), although it was not, for symbolic reasons: the would-be tyrant’s house, her domain, falls. The m o n s tru m is paradox, in te r se p u g n a n s. The position of f a ta le m o n s tru m (21) is important—at the pivot between Cleopatra’s two manifestations. Cleopatra transformed calls into question the dichoto­ mies she initially represents. Whereas first the division into male/ female, civilized/barbarian, crazed/philosophical, Egyptian/Roman seemed clear-cut, in the final three stanzas, she has apparently crossed to the other side of each dichotomy. But she cannot fully become a man, or civilized, or a philosopher, or Roman; she rather straddles these dichotomies. From ‘other’ with respect to the dominant side of the dichotomies, so that fa ta le m o n s tru m (21) looks backward, she becomes ‘other’ with respect to the dichotomies themselves, a deeper 25 T his is the sole extant instance o f monstrum in Livy.

26 Ogilvie (1965) 550-1 questions the historicity o f the event. Cicero, who uses Maelius as an exemplum in the first Catilinarian, similarly emphasizes virtus: C. Servilius Ahala Sp. Maelium novis rebus studentem manu sua occidit, fuit, fu it ista quondam in hac re publica virtus ut viri fortes acrioribus suppliciis civem perniciosum quam acerbissimum hostem coercerent (‘Servilius killed Maelius, who was fomenting revolution, with his own hand. Gone, gone is that erstwhile m anhood in this state, so that brave m en punished a h a rm ful citizen with worse punishment than the fiercest external enemy’, in Cat. 1. 3).


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kind of paradox—f a ta le m o n s tru m looks forward. Syntax provides a link backwards, enjambment forwards.27 The choice of Cleopatra as a foreign substitute for a citizen enemy was predicated on her otherness. Her transformation reinscribes the very qualities she initially lacked that made her a good substitute. By the end of the poem, her reassur­ ing otherness becomes less so. Many readers of this ode see Cleopatra as completely rehabilitated in the last section and highlight certain key words: gen erosiu s, nec m u lieb riter, v o ltu sereno, fo rtis, d elib era ta , n o n h u m ilis (21-32). But against each of these can be set another key word that blurs the picture. Though she acts nec m u lie b r ite r (22) she is marked as m u lie r (32), a paradox contrary to her dismissive depiction in E podes 9 simply as fe m in a (R o m a n u s . . . e m a n c ip a tu s fe m in a e , ‘The Roman, freed from a woman, 11-12). She may look on ruin with the impassiveness of the philosopher ( v o ltu sereno, 2 6 ) and make rational decisions ( d e lib e ra ta , 29) but passion has not left her: in v id e n s (30), fe r o c io r (29). Her suicide m aybe noble (g en erosiu s, 21; n on h u m ilis 32), but she chooses barbaric means: ‘The tale of Cleopatra’s barbaric death was a godsend to Octavian’s propaganda; it provided the perfect confirmation of his own assessment’, NH (1970: 410). Snakes were associated with the cult of Isis and with Egyptian kings; death by snake-bite in Egyptian religion made you a god, but it was also the method of killing enemies and criminals.28 Cleopatra is again both royal and depraved, both in an Egyptian mode. The Roman (male) method of noble suicide was by the sword. The phrase nec m u lie b r ite r e x p a v it en sem (22-3) misleads us into thinking she commits a Roman suicide— then the snakes. Instead of a pure conflict between opposing categories— an icon of foreign war—the categories have become impure: male versus masculine female, civilized versus noble barbarian, Egyptian versus a Roman death with a smattering of Egyptian religion, control versus controlled madness. The foreign enemy displays in all the more terrifying guise aspects of the civil enemy we wanted to forget.

Barton makes some incisive remarks about the civil opponent (1993 : 184-5):

27 Although I make a divide between the two types of ways to be ‘other’, Cleopatra transgresses even these bounds. We cannot but retroject the end onto the opening of the story, when Cleopatra regina threatens the Capitoline in the company of ‘monstrous’ men. Desbordes (1979) 69 is indicative: she first cites 21-4 ( nec muliebriter) as evidence for Cleopatra as a sexual paradox, then suggests that Octavian’s intervention was required to bring her back to her veritable feminine status and cites 14-21 {in veros timores and mollis columbas). Cleopatra is too much to handle. 28 NH (1970) 410. On Cleopatra’s identification with Isis, and the negative connota­ tions o f this cult at Rome, Wyke (1992) 107.

dismay and confusion occurred when the opponent was too much like oneself, as occurred in civil war. In the ‘Saturnalia’ which was civil war, one’s opponent could not be sufficiently distinguished from oneself. Characteristic o f the civil war (as o f autocracy) was the absence o f the equal opponent, the simulta­ neously like and unlike. Now they fought with their slaves or with their brothers— or even with women, such as Cleopatra.

Barton slides—leaps?—from a civil opponent too much like oneself, to one too different: either brothers, or slaves and women.29 Those two extremes result when there is no equal foreign opponent.30 Cleopatra first appears as a clarifying screen for the civil war against Antony, but the need for such a screen reveals something is already drastically wrong. When Cleopatra goes from too unlike to uncannily like, she inverts the equal opponent: she is like and unlike, but in the wrong way. Some recent feminist criticism finds femininity to be ‘uncanny in that it is not the opposite of masculinity but that which subverts the very opposition of masculinity and femininity’ (Felman 1981: 42). Cleopatra subverts not just the masculine/feminine dichotomy, but all the others informing this poem. She represents the breakdown of categories in civil war. I would say the ode’s story is not what happens to Cleopatra, or even her psychological development. She figures the paradox of civil war. Weighted terms recall a story-pattern of internal disorder. These terms correspond across the different sections of the poem, creating a lyric density. ‘What happens’ is not the whole story.

S y m p a th y

The monstrous return of the civil opponent, like the allusion to Alcaeus’ engagement in internal strife, again suggests a ‘pessimistic’ interpretation: the poet undermines Caesar’s attempts to suppress civil war. This is, I think, a better reason for pessimism than the standard argument, namely that the poet directs our sympathies to Cleopatra. The sympathy argument need not be inconsistent with Cleopatra’s monstrosity: only once she achieves sufficient distance can we safely 29 War against slaves may not have been bellum civile, but her point about internal conflict still holds. 30 Barton (1993) 182-6: the unequal opponent devalues the victory.

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admire her— as we admire the repulsive gladiator who does not flinch. But the sympathy argument nevertheless remains strong, and must be taken into account. The question is how sympathy for the defeated works in the rhetoric of praise.3132 Two generic models govern sympathy for a defeated foe: epic and tragedy. For tragedy I will consider the sympathetic emotions of pity and fear. The epic model is the death of Hector. Can our sympathy for Hector be mapped onto Cleopatra through allusion? Not by chance does this argument resemble those about the death of Turnus. A shared simile draws a likeness between Cleopatra and Hector, the first of two in the double simile (17-20), which NH call ‘a piece of epic convention’ (1970: at C. 1. 37. 17). The hawk chasing doves goes back to I lia d 22, where the dove is singular, and has a long lineage in epic and tragedy (NH 1970: C. 1. 37. 17), the two genres to convey elevation in C. i. 6.

The chase, as distinguished from the catch, is also important for the hare simile. This bears a strong resemblance to one Horace had used before in S a tires 1. 2, which in turn alludes to Callimachus:

η ν re κίρκος ορεσφιν, ελα φ ρότα τος πετεη νώ ν, ρη ϊδίω ς ο ϊμη σε μ ετά τρη ρω να π ελεια ν, η δε θ' νπ α ιθ α φ ο β είτα ι, 6 δ’ ε γ γ ν θ ε ν οξύ λελη κ ώ ς τ α ρ φ ε’ επ α ΐσ σ ει, ελ εειν τ ε ε θυμός α νω γεί' (II. 22. 1 3 9 -4 2 )

As when a hawk in the mountains who moves lightest o f things flying / makes his effortless swoop for a trembling dove, but she slips away / from beneath and flies and he shrill screaming close after her / plunges for her again and again, heart furious to take her. (Lattimore 1951: ad loc.)

It is im portant that the simile depicts the chase and not the kill; a crucial difference between Octavian and Achilles is that the former did not catch his prey. In the poem, that is. In history Caesar and Cleopatra apparently met face to face at Alexandria (Plutarch, A n t. 83. 1). Accord­ ing to the predator/prey logic, however, the predator must kill the prey upon catching it. Since he does not kill her, the simile is confined to the chase, and as in the Homeric simile the hawk fails to catch its prey.33 31 I am sympathetic to Nussbaum’s (1981) 2127-33 interpretation, that we empathize not so much with Cleopatra herself as with the shifting Roman perceptions o f her according to the collective psychology of conflict and war. She progresses from threat, to hunted animal, to victim o f the destruction she formerly threatened, so that she finally ‘wears the aspect o f their own restored sense o f pride’ (2131). But I find it odd for him to accept the ostensible erasure o f civil war in this regard. 32 Mench (1972) 316 thinks Homer’s hawk catches the dove, but the tenses belie this. The aorist οΐμησε is a single action, then the presents φοβείται, επαΐσσει, and ανώγει indicate repeated actions, as in Lattimore’s (1951) translation above.

leporem venator ut alta in nive sectetur, positum sic tangere nolit’ cantat et apponit: ‘meus est amor huic similis, nam transvolat in medio posita et fugientia captat.’ (Sat. i. 2. 105-8) He sings how ‘the hunter pursues the hare / in the deep snow, but does not wish to touch the one set before him’ / and adds ‘my love is like him; for / it flies over what is available and snatches at what flees.’ Ώ γ ρ ε υ τ η ς , Έ π ίκ νδ ες, εν ονρεαι π ά ντα λα γω ό ν διφ ά κα ί π ά ση ς ίχνια δορκαλίδος στίβη κ α ί νιφ ετώ κεχρη μ ενος' ην δε τις εΐπ η “Τ η , τάδε β έβ λ η τ α ι θηρίον \ ο νκ ελα β εν. χ ο ύ μ ο ς ερως τοιοσ δε· τα μ εν φ εύ γο ντα δ ιώ κειν οΐδε, τα δ’ Ιν μ εσ σ ω κείμ ενα π α ρ π ετα τ α ι.

(Callimachus, Epigram 31 Pf) The hunter in the mountains, Epicydes, pursues every hare / and treads the traces o f every roe, / even in snow. If someone says, / ‘There, this beast has been hit’, he does not take it. / Even my love is like this: it knows to pursue what flees, / what lies in common it flies by.

The common terms between satire and ode are the hare, the hunter, and the snow, in that order. The commentaries under-represent this allusion.33 Presumably, the inappropriate love interest is edited out. Pöschl sanitizes it as a fine piece of Horatian adaptation: the erotic epigram is completely refitted to its new, epicizing context. What is the point? On a stylistic level, Horace balances a simile from a Homeric source with one from a Callimachean source. This corre­ sponds to the high-style refinement of the poem itself: it epicizes lyric. Furthermore, the suppression of eroticism in the allusion corresponds to a suppressed eroticism between Octavian and Cleopatra— m o llis (18) retains the trace.34 Ps.-Aero’s allegory of u n a sospes n a v is ab 33 The Satires reference is in Kiessling and Heinze (1917) ad loc. as evidence for the fact that chasing hares was a winter sport, hence the snow. See Pöschl (1991) 88-9; Cody (1976) 33; Lyne (1995) 182-3. 34 As may the hare, which was open to sexual construal, Adams (1982) 34; Otto (1971) 190-1.


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(13) as Octavian, who, unlike Julius Caesar and Antony, escaped her fiery passion, brings to the surface (however ridiculously) the sexuality of the poem’s conflict. Eroticism charges Cleopatra and Caesar less as individuals than as figures. Dido irresistibly parallels Cleopatra (see Leeman 1985: 233; Warde Fowler 1916: 40): each, a regin a from North Africa in the throes of fu ro r, commits suicide, and contributes to a major war because of a love-affair with an important Roman political figure. These sexual bombshells threaten the forces of order, pre-eminent among which is the Roman state. The Callimachus epigram also, I think, adds to the plot. The simile from I lia d 22 does not in itself tell us whether the chase succeeds, though the story’s outcome does. The comparison of Caesar to Achilles opens the possibility of remarking on Caesar’s failure to catch his prey. Pöschl suggests that the Thessalian snows (H a e m o n ia e , 20) reinforce the comparison with Achilles (1970: 86~ 8 ). The background of the Callimachus simile may also suggest that, as in love, the chase here counts more than the catch, and deflect potential criticism of Caesar. But reference to Thessaly, the area associated with Pharsalus, Philippi, and Actium, again brings up civil war, so that any deflection of criti­ cism cannot be pure. I say ‘may’ and T think’ because we cannot control allusive effects. This is true not just of this simile, but about how far we can transfer our sympathy from Hector to a situation modelled on his death. The optimism/pessimism debate often turns on this question. As the author of the Rhetoric to Alexander warns, you will always be able to refute someone else’s exemplum because most things are like in one respect and unlike in another.35 Allusion, like exemplification, opens possibilities of similarity and difference that can only be adjudicated by a standard of ‘good judgement’ to which I make no claim. But Hector fails as a totalizing aesthetic precedent in two respects. We sympathize with him from the beginning, whereas our sympathy for Cleopatra depends on a revision of an initial vilification. The parallel with Hector does not in itself create sympathy, but reinforces an already engaged sympathy. Furthermore the individual/state dichotomy informing the death of Cleopatra postdates Homer. Hector dies for his family, and the city—neither is coextensive with the state. Tragedy is rather the generic locus for the ethical problem of individual death for the well­ being of the state. ig n ib u s

35 Ch. i, under ‘Exemplary Relevance’.

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Leeman summarizes Cleopatra’s tragic features (1985: 233): she is first a victim of h ybris, ate, m a n ia , then sobered by a p e r ip e te ia and an an a g n o risis ( veros tim o re s 15), and finally rises to a tragic-heroic death, which inspires eleos and p h o b o s in the reader. It is common to cite Aeschylus’ P ersian s as a parallel for sympathy toward a defeated foreign enemy, as does Fraenkel (1957: 161). Sophocles’ A n tig o n e prefigures civil war, what happens when your p h ilo s is your enemy, the ‘foreign’ enemy is a brother, when the interests of the state and the individual are at odds. The parallels can be multiplied. Aristotle’s remarks about pity and fear may be helpful here, if not authoritative. In the P oetics, Aristotle dismisses the fall of the worthless man as a tragic plot because: ‘Such a course might indeed play upon our humane feelings, but it would not arouse either pity or fear; for our pity is awakened by undeserved misfortune, and our fear by that of someone just like ourselves . . .’ (1453*2-5; trans. Dorsch 1965: 48). Cleopatra certainly deserves her fate. Is Aristotle wrong to say that pity falls only to undeserved misfortune? The tragic topos of late learning counts against this.36 Davis’s interpretation uses the pattern of late learning (1991: 233-42). Cleopatra at first makes an error ( h a m a r tia ) in entertaining what Horace elsewhere calls spes lon ga —the hope for immortality that fails to understand the c o n v iv iu m : we must rejoice in full acceptance of death. Her drunkenness signals this misunderstand­ ing. Conflict with Octavian teaches: her anagnorisis via veros tim o res (15) results in her acceptance of death and correct drinking. The appropriate drink is not fortune, but poison ( a tr u m v e n e n u m , 27-8). Late learning is tragic but redemptive, and engenders sympathy, even for misfortune fully deserved. Aristotle does, however, have a point in that we feel pity only after the redemption. Identification—the requisite for fear—becomes complicated in Cleopatra’s case. At first she functions as a foreign enemy, someone whose otherness makes her a comfortable foe. Aristotle specifically says that there is nothing pitiable in act or intention when a man injures his enemy ( P oetics i453bis~ i9 ). If Caesar killed her, it would not be tragic. (What would Aristotle say about Turnus?) But in the last stanzas, where our sympathy comes into play, the paradox she embo­ dies is the result of civil war and cuts perhaps too close for comfort. To elicit tragic emotion Aristotle recommends that a p h ilo s harm or intend to harm a p h ilo s. Cleopatra kills herself, the person most 36 e.g. Creon in Antigone, he deserves his fate, but we feel pity when he admits error.


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H is to r y a n d Epic: C iv il W a r

'Philos’; she enacts civil war on herself, killing where philoi kill philoi. The noble suicide’ in itself offers a paradigm for civil war, and it is tragic. Pöschl claims that Cleopatra becomes ‘Roman (his quotation marks), through her noble death. He traces parallels for the noble death to show that it came ‘zu vollem Glanze’ in the civil wars. Cato is the paradigm (also Oliensis 1993), but Cicero also won nobility in death by leaning out of the litter and baring his throat to the sword (1991: 109-16). Her story bears traces of two different patterns of internal conflict: the Catiline type and the Cato type. In ‘becoming a Roman’, she becomes what she substitutes for. Although as Catiline, she is a threatening and internal disorder to be smashed, as Cato, her nobility poses a stumbling block for Caesar’s triumph. Again the question: does Cleopatra’s nobility in death threaten Caesar? First, the noble suicide is a double bind. Cleopatra’s nobility is predicated on this suicide. Suicide alone makes her noble, a paradox, a figure for civil war. As a last resort, it grants nobility only once all is lost. Secondly, this is a rare case where we have some evidence of (near) contemporary reception. Though Plutarch’s Caesar was vexed at her death, he marvelled at her nobility (e v y e v e ia v , A n to n y 86. 7). He gave her her due, though disappointed not to lead her alive in triumph. This is not the reaction of someone threatened. But the question is not history, or Plutarch’s version, but the poem’s ideology, and here, despite the failure to suppress civil war, despite the tragedy of Cleopa­ tra, and of civil war, I find it hard to say that Horace does not praise Caesar. His appearance in the ode is clean. He is not the aggressor, nor vindictive. His intervention brings things to a head. Without him, Cleopatra would fail the test of nobility. Furthermore, the poem’s ending compensates with its spectacle for the triumph over Cleopatra Caesar was unable to stage at Rome.37 I suggest that Cleopatra allows not so much for the suppression of civil war in accord with Caesarian propaganda, but for its transference onto her. Her palace collapses ( ia c e n te m reg ia m , 25) instead of the Capitoline. She becomes the paradoxical m o n s tru m in civil war’s stead. She kills herself in a classic gesture of civil war, in the place of Romans killing Romans. We can allow ourselves to feel the luxury of sympathy

for the enemy’s tragic fall, something that would be too painful to contemplate were, say, Antony’s suicide depicted, but by playing the part of the Roman, Cleopatra effectively displaces this pain and allows us to come to terms with it. Plutarch recognizes Cleopatra’s role as substitute. When she prays to his ashes before killing herself, she asks: μ η δ ’ i v €μ οΙ π € ρ ά δ η ις θ ρ ια μ β ζ ν ό μ ζ ν ο ν σ ζ α ν τ ό ν (‘May you not see yourself triumphed over in me’, A n to n y 84. 7). Tragic sympathy can destroy aesthetic distance, if the sufferer comes too close. The same audience that sympathized with the Persians they themselves defeated when Aeschylus’ P ersian s was performed, could not bear Phrynichus’ C a p tu re o f M ile tu s, since it represented the fall of a friendly state. Phrynichus was fined a thousand drachmas, and the Athenians ordered that the play never again be performed (Herodotus 6. 21). Cleopatra succeeds as a trope because the internal paradox is projected onto someone whose self-contradiction in death makes her ‘other’ in an even more potent way than as a simple, crazed, Egyptian queen. We view ourselves in this distorted mirror of otherness with wonder and horror; she reflects the side of our national soul we want to suppress. We pity her suicide, even as it relieves us. Her death is tragic because it is necessary and horrifying: the embodiment of civil war ( m o n s tr u m ) expiates itself in death. We fear not because it could happen to us personally, but because it has happened to us (as Romans) nationally. Cleopatra dazzles. Her eroticism entices precisely because of the political imperative to subjugate her. Her attractions do not discredit the subjugator, but may rub off on him. A queen, after all, requires a king. This is the price Octavian, and we, must pay for victory.

i6 o

37 Wyke (1992) 105 and 114 suggests something similar o f Propertius 3. 11. The poetic versions function as substitutes, like the simulacrum o f the dead Cleopatra led in the actual procession, Plutarch, Ant. 86, Dio 51. 21. 7-8.

P oetics

This poem, like Cleopatra, is a paradox. Stylistically it flouts the terms of the programme expounded in C. 1. 6. Horatian lyric, ostensibly ten u e, here becomes epic and tragic. Yet this paradox does not threaten to burst its seams. Where in C. 1.6 the assimilation of p r o e lia in the phrase ‘proelia virginum’ (17) verbally reduces epic themes to the realm of lyric, C. 1. 37 proves lyric in the broader sense of transgres­ sing the opposition epic/lyric. If epic, like masculine, is the dominant, unmarked term, the subordinate, marked term, lyric, feminine, turns out to have surprising resilience in its ability to encompass its opposite. Horace keeps lyricizing a narrative that keeps reaching for other


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genres. Like the poem’s heroine, lyric can ‘win’ in a restricted sense without actually threatening epic. One of the ways lyric maintains control is through the unifying imagery of wine and drinking, as Commager has shown (1958; also 1967: 88-97). The connections between the lyric opening and the narrative portion of the poem set the two situations into a metapho­ rical relation— another feature that resists narrativity. The poem starts with the now appropriate drinking of the poet and his companions in celebration of liberty (p e d e libero, 1). The explanation of the difference between now, an appropriate time for drinking ( n u n c e st b ib e n d u m , i), and before, when it was inappropriate ( a n te h a c nefas, 5), has to do partially with Cleopatra’s consumption of intoxicating beverages. She is drunk on fortune {fo rtu n a . . . d u lci / ebria, 11-12) and has Mareotic on the brain. When her drunkenness yields to appropriate drinking, what she drinks is poison: a tr u m / corpore c o m b ib e re t v e n e n u m (27-8). This correction of fortune with poison allows for the proper consump­ tion of wine by the celebrants ( C a e c u b u m , 5). This unity of imagery gets under the text’s surface, and is markedly lyric. Beyond wine’s symbolic function for the genre, such ‘superficial’ connective imagery has a lyric tradition. Pindar, for instance, interweaves thematic words over the course of poems in this way. How and what this repetition means is debatable, but it belongs to the high-style lyric tradition.38 We might expect sobriety to oppose Cleopatra’s drunkenness, but this would violate Horace’s lyric economy, which seeks to find a mean. Not drinking would be another extreme. Even before Cleopatra’s death, the poet does not say it was inappropriate to drink absolutely; he restricts the prohibition to bringing out the Caecuban (5-6). Hor­ ace accommodates to lyric the public symbolism in which Octavian was associated with Apollo and Antony (and Cleopatra) with Dionysus (P. Zänker 1988: 33-77). It is crucial for lyric that Horace not revile drinking, but rather set it straight. He does this not only by the celebration that allows for drinking within a controlled situation— contrast Cleopatra’s lack of control ( in p o te n s, 10). He also wins over 38 Syndikus (1972) 338 n. 36, who has no truck with connective imagery, accuses Commager o f extending too widely the practices of Shakespearean scholarship. But the roots for Commager s brand o f interpretation were established in Pindaric scholarship long before the New Criticism. Mezger (1880) 26-30 points out Pindar’s tendency to repeat a particular word in the same verse and foot in different strophes or epodes, and suggests that this technique reveals clues to connections in thought. See also Bury (1890) xx-xxxii.

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Dionysus by writing a largely narrative lyric poem that has something to do with Dionysus; he exploits dithyramb, associated with the wine god, not to abolish drinking, but to set drinking straight (A. Hardie 1976). This corrective movement allows Horace to leave off the grand manner, and to reinscribe a more modest lyric and a more modest symposium in the following poem, C. 1. 38. I maintain there is a fit between the story and the discourse. In many respects this poem sets up dichotomies whose balance it then upsets. In politics, the poem first appears to celebrate Cleopatra’s defeat in an optimistic gesture; the subsequent celebration of her taking control of her fate then appears anti-Augustan. But this heroization of the foe counters the celebration over her only so much. Our optimistic poem has a dark side which disrupts a positive victory. In sex distinctions, the poem likewise posits a contrast between male and female, but the inclusion of masculine aspects within femininity keeps the contrast from neatness. The only way to re-establish a balance between mascu­ line and feminine is for the woman to die—hardly a balance. In generic terms, the poem incorporates genres higher and other than itself. The contrast between lyric and non-lyric also ends up skewed because the instance of lyric before us turns out not to be pure. A further degree of fit is that both the protagonist and the poem itself work as substitutes. Cleopatra stands in for the unspeakable opponent of civil war, the poem for the trium ph Caesar held over her only in effigy. Where Cleopatra allows us to experience the con­ flicting emotions that accompany civil war, but transferred onto a sphere that allows for aesthetic distance, the poem similarly displaces a triumph. The ending passes from narrative to spectacle. The visual images of the final two stanzas create in language the spectacle that did not occur at Rome. On the one hand, the offer of a substitute triumph lauds Caesar and tr iu m p h o (32) is the poem’s last word. On the other, the need for a substitute shows something is wrong— non, the first word of the last line, casts a shadow. To borrow a metaphor from the poem, if foreign war is the opposi­ tion of forces properly antithetical, civil war is the opposition of forces improperly so. Foreign war represents a clean dichotomy: optimism/ pessimism, male/female, epic/lyric. In civil war the opponent turns out to bear a strong likeness to one’s self. Epic turns out to be contrasted not to lyric, but to an epic lyric, male not to female but to a male female, optimism to an optimistic pessimism. Cleopatra, like civil war, like the poem itself, is m u ltip le x . In both story and discourse the poem


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calls into question the possibility of occluding civil war by the facade of foreign war. The members of the dichotomies resist falling into line, and keep crossing over into their opposites. This does not in any way mean that the poem is pessimistic, female, lyric in any pure sense, only that the optimistic, male, epic poem Octavian might have preferred could no more be written by Horace in his lyric collection than Caesar himself could completely rewrite the battle of Actium as a foreign war in the annals of history.



F old

Persicos odi, puer, apparatus, displicent nexae philyra coronae; mitte sectari, rosa quo locorum sera moretur. simplici myrto nihil adlabores sedulus curo.39 neque te ministrum dedecet myrtus, neque me sub arta vite bibentem.

(C. 1.38) I disdain, boy, finery from Persia. / Garlands woven with string displease. / Leave off pursuing where / the late rose tarries. / Labour to add nothing to the single myrtle / — busily— this I desire. The myrtle fails to suit / neither you tending nor me drinking / under the close vine.

(5) is this poem’s emblem (Davis 1991: 118; Fraenkel 1957; 297). Etymologically, sim p le x means ‘folded only once’ hence the moral sense, ‘not complicated, simple, without detour’ (Ernout and Meillet 1932: 515). After the complex Cleopatra ode with its flight into epic history, this poem clears the palate and restores the poetics of the small.40 Its position lends it a double closural function, to C. 1. 37 and to the first book of O des.41 But the next poem in the collection, C. 2. 1, opens the next book with a repetition of this motion: a high-style S im p le x m y r tu s

39 I accept Shackleton Bailey’s (1985) punctuation.

40 Henderson (forthcoming); Nussbaum (1971) 96; NH (1970) 423; Commager (1967) 117; Fraenkel (1957) 297; et al. 41 Santirocco (1986) 78, following Will (1948) 154 and Cody (1976) 34, comments that three drinking songs close the book, the first two political, the last programmatic, and draws correspondences with the opening three poems. This poem is an Abbruciisformel, offering a ‘neat epilogue to the bravura of the preceding work’, Toohey (1980) 174.

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treatment of tragic history, also having to do with civil war, also closes by restoring the poetics of the small (Commager 1967: 313-H n. 7; Pöschl 1991: 74). Repetition makes any closure in C. 1. 38 provisional. While it satisfies aesthetically for book one to end with fanfare and a subsequent reduction in scale, the return of civil war after the book end suggests not only a poetic failure, to put civil war behind us as a topic, but a political failure, to put an end to the monster itself.42 C. 1. 37, i. 38, and 2. i each raises in different ways questions about the relation of exteriority to interiority. In the Cleopatra ode, internal disturbance parades as external; in the ode to Pollio, the question is who tells the story, the poet himself or a surrogate author. In this poem, it is a question of poetics, and of reception. An initially simple division becomes in each case increasingly hard to maintain. The word meaning ‘folded only once’, sim p le x , falls at the fold of the two stanzas of C. 1. 38. The poem itself falls at the first book division of a trifold collection, a fold in the fabric of the text, part break, part continuity. Such an iconic effect belies the extended meaning of s im ­ p le x , one of many things to call into question the poem’s declaration of simplicity. This poem’s reception, as we might expect, is divided: some defend its simplicity as a referential structure—it means only what it says, that the poet prefers simplicity at the symposium; some see it as self-referential, a poetic manifesto advocating simplicity in poetry (Toohey 1980: 171 n. 3 provides a list). Fraenkel calls the poem ‘'sim plex m u n d itiis to an uncommon degree’ and claims that ‘the simplicity of the form is a faithful mirror of the thought’ (1957: 297). In the eyes of the first camp, this latter kind of signification is nothing short of duplicitous. Furthermore, it defeats itself: a poem that advocates simplicity in poetry but expresses it ‘cryptically’, through a ‘puzzle’ (NH 1970: 422) undermines its own values.43 If that is what it means, it cannot offer itself as example. In speaking of a break between stanzas and a break between books as folds, I take a metaphor from the word sim p le x . This word, I think, generates the two strands of the poem’s reception. I will also exploit 42 Pöschl (1991) 74 understands C. 1. 37 to put civil war to rest, effectively fulfilling the wish expressed in C. 1. 2. He comes close to suggesting that Pollio’s treatment in C. 2. i is only possible because civil war is now over. The passion o f C. 2. 1 belies any easy relegation o f this painful chapter in Roman history to the past. See Henderson (forth­ coming). 43 Syndikus (1972) 340-2 does not even acknowledge Fraenkel’s interpretation. West (1995) ad loc. dismisses Fraenkel, but finds his own way o f complicating the poem through homo-eroticism.


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the fold as a metaphor for closure (folding up) or rather for partial closure. Beyond closing the first book of odes, this poem anticipates the unfolding of the second. The debate about what the poem signifies and its role in closure are, of course, the inside and the outside of the same question. It is in part the poem’s position at the end of book one— an external feature—that has led critics to see it as being about poetry—a question of content, that is, an internal feature. Fraenkel argues that we look for special meaning, and particularly metapoetic meaning, because it falls at the end (1957: 298). He thinks we would look for such meaning even without the analogy of the two other book ends which confront poetics head on. Oddly, to attribute a closural function to the poem with respect to the ending of the book entails denying the poem’s own closure as a self-contained whole. The poem can only close if it remains itself open, and the book’s unity is bought at the expense of the poem’s. Derrida uses the fold, le p ii, to mean, among other things, a piece of exteriority brought inside.44 This metaphor is useful for understanding not only the relation of the poem’s position to its interpretation as a unity, but also for under­ standing the paradox of self-reference. The objectification required to comment about oneself o c c u r s within; exteriority is brought inside. Why do we look for self-reference at moments of closure? Let us start with the history of this ode’s interpretation. The first question we ask of a poem is what is it about?’, that is, what is in it. Such a question has as its premiss a poem understood as a free­ standing unitary whole. Nisbet and Hubbard, the principal defenders of the ode’s simplicity, ask this question of C. 1. 38 in isolation from its context in the book, though they reach out to the much broader context of Hellenistic epigram; this poem belongs to a type which praises simplicity at the symposium (1970: 421-3). Although I think Nisbet and Hubbard’s arguments fail, their defence is paradigmatic of attempts to set limits, and for that reason cannot be lighdy dismissed. They assume that an ode advocating simplicity must therefore itself be simple. It may say no more than that the poet eschews complexity at the symposium, or it risks complexity and self-contradiction. Nisbet and Hubbard reject Pasquali’s and Fraenkel’s interpretations (1970: 422-3). The former makes of the poet’s companion ‘il lirico erotico e simposiaco’; the poet addresses his poetry. The latter sees the poem

as a stylistic manifesto. Each turns a statement about life into one about poetry, and consequently gives the lie to the simplicity advocated in the poem.45 What is telling about Nisbet and Hubbard’s argument is the valua­ tion of one kind of context—the literary tradition of Hellenistic epi­ gram—over another, placement within a collection. Literary history controls internal signification, but the standard still lies external to the poem. They evoke Fraenkel’s ‘own principles’ against him: ‘we should never read into a poem anything that is derived from sources extra­ neous to the text.’ Some of us, however, were brought up on a different dictum, ‘il n’y a pas de hors-texte.’ Nisbet and Hubbard demonstrate the problem by their citation of an hors-texter. ‘the closest Greek parallels are talking of life’ (1970: 423). The metaphor ‘parallel’ osten­ sibly keeps the external out of the text, and is therefore safe according to Fraenkel’s rule. But parallels have a way of making their way into texts. The Greek model would ascribe an erotic availability to the p u er, which the Roman discourages. Which is it? Eroticism, like metapoe­ tics, cannot be kept out. Nisbet and Hubbard have a hard time con­ trolling the context of the ode’s position. They ask: O n e wonders whether mere position in the book can give a poem a meaning it would not otherwise have possessed.’ Their scornful ‘mere’ anticipates a ‘no’, but their wondering leaves the question open so that D. P. Fowler has seen fit rather to answer ‘yes’ (1989: 98)· Their denial of ‘meaning’ to the poem’s position conflicts, however, with the com­ mentary’s introduction, where they identify certain points in the book, including the end, as especially important (1970: xxiii). To rectify their denial of meaning they lend this poem’s position ‘undoubted rele­ vance; its elegant simplicity makes an effective contrast with the grand manner of 1. 37, and gives an agreeable and characteristic ending to the book’ (1970:, 423). They have accorded meaning to position and made the poem an example of itself. D. P. Fowler protests: ‘unchar­ acteristic waffle’ (1989: 97). But perhaps waffling is what we do at borders. Nisbet and Hubbard’s interpretation of the poem as simply about life can be refuted on grounds they would accept—parallels from the tradition— and on grounds they would not, that position bears mean­ ing. Davis does the former with elegant simplicity (1991: 118-26). He


44 For an accessible explanation. Culler (1982) ‘Critical Consequences’, especially 1989, on ‘invagination.

45 Horace’s ethics and poetics contaminate each other, Cody (1976) 15, 30, 3 6-40; Mette (1961).


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demonstrates the poetic resonance of almost every word in the poem through parallels from Horace and Callimachus.46 To name a few: Persian is the kind of measure Callimachus rejects for art (A itia i. 18); ε χ θ α ίρ ω τ ο π ο ί η μ α τ ο κ υ κ λ ικ ό ν (I hate the cyclic poem, epigram 28. i Pf) offers precedent for o d i (1). The coron a (garland) is a meta­ phor for an individual ode, and in the hands of Meleager, a collection. Nisbet and Hubbard go out of their way in the commentary’s intro­ duction to make garland-weaving a metaphor for poetic composition: ‘The unity sought by Horace, as by Pindar, was based on formal structures rather than on subject-matter. When they talked of weaving garlands of flowers the image suggests alike the variety of the compo­ nents and the harmony of the composition (1970: xxiii).47 Except evidently for here, where the garland is literal. I am not at all sure ‘mere’ position makes this poem about poetry; it is rather that position invites closer inspection of what is already there. D. P. Fowler sees this poem as a surprise ending and emphasizes the two stages of reading: first we experience surprise that this is the or an ending, second we try to make sense of it (1989: 98).48 If this poem occurred elsewhere, however, Davis’s arguments would still hold. Nisbet and Hubbard’s blindness to metapoetry results inevitably from the poem’s advocacy of the sim p lex . That is, after all, what it says. The difficulty resides in attempting to maintain a strictly referential position. In making the poem self-exemplary, they cannot help but make it self-referential, which controverts on a simple reading its very self-exemplarity. Let us take a detour from the poem’s content to consider its posi­ tion. As remarked above, the movement of reduction within C. 2. 1 repeats the movement from C. 1. 37 to 1. 38, and spans the book divide. The final stanza of C. 2. 1 functions similarly to C. 1. 38 as a whole, with the difference that the latter is a separate poem in a different metre, Sapphics, from the high style it corrects. Although 46 Also Santirocco (1986) 80—x; Cody (1976) 40—4. These parallels prove Toohey (1980) 171 wrong that the choice o f interpretation ‘is ultimately a matter o f personal preference’. 47 This at the end of the paragraph preceding their discussion of the importance of

certain positions in the collection. 48 The surprise derives partially from comparison with the other book endings, each a multiple o f ten: C. 2. 20 and 3. 30. By analogy this book should reach forty; N H (1970) 423 quote som e doggerel written to fill the ending in. Our initial surprise comes from finding such a little poem at the end o f the book roll; disparity with other books enhances this surprise after the fact. A sense o f incompletion impels us onto the next roll, where civil war erupts all over again, and more explicitly. In som e ways, C. 2. 1 provides the ending expected o f book 1.

H is to r y a n d E pic: C iv il W a r


the sweep of Alcaics from C. 2. 19 through 3. 6 has led to widespread recognition that the poems about poetic inspiration and immortality closing the second book of odes prepare for the loftiness of the Roman Odes opening the third book, attention has not focused as much on the articulation of the first and second books.49*Alcaics in C. 1. 37 and 2. i also bridge this junction; in fact every odd-numbered poem from C. i. 35 to 3. 5 is in Alcaics, and then some. The alternation of Alcaics and Sapphics opening book 2 actually starts with C. 1. 37, a metrical continuity analogous to that over the divide between the second and third books. In its relation to the poems around it, C. 1. 38 enters into dialogue not only with those to either side, but also participates in the group around the break between books one and two, that converses with the group around the break between books two and three. The two grand, civil war poems, C. 1. 37 and 2. 1, divide books one and two, whereas the Roman Odes—which offer some kind of resolution— all fall together to one side of the book division. The former group, as fits poems about civil war, is preoccupied with questions of interiority and exteriority. Concluding the two civil war poems, Horace overtly reduces his lyric to a smaller scale, while his similar attempt at the end of C. 3. 3, yields immediately to the embrace of grandeur that opens C. 3. 4. Although Horace’s small-scale lyric by no means entirely retreats from the painful politics of his day, it does so at least in part. If position underscores the poetics in C. 1. 38, I wonder if it can also implicate the poem in the politics around it, even if it is not ‘about’ politics. The formal links to the poems to either side mostly have to do with poetics; emblems of lyric conduct the dialogue: drinking, garlands, the locus a m o e n u s .s° The unassuming symposium not only corrects Cleo­ patra’s wanton drunkenness in the previous poem (e b ria , 12). It also brings the poet back to a lyric kind of drinking. The final word of this poem, b ib e n te m (8), makes a circle with the beginning of C. 1. 37, n u n c e st b ib e n d u m . Cleopatra’s Easternness, symbolized by the kind of wine 49 For the juncture of books 2 and 3, Santirocco (1986) 107, 112; Porter (1987) i 45 ~ 6, 151-2. Porter (1987) 109 notes that the end o f book 1 leaves us uncertain about whether Horace will plunge into the fray, and that C. 2. 1 apparently answers affirmatively; the remarks by Commager (1967) 313-14 n. 7 and Pöschl (1991) 74, cited above, have not entered the arrangement discussion. 50 Nussbaum (1971) 97 includes the rejection o f the Oriental and drinking imagery as elements o f thematic continuity between C. 1. 37 and 1. 38; reversals are Sapphics instead o f Alcaics, private for public, intimate timelessness for historicity.


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she drinks, Mareotic (14), is corrected both through the drinking of Caecuban in C. 1. 37, and the rejection of Persian trappings in C. 1. 38. If we accept the symposium as emblematic for the genre, Horace realigns his lyric with the norm at the end of the book after a departure to a more public-spirited poetry. The exception is a p p a ra tu s (1), a word that resonates after the last word of the previous poem, but apart from this echo of tr iu m p h o (32), poetics speaks louder than politics.51 The lyric grounding in celebratory drink of the previous poem returns in this one, minus the trappings, as ‘pure’ lyric. Another connection backward is the contrast between n exae p h ily r a co ro n a e (2) and s im p lic i m y r to (5). Beyond the obvious parallel between a complex poem and a complex garland versus a simple poem and a simple garland, it is perhaps worth noting that fancy garlands were part of the rites of the Salii, according to Pliny the Elder: s u m m a a u c to r ita s p a c tili coronae, u ti S a lio ru m sacris in v e n im u s so llem n es c fo r o jn a s (HN 21. 1i).S2 The two previous poems are the only ones in the first collection to mention the dances and dinners of the Salii {n e u m o re m in S a liu m s i t requ ies p e d u m , ‘and let there be no quiet for the feet, in the manner of the Salii’, C. 1. 36. 12; n u n c S a lia rib u s / o rn a re p u lv in a r d e o ru m / te m p u s e r a t d a p ib u s, C. 1. 37. 2-4). The military relevance of the priests of Mars is pertinent both to Numida’s return from Spain in the West, and to the victory in the East.53 In C. 1. 36 the festivities whose dancing is to be Salian call for a wide range of flowers (n e u d e sin t epu lis rosae / n eu v iv a x a p iu m n eu b reve liliu m , let the feast not lack roses, nor fresh parsley, nor the short-lived lily’, 1516). Pliny’s p a c tilis coron a is one made by weaving, a n exa corona. In disdaining the fancy garland in favour of the singular myrtle, Horace turns his back on celebrations calling for elaborate garlands, poems of grander scale, perhaps having to do with war. If drinking links the poem backwards, the ending of this poem and of C. 2. i share the locu s a m o en u s. The closed space of Venus’ grotto, D io n a e o su b a n tro (In Dione’s cavern’, C. 2. 1. 39), responds to the bower, su b a rta / v ite (C . 1. 38. 7-8), where the poet will drink with an erotically charged pu er. Both will be crowned with myrtle, sacred to

Venus, Dione’s daughter. S u b falls in an equivalent position in each poem in a similar phrase, su b a rto , su b an tro. The overt reference to the Cean dirges of Simonides at the end of C. 2. 1 also makes a ring with the Alcaic motto that opens C. 1. 37. N u n c e st b ib e n d u m recalls νυν χρ ή μ ε θ ν σ θ η ν (‘now it is necessary to get drunk’, 332. iV ), the poem celebrating the death of Myrsilus. In each case Horace cites the serious, political poetry of his lyric predecessors. In light of these backward and forward connections, the garlands woven with p h ily r a resonate poetically. P h ily ra (the material, not Chiron’s mother) does not occur before in extant Latin poetry.54 Horace’s rejection of the complex garland has to do partially with p h ily ra . Besides its use in garlands, the fibre between the bark and the wood of the linden tree is attested as a writing material akin to papyrus in both Greek and Latin ( O L D and LSJ). The inclusion of this word at the end of the lib e r (book, bark) makes a pun—a collection of flowers woven with material taken from trees for a book of poems. In distancing himself from writing, Horace reaffirms his phonocentric stance as a singing poet. But this word is hard to disentangle from self­ reference, both in its implication in writing, and in a meaning entirely antithetical. Reckford notes that ‘the Greek word p h ily r a may be resolved into “love” and “lyre”.’ The poet’s disavowal of complexity, of his writing as an artefact, turns on him as he finds himself likewise disavowing lyric. Reckford makes another astute comment about sound and sense: ‘sim p lic i echoes d isp lic e n t in sound and n ex a e in idea; it means more than “plain”: something more like “woven into unity”. The myrtle receives its own elaborate sound pattern. The vine-trellis is “interwoven”’ (1969: 12-13). After o d i (1), d is p lic e n t is clearly from displiceo. D isp lic o (-a r e ), however, exists as a verb, used by Varro of bees to mean disperse, as does the simplex, p lic o (-a re ), used by Seneca and Martial of rolling up documents (O L D ). The clarity of the poem’s surface betrays murky self-reference underneath: every word in the line applies secondarily to poetry and the book. This, at the end of the lib er when we are about to roll up book one and unroll book two. What disturbs is not that this poem is interwoven into the fabric of the larger text, but rather that it appears double in itself. All the


51 The commentaries tend to focus on Persicos (1) rather than on what it modifies. For apparatus in triumphs, games, and other public display, see OLD ad loc., 2, 3, and 4. 52 Andre’s (1969) text. The textual transmission reads cenas. 53 Although Numida’s identity and the occasion for his trip are unknown, com men­ tators associate Spain (4) with Augustus’ campaign o f 27-25 bc, N H (1970) 401; Santirocco (1986) 79.

54 The only other instance in Latin poetry occurs in Ovid, Fasti 5.33 5-8, at the festival o f Flora. Further on, the poet denies that Flora wears a buskin, and reference to the stage underscores the shoe’s tragic association (347-8). This distancing o f tragedy resonates in light o f C. i. 38’s distance from the highly tragic C. 1. 37.


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H is to r y a n d Epic: C iv il W a r

trappings the poet disdains are present through their negation. Eastern frou-frou, garlands woven with string, the late rose, the labour spared the myrtle, the breach of decorum averted from boy and poet are all there where the poem tells us they should not be. Commager: cYet here, as in C. i. 37, Horace’s formal position is imperiled by an imaginative attachment to what he rejects’ (1967: 117; also Gold 1993: 21; Henderson forthcoming). If the previous poem is a n exa p h ily r a coron a , this one is what is affirmed: sim p le x m yrtu s. With this phrase we find a conundrum similar to the presence of the negated trappings. Beyond the connotations of simpleness and ‘free from decoration’, s im p le x evokes singleness: ‘one-fold; consisting of one element; (of words) standing alone, single, separate’ (O L D ). But the very word modified by ‘single’, m y rtu s, is the only word (besides n equ e ) repeated in the entire brief poem, in the same metrical position. Negated objects appear once, the single twice. The doubleness of the single myrtle is an emblem for the doubleness of the poem. A word on unity and singleness. Horace’s famous statement about unity in the A rs requires two words denoting singleness: d e n iq u e s it q u id vis, s im p le x d u m ta x a t e t u n u m (‘finally, let it be whatever you like, provided it is single and one’, 23).

ison with du plex, ‘folded in two, said of fabric’ (1932: 515 and 188 under d u o ). Whereas ‘folded only once’ leads to extended meanings of simple, not complicated, without detour, ‘folded in two’— ostensibly the same thing—leads to opposite extended meanings: ‘divided, in two, double, duplicitous.’ The poem’s doubleness is literal and figurative. Figuratively, the simple drinking song has a double meaning as a metapoetic statement. Literally, it folds into two stanzas. No Horatian ode is shorter than two stanzas—there is no such thing as no fold.56 The poem is articulated by an I/thou relation. Again it would be impossible to erase doubleness. If the poet addressed himself, he would likewise divide into speaker and addressee. In one way, the poem progresses from complex to simple:


unum corresponds to ev in the Aristotelian formula ev καί δλον . . .; but simplex does not quite correspond to δλον, which is later . . . expressed by totum. Rather simplex makes unum more concrete. Horace avoids abstract terminol­ ogy; unum, ‘one1, is insufficiently explained by the preceding verses, hence he adds simplex ‘o f one kind’, a thing which is not varium. Its Greek counterpart is α π λο ύ ς [single/simple], with its opposite π ο ικ ίλο ς [complex, manycoloured]. (Brink (1971) ad loc.)55

Pyrrha in C. 1. 5 offers another case of duplicitous simplicity. Her appearance is sim p le x m u n d itiis (‘simple in elegant toilette’, 5), but her character is d u p lex , a meaning suggested by a u ra e / fallacis (‘deceptive breeze’, 11-12). Part of the duplicity of sim p le x lies in its etymology. Ernout and Meillet’s etymology, ‘folded only once’, startles in compar55 NH (1970) 424 connect the nexae philyra coronae with ποικιλία (variation) inas­ much as these garlands are contrasted to the simplex myrtus as απλούς is contrasted to ποικίλος. Pliny uses variare (to vary) in the story they cite about Glycera the garlandmaker, who wove ever more complex garlands for her lover Pausias to paint: cum opera eius pictura imitaretur, illa provocans variaret essetque certamen artis ac naturae. . . (‘when he imitated her work, she, in provocation, would vary it and there would be a contest of art and nature’, H N 21. 4). The garlands only represent natura in comparison to the ars o f painting; a certamen artis atque artis would be more apt.

Persicos a p p a ra tu s, n ex a e p h ily r a coronae, rosa . . . sera, sim p lic i m y rto , m yrtu s. In the first stanza adjectives are separated from their nouns, ‘interwoven’, so to speak, in the second they lie adjacent, with the telling exception of the poet: m e . . . b ib e n te m . In another way, the two stanzas contrast chiastically: first person o d i, second p u er, versus te and m e, P ersicos . . . a p p a ra tu s with its contrast to a simple bower, frames a further contrast between coron ae and rosa to one side and sim p lic i m y r to and m y r tu s to the other. Ambiguity attends the sentence containing s im p le x m yrtu s, a sen­ tence Fraenkel calls the ‘essence of the poem’ and ‘the poet’s creed’ (1957: 297-8): sim p lic i m y r to n ih il a d la b o res / se d u lu s curo (5-6). Both n ih il and sed u lu s have been taken each with a d la b o re s and with euro (NH 1970: ad loc.). Is the poet nonchalant (n ih il eu ro), or does he care passionately (sed u lu s cu ro )? Should the slave make special, painstaking efforts to add nothing to the myrtle (n ih il a d la b o re s sed u lu s), or not make officious extra efforts to add anything to the myrtle? Good taste divides n ih il into a negative (with euro) and an accusative (with a d la b o re s), and likewise ascribes sed u lu s to the slave as more appro­ priate to his social class: ‘I don’t care for you to take pains to add anything to the simple myrtle.’57 But this interpretation glosses over the redundancy of sed u lu s (‘painstaking’) after a d la b o res (‘to add by taking special trouble’, O L D ) —not that anything is wrong with redun­ dancy, except that this branch of interpretation seeks to avoid indecor56 Other two-stanza odes are C. 1. 30 and 3. 22. 57 N H ’s (1970) ad loc. solutions: ‘the word refers to the officiousness o f an overzealous servant . . . sedulus suits an assiduous servant better than a pernickety master.’ For the division of nihil into negative and accusative elements, Fraenkel (1957) 297 n. 4, who takes an adverbial nihil with euro.

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oils doubleness. Taking it with the poet, however, undermines his studied nonchalance, so that passion attaches to his desire. The word’s etymology may expose yet again what the poet takes pains to deny. S edu lu s derives from sedulo, in turn from tse2+ abl. of dolu s\ ‘without guile’ (O L D ; Ernout and Meillet 1932: 182). Although this meaning has dropped out of the repertory of sedu lu s itself, the word bears the traces of exactly what some interpreters want to keep out of this ode.58 If we interpreters are the slaves of the poem, the poet on one level tells us not to add by any special labour anything extra to the simple and singular myrtle of the poem— an allegory of the interpretation of the poem as a plain drinking song. We must be guileless and make a special effort to add nothing to the myrtle. The a d - prefix of a d labores (5) reiterates in the same metrical position the prefix of a p p a ra tu s (1) and underscores the gesture of averting the additional. But it is exacdy by adding n o th in g to the myrtle that the second m y r tu s becomes unmodified and unadorned, even by the adjective sim plex. The second m y r tu s is what the first denotes. Whether the poem allegorizes the simple or the complex interpretation, self-allegory of any kind turns it into a poem about poetry. The poet’s assertion of guilelessness protests too much. Nisbet and Hubbard make the poem self-exemplary despite themselves, creating the same structure of exteriority brought within they attempt to avoid. I suggest that we look for self-reference at moments of closure pre­ cisely because of the structure of the fold. It is hard to distinguish exterior from interior at the boundary between the two. The frame of a painting lies outside the painting itself, but becomes part of the picture in com­ parison to the wall. In signalling closure, a text makes us aware of itself q u a text, in itself a self-referential gesture. The reduplication of this gesture hardly surprises given the slippage between ‘folded only once’ and ‘folded in two’, from singular to double. Horace is no more dupli­ citous than any other poet; this slippage is a product of language, of literarity, and probably of humanity, given our nature as communicative, social beings. My explication of C. 1. 38 means to give an instance of a larger truth; that the unity of an individual must be sought not merely within the boundaries that circumscribe it, but in its relations with the other side, and in the internal consequences of these relationships.59 If

unity turns out to be double, relational, that is greater cause for hope than the model of an individual as something solitary but undivided. The problem is not the division itself, but what happens when the constituent parts of a unity wage war among themselves. The solution to civil war at Rome turned out to be not peace among the various parts of the social unity, but the attempted erasure of internal difference: the concentration of power in a single person. This solution was not itself unproblematic.


s8 To be dear, I do not mean that this word was ‘intended’ to recall its etymology; rather that whether or not its roots were present to the minds o f contemporaries, this word brings into the poem , if only subliminally, the notion of ‘guile’. Again the question is how to control meaning, how to keep inside and outside apart. 59 Janan (1994) raises similar questions about the Catullan corpus.

R e p r e s e n t in g C

iv il



Motum ex Metello consule civicum bellique causas et vitia et modos ludumque Fortunae gravisque principum amicitias et arma nondum expiatis uncta cruoribus, periculosae plenum opus aleae tractas et incedis per ignis subpositos cineri doloso. paulum severae Musa tragoediae desit theatris; mox, ubi publicas res ordinaris, grande munus Cecropio repetes cothurno, insigne maestis praesidium reis et consulenti, Pollio, curiae, cui laurus aeternos honores Delmatico peperit triumpho. iam nunc minaci murmure cornuum perstringis auris, iam litui strepunt, iam fulgor armorum fugacis terret equos equitumque voltus, audire magnos iam videor duces non indecoro pulvere sordidos et cuncta terrarum subacta praeter atrocem animum Catonis, luno et deorum quisquis amicior Afris inulta cesserat inpotens tellure, victorum nepotes rettulit inferias lugurthae. quis non Latino sanguine pinguior campus sepulcris impia proelia



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testatur auditumque Medis Hesperiae sonitum ruinae? qui gurges aut quae flumina lugubris ignara belli? quod mare Dauniae non decoloravere caedes? quae caret ora cruore nostro? sed ne relictis. Musa, procax iocis Ceae retractes munera neniae, mecum Dionaeo sub antro quaere modos leviore plectro. (C. 2.


Civil disturbance from Metellus’ consulship, / the whys and hows o f war, vices, / Fortune’s game, the principals’ / weighty alliances, and weapons / stained with yet unexpiated gore— / you treat a work o f dangerous / chance and walk over fire / hidden by deceitful ash. / May the Muse o f stem tragedy leave the theatre / for a short while. Soon when you have ordered public affairs / you will reclaim the grand office / o f Cecrops’ buskin. / You, Pollio, are a distinguished bulwark for sad defendants / and the Senate house asks your judgement, / for you the laurel brought eternal honour / in triumph over Dalmatia. / Already now you pierce our ears / with the menacing rumble o f horns, now wartrumpets blare, / now the flash o f arms frightens / the fleeing horses and faces o f horsemen. / I seem now to hear the great leaders / dark with dust not disgraceful / and all o f earth overcome / except the dreadful soul of Cato. / Juno and the gods more friendly to Africa, / who had left in powerless rage the land unavenged, / bore the victors’ grandsons / as funeral offerings to Jugurtha. / What field, richer with Latin blood, / does not attest with its graves impious battles / and the sound o f Hesperia’s crash, / heard by the Medes? / What flood, what river fails to know / the grievous war? What sea has / Daunian blood not discoloured? / What shore has our blood left untainted? / But, demanding Muse, do not leave your play behind / to treat the office o f Simonides’ lament. / Along with me in Dione’s cavern / seek the measures o f a lighter string.

(i). With these words Horace states directly what he could not in C. 1. 37. The question in this poem is not only who speaks, but how. The internal war turned external in the Cleopatra ode matches here an interior/exterior division not in story, but of dis­ course. The narrator of the civil war story slips between the poet and his surrogate Pollio; the type of discourse slips from one kind to

M o tu m c iv ic u m

00 I thank John Henderson for sharing in advance o f publication his ‘Polishing off the Politics: Horace’s Ode to Pollio, 2,1.’ Rather than revise— or erase—my piece in light o f his, I let it stand as is, in full knowledge that he everywhere takes the argument further.


another. Pollio serves manifold purposes: he provides an im portant dedicatee for the second book; his combined political and literary power unites the aspects of the dedicatees that open the first book, Maecenas, Augustus, and Vergil. As a literary figure, he brings together tragedy and history—paradigmatic for civil war.61 His history treats the civil war that divided the previous generation, Pompey and Caesar, and allows for the topic without touching on Augustus. The represen­ tation of Pollio’s history in the poem further allows for the topic in lyric without committing Horace to talking about it in his own voice. The distinction between Pollio’s writing about civil war and Horace’s writing about civil war, like the internal/external distinction in the Cleopatra ode, cannot, however, be maintained with rigour.62 Civil war causes disturbances in discourse. Thucydides’ remark on the perversion of words’ meanings under sta sis (3. 82) recognizes a disturbance in denotation. Quint has further shown the threat civil war poses to epic narratability (1993: eh. 1).63 For Horace, civil war is unutterable in O d es 1-3 except in exclamation or prayer, so the forth­ right announcement opening C. 2. 1 surprises.64 The collection’s first mention of civil war occurs close to the beginning, couched in indirect statement and followed by impassioned questions: audiet civis acuisse ferrum, quo graves Persae melius perirent, 61 Santirocco (1986) 84 calls attention to the importance of civil war to the first three addressees of this book. In C. 2. 2, Sallustius’ name recalls the genre of his great-uncle and adopted father, and NH (1970) 32 note that Pollio was Sallust’s literary successor. The allusion they find in the first line of C. 2. 2 to a line fromGreektragedy underscores the association of tragedy with history. Nadeau (1980) 178, 180 draws the parallel between Pollio’s foray fromtragedy into history and Horace’s internal generic transgres­ sion; Pollio’s chosen genres are all serious, unlike Horace’s ostentatious levity. 62 Lyne (1995) 93 discusses the difficulty of maintaining the idealization through Pollio. 63 Civil war in the experience o f Milton and Vergil is ‘a state o f political confusion that both equate with a threat to narratable political meaning and, hence, to their own narrative projects, which are portrayed as depending upon that m eaning’ (44). 6+ The public persona o f Epodes 16 with its blunt announcement o f fact (altera iam teritur bellis civilibus aetas, / suis et ipsa Roma viribus ruit, ‘A second age is now worn down by civil wars, and Rome rushes to destruction on its own strength’, 1) has no place in the Odes. The opening o f Epodes 7 in a flurry o f impassioned questions is more typical of Horace’s lyric treatment of civil war, but again, the poet can utter the bitter truth much more directly than in the Odes: sic est: acerba fata Romanos agunt / scelusque fraternae necis (‘So it is: fierce fates drive the Romans, and the crime o f fraternal slaughter’, 17-18). The bulk of Horatian scholarship would trace these differences to Horace’s gradually changing views o f those in power, e.g. Lyne (1995). Such differences may also be generic. Horace calls an end to civil war at C. 4. 15. 17-18 with the words furor civilis, a passage I return to in Ch. 9.

i η8

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audiet pugnas vitio parentum rara iuventus. quem vocet divum populus ruentis imperi rebus? prece qua fatigent virgines sanctae minus audientem carmina Vestam? cui dabit partis scelus expiandi Iuppiter? (C I. 2. 21-30) He will hear that citizens sharpened the sword, / by which the grievous Parthians would better have died, / he, the youth made rare / — his parents’ fault— will hear o f battles. / Which o f the gods should the people call / for the affairs of an empire rushing to ruin? / With what prayer should the holy maidens / wear out Vesta, who pays less heed to songs? / To whom will Jupiter give the role / of expiating crime?

In the previous twenty lines, Horace replaces any direct narration of civil strife with a set of omens caused by civil strife. The narration of civil war the youth will hear, at least from Horace, is enacted only in indirect statement. He tells the terrible tale only to the extent of saying that others will learn of it. Furthermore he never actually states that citizens killed fellow citizens; that part of the sentence is replaced with the remark that Parthians would better have perished by the sword the citizens sharpened (21-2). Horace implies the truth without saying it. This passage is paradigmatic for his treatment of civil war in the O des. He identifies a more suitable foreign opponent, as often Eastern; he invokes a saviour, who turns out to be Caesar; he calls for prayer (prece, 26 ) and expiation ( e x p ia n d i , 29) of a moral disorder (v itio , 23). The method of representa­ tion is also paradigmatic. The topic itself is minimized; often periphrasis or a single word, here civis (21), whispers the problem. Horace avoids direct narration, and emotion marks the utterance, here, line-initial anaphora of a u d ie t (21, 23), and the series of questions. The subsequent treatments of civil war leading up to C. 2. 1 con­ form to the model of C. 1.2. C. 1. 21 offers a prayer, which merely hints at the peculiar nature of the war to be averted; hic bellum lacrimosum, hic miseram famem pestemque a populo et principe Caesare in Persas atque Britannos vestra motus aget prece. (C. i. 21. 13-16)

H is to r y a n d E pic: C iv il W a r


(Apollo), moved by your prayer, / will drive the tearful war, miserable famine, / and pestilence, from the people and Caesar, / the princeps, onto the Parthians and Britons. He

As Nisbet and Hubbard comment on la crim o su m , ‘in Roman poets of this age the epithet is not merely decorative’ (1970: ad loc.). The Parthians again serve as more suitable recipients of war and its atten­ dants; the aversio (‘diversion’) of ill onto them connects with their role as a more suitable enemy in C. 1. 2. C. 1. 35 picks up the Britons as Caesar’s destination, and closes with intense emotionalism in regret for civil war. Prayer for Caesar and his troops—feared significantly in the East—gives way to exclamatory questions and a wish: serves iturum Caesarem in ultimos orbis Britannos et iuvenum recens examen Eois tremendum partibus Oceanoque rubro. heu heu, cicatricum et sceleris pudet fratrumque. quid nos dura refugimus aetas? quid intactum nefasti liquimus? unde manum iuventus metu deorum continuit? quibus pepercit aris? o utinam nova incude diffingas retusum in Massagetas Arabasque ferrum! (C. i. 35. 29-40) May you (Fortuna) preserve Caesar as he goes against the Britons, / last in the world, and preserve the fresh throng of young men, / to be feared in Eastern parts, / and the Indian Ocean. / Alas, alas, shame on our scars, and crime, / and brothers. What have we, a hard age, / fled? What have we, wicked, left untouched? / From where has the youth restrained its hand, / through fear o f gods? What altars / has it spared? O may you forge on a new anvil / the blunted sword, / against the Massagetae and Arabs!

Again, a single word, fr a tr u m (34), identifies the nature of the crime, the problem is moral, and a wish averts fe r r u m as in C. 1. 2 onto Eastern enemies. Questions conveying a general statement of failure replace any narrative of events. While narrative and civil war are both present in C. 1. 37, the poem does not narrate civil war. We consequently gasp when Horace announces civil war as his subject in C. 2. i, complete with the trappings of history, dating (e x M e te llo consule, i), and an apparent promise to delve into details:


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H is to r y a n d Epic: C iv il W a r

causes, moral flaws, how things happened ( cau sas e t v itia e t m odos, 2), the play of fortune so studiously skirted in the hymn to Fortuna (C. 1. 35), the political alliances of the principals, and the unexpiated blood still staining their arms. This opening does not itself narrate. In fact the relentless listing of nouns and adjectives (underscored by the connec­ tives -q u e and et, in chiasmus with doubling of the internal members) is standard Horatian technique for not narrating. Nevertheless, the open­ ing announces a full-scale connected account. Ironically, the account belongs not to Horace, but to Pollio. The well-noted delay of tra cta s (7) turns the tables by re-establishing a lyric I/thou relationship and shift­ ing the subject matter from civil war itself to its literary representation (o p u s, 6)— a canonical topic of Horatian lyric. This delay creates an illusion only partially false: that our lyric poet here plunges into the high style subject matter he elsewhere so strenuously disavows (Ross 1975: 141-2). The topic of literature drives a wedge between Pollio’s treatment of civil war and Horace’s poetry, a divide that becomes less easy to maintain, however, when Pollio’s history is represented in the fifth stanza. The narration announced in the beginning is fulfilled in lines 17-36, but in making Pollio’s history his topic, Horace is hardpressed not to make Pollio’s topic his own. The screen meant to keep civil war at a safe distance from Horace’s lyric tends to transparency.65 As foil, Pollio contrasts with Horace not only in his chosen subject, but in genre and social connectedness. Like Alcaeus, Pollio was a player; his neutrality came only at a late stage in the action (NH 1978: 7-8). The fourth stanza of this ode, more than mere flattery, heralds the addressee as an aristocrat.66 Civic functions and military triumph form a complementary for an aristrocrat’s duties, the former divided into another complementary of forensic and deliberative oratory (p ra e s i­ d iu m reis / e t c o n s u le n ti. . . curiae, 13-14). I mention Alcaeus because the motto opening the Cleopatra ode raises the issue of the poet’s social status and his ability to engage in political discourse.67 This issue,

among others, links C. 2. 1 with C. 1. 37 across the book divide. But the status of lyric has changed since Alcaeus’ time. The Roman statesman adopted the grandeur of history and tragedy, leaving lyric, no longer a means of expression for the powerful, to the likes of Horace. Pollio’s literary activity engages a generic contrast, the by now familiar split between lyric and not one genre, but two (or more). History and tragedy combined match the epicizing version of history in C. i. 37; where the Cleopatra ode also has overtones from other genres, including tragedy, C. 2. 1 likewise has mild epic colouring, discussed below (Syndikus 1972: 349-50). Athough history and tragedy are first differentiated as the two sides of Pollio’s literary career, they collapse when it comes to Horace’s self-definition. In the final stanza (37-40) he reins in his Muse with a vocabulary that corresponds through repetition or antithesis to his earlier announcement that Pollio was leaving history for tragedy (7-12) (Nadeau 1980: 180 traces the correspondences with a different emphasis). Pollio’s severa e M u s a tra g o e d ia e (9) is the opposite of Horace’s, whom he accuses of wanton­ ness (p ro ca x , 37) precisely for leaving behind play ( relictis . . . iocis, 37), the element antithetical to the tragic Muse’s severity and histor­ iographical danger. Pollio’s ‘handling’ historical topics returns of the lyric Muse’s activity: retractes (38) recalls tra cta s (7), and attracts the prefix from repetes (12). The m u n u s (11) of tragedy passes to the m u n e ra (38) of another lofty genre, the n e n ia e of Simonides, on the high end of the lyric scale. Pollio’s tragedy contrasts with the proper scope of Horatian lyric through stylistic adjectives (g ra n d e , 11; leviore, 40) and generic symbols ( co th u rn o , 12; p le c tro , 40). Literary landscapes oppose lyric to history. By undertaking such a dangerous topic, Pollio treads—a conventional metaphor for breaking new literary ground— on a bed of coals: in cedis p e r ign is / su p p o sito s cin eri doloso (7-8).68 Cody links this proverbial image to an epigram of Callimachus (44 Pf), where the fire is erotic, and notes that the two poems surrounding C. i. 38 each contain Callimachean echoes (1976: 33). The transfer from love to war marks the difference between the genres; recalling Calli­ machus not only reminds Pollio of his youthful association with the p o e ta e n o v i but, as Ross observes, Roman poets’ protests of allegiance to Callimacheanism grow louder the further they depart from its


65 Syndikus (1972) assumes Horace invents his version o f Pollio’s history, and only admits the possibility o f first-hand knowledge in a question (347 n. 10). NH (1978) 1115, taking the opposite tack, attribute much o f the vocabulary o f the first seven fines to Pollio’s preface; their summary (10) implies the ode is an unmediated translation. Davis (1991) 247 shows a greater awareness of the mutual implication o f the two works. 66 NH (1978) C. 2. i. 13 fist markers o f panegyric, and explain Pollio’s public stature as a qualification for writing history; also Syndikus (1972) 347. Fraenkel (1957) 236 sees only tribute. 67 Ross (1975) 142 n. 2 notes how Horace uses Alcaeus as a precedent justifying ‘the use o f the iocosa lyra for themes involving reges et proelia.’

68 N H (1978) 9 think Horace exaggerates the danger for Pollio, whose neutrality was not anti-Augustan (7-8), and suggest Horace echoes Polfio’s captatio benevolentiae. The exaggeration expresses the poetic danger for Horace more than for Pollio.


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aesthetic (1975: 140). The echo anticipates the poet’s withdrawal from the grand topic in the final stanza, and the assertion of a purely lyric landscape: D io n a e o su b a n tr o (39). In each case, subject matter is commensurate with genre: the dangers of civil war redound to its literary representation, and Venus’ cave suggests erotic lyric.69 M o d o s pass from subject matter (2) to musical terminology (40). My comparison of the literary sections of the ode, which are overtly antithetical, skips over the middle. The intervening representation of Pollio’s history (17-36) triggers the abrupt A b b ru ch sfo rm el, and forces the contrast between Horace’s and Pollio’s Muses. The final stanza restores the differences which have been erased by the time we reach the end of the representation, when Horace melts into Pollio.70 The intervening stanzas progress from the vivid representation of en argeia (17-24), to narrative (25-28), to rhetorical questions (29-36), from Pollio’s history to Horace’s preferred manner of voicing civil war. Tricolon anaphora of ia m and a u d ir e . . . v id e o r mark the illusion of en argeia, namely that the events represented are actually there. But there to whom? The poet’s voice focalizes our perceptions, but also gets in the way of direct perception on our part. The slippage inherent in en argeia occurs tw ice. Ordinarily, vivid, visual representation of subject matter makes the text’s surface transparent: you can so to speak see through the veil of literarity to the subject matter (G. Zänker 1981: 299ff. emphasizes sight). Here, the veil doubles. Interpreters dispute what Horace’s visual representation represents, the experience of read­ ing Pollio’s text (an erasure of Horace’s textuality), or the experience of Pollio’s en argeia (a double erasure of Horace’s textuality and of Pol­ lio’s). Porphyrio’s comments sum up the problem: la m , in q u it, v id e o r v id e r e e t a u d ir e ea q u a e h isto ria refert: p e r q u o d sign ificat, v i elo q u e n tia e

(‘Now, he says, I seem to see and hear the things the history relates: by which he means that Pollio, through force of eloquence, brings on stage a spectacular fight in the recounting of battles’, at 17); A m b ig u u m ; u tr u m

H is to r y a n d E pic: C iv il W a r


n a rra n te m , in c e rtu m e st (‘Ambiguous; for it is unclear whether he says he hears the very leaders making speeches, or Pollio narrating about the leaders’, at 21). In the first comment, and in potentially hearing Pollio’s narration, the poet is a reader, but Pollio’s bringing on a visib le contest and the possibility of hearing the leaders themselves eclipses Pollio’s h isto ria as a text. Fraenkel upbraids the ‘cleverness of some ancient schoolmaster’ and comes down strongly for P o llio n e m d e d u c ib u s n a rr a n te m , namely, for the poet as reader (1957: 236), but we glide easily from Horace’s text, to Pollio’s, to Pollio’s subject matter, which in the process becomes Horace’s.71 This double veil and its removal results in a bifurcation of involvement and distance. Is this poem about civil war, about writing civil war, and if so, about Pollio’s literary efforts or Horace’s? Can we even distinguish? The unveiling happens in stages. Even in the first stanza, we begin to leave Pollio’s text behind (Syndikus 1972: 348-9). P erstrin g is (18) refers explicitly to Pollio, but in litu i s tr e p u n t (18), the trumpets, not Pollio, produce the sound; by the end of the stanza, we see the picture of the terrified horses and their riders without Pollio’s intervention. In the next stanza, a u d ir e . . . v id e o r (21) brings back the literary veil through the poet’s role as reader, but what the poet perceives at the end is hardly amenable to sense perceptions: cu n cta te rra ru m su b a c ta / p r a e t e r a tro c e m a n im u m C a to n is (23-4). The third stanza representing Pollio’s history (25-8) draws the poet into his vision so that he begins to narrate, and leaves behind the markers separating his work from Pollio’s. This impersonal voice belongs to an omniscient narrator, with the authority to speak even of gods. Gods? What genre are we in? This is no straightforward historical account, or even a conventional narrative. Although a perfect follows an apparently normal pluperfect, both in the third person,

P o llio n e m ce rta m e n sp ecio su m in re la tio n e p u g n a r u m in d u cere

e n im ipsos du ces c o n tio n a n te s a u d ir e se d ic a t a n P o llio n e m d e d u cib u s 69 The phrase u b i p u b lic a s / res o r d in a r i s (ίο- n ) also applies doubly to literary composition and settling affairs in the world. 70 As Lieberg (1984) xox notes, the value attributed to Pollio by Horace, we attribute to Horace himself. My analysis o f these stanzas by and large follows Syndikus (1972) 347-50. Nadeau (1980) 181 remarks that Horace’s writing as if in the middle o f events reminds us o f his participation in the civil wars; it does more than say Pollio is a vivid writer.


Bentley (1826) ad loc. points out a logical difficulty: we can hardly expect to ‘hear’ (21-2); Syndikus (1972) 348 η. i8 similarly objects against hearing the d u c e s because we cannot hear c u n c ta te r r a r u m s u b a c ta . Shackleton Bailey (1985) therefore prints Bentley’s v id e r e . But poetry does not obey logic. A u d ir e corresponds to our perception via reading, whether or not the author’s recitation, but reading makes us ‘see’ visual images. The intervention o f an extra textual layer brings about this slippage between seeing and hearing, and undercuts Bentley’s parallels for v i d e r e v id e o r . G. Zanker’s (1981) quotations o f Hermogenes (298) and Ps.-Longinus (303) refer hearing to the act o f listening to a text, seeing to the imaginative process it evokes: Hermogenes P r o g . 10; 2. 16. 32 Sp.; S e i γαρ την ίρμηνΐίαν S ia της ακοής σχςδον την δφιν μηχανάσθαι, ‘the expression should almost manipulate sight through hearing’; Ps.Longinus d e S u b ì. 15. ι: ύττ δφιν τιθης τοΐς ακούουσιν (‘you should put it under the sight of the listeners’). Bentley, however, is right against Porphyrio’s c o n ti o n a n te s . We hear the d u c e s not speaking, but dirty with honourable dust— and not in indirect statement. d u c e s / n o n in d e c o r o p u l v e r e s o r d i d o s


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Horace compresses a broad sweep of history from the Punic Wars, to Jugurtha, to the battle of Thapsus—presuming we can keep ourselves from thinking also of Dido (NH 1978: at C. 1. 2. 25-8). Compression may characterize lyric, but the independent actions of the gods suggest epic convention and smack of myth.7273 Epic colouring weighs both generically, because Horace habitually brings history, epic, and tragedy into the same compass, and in subject matter, since the next large-scale narrative in the collection treats Juno’s reconciliation to Rome. Her hostility here in the context of civil war implies that in some profound way, her conditions in C. 3. 3 have not been met.73 Have the Romans failed the test of withstanding gold (C. 3. 3. 49-52), have they rebuilt a moral Troy ( in cestu s, 19, L a o m e d o n , 22, a d u ltera e, 25, p e riu ra , 27)? While the idea of the blood of Thapsus as a funeral offering to Jugurtha may be lifted from Pollio’s preface (Dahlmann 1965: 146; NH 1978: ad loc.), Juno’s revenge resounds terribly in a poem that raises political issues only to postpone them until the Roman Odes. Representing Pollio’s history is what draws Horace into narration, however unhistorical and unlyric, in the seventh stanza. This stanza is the hinge between Pollio’s two stanzas and Horace’s; although Pollio is fading, the lyric poet’s voice has not yet taken over, and the stanza lies in a grey area, belonging to both and neither. With the eighth, Horace reverts to exclamatory questions, his lyric way to cope with the topic’s horrors. This method opposes narrative. The repetition of the inter­ rogative in different cases (polyptoton) reminds us someone is speak­ ing; ex p o litio (staying on the same subject, going over and over it in different ways) keeps the story from advancing in time (NH 1978: at C. i. 2. 17, 29). But Horace’s exclamations show traces of what has gone before. Whereas the exclamations in C. 1. 2 and 1. 35 cleave to a truthful, though heightened, sense of crime and expiation, these stan­ zas paint civil war in mythic terms. Highly figurative blood-stained waters belong to the realm of horrific prophecy.74 Hesperia’s crash 72 Syndikus (1972) 349-50; Fraenkel (1957) 239. Ahi (1976) 83 remarks that Lucans Pharsalia, a real epic, rewrites this theme. 73 Feeney (1984) 194 cites this passage to show that Juno’s reconciliation to Rome as a literary m otif is always partial, and can be pushed further and further down in history. At Ovid, Met. 14. 781-2, Juno opens the gates o f Rome to the enemy after having ostensibly been placated at 14. 582 and 593. 74 Führer (1967) 128. Propertius 3. 3. 45, though historical, also belongs to prophecy, if only Calliope’s o f Propertius’ song. Allusion to Georgies 1. 491-2 in Latino sanguine pinguior / campus 29-30, reinforces the heightened conceit. Horace caps Vergil with a complementary: on land and at sea.

H is to r y a n d E pic: C iv il W a r


could hardly be heard (literally) as far away as Parthia. Civil bloodshed spills over even the foreign theatre of war: no sea or shore lies unstained. Pollio’s history has drawn Horace more into the topic than he would wish, into narration, into epic and history, into meta­ phors and hyperbole that take even lyric cries over the top. All the distance that kept the trauma safely in the past, in someone else’s history, vanishes. The slaughter may have discoloured the seas in the present perfect ( decoloravere, 35), but this results in a truly present stain: q u a e c a r e t . . . ? (36). He therefore pulls back. In the final stanza, Horace disavows not epic, not tragedy or history, but Simonides’ n e n ia e (38). By the end, the poet has in fact returned to lyric. Like the beginning of C. 1. 37, which cites Alcaeus as precedent for a lyric blend of sympotic and political poetry, this poem ends with a lyric predecessor.75 Alcaeus and Simo­ nides occur in the same breath (and line) at C. 4. 9. 7—8: C ea eq u e e t A lca ei m in a ces / . . . C a m en a e. Horaee has not really been engaging in epic, tragedy, or history, but rather producing a lyric so coloured. The lyric subgenre of lament is threnody, but Simonides also wrote sepulchral epigram. After C. 1. 37, directed against an Eastern enemy, and i. 38, which begins with Persicos, we remember that Simonides wrote poems for the great Greek battles against the Persians: Ther­ mopylae, Artemisium, Salamis, and Plataea. Simonides not only evokes the poetry of lamentation, but reminds that if even a glorious foreign victory called for lament, in civil war lamentation cannot be parted from victory. This poem works according to the logic of the recusatio: the poet does in a transferred way what he distances himself from. But accord­ ing to a strict definition, the recu satio refuses specifically to praise, usually on the grounds that the poet does not write praise poetry. Civil war turns the problem inside out. The poet avoids handing out not praise but blame. This may in turn explain why elsewhere praise sticks in his throat. The retreat to a lighter Muse in face of a Simonidean, ( ^ tra u m a ­ tizing lyric makes a statement about lyric and its power. Horace is often considered cool, too intellectual a poet, more concerned with

75 Copley (1956) 127: the name Simonides ‘must elicit an instant and single response, as Shakespeare would elicit “plays”, Keats, “lyric”, or Milton “Paradise Lost”.’ Simonides suggests ‘death and . . . songs o f lament for death’.

poetics than with poetry’s business: emotion.76 Yes, Horace could translate recent history into his chosen genre without mediation. But could we Romans stand to read it? 76 D. P. Fowler (1989) h i and (1994) 243 categorizes the effect o f the final stanza o f this poem as ‘Romantic Iron/, in which the unmasking o f reality (‘this is only a poem’) does not undercut its emotion, but enables the reader to accept a sublimity. ‘We are continually being reminded that what is before us is made by man, not God: that even apparent “showing” is really “telling”, that all narrative is discourse, that whether we ask “who sees?” or “who speaks?” the answer will always be: the author. In this form of Romantic Irony, the text is constantly self-conscious, with all the familiar devices of mise-en-abyme, and author and reader alike continually meet with doubles and surro­ gates in the work. Again, however, these are not simply devices o f “distancing”: despite (or because of) it all, we take it seriously’ (1994) 235.

6 Personal Narrative and the Fantastic, or, the Poet Out o f Bounds

‘reality ’ (one of the few words which mean nothing without quotes). (Nabokov, afterword to Lolita)

Mostly, the stories Horace tells about himself engage poetics, no matter the genre.1 A cavalier blend of the mundane with the fantastic char­ acterizes the lyric stories. The poet averts a wolf’s attack by singing; he misplaces his shield (like a good lyrist), and Mercury air-lifts him from battle; his near death by a falling tree (almost) causes an underworld vision of Sappho and Alcaeus; he witnesses Bacchus teaching nymphs and satyrs their lessons; he turns into a swan; doves ward off vipers and bears from the infant Horace with a tent of symbolic herbs. Poetics binds these stories, even beyond shared motifs. Horace con­ structs a personal history for himself not as Q. Horatius Flaccus, but as lyrist—that is, ‘personal’ has to do with p erso n a , and, as will become clear, is hardly antithetical to ‘political’. Historical author and literary persona can and do overlap, but the grounding of the lyric poet in a Personal Myth looks to the historical author’s personal story only as fodder for translation into a poetic mythology. The disparity between Ve)f e t d u reel and the marvellous forces us to recognize the importance ' of these events in what the poet makes of them rather than for any intrinsic significance: seeing a wolf is certainly something to tell the neighbours, even if a relatively ordinary occurrence, but only becomes the ground for a poetic manifesto through an act of imagination.12 1 For the Odes·. Krasser (1995); Davis (1991) 78-114. For the Satires. Henderson (1993); Freudenburg (1993); Leach (1971). Johnson (1993) 119-34 addresses selfrepresentation and the construction o f identity in Epistles 1. 2 Fraenkel (1957) 186 n. 3 on the probability o f wolves in that area is charming, and manifests the baggage o f realistic detail: place-names, ‘railway-line’, ‘postman’, a newspaper citation, dates. For the tree, he rails against those who see Horace as inspired by ‘some particular personal experience’ (166-7) and stresses realism’s use: while there is no reason to doubt the veracity o f the tree episode, he refers to the ‘semblance o f spontaneity’ (167 n. 6).


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Many of the elements of the Myth are already conventional and derive from Hellenistic epigram, or, in the case of the infancy adventure, from the biographies of the Greek poets (Syndikus 1973: 55 nn. 30-5), but even the elements from "life’ become emblems in a new convention.3 The tree is an icon of reality with evident symbolic function. Horace’s participation at Philippi is a fact of history which must be brought into relation with his vocation as a lyrist. Davis (1991: 78-114) and Commager before him (1967: p a s s im ) gather much of this material. My interpretation emphasizes narrative as a shared feature of these poems, and considers the effect of sequence. Although many scholars note resemblances between one or another of these poems, their cumulative effect has not been pursued, most likely because narrative is not a traditional category for analysing Horace’s O des. (I consequently forbear citing every link seen by every scholar.) By taking in order the poems that tell stories about the poet, we can chart Horace’s development from his self-assertion as a lyrist, namely a poet of sympotic and erotic poetry, to his donning the mantle of a political poet with the authority to sing the g en u s g ra n d e of the Roman Odes. This is not so much a historical story, although it may be: the development dramatizes the conflict within the current debate over poetry’s aesthetic and political roles. Political poetry has of course already manifested itself—C. 1. 2 and 1.12 especially frame the opening of the collection and announce the importance of politics to Horace’s poetic task—but the location of most of the personal narratives in book 2 anticipates something larger, something new, which is only realized at the beginning of book 3. The poet’s autobiography tells us how Horace gets to the point where he can write such poetry. The stories Horace tells about himself enable his telling stories about politics.4 I capitalize the motifs of the Personal Myth to facilitate tracing their gradual accumulation and eventual recapitulation in C. 3. 4, where their exhaustive redeployment signals a climax. 3 Griffin’s (1985) attack on the view that much o f Latin poetry is conventional and hence not a good index o f ‘what really happened’, reminds us that literary conventions derive from reality, and that Roman culture was already extensively Hellenized. He fails, however— inevitably— to cut the fiction/reality knot. We cannot measure the degree of difference between ‘real facts’ and their ‘stylising’ (29), and can only recognize a gap between what could have happened ( Veffet du reel) and what did not (the fantastic). Furthermore, life and culture are always already stylized. Conte’s (1994) 158-60 n. 19 critique o f Veyne (1983) is a sane treatment o f the reality/fiction dialectic. 4 Self-authorization is a Pindaric technique recognized for C. 3. 4, N. T. Kennedy (1975) 23. Witke (1983) 10 notes a pattern o f a personal poem followed by one that makes a public statement. I trace this pattern writ large.

P erson al N a rra tiv e s a n d th e F a n ta stic T



L y r is t

integer vitae scelerisque purus non eget Mauris iaculis neque arcu, nec venenatis gravida sagittis, Fusce, pharetra, sive per Syrtis iter aestuosas sive facturus per inhospitalem Caucasum, vel quae loca fabulosus lambit Hydaspes. namque me silva lupus in Sabina, dum meam canto Lalagen et ultra terminum curis vagor expeditis, fugit inermem, quale portentum neque militaris Daunias latis alit aesculetis, nec Iubae tellus generat, leonum arida nutrix, pone me, pigris ubi nulla campis arbor aestiva recreatur aura, quod latus mundi nebulae malusque Iuppiter urget, pone sub curru nimium propinqui solis in terra domibus negata: dulce ridentem Lalagen amabo, dulce loquentem. (C. i. 22) A man spotless in life and untouched by crime / has no need o f Moorish javelins / or the bow or a quiver loaded / with poisoned arrows, Fuscus, / whether he makes his way through the seething / Syrtes or the inhospitable / Caucasus or the places / famed Hydaspes licks. / For a w olf in the Sabine woods— / while I sang my Lalage / wandering carefree beyond the pale— / fled from me unarmed; / such a portent neither military / Daunus’ land o f the wide oak-glades / begets, nor Juba’s, / the lions’ dry nurse. / Put me where on frozen fields / the summer breeze refreshes not a tree, / a region pressed by stormclouds / and evil weather; / under the chariot of the too-close sun / put me in a land without owners: / Lalage will I love, sweetly smiling, / sweetly talking.

Like many Horatian narratives, the story he tells in in te g e r v ita e is rhetorically grounded (Heinze 1923: 182): telling the tale apparently intends to prove the opening proposition. While rhetorically the wolf exemplum ( n a m q u e , g) supports the gnome about the invulnerability


L y ric N a rra tiv e s

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of the pure at heart,5 in the actual speech situation the event rather generates the gnome: the poet universalizes (wildly) from his experi­ ence. The weapons in the first stanza respond to in e r m e m (12), the geographical excursus to the wolf as a cause of danger. These motifs gain in importance over the course of the personal narratives as Horace approaches telling of war, and the expansion of ‘weapons’ to a list of colourful instances and of ‘wherever he goes’ to a geographical survey of the known world does not merely decorate. This opening leads us to expect a context of warfare and imperial expansion.6 Instead, n a m q u e (9), the marker of explanatory narrative, takes us home to the Sabine woods, and instead of a soldier, voilàl it’s a poet.7 The implication is that this speaking ego is in teg er v ita e scelerisq u e p u r u s (1), but this goes unstated. The slide between what the exemplum proves at the end of the poem, and what it was meant to at the beginning, comes about in part by the lack of explicitness. The logic of the argument we expect is simple.8 Proposition: the pure at heart need no weapons to be safe anywhere. Proof: I came away unscathed from an unarmed encounter with a wolf. Singing of Lalage seems a realistic (and therefore unmotivated) detail; it identifies the speaker as a poet, and conveys nonchalance (and lightens the tone, Syndikus 1972: 226). The premiss is that ‘I’ can substitute for ‘pure of heart’ without loss of sense, but a second argument continues as if this premiss were what was proved: the poet is pure of heart.9 The economy of this secondary argument is maintained in the application of the proposition to the poet: ‘Therefore (since I’m pure of heart), I will be safe anywhere’ (p o n e m e . . ., 17-22). ‘Anywhere’ is expressed, as in the proposition, by a geographical survey, with the difference that a sweep of climatic conditions substitutes for place names with their intimations of empire (inappropriate for our homebody love poet). Cold denotes North, heat South; the anaphora of p o n e (17, 21), in the

same place in the stanza, marks the complementary. The poem ends with QED, but instead of ‘I will be safe’ (the expected conclusion to the second argument), or ‘the pure of heart will be safe’ (the expected conclusion to the first), the actual end substitutes what we thought was filler the first time around: ‘I will love Lalage.’ Another unstated implication is made: singing of Lalage will keep the poet safe from harm. Essentially one topos (poets/lovers remain safe), replaces another (the righteous come to no harm ).10* In neither case does Horace attribute his safety, as he will elsewhere, to the divine inter­ vention of the commonplace. This substitution does more than simply derail the argument, it creates an analogy between the adventurer who travels to the far reaches of empire, and the love poet, who also crosses symbolic boundaries ( u ltra te r m in u m , ίο- n ) even if he remains geographically close to home ( silv a . . . in S a b in a , 9).11 The next stanza underscores this point by the choice of geography that fails to cap the portent. D a u n ia s (14) means both ‘home’ for Horace (as in C. 3. 30. 11, 4. 6. 27) and the source of the good old-fashioned Italic rustic soldier stock (C. 2. 1. 34, 4. 14. 26), a meaning here activated by m ilita r is (13). On the one hand, home (Italy) is contrasted with abroad (Africa in Iu b a e tellus, 15), on the other, neither the m ilita r y Italic landscape nor the ex o tic land, source of the javelins and poisoned arrows of the first stanza, and home of the Syrtis in the second, can come up with such a portent as found right outside Horace’s backyard.12 Both poet and adventurer— a military type—can, of course, be in teg er v ita e , but the analogy between the two matters not for any serious import, but because the contrast between the types informs so much of Horace’s sense of self.13 This contrast must be surmounted before the Roman Odes. For the moment, Horace identifies himself specifically as a lyric poet of the light sort. The poetics are addressed to someone who would

5 See Fraenkel (1957) 185 on ‘namque’ as the equivalent o f καί γάρ. 6 NH (1970) 265 recall Cato’s march around the Great Syrtis in 47 bc, Alexander’s founding o f Bucephala at the Hydaspes after one of his greatest battles in 326 bc, and link Pompey to the Caucasus (267). 7 Olstein (1984) 117: the poet caps the heroes evoked by the landscape. 8 The symmetry o f the poem ’s beginning and end is often commented on, e.g. Syndikus (1972) 225; Tarrant (1995) 37 sets the formal symmetry against the twist in the argument. 9 Commager (1967) 132 remarks that an exaggerated description of the w olf sub­ stitutes for a ‘traditional paradigm illustrating the gnomic proposition of the first stanza’; Syndikus (1972) 228 comments on our surprise at the poet’s offering him self as integer vitae.


10 Syndikus (1972) 230-1; N H (1970) 262-3; Commager (1967) 132-4; Fraenkel (1957) 187. Davis (1987b) 68 n. 4 shows that Horace claims im munity qua love-poet, and not simply as an amator. Olstein (1984) 114 insists that Horace does not ‘seriously’ believe the ‘romantic notion’ o f the sacrosanctity o f the love poet. Lack o f seriousness hardly precludes the topos’ function in the poet’s self-definition. It is as much the debunking o f argumentation, as the substitution o f the love poet for the pure o f heart, that makes this poem playfirlly subversive. 11 Fraenkel (1957) 186: Horace’s tale ‘occupies the place which in Greek poetry would often be occupied by the account o f some adventure o f a hero’. 12 Davis (1987b) 73-6 traces w olf legends to both regions. 13 The elegists’ militia amoris belongs to the same family, Davis (1987b) 69.

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understand, the literary critic Aristius Fuscus (Commager 1967: 342). Over against the useless weapons of the first stanza and m ilita r is (13) Daunias, the poet engages in love (a m a b o , 23) and poetry (ca n to , 10). He sings no idle song when he meets the wolf; he sings of a girl whose name has to do with utterance. ‘Lalage’ is from Χ α Χ α γ ε ίν , to chatter, a perfect word for light phonocentric poetry. A e m u la tio of Catullus further marks his poetry as lyric.14 Citation pays honour to his Latin predecessor in Sapphics (the metre of C. 1. 22 is not incidental): dulce rid e n te m (23) comes from Catullus 51. 5· But where Catullus con­ denses Sappho’s ά δ ν φ ω ν ε ί σ α ς υ π α κ ο ύ ε ι κ α ί γ ε Χ α ί σ α ς Ι μ ε ρ ο ε ν ( he hears you sweetly speaking and laughing desirably’, 31. 3-5 V) into the single phrase, transposing the adverb from the first participle onto the second, Horace caps Catullus by recalling both participles, though repeating Catullus’ adverb. He not only does one better than Catullus, but aligns himself with the tradition of erotic lyric poetry Sappho and Catullus represent.15 Furthermore, Davis argues (with extensive par­ allels) that poetics in this poem extends beyond the assertion of lyric to the disavowal of iambic poetry, symbolized by the wolf (1987fr). The encounter with the incarnation of a genre he has abandoned validates the present genre. Instead of losing his voice, an effect folklore attri­ butes to the wolf’s evil eye, the poet survives the generic challenge unscathed: his final lines reaffirm his speaking voice (d u lc e rid e n te m L alagen a m a b o / d u lce lo q u e n te m , 23-4), and indeed lo q u e n te m is the last word (Davis 1987fr: 77-8; Oistein 1984: 119 notes ‘Horace’s sub­ stitution of verbal for sexual activity’). Beyond evoking iambic poetry, the wolf also participates in a cluster of topoi that accompany the poet’s fantastic narratives about himself. He is a Dangerous Wild Animal, a subcategory of Danger. His fleeing is a Marvel (p o r te n tu m , 13), that implies Divine Protection. The poet meets such marvels when he is Wandering (vagor, 11) Out of Bounds (u ltr a te r m in u m , io- π ) . The marvels are sometimes previously known from literature or fable, meaning that, in some way, they have become conventional.16 The poet may not himself visit the fa b u lo su s (7) 14 The meaning o f Lalage’s name and the emulation of Catullus are widely recognized. Davis (1987fr) 67-9 draws the generic implications. Commager (1967) 132 traces the geographical catalogue to Catullus 11, also in Sapphics. 15 Olstein (1984) 117 remarks on c u r is . . . e x p e d iti s ( η ) : given c u r a as a lovers anxiety, the poet appears paradoxically in love without ‘being in love’— a mark o f literarity. 16 Much o f the myth is conventional. For the lover’s immunity, NH (1970) 263; for the ‘isolated wanderer’ who averts harm with music, Davis (1987fr) 67 n. 1 with bibliography.

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Hydaspes of Alexander fame, but it belongs to the analogous landscape at the border of the known world.17 Often, though not here, the poet becomes self-consciously nutty when Out of Bounds; Controlled Mad­ ness has affinities with inspiration. The Military Foil, here the contrast of the poet to the soldier, is part of the package and elsewhere entails topoi not present in this poem, such as Weariness from Warfare. Not every personal narrative has all the elements, but together they con­ stitute a mythology of the lyric poet. This mythology is not one of identity, but of function. It tells us not who the poet is, or what it takes to write this kind of poetry, but rather authenticates the poetry before us by claiming divine favour. Horace’s irony and realism far from undercut his self-authentication; they make the conventions palatable. This poem tells us our poet is a lyric love poet; the following poem proves it (Santirocco 1986: 55). Other narratives authenticate other kinds of lyric. A further characteristic of Horace’s personal narratives is that their weight is purely symbolic. If we translate them into ‘actual’ terms, not much happens. These are non-events, or rather ordinary events. Pure force of imagination lends them significance, turns a native wolf into a p o r te n tu m (13).18 In this poem narrating occurs only in the n a m q u e stanza, but this mini-narrative is artful. Subject, object, and location are all announced in the first line: n a m q u e m e silv a lu p u s in S a b in a (9). The wolf tells us we are in something of a fable. A d u m clause fills in the background information (10-11), and postpones the action (fu git, 12) until the final line, creating suspense. We wait with baited breath for some transitive verb, in all likelihood a violent one. ‘So, did the wolf eat you up? Did you sing your way out of his stomach like a lyric Red Riding-Hood?’ But no, nothing happened, the wolf ran away. The punch line, saved for the final word, is even more anticlimactic, the poet was not even armed (in e rm e m , 12). This of course proves his point, but if we expected action and adventure, the poet should have emerged unscathed from a fight in which he wrestled down the wolf with his bare hands. But the lack of action proves another point: this is not epic or fable or romance or indeed any narrative genre, but rather lyric in which the poet sings of Lalage, and ironizes his failure as a man 17 F a b u lo s u s here and at C . 3. 4. 9 first in Latin, perhaps Horace’s coinage: N H (1970) C. i. 22. 7. 18 See Fraenkel (1957) 186 on the magnification o f the ‘by no means improbable’; ‘In Horace’s external life, after the troubled years o f his early career, very few exciting things happened; those that did happen the poet had to make the most o f ’ (168).


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and a poet of action. The strength of this position only becomes clear in C. 3. 4, where the gods align with the Muses against v is con sili expers ( 6 s ) and the poet emerges in v io la tu s (3 6 ).

and swift flight, / my shield left shamefully behind, / when broken manhood and empty threats / touched the foul ground with their chin. / But me, swift Mercury lifted afraid / through the dense air, away from the enemy; / you, the wave sucked back into war / with seething shallows. / Therefore give Jupiter his feast as is due / and lay down your side tired from long war / under my laurel, nor spare / the wine-jars marked for you. / Fill the smooth lotus-vessels / with forgetful Massic, pour / the unguent from capacious shell-boxes. Who cares / to make up some garlands / from moist parsley or myrtle? Whom / will Venus name master o f ceremonies? / 1 will rave no saner than bacchantes. / I find it sweet to go mad when recovering a friend.




o e t at


iv il )



O saepe mecum tempus in ultimum deducte Bruto militiae duce, quis te redonavit Quiritem dis patriis Italoque caelo, Pompei, meorum prime sodalium, cum quo morantem saepe diem mero fregi coronatus nitentis malobathro Syrio capillos? tecum Philippos et celerem fugam sensi relicta non bene parmula, cum fracta virtus et minaces turpe solum tetigere mento. sed me per hostis Mercurius celer denso paventem sustulit aere, te rursus in bellum resorbens unda fretis tulit aestuosis. ergo obligatam redde Iovi dapem, longaque fessum militia latus depone sub lauru mea, nec parce cadis tibi destinatis. oblivioso levia Massico ciboria exple, funde capacibus unguenta de conchis, quis udo deproperare apio coronas curatve myrto? quem Venus arbitrum dicet bibendi? non ego sanius bacchabor Edonis: recepto dulce mihi furere est amico. ( C 2. 7)

O, often brought to crisis / with me when Brutus was general, / who gave you back a citizen / to the gods of our country and Italy’s sky, / Pompeius, first o f my comrades? / With you I often broke up the lingering day / with pure wine and crowned my glossy hair / with Syrian perfume. / With you I saw Philippi


If in teg er v ita e sets up an antithetical analogy between love poet and soldier-adventurer, C. 2. 7 tells of our poet’s performance at war. The polarity this time pits not a love but a sympotic poet against the soldier (on the war/symposium antinomy, Davis 1991: 94; on war/peace, Nadeau 1980: 193). The polarity sets past against present in the two versions of the poet’s self, and also divides him from his companion. But the symposium cuts across divides. It united the two in friendship on battle’s threshold, and now offers an occasion for reunion. After C. 2. r, we expect civil war to be left behind, particularly after the last stanza. Here it returns as a topic, one admittedly relegated to the past, but Horace nevertheless joins narrative with civil war, even if he does not narrate civil war p e r se. His own participation, military no less, in national crisis plays a role in his self-definition as a lyrist. It cuts both ways. On the one hand, it gives him the personal authority to set military activities aside and to speak about civil war however indirectly in C. 3. 4; on the other, it compromises. Being compromised is in large part what Horace is about, but another large part is overcoming compromise—usually through reinstating it at a new level. In this poem he acknowledges his own participation in civil war, but also removes himself miraculously from engagement. He does not white­ wash defeat.19 Being a poet literally and figuratively saves him. The topoi of Horace’s personal myth deployed here are Danger from battle ( te m p u s in u ltim u m , 1; p e r h ostis, 13), Divine Protection (Mer­ cury snatches him away), in itself a Marvel, though unmarked. Wan19 Moles (1987) emphasizes the dishonour o f the third stanza: Horace repudiates the political and military life in favour o f an Epicurean retreat into privacy and pleasure. Being an Augustan now does not mean having to repudiate being a republican then— though being a republican now is no longer possible. Horace was in good company in losing at Philippi and winning at Actium; Bosworth (1972) 449 offers a list. See Ahi (1984) 44-6 on the dialectic of Octavian’s ‘Actium’ school versus the ‘Pharsalus-Philippi’ school o f his foes.


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dering and being Out of Bounds are absent. Weariness from Warfare applies to Pompeius {lo n g a q u e fe ssu m m ilitia latu s, 18), its antidote is the symposium. The poet’s joy at recovering his friend allows for Controlled Madness, linked, as often, to Bacchus: n o n ego san iu s b a cch a b o r E d o n is (26-7) and fu re re (28) belong to madness; we can chalk d u k e (28) and the statement of madness up to control. The divergent parallel between Horace and Pompeius distinguishes the former q u a poet. While their close friendship ( m e o ru m p r im e so d a liu m , 5) offers a good foundation for a symposium, the language that insists on their communality ( m e c u m , 1; cu m qu o, 6; tecu m , 9) cannot keep them together, and they are separated {m e , 13, in antith­ esis to te, 15, which picks up te, 3). The two narrative stanzas (9-16) establish differences in career and in saviour—differences which carve out a special place for the poet. Although both witnessed Philippi ( te c u m . . . sensi, 9-10), the language of elements forks their paths: Mercury whisked the poet off into the air ( den so aere, 14); metapho­ rical waters sucked back Pompeius {u n d a fr e tis . . . aestuosis, 16); both escaped touching the ground with their chins {m in a c e s / tu r p e solu m tetigere m e n to , 11-12). Among the survivors, the options are continued warfare {ru rsu s in b ellu m , 15), or specifically poetic activities. Horace loses his shield in lyric fashion, and while the rescue by a god midbattle derives from epic, its application not to a third-person hero but the speaking poet assimilates it in a lyric twist to Horace’s Divine Protection topos.20 Mercury, whose parentage of the lyre Horace con­ sistently mentions among other attributes, is an ‘unpretentious god of poetry’.21 Mercury differentiates Horace from his addressee. While a gód of poetry saved Horace from Military Danger, Pompeius owes salvation to an unidentified q u is (3). This q u is is generally assumed to be Augustus; the question, more than expressing delighted surprise,

also allows the name to go unspoken (NH 1978: ad loc.). The poet does not owe his salvation, however, to the princeps, even if the slippage between Mercury and Augustus at C. 1. 2. 41-52 makes the distinction hazy.22 The poet’s salvation does not translate into ‘rea­ lity’—despite celerem fu g a m (9) we cannot even say whether or not he literally fled23—but it is hard to understand the symbolic relation between Horace’s being a poet and his rescue. Did Mercury save him because he was already a poet? Because he would be? Did his poetry somehow keep him out of trouble? Does he owe some other mundane salvation to someone who recognized his poetic worth? What emerges in the understated contrast with Pompeius is that Horace does not acknowledge Augustus as his saviour, neither then—it would be historically untrue—nor now. What Horace does grant Augustus is tactful thanks for the return of his friend.24 Civil war makes for a problem in etiquette. How to recognize clemency in such circumstances without abasement, which would derail the act of thanks? The poet’s own independence is maintained by the attribution of his salvation to a god. Furthermore, no direct thanks is expressed, however much intimated. But most important is the poem’s redirection away from the politics of civil war toward friendship, the symposium, and poetry. Civil war in this poem is no mere personal event in the lives of the protagonists; its history spans generations. The otherwise unknown Pompeius’ name evokes the conflict between Pompey and Caesar (Ahi 1984: 52). If Horace had not wanted the name, and we suppose an entirely historical friend Pompeius, who really was Horace’s drinking companion and had just returned from the over a decade-long aftermath of Philippi, he could have used a cognomen. Q u irite m (3) makes no bones that this war was civile. The addressee’s own history extends warfare beyond Philippi, how far is unsure, but lines 15-16 sweep him

20 Shield-losing poets are Archilochus (5 W), Alcaeus (428a), and Anacreon (381b = 85 Gentili), see N H (1978) C. 2. 7. 10; Fraenkel (1957) U· For the epic associations o f the divine rescue, N H (1978) 107 and at C. 2. 7. 13; they show, however, that this topos had already made it into Archilochus 95 W (108, with Zielinski’s text), although μ έσω σ’ Έρμης (‘Hermes saved me’) is more realistic than Horace’s fantastic epic mist. Commager (1967) 128 speaks o f the shield in the context o f Horace’s counter­ point o f tradition and fact around the events of his own life’. Fraenkel (1957) 164 emphasizes the lack o f realism in the rescue. 21 N H (1978) ad loc.; Commager (1967) 23, 128, 171 n. 23 against Fraenkel (1957) 164-5. Mercury and the lyre: C. 1. 10. 6; C. 3. 11. 1-4. The ‘Mercurial’ men at C. 2. 17. 29-30 seem to be poets— at any rate people in Horace’s category.

Nadeau (1980) 194 notes that Augustus stands indirectly behind both Mercury and Jupiter, so both poet and Pompeius were saved by him; also Santirocco (1986) 89. 3 Porphyrio ad loc. attempts such a translation: iucunde autem a Mercurio se sublatum de illa caede dicit, significans clam et quasi furto quodam se inde fugisse (‘However, he says, pleasantly, that he was removed from that slaughter by Mercury, signifying that he fled from there secretly, and as if by som e ruse’). 24 NH (1978) X08—9; Syndikus (1972) 387. The former doubt W ilkinson’s (1968) 33-4 suggestion that Iovi (17) hints at Octavian. ‘Normal usage’ does not preclude a hint. lovi (17) does not answer quis (3), but points in the right direction. 25 NH (1978) 107 and at C. 2. 7. 16; Syndikus (1972) 386 argues against literalizing the sea-swell as a reference to Sextus Pompeius.



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back into the fray.25 Furthermore, c ib o ria (22) evoke Egypt (NH 1978: ad loc.). If we stop short of Biicheler’s argument that this suggests Pompeius served with Antony in the East (1882: 229), this rare word in context recalls Egypt’s importance in the civil wars, even if proving nothing about Pompeius. Covert reference recalls the wars of C. 2. 1 (Pharsalus) and of 1. 37 (Actium). Civil war admits of no real political victory. Poetry steals the symbol of victory from politics. It is the poet who behaved disgracefully in battle who wins.26 He invites his friend to a feast su b la u ru m e a (1 9 ) .27 The laurel’s association with victory is elsewhere transferred to the poet, with implications of poetic success, in two significant places in the first collection: it is one of two symbolic shrubs (the other is myrtle) the doves weave over the infant poet at C. 3. 4. 19, and it is the garland the poet instructs Melpomene to twine around his head in the final line of the collection (C. 3. 30. 16).28 The poet did not win in the civil wars, but his appropriation of the bay transforms our under­ standing of triumph. The turn to the symposium after the narrative stanzas similarly redirects the poem from civil war to lyric poetry, from past to present so that the temporal progression of the whole follows in chronological order. The initial question anticipates this movement back to lyric with Pompeius’ transition from m ilitia e (2) to Q u ir ite m (3). While ablative absolutes (B ru to m ilitia e duce, 2; relieta n on ben e p a r m u la , io) smack of military narrative (NH 1978: ad loc.), imperatives, questions getting the party going, and the present tense— signs of spoken, enacted dis­ course—occupy the final stanzas. Ergo (17) marks a strong turn from narrative to the present moment and balances cu m q u o (6), the relative which lets us slide from the poet’s initial question into narrative. M ilitia e (2) at the beginning is closed and left behind with its iteration (m ilitia , 18). The symposium allows its participants to forget the past ( o b livio so . . . M assico, 21). Sympotic emblems, wine,

garlands, and unguents attend both the recollected symposium ( m o r­


26 Syndikus (1972) 385 contrasts Horace’s shame (non bene, io; turpe, 12) at losing his shield with the Greek lyrists’ nonchalance. Horace’s ability to see the moral, Roman point of view enables his adoption of an epic voice. Ahi (1984) 52 notes that Archilochus will purchase a new shield and remain a soldier-poet, while for Horace, the loss is permanent and impels him to poetry. 27 The laurel was ‘normally associated with the triumphator’, NH (1978) ad loc. with bibliography on the laurel’s poetic appropriation. Also Davis (1991) 96 - 7 '» Moles (1987) 69; Commager (1967) 341-2. 28 Laurel returns in book 4 as a garland appropriate for Pindar: laurea donandus Apollinari (C. 4. 2. 9).

a n te m sa ep e d ie m m ero / fr e g i c o ro n a tu s n ite n tis / m a lo b a th r o S yrio

and the present occasion ( o b liv io so le v ia M a ssic o / cib o ria / u n g u e n ta d e conchis, q u is u do / d ep ro p era re a p io coron as / c u ra tv e m yrto ? 21-5). The switch of a place-name from the unguent to the wine brings us home from the East, and the specifica­ tion of wild parsley and myrtle, the latter sacred to Venus, brings us home to lyric. The rhetorical genre is prosphoneticon, what you say to someone, here Pompeius, who comes home (Cairns 1972: 18 ff.). Bacchus and Venus, presiding over the final stanza (V en u s, 25; bacchabor, 27), signify lyric reduction, but Bacchus will soon take on a more public dimension. Can poetry really make us forget?29 No. This poem remembers civil war and immortalizes it. But the turn from war to the symposium, from action to poetry, heals in the manner of forgetfulness. It allows a rest for the lon ga . . . fe s su m m ilitia la tu s (18). Here the rest is personal and takes place among friends—the poem’s final word is a m ic o (28). Perhaps Horace’s real lyric victory is to view the entire conflict in terms of personal experience: friends divided now reunite.30 These scars can dose, provided their cause, the public amnesty of Augustan clem en tia , remains unspoken. The test remains whether such salutary forgetfulness can occur on a national level, if only within poetry. capillos, 6—8 )

exple, fu n d e c a p a cib u s

L y r ic V

is io n

file et nefasto te posuit die, quicumque primum, et sacrilega manu produxit, arbos, in nepotum perniciem obprobriumque pagi; illum et parentis crediderim sui fregisse cervicem et penetralia 29 The paradox that Memory’s daughters cause forgetting goes back to Hesiod, Theog. 53—5, 102—3, where life’s ills are forgotten because poetry supplants one’s memory o f oneself, Walsh (1984) ch. 2. Tarrant (1995) 40 asks how successful the ‘application of selective memory’ can be in this poem: the return to the symposium cannot paper over the intervening breach. 30 Davis (1991) 93: ‘the Philippi debacle is recast in the mold o f an emblematic “lyric” event.’

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sparsisse nocturno cruore hospitis; ille venena Colcha, et quicquid usquam concipitur nefas, tractavit, agro qui statuit meo te, triste lignum, te caducum in domini caput inmerentis. quid quisque vitet, numquam homini satis cautum est in horas: navita Bosphorum Poenus perhorrescit, neque ultra caeca timet aliunde fata, miles sagittas et celerem fugam Parthi, catenas Parthus et Italum robur, sed inprovisa leti vis rapuit rapietque gentis. quam paene furvae regna Proserpinae et iudicantem vidimus Aeacum sedesque discretas piorum et Aeoliis fidibus querentem Sappho puellis de popularibus et te sonantem plenius aureo, Alcaee, plectro dura navis, dura fugae mala, dura belli! utrumque sacro digna silentio mirantur umbrae dicere, sed magis pugnas et exactos tyrannos densum umeris bibit aure volgus. quid mirum, ubi illis carminibus stupens demittit atras belua centiceps auris, et intorti capillis Eumenidum recreantur angues? quin et Prometheus et Pelopis parens dulci laborum decipitur sono, nec curat Orion leones aut timidos agitare lyncas. (C. 2. 13) That man, whoever it was, / first planted you, tree, on a forbidden day, / and brought with sacrilegious hand / ruin on his grandsons and shame on the community, / I would believe that that man broke the neck / o f his own father and spattered his innermost home / at night with the gore of a guest-friend; / he handled Colchian poison / and whatever evil is ever conceived, / that man who placed you, sad wood, / on my property, you, to fall on the head / o f your

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undeserving master. / N o man takes sufficient caution / of what each should avoid hour to hour. / The Phoenician sailor recoils in terror from the Bosphorus / and does not fear besides blind doom from elsewhere, / the soldier does the same for arrows / and the Parthian’s swift flight, the Parthian / chains and Italian might, but death’s power / unforeseen has and will snatch peoples. / How I almost saw the realm o f dark Proserpina / and Aeacus sitting in judgement / and the separate abodes of the pious / and Sappho complaining on the Aeolian lyre / of girls from the populace, / and you sounding more fully with golden pick, / Alcaeus, the hard woes o f ship, / exile, war! / The shades marvel at each as they speak / worthy o f sacred silence, but the crowd / pressed shoulder to shoulder drinks in more with the ear / the battles and tyrants forced out. / Hardly surprising, since the hundred-headed beast / lays back its black ears / wondering at those songs, and the snakes / twisted in the Eumenides’ hair are refreshed. / Yes, and even Prometheus and Pelops’ father / are deceived o f their toil by the sweet sound, / and Orion does not care to stir / the lions or the timid lynxes. Q u a m p a e n e . . . v id im u s (21-2). Did the poet have a vision of the underworld or not? Well, no, but here it is none the less, a reminder that an event’s meaning transcends its actual occurrence. Two narra­ tives inhabit this poem, the first the story Horace tells to the tree about its origins,31 the second the vision he almost saw—the fact of the vision is narrated, the vision itself described. The poem’s central event, the poet’s near death by falling tree, is not narrated at all, but rather encapsulated in an adjective and marked by apostrophe and forceful repetition (anadiplosis): te, tr iste lig n u m , te c a d u c u m / in d o m in i c a p u t in m e re n tis (11-12). This is another lyric non-narrative, told elsewhere with great compression, as contrary to fact (m e tru n cu s in la p su s cerebro / su stu lera t, n isi F au n u s ic tu m / d e x tr a levasset, ‘The trunk, which fell on my skull, would have carried me off, had Faunus not lessened the blow with his right hand’, C. 2.17. 27-9) or in a negated ( m e . . . / d e v o ta n on e x tin x it arbor, ‘The damn tree did not kill me’, C. 3. 4. 26-7) or participial form (p r o p e fu n e r a tu s I a rb o ris ictu , ‘almost killed by a tree’s blow’, C. 3. 8. 7-8, where the main verb is a more appropriate lyric action, the vow v o v e ra m , ‘I had vowed’, 6). Instead of a narration of the Dangerous Event, two hypothetical narratives, about the tree and what the poet nearly saw, tell of poetics, that is, Horace’s real story. In Horace’s unfolding myth of self, this poem recapitulates C. 1. 22’s movement from iambic to lyric, and adds new elements taken up in subsequent poems (Davis 1991: 80-9 traces the shift in this poem from invective to lyric). Verbal links go in both directions. C elerem fu g a m 31 Commager (1967) 139 thinks the tree merely a formal addressee, the poem being addressed really to himself.


Lyric Narratives

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(17) repeats the phrase from C. 2. 7. 9; recreantur (36) repeats recreatur from C. i. 22. 18, and anticipates recreatisin C. 3. 4. 40. The taming of Cerberus looks forward to the end of C. 2. 19. The tree represents Danger, without explicit Divine Protection. Subsequent references to the event name various saviours,32 a disparity Davis interprets as indicative that the event was a malleable episode signifying the poet’s protection by the gods, and furthermore that the gods protected him qua poet, since all have to do with poetry (1991: 88-9). But the attribution of salvation to the various divinities occurs after the fact, only in poems reinterpreting the event that occurs here first in the collection. A new m otif is introduced in Divine Protection’s stead: Poetic Vision. If we could translate Horace’s Personal Myth out of mythic terms, the story would be that his near-death experience, one of several formative moments, caused him to think about his poetic vocation.33 His first reaction was iambic—to curse the planter of the tree—in line with his earlier poetry (Davis 1987b). His second reaction was more reflective and gnomic: quid quisque vitet, numquam homini satis / cautum est in horas (13-14) and sed improvisa leti / vis rapuit rapietque gentis (19-20). Such thoughts on the fragility of life and the insuffi­ ciency of our plans directed him away from iambic poetry to lyric, hence the vision of his Aeolic predecessors.34 Their activities in the underworld stand for their poetic immortality, a plus if one grazes death.35*Their ability to tame even the great sinners suggests that lyric may respond more productively to vicissitude than iambic. These thoughts are retrospectively attributed in later poems to the salvation offered by various gods of poetry. My translation is crude, but the point is that the Poetic Vision is the functional equivalent of Divine Protection in the myth, the former at the point of revelation, the latter in retrospect. Each marks the poet as such. This poem puts together the relation of the elements differently

from the others. For one, Danger occurs not when the poet is Out of Bounds, but on his own property ( a g r o . . . m eo, io ; d o m in i, 12).36 The experience, however, (almost) takes him over the edge, indeed to the netherworld (reg n a P roserpin ae, 21, and sedes . . . d iscretas p io r u m , 23). Here we find the Marvel motif: m ir a n tu r (30), itself explained by upping the stakes: q u id m ir u m (33). The wonder the shades direct toward the poetry of Sappho and Alcaeus in the sedes p io r u m hardly surprises since even the great sinners of the last two stanzas marvel (stu p e n s, 33) and are charmed ( recrean tu r; 36; la b o ru m d ecip itu r, 38; nec cu rat, 39)—an a fo r tio r i argument. Poetry again counteracts Weari­ ness. A new motif is that poetry soothes even sinners (33-40). The taming of Cerberus recalls the eagle snoozing on the sceptre of Zeus in P y th ia n 1: the eagle relaxes his wings,37 Cerberus lets down his ears; the lyre’s notes hold the former entranced,38 the latter marvels at the poetry. Horace does one better than Pindar, however, in that the great sinners, unlike Pindar’s Typho (15 ff.), are charmed as well. P y th ia n i ’s formulation of poetry’s relation to force has since Fraenkel been considered important to C. 3. 4, the poem C. 2. 13, like the other personal narratives, leads up to.39 Another element added to the developing story is the poetic descent to the underworld ( k a ta b a s is ).4° The next personal narrative, C. 2. 19, also ends with Cerberus tamed in the underworld, and C. 3. 4 itself closes with a catalogue of underworld sinners who have resisted the Muses’ con siliu m . Poetry offers their only hope, a relief not afforded in C. 3. 4. This poem, like the others, also takes another step toward political narrative through the depiction of Alcaeus. In fact, the progression from the invective outburst against the tree’s planter, to Sappho’s love poetry, to Alcaeus as a political poet represents a generic/stylistic development that recapitulates grosso m o d o Horace’s different modal­ ities within his non-hexameter poetry: iambic, love lyric, political lyric. Davis has shown the generic relevance of the similarity between the

32 Faunus is the protecting deity in C. 2. 17. 28, and is called M e r c u r i a liu m c u s to s (29-30), reminiscent o f Mercury’s role in C. 2. 7; the Muses appear implicated in all the near-death events at C. 3. 4. 25-8 ( v e s t r i s a m i c u m f o n t i b u s e t c h o r is / n o n m e , ‘[all these events] did not [kill] me, a friend to your fonts and dances’); the poet vowed a sacrifice to Liber after the tree’s fall (C. 3. 8. 7), which implies Bacchus’ responsibility. 33 Fraenkel (1957) 167: ‘Poetry, then, with all its glory, is the mainspring of the ode I lle v iro r u m

e t n e f a s to te p o s u i t d ie .’

34 See Syndikus (1972) 418 on the ode’s progression in thought. 35 See Commager (1967) 315 on the obliqueness of the immortality claim here. Syndikus (1972) 423 argues against R. Reitzenstein that the poet is not comforted by the thought o f the holy lot o f poets in the afterlife, but by poetry itself and the immortality it affords.

36 That being Out o f Bounds can happen close to hom e (silva in Sabina, C. 1. 22. 9) shows that it is an external expression o f an internal reality. 37 ώκείαν πτέρυγ’ αμφοτέρωθεν χαλάξαις, 6. 38 « / ( r reats / ριπαίοι κατασχομ€νοςί g—io. 39 Fraenkel (1957) 273^85. Nicoli (1986) 606 also sees Pythian x as relevant, but thinks

the sinners are reinvigorated and roused to discord by Alcaeus’ war poetry, and that they correspond only to the volgus (32). I am not convinced. Quid mirum (33) closely picks up mirantur (30), whose subject is the respectful umbrae (30). The toil-relieving sound is furthermore sweet (d u lc i. . . sono, 38), hardly discordant. 40 Syndikus (1972) 425 draws the parallel with the Orpheus story.


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outburst against the tree-planter and the garlic epode (1991: 82-4; also Syndikus 1972: 419). He understands the tonal discrepancy between the opening and the latter part of the poem as a revision of the poet’s earlier iambic stance, the genre of the past, toward lyric, the genre of the present. This revision not only validates the present choice in generic terms, but also represents a change from a negative to a positive attitude toward mortality.41 The gnomic section in 13-20 is the pivot. Not only does the poet express the lyric thought that our death cannot be predicted or prevented, but the sailor ( n a v ita , 14) and the soldier (m iles, 17) are contrasting Foil, as usual men of action.42 The scene in the underworld validates Horace’s present genre. The partition of love poetry and ‘serious’ lyric among two stylistically different predecessors is polarized and reductive, but beyond the com­ plementary that Sappho and Alcaeus create for the whole of lyric (Davis 1991: 85-6; La Penna 1972 compares the two poets), the divi­ sion contributes to the picture of generic development over the poem’s course. The invective opening looks backward through allusion to a previous Horatian genre. Erotic subject matter (pu ellis, 25) goes along with the lighter style (q u e re n te m , 24, almost a code word for elegiac lament) within lyric (A eo liis fid ib u s, 24). Sappho’s branch of poetry corresponds to the lightness the poet claims for himself in C. 1.6 and i. 22, although he distinguishes himself from her with the lament, which he excludes from his own love lyric. Alcaeus, who earlier represents both branches of lyric (c iv i . . . fe r o x bello . . . a rm a . . . n a v im , ‘citizen . . . fierce in w a r. . . arms . . . ship’, versus L ib eru m e t M u sa s V en erem qu e, ‘Bacchus and the Muses and Venus’, C. 1. 32. 512), is here restricted to heavier topics (d u r a n avis, / d u ra fu g a e m ala, d u ra belli, 27-8) in a heavier style (s o n a n te m p le n iu s, 26).43 While the ship and the warfare are taken up from C. 1. 32, fu g a , especially after celerem fu g a m (17), draws a parallel with Horace’s own experience of warfare (celerem fu g a m , C. 2. 7. 9). Alcaeus similarly sings here of p u g n a s e t exactos ty ra n n o s (31), a phrase recalling the republican 41 The next poem, the ode to Postumus, pursues the acceptance of mortality. The underworld is represented again as the place that holds sinners (7-9; 17-20), though here there are only sinners, and song does not beguile their la b o r (20), as at C. 2. 13. 38. We can add tree-planting (C. 2. 14. 21-4) to the resemblances Santirocco (1986) 97-9 traces. 42 Davis (1991) 84 argues that the sailor and the soldier lead up in the manner of a priamel to the poet, but that instead o f the habitual pronominal cap, Sappho and Alcaeus substitute for a statement about ego. 43 Nicoli (1986) 606 n. 12 denies a stylistic difference between Sappho and Alcaeus in favour o f subject. Extricating the categories, as I show in Chs. 1 and 2, is difficult.

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slogans before Philippi (Nadeau 1980: 206). Like Alcaeus, Horace has sung of civil war, of Philippi as recently as C. 2. 7. Furthermore, he will sing again of civil war in the Roman Odes, however indirectly. But the model of Alcaeus— signally important for the Cleopatra ode—entails a danger in its potential to appeal to the baser instincts of the volgu s (32h44 The inspiration that provides the solution for a different kind of political poetry will come in C. 2. 19 and 2. 20. The difference is marked at the Roman Odes’ inception: Horace calls for the silence that meets the lyrists here (sacro . . . silen tio, 29; fa v e te linguis, ‘be propitiously silent’, C. 3. 1. 2). But in addition, he keeps out the mob ( o d i p ro fa n u m volgu s e t arceo, Ί dislike the vulgar mob and shut them out’, C. 3. 1. 1) which prefers Alcaeus’ high-style military poetry here.45 He does not indulge the taste of the common man, but takes on the burden of instructing the next generation (v irg in ib u s p u erisq u e, ‘maidens and boys’, C. 3. 1. 4). If the opening invective looks backwards to Horace’s poetic past, the picture of Alcaeus in C. 2. 13 brings us one step closer to political poetry. Taming the under­ world and the forces of discord is a challenge still ahead.

I d e m P a c is . . . M

e d iu sq u e



Bacchum in remotis carmina rupibus vidi docentem, credite posteri. Nymphasque discentis et auris capripedum Satyrorum acutas. euhoe, recenti mens trepidat metu, plenoque Bacchi pectore turbidum laetatur, euhoe, parce Liber, parce gravi metuende thyrso!

44 There is much o f value in Nicoli (1986), but I remain unconvinced that there is a divide here between Alcaeus’ rabble-rousing civil war poetry (p u g n a s e t e x a c to s ty r a n n o s , 31) and a more sophisticated treatment o f the topic tinged with regret { d u r a n a v is , / d u r a f u g a e m a la , d u r a b e lli, 27-8), and that illis c a r m i n i b u s (33) refers only to the crude poetry. The task Horace faces in his own poetry about internal violence is rehabilitation, a task Alcaeus, a factious aristocrat, could ignore. Horace must surpass Alcaeus in this respect, which may be why he turns in the Roman Odes rather to Pindar, a more socially integrating poet. 45 With Nicoli (1986) against Quinn (1980) ad loc., who contrasts the v o lg u s in the two passages.

20 6

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fas pervicacis est mihi Thyiadas vinique fontem lactis et uberes cantare rivos atque truncis lapsa cavis iterare mella, fas et beatae coniugis additum stellis honorem tectaque Penthei disiecta non leni ruina, Thracis et exitium Lycurgi. tu flectis amnes, tu mare barbarum, tu separatis uvidus in iugis nodo coerces viperino Bistonidum sine fraude crinis. tu, cum parentis regna per arduum cohors Gigantum scanderet impia, Rhoetum retorsisti leonis unguibus horribilique mala, quamquam choreis aptior et iocis ludoque dictus non sat idoneus pugnae ferebaris, sed idem pacis eras mediusque belli. te vidit insons Cerberus aureo cornu decorum, leniter atterens caudam et recedentis trilingui ore pedes tetigitque crura. (C. 2. 19) I saw Bacchus on distant crags / teaching songs— posterity, believe it— / and Nymphs learning and the keen / ears o f the goat-footed Satyrs. / Euhoe, my mind quivers with strange fear, / and, breast full o f Bacchus, rejoices in commotion, / euhoe, spare me, Father Freedom, / spare, fearsome with grie­ vous stem-wand! / It is divine right for me to sing / the stubborn bacchants, the fountain o f wine and rivers / of rich milk, the hollow / trunks’ honey-flow, / divine right to repeat your blessed wife’s / honour, added to stars, the house o f Pentheus / wrecked with ruin not gentle, / and the destruction o f Thracian Lycurgus. / You bend rivers, you the barbarous sea, / you, drunk on the twin peaks, / bind the bacchants’ hair / in a viper’s knot without harm. / You, when the Giants’ impious cohort / tried to scale your father’s realm high in the air, / you twisted Rhoetus / with the claws o f a lion and horrid jaw, / despite being called more suited / to dancing and games and play, / not fitting enough for battle / — but you were the same amid peace and war. / Cerberus, harmless, saw you / handsomely horned in gold. Gently abrading / his tail he licked your receding feet / and calves with his three-tongued mouth.

Here our poet really did have a Vision (v id i, 2), except that the parenthetic c re d ite p o s te r i (2) reminds us this is a poetic construction

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as well as a Marvel (Commager 1967: 344; Davis 1991: 108-9). As in the almost Vision of C. 2. 13, description takes over from narration, but the perfect tense v id i (2), like v id im u s (C. 2. 13. 22), grounds the description in a (non) event. Poetic Vision inspires a higher tone (fa s . . . e s t . . . c a n ta re . . . fa s, 9—13) and sanctions Horace’s poetic valid­ ity. This claim leads within the poem to a hymn to Bacchus, including a traditional hymnic narrative of Bacchus’ role in the Gigantomachy.46 Externally, this leads to the Roman Odes, including the narration of Gigantomachy in C. 3. 4.47 Like the other personal narratives, this poem points in both direc­ tions to other poems both inside and outside of the set examined here. The nymphs and satyrs of the first stanza recall the collection’s opening statement of poetics (N y m p h a r u m q u e leves cu m S a ty r is chori, ‘the light choruses of the nymphs with the satyrs’, C. 1. 1. 31). Ending with the underworld, a feature shared with the hymn to Mercury (C. 1. 10), may be a ‘pattern set by mystical hymns of Horace’s own day’, (NH 1978: C. 2. 19. 29), but Cerberus appeased at the close of a poem further looks back to C. 2. 13.48 Bacchus’ teaching c a rm in a (1) to his wards looks forward to the poet’s assumption of a didactic stance in the Roman Odes: c a rm in a n on p r iu s / a u d ita M u s a r u m sacerdos / v irg in ib u s p u e risq u e ca n to (Ί, priest of the Muses, sing songs previously unheard, to maidens and boys’, C. 3. 1. 2-4).49 C a n ta re (11) is the verb the Vision makes divinely right (fa s), which in turn allows the poet to adopt a priestly role. Was it the Roman Odes the poet witnessed Bacchus teaching? Beyond poetics, the Gigantomachy also provides a link to G 3. 1: c u m p a re n tis regn a p e r a rd u u m / cohors G ig a n tu m sc a n d e re t im p ia (G . 2. 19. 21-2); Io vis, / clari G ig a n teo tr iu m p h o (‘of Jupiter, renowned through triumph over the Giants’, C. 3. 1. 6-7). The relation to C. 3. 4 is similarly a question of both subject matter (Gigantomachy again) and poetic validation. The Vision in C. 2. 19 sets off a bout of Controlled Madness50 which returns at the opening 46 This poem is often called a dithyramb, e.g. Commager (1967) 337. 47 On the stretch of Alcaics from here through the Roman Odes, and the progression from inspiration, to immortality (C. 2. 20), to public poetry, Porter (1987) 145-6, 152 with particular reference to Gigantomachy here, in C. 3. 1, and 3. 4; Santirocco (1986) 112. 48 Golden glints in the underworld link these poems: Mercury’s wand at C. x. 10. 1819, Alcaeus’ plectrum at C. 2. 13. 26-7, Bacchus’ horn here (29-30). 49 Fraenkel (1957) 199 comments on Bacchus’ unusual role as the teacher o f the chorus. Davis (1991) 108: Bacchus teaches what Horace calls his poetry: c a r m in a . 50 Madness: euhoe! (5, 7) and the doubling o f parce (7-8). Control: assertion o f the loss of control (5-7).


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of C. 3. 4.51*Danger is manifest in the poet’s fear ( r e c e n t i. . . m etu , 5; m e tu e n d e , 8) and Divine Protection in the accord of favour (fas, 9, 13). The placement of the Vision Out of Bounds (in re m o tis . . . ru p ib u s, i) links with the personal narratives forwards and back. The personal narratives up to this point bring the poet gradually closer to the Military Foil that ostensibly contrasts with the poet’s own endeavours. Here he first stakes a claim to tell a military narrative. Gigantomachy is paradigmatic for the kind of poetry a good light poet will refuse to sing, and Horace himself declines as recently as C. 2. 12. 1-9—in conjunction with p ro e lia C aesaris (io).53 The movement within this ode is a microcosm of the broader move­ ment from the personal to the political narratives, a movement recapitulated and magnified within C. 3. 4, where Gigantomachy returns full-fledged. The personal, i.e. the poetic narratives sow the seeds for Horace’s political wings. Here one word narrates the per­ sonal section: v id i (2). This Vision spawns Controlled Madness, which makes it fa s to sing of Bacchus’ exploits. This in turn engenders the hymn complete with d u -S til and hymnic narrative.53 Narrating Gigantomachy is predicated on personal narrative, as also in C. 3. 4. The hymnic narrative itself reinstates poetics while relating Bacchus’ Gigantomachic role (21-8). A c u m -c lause introduces the background (21-2); the narrative verb is reto rsisti (23); the imperfects in the second stanza explain the action’s importance. The q u a m q u a m clause rhetori­ cally highlights the event: even though you were reputed to be soft, nevertheless you proved your worth in war.’ The terms, however, revert to Horatian lyric. Choral dancing on the one hand, jokes and play on the other, denote the choral and monodie branches of lyric, stylistically the serious and the light.54 A p tu s and id o n eu s are the language of decorum. Despite Bacchus’ greater suitability to lyric and lesser for battle, he turned out to be the same at the centre of both war and peace

(27-8).55 Bacchus here and at C. 3. 25 inspires Horace’s own forays Out of Bounds, into the genus grande; if the god maintains his identity (idem, 27) in war and peace, his devotee may as well.56 Decorum would restrict him to levity, as Pudor insists in C. 1. 6, but he turns out to be the same in war (poetry) despite his reputation (ferebaris, 27). Bacchus’ taming of Cerberus recollects Orpheus’ power over the underworld, and confers poetic power (Syndikus 1972: 479). Horace’s new validity is subsumed in cantare (11), but also in iterare (12). The conjunction is important: singing what has been sung before allows the poet to make the tradition new. He does not merely repeat the lesson, he repeats what is known from previous literature.57 Like fabulosus, at C. 1. 22. 7 and C. 3. 4. 9, iterare marks convention. Horace claims the right to sing nothing new; it is simply new for him. The pervicacis . . . Thyiadas (9), the rivers flowing with wine and milk, the honey dripping from trees, the transformation of Ariadne’s crown into a star, the collapse of the house of Pentheus, and the demise of Lycurgus are all either topoi or the subject of well-known works (Fraenkel 1957: 199 n. 3 and 200; NH 1978: ad loc.). The parallels to Euripides’ Bacchae suggest tragedy and Gigantomachy automatically suggests epic—yet another instance of the genres disavowed in C. 1.6. In this light, it signifies that the narrative’s actual subject, Bacchus at Gigantomachy, while hardly άμ,άρτνρον (unattested), is less common (Fraenkel 1957: 200; NH 1978: C. 2. 19. 22).58 Unlike the narratives in the hymn to Mercury, C. 1. 10. 9-16, which allude openly to Alcaeus and Iliad 24,59 the choice of narrative in this hymn steps Out of Bounds, onto the untrod ground of originality valued by Callimachus.

2o 8

51 Madness: hearing things in auditisÌ (5) and audire (6). Control: wondering if this is delusion (5-6) and awareness o f the deceptiveness o f appearance (videor; 6). 5:1 For Gigantomachy as allegory for the exploits of Augustus in the Augustan recu­ satio, P. R. Hardie (1986) 85-90. 53 Fraenkel (1957) 200; Syndikus (1972) 476 notes that it is unparalleled for an epiphany to lead into a hymn that was not already in motion, and compares the opening o f Callimachus’ Hymn to Apollo; on the movement (477-8). 54 The placement o f iocis (C. 2. 19. 25) in the same position in the stanza as in C. 2. x. 37 would be meaningless except that C. 2. 19 brings back the subject matter the poet puts behind him in the book’s first ode.

55 NH (1978) C. 2. 19. 27 translate ‘but you were not only a mediator o f peace but m idmost in the fight’. Their explanation that m e d iu s means something different with p a c t s and with b e lli goes against the sense o f tire passage, which is that Bacchus was the same (self-consistent) in antithetical circumstances. The difficulty is that ‘in the midst of war and peace’ would have m e d iu s as an adjective ( m e d ia p a c e , m e d io bello)·, m e d iu s b e lli can be understood physically, as they translate, but m e d iu s p a c i s must be taken meta­ phorically. The point is that Bacchus is always central. 56 Commager (1967) 339; Nadeau (1980) 221 in addition sees a reference to Horace’s past military career. 57 Porphyrio: ex integro cantare ac repetere (‘to sing anew and to recall’). NH (1978) ad loc. suggest ‘an elegant apology for his derivative theme’. s8 Possibly due to the malice o f transmission, Syndikus (1972) 492. Seth Benardete suggests to me that e r a s (28) is equivalent to ή σ θ α d p a (T have just figured out that you were all along’). 59 The theft not only o f Apollo’s cattle, but his quiver was apparently in Alcaeus’ hymn to Hermes, N H (1970) 126 and C. 1. 10. 11; this element distinguishes the hymn from others (e.g. Homeric Hymn to Hermes 20 ff).


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Whereas Bacchus traditionally upsets the social order by breaking down boundaries, when the posited order takes the form of Callimachean poetics, Bacchus paradoxically dissolves the limitations on adopting a public role, redolent of epic. For Horace, it takes losing control to become a social, political poet; it takes a Bacchic carnival to sing of Gigantomachy. Boundary and transgression, chaos and order, both poetic and social, are mutually dependent.

Light feathers are born / through my fingers and shoulders. / Now, better known than Daedalus’ Icarus / I will visit the shores o f groaning Bosphorus, / the shoals o f North Africa / and Siberian plains, a tuneful bird. / The Colchian will know me, and the Dacian / who hides his fear o f the Italian cohort, / and the Geloni far away. The practised Spaniard, / the Rhone-drinker will learn me. / Keep dirges away from my empty funeral, / foul grief and laments. / Cut the clamour and leave off / superfluous tomb honours.


ro ph ecy

N on usitata nec tenui ferar penna biformis per liquidum aethera vates, neque in terris morabor longius invidiaque maior urbes relinquam, non ego pauperum sanguis parentum, non ego, quem vocas, dilecte Maecenas, obibo, nec Stygia cohibebor unda. iam iam residunt cruribus asperae pelles, et album mutor in alitem superne, nascunturque leves per digitos umerosque plumae. iam Daedaleo notior Icaro visam gementis litora Bosphori Syrtisque Gaetulas canorus ales Hyperboreosque campos. me Colchus et qui dissimulat metum Marsae cohortis Dacus et ultimi noscent Geloni, m e peritus discet Hiber Rhodanique potor. absint inani funere neniae luctusque turpes et querimoniae; compesce clamorem ac sepulchri mitte supervacuos honores. (C. 2. 20)I I will be borne by a plume unusual and / not slender, a biformed bard, through the clear air, / nor will I delay on earth any longer / and, greater than envy, I will leave the cities behind. I, the blood / o f poor parents, whom you call, / beloved Maecenas, I will not die, / and the Styx will not contain me. / Now, now rough skin settles / on my calves, and I turn into a white bird / above.

This poem differs from the other personal narratives in looking to the future, in Genette’s terms, a prolepse homodiégétique externe’. The story is out of chronological order, it belongs to the same story line, its action falls perforce outside the time of writing the O des, even after the now of composition.60 That is, if such terms even begin to apply to such a patchwork and intermittent narrative of the poet’s life. But the ode’s future tense falls prey to the skewing effect of lyric time, which brings everything back to n o w .61 The transformation of poet into text takes place at the time of writing (now) and again at the time of reading—the future in comparison to the now of writing, but the present ever after. Horace’s metamorphosis did not occur at a set point in history, as did Philippi and (presumably) the tree’s fall, but is re­ enacted with every reading. Also unlike the other personal narratives, this one departs from the Personal Myth. It does, however, share motifs and verbal parallels with C. 3.4, and hurdles the book divide to the political poetry on the other side. Horace himself becomes the bird-bard ( a lb u m m u to r in a lite m , 10; can oru s ales, 15-16) he earlier foisted onto Varius (M a e o n ii c a r m i­ nis a lite, C. i. 6. 2). The previous poem directly inspires the claim to immortality here (Commager 1967: 314). In Horace’s language of style, the embrace of v a te s (3), jettisoning the light feather ( nec t e n u i . . . p e n n a , 1-2), metamorphosis into a bird, all signify the same thing: he is preparing for Something Big. In Horace’s Personal Myth, the place of realism is held by mention of the poverty of Horace’s parents (5-6), by q u e m vocas (‘whom you call’, 6), whatever its meaning, and the vivid description of the swan’s skin (9-10). He himself becomes the Wild Animal, and goes on a trip that 60 Genette (1972) ‘homodiégétique’ 92, ‘prolepse externe’ 105-7: ‘Leur [prolepses externes] fonction est le plus souvent d’épilogue: elles servent à conduire jusqu’à son terme logique telle ou telle ligne d’action, m ème si ce terme est postérieur au jour où l’héros décide de quitter le monde et de se retirer dans son oeuvre’ (107). 61 For ‘iam iam’ (9) with the present as a reference to the im m inent future, see Hendrickson (1949) and N H (1978) ad loc., with Fraenkel’s (1957) 302 n. x objections.



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crosses the boundaries of the usual constraints. These constraints are less literal than elsewhere, and extend to the elements (fe r a r . . . p e r liq u id u m a eth era . . n e q u e in terris m o ra b o r, 1-3), and even to death (n e c S ty g ia c o h ib e b o r u n d a , 8). He journeys to the ends of the known world. This geographical excursus is concrete, whereas in in teger v ita e , the military adventurer went to concrete places, the poet only to extreme climatic conditions (C . 1. 22. 5-8, 17-22). Now Horace too will travel to literal (B o sp h o ri, 14) and mythological (H yp erb o reo s . . . ca m p o s, 16) places, the homes of literal (D a cu s, 18) and symbolic ( G elo n i, 19) enemies of Rome. Two words from the geographical excursus recur in C. 3.4: Visam’ (14; C. 3. 4. 33, 35) and G elo n i (19; G elonos, C. 3. 4. 35). The former pertains to the poet’s voyage under the protection of poetry. The swan will visit these places as Horace incarnated in c a rm in u m lib ri tres. The poet in C. 3. 4 may not be absolutely commensurate with his work, but certainly not completely separate from it either; he is willing to go to the ends of the earth in the company of the Muses: u tc u m q u e m ecu m vo s eritis (‘whenever you are with me’, 29). The Geloni play a symbolic role in the catalogue of conquered enemies. Besides these two places, Horace mentions them elsewhere only in C. 2. 9, where they stand for Augustan imperial expansion. They form part of Vergil’s catalogue of conquered peoples on the shield (A e n e id 8. 725), where their function is similarly symbolic (as opposed to historical).62 The two words together bind several interrelated Horatian topoi. The Geloni, whose territorial restriction contributes to Caesar’s praise in C. 2. 9, return when it is a question of the p o e t s immortality in C. 2. 20. Imperial expansion has poetic consequences: his poetry will travel spatially (v is a m ) to the far reaches of empire in C. 2. 20, and temporally to the end of the Roman empire in C. 3. 30. The very choice of the historically unconquered Geloni in this context, however, reveals poe­ try’s transformatory power: it can turn an obscure frontier tribe on the (military) fringe into a symbol of empire. The placement of such a symbol at the end of the personal narrative in C. 3. 4 (G elon os, 35), before the narration of the Gigantomachy, at the juncture between sections on poet and princeps, and their respective powers, raises the question of their relation, and their respective relations to empire. Risking Something Big means courting failure, hence the recusa-

tiones, hence p u d o r (‘shame’, C. 1. 6. 9), hence the importance of choosing a subject in line with one’s ability.

62 Eden (1975): Geloni.

A en .

8. 724 if.; N H (1970) C. 1. 35. 40 compare the Massagetae to the

sumite materiam vestris, qui scribitis, aequam viribus, et versate diu, quid ferre recusent, quid valeant umeri; cui lecta potenter63 erit res, nec facundia deseret hunc nec lucidus ordo. (AP 38-41) You who write, choose material equal to your strength, / and ponder long what your shoulders can bear, / what they refuse; he who chooses his subject to good effect, / eloquence will not desert, nor clear arrangement.

By becoming a bird, Horace embraces the challenge and flouts p u d o r. The Marvel is an apotropaic gesture, that simultaneously wards off potential failure, and means to offend: ‘See, I told you I couldn’t do this sublime bird-poetry stuff, but I’m going to do it a n y w a y . Stuff decorum.’64 Unlike Baudelaire’s albatross, sublime in flight, subject to mockery on the ground, Horace’s swan mocks us back.65 If it goes down, it will make a big splash: D a e d a le o n o tio r Icaro (13). Fame and (the risk of) failure return again in the context of a bird-poet: Pindarum quisquis studet aemulari, lulle, ceratis ope Daedalea nititur pennis vitreo daturus nomina ponto. (C. 4. 2. 1-4) Whoever is eager to emulate Pindar, / Iullus, slides on feathers waxed with Daedalus’ work, / soon to give his name / to the glassy sea.

Horace makes no claim to success, but he knows his immortality is secure. Verbal parallels link the transition from book 2 to book 3 back to the transition between books 1 and 2, a link which heralds the return of 63 The conjunction o f ability with shame has led to Markland to conjecture p u d e n te r , printed by Shackleton Bailey (1985), but see Brink (1971) ad loc. 64 The realism o f the metamorphosis is the breaking point for Fraenkel (1957) 301, who otherwise manages to hold together Horace’s bizarre m é la n g e o f realism with the fantastic. For Davis (1991) 101 n. 24, the breaking point is the name o f Horace’s nurse at C. 3. 4. 10. Bonfante (1992) allies the aesthetic o f the swan metamorphosis to the baroque. The baroque and the surreal are analogous moments. 65 Baudelaire, S p le e n e t I d é a l II, L ’a lb a tr o s . Other instances o f immortality in flight are Ennius’ epitaph, Vahlen (1967) V a r ia 18, and Vergil, G e o r g . 3. 8-9.

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political poetry. Words from the end of book i recur at the beginning of book 3: tr iu m p h o (C. 1. 37. 32; C. 3. 1. 7; also C. 2. 1. 16), o d i (C. 1. 38. 1; C. 3. i. 1). Words from the beginning of book two recur at the end of the same: iocis (C. 2. 1. 37; C. 2. 19. 25), n e n ia e (C. 2. 1. 38; C. 2. 20. 21). These words are important to Horatian poetics and appear in exactly the same shape; the ordering is largely chiastic. While poetics and political poetry are interwoven around the divide between books 1 and 2, poetics by and large falls before the transition to book 3 and political poetry after—the brief opening of the Roman Odes and the long personal narrative in C. 3. 4 being exceptions that fall at impor­ tant introductory moments.

F o u n d a t io n a l N

a r r a t iv e

Descende caelo et dic age tibia regina longum Calliope melos, seu voce nunc mavis acuta, seu fidibus citharave Phoebi. auditis, an me ludit amabilis insania? audire et videor pios errare per lucos, amoenae quos et aquae subeunt et aurae. me fabulosae Volture in Apulo nutricis extra limina Pulliae ludo fatigatumque somno fronde nova puerum palumbes texere, mirum quod foret omnibus, quicumque celsae nidum Acherontiae saltusque Bantinos et arvum pingue tenent humilis Forenti, ut tuto ab atris corpore viperis dormirem et ursis, ut premerer sacra lauroque conlataque myrto non sine dis animosus infans. vester, Camenae, vester in arduos tollor Sabinos, seu mihi frigidum Praeneste, seu Tibur supinum, seu liquidae placuere Baiae.

P erso n a l N a rra tiv e s a n d th e F a n ta stic


vestris amicum fontibus et choris non me Philippis versa acies retro, devota non extinxit arbor, nec Sicula Palinurus unda. utcumque mecum vos eritis, libens insanientem navita Bosphorum temptabo et urentis harenas litoris Assyrii viator, visam Britannos hospitibus feros et laetum equino sanguine Concanum, visam pharetratos Gelonos et Scythicum inviolatus amnem. vos Caesarem altum, militia simul fessas cohortes abdidit oppidis, finire quaerentem labores Pierio recreatis antro. (C. 3. 4. 40) Come down from the sky, queen Calliope, / and tell a long tune on the reed, / or, if you now prefer, with clear voice, / or the lyre, or Apollo’s cithara. / Do you hear, or does lovely madness / delude me? I seem to hear and / wander over pious groves, washed / with pleasant waters and breezes. / Me, outside the bounds o f nurse Pullia / on Apulian Mt. Voltur, / overwhelmed by play and sleep, / fabled doves covered me as a boy with new / fronds, a thing marvellous to all / who dwell in the nest o f high Acherontia, / the Bantine glens, and the rich / land o f low-lying Forentum, / that I would sleep with body safe / from black vipers and bears, that I be pressed / with sacred laurel and bestowed myrtle, / a spirited infant under gods’ care. / Yours, Italian Muses, yours I ascend high / among the Sabines, whether cool / Praeneste or low-lying Tibur / or liquid Baiae holds me in pleasure. / The front turned back at Philippi / did not kill me, friend to your fonts and dances, / nor the cursed tree, / not Palinurus in Sicilian waters. / Whenever you are with me, willingly / will I try the crazed Bosphorus / by sea and the burning sands / o f the Assyrian shore on foot; / 1 will visit the Britons fierce to guests, / and the Spanish coast, that delights in drinking horse’s blood, / I will visit the quivered Geloni / and the Scythian stream— unharmed. / You refresh in the Muses’ cave / high Caesar, as soon as he hid / the cohorts tired from war in the towns, / seeking to end his labours.

C 3. 4 recapitulates all of the elements from the other personal narratives up to this point.66 The poet’s own life reaches further 66 Nisbet (1962) 2x0: ‘the essentials o f Horace’s own career and interests are all included.’

P erso n a l N a rra tiv e s a n d th e F a n ta stic

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back, to infancy. The forty lines of the poem’s opening half exceed all but the forty lines of C. 2. 13. The personal narrative in this poem leads directly into the political narrative for which the others have pre­ pared.67 This is the climax. Rather than retail all of the verbal parallels and motifs we have seen up to this point, I offer the following list. Every earlier personal narrative anticipates not only the elements of the Personal Myth, but im portant words.68 W ords

(9) lu d o ( ii; also la u ro (19)

fa b u lo s a e

fa b u lo su s C. lu d it,


in a rd u o s . . . S a b in o s


(25) P h ilip p i (26) a rb o r (27) v is a m (33> 35) G elo n i (35) recrea tis (40) ch oris

(55) (71)

R h o e tu s O rio n

1. 22. 7

C. 2. 19. 26 lau ru , C. 2. 7. 19 silv a in . . . S ab in a , C. 1. 22. 9 choreis, C. 2. 19. 25 C. 2. 7. 9 arbos, C. 2. 13. 3 C. 2. 20. 14 C. 2. 20. 19 recreatur, C. 1. 22. 18; recreantur, C. 2.13.36 C. 2. 19. 23 C. 2. 13. 39

E le m e n ts o f P erso n a l M y th

Controlled Madness (5-8: in sa n ia , v id e o r )69 Wandering (errare, 7) Out of Bounds (e x tra lim in a , 10) Weariness (of poet, fa tig a tu m 11; from Warfare, of Caesar’s troops, fessas, 37-8, whose antidote is poetry, 37-40) Marvel (m ir u m , 13) 67 Davis (1991) understands the relation o f ‘quasi-autobiographical’ events to the chosen mode o f discourse always within the context of the poem at hand; this poem is an exceptionally ‘ornate’ instance because it sets the stage for a ‘Pindaric-style enco­ mium o f Augustus’ (98). Although he sees that the same topoi occur within the personal narratives, he lacks interest in collection-based meaning. 08 Many o f these parallels, motifs, and shared words have been seen by others, e.g. Davis (1991) 102-3; the extensiveness o f this poem ’s knitting together the elements from the previous personal narratives is unrecognized. Commager (1967) 17 calls attention to the ‘virtual catalogue o f traditional m otifs’ and remarks on similarities between C. x. 22 and 3. 4, as well as ‘other Odes on poetry’ (342), but remains sceptical about whether or not this is fortuitous. 69 On the tension between control and madness, Troxler-Keller (1964) 28-9.


Dangerous Wild Animals (v ip e r is . . . e t ursis, 17—18); Danger (over­ come in the past, 26-8; potential, 29-3 6)70 Divine Protection (doves, 12; Muses, 21-36)71 Poetic Vision (see below) Military Foil (contrast between Personal Narrative and Gigantomachy) O th e r M o tifs a n d /o r P arallels

geographical excursuses (29-36; C. 1. 22. 5-8, 17-22; C. 2. 20. 14-20) sacred place for poetic recreation (p io s / . . . p e r lucos, 6-7, and P ierio . . . a n tro , 40; compare ‘D io n a e o su b a n tm , C. 2. 1. 39; location of Sappho and Alcaeus in sedes . . . discreta s p io r u m , C. 2. 13. 23) la b o r (39; d u lc i la b o ru m d e c ip itu r sono, C. 2. 13. 38) ending in underworld (compare C. 2. 13 and 2. 19) Gigantomachy (41-80; C. 2. 19. 21-8)72 realism:73 obscure place names in Apulia ( V olture, n id u m A c h e ro n ­ tia e / sa ltu sq u e B a n tin o s e t a r v u m / . . . F oren ti, 9-16);74 nurse’s name (P u lliae, 10) providing text is correct.75 By now we have become familiar with the building blocks of Hor­ ace’s story. They must still be assembled in context. The story Horace tells of his childhood adventure is foundational for his being a poet.76 The original event, the baby poet’s sleeping safely Out of Bounds, is 70 On the poetic nature o f the escapes from Danger, Commager (1967) 342. 71 Commager (1967) 341-2: ‘the fact that in the passages boasting a special im munity his tone is often literary to the point o f fancifulness does not mean that the passages are necessarily unserious.’ Davis (1991) 103: salvation is a ‘narrative “signifier” that serves to mark the poet off as one who is predestined to fulfill a special role’. 72 I use ‘Gigantomachy’ as shorthand for the Olympians’ battle against the forces o f disorder, which include Giants, Titans, the children o f Earth. They were not carefully distinguished in antiquity, P. R. Hardie (1986) 85. 73 Fraenkel (1957) 276: ‘formidable realism.’ Davis (1991) 102: ‘The imparting o f local color to a timeless narrative pattern is a Horatian signature that, as often, comes perilously close to self-caricature.’ 74 Proper names according to Klingner (1970). 75 Horace’s nurse Pullia divides scholars passionately for and against. It is odd on such a contentious issue to see Borzsäk (1984) and Shackleton Bailey (1985) printing the same text (Pulliae, over against a metaphorical nurse, Apuliae). The MSS are divided. Klingner (1970), Fraenkel (1957) 274 n. 5, Williams (1969), all accept limina Pulliae from pseudoAcro’s attestation o f Porphyrio’s approval, even though what we have o f Porphyrio himself favours limen Apuliae; Pulliae is defended by Treloar (1968), rejected by Ross (1975) !45 n. i and by Davis (1991) 101 n. 24, who alleges generic decorum. Williams (1969) 51 alleges her name is ‘an authentic note o f autobiography’. I would be more comfortable with a literal nurse if she were in the Satires and had a typical name, say, from comedy. Realism is the product o f certain conventions; specific knowledge should not be required. 76 I owe much to Davis (1991) 98-107. Rather than cite every point, let me discharge a general debt here.


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another instance of not much happening, an origin re-enacted over the poet’s lifetime: nothing happened to him at Philippi, the tree did not kill him, nor did he die at sea ( n on . . . n o n . . . nec, 26-8). The subsequent life accords with the origin, and the whole grounds two interrelated things: the poet’s assurance that the Muses will continue to assure his safety ( u tc u m q u e m e c u m vo s eritis, 29); his ability to refresh Caesar with the narration of Gigantomachy. The Marvel m otif and fa b u lo su s mark the story’s truth as rhetorical: the poet establishes his credentials and embraces the challenges ahead. His willingness ( liben s, 29) to travel to the ends of the world with the Muses, however, works differently from C. 2. 20, where the implication is that he will take the trip after publication; here the Muses’ support lets him venture remote subject matter now. As in C. 2. 20, however, the poet will travel to concrete places. In the previous poem, it is the soldier-adventurer who will go to see places denoted by extreme climatic conditions,77 an effective reversal of the distribution of kinds of travel in C. 1. 22. The Geloni, with their implication in praise poetry (C. 2. 9), lie within the same metaphorical range as Gigantomachy. To attempt this dan­ gerous subject, the poet must feel safe ( in v io la tu s, 36);78 as in in teg er v ita e , his poetry protects him. The aim of telling the Gigantomachy activates the topoi of the victory ode (epinician): music compensates ( recreatis, 40) for π ό ν ο ς (toil: fessas, 38; labores, 39), when π ό ν ο ς results in success (settling the veterans; fin ir e . . . labores, 38-9). The one Element of the Personal Myth not fully operative in C. 3. 4 is Poetic Vision— at least not q u a vision. Instead of witnessing some­ thing, the poet seems (vid eo r, 6)— a reversal of active to passive— or will go to see (v isa m , 33,35). But the sense tickled here is not sight, but hearing: a u d itis? . . . a u d ir e . . . v id e o r (5-6). Presumably after calling on Calliope, the poet hears her in the audible equivalent of an epi-

phany (Fraenkel 1957: 281); she takes up one or more of the options given her in the first stanza: d i e . . . tib ia . . . seu voce . . . a c u ta . . . seu fid ib u s c ith a ra v e (1-4). She can d o a n y th in g . There is a moment of Controlled Madness before the poet aligns with his Muse and her voice takes over, but the asyndetic opening of the narrative in line nine in effect puts a colon at the end of line eight and the rest of the poem is ‘her’ song. The replacement of Vision with the living sound of a speaking Muse ensures authenticity in a phonocentric genre. What comes to Horace in this (heard) Vision is both the poetics and new subject matter that inhabit his prior Visions. In C. 2. 13 his (almost) Vision is poetic: Sappho and Alcaeus in the underworld. In C. 2. 19 his (believe-it-or-not) Vision inspires a hymn to Bacchus and narration of Gigantomachy; the progression from Vision to Madness to the claim to fa s and the hymn lays out in steps what happens in condensed fashion in the first two stanzas of C. 3. 4. Here, Madness and (heard) Vision are conjoined, what follows are two narratives, the infant narrative, which has to do with poetics as in C. 2. 13, and a hymn to the Muses leading into a narration of Gigantomachy, a hymn plus narrative combination as in C. 2. 19. The difference between the articulation of the hymn to the narrative in C. 2. 19, with its conventional hymnic narrative, and in C. 3. 4, where the narrative has a less apparent relation to the hymn, is key to Horace’s originality and to the unity—call it intelligibility—of this poem. C. 3. 4 is put together of Elements which are entirely familiar. Starting with C. 1. 22 near the end of the first book and building over the course of the second book, we amass through reading a repertory of Elements which are the building-blocks of signification. Many of these have their own literary history and are entirely conventional— they were already known Elements before Horace made his own repertory. Hymnic form, for instance, characteristically includes (to mention what is relevant) the naming of the god(s), anaphora (clauseinitial repetition) of pronouns addressing the god(s), and a narrative of divine exploits. In C. 2. 19, hymnic form, already conventional, folds into the repertory of the Personal Myth. The poet hymns Bacchus and tells a story that highlights one of his exploits (Gigantomachy). Here, we find the pattern all over again: a personal narrative leads to the hymning of the Muses and a narrative of exploits (Gigantomachy), but the integral relation between god and exploit is severed. Even though Bacchus’ role in the Gigantomachy may be little attested, he never­ theless acts as an agent in the story as told; the Muses are not agents at

77 quicumque mundo terminus obstitit, / hunc tangat armis, visere gestiens, / qua parte debacchentur ignes, / qua nebulae pluviique rores (‘Whatever boundary stands at earth’s end, / [Rome] may touch this with arms, eager to visit / where fire rages drunk, / where rage the storm-clouds and rainy dews’, C. 3. 3. 53-6). 78 The danger Pollio runs in C. 2. 1 (plenum opus aleae, 6) is both literary and political. C. 3. 2 calls into question the safety of the integer vitae, and leads into Horace’s reassertion o f personal safety in C. 3. 4: vetabo, qui Cereris sacrum / volgarit arcanae, sub isdem / sit trabibus fragilemque mecum / solvat phaselon. saepe Diespiter / neglectus incesto addidit integrum (T forbid anyone who has publicized secret Ceres’ sacred rites to be on the same planks and loose a fragile boat with me. Often Jupiter, when spumed, has added a pure man to the unchaste’, C. 3. 2. 26-30). The statement in C. 3. 4 overcomes this fear: the formal repetition o f mecum (29) and sea-faring (navita, 30) indicates the reversal. It is often remarked that the event referred to in Sicula Palinurus unda (28) is unknown— meaning not canonical in the Personal Myth. Sea-faring, however, denotes Danger for Horace, both literal and poetic, the latter often associated with epic.


P erso n a l N a rra tiv e s a n d th e F a n ta stic

all. They govern the narrative as gods of poetry, and their principle of co n siliu m controls the force related in the story, but they themselves do not participate in the plot. The failure to announce anything but a lo n g u m . . . m elos (2) the first time around with a Muse enhances our surprise at the actual content of the poem’s second half. The range of genres offered Calliope is lyric: tib ia (1) signals choral lyric, fid ib u s cith a ra v e (4) monody (Witke 1983: 47). She, however, manages, like the unruly Muse of C. 3. 3. 70, to bring in epic, but unlike the after-the-fact invocation of her companion, Calliope’s invocation gives no indication of her plan. The invocation should tell us, we would expect, something more about the poem’s subject matter than the generic/stylistic intimation of height that should accompany length. Such is the epic convention, where the first word identifies the theme, and Horace elsewhere co-operates by putting the topic up front.79 The presence of the Muses in the first stanza of the Roman Odes anticipates the invocation in C. 3. 4 with a mysterious obfuscation that whets our curiosity: c a rm in a n on p r iu s / a u d ita M u s a r u m sacerdos / v irg in ib u s p u e r is q u e ca n to (T, priest of the Muses, sing songs previously unheard, to maidens and boys’, C. 3. 1. 2 4). Calliope’s requested lo n g u m . . . m elo s (2) is equally vague. Admit­ tedly, the contrast between this invocation and that concluding C. 3. 3 guides our expectations, but the signals are definitely mixed. On the one hand Horace’s Muse is to come down from the sky ( d escen de caelo, i )— the setting of the co n c iliu m d e o ru m of the previous poem—and to abandon serm o n es d e o ru m (C. 3. 3. 71) as subject matter. This indicates lighter s u b je c t matter ahead, in conformity with the stylistic reduction ( iocosae . . . lyrae, 69; m o d is te n u a re p a r v is , 72). But instead, the poet asks Calliope fo r a lo n g u m . . . m elos (2 ), where lo n g u m is antithetical 79 In C. i. 12 the Pindaric m otto offers a choice o f topics and the poem treats all three: / t i b i a s u m e s c e le b r a r e , C lio ? / q u e m d e u m ? (‘What man or hero do you undertake to celebrate, Clio, with the lyre or keen reed? What god?, 1-3). In C . X. 24, the generic identification o f the song requested o f the Muse (p r a e c i p e lu g u b r is / c a n tu s , M e lp o m e n e , ‘teach plaintive song, Melpomene’, 2-3 ) follows the indication in the first line that the poem concerns loss. Although C. 1. 26 does not start with the invocation ( P i p le a d u lc is , ‘sweet Muse’, 9), its first words announce the Muses and the subject matter: M u s is a m ic u s . The same pattern recurs at C. 4. 3: the actual invocation comes late in the poem { P ie r i, 18), but the opening words address a Muse and reveal the poet as subject: q u e m tu , M e lp o m e n e , s e m e l I n a s c e n te m p l a c i d o l u m i n e v i d e r is . . . (‘once you have seen him born in pleasing light, Melpomene’, 1-2). Horace’s after-the-fact invocations focus more on genre than subject, but then we already know by then what the poems are about: C e a e r e tr a c te s m u n e r a n e n ia e (‘to treat the office o f Simonides’ lament’, C. 2. 1. 38); re fe r r e s e r m o n e s d e o r u m (‘recounting the gods’ conversations’, C. 3. 3. 71). Q u e rn v i r u m a u t h e r o a ly r a v e l a c r i


to p a rv is, and her instrument is not merely the iocosa lyra, but includes the tib ia (1) of the choral and higher branch of lyric. What, we ask, will this poem be about? The first word of line 9, m e, gives the first answer: this is a personal narrative such as we have seen before. Here is the lighter subject expected from the end of C. 3. 3. The hymn to the Muses, which starts formally in line twenty-one with their naming ( C a m en a e ) and pronominal anaphora (vester), repeats the movement all over again and serves as a larger scale invocation. The second answer, Gigantomachy, corresponds to the heavier subject the tib ia announces.80 Still, we have no reason to expect a Gigantomachy in a hymn to the Muses. The transition from the hymn itself to the Gigantomachy glorifies the power of the Muses, as we would expect from a hymnic narrative. There is something odd, however, about the choice of sub­ ject if glorification is its real purpose. Normally, Gigantomachy redounds to Jupiter’s credit, and by allegorical and panegyric analogy to Jupiter’s representatives on earth, as we are reminded at the opening of this sequence of poems: regum timendorum in proprios greges, reges in ipsos imperium est Iovis, clari Giganteo triumpho, cuncta supercilio moventis. (C. 3. i. 5-8)

Fearsome kings have rule over their own flocks, / Jupiter over the kings themselves, / Jupiter who, famed from his Giant triumph, / moves all things with his brow.

Gigantomachy does glorify Jupiter in this poem, and by analogy, Caesar, but the hymnic structure couches the narrative within a rhetoric that glorifies the Muses, and by analogy, their own representative in the poem. Pronominal anaphora is strongest at the transition into the myth (vos, C. 3. 4. 37, 41).81 From the hymnic angle, the myth is introduced to prove a proposition: ‘Muses, you both give gentle counsel and rejoice in its giving’ (41-2). The scim u s, u t (42) sentence offers a supporting exemplum that shifts the focus to Jupiter as protagonist.82 The Titans 80 On the expectation o f Something Big created by the opening and the delay o f its fulfilment, Syndikus (1973) 54. Gigantomachy is as close to epic as the s e r m o n e s d e o r u m o f the previous ode (50). 81 The anaphora obscures the transition’s abruptness, Marg (1975) 386-7; Borzsàk (i960) 374. 82 See Fraenkel (1957) 282 on the p a r a d e i g m a and the choral lyric transition.

L yric N a rra tiv e s

P erson al N a rra tiv e s a n d th e F a n ta stic

(and Giants) lose because they are im p io s (42), while Jupiter’s power is gentle, in accord with the len e co n siliu m (41) given by the Muses: te m p e r a t (45) and im p e rio re g it . . . a eq u o (48). Poetry here guides raw power. The exemplary structure is recapitulated and made explicit after the narrative proper:

structure. Where sense links the Gigantomachy to Caesar, the hymn links it to the Muses. It is their principle—not action, but len e co n ­ siliu m (41)—that governs the narrative. The hymn is later left behind and narrative takes over, but we must not discount the hymnic struc­ ture merely as a way of backing into the topic, of mitigating Horace’s embarrassment at being caught engaging in praise poetry. The empha­ sis on giving gentle counsel, on peaceful control, on the Muses’ importance to power, keeps the gift of praise within the control of the poet and maintains his libertas.

vis consili expers mole ruit sua, vim temperatam di quoque provehunt in maius, idem odere viris omne nefas animo moventis. testis mearum centimanus Gyges sententiarum . . . (C. 3. 4. 65-70) Force bereft of counsel collapses under its own weight; / tempered force the gods advance / even to greatness. Similarly they hate force / that moves every evil in its breast. / Witnesses o f my opinion are hundred-handed Gyges . . .

The gnome about co n siliu m recurs, as does the exemplum ( testis , 69), and r u it (65) picks up ru en tes (58) from the Gigantomachy, but a difference obtains. The Muses have been left behind. As has Jupiter: te m p e r a ta m (66) is transferred from Jupiter’s te m p e r a t (45), but his own v is can no longer be in question, since the gods further it. The statement can only target Caesar. This, together with the emphasis on the poet’s own opinion (m e a r u m . . . se n te n tia ru m , 69-70) puts the poet and the ruler into a direct relation: the former speaks to the latter without the mediation of Jupiter and the Muses as figures for them ­ selves. The relation of the poet to the king, of the Muses to power, the role of vis in this poem, lead into the next chapter, where the political narratives of C. 3. 3, 3. 4, and 3. 5 jointly produce a lyric version of epos. My point in a discussion of how personal narrative authorizes political narrative, is that the transition to the Gigantomachy takes two routes: one in which mention of the foreign tribes leads to mention of Caesar, which in turn leads into panegyric with the analogy between absolute powers in heaven and on earth.83 This route follows subject matter and sense, but it is not the dominant rhetorical line of hymnic 83 Fraenkel (1957) 275: m ention o f the tribes ‘inevitably calls to mind the man who is now expected to keep them all in submission and peace, Caesar’. Davis (1991) 106: the build-up culminates in Caesar’s name, a ‘name-cap’ according to Bundy’s (1986) termi­ nology. Syndikus (1973) 61 on the contrary sees Caesar’s name as sudden.


The personal narratives lead into the Roman Odes, and so my chapter on the Roman Odes follows on the discussion here. But the story told in the Personal Myth continues. The conclusion to this chapter is consequently to be found at the beginning of Chapter 9 in the discus­ sion of C. 3. 25.

H is to r y a n d Epic: T h e R o m a n O des

7 History and Epic: The Roman Odes

The personal narratives discussed in the last chapter herald Something Big: the Roman Odes. These poems fly on the wings of a swan (G 2. 20) over all of Horace’s self-imposed, loudly promulgated boundaries. The A rs P o etica states a problem: se c ta n te m le v ia n e rv i / d efic iu n t a n im iq u e ; p rofessu s g ra n d ia tu r g e t (‘sinews and spirit fail the one who pursues levity; he who professes grandeur swells’, 26-7). The solution is for a p ro fessu s le v ia (one who has professed levity) to show n e rv i a n im iq u e (sinews and spirit). C. 3. 3, 3. 4, and 3. 5 embrace high style narrative, epic colouring, public moralizing, and praise of Caesar.1 Praise of Caesar? All three poems situate his name immedi­ ately before a mytho-historical exemplum. The urgent question facing my analysis is whether the struggle between lyric and narrative author­ ity fragments the coherence of any possible praise-making.12 The answer will depend on what we mean by praise—certainly nothing direct, unmediated, unqualified. Lyric throws up discursive obstacles. 1 Fraenkel (1957) 267 and 272-3 recognized these three as a group, the two outside poems framing C. 3. 4; on structural similarities, Haffter (1938) 132 f. and 155 f. Porphyrio thought the Roman Odes one poem because they are in the same metre, Alcaics. I thank Alan Griffiths for sharing his unpublished work (‘Horace’s Odes: just where do you draw the line?’ and ‘Horace’s Roman Ode’) that revises this idea. He sees the Roman Odes as a single poem in five movements— a stance that essentially takes the sequence as it has come down to us rather than attempting to assign disparities to differences in the times o f composition. On the problem o f the unity o f the cycle, see Heinze (i960) 190-204, who thinks that some o f the Roman Odes were composed to go together, some, which had been composed earlier, were added after the fact. Von Albrecht (1982-4) is good on connections from poem to poem. See La Penna (1963) 94 n. 2 with bibliography, who focuses on ‘risultati evidenti’ o f the order o f arrangement without trying to reconstruct ‘intenzioni, non dimostrabili, del poeta’ Ross (1975) *43 — against Syndikus (1973) 50— sees the transition between C. 3. 3 and C. 3. 4 as a link, not a sign that the two poems were not ‘meant’ to go together. Arrangement after composi­ tion at any rate affects meaning. 2 This is the ‘Augustan’ question. Doblhofer (1966) 83-5 thinks we can see through the handling o f the discourse to the genuine feelings o f the historical poet. Nisbet (1969) brings the question back to the discourse, away from sincerity. D. P. Fowler (1995) 250, the m ost recent treatment, describes the critical dichotomy among those who analyse


The so-called Pindaric future postpones praise even as it enacts it (Slater 1969). Indirect expression in myth veers away from pressing rhetorical demands. Such obstacles, in my view, prevent true praise from lapsing into empty panegyric, poetry from lapsing into propa­ ganda; they lend sincerity and independence to the discourse, and guarantee its success. Horace offers two lyric solutions to these pro­ blems, one here, the other a decade later in O des 4. These poems encapsulate the struggle between exemplary pointed­ ness and illogic, between the demands for lyric autonomy and rheto­ rical grounding, between generic transgression and accommodation that informs my readings of C. 1. 7, 1. 8, and 1.15 m Chapter 4.3 The sheer length of the narrative sections exceeds the point they ostensibly argue, and challenges lyric scale. The ‘digressive’ aspect of the mythohistorical narratives by far outshadows their frames, and in C. 3. 3 and 3.5, the preponderance of a character’s speech further obscures their exemplary argument. The relation between story and point in these poems troubles, whether logically (what do Juno’s prescriptions for Rome in C. 3. 3 have to do with the Stoic hero opening the poem?) or morally (Earth grieves for her monstrous offspring in C. 3. 4; Regulus’ example impresses, but lies beyond ordinary men in C. 3. 5). But the stories told in C. 3. 3, 3. 4, and 3. 5 are prevented from fully asserting their independence as ‘narrative for narrative’s sake’ through other factors that reinscribe point. Beyond supporting an argument, these narratives are grounded by Augustan discourse (as opposed to personal responses). The first. New Historicist, approach shows ‘how the dominant “official” discourse encompasses and dominates all other systems’, so that any anti-Augustan stance is assimilated into the historical success o f the winner’s discourse, e.g. D. F. Kennedy (1992). This approach risks flattening the aesthetic artefact. Witness Zanker’s (1988) account o f Horace, and the schizophrenia between historians and literary critics in Raaflaub and Toher (1990), that demonstrates the incompatibility o f the historicist reduction o f poetry to univocality and the literary exploration o f oppositionalist undercurrents. The second approach is Fowler’s own and is deconstructive: ‘the inevitable contradictions in those [= the dominant “official” discourse and other] systems prevent any stable dominance.’ He draws the conclusion that the ‘contradictions in the traditions which are drawn on in Horace’s works make panegyric of Augustus an impossibility’ (250). Although I agree in seeing the discourse o f Augustanism— the poets’, that o f the age, and o f the master himself—as contra­ dictory and unstable, I am not at all sure that such instability thwarts the successful utterance o f praise. I thank D on Fowler for sharing his paper with me in advance o f publication. 3 Compare Williams’s (1969) 45 and Commager’s (1967) 212 emphasis on exemplarity and ulterior purpose in C. 3. 3 to Fraenkel’s (1957) 269—70 attempt to grant the speeches in C. 3. 3 and 3. 5 narrative autonomy.

L y ric N a r r a tiv e s

an encomiastic context—Augustus plays a role in each section lead­ ing into the political narrative—and by their relevance to contem­ porary social, political, and moral reality. Allegory ties Juno’s prescriptions to contemporary Rome, and the Gigantomachy to the end of the civil wars. Contemporary relevance becomes explicit in the contrast between Regulus’ behaviour and that of Crassus’ soldiers. The essential question is how poetry can fulfil these rhetorical funct­ ions and still maintain aesthetic independence. The solution, in my view, lies in the choice of exemplary narrative as a technique. With these narratives, Horace can praise Augustus at the same time as deflect direct praise, he can make a genuine statement about con­ temporary morality and politics without sta tin g , he can address problems without aesthetic loss. Am I trying to have it all? Horace certainly is. The gap between the told story and the one untold, but implied, obliges the reader to reconstruct, to measure the distance between what is said and meant (Williams 1980: 191). It is precisely this openness to interpretation that guarantees aesthetic freedom. All of the many rhetorical aims met by these poems fail to pin them down to the narrowing categories of praise’, ‘admonition’, ‘paraenesis’ (exhortation), ‘comparison, ‘didacticism’, or the like. Although these categories indeed operate in these poems, it is not merely the combination of rival and sometimes conflicting rhetorical acts that breaks the bonds of rhetoric, but the necessity that each reader tease meaning out of each poem again and again. This is what makes these poems art rather than propaganda. The difficulty of gauging the distance between what is said and meant in exemplary narratives imposes special demands on the reader, that guarantee our continual return. This gap will remain forever open, and always attract our attempts to close it. We may ask why Horace pursues this complex indirect mode of expression in C. 3. 3, 3. 4, and 3. 5, when he is happy to pronounce d u lce e t d e c o ru m e st p r o p a tr ia m o r i (‘It is sweet and decorous to die for one’s country’, C. 3.2. 13) and n o n h is iu v e n tu s o r ta p a r e n tib u s / in fe c it a e q u o r sa n g u in e P u n ico (‘Youth born from parents not like these stained the sea with Punic blood’, C. 3. 6. 33-4) in the poems to either side. Horace is not afraid to pass judgement, and the first two stanzas of C. 3. 3 ( iu s tu m e t te n a c e m . . .) are as gnomically Stoic as any. The special difficulty in these three poems resides in Augustus. It would be

H is to r y a n d E pic: T he R o m a n O des


strange to omit him in poems of high national concern, yet his men­ tion complicates aesthetics and politics. Augustus’ name brings up the issue, time-honoured since Hesiod, of the relation of poetic to political power.4 This is not simply a theore­ tical problem (the poet and the king), but a contemporary, historical actuality (Augustus and Horace). The very Roman demand for actu­ ality is met at least in part by the long autobiographical opening of C. 3. 4, the poem that works out the relation of the two kinds of power. Horace appears as a flesh-and-blood poet, and reference to Augustus’ settling his veterans in the countryside (37-8) meets the need for actuality in politics. To either side, however, myth-making occludes a straightforward (re)presentation of actuality. Horace’s poetic biogra­ phy has been mythologized from the beginning in the (for us) unset­ tling mixture of realism with the fantastic discussed in the previous chapter. Myth looms even larger in the political half of the ode since the Gigantomachy supplants any overt reference to civil war. Horace places Caesar squarely in the cave of the Muses (P ierio . . . a n tro , 40), and the upper hand he gives the Muses’ power manifests itself in the transformation of the contemporary into myth in C. 3. 3, 3. 4, and 3. 5.5 Horace asserts his control of representation through the by now familiar techniques that stamp a lyric identity on his poetry, even when it most departs from a narrow definition. The markers of pure narra4 Theog. 75 if., Marg (1975) 388 if.; Thornton (1965); Commager (1967) 195. This issues touches on the perennial question o f who controlled representation. White (1993) ch. 5 draws a picture o f Augustus as a man o f serious literary interests: he, like his peers, wanted honourable m ention in literature worth being mentioned in, and was eager for national poetry to be written, but dictated neither style nor content, or otherwise pressured poets. Lyne (1995) 30 and passim depicts a more voracious appetite for adulation. D. F. Kennedy (1992) emphasizes the complex cultural matrix in which history and meaning arise; Augustus was more significant as idea than as person, his power a ‘collective invention’ (30). Horace shapes our idea o f Augustus as much as, perhaps more than, Augustus influenced Horace to write a certain kind o f poetry. The frequency o f quotations from the Roman Odes in Syme (1939) ‘The National Programme’ 440-58 demonstrates how poetry turns into history. 5 In C. 3. 5 the juxtaposition of contemporary issues with the historical figure of Regulus functions no differentlyfromthe myths in C. 3. 3 and 3. 4, with the exception of

maintaining a strictly Roman context. I take Regulus’ story as ‘myth’ as opposed to history not so much as falsity is to truth, but as the glorified past is to the humdrum present. On the story’s lack of historicity, Williams (1969) 58; Nisbet (1962) 211; Fraenkel (1957) 272; Haffter (1938) 149 if.; Kiessling and Heinze (19x7) C. 3. 5. 13. Kornhardt (1954) 121 resists understanding Regulus in mythic terms, although she more than anyone has shown how the story took on a literary life apart from the historical events.

H is to r y a n d Epic: T h e R o m a n O des

tive are kept to a minimum; full-scale narrative is attenuated by speeches, by the minimal use of the perfect tense in the third person, by concentrating on a single moment in lieu of an extensive start-tofinish narration. Allegory, along with a prophetic speech by a god in C. 3.3, returns from C. 1. 15, and ties mythic narrative to the present. But perhaps the most salient lyricizing features are self-consciousness, and narrative fragmentation. Both help address the Roman Odes’ unspo­ ken context: civil war and the moral degradation it entails. The one remaining trace of the poet’s reluctance is the ending of C. 3. 3.6 This after-the-fact recu satio reveals the degree to which this poetry differs from the norm. Beyond underlining the inspiration of a Muse he cannot control—a gesture affirming the poetry at hand— the poet’s self-checking reminds us of the last time he did so, at the end of C. 2. i. Givil war is the main reason Horace resists public-spirited poetry. The parallel signals the difference between the epic and tragic treatment of history in C. 1. 37 and 2. 1, and what we find here. The three extended narratives cover the range of available epic— Homeric, Hesiodic, historical—all of it made Roman. The Hesiodic Gigantomachy in C. 3. 4 allegorizes contemporary Roman history. A strong Ennian presence in C. 3. 3 and 3. 5 evokes a positive national history, and makes it imperative in such a present-oriented genre as lyric to measure Rome’s promise in the past against the failures of the present.7 The difference between Regulus’ internal strength and the failure of Crassus’ soldiers in C. 3. 5 demonstrates the problem. But Horace cannot write a Roman epic for two reasons. Generic decorum masks a deeper resistance: the civil war of recent history has fragmen­ ted the national narrative. In this sequence, Horace begins to put such a narrative back together. He may not tell a story of healing, but by beginning to tell the story, he starts a process taken further by Vergil. To the extent that the A e n e id partakes of lyric, and retells the story of civil war, this new national epic was never entirely written. The tension between civil war and the demand for epic praise accounts for Horace’s subtle alteration of Pindaric technique in these poems. These poems’ debt to Pindar has long been recognized (bib­ liography at Waszink 1966: i n n. 1). Horace’s narratives usually set 6 Discussed in Ch. 1, pp. 40—4. This stanza falls at the m id-point o f the Roman Odes, a favoured point for overt self-definition in Latin poetry. 7 The shared Ennian background of these two poem s is noted by Kiessling and Heinze (1917) at C. 4. 4. 49; Waszink (1966) 122-3; on epic in C. 3. 3, Harrison (1993) 141-8. Details below.


some external genre against a lyric subgenre, epic and tragedy against the symposium in C. 1. 7 and 1.37, epic against dithyramb in C. 1. 15, elegy and epyllion against the love poem in C. 3. 7,3. 1r, 3. 27 (see Ch. 8). Here epic confronts the victory ode (epinician). On the one hand, the Gigantomachy in C. 3. 4 can be understood within the conventions of the victory ode (Syndikus 1973: 70-1; Borzsàk i960: 377), and Horace deploys familiar techniques that accord with such a rhetorical purpose: the poet’s self-validation as an authoritative speaker, the A b b ru ch sfo rm el, gnomic utterance, the priamel, or preamble in list form, mythic narrative.8 On the other, celebration of victory is not the odes’ main purpose, and, as I hope to show, Horace removes many of these techniques from their central and conventional position in a rhetoric of praise. While the picture of Augustus at the table of the gods in C. 3. 3 certainly praises him, it would be hard to say that praise is the ode’s central aim. Furthermore, Juno’s harangue against the rebuilding of Troy and Regulus’ example warn more than they praise. Pindar provides a more general lyric model for the competing demands of aesthetic independence and rhetorical pointedness. Glorification on the one hand; failure on the other. The two together issue a challenge to Augustus beyond praise. His sure deification after death ( q u o s in te r A u g u stu s recu m ben s / p u r p u r e o b ib e t ore nectar, C. 3. 3. 11—12) is followed by a greater promise: he will be considered a god on earth when, if, (since?), he meets certain conditions (p ra e se n s d iv u s h a b e b itu r / A u g u stu s a d ie c tis B rita n n is / im p e rio g ra v ib u sq u e Persis, C. 3. 5. 2-4). Beyond representing imperial expansion, the Britons and the Parthians will replace the civil enemy; the turn from internal to external warfare is not just a military, but an ethical matter. For Augustus to understand, he must listen carefully in the cavern of the Muses (C. 3. 4. 40).

8 Pindaric technique at the end o f C. 3. 3 is also manifest in the familiar address to the Muse, self-checking, and a self-conscious concern for decorum. The question quo . . . tendis? and the imperative desine (70) are a far cry from the epic formalities asking her to begin or remember. Pindar addresses his Muse several times in the imperative o f a verb other than to sing or begin: P 1. 58; N. 6. 28; fr. 6 a.e.; ff. 150; fr. 151 SM. For Pindaric self-checking with citations: Highbarger (1935) 238; Fraenkel (1957) 239 n. 3; Witke (1983) 44. P. 10. 4 (τι κομπέω παρά καφόν ; ‘why do I boast contrary to decorum?’), which comes close to the beginning o f the poem, shows that the device o f reinstating control over on es own poetic voice after it has ostensibly rambled out o f bounds is a focusing technique. Decorum motivates the m ost famous retreats from a topic already broached (O. 1. 52; N. 5. 16). Horace displaces decorum from religion to genre.


L y ric N a rra tiv e s

H is to r y a n d E pic: T h e R o m a n O des

Iustum et tenacem propositi virum non civium ardor prava iubentium, non voltus instantis tyranni mente quatit solida, neque Auster,

dum longus inter saeviat Ilion Romamque pontus, qualibet exules in parte regnanto beati; dum Priami Paridisque busto

dux inquieti turbidus Hadriae, nec fulminantis magna manus Iovis: si fractus inlabatur orbis, inpavidum ferient ruinae.

insultet armentum, et catulos ferae celent inultae, stet Capitolium fulgens, triumphatisque possit Roma ferox dare iura Medis,

hac arte Pollux et vagus. Hercules enisus arces attigit igneas, quos inter Augustus recumbens purpureo bibet9 ore nectar;

horrenda late nomen in ultimas extendat oras, qua medius liquor secernit Europen ab Afro, qua tumidus rigat arva Nilus.

hac te merentem, Bacche pater, tuae vexere tigres indocili iugum collo trahentes; hac Quirinus Martis equis Acheronta fugit,

aurum inrepertum et sic melius situm, cum terra celat, spernere fortior, quam cogere humanos in usus omne sacrum rapiente dextra,

gratum elocuta consiliantibus Iunone divis: ‘Ilion, Ilion fatalis incestusque iudex et mulier peregrina vertit

quicumque mundo terminus obstitit, hunc tangat10 armis, visere gestiens, qua parte debacchentur ignes, qua nebulae pluviique rores.

in pulverem, ex quo destituit deos mercede pacta Laomedon, mihi castaeque damnatum Minervae cum populo et duce fraudulento.

sed bellicosis fata Quiritibus hac lege dico, ne nimium pii rebusque fidentes avitae tecta velint reparare Troiae.

iam nec Lacaenae splendet adulterae famosus hospes, nec Priami domus periura pugnaces Achivos Hectoreis opibus refringit, nostrisque ductum seditionibus bellum resedit, protinus et gravis iras et invisum nepotem, Troica quem peperit sacerdos, Marti redonabo, illum ego lucidas inire sedes, discere nectaris sucos et adscribi quietis ordinibus patiar deorum.

9 Bibet has the consensus o f modern editors. The present bibit has considerable manuscript authority, but fails to correspond with Horace’s consistent placement in Odes 1-3 o f Augustus’ divinity in the future. Should the present tense be correct, it would have to be understood as a sign o f poetry’s great power o f bringing about what it says.

Troiae renascens alite lugubri fortuna tristi clade iterabitur ducente victrices catervas coniuge me Iovis et sorore. ter si resurgat murus aeneus auctore Phoebo, ter pereat meis excisus Argivis, ter uxor capta virum puerosque ploret.’ non hoc iocosae conveniet lyrae, quo, Musa, tendis? desine pervicax referre sermones deorum et magna modis tenuare parvis. (C. 3· 3)

Shackleton Bailey’s (1985) text continues Juno’s conditions.



L y ric N a rra tiv e s

The just man, who holds to his purpose, / will not be shaken from his solid intention / by the passion o f citizens ordering evil, / the pressing tyrant’s countenance, or the South wind, / turbulent leader o f the restless Adriatic, / or the great hand of lightening Zeus. / If the world breaks and falls, / the ruins will strike him unafraid. / By this art Pollux and wandering Hercules / reached heaven’s fiery citadel with a struggle, / reclining among whom Augustus / will drink nectar with stained mouth, / by this art, father Bacchus, your tigers / dragging the yoke on untamed neck / carried you as you deserve, by this Quirinus / fled Acheron on Mars’ horses, / when Juno spoke pleasingly / at the council o f gods: ‘The fateful, / unchaste judge and the foreign woman / overturned Ilium, Ilium / into dust, since Laomedon cheated / the gods of a set price, a city damned / with its people and fraudulent leader / in my eyes and chaste Minerva’s. / N o longer now does the famed guest o f the adulterous Spartan woman / shine, nor does Priam’s perjured house / repel the combative Achaeans / with Hector’s aid, and the war drawn out by our sedition / has subsided. Forthwith I give up / weighty anger; my hated grandson, / born of the Trojan priestess, / I hand over to Mars. I will suffer him / to enter the shining abodes, to draw / the nectar juices, and be enrolled / in the gods’ quiet rank. / Provided a wide sea rage between / Ilium and Rome, let them reign / in whatever part, the blessed exiles. / Provided a herd trample / the graves of Priam and Paris, and beasts / conceal their young there without vengeance, may the Capitoline / stand gleaming, and may fierce Rome / give orders to the Medes, led in triumph. / Fearsome may she spread her name far / into the utmost lands, where dividing / waters separate Europe from Africa, / where the swelling Nile irrigates the fields. / Strong enough to scorn gold— concealed / and better sited when the earth hides it / — and not to force it into human use / where hands snatch at everything holy, whatever boundary stands at earth’s end, / may she touch this with arms, eager to visit / where fire rages drunk, / where rage the storm-clouds and rainy dews. / But I dictate fate to Rome’s warlike citizens / on this condition, that they not, in excess piety, / through confidence in their affairs, / wish to repair the walls o f ancestral Troy. I Troy’s fortune, born again to a funereal omen, / will be repeated with sad calamity, / if I, Jove’s wife and sister, / lead victorious throngs. / Should the brazen wall resurge three times / under Phoebus’ authorship, three times it would perish, / cut down by my Argives. The captive wife / would three times mourn her man and children.’ / This will not suit the playful lyre. / Where are you heading, stubborn Muse? / Stop recounting the gods’ con­ versations / and reducing great things with small modes.

H is to r y a n d Epic: T h e R o m a n O d es

vos Caesarem altum, militia simul fessas cohortes abdidit oppidis, finire quaerentem labores Pierio recreatis antro. vos lene consilium et datis et dato gaudetis, almae, scimus, ut impios Titanas immanemque turbam fulmine sustulerit caduco, qui terram inertem, qui mare temperat ventosum et urbes regnaque tristia, divosque mortalisque turmas imperio regit unus aequo. magnum illa terrorem intulerat Iovi fidens iuventus horrida brachiis fratresque tendentes opaco Pelion inposuisse Olympo, sed quid Typhoeus et validus Mimas, aut quid minaci Porphyrion statu, quid Rhoetus evolsisque truncis Enceladus iaculator audax contra sonantem Palladis aegida possent ruentes? hinc avidus stetit Volcanus, hinc matrona luno et numquam umeris positurus arcum, qui rore puro Castaliae lavit crinis solutos, qui Lyciae tenet dumeta natalemque silvam Delius et Patareus Apollo. vis consili expers mole ruit sua, vim temperatam di quoque provehunt in maius, idem odere viris omne nefas animo moventis. testis mearum centimanus Gyges sententiarum, notus et integrae temptator Orion Dianae, virginea domitus sagitta. iniecta monstris Terra dolet suis maeretque partus fulmine luridum missos ad Orcum; nec peredit inpositam celer ignis Aetnen,


H is to r y a n d E pic: T h e R o m a n O d es

incontinentis nec Tityi iecur reliquit ales, nequitiae additus custos; amatorem trecentae Pirithoum cohibent catenae.

(C. 3. 4. 37—80) In the Muses’ cave you [Muses] refresh / high Caesar, as soon as he hid / the cohorts tired from war in the towns, / seeking to end his labours. / You give gentle counsel and rejoice / in its giving, kindly Muses. We know how / he razed the impious Titans and huge throng / with precipitate bolt, / he who governs with clemency the crude earth, the windy / sea, the cities, and sad realms, / and alone rules with fair command / the gods and mortal companies. / The youth, horrid, trusting in arms, / and the brothers trying to put / Pelion on dark Olympus, / had brought great terror to Jove. / But what could Typhoeus do, and strong Mimas, / Porphyrion with threatening stance, / Rhoetus and Enceladus, / a bold spearman with uprooted trunks, / rushing against Pallas’ ringing aegis? / Here stood eager Vulcan, / here married Juno and / he who will never set down / his bow from his shoulders, / who washes his loose hair / in Castalias pure water, who holds / Lycia’s thickets and his native wood: / Apollo Delius and Patareus. / Force bereft o f counsel collapses under its own weight; / tempered force the gods advance / even to greatness. Similarly they hate force that moves every evil in its breast. / Witnesses o f my opinion are hundred-handed / Gyges, and Orion the known / assailant of spotless Diana, / overwhelmed by her virgin arrow. / Earth, thrown on her monsters, grieves / and laments her offspring sent / by the thunderbolt to sallow Hell. The swift flame / does not eat through Aetna above, / nor has the bird, given as guard / over depravity, left the liver / of Tityos, who lacks selfcontrol; three hundred / chains hold tight Pirithous the lover. Caelo tonantem credidimus Iovem regnare: praesens divus habebitur Augustus adiectis Britannis imperio gravibusque Persis. milesne Crassi coniuge barbara turpis maritus vixit et hostium (pro curia inversique mores!) consenuit socerorum in armis sub rege Medo Marsus et Apulus, anciliorum et nominis et togae oblitus aeternaeque Vestae, incolumi love et urbe Roma?

hoc caverat mens provida Reguli dissentientis condicionibus foedis et exemplo trahentis perniciem veniens in aevum, si non periret inmiserabilis captiva pubes: ‘signa ego Punicis adfixa delubris et arma militibus sine caede’ dixit ‘derepta vidi, vidi ego civium retorta tergo brachia libero portasque non clausas et arva Marte coli populata nostro. auro repensus scilicet acrior miles redibit: flagitio additis damnum, neque amissos colores lana refert medicata fuco, nec vera virtus, cum semel excidit, curat reponi deterioribus, si pugnat extricata densis cerva plagis, erit ille fortis, qui perfidis se credidit hostibus, et Marte Poenos proteret altero, qui lora restrictis lacertis sensit iners timuitque mortem, hic, unde vitam sumeret, inscius, pacem duello miscuit, o pudor, o magna Carthago, probrosis altior Italiae ruinis!’ fertur pudicae coniugis osculum parvosque natos, ut capitis minor, ab se removisse et virilem torvus humi posuisse voltum, donec labantis consilio patres firmaret auctor numquam alias dato inter que maerentis amicos egregius properaret exui. atqui sciebat, quae sibi barbarus tortor pararet, n o n aliter tamen dimovit obstantis propinquos e t populum reditus morantem,

H is to r y a n d Epic: T h e R o m a n O d es

L yric N a rra tiv e s


quam si clientum longa negotia diiudicata lite relinqueret tendens Venafranos in agros aut Lacedaemonium Tarentum. (C. 3. 5)

We believed Jupiter to rule in the sky / because he thunders. Augustus will be believed / a present god when the Britons / and grievous Persians are added to empire. / Has Crassus5 soldier lived, the foul husband / of a barbarous wife, and grown old / (by the Senate house and inverted values!) / bearing arms for enemy in-laws, / a Marsian or Apulian under a Mede for a king, / forgetful of the sacred shields, his name, / and toga, and eternal Vesta, / while Jupiter and the city o f Rome remain unharmed? / This the provident mind o f Regulus / foresaw, and objected to foul / provisos, and inferred from example / the harm to a future age / if the captive youth not perish / without pity: T saw the standards / fixed to Punic temples and weapons / wrested from soldiers— and they lived— / I saw citizens5 arms / twisted behind free backs, / and gates left open and fields / being tilled which / our Mars had laid waste. / Sure a soldier ransomed with gold / will return keener. You add injury / to disgrace. Dyed wool / does not recover its lost colour, / nor does true manhood, once lost, / care to be put back into lesser men. / If a doe rescued from thick nets / still fights, he will be brave, / who handed himself over to the faithless foe, / and he will crush Carthage with a second Mars, / who sluggish felt the whip / on bound shoulders and feared death. / He, not knowing life’s source, / confused peace with war. O shame, / o great Carthage, higher / than Italy’s disgraceful ruins!5 / He is said to have averted, because a hostage, / his chaste wife’s kiss and his small children, / and to have placed his manly / face sternly on the ground, / until he firmed up with unprecedented counsel / the Senators who were slipping, / and hurried, excellent, in exile, / among grieving friends. / Although he knew what the barbarous torturer / had in mind for him, still, no differently / did he move his relations out o f the way, / and the populace delaying his return, / than if he were leaving the long business / o f clients, the case decided, / heading for Venafrum fields / or Spartan Tarentum.




am e of

C a esar A u g u st u s

Is Augustus central or peripheral? Does his name shine out brightly and cast its light over the rest, or does it fade in comparison to the main focus in the narratives and speeches?11 In none of these poems is1* 11 Syndikus (1973) 43 downplays the importance o f Augustus in C. 3. 3 on the grounds that if he were the focus, he would have a more prominent place in the poem.


he addressed. No other addressee, however, is strongly felt, with the exception of the Camenae in C. 3. 4, our perception of whom dwindles with the Gigantomachy. The formal addressee remains the v irg in ib u s p u e risq u e of C. 3. i. 4. How does the name of the princeps resonate in poetry spoken to the Roman people? How does the contemporary ring when surrounded by the mythic past? As in Horace’s other treatments of contemporary reality, history wears the guise of myth. The exaggeration of Augustus as a (soonto-be) purple-mouthed divinity strains belief (Nisbet 1962: 210), but is no harder than the poet’s insistence on his own divine protection. The picture of Augustus drinking in the company of Pollux and Hercules matches the credibility of Mercury snatching Horace out of battle. The difference is that irony attends the mythic representation of the poet, an irony which seems to dry up—or go sour—in face of the princeps. The marker of this irony is the realism which consistently deflates the fantastic events of the poet’s biography, while for the princeps reality elevates rather than deflates. His imminent disbanding of troops announces the end of civil war (C. 3. 4. 37-8). There he is ‘Caesar’. The honorific brings in its wake an increase in myth: ‘Augustus’ is on the verge of deification (C . 3. 3. 11, 3. 5. 3).13 Reality, however con­ ventionalized, also impinges in G 3. 5 with the description of Crassus’ soldiers in domestic bliss on enemy land, but the description of the problem challenges Augustus, as does the offer of deification on earth. Horace offers mythic stature for the solution of real problems. But the greatest difference between the poet and the princeps with regard to realism is that following on the name of Augustus in these poems Horace presses further into myth. Whereas he actually narrates his own life story, however fantastic, he diverts a narration about Augustus altogether by substituting a narrative about the mythic past. In each poem Augustus’ name occurs as it were by the way. He is or will be one culture hero among others in C. 3. 3. 9-16. The structure of these two stanzas is a priamel, or preamble in list form, which climaxes in Quirinus; according to the logic of the priamel, the elements besides the climax are foil (Race 1990: 9-16). Is Augustus foil to Quirinus? In epinician the contemporary is the la u d a n d u s and the mythic figures are foil to him, or a number of mythic figures lead up to the main one. ‘Caesar’ in C. 1. 2, where Mercury disguises himself as the princeps, but in the Roman Odes, and after the invention o f his name in 27 bc, Augustus comes closer to being a god in his own person.


L y ric N a r r a tiv e s

Here the reversal detracts from Augustus, who appears merely as one among others in lending glory to Quirinus, whereas we would expect the mythic figures rather to burnish Augustus' image. But a competing structure cuts against this one: the relative clause introducing Augustus removes him from the priamel’s list, and the two stanzas become parallel, with the analogous figures, Augustus and Quirinus (the dei­ fied Romulus), each taking the emphatic position at the end. This structure does not look like a priamel at all. The analogy between the two figures responds to Augustan propaganda equating himself with the city’s founder and suggests ‘Romulus’, the name Octavian refused in 27 BC in favour of Augustus’.13 By subtly altering a Pindaric device and reversing the relation of mythic and contemporary figures in the priamel, Horace counters our expectation of encomium, but his alter­ native structure nevertheless reinscribes praise. We have already examined in Chapter 6 (see pp. 221-3) the overlay of two competing rhetorical structures in the transition from the hymn to the Muses to the Gigantomachy in C. 3. 4. The predominant line follows the hymn to the Muses; their recreation of Caesar is one element among others, preceded as it is by their protection of the poet, followed by their gentle counsel. The secondary structure cli­ maxes with Caesar, a ltu m (37), at the middle of the poem (Fraenkel 1957: 275, 288); he ends the section having to do with the poet and opens the Gigantomachy, an allegory of his power. As in C. 3. 3, a rhetorical structure which praises underlies one which deflects praise. In C. 3. 5. 1-4, Augustus takes a position closer to the fore, but again he is introduced in a secondary fashion: he is, or rather will be ( h a b e b itu r ; 2), analogous to Jupiter. The analogy accords praise, and makes explicit that in the previous poem between the supreme deity and supreme earthly power, but the ablative absolute a d iectis B rita n n is / im p e r io g ra v ib u sq u e P ersis (3-4) defers it. Not of course that deferral withholds praise entirely—rather it performs the same function as the competing rhetorical structures in the previous poems, to grant and withhold at the same time. To return to our original question, Horace keeps positioning Augus­ tus outside the centre, but this hardly makes him peripheral in any strong sense. 13 Commager (1967) 212-5 notes their analogous drinking o f nectar as a token o f immortality (Augustus: C. 3· 3· 11-12; Quirinus: C. 3. 3. 34-5)- Syndikus (1973) 42-3 stresses the conventionality of Romulus as an appellation o f someone who has saved R o m e . S ee Du Quesnay (1995) 155 on Augustus’ emulation of Romulus.

H is to r y a n d Epic: T h e R o m a n O d es G nom e



E xem plum

A similar question can be asked of the relation of the exempla to the gnomai they support: which is central? And why, if the narratives attract more attention, include the gnomai at all? Or, if the gnomai are so very important, why do the narratives not sit better in relation to them? If the way to heaven is to be a iu stu s e t te n a x p r o p o s iti vir, we have already seen Horace send himself up as a iu stu s v ir in in te g e r vitae; here he hardly appears te n a x p r o p o s iti.14 To begin with, despite h a c a r te (C. 3. 3. 9) and its iteration h a c (13, 15), the list of culture heroes does not closely exemplify the Stoic hero opening C. 3. 3. Admittedly, they may have been or be capable of fitting the definition of the poem’s first line, but the following lines complicate matters. The need to be just and persevering no matter the type of government may be conventional, but fits none of the culture heroes, and becomes especially difficult with Augustus.15 Being imper­ vious to the passions of fellow citizens is especially important for Augustus, both to succeed at good government and to put civil war behind him. Resisting the threats of the tyrant, however, cannot be taken straight. Who could play the tyrant to him? He himself should resist the face of the threatening tyrant, that is, guard against taking on that role, however much it presses.16 Of course, the relative clause in which Augustus is found does not imply that he will make it to heaven by the same arts as the others: the anaphoric h ac (9, 13, 15) leaves him out. In principle all of the examples should fit the gnome; the person the gnome may best target is the one person excepted from the list. The situation becomes more complex with the narrative, which expands on the circumstances of Quirinus’ apotheosis rather than on how he proved himself iu stu s (Heinze i960: 200). The narrative itself is subsumed in a single verb: f u g i t (16). An ablative absolute—a 14 Davis (1983) 10 cites Lambinus on C. 3. 2: e s t e n im p o e ta ru m , ta n q u a m s p iritu d iv in o a ffla to ru m , e t m e n tis a g ita tio n e co n c ita to ru m , n o n sem p e r in p r o p o sito serm o n e haerere, (my emphasis), whose other instances are G 2. 13, 1. 7, 3. 3, and Pindar. 15 Pindar, R 2. 86—8: έν πάντα Se νόμον εύθύγλω σσος άνηρ προφέρει, / παρά τνραννίδι, χώ πότα ν ό λάβρος στρατός, / χω τα ν πόλιν οι σοφοί τηρέω ντι (‘In every government, the straight-tongued man comes to the fore: by the tyrant, whenever the impetuous throng, whenever the wise watch over the city’). Resisting the tyrant fits Hercules, but not its analogue, resisting citizens. 16 O L D v u ltu s ib: ‘the expression appropriate to a particular type o f person.’ A reductive interpretation would take the ty ra n n u s as Antony/Cleopatra, further allegorized in the myth through Paris and Helen, gee D. P. Fowler (199s) 259-60011 Augustus in this passage.




L yric N a rra tiv e s

H is to r y a n d Epic:- T h e R o m a n O d es

syntactic sign of change of subject—makes the (tenuous) link ( elocu ta . . . Iu n on e, 17-18), and Juno’s speech takes off from there. Her speech only marginally has to do with Quirinus’ apotheosis; she posits Troy’s destruction as the condition for her capitulation to Rome’s success. What, we may ask, does this have to do with the gnome? ' On a high enough level of abstraction, the rejected moral turpitude of Troy and the high ground demanded of Rome accord with the picture of the just man opening the poem.17 But where the opening speaks of an individual, Juno’s speech emphatically juxtaposes two cities (Ilio n , Ilion , 18, Ilio n / R o m a m q u e , 37-8, R o m a , 44> Troiae. / Troiae, 60-1). Maybe the key is again Augustus. When power concen­ trates in the hands of one man, the city and the princeps become coextensive; moral renewal at Rome depends on that of its first citizen. But while the ode as a whole is heavily preoccupied with moral concerns— good’ and cbad’ language attaches respectively to Troy and to Rome18—no tight link binds Juno’s speech to the gnome. It is our job to look for similarities and to try to make sense of the whole, but Horace makes the task difficult: the whole keeps eluding our grasp, though it feels within reach. The relevance of the Gigantomachy to Caesar in C. 3. 4 may be selfevident to an age which used the myth so readily as allegory, but Horace again complicates the relation of exemplum to gnome. Caesar in fact has nothing to do with either. We make the link across two paratactic divides: he listens to the Muses in their grotto, they give gentle counsel, their counsel is the principle according to which the forces of order put down the Giants’ uprising, therefore, the Gigan­ tomachy pertains to Caesar. But this connection steps beyond the relation of exemplum to gnome, which we must also reconstruct. Whereas the difficulty in C. 3. 3 is logical, in C. 3. 4 it is formal— which entails its own logical problems. Horace twists the gnome apart;

instead of one gnome with one exemplum, there are two of each, or rather, since in some way the two are the same, each is divided. The first gnome introduces the myth, as is usual (vos lene co n siliu m e t d a tis e t d a to / g a u d etis, a lm a e, 41-2), but the crucial element, the proposi­ tion, must wait until after the first part of the exemplum, where we find the second gnome ( v is con sili expers m o le r u it sua, 65) (Canter 1933: 224). Similarly, the language marking exemplification is doubled: scim u s, u t (42) and testis m e a r u m c e n tim a n u s G yges / s e n te n tia ru m , n o tu s e t . . ., 69-70).19 An exemplum must be known, and Horace marks prior knowledge in sc im u s and n o tu s, but the emphasis on exemplarity after the second gnome underscores the logical relation after the fact. Where the first gnome leads rapidly into the Giganto­ machy almost without our noticing, much fanfare attends the second time around.20 The second gnome reveals retrospectively the connec­ tions of thought between the first gnome and its exemplum, but Horace postpones explicitness in the connection, as well as the full thought. Is the full gnome an amalgam, or are the two separate but related? In Horace’s intertext, there is only one:21

17 Heinze (i960) 200; Fraenkel (1957) 269; Commager (1967) 221. On Trojan degen­ eracy in the A e n e i d and its contemporary relevance, Thomas (1982a) 98-9 with n. 39. 18 Chastity, f id e s , p ie t a s , and the correct use of wealth are extolled in C. 3. 3, all virtues o f contemporary relevance. Troy: f a t a l i s in c e s tu s q u e i u d e x (19), which picks up in c e s tu s from C. 3. 2. 30; d e s t i t u i t d e o s / m e r c e d e p a c t a L a o m e d o n (21-2); d u c e f r a u d u le n t o (24); L a c a e n a e . . . a d u lte r a e (25) in contrast to c a s ta e (23) o f Minerva; d o m u s / p e r i u r a (26-7). Rome: b e a t i (39); they are to resist the allure o f gold (49-5 i)> and the sacrilege attending it ( o m n e s a c r u m r a p ie n te d e x tr a , 52); the travels to the ends o f the world recall the im munity o f the in te g e r v i t a e (53-6); they are p i i (58), though must not be so to excess; the grieving u x o r (67) is clearly devoted to her family. Juno’s language is more colourful for Troy, her formulation for Rome more negative than positive.


8è μ η

τ τζ φ ίλ η κ ε Ζ ε υ ς , α τ ύ ζ ο ν τ α ι β ο ά ν

Π ί€ ρ ί 8ω ν αί'οντα, γ ά ν re κ α ί π ό ν τ ο ν κ α τ

α μ α ιμ ά κ ε τ ο ν ,

r e v a lv à Τ α ρ τ ά ρ ω κ ε ΐτ α ι, θ ΐώ ν π ο λ έ μ lo s,

Τ ν φ ω ς έκ α τ ο ν τ α κ ά ρ α ν ο ς -

(Pindar, JR i. 13-16) As many things as Zeus does not love, are distraught, hearing the cry o f the Pierides, along the earth and the unyielding sea, and he who lies in dread Tartaros, enemy o f the gods, hundred-headed Typho.

Pindar pictures the defeated Typho in consternation at the sound of the Muses. The shift from the general (οσσα) to the particular (os) tells us that we are proceeding from a proposition to a supporting instance. The proposition is that Zeus’ enemies stand in fear of the harmony represented by poetry and song.22 Typho is shown in defeat. Because the actual example follows the statement it illustrates, we understand 19 Borzsäk (i960) 376. Syndikus (1973) 72 compares Pindar, if. 169. 4-5 SM. Syndikus (1973) 64-5 remarks on the abruptness o f the transition in line 41 and connects c o n s ili u m (41) and c o n s ili (65), but sees the relation o f 11. 65-8 to 11. 42-64 as one o f gnome following mythos, rather than interlocked. Marg (1975) 386 criticizes Fraenkel (1957) 273-88 for importing P y th ia n 1 into C -b


22 This idea also opens


8, see

i n t e r a lio s

Syndikus (1973) 65.


L y ric N a rra tiv e s

its purpose from the beginning: it proves a point. By contrast asynde­ ton—there is no connecting word such as n a m q u e —makes Horace’s transition from the Muses to the Titans abrupt. The delay of the full proposition with the rhetorical markers of exemplification makes for a large-scale hyperbaton. Longinus cites asyndeton and hyperbaton as two figures contributing to the sublime, and while he discusses them as figures of speech, they presumably function similarly for the organiza­ tion of thought {d is p o s itio ).23 Horace’s complication of Pindar’s argu­ ment in fact emulates some of his predecessor’s better known characteristics.24 On the one hand, our knowledge of the Pindaric intertext creates a certain pressure to reconstruct Horace’s divided statement into a single one: ‘Muses, you give good counsel, and this good counsel is necessary because without it power brings about its own destruction. The gods promote a tempered power, but they hate strength when it contem­ plates evil. We can see that this is true because we know how (scim u s, ut, 42) the Olympian gods defeated all of the forces of disorder.’ Once we reach 65—8, the contrast between the c o n siliu m of the Muses and its lack in the opponents of the Olympian gods, a contrast until then implied, is also made verbally (Syndikus 1973: 65). On the other hand, the difference of form leads to a difference in thought: by the time we reach the second gnome, the Muses have disappeared. They play no active role in the Gigantomachy; the defeat of, the forces lacking counsel is not explicitly linked to them, as it is in Pindar. Horace’s absolute statement about v is baldly targets Caesar. A further lack of explicitness in the relation of the Gigantomachy to Caesar also resists interpretive closure. The proximity of the princeps to the myth which conventionally allegorizes power, suggests we draw the analogy between Caesar and Jupiter. Recollection of C. 3. 1. 5—8 encourages us in this direction: reg u m tim e n d o r u m in p r o p r io s greges, / reges in ipsos im p e r iu m e st Iovis, I cla ri G ig a n teo tr iu m p h o , (‘Fearsome kings have power over their own flocks, / Jupiter has power over the kings themselves, / Jupiter famed because of his Giant triumph’). Kings have the kind of power over their subjects that Jupiter has over them. 23 O n th e S u b lim e 19, 22. Syndikus (1973) 64-5 lists other devices for poetic elevation in the poem’s second half. 24 Race (1990) ch. 2, ‘Elements o f Style in Break-offs’, shows that Pindar signals the en ds o f myths by ‘emphatically postponed words’ (hyperbaton), and often turns abruptly away from the narrative in asyndeton. It is typically Horatian to transfer Pindaric technique to a new context, here the beginning and middle of the myth.

H is to r y a n d E p ic: T he R o m a n O d e s


But the failure on the poet’s part to draw the analogy between Jupiter and Caesar leaves open an alternative. If Caesar does not temper his v is with con siliu m , his analogue could be the Titans instead of Jupiter (Commager 1967." 203; Hornsby 1962: 101 and 104: N. T. Kennedy 1:975: 24). The second stanza of C. 3. 1 can also support this analogy: kings had better watch their treatment of their subjects because Jupiter has the same power over them. Gigantomachy can go either way. This thought is later reinforced in C. 3. 6: d is te m in o re m q u o d geris, im p e ra s (‘you rule because you conduct yourself lesser than the gods’, 5). These passages are often brought together (e.g. Babcock 1979: 4). As in C. 3. 3, Augustus exclusion from the logical relation of exemplum to gnome is provisional; he must be brought back in for the relation to make full sense. Complication arises in C. 3. 5 both logically and formally. If we apply Regulus’ example literally, it means n o t ransoming Crassus’ soldiers and letting them continue their ignominious existence as domesticated captives. No free-standing gnome guides our interpreta­ tion, but the emotion attending the description of the fate of Crassus’ soldiers (p r o cu ria in v ersiq u e m o res! 7), in conjunction with Augustus’ name, gives the impression that Regulus is not merely an illustrious counterpoint that shows up the present degradation, but a model for action now . The fanfare attending the introduction of the exemplum, which explicitly marks Regulus as such ( e x em p lo tra h en tis, 15),25*masks the proper inference in the present situation.20 The message ‘Let the prisoners die in capitivity (without ransom)’ must be inferred from a subordinate clause (si n o n p e r ir e t in m ise ra b ilis / c a p tiv a p u b e s, 17-18). But Crassus’ soldiers were not ransomed, and the resulting scandal of their integration into Parthian society could not have been avoided by following Regulus’ example, at least not the example of his behaviour towards his own troops. This does not mean that Regulus fails as an exemplum (Haffter 1938)· He represents a moral standing that has become rare at Rome. If Crassus’ soldiers had followed his example in this sense, their Traho with this text means to infer’ ( O L D 12b). The alternative text, ex em p lo trah en ti, implies that an exemplum necessarily determines the future— which from hindsight is certainly true. Bentley’s (1826) e x em p li tra h en tis, printed by Shackleton

Bailey (1985), is a genitive o f description. Regulus had already become an exemplum in the debates o f the rhetorical schools, Commager (1967) h i n. 14. This makes his prediction o f the exemplarity o f his actions like the circular effect o f Medea’s announcing M e d e a n u n c s u m (Seneca, M e d e a 910). The character acts in accord with the literary tradition that records the actions.


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emasculating disgrace would not have happened. They did not follow the precept d u lce e t d e c o ru m e s t p r o p a tr ia m o r i (‘it is sweet and decorous to die for one’s country’, C. 3. 2. 13). Their fate is part and parcel of the moral degeneration at Rome which is intimately con­ nected with the idea of civil war. Augustus’ redirection of warfare from a civil to a foreign theatre will purportedly solve the problem. Internal warfare implies other kinds of internal corruption. Crassus’ soldiers’ failure in external warfare corresponds to a failure of internal strength. If they had Regulus’ moral fibre, they would not have been captured to begin with, and would rather have fought honourably to the death. There is a further difficulty in that Regulus did not himself fight to the death, but was rather disgraced by capture. Although he was originally despised for this weakness, the contrast with the prisoners from Cannae, who pleaded to be bought back, showed him in a different light.27 He is not a pure model of v irtu s, and to that extent serves as an even better corollary to the present: he recuperated his honour from an initial disgrace. From Augustus’ point of view, the solution to Crassus’ disgrace was to recover the lost standards—the solution implied in the first stanza, a d ie c tis . . . / im p e rio g ra v ib u sq u e P ersis (C. 3. 5. 3-4), and given emphasis as the first word of Regulus’ speech: sig n a ego P u n icis 1 a d fix a d e lu b ris . . . / v id i ( 18- 21 ). Regulus stands as a counter-example to p e rn ic ie m ven ien s in a e v u m ( 16). If Augustus fails to redress the situation, Regulus’ sacrifice will have been in vain. Here there is a close fit between the present and the past: it does not have to do with the men but with the standards. The real link does not appear at first glance. Again, this is an interpretation—one of numerous possibilities—a reader puts together using the material available. The poem’s rhetorical structures are not self-evident; their coherence is extra-rational. Reg­ ulus’ d e v o tio (self-sacrifice as an appeasing scape-goat) endows him with a power that sanctifies his project beyond logical constraints. Horace ups the stakes by implying a need for a similar example in contemporary Rome.

27 On Regulus’ transformation into a Stoic hero, Kornhardt (1954) 121-3; Harrison (1986) 504 ff. Polybius i. 34 gives a hostile account.

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a r r a t i v e / L y r ic


S tory

Strong epic colouring of three odes in a row is one element among others that binds these poems, but the division into different odes with different contents, and the partition of different kinds of epic among them fragments any obvious cohesion. Horace does not narrate one unified pseudo-epic. The epic narratives in each poem belong to different traditions and tell different stories; nevertheless, just as the autobiographical narratives all add up to a greater non-narrated story, so there is an untold story underlying these epic narratives that suggests allegory to contemporary Rome. Intertextuality, like allegory, spares Horace the task of narrating the story he tells. Allusion to Ennius, or Homer, or Hesiod, indicates epic without transgressing lyric’s formal bounds. The tension within poems between epic and lyric, between rhetorical and poetic structures, between narrating the past and saying something about the present, is replayed on a broader level in the relations of these poems among themselves. At every level, it is our task to add up the elements so that they make sense. The sheer length of the narratives conveys elevation; allusion and heightened diction further support the epic mode. As usual, however, there are important ways Horace restricts his epic scope to make his narrative lyric. In C. 3. 3 and 3. 5, the dominance of the speeches minimizes narration proper, and presents a slice of a larger story, which is implied but not told. In C. 3. 4 static description of the combatants in the Gigantomachy resists the temporal progression of a standard narrative. The final stanza of C. 3. 3 reminds us explicitly of Horace’s more habitual manner; the juxtaposition of a personal with a political narrative in C. 3. 4 directs the poem’s generic affiliations toward choral lyric and reins in full-fledged epic colouring; the close of C. 3. 5 translates a simile from the O d y sse y not only into a typically Roman context, but one that resonates with lyric values. I start with the difficulty of uncovering allegory, and the tension between story and discourse in each ode individually, before attempting to weave together the story of Horace’s fragmented epic. C. 3 . 3 shares with C. 1. 15 many structural similarities and inter­ pretive issues (Heinze i960: 201). Both poems contain two narratives. Quirinus’ apotheosis offers the narrative occasion for Juno’s speech in C. 3. 3, like the rape of Helen, which occasions Nereus’ speech in C. 1. 15; narrative is also a prevalent mode of discourse within Juno’s speech, as in Nereus’ In each poem, the doubling of the narrative



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act accompanies a potential doubling of meaning through allegory. The narration of the fall of Troy further links these two poems, albeit from different vantage points. But whereas Juno looks back to Troy in the past and Nereus predicts the future, Nereus’ prophecy still finds an analogue in her telling of the future of Rome, in some ways a second Troy for each poem. The play of tenses contributes strongly to the idea that Rome courts the danger of repeating Troy’s past. The frame narration in C. 3. 3, as noted above, is brief {fu g it , 16); its inclusion in a list further thwarts linear development. The list itself includes a future tense {b ib e t, 12) and an apostrophe {te . . ., B acch e p a te r, tu ae, 13), elements that disrupt an initial narrativity { a ttig it, 10). Juno begins with a narrative of the past as a starting point for her conditions about the future. Her speech takes us in chronological order from the past of narrative proper {v e r tit, 20; d e s titu it, 21) to the resulting present of description {ia m nec . . . s p l e n d e t. . . f nec . . . / refrin git, . . . / b e llu m resedit, 2530), to the incipient future of promise {red o n a b o , 33; p a tia r , 36), to the conditional future { d u m . . . sa e v ia t, / . . . d u m . . . I in su ltet, / . . . s te t / . . . p o s s it / . . . e x te n d a t / . . . ta n g a t, 37-54), which is recapitulated in hac lege dico, ne ! . . . v e lin t (58-60), to a final future prediction: ite r a b itu r (62). The threatening prediction, however, takes us back to the past: history will repeat itself. The heavy use of participles masks a future more vivid condition {ren ascen s . . . ! ite r a b itu r / d u c e n te . . . I m e, 61-4), so that it appears as a real future, and only the future less vivid condition of the following stanza reveals that repeating the Trojan war is not a sure thing. Juno’s pronouncement invites us to ask if the world contemporary with the poem’s composition fulfils her prediction. Has Rome rebuilt Troy? We cannot draw the allegory tightly,28 but one wonders if Juno’s hostility is in any way responsible for the civil wars. Is she attempting to destroy Rome because of a return to the moral degradation that was Troy?29 In C. 2. 1. 25-8, after all, her hostility is an operative force. Thapsus goes unnamed, but offers the possibility of a more general

application. The Romans, whom Juno means to resist gold (49-52) and extend their empire (45-9, 53-6), provided they not rebuild Troy, have become rapacious and directed their hostility within, that is, they have rebuilt Troy in moral terms.30 Triple anaphora of te r (65-7) suggests not three separate battles, but continued opposition—the century of civil war at Rome perhaps. While, as in C. 1. 15, the analogy between Antony and Paris is tempting but overly literal, here too we wonder about a connection. Does Phoebus’ help in rebuilding the bronze wall (65-6) compromise Augustus, who claimed Apollo as patron? Who are m eis . . . A rg iv is (66—7)? Given Roman schizophrenia in their identification now with the Greeks, now with the Trojans in their national myth, one could see the Greeks against the Trojans as Romans against themselves.31 More suggestive is the language Juno uses of her own opposition: n o stris . . . se d itio n ib u s (29). S e d itio is civil disturbance. Although Jupiter may determine the eventual outcome, Juno is powerful enough and close enough to him to affect history: coniu ge m e Io v is e t sorore (64). Does her sed itio in heaven create the same on earth? Horace brings the past (partially) into the present not merely through content, but intertextuality—another form of doubling. Ennius is evoked first by general context, a divine assembly about Romulus’ apotheosis, and second by verbal imitation. A co n ciliu m d eo ru m assuring Romulus’ apotheosis certainly goes back to the first book of the A n n a le s.32 Although the debate’s content is unsure beyond Jupiter’s promise to Mars, Juno possibly not only contributed to the

28 Commager (1967) 221. Nadeau (1983) 312-18 does so, complete with Paris as Antony, Helen as Cleopatra, and other tight parallels. He reveals how much we desire relevance. 29 Nadeau (1983) 316 suggests that Juno misunderstands history in replaying the Trojan War the way it played the first time; she is blinded to the fact that the second Troy will be Rome. But Juno’s speech is predicated on the second Troy’s not being a real Troy, but a new Rome.

30 I assume earlier scholarly speculation about Augustus’ plans to move the capital to the East has been thoroughly discredited, Fraenkel (1957) 268. Feeney (1984) 192 n. 80 reports a suggestion of Nisbet that ‘there was no question o f moving the capital, but the site [of Ilium] was o f high strategic value, especially for a Parthian campaign, and might have been built up as a base o f the type Agrippa maintained in Lesbos.’ Rome’s location was o f contemporary interest, witness Livy’s treatment o f the plebeian desire to move the city to Veii in book 5. Kraus (1994) shows that Livy depicts Veii as another Troy. 31 For the unfolding o f the national myth, Gruen (1992) ch. 1. The identification o f both Aeneas and Turnus, now with Hector, now with Achilles, plays a large role in the A e n e i d ’s depiction o f the hostilities between Trojans and Italians as an internal conflict, e.g. Lyne (1987) p a s s i m ; Cairns (1989) p a s s i m , 123 n. 32 with bibliography.

32 Heinze (i960) 201 suggests an Ennian background to C. 3. 3. Adivine assembly in 1 is unquestioned, Sk 202-6. The evidence for Romulus’ apotheosis as the subject is Ovid F a st. 2. 481 ff. and M e t . 14. 806 ff„ in both of which Mars quotes u n u s e r i t q u e m tu to lle s in c a e r u la c a e li (‘there will be one whom you will raise into the blue sky1) back to Jupiter. The association of this promise with a divine assembly derives from the M e t . passage: c o n c ilio q u o n d a m p r a e s e n te d e o r u m (once in a council of the gods, 14. 812). See Feeney (1984) 185. A n n a le s


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discussion, but exacted concessions.33 Whether or not Horace’s Juno looks in points of detail to Ennius’ in this context. Mars’ horses (16) as Quirinus’ transport may derive from A n n a le s i (Sk 205, 260). The reminiscence of a phrase from elsewhere in the A n n a le s underscores the importance of Horace’s Roman epic predecessor.34 Ennius’ E u ro­ p a m L ib y a m q u e r a p a x u b i d iv i d it u n d a (A n n . 302 Sk) is echoed in q u a m e d iu s liq u o r / sec e rn it E u ro p en a b A fro (C . 3. 3. 46-7).35 Horace’s heightening of Ennius’ vocabulary makes his predecessor conform to a more contemporary idea of epic and to the heightened tone of the poem itself.36 When the mythic past serves in part as a veiled allegory for the present, the evocation of Ennian epic does more than ground the poem in tradition. Ennius offers an Italian alternative to the past represented by Troy. Juno’s speech ends with a strange image of temporal repetition (ite ra b itu r, 62), that is like nothing so much as the backwards reliving of the past in E clogue 4: e r u n t e tia m a lte ra bella / a tq u e ite ru m a d T ro ia m m a g n u s m itte tu r A ch illes (‘There will be even other wars, and great Achilles will be sent again to Troy’, Eel. 4. 35-6). Vergil takes the past in progressive stages back to a new golden age. The Trojan war is one event among others of an intermediary time when p a u c a ta m e n s u b e r u n t p risc a e vestig ia fr a u d is (‘there will never­ theless remain traces of the old fraud’, 31). But whereas Vergil antici­ pates a rosy and fanciful golden age on the other side of history, Horace ends this poem at any rate with a temporal stalemate, and postpones a positive and Roman alternative until Regulus. And where Vergil’s poetic predecessors are the mythic Orpheus and Linus, Horace pragmatically aligns himself with Ennius instead. 33 On the possibility o f a speech by Juno, see Sk 204; Feeney (1984) 185-6. In Ennius Juno’s concessions about Romulus could have been separate from her conditions about Troy, presumably made later when she was won over in the Second Punic War (8.16 Sk). Horace’s conflation o f two Ennian passages would give Feeney a strong precedent for Juno’s partial conciliation as a literary motif. His suggestion of Juno’s supplication in 207 ec as the locus for her final (re)conciliation is reasonable.

34 A sim ilar citation in C. 3. 5 carves out a role for Ennius beyond mere epic colouring, as Syndikus (1973) 37 has it. 35 The choice o f the same continents suggests imitation o f Ennius rather than con­ vention. Vibius Sequester assigns Gallus’ famous line uno tellures dividit amne duas (fr. i C) to the Hypanis which separated Europe from Asia. Was Gallus also imitating Ennius with dividiti 36 See Sk 479 on Horace’s more elaborate vocabulary (liquor for unda, secernit for dividit) and personification o f the continents. Syndikus (1973) 37 f. lists high-style elements, Harrison (1993) 144-5 epic diction.

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But before Regulus, the Gigantomachy of C. 3. 4 intervenes. The Homeric model of a divine assembly yields to a Hesiodic battle of Titans and chthonic deities against the Olympians; but the closer model is Pindar. Although the idea of a connection between music and the cosmic order of Jupiter goes back to P y th ia n 1, Horace’s narrative differs greatly from Pindar’s description of Typho— over and above the difference in the exemplum’s construction. As in C. 3. 3, allegory erects a barrier between the story told and the one inferred, but lets an indistinct outline of the untold tale show through. This other story must be pieced together from words scat­ tered here and there, the antithesis of connecting meaning in temporal or logical order. The narrative gets in the way of allegorical transpar­ ence: we read the Gigantomachy for its own sake, and the civil war for which it substitutes practically disappears. For Pindar, Typho’s exten­ sion from Aetna to Cumae has a clear political application: it symbo­ lizes Hieron’s victories over the Carthaginians and Etruscans. This symbolic act in turn invites the analogy to the Persian wars: yet again the Greek has warded off the barbarian (P. 1. 18-19, 72-80). There is further cause for celebration in Hieron’s foundation of a new city, Aetna. Pindar prays to Zeus that the city’s leader may govern it σύμφωνον ès ησυχίαν (‘toward harmonious peace’, 70) (Fraenkel 1957: 279). For Horace the barbarian is ourselves and im m a n e m . . . tu r b a m (43) sounds of civil war. There is no new foundation; instead Caesar hides his veterans in the towns of the Italian countryside (38), the building done by the Giants is destructive (fra tre sq u e te n d e n te s opaco / P elion in posu isse O ly m p o , 51-2), and if there is a new city, it risks being ancestral Troy (te c ta v e lin t rep a ra re Troiae, C. 3. 3. 60). Horaee has many reasons for obscuring his allegory. But any contrast between an ordered surface narrative and a murky underlying second story would be too neat. The surface narrative is already disrupted from a straightforward event by event narration. The division of the gnome into two parts likewise divides its sup­ porting exempla: the first part is the narrative ‘proper’ (42-64), the second a list of sinners (69-80). Horace uses familiar techniques to avoid narrating. The action itself stands up front (su stu le rit, 44) and is over as soon as begun; furthermore it is subordinated into an indirect question (scim u s, u t, 42). The rest fills in the scene. The subject of the action is described through relative clauses (45—8), with quasi-hymnic anaphora of qu i. A pluperfect provides background (in tu le ra t, 49). Rhetorical past potential questions underscore the speaking voice



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(53-8). Finally we find a verb in the third person perfect indicative, and it is static: s te tit (58). Horace paints a tableau, with one god over here, another over there (anaphora of hinc, 58-9). This single verb suffices for three gods, the last of whom, Apollo, occupies an entire stanza, again with quasi-hymnic anaphora of q u i (61-4). Perhaps the strongest indication of Horace’s resistance to narrative is the displace­ ment of a statement of action into the gnome: the participle ru en tes (58) modifies a list of Giants and the verb returns, not as a perfect, but a gnomic present: v is con sili expers m o le r u it su a (65). Closure depends not on reaching the end of the action, which opens the section, but on the repetition of key words (fu lm in e , 44, 74; t e r . . . / t e r . . . / ter, C. 3. 3. 65-7, and trecen ta e , C. 3. 4. 79), and a return to a lyric topic ( a m a to r e m , 79). I said ‘tableau, but the proper word would be frieze or pediment. This static image accords with what Zänker calls the ‘arrested move­ ment’ of much of Augustan narrative visual art.37 The succession of pictures of sinners in lines 69—80 could well fit into a series of metopes; the list of Gyges, Orion, Terra, Typho, Tityos, and Pirithous each gives a single visual picture. Vergil promised Augustus a temple at the beginning of the third G eòrgie, the attendant festivities were to be in the spirit of Pindar. Horace’s temple displays the conventional icono­ graphy with a strong Pindaric message and a strong Pindaric voice, wherein the poet’s authority grants the praise validity. But if we can make an analogy with the temple of Mars Ultor, flanked in the exedrae of the Forum Augustum with Roman heroes, here Quirinus and the rehabilitated Regulus, the absence of Mars himself in this poem is conspicuous.38 History can of course account for Apollo’s prominence instead. His importance for Octavian predated his alleged appearance at Actium, and his temple on the Palatine was dedicated in 28 b c , within a year of the standard date given this poem, 29 b c , which saw the

triple triumph and the closing of the gates of Janus. But the emphasis on Apollo is significant for the poem’s message to heed the co n siliu m of poetry over and above its accord with Augustan ideology.39 The Apollo of this poem is n u m q u a m u m e ris p o s itu r u s a rc u m (60), but if he keeps his bow at hand, he does not for Horace always aim it: q u o n d a m cith a ra ta c e n te m / s u s c ita t M u s a m , n eq u e se m p e r a rcu m / te n d it A p o llo (‘sometimes Apollo rouses the silent Muse with the lyre, nor does he always aim the bow’, C. 2. 10. 18-20). In this poem, it is the relative clauses that remind us of his gentler, poetic side: q u i rore p u r o C a sta lia e l a v i t / c r i n i s so lu to s (61-2). The pure spring of Castalia also reminds us of the gentler side of Horace, and it is this side that makes itself felt after the second part of the gnome. Whereas violent vocabulary characterizes the Gigantomachy, the list of over­ thrown sinners inclines to melancholy and grief.40 Gyges may be cen tim a n u s (69), but to no avail; Orion maybe a n o tu s . . . / te m p ta to r (70-1), but he has been overcome by a maiden no less (v irg in e a d o m itu s sa g itta , 72); her offspring may be monstrous, but Terra grieves ( d o le t . . . I m a e re tq u e p a rtu s, 73-4), as much as the captive woman who concludes Juno’s speech (u x o r / c a p ta v ir u m p u e ro sq u e p lo r e t, C. 3. 3. 67-8); Typho’s fire fails to eat away at Aetna; and emphasis on the sexual sinners, Orion, Tityos ( in c o n tin e n tis, ηη\ n eq u itia e, 78), Piri­ thous, directs the subject away from warfare.41 What to make of a m a to re m (79), the word that modifies the closing sinner? On it hang irreconcilable interpretations. The sympathy for the lover whose punishment exceeds the crime (Commager 1967: 201) can be countered by Horace’s mistrust of consuming passion, and by Augustus’ desire to restrain the sexual mores of his society. Is Pirithous an allegory for Antony? For the lyric poet himself? Is this a protest, resignation, a quiet close? The possibilities opened by this word amount to one of Horace’s (non)closural ends. The sinners are of the same

37 P. Zänker (1988) 205-6. Syndikus (1973) 67-8 emphasizes that Horace’s poem does not depict a battle. Witke (1983) 13-16 suggests the historical relief as an analogy with visual art. 38 Witke (1983) 80 makes the analogy with the Forum Augustum, specifically the marshalling o f heroes. This poem was written over twenty years before the temple’s dedication in 2 bc, and probably substantially before the entire forum began to be built, Gros (1976) 66. The parallel involves the cultural paradigms of the Augustan age rather than direct influence either way. Syndikus (1973) 7 ° wrongly thinks a Gigantomachy was on the temple o f Mars Ultor. This is clearly an aspect of the Augustan myth that could have changed as Augustus’ public image became more tempered by c o n s iliu m . See P. Zänker (1968).

39 Witke (1983) 56 notes the structural similarity o f the Jupiter (44-8) and Apollo (60-4) stanzas, each with two qwi-clauses, and beginning the last line o f the previous stanza. They frame the first exemplary section, and balance poetic with political power. 40 Violence in the Gigantomachy: im p io s . . . i m m a n e m q u e t u r b a m (42-3), m a g n u m . . . te r r o r e m (49), f id e n s i u v e n t u s h o r r id a b r a c h iis (50), v a l id u s (53), m i n a c i . . . s t a t u (54), e v o ls is q u e tr u n c is (55), i a c u l a to r a u d a x (56). 41 Commager (1967) 200-2. O f Terra’s grief, he says, ‘Among the fallen m o n s tr a Horace could recognize his fellow Romans.’ These are clearly the m o n s tr a o f civil war, which may account for this ‘unique m oment o f sympathetic empathy for the van­ quished’, Nussbaum (1981) 2149, who recalls our feelings for Cleopatra in C. 1. 37. Compare the N ile’s mourning at A e n . 8. 711-13, again o f civil war.


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H is to r y a n d Epic: T h e R o m a n O d e s

nature as those whom music distracts in C. 2. 13. 33“ 4°> and in a poem emphasizing the importance of the Muses’ con siliu m , it is telling that they are not so distracted here. The eclipse of Typho’s name, Pindar’s exemplum of a hater of music in P y th ia n 1, nudges us to come up with the name ourselves, and to remember his role in Pindar.42 With a m a to r e m (79), we return, I think, to poetry—not as mere self-reflec­ tion, but as the embodiment of Pindar’s harmony. Just as political passions rush to destruction untempered by co n siliu m , the same is true of other vices. Pirithous, like Paris in C. 1. 15, is an a m a to r who has failed life’s tests; he has crossed boundaries and travestied the lyric code. Horatian lyric is a poetry not so much of love or wine or any of lyric’s other manifestations, but a poetry of moderation. The gift of the Muses, co n siliu m te m p e ra tu m , cannot be shared with those who reject it. Horace offers in Regulus a better instance of the iu stu s e t te n a x p r o p o s iti v ir (C. 3. 3. i) than any in C. 3. 3 itself (Porter 1987: 166). He is just, he certainly holds to his objective in the face of his fellow citizens (p a tr e s , C. 3. 5. 45; p o p u lu m , 52), whose courage falters, and in the face of threatening absolute power in the harh arus / to r to r (49-50); the elements rage, but the crumbling of his world leaves him fearless ( im p a v id u m , C. 3. 3. 8), as if going on vacation (C. 3. 5. 50-6). It is important that the model offered as antidote to a second Troy be Roman, and be drawn from Latin literature, and so he is. The Regulus of earlier sources, however, is not at all Horace’s, but a disgrace. Rebuilding Rome according to a Roman model on the p ro b ro sis . . . / I ta lia e ru in is (C. 3. 5. 39-40) required a fresh start, and Horace effectively provides it by rewriting Regulus. By the yardstick of truth, Horace’s revisionism is suspect, but his rewriting the past according to the needs of the present not only serves a literary need—to reinvent the tradition— but offers a way out of the national mood in the wake of civil war. Horace’s Regulus does not play the untarnished hero, but rather the noble Roman who makes good in the face of disgrace. He is a model for recuperating dignity, which explains his effectiveness in an exhortation to subject Parthia to Roman rule. If Horace can do this for Regulus, what can he do for Augustus? Like C. 3. 3, C. 3. 5 contains a verbal allusion to Ennius’ A n n a le s and

also in all likelihood looks back to an Ennian context. Colouring from historical epic rounds out the variety of epic modes in the sequence; the return to Ennius makes a ring. The reconstruction of the original Ennian context is less secure than the assembly of the gods in A n n a le s i, but it seems likely that such a context did exist.43 Given that Ennius did not recount at length the First Punic War (Sk 367 n. 2), in which Regulus’ embassy took place,44 we may reasonably look for another relevant historical context. Horace offers the clue. C. 3. 5 is the only version of Regulus’ embassy to treat the ransoming of Roman prison­ ers. In the best-attested version, the Carthaginians attempted an exchange of Regulus for Carthaginian prisoners (Kiessling and Heinze 1917: C. 3. 5. 13; Kornhardt 1954: 101-2); a u ro repen su s and fla g itio a d d itis / d a m n u m (C. 3. 5. 25-7) suggest ransom, not exchange. The ransoming of Roman soldiers pertains rather to the prisoners taken at Cannae in 216 b c , and it is supposed that Horace has transferred to Regulus a speech given by T. Manlius Torquatus against ransoming the prisoners from Cannae.45 Many of the Horatian Regulus’ points answer the prisoners’ defence as depicted in Livy 22. 59: sc ilic e t a c rio r / m iles r e d ib it (C. 3. 5. 25-6) offers a retort to u t e m i n i . . . n o b is e tia m p r o m p tio r ib u s p r o p a tr ia (‘will you find us even more keen on behalf of our country?’ Liv. 22. 59. 11). Ennius appears to be the common source,4*5and verbal imitation, even if derived from a different context, certainly proves that Ennius underlay Horace’s conception of Regulus. The impossibility of regaining the original colour of dyed wool ( n equ e a m isso s colores / la n a refert m e d ic a ta fu co, C. 3. 5. 27-8) looks to q u o m illu d q u o ia m se m el e st im b u ta ven en o (‘when that dye with which it [wool] has once been imbued’, Ennius, A n n . 476 Sk). Horace’s historical epic narrates more than his other narrative poems, though he still reins in full narration, and reinstates lyric through verbal constraints and the like. Still, the return to narrating for four stanzas after Regulus’ speech makes for a more epic effect than Horace’s common arrangement where a character’s speech closes the

42 It could be that Horace refrains from pronouncing on an Alexandrian zetema: who lay under Aetna? Vergil came down with Callimachus for Enceladus, Thomas (1993) 7 9 80.


43 I rely in what follows mainly on Kornhardt (1954) and Sk. 44 Kornhardt (1954) 102-3 thinks it more likely that the embassy took place shordy after Regulus’ capture in 255 bc than the canonical date o f 250 bc. 45 Liv. 22. óo. 6-27; Sii. 10. 348 ff. Kornhardt (1954) 108; Sk 635-6. 46 Sk 635. The association of Regulus with the debate about the prisoners from Cannae in the juridical tradition leads Kornhardt (1954) 115 to postulate further that Ennius was responsible for bringing Regulus’ story into the later context— perhaps even as an exemplum. She also attributes the anachronistic capitis m inor’ (C. 3. 5. 42) to an Ennian context (detailed historical discussion at 85—100). I would like her to be right.

L y ric N a r r a tiv e s

H is to r y a n d Epic: T h e R o m a n O des

narrative and the poem. As stated above, Regulus is introduced as some­ one who forestalled a potential bad exemplum with his own good exemplum: hoc ca vera t (13). The pluperfect, which takes us back before the action, is followed by the action of his speech: d ix it (20). But the speech is not the whole action and after it, Horace eases into narrative with f e r tu r . . . / rem ovisse e t . . . / posu isse (41—4) and follows with a fullfledged imperfect (sciebat , 49) and perfect ( d im o v it, 51); his initial signal of reluctance to take full authority in fe r tu r (41), which marks both his debt to tradition and his innovation, yields to authorial control. The don ee (45) clause imputes intention and the contrary to fact simile ($3) presents the speaker’s interpretation. Even a tq u i (49) makes a link between Regulus’ mind and actions that is provided by the speaker. Regulus’ speech does not itself narrate but argues with great emo­ tion.47 What could have been reported as ‘just the facts’ is enlivened by witnessing: v id i, v id i (21). The description of standards affixed to Carthaginian temples, of weapons snatched from soldiers, of arms twisted behind the backs of citizens (no longer soldiers), of open gates and tilled fields presents a series of snapshot visual images. The argu­ ment itself is carried out by analogy ( n eq u e . . . ! la n a . . . I nec vera v ir tu s , 27-9; si p u g n a t . . . ! cerva . . . e r it ille fo rtis, 31-2), by scorn ( scilicet , 25; the choice of womanly wool and a doe as analogous to Roman soldiers), by emotion: 0 p u d o r, I 0 m a g n a C arth ago, p ro b ro sis / a ltio r I ta lia e m in is ! (38-40). Regulus’ outburst corresponds to the poet’s initial emotionalism (p r o cu ria in v ersiq u e m ores! 7). Whereas Horace passes from exclamation into narrative, his character maintains a lyric manner of argument. Unlike Teucer in C. 1. 7, whose exhorta­ tion m i r r o r s that of the poet, or Nereus in C. 1. 15 and Juno in C. 3. 3, whose speeches take over the narrative the speaker’s own voice mini­ mizes, here there is a reversal. The character erupts into apostrophe, while the lyric poet passes into narrative. The concluding simile holds the balance between epic and lyric (536). Regulus’ departure as if on vacation derives from the simile with which Odysseus describes his escape from Charybdis (Hinckley 1979):

At the hour when a man, who judges the many disputes o f vigorous pleaders, rises from the assembly to go to dinner, then the planks appeared from Charybdis.


ημος δ’ e77t δόρπον άνηρ ά γορ η θ εν άνεστη κρίνω ν νείκ εα π ο λ λ ά δ ικ α ζόμ ενω ν α ίζη ώ ν, τή μ ος δη τ ά γ ε δοΰρα Χ α ρ νβ δ ιο ς εζεφα άνθη . (O d . 12. 4 3 9 - 4 ΐ ) 47 The speech manages to convey an argument— as it conveys a story— even if it ‘is not rhetorical but rather a series o f aphorisms’ Witke (1983) 62.


C lie n tu m (53) replaces δ ικ α ζ ό μ ε ν ω ν (pleaders), and the situation changes from coming home to dinner after a day’s work, to leaving the city for the Italian countryside. Both changes situate Regulus in a Roman context and the shift from a daily to a seasonal trip expands the length of time Regulus will spend abroad. But the simile’s Homeric source belies its very Roman appearance, and the translation into Roman social customs and the Italic landscape does more than domes­ ticate a Greek simile. Contrast with Odysseus’ situation heightens the pathos. Odysseus is saved from peril and eventually does return home; Regulus faces torture and death. Odysseus also serves as a backdrop for Teucer’s departure into exile in C. 1. 7, but where the comparison to Odysseus reinforces the idea that Teucer can find a home anywhere, it underscores Regulus’ greater test. His exile ( ex u l, 48) will be from life itself (Campbell 1924: 226; Harrison 1986: 505). Whereas the voice of the poet departs from lyric utterance and presses further into epic-like narration than elsewhere, the message turns the situation around, and takes advantage of epic intertexts to reinstate lyric values. Regulus is a lyric hero because he maintains his equanimity in the face of exile and death; he is Teucer’s logical extreme. The Italian locations mask Carthage, Regulus’ actual destina­ tion, and eclipse the language of exile (ex u l, 48). Tarentum has a special meaning for Horace, not merely as a pleasure town, but as a locus a m o en u s. To go to one’s death as if to Tarentum carries great weight in Horace’s lexicon of symbolic places (NH 1978: 95-6, C. 2. 6. 11-21). Regulus’ v a c a tio is a state of mind free from care. Tibur is the locus of such a state of mind in C. 1. 7, and Horace associates the two places in an atmosphere of carefree pleasure both in E pist. 1. 7. 44-5 (m ih i ia m n on regia R o m a , / sed v a c u u m T ib u r p la c e t a u t in belle T aren tu m , ‘what pleases me now is not royal Rome, but Tibur at leisure, or unwarlike Tarentum’), where v a c a tio contrasts with Rome, and in C. 2. 6, where Tibur and Tarentum are contrasted with war against the Cantabrians. Tibur is a place fit for retirement in one’s old age, and if not Tibur, Tarentum (C. 2. 6. 5-12). In both passages, Horace offers a choice of place, a signal that the distinct qualities of the individual locations are not at issue, but what they represent. ‘Going to

H is to r y a n d E pic: T h e R o m a n O d es

Campania or Tarentum’ is a metonymy for adopting a life of α τ α ρ α ξ ία (‘freedom from care’); by leaving behind n eg o tia (53) Regulus adopts a life of o tiu m (‘leisure’). He does this by facing the sea, travel, and, in a sense, military service, the very elements for which Tibur and Taren­ tum offer respite in C. 2. 6 ( lasso m a r is e t v ia r u m / m ilitia e q u e , ‘for one tired from the sea, and voyages, and the military’, 7-8). The poem’s close is philosophical: Regulus’ Stoic bravery in the face of imminent torture and death is overlaid with an Epicurean image of finding quiet in the countryside.48 But it is also lyrical. Ending with a simile, without a return to the story, effects the same kind of hanging close as achieved by ending with a speech without returning to the narrative, or ending with the narrative without returning to discourse. Horace’s lyric epic turns out to have the same message as his lighter lyric: maintain peace of mind. The difference lies in the addressee. In a sympotic context, he addresses an individual, whether historical (Plancus) or the eternal reader. The addressee in these poems is the Roman people, a collective ‘Romane’ (C. 3. 6. 2), and also indirectly the princeps. Maintaining one’s peace of mind on a national level means governing by co n siliu m (‘counsel’) (C. 3. 3. 17; C. 3. 4. 41, 65; C. 3. 5. 45),49 the resumption of old-fashioned courage (Regulus), and the refusal to let the past (Troy, civil war, the historical Regulus) dictate the present. A simplification of the moral issues addressed in C. 3. 3 and 3. 5 would attempt to show that by refusing its Trojan past, Rome would regain its pristine Italian morality as embodied in the figure of Regulus. But Regulus’ own point is that virtue, once lost, cannot be regained, and furthermore, he makes this point not just about the Roman captives, but via his actions about himself. If he stands for p risc a v ir tu s (‘old-fashioned manhood’) it is already vitiated in his capture.50 Horace’s choice of Regulus to represent old-time Italian honesty shows that not only the Trojan, but the Italian past was compromised. The solution is there48 Harrison (1986) for Stoicism— and Platonism: Regulus is a Socrates. N H (1978) 95 quote Cicero’s association o f Tarentum with Epicureanism (ad fam. 7. 12. 1). On com bined Stoic and Epicurean elements in the Roman Odes, André (1969); in C. 3. 1, Pöschl (1968) 58. 49 The word means something different in each context, but always achieves favour­ able and high-m inded results. 50 Porter (1987) 167 understands Regulus’ point strictly about others. Syndikus (1973) 81 observes that Regulus turns the bad example of his army (we might add, of his own military failure) into the good example o f his person.


fore not a return to the past, but the reinvention of Rome anew, according to the old virtues. Horace represents the present as a bleak moment on the verge of renewal. The choice of the anticipatory moment accords with his sympotic lyric, which focuses not on the feast but its preparation. As we read in order, Juno’s positive vision of Roman imperial" expansion ( tr iu m p h a tisq u e p o s s it / R o m a fe r o x d a re iu ra M e d is , C. 3. 3. 43-4) has run against the harsh reality of Crassus’ defeat (su b rege M e d o , C. 3. 5. 9)· In the contemporary context, Juno’s prediction in C. 3. 3 encourages revenge against Crassus’ defeat. Her prediction is not false, but as yet unfulfilled, and it is up to Augustus to fulfil it. It is his job to rebuild the city, to govern by co n siliu m , to follow Regulus’ exemplum—tasks which all lie in the immediate future. Horace’s definition of the Romans as perpetually in exile ( exules, C. 3. 3. 38; exul, C. 3. 5. 48) also accords with his lyric vision. Exile challenges equanimity, but exemplary figures like Teucer and Regulus overcome this challenge precisely by their ability to face disaster with peace of mind.51 Such equilibrium is the only antidote to the grief that runs through these poems: p lo r e t (C. 3. 3. 68); d o le t . . . / m a e re tq u e (C. 3. 4. 73-4); m a e re n tis a m ic o s (C. 3. 5. 47). This equilibrium, as in Horace’s exhortations against mourning (Ch. 3), is moral and poetic: v a c a tio is the ability to embrace both death and the Muses—the poet finds himself in their possession in any one of alternative vacation spots: the Sabine farm, Praeneste, Tibur, Baiae (C. 3. 4. 21-4). If allusion to Ennius in C. 3. 3 and 3. 5 imbues the myths with a patriotic slant and Gigantomachy sounds a victorious note in C. 3. 4, the actual narration of these stories safeguards Horace’s expression of nationalism from whitewashing contemporary reality. Mythic narra­ tive allows for a genuine expression of devotion to the national past, but also allows Horace to pose a challenge to the Roman people and their princeps. Epic colouring legitimates the utterance of a national message; its lyric content reminds us of the seriousness even of Hor­ ace’s lightest lyric.

51 Pöschl (1968) 50: Τη the great poems o f the Augustan Age we meet time and again the fate o f homelessness, o f being expelled, o f men finding themselves as if before an abyss.’


L yric N a rra tiv e s W

a r n in g as

P r a is e

qui m onet u t facias, quod iam facis, ille monendo laudat et hortatu com probat acta suo. (O vid, Tristia 5. 14. 45-6)52

In the conventions of the recu satio, donning the epic mantle means adopting the role of the la u d a to r re ru m g e sta ru m (‘praiser of accom­ plishments’) (Murray 1985: 42) and bringing oneself to res co m p o n ere g esta s (‘write up accomplishments’, E pist. 2. 1. 251). Horace’s combi­ nation of Homer, Hesiod, and Ennius, all with a heavy sprinkling of Pindar, makes of him a praise poet, and the predictions of Augustus’ immortality in C. 3. 3 and 3. 5 follow suit. But promises of immor­ tality, while praise, are not the narration of res gestae, and we may justifiably ask where in these poems the res g esta e have gone. There is narrative, there is praise, but the two are separate. The question is the extent to which this separation undermines the praise, what the rela­ tion is between mythic narrative and praise, how to praise without blatancy. This question looks at the outward effect of praise poetry; a further question directs us back inward: what effect does praising have on the self-definition of Horace’s poetry as a source of co n siliu m ? The diversion from a Roman expectation of narrated, epic res gestae (accomplishments), however, runs up against the epinician use of mythic narrative as a vehicle for praise. By substituting mytho-historical narratives for the narration of Augustus’ deeds, Horace sidesteps the praise traditionally disavowed in the recusatio, only to reinstate a choral lyric technique that contributes to the glory of the la u d a n d u s. Further­ more, substitution by definition only works if the substitute carries out successfully the job of what it displaces. We have already seen that the narratives in the Roman Odes express, however indirectly, contempor­ ary concerns. In what follows we will look first at the constraints on hyperbolic praise, then at how Horace’s substitute for direct praise surpasses a mere retailing of p r o e lia C aesaris, / . . . d u c ta q u e p e r v ia s / regu m colla m in a c iu m (‘the battles of Caesar, and the necks of threaten­ ing kings dragged through the streets’, C. 2. 12. 10-12). 52 Du Quesnay (1995) 134 addresses the issue of warning as praise for C. 4. 5, and comments, ‘Given Horace’s position as in numero amicorum Caesaris, it seems more likely that [Horace’s advising Augustan policy before the fact] is a result of Horace being party to the thinking and planning that went into it than o f mere chance.’ Whether or not Horace was involved in Augustus’ cabinet meetings, the same issues pertain to the Roman Odes: Horace articulates needs that Augustus later met.

H is to r y a n d E pic: T h e R o m a n O d es


Who is in charge? In the realm of history, Augustus clearly is, but in the realm of poetry, it is the poet— even in political matters. By taking the initiative, and by foregrounding his own role as the giver of c o n siliu m , the poet displaces onto himself many of the features that redound outside of the aesthetic realm to the princeps. The la u d a to r and the la u d a n d u s are hard to distinguish: the same discourse applies to both. This privileging of the status of the giver of co n siliu m and of praise sets a space apart within which poetry maintains its own power. When Horace predicts his own ascension to the skies as a swan, he sees himself as beyond envy: non usitata nec tenui ferar penna biformis per liquidum aethera vates, neque in terris morabor longius invidiaque maior urbis relinquam.

(C. 2. 20. 1-5) I will be borne by a plume unusual and / not slender, a biformed / bard, through the clear air, / nor will I delay on earth any longer / and, greater than envy, I wifi leave the cities behind.

Then follows that statement that the poet will not die: n o n ego / . . . obibo, / nec S ty g ia c o h ib eb o r u n d a (Ί will not die, and the Styx will not contain me’, 5-8). Similar language attends the elevation of those on whom v ir tu s (manhood) accords immortality in the second Roman Ode. Only one poem intervenes. Virtus recludens inmeritis mori caelum negata temptat iter via, coetusque vulgaris et udam spernit humum fugiente penna. est et fideli tuta silentio merces.

(C. 3. 2. 21-6) Manhood, opening the sky for those who deserve not to die, / tries a path by a forbidden way, / and spurns the vulgar throngs and the moist / earth, on a wing in flight. / Sure benefit attends faithful silence. V irtu s immortalizes the la u d a n d u s; his poetry the v a te s and la u d a to r. The way for both is through the sky over against the land, the former qualified by liq u id u m in C. 2. 20, the latter by a contrasting u d a m in

H is to r y a n d E pic: T h e R o m a n O des C. 3. 2; the means of transportation is p e n n a , which in C. 2. 20 is uncommon ( n on u sita ta , 1), whereas it is the way which is (ordinarily) barred in C. 3. 2 (n e g a ta , 22). Bundy has shown for epinician that the same topoi may attend both la u d a to r and la u d a n d u s, and calls them respectively ‘subjective5 and ‘objective5 (1986: 12 and p a ss im ). The ascension in C. 2. 20 is subjective, that in C. 3. 2 objective. These two passages are further similar in that each employs a related Pindaric m otif to compensate for hyperbolic praise: φ θ ό ν ο ς (envy) and σ ι γ ά (silence).53 Horace says he will be beyond envy to make palatable his own over-the-top description, which—if it were not so unreal— might arouse envy. To name the beast is to avert it. Silence similarly is a m otif to cut short hyperbolic praise. Davis has shown the relevance of the σ ιγ ά m otif to C. 3. 2 (1983): after stating the immortalizing power of v ir tu s the la u d a to r must find a way to end; he praises silence. Pindar calls on silence to avert audience disapproval, namely envy; the appeal to propriety is an antidote to excessive praise (Bundy 1986: 73-6; Race 1990: 73-5). In C. 3. 2 Horace makes a further analogy between the poet and the object of praise. He forbids the divulger of the mysteries to embark on the same boat with him. Augustus himself seems to have placed a premium on discretion, not only in others, but himself.54 The poet’s p ie ta s (‘piety5, ‘duty5) is his equivalent to the la u d a n d u s 5 v ir tu s (‘m anhood5, ‘virtue5), and by the end of the poem takes its place. I emphasize the similarities of these two passages and the relation of in v id ia (‘envy5) to s ile n tiu m (‘silence’), first to show that for Horace as well as Pindar the la u d a to r and la u d a n d u s are parallel, and secondly to suggest that Horace derails a direct narrative of the princeps’ res gestae for reasons not only aesthetic—too boring—but rhetorical: to avert envy. The silence m otif occurs in C. 3. 2 immediately after the state­ ment that v ir tu s opens the heavens to 1those deserving not to die; such praise is Horace’s promise of apotheosis to Augustus in C. 3. 3 and 3.5, and it is exactly after these promises that the mythic narratives occur. Their admonitory aspect likewise keeps praise within measure. Rather than following the model of historical epic refused in the recusationes, Horace follows the choral lyric model whereby diversion, silence, and warning contribute to praise. 53 Silence and envy are both antithetical to praise; the appeal to either is an effective way o f making an audience accept a vaunt, Davis (1983) 18-20. 54 Plut. Mor. 207c recounts that Augustus cited Simonides, ear 1 καί σιγάς άκίνδυνον γέρας (there is risk-free benefit even in silence, PMG 582), when retaining Athenodorus, who gave him the parting advice to recite the alphabet before expressing anger.



But the appearance of not relating the res g esta e of Caesar is belied by the fact that Horace puts forward as his own recommendations nothing other than what is called the Augustan programme.55 The solution to the national mood in the wake of civil war had two fronts, foreign and domestic. Militarily it meant a policy of peace broken only by foreign warfare; at home it meant a renewal of old-fashioned morality, particularly the exaltation of poverty and chastity.56 The building programme with its emphasis on the restoration of temples was a powerful tool to couch public display in the language of p ie ta s. These two fronts knit together the Roman Odes thematically. The poet is implicated at every step; la u d a to r is intertwined with la u d a n d u s, narrative with discourse. Other themes thread through these poems, but these are the most relevant to my topic.57 Foreign military expansion can be traced by following two sets of terms, the proper names of Dacians, Britons, and Parthians on the one hand, of good Italian tribes, e.g. Marsi, on the other. In the case of foreign enemies, other names fill out the rest of the known world, but one of these three is mentioned when the topos comes up, at least in this group of poems. The poet in C. 2. 20 already presents his immor­ tality as inextricably bound up with, if independent of, imperial expansion, and we duly find juxtaposed a proper name from each set: q u i d is s im u la t 'm e tu m / M a r sa e coh ortis D a c u s (‘the Dacian who hides his fear of the Marsian cohort5, 17—18). In C. 3. 2, the boys (half of the cycle’s addressee, v ir g in ib u s p u e risq u e , C. 3. i. 4) are to learn p a u p e rie m (‘poverty5, 1) on the domestic front, and to trouble the ss It is tempting to connect the concern for morality in the Roman Odes with Augustan moral legislation, but Badian ( 1985) disproves Augustan marriage legislation for as early as 28-7 bc, and there is no sound evidence o f moral legislation before the lex Julia de maritandis ordinibus and the lex Julia de adulteriis, both of 18 bc. Syme’s ( 1939) 440-58 account o f ‘The National Programme’ depends heavily on the language o f the Roman Odes. I assume that Horace’s solutions to the national m ood are neither entirely original with him, nor are simply the impositions o f Augustus, but that Horace gives a particular shape to attitudes which were widely held and associated with the princeps. Syme ( 1939) 443 : ‘ reform was in the air.’ Although actual moral legislation took until 18 bc to begin to be implemented, and the standards were not recovered from Parthia until 20 bc, the incubation period for such concerns would have been long. 56 These themes are widely discussed. I trace them here as instances o f Horace’s recommendations of Augustan policy. 57 I prefer ‘foreign’ and ‘domestic’ to the habitual language o f ‘public’ and ‘private’, because sexual and financial morality is as ‘public’ an issue as warfare. Furthermore, the distinction between the laudator and laudandus has to do entirely with the public sphere, as does the related distinction between princeps and poet. D. F. Kennedy (1992) decon­ structs the public/private dichotomy (especially 34 ff.)

H is to r y a n d E pic: T h e R o m a n O d e s

Parthians abroad: ro b u stu s a cri m ilitia p u e r / . . . P a rth o s fe ro c is / v e x e t equ es . . . (‘may the boy, robust with keen military might, harrass the fierce Parthians by horse’, 2 - 4 ) . Conquest remains a wish. In C. 3 . 3 Juno’s prediction is for success, and they are called ‘Medes’ ( tr iu m p h a tis q u e p o s s it / R o m a fe r o x d a re tu ra M e d is, 4 3 - 4 ) —an appellation i m p o r t a n t for its return in C. 3 . 5. C. 3. 4 is also optimistic, this time about the Britons: the poet will travel safely to see them, a statement that again m i n g l e s the poet’s fate with empire ( v is a m B rita n n o s h o sp i­ tib u s feros, 3 3 ) . The poet will be safe even th ou gh they are hostile to strangers. Is it simply the Muses who will protect him, or Roman imperial power as well? In C. 3 . 5 , however, the hope for the future runs up against the present situation. Both Britons and Parthians remain to be conquered (p ra esen s d iv u s h a b e b itu r / A u g u stu s a d iectis B rita n n is / im p e rio g ra v ib u sq u e Persis, 2 - 4 ) , and furthermore, good Italian soldiers are currently in the grip of the Parthians: su b rege M e d o M a r su s e t A p u lu s (9). The programme for renewal on the foreign front remains a programme, as C . 3 . 6 emphasizes so clearly: p a e n e o c c u p a ta m se d itio n ib u s / d e le v it u rb e m D a c u s e t A e th io p s ( 1 3 - 1 4 ) . The explicit use of se d itio for civil war—recalling Juno’s se d itio n ib u s (C. 3. 3 . 2 9 ) in the same metrical position—lays bare the context that has been simmering under the surface of the Roman Odes, and reveals why Augustus’ immortality in the previous poem depends on foreign con­ quest. This poem further elucidates C. 3 . 5 by the comment on the difference between now and the Punic Wars: non his iuventus orta parentibus infecit aequor sanguine Punico, Pyrrhumque et ingentem cecidit Antiochum Hannibalemque dirum, sed rusticorum mascula militum proles, Sabellis docta ligonibus versare glaebas et severae matris ad arbitrium . . . (C. 3. 6. 33-40) Youth born not o f these parents / stained the sea with Punic blood, / and felled Pyrrhus, and huge Antiochus, / and dire Hannibal, / but rather the male offspring o f rustic soldiers, / taught to turn the sod / with Sabellian mattocks and at the discretion / o f their severe mother . . .

The contrast with the race of Italians who overcame Hannibal looks back to Regulus, whose embassy is modelled on the aftermath of


Hannibal’s great victory at Cannae. The blood-stained waters ‘corrects’ their staining with the blood of civil war at C. 2. 1. 33-6. On the domestic front, the poet similarly implicates himself in the theme of poverty, though chastity remains a womanly concern. Hor­ ace’s consistent representation of the incompatibility of wealth and peace of mind finds strong expression in the Roman Odes. As with the linkage of his immortality and empire, this thread starts at the end of the second book: n on ebur, n equ e a u re u m / m e a r e n id e t in d o m o la cu n a r . . . (‘neither ivory nor golden ceiling panels shine in my house’, C. 2. 18. 1-2). C. 3. i emphasizes the cares that attend the wealthy ( sed T im o r e t M in a e / s c a n d u n t eodem , q u o d o m in u s, ‘but Fear and Threats climb to the same place as the master’, 37—8). The poet himself avows poverty: cu r in v id e n d is p o s tib u s e t n o vo / su b lim e ritu m o lia r a tr iu m ? / cu r v a lle p e r m u te m S a b in a / d iv itia s operosiores? (‘Why should I build an atrium, high with enviable doorposts and in the new fashion? Why should I exchange my Sabine vale for heavier wealth?’ 45-8). The p u e r of C. 3. 2 is to learn poverty (p a u p e r ie m , 1), an essential of Juno’s vision of the good Roman ( a u ru m in r e p e rtu m e t sic m e liu s situ m , / cu m terra celat, sp ern ere fo rtio r, / q u a m cogere h u m a n o s in usus / o m n e sa cru m ra p ie n te d ex tra , C. 3. 3. 49-52). The motif, absent from C. 3. 4, as military expansion is from C. 3. 1, returns in C. 3. 5 when Regulus denies that a ransomed soldier will remain keen: a u ro repen su s scilicet a crio r / m iles r e d ib it (25— 6). As in C. 3. 3, the word is a u ru m (‘gold’). Poverty and chastity have both come to hard times in C. 3. 6. Chastity clearly targets the female half of the joint addressee (v irg in ib u s p u e risq u e , C. 3. i. 4), and is a prominent concern of Juno’s in C. 3. 3 (in c e stu sq u e iu d e x / e t m u lie r p e re g rin a , 19-20; ia m nec L acaen ae sp le n d e t a d u lte ra e / fa m o su s hospes, 25-6). Its violation returns with that of poverty in C. 3. 6, where the husband acts as his wife’s pimp, and the phrase d e d e c o ru m p re tio su s e m p to r (‘pricey buyer of shame’, 32) verbally marks the twofold disgrace. The call to restore the temples fits the desired moral renewal, not that religion grounded Roman morality—religion and morality were rather each integral to the m o s m a io ru m . In calling for the temple restoration, Horace confronts the problem that the d e lic ta needing expiation belong to the m a io ru m . Delicta maiorum inmeritus lues, Romane, donec templa refeceris

H is to r y a n d E pic: T h e R o m a n O d es

aedisque labentis deorum et foeda nigro simulacra fumo.

(C. 3.



Roman, you will pay for the failings o f your forefathers, / though undeserving, until you restore the temples, / and the falling houses o f the gods, / and their images, foul with black smoke.

The way out of repeating the past is to draw a line between the good and the bad then and now: do not rebuild Troy. The in m e ritu s R o m a ­ n u s will only deserve this fate if he fails to make and live by this distinction. The poem’s pessimistic ending with its image of the decline of generations ( a e ta s p a r e n tu m p e io r a v is tu lit / n os n equ iores, m o x d a tu r o s / p ro g e n ie m v itio sio re m , ‘The age of our parents, worse than our grandparents, bore us, less deserving, soon to produce off­ spring more prone to vice’, 46—8) takes for granted that the Roman addressee will not rebuild the temples, will not break the cycle; the future lues (1) implies that although a solution exists, we will miss our chance. Against this gloomy note, we should remember that Augustus was already building and restoring temples— or at least talking about doing so.58 The dire prediction has already been forestalled. Further­ more, if we take seriously the Roman Odes themselves as a temple in song, the poet himself has already initiated restoration. The note of despair with which the ode ends, and the cycle with it, reveals the stakes. But even the direst cri d e coeu r must be understood within the rhetoric of warning, and in turn of praise (see Witke 1983: 73-7). I follow these well-known threads to show how the poet intertwines himself with his recommendations for others. His avowal of poverty grants authority. His immortality depends on empire. His moral recommendations target primarily the addressee of C. 3. 1. 4 (v ir g in i­ bu s p u e risq u e ), and secondarily the head of state; those on the military front more obviously aim for the princeps beyond the Roman youth; rebuilding the temples clearly has to do with Augustus. In each case Horace represents the policy of the princeps, but by making this policy his own recommendation, he takes the rhetorical upper hand. 58 The temple o f Apollo on the Palatine was dedicated in 28 bc, generally considered the earliest possible date for this ode. Augustus declares that he restored eighty-two temples in 28 bc (Res Gestae 20. 4); other references in Quinn (1980) 255. Kiessling and Heinze (1917) 303 and Heinze (i960) 193 think the ode was written before the Senate authorized Augustus to rebuild. The poem certainly presents itself as having been written beforehand, but whatever the historical reality, the initiative would not have been Horace’s.


The fact that Horace does not actually address Augustus contributes to his independence. He speaks as M u s a r u m sacerdos (C. 3. i. 3), yes, a priesthood, but one he has invented for himself and consequently outside the state; he is no mouthpiece. Although his naming the princeps adds to praise, the dark side of the mytho-historical narra­ tives shows the very real risk that presses. The success of these poems as praise depends on their being heard not merely as warnings, but as warnings whose message has already been heeded. The praise consists in Augustus’ having already taken the advice. In political reality, Augustus’ intention was to rebuild Rome, not Troy; he was the great proponent of old-fahioned Italian morals and religion; closing the gates of the temple of Janus in 29 bc was a strong symbolic declaration of peace; although Britain was eventually abandoned, Parthia was not; he recovered the standards, by diplomacy no less. But in poetic reality, the poet originates these aims. By implementing the programme sug­ gested by Horace, the princeps tempers his v is (‘force’) with the Muses’ consilium . The poet maintains his role outside of the constraints of power—the Muses’ protection guarantees his continued immunity ( in v io la tu s, C. 3 .4 . 36)—and the princeps appears high-minded for heeding the gentle advice of poets. Poetic licence to warn political leaders may fail as a display of independence if we consider power to consist only of action, but the Augustan revolution consisted largely of changing perceptions. Words matter, and to this extent, Horace’s free­ dom was real. As an encomiastic technique, the licence to warn guarantees the freedom without which praise loses all worth.5859 The diffusion of the Augustan programme over the Roman Odes allows the narratives to escape from the mere retailing of res gestae. We look for res g esta e within the narratives, and find rather res g e re n d a e (‘matters to be done’) disseminated throughout the cycle. This shift, from relating the past to setting a programme, accords with lyric time, and redirects the past toward the future. 59 See N H (1970) 92 on ‘the Pindaric tradition that a poet may address sententious admonition to his betters’. The admonitory myths in the odes to Hieron are especially relevant (Ixion in P 2; Coronis and Asclepius in P. 3, whose example warns against desiring the impossible).


N a r r a tiv e S ed u ctio n

8 Narrative Seduction

cecini/graviore plectro Gigantas . . . nunc opùs est leviore lyra (Ovid, Met. io. 150-2)

The Roman Odes are the climax of several developing strands in O des 1-3, but after them, Horace returns to the conventional topics of lighter lyric. The poems that narrate or are about narrative reflect this shift: C. 3. 7, 3. 11, and 3. 27 have to do with women and love, if they fail to make of Horace a conventional erotic lyrist.1 As expected of our intellectual poet, the issue is less about love p e r se than poetry’s role in seduction and particularly the eroticism of telling stories. These narratives, like the rest, reach out to other genres, here elegy and epyllion, in a gesture that both expands the limits of lyric as narrowly conceived and argues for its superiority. While epic and tragedy colour most of Horace’s inset stories, the turn to the predominant rival genres in these poems balances the picture. Where Horace’s exhortations to the elegists turn eventually toward epic and praise poetry (Ch. 3), his own narratives revert to the concerns of elegy after exploring in some depth the possibilities of epic. C. 2. 9 anticipates the Roman Odes, but the golden mean reasserts itself with the opposite motion in their aftermath. Beyond generic realignment, these poems ask the question of narrative interpretability.

R e a d a b il it y

Quid fles, Asterie, quem tibi candidi primo restituent vere Favonii 1 Bradshaw’s (1978) insistence on the poet’s avuncular role in these poems fails to give their eroticism its due, but does attempt to account for a lack o f passion.

Thyna merce beatum, constantis iuvenem fide2 Gygen? ille Notis actus ad Oricum post insana Caprae sidera frigidas noctes non sine multis insomnis lacrimis agit. atqui sollicitae nuntius hospitae, suspirare Chloen et miseram tuis dicens ignibus uri, temptat mille vafer modis. ut Proetum mulier perfida credulum falsis impulerit criminibus nimis casto Bellerophontae maturare necem, refert; narrat paene datum Pelea Tartaro, Magnessam Hippolyten dum fugit abstinens, et peccar e docentis fallax historias movet, frustra: nam scopulis surdior Icari voces audit adhuc integer, at tibi ne vicinus Enipeus plus iusto placeat, cave, quamvis non alius flectere equum sciens aeque conspicitur gramine Martio, nec quisquam citus aeque Tusco denatat alveo. prima nocte domum claude, neque in vias sub cantu querulae despice tibiae et te saepe vocanti duram difficilis mane. (C. 3· 7) Why do you cry, Asterie, for one the clear / West winds will restore to you at first sign o f spring, / blessed with Thynian merchandise, / Gyges a youth of firm faith? / He, driven by the South wind to Oricum / after the Charioteer’s crazed constellation, / passes cold nights sleepless / with many a tear. / And yet the go-between o f a solicitous hostess, / saying Chloe sighs and burns / miserably with your fire, / makes trial o f him, cunning in a thousand ways. / He tells how a faithless wife / impelled trusting Proetus to hurry death / for 2 I accept Shackleton Bailey’s (1985) archaizing fide ad loc.

26 8


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N a r r a tiv e S ed u ctio n

too chaste Bellerophon / with her false charges; / he relates that Peleus was almost sent to Hell, / in flight from Magnesian Hippolyte for withholding, / and he deceptive sets in motion / stories teaching sin, / in vain. For he, still spotless, / hears these voices more deaf than Icarus’ rocks. But you, / watch that Enipeus your neighbour / not please more than is right, / though no one else is as conspicuous / knowingly steering his horse in the Campus, / nor swims so fast / down Tiber’s bed. / At nightfall close your house, don’t look down / into the street at the song o f the lamenting reed, / stay resolved against him, / who repeatedly calls you intractable.

abroad serves as an example that supports the poet’s paraenesis (exhortation) in the second half: Gyges is faithful, you should be too. The poet’s exemplary story contains two inset stories told to Gyges by a third party, the n u n tiu s, just as Asterie is told Gyges’ exemplary story by a third party, the poet.4 The n u n tiu s between Gyges and his hostess Chloe tells stories, like the poet, to persuade, but his aim is contrary to the poet’s, to persuade infidelity. The exemplary nature of these stories is heavily stressed: refert; / n a r r a t (16-17), d o c e n tis / . . . h istorias (19-20). The n u n tiu s uses the analogy of two stories of the ‘Potiphar’s wife’ type: a married woman falls in love with a guest and makes advances, when repulsed, she accuses the guest of making advances on her to her husband, the husband attempts vengeance and tries to kill the guest, the guest manages to save himself. His point is that if Gyges does not accept the advances of Chloe, she will tell her husband he has made advances on her and her husband will (attempt to) kill him. He consequently emphasizes death: m a tu ra re n ecem (16); p a e n e d a tu m P elea T artaro (17). But the n u n tiu s chooses his stories unwisely because both Bellerophon and Peleus escape: p a e n e (17) gives the lie to the analogy. He would have done better to choose a story where the love-stricken hostess did end up killing her desirable guest, and the name of Peleus’ pursuer Hippolyte (18) suggests such a tale.5 The message to Gyges from the n u n tiu s, a threat, is very different from the message to Asterie from the poet, which rather reassures her: not only does her hero resist his hostess, but he will escape unharmed like his mythical analogues. What the h isto ria e teach is the opposite of their speaker’s intention, that is, their internal speaker; the speaking poet controls both their meaning and the n u n tiu s rhetorical failure. The message to the reader differs yet again: that mythological narratives can convey opposite meanings at the same time, depending on speaker and addressee.6 Context alters meaning. This message gives pause if we think the mytho-historical narratives in the Roman Odes convey a univocal message. The poet, however, does not immediately reassure his addressee, but rather toys with her emotions. By the end of the stanza refert (16) tells us and Asterie that the myth is a story told by the n u n tiu s, but at first u t (13) does not appear to introduce an indirect question. The accu-

A well-recognized feature of this poem is that it marks the end of the Roman Odes. The change to a lighter subject matter and to Asclepiadeans, a lighter metre, breaks the unparalleled continuity of the six previous poems; the fact that sexual fidelity remains the topic after C. 3. 6 keeps the transition from harshness (Cairns 1995: 66, 93-4; Porter 1987: 175-6; Santirocco 1986: 15). This poem also provides continuity in that it offers a paradigm of reading and misreading exemplary stories. It alerts us after the fact of the possibility of reading the narratives of the Roman Odes in two (or more) ways. This poem sets in motion two parallel, overlapping dramas, in each of which a speaker deploys a pair of exemplary narratives in the attempt to persuade— one for, one against an act of seduction. Gyges and Asterie are each the target of seduction in the other’s absence, he pursued by Chloe, she by Enipeus. But the relations among the players is not one of overlapping love triangles, since the speaker who attempts the persuasion does not participate in the triangle, but—at least in the story the poet tells—is not involved.3 Thus: seducer


target of seduction

(faithful) mate

Chloe Enipeus

n u n tiu s v a fe r

speaking poet

Gyges Asterie

Asterie Gyges

The poet tells Asterie a story about her lover Gyges that closely resembles her own: he too is crying (fles, 1, of Asterie; non sin e m u ltis / . . . lacrim is, 7-8, of Gyges), he too passes difficult nights (fr ig id a s / noctes, 6-7, of Gyges; p r im a n octe, 29, of Asterie) and has met with attempted seduction, but he is faithful. The story about her lover 3 The poet’s role as speaker is often— strangely— left out of accounts of this ode, e.g. Cairns (1995).

4 Caims (1972) 210-11 pursues the analogies between the inset stories and their frames. 5 Syndikus (1973) 100 mentions Hippolytus; Burkert (1979) 201 n. 35 connects the stories. 6 Quintilian (5. 11. 24): ‘similium alia facies in alia ratione.’


L y ric N a rra tiv e s

sative P ro e tu m and nominative m u lie r p e rfid a (13) could accord with an indicative, as in a simile. Only after initial anxiety does the sub­ junctive im p u le r it (14) show the supposition of a real comparison to be unfounded and reveal that this stanza in fact gives an instance of how the n u n tiu s te m p ta t m i l l e . . . m o d is ( 12) , and is not a simile. R e fe rt (16) unties the knot: it is only a story. But the poet keeps Asterie in suspense about Gyges’ conduct; he delays the desired information by attributing to the n u n tiu s another mythological story—apparently superfluous because it reduplicates the pattern of the first.7 The Peleus story, however, allows for the completion of the plot. Only the two stories together reveal the plot in its entirety. The Bellerophon stanza contains the hero’s chastity ( n im is f casto , 14-15), the false accusation (fa lsis . . . c rim in ib u s , 14), the husband’s credulity ( c re d u lu m , 13) and attempt at revenge; the Peleus stanza reiterates the hero’s innocence ( a b stin e n s, 18) and reveals the outcome (p a e n e d a tu m . . . Tartaro, 17). Furthermore the reduplication underscores the telling of exemplary stories, already explicitly foregrounded. The juxtaposition of n a rr a t (17) with refert (16) emphasizes narration; d o cen tis stresses the point­ edness of the h isto ria s (19-20). This self-consciousness also bears on reading the Roman Odes. The full ‘story’ may only unfold over the course of several narratives. This poem not only guides our reading of the Roman Odes retro­ spectively, but introduces a new topic: the role of narrative within lyric (and erotic) persuasion. The poet delays the word Asterie most wants to hear by placing it in enjambment at the beginning of the next stanza: fr u str a (21). Gyges hears the n u n tiu s voces (22) more deaf than the cliffs of Icarus, an oxymoron for his not listening to them at all. He is still in te g e r (22). So much is reassuring for Asterie, but it establishes a disquieting precedent for the success of the poet’s own utterance. Will she likewise not heed the persuasion of the speaker? Is she also listening deafly? In fact the poet’s entire Gyges narrative sets up a negative paradigm. The inset narratives all demonstrate the failure of erotic seduction. The grounds for this failure are that the intent of telling stories is to deceive. The n u n tiu s is clever (vafer, 12) and deceptive (fa lla x , 2 0 ). Within his first story, there is a further en a b y m e 7 These stories are more alike than even pertains to this context: each hero takes refuge with his host after an involuntary slaying, for which his host purifies him. For Bellerophon, R 6. itìoff.; subsequent versions (Ps.-Apollod. 2. 3. 1; Hygin. Fab. 57; Serv. Aen. 5. ri8 ) do not differ substantially. For Peleus the most complete account is Ps.Apollod. 3. 13. 3, with Frazer’s (1921) notes; also Roscher (1884-1937) ad loc.

N a r r a tiv e S ed u ctio n


reflection in that Proetus’ wife also tells a story in the attempt to deceive (p e rfid a , 13). In this case, she tells a falsehood to her husband: fa lsis c rim in ib u s (14). And although her story won belief ( c re d u lu m , 13) and engendered action (im p u le rit, 14), the attempted murder was futile (paen e, 17), as revealed in the next story, and the innocent man (a b stin en s, 18) escaped. In contrast to the n u n tiu s and the m u lie r p e rfid a , the poet is straightforward; he tells of ‘real life’ whereas the n u n tiu s recounts myth and the m u lie r falsehood; he advises fidelity, the n u n tiu s makes a trial of Gyges (te m p ta t, 12) and his stories teach sin (peccare d o cen tis / . . . h istorias, 19-20); the n u n tiu s fails in persuasion and the m u lie r in execution, contrary to what the poet hopes for himself; the n u n tiu s exempla are flawed, while the poet’s correspond to the framing situation. Or do they? There is an essential disparity between the n u n tiu s ’ and the poet’s roles for which negation and reversal cannot account. The latter does not mediate between the seducer and the target of seduction but rather between an already established couple. It is not at all clear what role the poet plays, beyond advising fidelity. Is he really an uninvolved avuncular figure? A further difference from the n u n tiu s is that while anyone can tell the canonical myths, the poet tells of real life while it is happening far away, as if an omniscient narrator. His story is not subordinated to indirect question (13-16) or indirect discourse (10-11; 17-18), but told outright: ille . . . (5). Furthermore, it is taking place as he speaks, in the present tense: a g it (8), te m p ta t (12), refert (16), n a r r a t (17), m o v e t (20), a u d it (22). Asterie (and we) might wonder how he knows. Maybe he is making it up as he speaks to tease Asterie out of weeping (Bradshaw 1978: 159). If we lay aside the inset Gyges story as a paradigm for Asterie’s story, we find the same cast of characters, but the roles can be distributed differently.8 What characterizes Enipeus in addition to his attempt at seduction, is his being a poet. This makes him on some level analogous to the speaking poet, with a generic difference: the speaking poet is a lyrist, Enipeus an elegist.9 He brings together the roles of poet and lover in the manner of the Latin love elegists and his instrument is the lament: su b c a n tu q u eru la e . . . tib ia e (30). In contrast, the speaking 8 Williams (1969) 70 notes the complex situation, involving four people’, but it is not clear if he means Gyges, Asterie, Enipeus, Chloe, or the poet, Gyges, Asterie, Enipeus. 9 See Cairns (1972) 208-11 on the inverse komos·, Harrison (1988a) and Cairns (1995) 68-75 on elegiac topoi.


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N a r r a tiv e S ed u ctio n

poet separates himself from the role of lover, which is played rather by the absent Gyges.

the tib ia by foisting it onto epic’s opposite: q u eru la e . . . tib ia e (30). Enipeus’ athletics are similarly not Pindaric, but erotic. Intimations of marriage, however, or at least faith to one’s vir, keep the erotics in this poem from the elegiac paradigm (Cairns 1995: 84, 93-4). This poem restores the balance toward light poetry after the Roman Odes, but does not go too far (p lu s iu sto, 24) in the opposite direction toward elegy.

lover: poet: beloved / addressee:

Lyric Gyges speaker Asterie

Elegy Enipeus Enipeus Asterie

In light of this division of roles, it is telling that the poet charac­ terizes G y g e s as c o n sta n tis iu v e n e m f id e (4). On first encounter, we take fid e s literally as 'faith’ in accord with Gyges’ role as a constant lover, maybe even a husband. Once Enipeus is characterized as a poet in the poem’s final stanza, we recall that fid e s is for Horace a lyric virtue and that he likes to pun on its etymological relation with fid e s the lyre when the foil is elegy.101The m u lie r p e rfid a (13) is false not only in love but in speech. If Gyges is c o n s ta n tis . . . f id e (4) as a lover, the unspoken claim is that the poet is co n sta n tis f id e as a lyrist.11 Again, if Gyges remains in te g e r ( 2 2 ) as a lover, the poet similarly remains in te g e r as a lyrist. As in in te g e r v ita e (C. 1. 22), the lover will go to the ends of the earth—or simply to Bithynia ( T h y n a m erce b e a tu m , 3)— unharmed.12 Horaee revises his stance from that in in teg er v ita e , where lover and poet are conjoined—if being a lover of Lalage, whose name means ‘talk’, can be taken as anything other than being a poet. We have already seen Horace’s revision of his persona leading up to the Roman Odes (Ch. 6); in their wake he reinstates himself as a light lyrist, but makes sure that the reader understands that the return of erotic themes makes of him no more an elegist than ever. After the linkage of the tib ia (1) with fid ib u s c ith a ra q u e (4) in C. 3. 4, where the union is between choral lyric and monody, epic and lyric, political and personal poetry, Horace reclaims the lyre through the pun in f id e (C. 3. 7. 4) and disavows 10 Putnam (1993) 12,7 notes the resonant use o f Fides with fides in C. 1. 24 and cites Paulus-Festus 89 M and Isidore Orig. 3. 22. 4 to show that the connection was made independently o f Horace; see also C. 1. 33. 4, Lowrie (1994) 385. 11 The connection between the two fides is made easier by the archaic genitive fide, printed by Shackleton Bailey (1985), but synizesis of fidei would not destroy the reso­ nance, given its attestation elsewhere. 12 Horace ironizes Gyges: he is a merchant, he weeps, he plays the conventional lover by passing cold sleepless nights [frigidas / noctes . . . ! insomnis . . . agit, 6-8). Scopulis (21) similarly plays on the conventions o f the elegiac lover, even if Gyges is not literally wandering in the wilderness, Syndikus (1973) x o o -i. The treatment, however, is gentle, and if the point is the poet’s superiority to the lover, Gyges nevertheless fulfils the role of lover as the poet’s analogue over against Enipeus.


The division between poet and lover in Horatian lyric does not make the poet unerotic, it transposes eroticism from sex to the word.13 By contrast, Enipeus is conventionally attractive as well as a poet; he rides horses on the Campus Martius and swims in the Tiber, like Sybaris in C. i. 8. Riding horses has had erotic connotations since Anacreon, and flectere (25) is not only the technical term for steering a horse, but opens up the possibility of persuasion. His serenade calls on Asterie not only to listen, but to yield sexually: te sa ep e v o c a n ti / d u r a m (31-2). The transposition of seductive voces (22) from the n u n tiu s in the inset narrative to the lover in the framing story ( v o c a n ti, 31) points up a difference between the poet and Enipeus. The two correspond on an initial reading to the n u n tiu s and to Chloe respectively, but where the n u n tiu s conveys Chloe’s voice ( su sp ira re C h lo en e t m ise ra m tu is / dicen s ign ibu s uri, io- π ) , Enipeus speaks for himself, leaving the poet to speak rather on behalf of Gyges. Because of the poet’s presence, the absence of the legitimate lover does not deprive him of a voice. The two work in tandem, in a reversal of the elegiac situation the poet wishes on Enipeus, whereby he will sing to his beloved’s shut door (paraclausithyron). Although the ath­ letic lover is nearby ( vic in u s, 23), the poet advises Asterie to keep him outside: d o m u m clau de; in v ia s (29). Gyges is far away ( ille N o tis a ctu s a d O ricu m , 5), but the poet is actually speaking to Asterie, close enough to comfort her tears.14 It is immaterial whether the poet’s presence is physical or merely verbal. We do not know if the poet is inside the house with Asterie or not, but it does not matter since the point is for her to listen to him whether his words are spoken or written. Like Gyges, her lover though absent, the poet can fulfil his function through his words whether or not he is there. Where Enipeus is very much a body available to sight (c o n sp icitu r, 26)—a good reason for the poet to advise Asterie not to look down ( n eq u e . . . I d espice, 13 On the eroticism o f reading, Svenbro (1993) ch. 10. 14 Cairns (1995) 76 sees the thematics o f the ‘near’ and the ‘far’ as a lyric marker.

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2 9 - 3 0 )— Gyges is physically distant and the poet is all voice. Both Enipeus and the poet aim to seduce, but while Enipeus uses his poetry in the attempt to attain sexual satisfaction, the poet’s separation from the figure of the lover makes his seduction strictly verbal. He tries to lead Asterie away from her tears and to draw her out of harm’s way,13*IS and the best means to these ends is the one he chooses, telling stories. Willcock identifies the two rhetorical functions of an exemplum as persuasion and consolation (1964: 142)—the poet’s two aims here. The same exemplary tale serves both purposes, first consolation since Asterie is crying, and secondly, persuasion since, as it turns out, she suffers the same temptations as in the tale. In fact, once we learn about her situation, delayed until after the narrative, we realize the lines along which the poet has made up the story—what Willcock (1977) calls ‘a d h oc invention’. But mere analogy does not console or persuade. The poet distracts her attention by telling stories. Narrative distraction is the verbal equivalent of erotic seduction.16*So long as the poet can keep her listening, he wins. She may break into amused laughter once she realizes how obviously he has modelled his stories on hers, but she has nevertheless been listening. The difference between lyric listening and elegiac listening is that the erotic object can listen openly to the former and remain in teger (22), whereas to maintain in tegritas in the face of an elegiac poet the beloved must turn a deaf ear (s u r d io r . . . / a u d it , 21-2; difficilis m an e, 32). The paraclausithyron requires an addressee who refuses as yet to listen and to yield sexually (d u ra m , 32). The poetic success of the form entails erotic failure. While elegy also makes poetry a substitute for sexual conquest, the ideal is for the beloved to yield sexually in response to the poetry. Horace wins over (his version of) elegy by making his lyric success dependent simply on being heard. It is perhaps this solution that explains Icari ( 2 1 ) .17 This word is conspicuous because Icarus also appears in the poem to the other side of the Roman Odes. While Horace consistently aligns his life with his poetry, the aspect of life that accords with lyric is moral tranquillity and the acceptance of death, not success in wordly matters. Icarus is a figure who stands for both a literal failure that resulted in his death, and eternal renown because of it.18 On the erotic plane, the poet can

fail to get the girl into bed, but he succeeds by making her listen and by transforming the interaction into poetry. Poetry, like Icarus’ name, lives on despite worldly failure. In political terms, it means that the rhetorical upper hand of the poet in the Roman Odes immortalizes his success in the face of absolute power.

13 For these meanings o f seduco, OLD ia and b. 10 On dangerous and innocent beguilement in Greek metapoetics, see Walsh (1984). 17 Harrison (1988a) 191 hears an echo o f Penelope’s father Icarius. The bizarre reference to Icarus should not be erased. 18 Above p. 213, in discussion o f C. 2. 20.

E l e g ia c I n s c r i p t i o n

a n d the

T a l k in g T

Mercuri (nam te docilis magistro movit Amphion lapides canendo) tuque testudo resonare septem callida nervis, nec loquax olim neque grata, nunc et divitum mensis et amica templis, dic modos, Lyde quibus obstinatas adplicet auris, quae velut latis equa trima campis ludit exsultim metuitque tangi nuptiarum expers et adhuc protervo cruda marito. tu potes tigris comitesque silvas ducere et rivos celeres morari; cessit inmanis tibi blandienti ianitor aulae Cerberus, quamvis furiale centum muniant angues caput eius, atque spiritus taeter saniesque manet ore trilingui; quin et Ixion Tityosque voltu risit invito, stetit urna paulum sicca, dum grato Danai puellas carmine mulces. audiat Lyde scelus atque notas virginum poenas et inane lymphae dolium fundo pereuntis imo seraque fata, quae manent culpas etiam sub Orco, impiae— nam quid potuere maius? impiae sponsos potuere duro perdere ferro.




Narrative Seduction

L y ric N a rra tiv e s

una de multis face nuptiali digna periurum fuit in parentem splendide mendax et in omne virgo nobilis aevum, ‘surge’ quae dixit iuveni marito, ’surge, ne longus tibi somnus, unde non times, detur, socerum et scelestas falle sorores, quae velut nanctae vitulos leaenae singulos eheu lacerant: ego illis mollior nec te feriam, neque intra claustra tenebo. me pater saevis oneret catenis, quod viro clemens misero peperci, me vel extremos Numidarum in agros classe releget: i, pedes quo te rapiunt et aurae, dum favet nox et Venus, i secundo omine et nostri memorem sepulchro scalpe querelam.’ (C. 3. 11) Mercury (for Amphion, who learned / in your school, moved stones by sing­ ing) / and you, turtle, clever at sounding / with seven strings, / once not talkative nor pleasing, now / a friend of the gods’ tables and temples, / say modes, to which Lyde may lend / her stubborn ears, / she who like a threeyear-old filly exuberantly / plays on the wide fields and fears the touch, / without experience o f marriage, still raw / for a bold husband. / You can lead tigers and woods / as companions and delay the swift streams; / to your persuasion the doorman / o f the huge hall yielded, / Cerberus, though a hundred snakes / fortify his wild head, and / foul breath and gore ooze / from his three-tongued mouth. / Nay, even Ixion and Tityos smiled / with faces unwilling, the urn stood dry / for a short time, while you soothed Danaus’ girls / with pleasing song. / Let Lyde hear the crime and the known / penalty of maidens and the jar, empty / o f water which flows through the bottom, / and the late fates / which wait for faults even in Hell. I Impious— what worse could they do? / impious they could and did destroy / their husbands with a hard sword. / Only one worth the marriage torch / among many was splendidly deceptive / against her perjured father and a maiden noble / for all time, / who said, ‘Get up’, to her young husband, / ‘Get up, to avoid the gift of a long sleep, / from where you fear not. Deceive / your father-in-law and guilty sisters, / who like lionesses with calves / mangle, alas, one apiece: I, / softer than they, will


not strike you, nor contain you / within walls. / Let my father load me with cruel chains, / because I have clemently spared my poor husband, / or let him relegate me by ship / to endmost Numidia: / go where your feet and the breezes rush you, / while night and Venus take your side, go with favourable / omen and engrave a mindful lament / on my tomb.’

Poetics, death, seduction, writing, song—this poem touches on most of Horace’s non-political preoccupations (no wine). It is a formal tour de force, with its hymn to a tripartite divinity, a metonymy for poetry itself, its descent to the underworld (katabasis) as a sign of poetic power, its exemplary narrative whose relevance screams for interpreta­ tion, its appropriation of elegiac convention for lyric purposes. Almost every stanza of the first half has strong resonances elsewhere in the Odes, and extensive formal similarities with C. 3. 27 link the second half to another similar context.19 This poem is enmeshed in a network of Horatian issues, and yet it has not commanded serious attention.20 The girl lacks ‘reality’, or rather realism, as does the situation,21 the long introduction seems to have little to do with the myth—in short, the ode falls short of the standard of unity and exceeds our tolerance for artifice.22 Nevertheless, this poem has had easier treatment than its pair, C. 3. 27.23 Both of these poems use narrative in an act of seduction. In G 3. 11, I will argue that Horace differentiates his lyric from elegy (once again); this time it is not praise poetry that is written, but elegy.24 The ground for the difference is elegy’s lament at its separation from the beloved versus lyric’s embrace of death. Lyric’s relocation of the beloved in the reader makes of poetry not, as in elegy, 19 Commager (1967) uses this poem extensively for parallels, see index. 20 Even Commager (1967) does not discuss it in full and disparages this poem and C. 3. 27 in comparison to C. 3. 3 (222 η. 121). The m ost extensive treatment is still Cairns (1975); Bradshaw (1978) and Pöschl (1981) are appreciative, but one would expect a larger fan club. 21 Minadeo (1982) 94: ‘one o f Horace’s paler love odes.’ Bradshaw (1978) even sees the poet’s relation to Lyde as avuncular. Pöschl (1981) 144, the exception, refers repeatedly to the poet’s passion. 22 Some feel a lesser need for unity than others, e.g. Klingner (1958) 175: ‘the saga rises imperceptibly out o f the restrictions o f the initial situation into the freedom o f pure contemplation of a great fate o f heroic times, which is now only distantly connected with the occasion o f the poem.’ 23 Fraenkel (1957), who dismisses C. 3. 11 and 3. 27 in comparison to C. 3. 3 and 3. 5 on the grounds o f a lesser ‘dignity’ o f ideas (269), uses dignity as a criterion for his preference of this poem to C. 3. 27 (193, 196-7). 24 The elegiac foil against which Horace defines lyric is his own construction; while it bears traces o f resemblance to historical elegy, it simplifies. I aim to interpret Horace’s lyric elegy, not elegy itself.



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compensation for separation from the beloved, but the only locus of fulfilment. The dialogue with elegy masks another dialogue. The choice of the Danaids as an exemplum cannot help but recall their presence as sculpture on the portico to the temple of Apollo on the Palatine, dedicated by Augustus in 28 b c . It has been argued that this monument memorialized civil war.25 The Danaid story recalls the thematics of C. 1. 37: violence between men and women who are simultaneously too close (cousins) and too dissimilar (Greek and Egyptian; civilized and barbar­ ian). The Danaids1 violence upsets a social contract, here marriage, which the singular example of Hypermestra restores. The placement of this story in the temple of Apollo supports Augustan propaganda— the Actian Apollo helped bring civil war to a close—but also lends itself to reappropriation by poets, who could lay claim to Apollo as the god of the lyre. Horace redirects the story from politics to poetics, a ‘correc­ tion’ of lyric narrative in the wake of the Roman Odes. C. 3. 11 divides into two parts: prayer and narrative. The latter fulfils the former since it gives the poet something worthy of capturing Lyde’s attention, his request in the prayer. This poem is a cletic hymn that calls the god to the speaker’s presence (Fraenkel 1957: 196), a common lyric form, and every aspect of the prayer has to do with lyric: the divinity addressed is the lyre, the request is to listen, the erotic object turns out to be implicated in poetics in multiple ways. Cairns traces many of the poem’s techniques to Greek lyric (1975)— a mark of allegiance to the tradition. The narrative functions both as an integral part of hymnic form and plays the role of the poetry proper, the poetry granted to the poet by the lyre that will make the poetically determined erotic object listen.26 But the prayer cannot exclude itself from poetry any more than the narrative can stake a claim to poetic purity or independence. The poem as a whole reflects our seduction through poetry in the internal seduction of Lyde through narrative. Much of this poem tends to metapoetry; such poetic self-conscious­ ness allegorizes lyric’s superiority to other genres, here elegy, and

makes a statement about lyric’s own workings. The dialogue with elegy, however, misdirects our understanding of lyric and prevents any straight, unambiguous statement about lyric itself. Like the other poems analysed in this chapter, C. 3. 11 is a tease. Horace’s promises of marriage turn out to be a false metaphor.

25 Quint (1993) 50-93; Kellum (1985) sees the statues o f the Danaids, with their associations with fwror (fury) and Egypt, as substitutes for Cleopatra. Similar issues inform the Aeneid’s depiction o f the Danaids in a work o f art (ecphrasis), Putnam ( 1994). 26 Cairns (1975) 135 distinguishes this pattern, where the myth, which fulfils the prayer, is an integral part o f the hymn, from the pattern in the victory ode where the poet asks a god to help compose the poem. This poem already has a more conventional hymnic narrative in Orpheus’ katabasis; the Danaid story is extra.

M e ta p o e tr y

Horace’s prayer follows the traditional form, but, starting with the divinity itself, the form’s elements all take a metapoetic turn.27 After the hymn to Mercury in C. 1. 10, we expect from a poem beginning M e rc u ri (1) another hymn to the god. The actual divinity addressed, however, is not named. From the joint invocation of Mercury (1) and te stu d o (3) we supply, through metonymy and hendiadys, the ‘lyre’. Mercury evokes the ‘birth’ legend of the lyre, one of his feats in C. 1. io: cu rva eq u e lyra e p a r e n te m (6). T estu do is the lyre’s material, but the divinity’s actual name—usually an essential feature— never occurs.28 A second person singular pronoun accompanies each addressee, as is traditional (te, 1; tu q u e, 3), as is the continuation with another tu (13) without connection (asyndeton) after the expansion on Lyde. But the precise identity of the divinity remains unspoken. The feats described are conventionally associated with Orpheus, the poet par excellence, and the testu d o —the most recent addressee—may lead tigers and woods only if we mentally add ‘in the hands of Orpheus’ (Williams 1969: 82). Just as te stu d o (3) is a metonymy for lyre, ‘lyre’ itself is a metonymy for poetry and identifies the lyric genre. Horace does not invoke the Muse; to do so would fall back on a conventional exteriorization of poetry, while he aims to address poetry itself. To name the god would be to name the poem: M e r c u ri ( n a m te . . . (i). The request d ie (7) also twists hymnic convention.29 It brings together the address of the god in an imperative (κ λ ΰ θ ι , ‘listen’, Ιλ θ έ, ‘come’) with the initial reference to singing (aetSeuQ found in the H o m e ric H y m n s .3° But where in the H o m e ric H y m n s the poet either 27 Syndikus (1973) 124 lists conventional elements: n a m (1), tu (1, 3, 13), praise of deeds, request. Also: the imperative appeal ( d ie , 7). Norden (1956) 143-76; Meyer (1933) introd. 28 On the importance of correct naming, or providing for a mistaken name, Norden (1956) 144; Meyer (1933) 3 · 29 Syndikus (1973) 124 sees this as a variation on an appeal to the Muses. 30 Meyer (1933) 4 links the imperative with the ‘cult hymn’, reference to singing with the ‘epic hymn’.


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begins to sing in his own voice (άρχομ άείδειν, ‘I begin to sing’, H orn. H y m n to D e m e te r i), or requests that the Muse sing about the god as she sings about the main topic in epic (Έρμην υμνεί Μούσα, ‘sing Muse of Hermes’, H orn. H y m n to H e r m e s i; Μούσα μοι εννεπε έργα πολυ­ χρύσου Αφροδίτης, ‘tell me Muse of the deeds of golden Aphrodite’, H orn. H y m n to A p h r o d ite ι; μηνιν άειδε, θεά, ‘sing goddess the wrath’, I lia d ι. ι; άνδρα μοι εννεπε, Μούσα, ‘tell me Muse of the man’, O d y sse y i. i), here, because the ‘god’ is a figure for poetry, d ie (7) has a double function. It is both the request to the god and the performative reference to song that gets the hymn started, so that the hymnist may make a request. The listing of the god’s powers (δυνάμεις ) is, of course, also tradi­ tional. Unlike a conventional hymn, however, which aims to glorify the god, here all the powers have additional point. P otes (13) makes power overt. Amphion’s moving stones in the n a m (1) clause, as well as Orpheus’ moving tigers, woods, streams, and even death, universalizes poetic power in the natural world through complementaries: mineral, plant, animal, water; animate, inanimate. The te stu d o expands poetry’s sway to the gods: d iv itu m m en sis e t a m ic a te m p lis (6). M o v i t (2) and cessit (15) remind the god of past actions and ground the request. The point these powers serve is an a fo r tio r i argument: if Amphion and Orpheus moved the immovable forces of nature with the lyre’s help, surely the poet can learn ( d o cilis m a g istro , i) to move the immovable object which is Lyde.31 Mercury recalls the persuasive aspect of his Greek analogue Hermes (Syndikus 1973: 124). Metapoetry pertains to both the different aspects of the divinity iddressed and the request. Beyond the associations of all of the named igures with the lyre, Mercury as inventor, Amphion as recipient of the pit from Mercury,32 Orpheus as proto-poet, the te stu d o not only ienotes the lyre, but recalls a lyric fragment addressing the turtle: y tW o f (‘come, heavenly ίγ ι δη χελυ δία f/x o i A éyef / φωνάεσσα urtle, speak to me and become vocal’, Sappho, 118V).33 Points of ;imilarity are the vocative address, the imperative of a verb of speaking, he association of the lyre with the gods in δΐα, and lo q u a x (5) as a

translation of φωνάεσσa. Sappho’s turtle is not just a generic signal, but also evokes, like Horace’s, a divinized notion of poetic song. The request is likewise metapoetic. The poet asks for poetry to which Lyde will listen. He asks not once, but twice: d ic m odos, L yd e qu ibu s o b stin a ta s / a p p lic e t a u ris (7-8); a u d ia t L y d e (25). In poetic terms he asks for an audience. Lyde’s name after Amphion’s makes a pun that shows her not to be pure audience, but already implicated in poetry. Amphion invented the Lydian mode, or at least brought it to Greece from Lydia (Pausanias 9. 5. 7; Pliny H N 7. 204). The juxtaposi­ tion of m o d o s with L yd e suggests a d o u b le en ten d re, that the poem will be in the Lydian mode so as to catch the attention of someone with a similar name.34 Lyde, like the erotic objects of elegy and love poetry (Lesbia, Lycoris, Cynthia, Delia, e t a l ) , bears an already poeticized name that escapes the pressures of realism. The poem belongs to the ‘soft’ and erotic Lydian mode (Plato, R ep. 39869-10), the sort to have an already poeticized erotic object. As an erotic object, however, Lyde causes problems. On the one hand, the poet appears interested in marriage, on the other, she seems completely unreal. The two are not mutually exclusive, but their relation cannot be worked out in terms of conventional eroticism. The name games highlight L y d e as a signifier. Beyond the Lydian mode pun, there is also paronomasia with lu d it (10) and the unex­ pressed lyra. Part of our sense of her abstraction derives from her not being the poem’s addressee. That the request is directed to divinized poetry rather than a god of love indicates the poetic nature of the poet’s desires.35 Lyde’s resistance is transferred to her ears ( o b stin a ta s / . . . auris, 7-8); even her sex appeal is filtered through lyric allusion. The simile comparing her to a filly (9-10) recalls Anacreon’s famous poem: lu d it e x su ltim (10) quotes κουφά re σκιρτώσα παίζεις (‘you play lightly springing’, 417. 5 P M G ). The distance, however, between the expression of desire in Anacreon, where the man wants to bridle an untamed filly in the second person, and the objective, descriptive viewpoint of Horace’s speaker underscores Lyde’s abstractness.30


31 Syndikus (1973) 125 finds an ironic discrepancy between what Amphion and )rpheus move and what the poet wants to move, but Pöschl (1981) 145 reveals point: tones and tigers are conventional metaphors for reluctant girls. 32 Ps.-Apollodorus 3. 5. 5; Pausanias 9. 5. 8 cites the epic Europeia for Amphion’s nstruction by Hermes. 33 Syndikus (1973) 125 also gives H. Hermes 30-8 and Alcaeus 359V as parallels.

34 See Snyder (1980) 68 on the etymological double entendre; the only word-play Aristotle recommends in the Rhetoric (i40ob2i~ 3) is the etymology o f a proper name (62). 35 For requests o f favours from the beloved, Cairns (1975) 132 cites Sappho 1, a hymn to Aphrodite, and Anacreon 357, a hymn to Dionysus. 36 The question is not whether she is ‘real’ with regard to som e external reality, but whether, in Bradshaw’s (1978) 174 words, she is ‘real within the world created by the poem’.


L yric N a rra tiv e s

N a r r a tiv e S ed u ctio n

Why then, we may ask, does the poet insist on marriage? One word would sufficiently mark her marriageable age, doubling signals the importance of the topic: n u p tia r u m . . . ! m a r ito (11-12). The degree of explicitness toward matrimony can be gauged through comparison with C. i. 23, where the poet tells Chloe, another virgin compared to a tender wild animal, that she is due to follow a man ( te m p e stiv a sequ i viro, 12). The poet, as suits his interests, leaves opens whether v ir means husband, or merely an adult male. In C. 3. 11, n u p tia ru m and m a r ito (11-12) seem awfully explicit. How honourable are our bachelor poet’s intentions? The adjective p ro te r v o (11) of the husband is focalized through the eyes of an unwilling maiden, but cru d a (12), equally harsh, anticipates the myth, which in turn corrects the adjec­ tive modifying the husband to something more appealing, iu v e n i m a r ito (37), and also corrects the girl, virgo / n o b ilis (35-6).37 Marriage of course pertains thematically to the Danaids, and its relevance to Lyde makes for unity. But while the analogy between Lyde and the Danaids— each compared to animals with q u a e v e lu t in the same metrical position (9, 41)— relates the myth to the frame, we should beware of turning the situation around. The thematics of marriage as it pertains to Lyde cannot fully be accounted for by the poet’s desire to tell the Danaid story.38 We still need to ask why the desire to tell a story about marriage.39 Marriage with Lyde has nothing to do with her flesh and-blood reality, everything to do with her poeticity.

both myth and frame. I a n ito r a u la e ( 1 6 ) recalls the doorkeeper hated by suitors in the paraclausithyron; D a n a i p u e lla s / . . . m u lces ( 2 3 - 4 ) implies that Orpheus had better luck than the sons of Aegyptus in softening the Danaids, and c e s s it. . . b la n d ie n ti (15) that he had better luck with the doorkeeper too.41 Orpheus’ act of seduction, however, was to enchant them with song. On the one hand, the poet hints he would like to be an elegiac lover. On the other he avows no erotic interest. The door Orpheus manages to open is death’s, but this is not to say that the listening the poet desires of Lyde is a demand for poetic immortality devoid of eroticism. Such poetic immortality is an act of seduction, but not for Horace seduction into an affair.42 The erotic charge of being read by the beloved is an elegiac topos. Comparison with Propertius 2 . 13 a points up the differences from Horatian poetics:43

Sex Versus M a rria g e

Marriage in this poem differentiates lyric from elegiac relations—both erotic and those with the reader.40 Elegiac language and topoi colour 37 C r u d a is novel in this context. The other comparable uses in the passage: S tai T h e b . 7. 298; Mart. 8. 64. 11.


postdate this

38 Porphyrio reads the Danaid story into Lyde’s situation, interpreting c r u d a as cruel, not unripe. 39 Horace again brings together Amphion and Orpheus at AP 391ft. Their role as culture heroes gives prominence to an aspect o f civilization relevant here: c o n c u b itu p r o h i b e r e v a g o , d a r e iu r a m a r i t i s (‘to prohibit from inconstant couplings, to give hus­ bands rights’, 398). Verbal similarity recalls C. 3. xi ( tig r is . . . s a x a m o v e r e . . . te s t u d i n i s . . . b l a n d a . . . d u c e r e , ‘tigers, to m ove stones, turde, blandishing, lead’, 393-6). In C. 3. 11 the bards’ association with marriage is a subtext later made explicit in the A P . It is exactly the iu r a o f marriage the Danaids violate. 40 On the ‘irregularity’ o f the elegiac love relation, Veyne (1983) 10, 101-2, and p a s s im ; Conte (1994) 39. Propertius book 4 de/reconstructs the elegiac heroine to include married women, Wyke (1987b). I do not mean that lyric love is marital— far from it, as Ancona (1994) proves. Rather that Horace exploits marriage as a metaphor in his translation o f erotics into poetics.

N on tot Achaemeniis armatur fetruscaf sagittis, spicula quot nostro pectore fixit Amor, hic me tam gracilis vetuit contemnere Musas, iussit et Ascraeum sic habitare nemus, non ut Pieriae quercus mea verba sequantur, aut possim Ismaria ducere valle feras, sed magis ut nostro stupefiat Cynthia versu: tunc ego sim Inachio notior arte Lino. • non ego sum formae tantum mirator honestae, nec si qua illustris femina iactat avos: me iuvet in gremio doctae legisse puellae, auribus et puris scripta probasse mea. haec ubi contigerint, populi confusa valeto fabula: nam domina iudice tutus ero. quae si forte bonas ad pacem verterit auris, possum inimicitias tunc ego ferre Iovis. An t Etruscant maid is not armed with as many Achaemenian arrows / as the shafts Love has fixed in my heart. / He forbade me scorn such slender Muses, / and ordered me to dwell thus in the Ascraean grove, / not so that Pierian oaks follow my words, / or that I lead beasts in the Ismarian vale, / but that Cynthia 41 Pöschl (1981) 145. On Orpheus and enchantment, Stroh (1971) 64. 42 Syndikus (1973) 124 calls the poem a ‘Locklied’. See Stroh (1971) on ‘werbende Dichtung’, this poem (214 n. 79); Conte (1994) 161 n. 32 appraises the pragmatic function o f Latin elegy as seduction. 43 E el. 10. 2 q u a e le g a t ip s a L y c o r is (‘which Lycoris herself may read’) may point to the topos in Gallus. For the relation o f Prop. 2. 13 to E el. 10, Ross (1975) 3 4 ~ 5 > on Callimachean poetics here, Ross (1975) n 8 ff.; Stroh (1971) 79-82.

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be amazed at my verses. / Then I would be better known for my verse than Inachian Linus. 1 1 am not merely an admirer of a handsome figure, / nor if some woman boasts noble ancestry. / It would please me to read in the lap of a learned girl, / and test my writings on pure ears. / When this happens, farewell to the confused talk of the people: / for I will be safe with my lady as judge. / If she perchance turns good ears toward peace, / I can then endure the enmity of Jupiter.

/ u n iu s h ic q u o n d a m servu s a m o r is e r a t (He who now lies as uncouth dust, was once the slave of a single love, 13B . 3 5 - 6 ) . He will bring his three little books as a gift to Persephone in the underworld (1 3 B . 2 5 ) , but above, his bones will be unable to speak: se d fr u s tr a m u to s re v o ­ cabis, C y n th ia , M a n is: / n a m m e a q u id p o te r u n t ossa m in u ta loqu i? (£But in vain will you call back silent ghosts, Cynthia: for what will my diminished bones be able to speak?’ 13B . 5 7 - 8 ) . Where Horace’s lover is a metonymy for the poet in in teg er v ita e , Propertius produces the more conventional topos: he is safe because he is a lover: q u a e si fo r te bon as a d p a c e m v e r te r it auris, / p o ss u m in im ic itia s tu n c ego fe r re Io vis (13a. 15-16).46 Horace makes the ability to withstand Jupiter and to care nothing for the people a mark of the honest man in the opening of C. 3 . 3 ( 2 - 6 ) , but Propertius’ exemption from such cares depends on his mistress: p o p u li con fu sa va le to /f a b u la : n a m d o m in a iu d ice tu tu s ero, (13A . 1 3 - 1 4 ) . For Propertius, the ultimate in poetic happiness is to read his works in the lap of his beloved, part of whose attractions reside in her good taste: d o c ta e . . . p u e lla e (13A. ii) . Furthermore, Cynthia is a p u e lla and a d o m in a , while Lyde is virginal and marriageable. A current approach to elegy and to Propertius in particular makes the love object commensurate with the poetry. Veyne for instance distinguishes between (and equates) Cynthia, the fictitious love object, and C yn th ia , the book ( 1 9 8 3 : 7 3 and p a s s im .) .47 Propertius’ erotic relation to the book is comparable to the marriage Horace suggests with Lyde. What enables Horace’s differentiation of his poetry from elegy is his expression of the erotic relation, not only in terms of marriage, a thematic divide, but in an essential disparity between how poetry can talk about itself and about other poetry.48 In differ­ entiating itself from other poetry, the poetry at hand simplifies its rival; the other poetry is always foil. Horatian lyric can set up within its own discourse an alternative to Cynthia, the beloved, but not to C yn th ia ,

Shared are poetic definition, allusive reference to Orpheus’ powers without naming him, the importance of the girl’s listening. Both mention her ears (C. 3. 11. 8; Prop. 2. 13. 12, 15), but where Horace insists on hearing ( a u d ia t , 25), Propertius specifies reading a written text: legisse (11); sc rip ta (12). Horace’s phonocentrism manifests itself in the oral nature of both his poetry and the situation. His emphasis on the spoken word, however, paradoxically releases his poetic success from the transient moment, where Propertius locates it. Propertius 13 b may not form a single poem with 13 a , but both they and the poems around them address topics relevant to Horace’s concerns.44 13B addresses the poet’s funeral rites and the inscription he wishes placed on his tomb. In 1 4 and 1 5 he exults at sexual conquest and claims immortality if his successes continue ( q u a n ta ego p r a e te r ita collegi g a u d ia nocte: / im m o r ta lis ero, si a lte ra ta lis erit, £What great joy I reaped last night: I will be immortal if there will be another such’, 1 4 . 9 - 1 0 ; si d a b it h aec m u lta s [n o d e s ], fia m im m o r ta lis in illis: / n o d e u n a q u iv is vel d eu s esse p o te s t, Tf she gives many (nights), I will become immortal in them: with one such anyone can be a god’, 15. 3 9 - 4 0 ) . As in C. 3 . i i , the girl is implicated in poetry, as topic, as cause, as audience, as metaphor for the thing itself.45 The difference is that Propertius defines himself as a poet becau se he is a lover, not the other way around. His immortality depends on sexual fulfilment. If Cupid kills him (poem 1 2 ) , he will no longer sing. He wishes for modest funeral rites, not, as in Horace C. 2 . 2 0 , because there will be no need to mourn for someone not truly dead, but because he can best be summed up in an elegiac inscription. This inscription will commemorate him as a lover, not a poet: q u i n u n c ia c e t h o rrid a p u lv is, 44 Wyke (1987α) makes o f 2. 10—2. 13 a sequence. I think this could be extended by several poems. 45 Wyke (1987a) attempts to limit the puella to an emblem of subject matter. Although the puella cannot entirely be subsumed under Quelle or Ziel—the alternatives Wyke argues against— I see no reason to reduce the puella to a single function, although I am with Wyke in not hypostatizing her into an external reality.


46 Veyne (1983) 119-20 has to have recourse to Horace C. 1. 22 in his attempt to show that the elegiac poet’s im munity derives from his being a poet rather than strictly a lover. 47 The change in the kind o f woman treated in Prop. 4 signals a generic shift in elegy’s definition, Wyke (1987fr). 48 Conte (1994) 36-7 condenses his (1986) 143-7 discussion o f the closedness o f generic world views. Any genre restricts its representation o f the world and codifies it into a one-sided ideology that claims to be ‘complete and total’; the genre’s rhetoric ‘believes in its own absoluteness’ and ‘reduces everything to itself, turns everything into an image o f itself’. Horatian lyric likes to talk about other genres, but like any genre, can only do so by transforming what is not lyric into a lyric framework. See also D. P. Fowler’s (1994) 239 comments on how ‘texts pass in and out o f complexity depending on whether they are serving as target or as m odel’.

N a r r a tiv e S ed u ctio n

the book, simply because it can talk only about the thematics of another poetic corpus, not about its metapoetry. A Propertian light still raises a number of questions of Horace’s attempt to seduce Lyde. Why is the poet not interested in sex? Why marriage? Why the Danaid narrative? What, in short, is the relation of Horace’s poetry to eroticism? Let us defer these questions until after a glance at poetic reflection. M is e en A b y m e

The Danaid story catches Lyde’s attention; the poem as a whole catches ours. The reflection between myth and frame is impartial and con­ trastive, as is that between the poet’s relation to Lyde and to us. But basic similarities still link Lyde with the reader. Her task is to interpret the message conveyed to her by the mythological exemplum. The placement of a u d ia t L yd e (C. 3. 11. 25) before the narrative marks the point (Syndikus 1973: 123). We must interpret the message the whole poem conveys to us and in addition interpret what message the exemplum brings to Lyde, since, as a poetic construct, she cannot do it on her own. Lyde does not guide our interpretation, but figures it. Her listening to part of the poem is a synecdoche for our reading it in entirety. The difference between her liste n in g and our re a d in g divides Horace’s phonocentric fictions from the actuality of his poetry’s afterlife. We will first look at the internal reflection between myth and frame before considering the poetics of the whole. The eroticism of the poet’s intentions for Lyde become explicit in the exemplum, which links the acceptance of sex and marriage with poetic immortality. Hypermestra offers a positive example against the rest of the Danaids, her sisters, in terms of both marriage and renown in poetry.49 As often, the exemplum fails to correspond to the frame by depicting an analogous but more extreme state. The Danaids take to an extreme Lyde’s resistance to marriage by killing their husbands on their wedding night— a comparison. But Hypermestra, whose action is exemplary in the sense of a model, similarly fails to correspond to Lyde because of a generic difference over and above her resistance.50 Hypermestra is an elegiac and Lyde a lyric heroine. 49 On conjoined positive and negative examples in the myth, Cairns (1975) 133—4; Syndikus (1973) 123. 50 See Syndikus (1973) 130 on Lyde’s failure to be a Hypermestra: Hypermestra is the poet’s wishful thinking.


As positive and negative sexual paradigms, Hypermestra and her sisters press the limits of the metaphorical coupling of sex and death. Marriage is literally an issue of life or death for their husbands; their own response to marriage determines their own reputation after death. The Danaids in this poem are virgins by avocation.51 Horace calls them D a n a i p u e lla s ( 2 3 ) —they always bear their father’s name—and refers to their maiden state in n o ta s / v ir g in u m p o e n a s ( 2 5 —6 ) . The lack of articles in Latin leaves open the possibility that v ir g in u m p o e n a s could mean not the punishment of these particular maidens, but of maidens in general—something sure to catch Lyde’s attention. The Danaids’ punishment figures their essential characteristic: they must forever attempt to fill an empty vessel. Their resistance to marriage, however, is not passive, as we assume of Lyde, but actively inverts sexual rela­ tions in a fatal castration: sp on sos p o tu e re d u ro / perd ere ferro ( 3 1 - 2 ) . 53 Hypermestra’s simile of her sisters also reverses traditional sexual imagery: q u a e v e lu t n a n c ta e v itu lo s leaen ae / sin gu los eheu la c e ra n t ( 4 1 - 2 ) . 53 In Homer predator similes pertain to m e n killing other m en in battle, not to w iv e s killing h u sb a n d s in the bedroom. Even Aeschylus’ Clytemestra, the type of sexual inversion, is not a predator to Agamemnon her prey: as lioness she attacks another lion (A g . 1 2 5 8 9), as cow she attacks a bull ( 1 1 2 5 - 6 ) . 54 The Danaids’ murder of their husbands elevates them to myth and defines them for posterity. Their renown in poetry, like their punishment in the underworld, makes their virginity eternal. By contrast (u n a d e m u ltis , 33)> Hypermestra not only saves her husband’s life and accepts marriage (fa c e n u p tia li, 33), but attains a 51 There were other possibilities, surveyed in Friis Johansen and Whitde (1980) 44—50; Garvie (1969) 163-71. Pindar (P. 9. 112-13) marries off 48 daughters by a foot-race. Similar is Ps.-Apollodorus’ athletic contest (2. 1. 5). They remarry in Hyginus 170. The scholia to Euripides’ Hecuba 886 say they agreed to kill their husbands before sex; as Lynceus then kills his sisters-in-law, this is the only account to specify they died virgins. 52 On the sexual symbolism o f weapons, Adams (1982) 19. 53 Syndikus (1973) 129 notes that the implied comparison o f Lyde to the Danaids breaks down. As usual, a more extreme situation obtains in the exemplum. 54 Euripides also compares Clytemestra to a lion, but does not compare Agamemnon to an animal o f prey, Elect. 1162. The Hon is the image o f female violence also at Eur. Med. 1342. The addition o f the prey makes for sexual inversion. A woman is compared to a predator at Ovid Met. 6. 636-7 and Bömer’s parallels are all later imitations. C. 1. 23 shows the normal use of animals for sexual roles. The tender maiden is inuleo . . . similis (‘like a fawn’, 1) and the poet denies he is tigris ut aspera / Gaetulusve leo (‘like a fierce tigress, or Gaetulian lion’, 9-10). Although Horace reverses the sexes o f the people with their animal analogues, the male remains the predator, the female prey. The only other Horatian lioness is also sexually determined (C. 3. 20. 1-2).

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lasting and illustrious reputation (in o m n e virg o / n o b ilis a e v u m , 35—6) which answers her request for a commemorative inscription: n ostri m e m o re m sepu lcro / sca lp e q u e re la m (51-2). Hypermestra thinks of herself in elegiac terms and elegiac diction accompanies her linkage of sex and commemoration. She contrasts herself with her sisters with regard to m o llitia ( ego illis / m o llio r, 42-3; d u ro . . . ferro, 31-2).55 Her exhortation to her husband could have a sexual innuendo: surge . . . surge (37-8) (O L D , su rgere id); as could q u o d v iro clem en s m isero p e p e rc i (46).56 Erotic love is made explicit in d u m f a v e t n o x e t Venus (50).57 Horace calls her a virgo (35), not out of equivocation about her marriage’s consummation—a vexed topic among scholiasts and mythographers58—-but because this word pertains to the moment at the cusp of marriage that immortalizes her.59 Her reward will be an elegiac ( q u e re lla m , 52) inscription (scalpe, 52) on her tomb (sepulcro,

Hypermestra’s request for an elegiac inscription must be understood both in terms of its rhetorical impact on Lyde and as it contributes to the poem’s generic self-definition. On each level there is a partial failure of correspondence. The chains and exile are of ‘dubious incen­ tive to Lyde’ (Cairns 1975: 136-7)— the imagined death all the more so. As an attempt at literal seduction, with a literal request for selfsacrifice, the narrative fails. But Lyde’s status as a poetic construct removes her seduction from the everyday rituals of courtship. A thril­ ling tale is a great way to seduce your own poetry. Lyde the construct would certainly find the promise of immortality in a funeral inscrip­ tion more enticing than Lyde the girl. Even Lyde the girl would respond to the erotic charge of hearing a good story if the story-teller were not seriously asking her to die, if the story’s pointedness were not literal, and the sacrifice asked for were less extreme.61 The poem’s ending suspends any resolution of the burning question: does she yield? The rhetorical suspension corresponds to a poetic suspension. On the one hand the last word is q u e re la m (52) and the poem offers itself as the elegiac inscription commemorating Hypermestra (Commager 1967: 324-5); on the other the disparity between elegy and the poem’s actual lyric genre severs a neat correspondence. The mirror which is the narrative reflects, but also distorts. So far, we have been looking at the way the narrative’s subject reflects the frame for the purpose of persuasion. The narrative also reflects the frame (imperfectly) in structure. The hymn leading up to the narrative consists of overlapping sec­ tions: the hymn proper (A), which has to do with mythic figures for poetry (Mercury, Amphion, the turtle, Orpheus), and the request, which has to do with Lyde (B ). One and a half stanzas (1-6) of A are followed by an equal amount of B (7-12); three stanzas of A (1324) continue, then are followed by Lyde (25) and what she is to hear, which takes up the rest of the poem. The structure is A B A B , with the second B containing a ‘digressive’ coda on the Danaids and Hyper­ mestra that outstrips the length of the first part by one stanza. If we thought Lyde would be the focus, we were mistaken. Repetition of her name (7, 25) provides closure before the narrative.

51)·60 55 For the contrast, see e.g. Prop. 3. 15. 29; Pichon (1902) on mollis and durus as accepting or rejecting the lover. setry is ‘Not primarily, not really, to immortalize emperors.’ The role of poetry is to lery whether such is one of poetry’s functions.

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Index Locorum Italic type indicates a substantial discussion. Aeschylus Agamemnon 1125-6 287 1258-9 287 frg 331 Radt 71 n. 50 Alcaeus frg 42 V 36 n. 45, 128 n. 54 frg 283 V 128 n. 54, 129 frg 332 V 145, 171 Anacreon 417 PMG 281 Aristotle Ethica Nicomachea 1104*4-5 93 1106*29-1107b4 80-1 n o 8 bi i - 2 6 86 n o 8 b27-30 81 1109*30-1 81 Poetics 1448* 27, 37, 41, 42 1453*2-5 159 I453bi 5 - i 9


Rhetoric 1. 2. 8 = i356b4-5 46 auctor ad Alexandrum 8. i = 1429*21-2 47 8. 14 = 1430*8-11 46, 158 Bacchylides dithyramb 15 SM

147 η. ΐ2

64 292 η. 66, 308-12 64. 2 2 -4 25 95 · 9-10 295 Cicero pro Caelio 12 152 in Catilinam 1. 3 153 η. 26 2. i 152 Philippics 13. 49 152 n. 24 Cinna Zmyrna fr. 6C 84 Ciris 292 η. 66, 309 Ennius Annales 144 η. 6 bk. i 247-8 frg 302 Sk 248 frg 476 Sk 253 Gallus fr. i C


248 n. 35

Hermesianax 7. 41-6 Powell 293-4 Homer Homeric Hymns 280 Iliad

Callimachus Airia 345 i. 18 Pf 168 i. 21-4 P f 59-61 7. 13-14 P f 60 Epigrams 28. i Pf 168 31 P f 157-8 Calvus Io 309 Cato Origines it. 118 Peter Catullus 35 147 n. 12


44 147 η· 12 5 ΐ. 5 192

i. i —2 99, 280 9. 1 8 6 -9 i3 4 16 25 n. i i 22. 139-42 156-8 24. 5 9 9-629 48

Odyssey 33 n. 38

i. 1 -2 99, 280 12. 208 113 12. 439-41 254


In d e x L o co ru m Horace Odyssey (coni.): 20. i8 113 Horace ars poetica 23 172 2 6-7 224 38-41 213 75-6 288 n. 60 391 ff. 282 n. 39 carmen saeculare 13, 58 n. 23, 75, 326, 349

37-44 30 n. 25 Epistles 13, 57 n. 22, 109 n. 23, 187 n. i i. 2. i 57 n. 22 I. 6. 15-16 93 i. 7. 44-5 255 i. i i 112 n. 31 i. 16. 27 65 n. 38 i. 18. 9 91 1. 20 305 2. i 352 n. 51 2. i. 245-50 65 n. 39 2. i. 251 258 Epodes 109 n. 23, 135 7. 17-18 177 n. 64 9. 11-12 154 13 33» 83 n. 12, 103 n. 8, 108, 117 n. 39, 121, 131, 334 n. 27

16. 1—2

177 n. 64

17. 12 149 n. 17 Odes Books 1-3 4, 10, 15, 24 n. 8, 39, 56, 68, 71, 75, 77, 177, 317, 323, 326-7, 335» 341» 348 Book 4 4, 10, 16, 39, 56, 57 n. 21, 69, 70, 71, 75, 225, 317, 326-52 i. i. 3 -4 119-20 i. i. 31 207 i. i. 32-4 348 n. 45 i- i· 3 5 -6 57, 302 i. 2 30 n. 25, 114, 184, 188, 237 n. 12 i. 2. 1-2-; 142-3 i. 2. 21-30 177-9 i. 2. 41-52 22 n. 3, 24, 197, 335 i. 3 22 n. 3, 24 n. 9, 30 n. 25, 91, 116 n. 36, 143, 315 η. 119 I· 4 51-5» 342 i. 5 24 n. 9, 59 n. 26, 172 I· 5 - 3 323 i. 5. 13 57 n. 21


I. 27


6-8 97-8, 127, 129-30, 135, 137 6 9, 15, 16, 40, 55-70, 81, 85, 87, 97-101, 103-4, 113, 115, 117» 123, 128, 133-4, 138, 140-1, 204, 209, 320, 345, 347 I. 6. 2 211 I. 6. 4 329 I. 6. 9-10 91 n. 33, 133 I. 6. 17 88, 145, 161, 346 I. 6. 19-20 120 i. 7 15, 30, 33, 83 n. 12, 97-8, 101—16, 117-23, 130, 136, 148, 225, 229, 254-5, 334 n. 27 i. 8 15, 25, 28-9 & n. 22, 30 n. 25, 97-8, 101, 116-23, 130, 136, 148, 225, 273 I. 9 6, 117 n. 39, 148 n. 14 I. 10 207, 279 i. 10. 6 196 n. 21 i. 10. 9-16 30 n. 25, 209

i. i. i. i. i. i. i. i. i. i. i. i. i.

i. i i 8 i. i i . i 80 i . 12-18 128

i. i. i. i. i. i. i.

i. i. i. i. i. i. I. i.

12 24 n. 9, 114, 129, 188 12. 1-3 220 n. 79, 348 n. 45 12. 41-4 30 n. 25 12. 51-7 335 13 120, 129 14 22 n. 3, 116 n. 36, 129-130, i 35 > 137 15 15, 22 n. 3, 24 n. 9, 30 n. 25, 32, 33, 97-8, 123-37, 225, 228-9, 245, 247, 252, 254, 301, 334 n. 27 16 129 16. 1-3 57 n. 21 17 80, 129 18 129, 324 18. 7 80 21 30 n. 25 21. 13-16 178-9 22 30 n. 25, 189-94, 195, 201-4, 212, 218-19, 239—40, 272, 285, 293

i. 22. I. 22. I. 22. I. 23 i. 23. i. 24 i. 24. i. 25 i. 26

7 209, 216 9 216 18 216 21- 2 , 282, 287 9-10 312 77, 84, 91-2, 127 2-3 220 n. 79 312 n. n o 220 n. 79

28 29. 30 32 32. 33 33. 34 34. 35 35. 35. 36

i. 37

I. I.

i. I.

1. 2.

2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2.

26 22 n. 3, 25 η. η 13-14 57 n. 21 30 n. 25 93, 204 5-12 85-7 77, 127 1-4 79-80 22 n. 3, 24 n. 9, 322 n. 14 5-12 30 n. 25 184, 322 n. 14 29-40 179 38-40 145 n. 7, 212 22 n. 3, 170

2. ΙΟ. ΐ8— 20



87 , 91 η· 33

η . 9 83 η. 12

2. 12


2. 12. 10—12 258 2· 12. 13-15 346

22 η. 3, 30 η. 25, 199-205, 207-8, 216, 2 1 9 , 3 2 3


ΐ3· 3

2. 2.

13- 31

13· 3 3 -4 0

2. 2.

Ι3· 36 13- 39

2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2.


2Ι6 *46




2 ΐ6 2 ΐ6


22 η. 3 , 24 η. 9 29-30 47 η. 8ι 28-30 196 η. 2 ΐ, 202 η. 32 22 η. 3, 24 η. 9 f 1-2 263 19 30 η· 25» 202—3, 205- 10, 219,


ι6. Ι7· ι8 18.

3» 30, 132, 138-64, 165,

168-71, 176, 180-1, 185, 198, 205, 229, 251 n. 41, 278, 347 n. 43 37 - 21 333 37. 32 214 38 59 n. 26, 138, 163, 164-75, 185, 347 n- 43 38. I 214 38. 3 80 i 3, 30 n. 25, 138-9, 164-5, 168-71, 175-86, 195, 198, 320 n. 7 i. 6 218 n. 78 I. 16 214 I. 25-8 246 I. 33-6 262 i. 37 208 n. 54, 214 I. 38 214, 220 n. 79 I. 39 323 2 177 n. 61 4 47 n. 81 5 22 n. 3 6 109, 255-6 7 30 n. 25, 194-9, 202 n. 32, 205 7. 9 201, 204, 216 7. 19 216 9 9 η. io, 77-93, 108, 212, 218, 266 9. 20-4 341 ίο 8ι, 87 io. 1-2, 19 83 η. 13 io. 5 8ο

2 · II

2- 13

3 1 9 -2 5

2. 19- 23 2ΐ 6 2. Ι 9 · 2 5 -6 2 1 4 , 216, 3 4 8 η. 4 4 2. 20 30 η. 25, ι68 η. 48, 205, 207, 210-14, 2 ΐ8 , 224, 284, 3 4 1 2. 20. 1-5 2 5 9 -6 0 2. 20. 13 2 7 4 -5 2. 20. 14 2 ΐ6 2. 2 0 . 1 7 - 2 0 7 5 » 2 1 6 , 2 ÓI 2. 20. 21—2 214 , 295

3· 1-6 (Roman Odes) η. 3

9» 12, 15, 22

3· I 1 -2 205, 214 3- I. 2 - 4 22 η. 3 » 2 4 , 207, 220, 2ÖI, 263 - 4 , 302, 321 , 331 3 - I. 5 -8 207 , 214 , 221 , 242 - 3 , 323 3 - I. 3 7 -8 263 3 - 1 . 4 5 -8 263 3 · 2 · 1 -4 2 Ó I- 3 , 324 3 · 2. 13 244

3· 2. 21-6 259-60 3· 2. 26—30 2ΐ8 η. 78 3 · 3 3 > 14 , 30 η. 25, 33 , 126, 135 η. 7 ΐ> 138, ι 6 9 , 184, 222, 224-65, 277 ηη· 20 & 23 , 301 , 331-2, 349 3 . 3 · 1-8 43 , 150 , 285 3. 3 · 9 - ϊ6 33 , 321 , 335 3 · 3 - 13-15 23 , 323 3 · 3 · Ι 7 ~ 18 331 3 · 3 · 3 3 -6 321 η. 12 3· 3· 53-6 218 3- 3· 69-72 22 η. 3, 40-4, 220- 1, 320, 334

3· 4

3, 6, 3 ° η · 2 5 , 1 3 8 , ι 6 9 > ι88,

194—5» 203, 207—8, 2 ΐ ι —14, 214-23, 224-65, 272, 319-23 3- 4 · 1-4 348 η. 45 3· 4· 2 22 η. 3


In d e x L o co ru m Horace O d e s ( c o n t.):

3. 3.

28 315 η. 119 30 24 n. 9, 168 n. 48, 212, 294,

3 · 4 · 9 209 3 1 4 , 341 3. 4. io 213 n. 64 3. 30. 1-9 7 2 -5 3. 4. 19 198 3. 30. 6 349 3. 4. 25-8 202 n. 32 3. 30. 13-14 322 3. 4. 33-6 341 3. 30. 16 198 3. 4· 3 7 -8 323 4 - i 351 3. 4. 40 202, 323 4. i. 1-5 349 3. 4. 69 .331 4. i. 24 348 4. 2 320 n. 7, 346-7 3· 5 3. 30, 33, 138, 222, 224-65, 277 4. 2. 1-4 213, 352 n. 23, 331 4. 2. 9 198 n. 28 3 · 5 · 15 331 4. 3 220 n. 79 3. 5. 38-40 23 n. 4 4. 3. 23 114 3. 5· 41-3 15 1-2, 332 , 334 3. 6 263, 268 4. 4 30 n. 25, 327-35, 338 , 341-2 3. 6. 1-4 263-4 4. 4 - 17-30 344 3. 6. 2 22 n. 3, 24, 256, 331 4. 4· 37 22 n. 3, 23 3. 6. 6 243 4 · 5 327, 335- 7, 338 , 341-2 3. 6. 13-14 262 4. 5 · 37-40 76, 326, 347 n. 43 4. 6 30 n. 25, 336-8, 343, 349 3. 6. 33-40 262, 332 n. 25 4. 6. 27 341 3. 6. 46-8 264 4. 6. 43-4 76 3. 7 30 n. 25, 229, 266-75 4. 7 342 3. 7· 30 348 n. 45 4. 7. 25-8 47 n. 81 3. 8. 7 202 n. 32 4. 8 76, 341-2 3. 9 22 n. 3 4. 8. 19-27 68-9 3. 10 22-3 4. 9 30 n. 25, 75-Ó, 327 n. 19, 341-2 3. i i 30 n. 25, 33, 59 n. 26, 93, 229, 4. 9 · 1 -4 341 266, 275-97, 3°3> 3°7> 312-15, 4. 9 · 7 -8 185 334 n. 27, 348 n. 46 4. 9 · 13-15 128 3. II. 1-4 196 n. 21 4. 9. 25-34 69 3 · II. 4 9 -5 2 57 η. 21, 3144. 14 30 n. 25, 327, 331,338-43, 350 3 · 12 22 n. 3 4. 14· 9 344 3 · Ο 22 n. 3 4. 15 16, 30 n. 25, 327, 338, 341, 3 · 1 3 · Η 293 343-9 3 · 14 24 n. 9 4. 15. 1-4 116 n. 36 3 · 14. 17—20 146 n. 10 4. 15. 17-18 177 n. 64 3 · 14. 21-8 80 4. 15. 32 76 3 - I6 30 n. 25, 46, 47 n. 81 S a tires 2 n. 4, 13, 57 n. 22, 59 & n. 24, 3 · l6. 11-15 33 109 n. 23, 187 n. i 3 · 19 22 n. 3, 30 i. i. 103-7 90 3 · 19. 18-20 348 n. 45 i. 10. 31-5 65 3 - 20. 1-2 287 1. 10. 81-2 90 3 · 21 22, 30 n. 25 2. i. 105-8 157 3 - 22 30 n. 25 3 · 24 22 n. 3 3 · 24. 25-9 23, 57 n. 21 Ibycus 3 · 25 16, 209, 223, 317—25 fir. 282a ( P M G i = SLG S 151) 35-6 3 · 25. 3-6 335 26 315 η. 119 3· 3 · 27 10 n. 13, 25 n. 12, 30 33, 45 n. 71, 93, 229, 266, 277, 4. 13-15 152-3 22. 59 253 297-316, 317, 334 n. 27



E u rope

Ovid F asti

5. 335-48 171 n. 54 3. 471 292 n. 66 H ero id es

14 288 n. 60 14. 129 290 n. 62 M eta m o rp h o se s

i. 637, 708, 733 292 n. 66 10. 150-2 266 14. 781-2 184 n. 73 15. 826 149 n. 16 T ristia

5. 14. 45-6 258 Pacuvius Teucer

104, 109, no η. 25, 114


3. 9. 56 149 n. 16 4. 6. 21-2 149 n. 16 Quintilian 5. η . 9 47, 109 n. 21 5. i i . 22 47 8. 6. 1-3 136 8. 6. 44 130 Sappho frg 16 V 59 frg 31· 3—5 V 192 frg 44 V 128 n. 54, 129 n. 59 frg 94 V 315 frg 118 V 280-1 Simonides P M G 519 34 P M G 38 129 n. 57 P M G 582 260 n. 54 Tacitus

Isth m ia n

7 104 η. η N e m ea n

3. 59-61 i19

D ia lo g u s


Thucydides 3. 82 177

O ly m p ia n


1-7 71-3

i i . 4-5


P y th ia n

1 6, 203, 249, 252 i. 13-16 241 i. 96-8 2 112


3 89 4 128 n. 54 6. 5-18 71-3 Plato

144 n. 6 198 113 n. 33 443-51 62 685 145 711-13 251 n. 41 725-8 89, 212

A en eid .

i. 3. 8. 8. 8.

E clogues

4. 35-6 248 6. 1-12 61-4, 345 10. 2 283 n. 43 G eorgies

R ep u b lic 3 9 4 b -c


27, 37


2. 13A 283-5, 296 2. 12-15 284-5

3 250 3. 30-2 88 4. 464—6 84 v ita H o r a ti 7

General Index

A b b ru ch sfo rm el 44, 164 η. 41, 182, 229

Actium 145, 149, 158, 164, 195 η. 19, 198 address i , 14, 20-6, 49 aesthetic independence 226, 229, 350 aesthetic presence 26 aesthetics 4, 16, 329 aesthetic risks 327, 345, 350-2 versus politics 326, 346, 350-2 a fo r tio r i argument 47-8, 109, 203, 280 Agrippa 40, 56-62, 70, 75, 85, 104 Albius 77-80 Alcaeus 35 n. 43, 39, 128-9, i55> 187, 202—5, 209> 2 I9 lyric model 85-7, 93, 185 social status 73, 146, 180-1 Aleman 35 n. 43 Alexandrian: scholars 10 style 100 allegory 35 n. 41, 98, 126, 130, 135-7, 143, 245-51 poetic 55, 174, 278 political 221, 226, 228, 238-42 allusion, structure o f 136 n. 75, 158, 245 Anacreon 35 n. 43, 128-9, 273 analogy 118, 238, 242-3, 247, 249, 254, 269, 274, 282, 286, 304-8, 323 anti-Augustanism 122-3, 14 1> 163, 181 n. 68, 225 n. 2 Antimachus 293 Antony, Marcus 138, 144-5, 149-50, 158, 162 a n tr u m (cave) 227, 322-4 a p a n g e lia (narrative, report) 27—8 Apollo 247, 250—1, 338 D ic h te rw e ih e scenes 59—63, 345-6 Palatine, temple o f 13, 250, 264 n. 58, 278 apostrophe 14, 20-6, 41, 49, 201, 246, 2 54 > 32 3 > 331 apotheosis:

Augustus 229, 237, 260, 321 culture heroes 32-3 Romulus 239—40, 245, 247 Archilochus 35 n. 43, 198 n. 26 arrangement 15, 30 n. 26, 138, 167-71, 224 n. i, 318, 351 Aufidus 341 Augustanism 123, 225 n. 2 Augustus Caesar 3, 16, 23, 70, 75-6, 139, 142-5, 149-51, 156-62, 177, 196-7, 208, 218, 226-9, 239) 247> 259-64, 278 address o f 24 n. 8, 265 name 104, 224, 236-8, 243 praise o f 77-8, 89, 141, 216 n. 67, 222-3, 224—6, 3x7—52 triumphs 87, 141, 144, 160, 163, 251 warning to 222—3, 242 a u sp e x 302-4, 312 autobiography, see Personal Myth Bacchus 23, 41, 150, 196, 199, 202 n. 32, 207—10, 219, 319-20, 322-5, 348 Bacchylides 1 n. 2, 35 n. 43, 128, 133 n. 64 bird-poet 65 n. 40, 68, 211, 213 book 212, 285-6, 295 divisions 138, 164-6, 168-71, 18 1, 213-14 as a unity, see collection boundaries 2, 3, 15, 38-9, 41-2, 65, 134, 143, 174, 191, 210, 212, 224, 252, 324,

351 Out o f Bounds 192—3, 195—6, 203, 207-9, 216-17, 319 see also limits Britons 179, 229, 261-2, 265 Caesar, Julius 158 Callimachus 39, 40, 43 n. 66, 62—3, 68, 106, 114, 209-10, 293


G en era l In d e x

G en era l In d e x

Callimachean terminology 103, 105, 168 Roman Callimacheanism 56, 64, 68, 181, 335 Calvus 5, 292 n. 66 carpe diem 1, 45, 50, 57, 70, 77, 79 Catiline 152-3, 160 Cato 139, 160 Catullus 39, 41, 60 n. 28 Chambers, Ross 125-6 chastity 261, 263, 268-73, 336 choral lyric 129, 208, 216, 220, 245, 258, 260, 348 ego 27 n. 18 tibia as emblem o f 220-1, 272 versus m onody 35 n. 43, 41, 58 n. 23, 128 Cicero 160 civilized/barbarian 3, 149-50, 153-5, 278 civil war 3, 15, 126, 138-86 esp. 146 n. 10, 194-9, 205, 226—8, 237, 239, 244, 246-9, 252, 261-2, 278, 323 > 333 » 336 - 7 » 350 closure 4, 12-13, 51» 116, 117, 132, 148, 164-5, 174» 250-1, 256, 289, 292, 311-16, 326-7, 330, 334 to books 164-6 collection: as context o f communication 127, 166, 322 development over 187-223, 318-19 unity in 7, 9, 10, 15-16, 30 n. 26, 216 n. 67, 327

comparatio paratactica 66 complementaries 108, 191, 204, 280 concilium deorum (council o f the gods) 40-3, 220, 247-9 consolation 31, 48, 274, 294 contemplative poetry 31-2 Culler, Jonathan 20, 25-6, 49 Dacians 261 Danger 181, 201-3, 208, 217-18, 320 military 195-6 poetic 181-2, 218 n. 78, 324 wild animals 192, 217 death 51-4, 334 and poetry 77, 83, 277, 280, 283, 294-6 and sex 287, 289,312 deconstruction 11, 16, 68, 225 n. 2, 345 decoration, see ornament decorimi 81, 93, 320, 334 de Man, Paul 26

Derrida, Jacques 37 n. 47, 166 description 122, 207, 245—6 Dichterweihe 59-65 Dido 158, 184 digression 34—6, 225, 329 disavowal, 2, 59, 62, 65-6, 70, 87-8, n o , 335 » 346 assimilation o f the disavowed xoo return o f the disavowed 101 discourse 14, 19-48, i n , 163, 259 consistency (or coherence) o f 5-6, 9 -1 1 enacted 198 modes o f 1, 12 n. 14, 61, 117, 137 narrative, as subcategory o f 12 as opposed to narrative 1-2, 14, n o , 117, 121, 131, 261, 336 as opposed to sincerity 224-5 disunity, see unity dithyramb 1 n. 2, 27, 34, 128-9, 140» 207 n. 46, 229 Divine Protection 192, 195-6, 202, 207, 217, 320

ego lyric 27, 58, 70 n. 47, 105 n. 15, 346 - 9 , 351 choral 27 n. 18 I/thou 117 nos 347 elegos (mourning song) 78-93 elegy 14-15» 38» 60-1, 77~93> i34, 204, 229, 266 lyric different from 120, 271-4, 277-97 emblems o f lyric, 169, 199 n. 30, 348 see also symposium empire 75, 212, 262-4, 341, 343 enactment 319, 325, 349 see also mimesis enargeia 182 Ennius 40, 60 n. 28, 228, 245, 247-8, 252-3, 257-8, 335 n. 31 enunciation n i - 1 2 , 117 epibaterion 107 epic 3, 14-15, 27, 31, 34, 38, 40-5, 58-63, 66, 78, 81, 85-7, 91-2, 98-101, 104-6, n o , 120, 129, 132, 138—86, 209—10, 220, 228-9, 258 conflated with tragedy and/or history 59, 65-6, 98, 101, 104-5, 114, 138, 184-5, 224-65, 229, 266 disavowal o f 134, 260, 335 hero 134-5 and high style 114, n 6 , 127, 317

lyricized (or reduced) 113, 133, 222, 2 4 5 -5 7

mode or colouring 115, 138, 140, 145, 181, 184, 224, 335 Roman 228 versus lyric 103, 122, 272, 347 epigram 39, 54 epinician, see victory ode epithalamian, see wedding songs epyllion 84 n. 17, 229, 266, 308-9, 313 erotic: context 117-19, 122, 251, 305-7, 323 eroticism 157-8, 161, 167, 170, 281-3, 286-9, 309-13, 351 poetry, 114, 120, 182, 187, 192, 204, 229, 266, 294; see also love poet excess 79-81, 85, 92 exemplum 43, 88, 103-4, 117, 221-2, 226, 239-44, 249, 253-4, 268, 277, 30X, 324 Achilles 101, 106, 118, 121 argument 3, 14, 36, 45-8, 97, 190-1, 225, 274, 286 in consolation 31, 48, 294 Danaids 278, 297 Gyges 268-9 Hannibal 331 Meleager 38 n. 52 mytho-historical 3, 224-5 Niobe 38 n. 52, 48 pointedness 125-6, 136-7, 225-6 ‘Potiphar’s wife’ type (Bellerophon, Peleus, Hippolytus) 269-71 self-exemplarity 65-75, 351 Teucer ιο ί, 109-13, 115, 121 w olf 189 exile 109, 112-13, 255-7, 289, 333 extreme(s) 114-15, 155 in exemplum 47-8, 110-11, 118, 286, 301 with regard to mean 80, 86-8, 91-2,


in priamel 104 n. 11 fold 37 n. 47, 165, 173 Forum Augustum 250, 342 n. 40 frame, 118, 225, 246, 269-71, 282-3, 286, 289, 291, 301, 304-8, 310 see also specixlarity

fabula 29-30, 322 n. 13

garland 168-72, 313 Genette, Gerard 29-30, 131, 211, 325 n. 18 genre 1, 7, 37-45, 73, 87 n. 20 contract with reader 5 definition o f differences between ‘kind’, ‘subgenre’, ‘rhetorical genre’, and ‘m ode’ 38 n. 49 development 203-4 generic decorum 30, 132-3, 228, 345 generic definition 6, 9, 14, 77, 81, 192 generic emblems 181; for lyric, see emblems o f lyric generic reduction 98, 121, 225 hierarchy 85 multiple genres 93, 163, 181, 229, 266, 308-11 and style 61, 65, 97-8, 114, 117, 128, 137, 138, 203, 220, 346 and subject matter 58, 61, 63, 98, 177 n. 64, 183, 300 transgression 225 see also occasion genus grande!genus tenue (high style/light, elegant style) 2 -3 , 14, 40-5, 58-9, 65, 91 n. 33, 93, 105, 113-16, 119, 138-41, 161, 188, 209, 224, 347 fat/delicate 61 in poetry and in life 108 geography 88, 190, 192 n. 14, 212, 217, 272, 320, 341, 343 Gigantomachy 207-10, 212, 217-23, 226-7, 229, 237-43, 245, 249-51, 257, 319, 322-3 gladiator 151-2, 156 gnome 46 n. 72, 189-90, 202, 204, 222, 229, 239-44, 250, 330

failure, risk o f 212-13, 327, 349-52 fantastic 187-8, 213 n. 64, 227, 237 Faunus 51-4, 202 n. 32 foil: other author 346; see also Valgius; Varius other literature 77-8, 121, 180, 277 n. 23, 285 Military Foil 204, 208, 217-18

Hannibal 262, 328, 330-5 Hector 156-8 Hesiod 63, 245, 249, 258 Historicism, New 225 n. 2 history 49-50, 52, 55, 58, 138-86, 237, 246-8, 259, 322 n. 13 end o f 344 and epic 224-65

1 3 4 -5


G en era l In d e x

G en eral In d e x

the genre 40, 45, 138 historical themes 66 national 228 and tragedy 176-86 hom e 106—io, 1x2—13 versus abroad 106, 113, 191, 199 Homer 38 n. 5 2 ,9 8 ,1 1 3 -1 5 ,1 2 1 ,133,135, 144, 245, 249, 258, 287, 290, 320, 345 alter Homerus 65-70 Homeric epithets 105 Homeric Hymns 279 Iliad 40, 98, 129, 132; 1.1-2 99; bk. 3 133; bk. 5 67-8; bk. 24 209 inset narratives in 133 Odyssey 40, 98, 101, 104, 113, 117, 245, 254-5; 1.1-2 99 oral poet 57 n. 22, 59, 67-8, 70 paradigm o f high style 40 paradigm o f praise poet 36, 138 Scylla and Charybdis 81, 85 hymenaion, see wedding songs hymn 22, 24 n. 9, 42, 221-3, 238, 278-80, 289, 291, 327, 335-8, 341 form 219 hymnic narrative 30 n. 25, 207-9, 219, 295 - 6 , 336 - 8 , 343 iambic poetry 192, 201-4 Ibycus 35 n. 43, 114 Icarus 213, 274-5 illocutionary force, see performative discourse immortality: apotheosis 238 n. 13, 321 and empire 212, 261, 264, 341 fame 274-5, 284, 287-8, 308 poetic 36, 64, 70-3, 77, 93, 202, 211-12, 258—9, 283-4, 288-9, 292> 296, 305 n. 91, 308, 3 i i —14, 321, 326, 340-2, 349 and spoken utterance 14, 70 and temporality 49-50, 56, 64-5, 70, 93 . 321 impersonation, see persona indirect discourse 99-100, 116 n. 37, 121, 269, 271, 330, 342 technique for avoiding direct utterance 177—8, 249, 254 inscription, see writing interestedness, see pointedness interior/exterior 138-86 invagination 37 n. 47, 166 n. 44

irony 68, 193, 237, 302, 308, 350-2 Romantic 186 n. 76 Italic tribes 261-2 iteration 49, 52 repeatability 55

jouissance 297, 300-1 esp. n. 82 katabasis, see underworld, descent to Laevius 39 landscape 92, 181-2, 193, 320 laudandus 71-3, n r , 141, 237, 258-61, 326, 329-30, 338, 341-2 laudator 71, h i , 259-61 laurel 73 n. 53, 198, 216 Liber, see Bacchus list(s) 23, 32-3, 43, 106, 180, 190, 238, 239, 246, 249, 344 locus amoenus 170 love poet, 191-3, 195, 266, 284 distant lover 117, 120, 277 lover separate from poet 272-3 see also erotic poetry Lucretius 60 n. 28 lyre 41-2, 87, 100, 127, 171, 196, 203, 221, 272, 279-80, 292, 295, 348 Madness, Controlled 193, 196, 207-8, 216, 219, 319 Maecenas 30 n. 26, 177 male/female 3, 149, 154-5, 161, 163 marriage 278-88, 295-6, 303, 310, 313, 336 , 347 . 351 Mars 100 Marsi, see Italic tribes Marvel 187, 192, 195, 203, 207, 213, 216, 218, 320 mean, golden 15, 78-82, 85-7, 93, 115, 135, 162, 252, 266, 273 meditation 24 m emory 93, 199, 315-16 forward-looking 77 system 34 Mercury 24 n. 8, 187, 195-7, 202 n. 37, 237. 279-80, 289, 335 Meriones 67, 100 metamorphosis 211, 213 n. 64 metapoetics 37, 127, 164-75, 278—82, 286, 3 or, 315 metre: arrangement o f 168-9, 207 n. 47, 224 n. i, 268, 338

generic marker 103, 322 Military Foil 191, 193, 195. 212 mimesis 27-9 m onody 35 n. 43, 41-2, 128-9, 208, 220, 272, 348 monumentum 11, 49, 70-6, 77, 93, 294-5 mosaic, see Nietzsche mourning 14-15. 77-93 L. Munatius Plancus, loss of brother n o Muse(s) 56, 63, 65, 66, 77, 100, 194, 202 n. 32, 204, 212, 220, 229 n. 8, 237, 241-2, 257, 320, 334, 350 cave o f 227, 229, 240, 323 consilium o f 203, 220, 222, 240, 242, 252, 265 hymn to 219, 221-3, 238 invocation 22 n. 3, 24 n. 9, 34, 99, 220, 279

protection of 217, 218, 262, 265 reining in 41-2, 44 n. 69, 138, 181-2, 185, 228, 335 tell(s) story 36; 219 myrtle 164-75, 199 myth 83, n o , 121-2, 128, 138, 227, 229, 237, 240, 242, 260, 287, 325 decoration 35 n. 41 and history 138, 142-5, 147, 184, 227 n. 5, 237, 265, 269, 325 national 35, 247 n. 31, 257 mythic past 42, 237, 248 as praise 141, 225, 258 as story n i , 113-15, 117, 221, 241, 269-71, 277, 282—3, 286, 291, 294, 300-1, 304, 306-8 unmentioned aspects 118 see also Personal Myth

nam or namque 147, 190, 193, 242, 291, 343

narrating (or narration) 29, n o , 115, 117, 121, 184-5, 193, 201, 207, 253, 270, 326 narrative: as antithetical to discourse 27-33, 261 as antithetical to lyric 19 n. 1 backwards 147, 290-1 condensation 144, 148, 184 desire 20, 305-6, 311-14 different from story 29, 245-57 distraction 274 as explanation 147 n. 12; see also nam fragmentation 228, 245, 322, 325 independence 123-37, 225-6, 331


interpretability 266, 268, 300, 317 non-narrated 29, 30 n. 26, 56, 245 (re)construction o f contexts 25, 28, 304 seduction 266-316 sense 25-6, 245, 300, 305, 311, 313 n. 115 narrator 176 internal 132, 135, 269 omniscient 183, 271 negation 2, 2 n. 3, 53, 66, 69, 78—81, 87, 119, 123, 127, 148, 172, 201, 271, 302, 304

Nietzsche 8, 9 n. 10, 10, 325 nostos 113 now 14, 49-55, 57, 79, 83, 9®, 116-17, 121, 132, 142, 146-7, 162, 211, 243 occasion 19, 31-2, 38 n. 49, 58 n. 23, 147 Odysseus 99, 113 Oedipus 152 oracle 112 orality 59, 62 n. 34, 75 ornament 34-6, 45 Orpheus 84, 203 n. 40, 209, 248, 279-80, 284, 290, 292, 295-7 other 140, 149-50, 153-4, 161 paean 32 n. 34 panegyric 69, 180 n. 66, 221-2, 225, 327, 329 n. 22, 331-5, 342 , 345 , 350-2 paraclausithyron 23, 273-4, 283 Parade Odes 97, 128 paraenesis (exhortation) 103, 107, n o -1 1 , 115, 226, 269 Parthians 178-9, 229, 243-4, 252, 261-2, 265, 336 pastoral 63 Patroclus 25 n. 11 performance 32 o f m onody versus choral lyric 35 n. 43 versus reading 49, 58 n. 23, 74 performative discourse 31, 280 illocutionary force 31 persona 28, 187 impersonation 27 Personal Myth 187-223, 193, 195, 202, 211, 216-19, 223, 227, 237, 245, 318, 322 persuasion 22, 32, 46-8, 270-4, 280, 289 Philippi 146 n. 10, 158, 188, 195 n. 19, 196—7, 199 n. 30, 205, 211, 216, 218, 318, 342 n. 40 philyra 171

phonocentrism 14, 57, 61, 68-9, 171, 192, 219, 284, 286, 321 Pindar io , 12, 12 n. 15, 35 n. 43, 36 n. 45, 39, 40, 69, 114, 128-9, I4°> 168, 205, 216 n. 67, 250, 258, 273, 300, 304, 328, 346 dipsa (thirst) 73 n. 54 futures 89 n. 29, 225, 325 phthonos (envy) 260 praise poet 89 selective focus 43 siga (silence) 260 song and immortality 70-6 techniques 44, 107, i n , 114-15. 119, 148,162, 188, 228-9, 238, 242, 265, 290, 334-5 vicissitude foil 89 n. 28 pity and fear (eleos and phobos) 156, 159 poet, disappearance o f 341-2, 347-51 poetics 97, 117, 123, 161-4, 165-75, 187, 201, 214, 219, 277-8, 284, 292-5, 300-2, 305, 313-14 new in Odes 4 326 poetics o f presence 14, 57, 65, 77 pointedness 3, 15, 32 n. 35, 225-6, 229, 289, 301 interested narrative 49-50, 125-37 motivated discourse 33, 270 relevance 45-8 (see also under exemplum) poverty 261, 263-4, 324 praise 14, 15, 49-50, 58, 61-6, 69-73, 76, 81, 98, 103 n. 10, 107, 116, 141, 150, 156, 224-9, 238, 250, 260, 317-52 o f Augustus 77-8, 81, 85, 89-90, 92, 224-6, 265 and blame 185 lyric 82-93 poetry 1 0 1 ,105, 114, 138, 223, 258, 266, 277 in recusatio 104 predator/prey 22, 156, 287 priamel 103-8, 114, 229, 237-8 definition 104-5 programme Augustan 261-5 poetic 9, 15, 39, 58, 60, 85, 97, 103, 104, 113, 115, 127 n. 52, 161 propaganda 226, 238, 278 propempticon 32, 38 n. 49, 302, 304-6, 3 1 4 -1 5

prophecy 131-3, 184, 228, 246 prosphoneticon 199

public/private 2-3, 24, 146, 347 pudor (shame) 65, 209, 213, 320 Pullia 213 n. 64, 217 querel(l)a 77, 92, 293-6, 309, 314 n. 117 questions: sign o f discourse 118,198 technique for avoiding narration 120, 122, 123, 177-8, 184, 249, 336 rational/irrational 3, 149, 154 reader 226, 244, 256, 296, 303, 311, 313, 315

as beloved 277, 282 grants immortality 50, 55, 64 as locus o f sense-making 10-11, 286, 324, 351 message directed toward 97, 113, 125-6, 131, 269 poet as reader of others 183 reader response theory 11 reading 74, 286 o f the collection 322 as oral activity 64 and seduction 284-5 time o f 211 realism 58, 60, 76, 148, 187-8, 190, 193, 196 n. 20, 211, 213 n. 64, 217, 227, 237, 277. 325 w olf 187 n. 2 recitation 58 n. 23 recusatio (refusal poem ) 35 n. 42, 56, 65 n. 38, 85 n. 18, 104, 185, 208 n. 52, 212-13, 228, 258, 260, 320, 322, 335 . 345 res gestae (accomplishments) 16, 142, 25 8, 3 2 7 -9

Agrippa’s 58-68 Augustus’ 140, 260-1, 265, 317, 326, 343 . 345 , 351 Nerones’ 328-30, 338, 342-3 rhetoric, versus poetry 45-8, 225-6, 245 rhetorical poetry 20, 31, 33, 49, 57, 189 ring-composition 133, 148, 290-2, 330, 334 , 349 Roman Odes 23, 24, 101, 214, 220, 223, 224-65, 275, 326, 350 aftermath of 273-4, 278, 3x7-21, 325 leading up to 116, 138, 169, 184, 188, 191, 205, 207, 223, 266, 272, 274, 322 n. 14 readability of 268-70 recalled in Odes 4: 331-2, 336 Salii 170


G en eral In d e x

General Index


Sappho 35 n. 43, 36 n. 45, 38 n. 52, 39, 40, 114, 128-9, 187, 202-4, 2x9 sea voyages 218, 305-6 as poetic voyages 116, 313 selective focus 43, 144, 148 semper (always) 83-4, 88, 92 Shelley 19 shield 187, 196 Simonides 35 n. 43, 39, 114, 129 n. 58, 171, 181, 185 singing 58-61, 65-8, 70-6, 277 fiction of 60, 63-5 social status, Horace’s 73, 146, 180 Something Big 211-12, 221 n. 80, 224 specularity 110-12, 117-18, 122 n. 46, 125-6, 128 n. 54, 136, 268-73, 278, 282, 286-93, 296, 304, 306-8, 310-11,

313 speech 228, 236, 256 act 111-12, 117 n. 38, 300-2, 304 by a character 97, 117 n. 39, 129 n. 56, 225, 245, 253-4, 292 in death 292, 295 heroine’s 292, 295, 308-9 by Teucer n i , 116 spes longa (long hope) 53, 159 stances, poetic 57 n. 22 Stesichorus 1 n. 2, 35 n. 43, 39, 114, 128-9 story, 116, 117-18, 130, 132, 141, 163, 202, 211, 225-6, 269-73 different from narrative 29, 110-11, 245-57 misreading 308-11 partially or not told 122, 245, 249, 270, 306, 323-4 see also myth style 37-45, 58, 61, 63, 65, 97, 98, 114,167 Alexandrian 100 and genre 137, 138, 203, 220 high ιο ί, 114, 117, 127, 157, 164, 168, 180, 204, 208, 224, 248 n. 36, 317, 335; versus light 103, 120, 122, 320, 325, 346, 348; see also genus grande!genus tenue language o f 211 light 204, 208 stylistic heightening 121 stylistic reduction 119, 121, 128, 135, 147, 169, 220, 295 sublime 148, 352 substitute 161, 163, 258, 274, 304, 312, 341, 343

suicide 139, 151-4, 160 supplement 11, 12, 34-6, 300, 326 surrogate author 165, 176, 346 see also Varius; Valgius swan 187, 211—12, 224 sympathy 155-61 symposium 1, 32, 45, 50, 53, 58, 87, 101, 103, h i , 120, 146-7, 166,196-9, 229, 256-7, 324 emblem o f lyric 78, 107, 114, 169-70 emblem o f the modest life-style 108 sympotic poet 195 szujet 29-30, 322 n. 13

Tarentum 255-6 temples: poem as 250 rebuilding 263-4, 332 see also Apollo for Palatine; Forum Augustum for Mars Ultor Theocritus 39 tibia 41 n. 61, 273, 348 see also choral lyric Tibur 105-9, 112, 255-7 time 49-76 arrested 296, 316 cyclical 14, 50-5, 74, 316-17, 342-3,

351 linear 14, 50-5, 74, 130, 138, 316-17, 3 4 2 , 351 lyric 78, 131, 147, 211, 316, 3 4 3 - 4 o f writing 49, 56 Tomashevsky 29 tragedy 27, 34, 38, 40, 59, 66, 98, 101, 104-6, 114, 129, 156, 158 and civil war 138, 165, 177 and high, style 114 tragic mode 115, 140, 159-61, 266, 308 transgression 4 1 -2 see also boundaries tree 187, 201-4, 211, 216, 218 triumph 92, 198 Trojan War 35, 126-8, 132, 144, 246-8 trope 109, 136 Troy 229, 240, 247 n. 30 as analogue for Rome 126, 184, 246-9, 252, 256, 264-5, 332 -3 , 349 Turnus 156, 159 underworld 204-5, 207, 209, 217, 219, 287 descent to 203, 277—8, 290-1, 295-6


U en eral in d e x

unity 1-2, 4-13, 46—8, 88, 93, 172, 175, 219, 224 n. i, 277, 300 fragmented 224, 322 o f C. 1.7: 103, 106 utterance 19, 31, i n - 1 2 , 132 Valgius 77—8, 82—4, 86-92 Varius 65-8, 104, 141, 211 vates (bard) 13, 73, 211, 265, 302, 350 Venus 199, 349, 351 Vergil 59 n. 26, 61, 77, 90—2, 177, 228 Aeneid 247 n. 31, 335 n. 31, 348 victory ode 1, 27 n. 18, 32, 71-3, 119-21, 218, 229, 237 myth in 34-5, 258 vision 201, 206-8 Poetic Vision 202, 217-19 Wandering 192, 195—6, 216, 319

war, xoo, 1x8-19, 122-3, i34> 170, 181, 190, 195—6, 199, 204, 208-9, 251, 324 foreign as solution to civil 261-3 see also Weariness, from Warfare warning 229, 258-65 Weariness 203, 216, 320 from Warfare 193, 195-6 weather 83, 88, 108, 143, 305-7 wedding songs 32, 36 n. 45, 128 n. 54 Wild Animal 211 see also under Danger wolf, see under exemplum; realism; Danger, wild animals writing 14, 49, 55-76, 171, 277, 340-2 and elegy 284 inscription 284, 288-9, 292, 2,95, 340 time o f 211