A Commentary on Horace: Odes by R. G. M. Nisbet

By R. G. M. Nisbet

This statement takes severe account of contemporary writing at the Odes. It offers with specified questions of interpretation, and indicates how Horace mixed the tact of a court-poet with a humane individualism, and the way he wrote inside of a literary culture with no wasting a hugely own voice. even though the booklet isn't really meant for novices, the editors objective all through at readability.

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The redemptor is a contractor; locare is ‘to place a contract’, conducere or redimere is ‘to take it up’ (RN sees a formal contrast between re- and de-). The prosaic connotations of the word suggest ugly materialism; cf. epist. 2. 2. 72 ‘festinat calidus mulis gerulisque redemptor’, Juv. 3. ’ demittit redemptor carries the 1 . O D I P RO FA N V M V V L G V S 17 humorous suggestion that the contractor himself wields a shovel. frequens probably means ‘repeatedly’ (Ov. met. 2. 409 ‘dum redit itque frequens’, Sen.

Criticisms of avaritia and luxuria had been popular since Cato with moralizing orators, and had recently found forceful expression in the monographs of Sallust. Augustan ideology pointed in the same direction: aristocratic ostentation made for disharmony, and the rivalries of selfish and ambitious men were no longer encouraged; contentment and acceptance made for peace and stability. A simple life-style was commended by the Princeps himself: one thinks of his Palatine house as described by Suetonius (Aug.

The sword over Dionysius was a metaphorical one, as opposed to the real one over Damocles. H has not made a mistake but is generalizing, as the future elaborabunt shows: ‘Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown’. ). The strong word impia brings out the hubris of a tyrant who has defied the laws of God (cf. the Giants in v. 7); the assassins he fears are the instruments of divine vengeance (cf. 6). In view of vv. 14 ff. the metaphor is that of impending death rather than of other anxieties (Pers.

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