S. Thom


A cluster of six poems, Odes 3. 7–12, enhanced by their position in the collection of Odes (following as they do the Roman Odes, Odes 3. 1–6) seems to stake Horace’s claim as a poet of personal relationships to the same extent that the Parade Odes (Odes 1. 1–9) staked his claim as a master craftsman.1 Nowhere else in the collection do we have such a large group of poems dedicated exclusively to expressing aspects of personal relationships.2 In addition, it is striking that the group as a whole also seems to focus on ironic points of view on the situations concerned. The most obvious explanation for this special focus could lie in the fact that the poems are meant to be read as a group, which in turn requires that the perspective reflected by the group as a whole should be taken into careful consideration.

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