Very Short Introductions: Brilliant, Sharp, Inspiring
Horace was one of the greatest poets during the reign of Augustus and is seen as a mark of cultural sophistication since this time. This Very Short Introduction examines how Horace's poetry has exerted enormous influence but argues that it is best understood within the traditions of ancient literature.
Llewellyn Morgan guides the reader through the dizzying vagaries of Horace's biography, which reflects the political and social instability of the period. His poetry, and the life he artfully constructs and presents to us in it, engages both with the greatest crisis that Rome had ever faced, and its resolution by the first Emperor. Horace is Rome's laureate, and through him we experience the anxieties and triumphs of his age. For posterity, Horace has served for a model of the good life, a promoter of enlightened retirement, but has also exemplified poetic artistry, and is the most creative manipulator of the Latin language, even among his remarkable contemporaries.
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