Monday, November 28, 2011

Death of Horace

Death of Horace

From "The works of Horace, with English notes, critical and explanatory," by Charles Anthon.

Suetonius writes:

[Horace] was born on the sixth of the ides of December, in the consulship of Lucius Cotta and Lucius Torquatus; and died on the fifth of the kalends of December, in the consulship of Caius Marcius Censorinus and Caius Asinius Gallus; having completed his fifty-ninth year.
Suetonius' Life of Horace
Son of a freedman, the Roman poet/satirist Horace lived from December 8, 65 B.C. to November 27, 8 B.C.

Horace fought on the losing side of the Battle of Philippi, under Caesar's assassin Brutus.

Later, after Horace survived that political career mis-step, Augustus commissioned Horace to compose a poem for the Secular Games, a 3-day event that was meant to mark the end of one era and the beginning of the next. The secular games included theatrical performances and religious rituals.

If you're studying Latin literature, Horace is one of the Roman poets you're likely to encounter. Because he advocates the golden mean, rather than indulging in great passions, he may be less appealing to adolescents than more passionate Roman poets, like Ovid or Catullus.