See also: Horace (homonymy)
Horace (in Latin Quintus Horatius Flaccus ), born with Venosa the December 8th 65 av. J. - C. and died with Tivoli the November 27th 8 av. J. - C., account among most famous poets of all times. But its work, on double level of writing, is the subject easily of misunderstandings and misinterpretation, as for example the diversion testifies some to the famous currency Carpe diem , or to the not less famous formula Aurea mediocritas (“invaluable happy medium like gold”), respectively drawn from the Odes , I, 11 and II, 10.
Horace was wire of freed. His/her father exerted the trade of coactor , i.e. cash clerk of the auctions. This model father, who has ambitions for his son, goes even until settling with Rome in order to ensure best possible education to him. Around eighteen years, it sends it to Athens, a such son of family, to crown there her course by the study of the Greek and philosophy.
After the assassination of Jules César in 44 av. J. - C., Horace enlists in the army of the Liberators, and is pointed out so well Brutus that this one entrusts the command of a legion to him (it has twenty and one years). At the time of the first Battle of Philips, the troops of Brutus seize the camp of Octave (the future emperor Auguste), which escapes from little from the capture. But at the time of the second combat, Octave and Marc Antoine are victorious. When an amnesty is declared for overcome, Horace turns over to Italy where he learns death from his father and the confiscation of his properties. Tiny room to poverty, it finds a place of scribe near a Questeur, which does not want to say that it gave up the fight against the autocratism. Only, according to its own terms ( Difficulty stilus ueluti ensis ), it exchanges the sword for the calame, and launches out, initially in the form of épodes and of satires, in a poetry of combat whose them violent anti-octaviennes attacks are learnedly buckled under a politically correct surface. It very early binds friendship with Virgile which presents it to Mécène, confidant of Octave, guard of arts and of the letters, poet at his hours and, if it is necessary to believe Vipsanius Agrippa (Suét of it. - Donat, Vita Verg. 185-8), follower of a kind of “double writing” ( cacozelia latens ) founded on subtle dialectical enters the obvious direction and the latent direction, allowing all to say while appearing anything to say whole. Patron takes it under his protection, introduces it into the political and literary circles (from there of the Recitationes), and offers to him a property close to Tibur (today Tivoli) to allow him ressourcer far from the agitation of the capital. In 17 av. J. - C., its reputation literary is so well established that it is with him which returns the honor to compose the “Secular Song” ( Carmen Saeculare ) that will interpret solemnly, at the time of the secular Jeux, of the mixed choruses children chosen among the elite of the Roman nobility.
Horace had announced it, its death would follow very little that of its guard. Two months were enough. We do not astonish that he was so good prophet, it is that he knew that, missing Mécène, Auguste would not wait a long time to be avenged for the secret war until the poet had carried out to him in his work since the beginning.
The work of Horace
(published in 35 and 29 av. J. - C.)
They gather in two collections, one of ten parts and the other of eight (in hexameters). This kind typically Roman, is created that it was by Lucilius at the second front century J. - C., and particularly favourable with the self-portrait: it is undoubtedly there that Horace is depicted there best. They are “talks” ( sermonize ) where of setting the freedom of tone and the polemic are, that it is in connection with social questions, ethics, arts persons, or policies. But what was allowed Lucilius under the République is not it obviously more in Horace under a despotic Mode . With the reader to decipher allusions.
(published in 29 av. J. - C.)
The Epodes are seventeen, that is to say on the whole 625 worms, including four probably apocryphal book S (I, 5-6 and XVI, 15-16). Horace did not call them épodes, but iambes, placing thus straight in the line of Catulle, which it takes care well not to proclaim so much Catulle was cursed of César and the césariens. He prefers, they is less risked, to assert Archiloque, inventor of the kind in Greece - and which had made use about it as of a frightening weapon against its enemies, as well private as public. The tone is that of the invective there; the style rough and is tended; the Italic vinegar is raised that and there of a fatal garlic; the erotism more believed can there côtoyer the most patriotic accents. As their name indicates it (at least in one its directions), the Epodes are written in distiches (worms length + worms short) of iambic type; the part 17, all into senary iambic, made exception.
(published in 22 av. J. - C. for the first three books; in 7 av. J. - C. for the fourth: dates preferable with 23 and 12 av. J. - C., more traditionally allowed)
They are four books containing 38,20,30 and 15 parts respectively, that is to say on the whole 3038 worms, including six undoubtedly apocryphal books (IV, 6,21-24 and IV, 8,15-16). Horace proudly compared them with the Pyramids of Egypt, and it is indeed the absolute masterpiece of the lyric Roman. This monument joins together all superlatives, combines all the wonders. Metric exploit initially, with the implementation of four types of different stanzas, six varieties of distiches, and three species of worms employed only ( kata stikhon ). Miracle of balance then, in a harmonious architecture which is spread according to numerical proportions as complex as impeccable. Wonder of circulation also, interconnections, networks, of correspondences, various combinations and symmetries, whose whole constitutes immense and supersensitive acoustic chamber. As for the incredible verbal virtuosity which draws from the choice and the place of each word the maximum of energy possible, it is enough to say that it impressed Nietzsche with the more high degree by what it called its “nobility”.
But where Horace exceeds, where it deserves best the “bay-tree delphic” ( Odes , III, 30), it is in the control of the contents. Seemingly, nothing more heteroclite than the Odes , where seem to interfere in a random way the private sphere and the public sphere, the loves and the policy, the Greek world and the Latin world, the cloudiest mythology and the most extreme topicality, the thorough epicureanism until the Sybaritisme, and a Stoïcisme sharpened until the Ascétisme and with a renouncement almost monacal before the letter. And yet, a leader controls all these stamps and all these instruments of a sovereign rod. Underground also, because the partition of this dazzling symphony, made up in the honor of human freedom vis-a-vis political tyranny, is deciphered only on the condition of reaching the level second of the writing, founded mainly on the secret control of the situation of stating.
(published in 19 or 18 av. J. - C., rather than in 20, the allowed date, and probably after 13 av. J. - C. for the second collection)
The first collection counts 20 parts (that is to say 1006 worms, including seven probably apocryphal books in the first part), second 2 only, but very long (270 and 216 worms). “The Epistle is added to it to the Rammers”, more known under the name of “poetic Art” (476 worms). They are written in hexameters, like the Satires , and, like them, they are “talks” of rather free pace. But the Epistles being fictitiously letters, they are addressed to quite precise people, and the tone is less sharp there, the style more slackened. Under this reassuring surface, Horace continues with perseverance its combat, a combat whose width and adventures, here as in the Odes , will appear only with the reader attentive in the first resort with the situation of stating: it is important to keep the large account not only of the recipient (friendly or enemy?), but also of the speaker, who is not automatically the author…
The first epistle of the second collection is addressed thus directly to Auguste: or how to draw the tail from the lion without being made bite. Florus is the recipient of the second, where Horace deposited like its spiritual will and the quintessence of its wisdom.
Horace Space: http://www.espace-horace.org/
- Works of Horace: texts with agreements and list of frequency
- Works of Horace in English and Latin
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