LYRIC DOUBLE TALK IN HORACE'S ROMAN ODES (ODES 3.1-6)

S. Thom

Abstract


Traditionally Horace's Roman Odes have been read as odes expressing what
Santirocco has called a "major political statement".' That this major political
statement has not always sat easily on the lyric vehicle chosen to convey it has also
been clear.2 Horace, more than most, probably realised that individual freedom and
opportunities, to a large extent depend on a stable framework of government.3 After
all, Horace's and Vergil's generation had reason to appreciate fully the benefits
brought about by Augustan political change.4 At the same time Horace's Roman Odes
cannot be taken at face value only.s All the odes together including the Roman Odes,
are an expression of a lyric poet's true genius.6 Even at his most solemn, as a
supportive citizen of Rome and Augustus, Horace should be read with this larger
perspective in mind.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7445/43-0-183

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