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t T, E. PAGE, C.H„ LITT.D. 

F. CAPPS. PH.D., LL.D. W. H. D. ROUSE, litt.d. 

L. A. POST, M.A. E. H. WARMINGTOX, m.a. 






rRovBgsoK or classical literature ik stantobd urnvBRarrv 







FEB 1 1 1945 

Virsi printed 1926 

Revised and rtpritUed 1929 

RepriMted 1932, 1936, 1939, 1942 

Printed in Great Britain. 






As is the case with many other volumes in the Loeb 
Classical Library, it has been found necessary to 
make this book something more than a mere trans- 
lation — something approaching a new edition of 
the poet. 

Each of the Satires and Epistles has been provided 
with its own Introduction, and, inasmuch as the 
poet's transitions are not seldom rather abrupt, and 
often it is no easy matter to re-establish the con- 
nexion, a careful effort has been made to indicate 
the sequence of thought. Numerous allusions have 
been explained in the notes or Index ; many dubious 
f)assages have been discussed, however briefly, and 
the Latin text itself has been scrutinized in every 
detail. All important variant readings have been 
duly registered and considered, and the results of 
both old and recent scholarship have been utilized 
in translation or interpretation. 

Acknowledgements are due to the general editors 
of the series, one of whom. Dr. T, E. Page, has read 
my manuscript carefully and offered many a timely 



and wise suggestion. Some explanations given of 
puzzling passages are due to him, 

H. R. F. 

Harvard University, 
December 15, 1925. 

In preparing for a reprint of this volume, I take 
the opportunity of thanking all who have offered 
me helpful criticism, especially Professor Charles 
N. Smiley of Carleton College, and Professor B, O. 
Foster of Stanford University. 

H. R. F. 

February 4, 1929. 


Introduction — 

A. Chronology of the Poems 

B. Earlier History of Satire 

C. Relation of Horace to Lucilius 

D. Manuscripts and Commentaries 

E. Editions and Bibliography 

F. Abbreviations 

Book I. 

Satire I. 
„ H. 
„ III. 
„ IV. 
« V. 
„ VI. 
„ VII. 
. „VIII. 
„ IX. 
„ X. 

Book II. . 

Satire I. 
„ II. 
„ HI. 
„ IV. 








1 24-245 

. 124 
. 134 
. 149 
. 183 


Satire V. 
„ VI. 
„ VII. 

Book I. , 

« II. 
„ HI. 
„ IV. 

« VI. 
„ VII. 
„ VIII. 
„ IX. 

« XI. 
„ XII. 
„ XIII. 
„ XIV. 
„ XV. 
„ XVI. 
„ XVII. 
„ XIX. 
„ XX. 

Book II. . 

Epistle I. 

„ II- 

Index of Proper Names 





. 248 

. 260 

. 269 

. 275 

. 279 

. 284 

. 293 

. 3o:> 

. 309 

. 313 

. 321 

. 327 

. 333 

. 337 

. 34.3 

. 348 

. 358 

. 366 

. 379 

. 387 


. 392 

. 421 


. 491 


A. Chronology of the Poems 

The First Book of the Satires is the first work which 
Horace pubhshed, though it is possible that some of 
the Epodes were composed before any of the Satires. 
In Sat. i. 10. 45 Horace refers to Virgil's Eclogues, 
which were published in 37 b.c, while the introduc- 
tion to Maecenas {Sat. i. 6. 54 ff.) is commonly- 
assigned to 38 B.C. Allowing some time for the 
friendship between the poet and statesman to mature, 
and for the general interest, referred to in Sat. 
i. 6. 47, to be aroused, and keeping in view certain 
passages in Satires ii. (e.g. 6. 40), we miay claim 
35 B.C. as the probable date of the publication of 
Book I. At this time the poet was in his thirtieth 

In 33 B.C. Horace received from Maecenas the gift 
of his Sabine farm, which figures so prominently in 
Book II. The Sixth Satire of this book makes several 
allusions to pohtical events. In 1. 53 mention is 
made of the Dacians, who in the struggle between 
Octavian and Antony offered themselves first to one 
leader and then to the other. At this time Octavian 
was necessarily absent from Rome, and in 1. 38 
Horace speaks of the administration of home affairs 
as being in the hands of Maecenas. After the battle 


of Actium (31 B.C.) public lands were assigned to the 
disbanded soldiers (1. 55). On the other hand the 
absence of any allusion to the closing of the temple 
of Janus or to the celebration of a triple triumph 
shows that Book II. appeared before 29 b.c. We 
may therefore claim 30 b.c. as the year of its pubhca- 

In the intei'val between the appearance of the 
Satires and that of the Epistles, Horace published the 
Epodes (29 B.C.) and Books I.-III. of the Odes (23 b.c). 
The next work to appear was Book I. of the Epistles, 
the last verse of which {Epist. i. 20. 28) gives the 
consulship of LoUius as the date of writing. This 
would naturally imply that the book was finished in 
21 B.C., but allusions to later events, such as the close 
of Agrippa's Cantabrian campaign, the restoration 
of the standards taken from Crassus {Epist. i. 12. 26 ff.), 
and the triumphal progress of Tiberius through the 
East (ib. i. 3. 144.), show that the book was not 
published before the following year (20 b.c). 

The three Literary Epistles which remain are often 
classed together as the three Epistles of Book II., 
but the Mss. and Scholia recognize only two Epistles 
in that Book, giving the third an independent posi- 
tion and a special name as Ars Poetica. Of the two 
the Second undoubtedly precedes the first in point 
of composition. It is addressed to Florus, to whom 
Epist. i. 3 had been sent, and who is still absent 
from Rome in the suite of Tiberius. The occasion 
for this absence need not be the same as for the 
earher letter, yet in view of Horace's renunciation 
of lyric poetry (Epist. ii. 2. 65 ff.), this Epistle can 
hardly have been written in the years when the 
Carmen Saeculare and Odes iv. were produced (17-13 


B.C.). It was therefore, in all probability, written 
about 19-18 B.C. 

The introduction to Epist. ii. 1 gives the main 
reason for believing that the Epistle to Augustus was 
■v\Titten after both the Epistle to Florus and the Ars 
Poetica. Moreover, there are several passages in it 
which indicate a connexion between it and Horace's 
later lyrics. Thus 11. 132-137 refer unmistakably to 
the Carmen Saeculare of 17 b.c, and 11. 252-256, as 
Wickham has pointed out, show certain correspond- 
ences with the political Odes of Book IV., which was 
pubhshed in 13 b.c. 

In the Mss. the Ars Poetica appears after either 
the Carmen Saeculare or Odes iv. Its present position 
is due to sixteenth-century editors, and Cruquius 
(1578) first called it the Third Epistle of Book II. It 
was perhaps pubhshed by Horace independently, 
while Augustus was absent in Gaul, 16-13 b.c, but 
the fact that it reflects so much of the influence of 
Lucilius would indicate a still earlier date of com- 
position." It is not certain who the Pisones (a 
father and two sons) addressed in it are. According 
to Porphyrio, the father was L. Calpurnius Piso, 
praefectus urbi in a.d. 14. He was born in 49 b.c. 
and became consul 15 b.c, but could hardly have 
had grown-up sons several years before Horace's 
death. It is more hkely that Piso pater was Cn. 
Calpurnius Piso, who, like Horace, fought under 
Brutus at Phihppi and was afterwards consul in 
23 B.C. He had a son, Gnaeus, who was consul 
7 B.C., and another, Lucius, who was consul 1 b.c. 

" See Fiske, Lucilius and Horace, pp. 446-475. According 
to Professor A. Y. Campbell, " the Ars Poetica was written at 
some time between 23-20 b.c. inclusive " {Horac«, p. 235). 


B. Earlier History of Satire 

The great litei'ary critic Quintilian proudly claims 
Satire as a purely Roman creation, satira quidem iota 
nostra est (x. 1. 93). This kind of literature had 
originated in a sort of rustic farce, the mixed char- 
acter of which had given it its name. As lanx satura 
was a dish filled with various kinds of fruit offered 
to the gods, and lex satura was a law which included 
a variety of provisions, so, in the literary sphere, 
satura {sc. fahuld) was a miscellaneous story, which 
was originally presented as a dramatic entertain- 
ment." After the introduction of the regular drama 
from Greece, the dramatic saturae, like the mimes 
and the Atellanae, survived as afterplays (exodid),^ 
but the saturae of Livius Andronicus and Naevius 
were probably of the earlier, dramatic type. 

Different from these were the saturae of Ennius 
and Pacuvius. These, to be sure, were miscellaneous 
both in subjects and in metrical forms, but they 
were composed for reading, not for acting. The 
Saturae of Ennius included the Epicharmus, a philo- 
sophic poem ; the Euhemerus, a rationalistic treat- 
ment of mythology ; the Hedupkagetica, a mock 
heroic poem on gastronomy ; the Sota, in the 
Sotadean metre ; and the Scipio and the Ambracia, 
wliich dealt with contemporary persons and events. 
Of the Satires of Pacuvius we know nothing, and 

" It is here assumed that the account given of the origin 
of the drama in Rome by the historian Livy (vii. 2), though 
somewhat confused, is essentially correct. Certain writers, 
however, notably Leo and Hendrickson, have regarded Livy's 
account as pure fiction. 

"" i.e. comio scenes performed separately after tragedies. 


those of Ennius were quite overshadowed by his epic 

and dramatic poems. 

The writer uniformly recognized as the founder of 
literary Satire (inventor, Horace, Sat. i. 10. 48) was 
Gaius LuciUus, who Uved from 180 to 103 b.c. He 
was of equestrian rank and a man of wealth, the 
maternal uncle of Pompey the Great and a member 
of the Scipionic circle. His thirty books of Saturae," 
written partly in trochaics, elegiacs and iambics, but 
mostly in hexameters, handled a great variety of 
topics. Fragments, numbering over 1300 verses, 
have been preserved, and are accessible in the splen- 
did edition by F. Marx (2 vols., 1904., 1905), which 
has supplanted all earlier collections. A study of 
these throws a flood of light upon the important 
question of the relation of Horace to his model in 
the satiric field, and we are fortunate in having a 
very thorough survey of the subject in LuciUus and 
Horace, a study in the Classical Theory of Imitation, 
by Professor George Converse Fiske,'' to which every 
future editor of Horace will be much indebted, and to 
which, therefore, we must often refer. 

The Satires of LuciUus were largely autobio- 

. . . quo fit ut omnis 
votiva pateat veluti descripta tabella 
vita senis. 

(Horace, Sat. ii. 1. 32 ff.), 

and if they had survived intact we should to-day have 

" Cited thus by grammarians but called by LuciUus him- 
self ludus ac semiones (fr. 1039). Note that the latter term 
sermones (or " Talks ") was adopted by Horace in his turn 
as the title of his Satires. 

* Published in University of Wisconsin Studies in Lan- 
guage and Literature, Madison, 1920. 

b XV 


as complete a picture of the poet's life and times as 
any modern diarist has given of his. Lucilius por- 
trayed not only himself but also his friends and foes, 
and at the same time discoursed upon the follies and 
vices of his day, as well as upon philosophy, religion, 
literature, and grammar ; upon travels and adven- 
tures ; upon eating and drinking, and the many 
incidents of daily life. 

In his criticism of others Lucilius was unrestrained, 
and it is because of this Tvapp-qa-la or freedom of 
speech that Horace makes him dependent upon the 
Old Comedy of Athens {Sat. i. 4. 1 ff.). Lucihus 
does indeed show an inexhaustible power of invective, 
but in this he harks back, not so much to Aristophanes, 
as to " the vivid and impromptu utterances of the 
Cynic and Stoic popular preachers."" He was, it is 
true, familiar with the whole range of Greek litera- 
ture, and makes citations from Homer, Aristophanes, 
Euripides, Menander, and Plato. He alludes to 
Socrates and Aristippus, and draws freely upon the 
Academy and later exponents of Greek philosophy. 
Fiske aims at showing that " Lucilian satire is the 
product of a highly sophisticated Hellenistic environ- 
ment combined with the Italian penchant for frank, 
vigorous, dramatic expression." In his diction, 
Lucilius was quite unlike Terence, that puri sermonis 
amator, for " GaUic words, Etruscan words, Syrian 
words, and words from the Italic dialects, Oscan, 
Pehgnian, Praenestine, Sardinian, and Umbrian, even 
bits of Greek dialect slang, are found in his pages." ^ 

We must remember both the plebeian origin of 
satire, and the chief characteristics of Lucilius, as 
well as the ancient mode of adhering closely to 

" Fiske, p. 128. ^ Fiske, p. tl6. 


literary tjrpes, if we are to understand some of the 
features of later satire. Thus its excessive coarse- 
ness, especially in Juvenal, is largely a sxu-\'ival from 
early days, and this element in Horace's Satires, 
strictly limited to Book I., is due to our poet's 
following here too closely in the footsteps of Lucihus. 
So, too, the fierce invective, which Juvenal has taught 
us to regard as the main feature of satire, is a dis- 
tinct inheritance from Lucihus. 

G. Relation of Horace to Lucilius 

In the Satires and Epistles of Horace, it is easy to 
trace an interesting development in tone and char- 
acter from the more pecuharly Lucilian compositions 
to those that are more distinctly independent and 
Horatian. Thus in the First Book of Satires, the 
Seventh, which sketches a trial scene before the 
court of Brutus, is to be closely associated with a 
satire in Book II. of Lucihus, where Scaevola is 
accused by Albucius of peculation in the province of 
Asia. In the Second, deahng with a repulsive sub- 
ject, not only " the satiric moulding of the material," 
but even the vocabulary is " distinctly Lucihan." " 
Both of these poems, as well as the Eighth, were 
probably composed before Horace's introduction to 
Maecenas. The Eighth, however, is the only one of 
this First Book which shows no obvious connexion 
with Lucihus. It is a Priapeum — a late genre in 
Roman hterature — but treated in satirical fashion. 

The famous Fifth and Ninth Satires, though giving 
personal experiences of the writer, are nevertheless 
modelled somewhat closely upon Lucihus. Of the 

» Fiske, pp. 271, 272. 


Fifth Porphyrio says, " Lucilio hac satyra aemulatuT 
Horatius," and Horace's encounter with the bore ■will 
lose none of its interest, even when we learn that 
the Sixth Book of Lucilius contained a similar satire, 
which was his direct model." The First Satire 
handles two themes which were much discussed in 
the popular philosophy of the Stoics, viz., discontent 
with one's lot and the love of riches. Both of these 
figured in more than one satire of Lucilius, the 
scanty fragments of whose Nineteenth Book furnish 
sufficient material to enable Fiske to reconstruct the 
particular Satire which was Horace's model here.^ 

In the remaining Satires of Horace's First Book, 
viz., the Third, Fourth, Sixth and Tenth, Horace is 
on his defence against hostile criticism. He makes 
a plea for satire as a literary form and tries to prove 
that it should not be disliked because of its subject 
matter. It is therefore not without reason that he 
places the Third next to the Second in the collection, 
so as to stand in direct contrast with it, for while the 
Second is coarse, brutal, and extremely personal," 
the Tliird, dropping all abuse and invective, shows a 
kindly and genial tone which must tend to disarm 
all criticism. The Fourth and Tenth Satires still 
further show that the poet is casting off the spell of 
Lucilius. He is ready to criticize the very founder 
of the satiric genus scrihendi and to set up standards 
of his own. " In fact," as Fiske says,** " Horace's 
Fourth satire may be regarded as an aesthetic and 

• Fiske, p. 335. " Fiske, pp. 246, 247. 

• " From no other Satire, as the commentators point out, 
do we have such an extensive portrait gallery of contempor- 
aries " (Fiske, p. 270). 

" Fiske, p. 278. 


ethical analysis of the Lucihan theory of satire," 
while the Tenth, composed under the smart of 
hostile criticism, is a vigorous polemic directed, not 
so much against Lucilius himself, as against those 
critics of Horace's owti day, who upheld the standards 
or lack of standards illustrated by the Satires of 
Lucilius. It is " only in the general recognition of his 
predecessor as the originator of the poetical form, and 
in acknowledgement of his skill in the employment of 
the harshest weapons of satire," that Horace here 
" treats LuciUus with consideration." " And as the 
Fourth and Tenth Satires are a defence of his art, so 
the Sixth is a defence of the poet himself, as well as 
of his noble patron and the circle of friends to which 
Horace has been admitted. The fragments show 
that in the Thirtieth Book Lucihus had discussed 
liis own relations to some patron, and had placed 
the poet's calling above the lure of wealth, as Horace 
places it above political ambition.* If we had the 
whole poem, we should doubtless find that Horace 
had drawn a contrast between his owti lowly birth, 
and the aristocratic origin of Lucihus.* 

In the Second Book of the Satires, published as 
we have seen in 30 B.C., Horace finds it no longer 
necessary to make a serious defence of his satire. 
His position as a writer is now well estabhshed, and 
the controversies underlying Book I. have been 
settled in his favour. Yet the poet is not wholly 

• Hendrickson, Horace and Lucilius, in Studies in Honor 
o/B. L. Gild^rsleeve, p. 162 (Baltimore, 1903). 

» Fiske, p. 318. 

* See Sat. i. 6. 58, 59, where claro natum patre probably 
refers to Lucilius, who, according to Cichorius, had estates 
near Tarentum. Cf. Fiske, p. 320. 



free from anxiety, for there were certain legal 
restrictions that might prove embarrassing to the 
writer of satire .'* Horace, therefore, in the First 
Satire of this book, asserts his right to freedom of 
speech, and makes an attack, however disguised in 
its humorous form, upon the libel laws of Rome, 
proclaiming at the same time that, as a satirist, he 
is armed for defence not offence, and that he must 
have the same privilege as Lucilius enjoyed, that of 
writing down his inmost thoughts and his personal 
comments upon the world. 

The Second Satire of Book II. corresponds in 
theme, as well as position, with the Second of Book I. 
It applies the philosophic doctrine of " the mean " 
to daily living, eating and drinking, just as the earlier 
one applied it to sexual morality. It is strongly 
under the influence of Lucilius, though, like Sat. i. 2, 
it abounds in ideas which were common in the ser- 
mons of philosophers. 

Closely connected with the Second are the Fourth 
and Eighth, which belong to a genre whose history 
is outlined in the introduction to the Fourth. The 
satiric SeiTrvov, of which the Cena Trimalchionis of 
Petronius is the most famous example, was repre- 
sented in Lucilius by at least five satires. 

The influence of Lucilius is still strong in the 
lengthy Third Satire, which deals with the Stoic 
paradox, on 7ras ac^puiv /xatverat, a theme which it 
would seem Lucilius had handled at least twice.* It 
is interesting to find that even the scene reproduced 

» See Lejay, pp. 289-292. In Book I. twenty-four con- 
temporaries are criticized ; in II. only four. So Filbey, 
cited bv Fiske, p. 416. 

» Fiske, pp. 390 ff. 



by Horace (U. 259-271) from the Eunuckus of Terence, 
was also utilized by Lucilius." 

In the remaining Satires of Book II., the Fifth, 
Sixth and Seventh, the influence of Lueilius seems 
to be very slight. The Sixth, it is true, illustrates 
the autobiographical element so conspicuous in 
Lueilius, and epic parody, exemphfied in the Fifth, 
was doubtless employed by Lueilius, even as it had 
figured in the Middle and New Attic Comedy, but 
Horace is no longer under his sway, and when in the 
Seventh we find the poet professing to make himself 
a target for the shafts of satire, we realize that now 
at least he can be independent of his model. 

The Epistles belong essentially to the same literary 
class as the Satires. Both kinds are conversational : ^ 
epistulis ad absentes loquimur, sermone cum praesentibus, 
says Acron. In subject matter the Epistles cover 
much the same field as the Satires. They deal with 
human foibles and frailties, discuss philosophic prin- 
ciples, open windows upon the poet's domestic circle, 
and give us incidents and scenes from daily life. 

Lueilius had used the epistolary form in a satire 
of his Fifth Book, and Horace came to realize that 
this was the most satisfactory mould for him to 
adopt, when expressing his personal feelings and 
when passing judgement upon the hterary and social 
problems of his time. As to thought and contents, 
however, the influence of Lucihus upon the Epistles 
is relatively very slight." These poems, indeed, are 
the offspring of Horace's maturity, and themes 

" Fiske, pp. 394 ff. 

* Hendrickson, " Are the Letters of Horace Satires ? " 
American Journal of Philology, xviii. pp. 312-324. 
" See Fiske, pp. 427-440. 



already handled in the Satires are now presented in 
more systematic fashion, the Avriter disclosing a 
riper judgement and a more subtle refinement of 
mind. " Good sense, good feeling, good taste," says 
Mackail, " these qualities, latent from the first in 
Horace, had obtained a final mastery over the coarser 
strain with which they had at first been mingled."" 
The Epistles, indeed, with their criticism of life and 
literature, are the best expression of that " urbanity," 
which has ever been recognized as the most out- 
standing feature of Horace. 

The two Epistles of the Second Book are devoted 
to literary criticism, which is an important element 
in the First Book of the Satires, and which, we may 
well believe, was first suggested to Horace by his 
relation to Lucilius. Even in these late productions, 
therefore, may be found traces of Lucilian influence,^ 
but Horace writes with a free spirit, and in his 
literary, as in his philosophic, life, he is 

nullius addictus iurare in verba magistri.* 

As to the puzzling Ars Poetica, it is evident from 
the researches of Cichorius*^ and Fiske that it is 
quite largely indebted to Lucilius, who had a theory 
of literary criticism " formulated according to the 
same rhetorical cr^rnxara, and under substantially the 
same rhetorical influences ... as Horace's Ars 
Poetica." * Moreover, a detailed comparison of the 
fragments of Lucilius with the Ars Poetica show 
numerous and striking similarities. To the present 

" Latin Literattire, p. 111. 

^ Fiske, pp. 441-446. « Epist. ii. 1. 14. 

"* Untersuchungen zu Lucilius, pp. 109-127. 

• Fiske, p. 468. 


writer it would seem to be an obvious inference jfrom 
these facts that the Ars Poetica was largely composed 
some years before it was pubhshed. It may have 
been -WTitten originally in the regular satiric form, 
and afterwards adjusted, for publication, to the 
epistolary mould. 

D. Manuscripts and Commentaries 

The text of Horace does not rest on as firm a 
foundation as that of Virgil. Whereas the great 
epic \vTiter is represented to-day by as many as seven 
manuscripts ^^Titten in uncial or capital letters, all of 
the extant Horatian manuscripts are of the cursive 
type, and not one can claim to be older than the ninth 
century. Yet, putting Virgil aside, Horace, in 
comparison ^^■ith the other Augustan poets, has fared 
very well, and his text has suffered comparatively 
httle in the process of transmission. 

The MSB. number about two hundred and fifty, and 
have given rise to endless discussion as to their mutual 
relations, their classification, their hne of descent 
from a common original, and their comparative value. 
Such questions have been rendered more uncertain 
by the incomplete knowledge which we possess of the 
four Blandinian mss. which were destroyed in 1566, 
when the Benedictine abbey of St. Peter, at Blanken- 
berg near Ghent, was sacked by a mob. These mss. 
had, however, been rather carelessly collated a few 
years earlier by Cruquius, who, beginning with 1565, 
edited separate portions of Horace, and finally in 
1578 published a complete edition of the poet at 
Antwerp. Of these lost Blandinian mss. Cruquius 


valued most highly the one which he calls vetustissimus, 
and wliich Bentley, Lachmann, and other later editors 
have regarded as the soundest foundation for the 
estabhshment of a correct Horatian text. Unfortun- 
ately, doubt has been cast upon the accuracy of the 
statements of Cruquius, and Keller and Holder 
depreciate the value of this lost ms. 

The two scholars just named, the most painstaking 
editors of the Horatian text, have adopted a grouping 
of the Mss. in three classes, each of which is based on 
a lost archetype. The three archetypes are ulti- 
mately derived from an original archetype of the 
first or second century. The claim is made that a 
reading found in the mss. of two classes should take 
precedence over that found in only one. The three 
classes are distinguished from one another by the 
degree of systematic alteration and interpolation to 
which they have been subjected. 

This elaborate classification of Keller and Holder's 
has proved too complicated and has failed to win 
general acceptance. A simpler and more satisfactory 
grouping has been attempted by Professor Vollmer 
of Munich in his recension of 1906 (2nd edition 1912) 
in which the editor, returning to the principles of 
Bentley, endeavours to reconstruct the sixth century 
Mavortian " edition, beyond which, however far this 
may have departed from the original Horatian text, 
one can hardly hope to go. Vollmer enumerates 
only fifteen mss., which he divides into two groups, 
I. and II, In Class I. he includes K, a codex not known 

" The name of Mavortius, who was consul in a.d. 527, 
appears in association with that of Felix, orator urbis Romae, 
as an emendator or Stop^wrijs, in eight mss., including A, 
\, I, and Goth. 



to Keller and Holder. The vetustissimus {V^ he places 
in Class II. along with a Vatican MS., R, of the ninth 
century and the Gothanus of the fifteenth century, 
wliich reveals its kinship ^\ith V. The readings of 
Class II. are often to be preferred to those of Class I. 
In 1912, in rexising for the Clarendon Press Wick- 
ham's text edition of Horace, Mr. H. W. Garrod of 
Oxford carried this simplification still further. He 
adopts Vollmer's classification, but drops some mss. 
which he finds to have httle significance, viz. from 
Class I., A, which is a mere dupUcate of a, and K ; 
while from Class II. he omits R, Goth., A (Parisinus 
7972), and Z ( = Leidensis Lat . 28). On the other hand, 
he recalls M, which Keller had overestimated but 
Vollmer had rejected as of httle value. V, placed 
outside the two classes, is held in high esteem. 

The MSS. cited in this edition are as follows : 

= codex Ambrosianus 136, from Avignon, now in Milan. 

Tenth century. Available for Satires and Epistlet, 

except from Sat. ii. 7. 27 to ii. 8. 95. 
^ = Parisinus 7900 a. Tenth century. V se^ for Epistlesi. 

(here by a second hand), and to supplement a. 
B == codex Bernensis 363 ; in Bern, Switzerland. Written 

by an Irish scribe at the end of the ninth century. 

Available for Satires up to i. 3. 135, and for Ars Poet. 

up to 1. 441. 
C and ^= codex Monacensis 14685 (two parts). Eleventh 

century. C is available from Sat. i. 4. 122 up to 

i. 6. 40 ; for Sat. ii. 8 ; and for Ars Poet, up to 1. 441. 

E is available for Satires and Epistles, except for Sat. 

ii. 5. 87 up to ii. 6. 33 ; and for Ars Poet., except 11. 441 

to 476. 
D = codex Argentoratensis. Destroyed at Strasburg 1870. 

Tenth century. Available for Saiires and Epistles, 


except from Sat. ii. 2. 132 to ii. 3. 75 ; from Sat. n. 5. 95 

to Epist. ii. 2. 112. Not available for Ars Poet. 
K = codex S. Eugendi, now St. Claude. Eleventh century. 

Available for Satires up to ii. 2. 25, and for Ars Poet. 
M= codex Mellicensis. Eleventh century. Available for 

Satires, except from ii. 5. 95 and a portion of ii. 3 ; 

and for Epistles, except from i. 6. 67 to i. 16. 35. 
The above mss. constitute Class I. 

R = Vaticanus Reginae 1 703. Ninth century. Available 
for Satires and Epistles, except from Sat. i. 3. 28 to 
i. 8. 4, and from Sat. ii. 1. 16 to ii. 8. 95. 

S = codex Harleianus 2725. Ninth century. Available 
for Satires up to i. 2. 114 ; and for Epistles up to 
i. 8. 8, and from ii. 2. 19 to the end of Ars Poetica. 

X = Parisinus 7972. Tenth century. Complete. 

/ = Lcidensis Lat. 28. Ninth century. Complete. 

a- = codex Parisinus 10310. Ninth or tenth century. 
Available for Epistles and Ars Poetica, but for Satires 
only up to i. 2. 70. 

<p = codex Parisinus 7974. Tenth century. Complete. 

^ = codex Parisinus 7971. Tenth century. Complete. 

Goth. = Gothanus. Fifteenth century. This lacks the 
Ars Poetica. 
These constitute Class II. 

Besides these, account must be taken (through the 
edition of Cruquius) of the four lost Blandinian mss. 
(designated as Bland.), the chief of which was F 
(^=ivetustissimus). In a number of cases F alone (or 
in conjunction with Goth.) preserved the correct 
reading. The most striking instance of this is given 
in Sat. i. 6. 126, but other examples are afforded by 
Sat. i. 1. 108 ; ii. 2. 56 ; ii. 3. 303 ; ii. 4. 44 ; ii. 8. 88 ; 
Epist. i. 10. 9 ; i- 16. 43. On the whole, however, 
V was probably just as faulty as are most of the 


extant mss., no one of which stands out as con» 
spicuous for accuracy. Yet, as a group, the mss. of 
Class I. are distinctly superior to those of Class II., 
though not infrequently the latter preserve correct 
readings which the former had lost. 

Collections of Horatian scholia, or explanatory 
notes, have come down to us from antiquity under 
the names of Porphyrio and Acron. These scholars 
lived probably in the third century of our era, Acron 
being the earlier of the two, but the scholia now 
surviving under Acron's name are as late as the fifth 
century. Both collections are largely interpolated. 
Both, however, precede our mss. in point of time, and 
are therefore valuable in determining the priority of 
conflicting readings. 

The term Commentator Cruquianus is given to a 
collection of notes gathered by Cruquius from the 
marginaha in his Blandinian mss. 

E. Editions and Bibliography 

The editio princeps of Horace appeared in Italy, 
without date or name of place, about 1470, and was 
followed by the annotated edition by Landinus, 
Florence, 1482. Lambin's, which first appeared in 
1561, was frequently repubhshed in Paris and else- 
where. The complete edition by Cruquius was issued 
at Antwerp, 1578. Modern editions may be said to 
begin with Heinsius, Leyden, 1612. Bentley's (Cam- 
bridge, 1711, Amsterdam 1713, and frequently re- 
published) marks an epoch in Horatian study. Among 
nineteenth-century editors may be mentioned Doring 
(Leipzig, 1803), Lemaire (Paris, 1829), Peerlkamp 



(Harlem, 1834), Dillenburger (Bonn, 1844), Duentzer 
(Brunswick, 1849) and Orelli, whose text and com- 
mentary (revised by Baiter 1852, then by Hirsch- 
felder and Mewes — fourth large edition, Berlin, 1892) 
became the standard. Ritter's edition is dated 1856- 
1857, Leipzig. Keller and Holder's (editio maior, 
Leipzig, 1864-70 ; editio minor, 1878) is based on an 
exhaustive study of the mss. Vollmer's important 
edition (2nd, 1912, Leipzig) has a serviceable ap- 
paratus criiicus. One of the best annotated editions 
is A. Kiesshng's, Berhn, 1884 and later ; revised by 
Heinze, 1910. Another good one is that of Schiitz, 
Berlin, 1880-83, and one by L. Muller, Leipzig, 1891- 
1893. English editions are Macleane's, London, 
1869 (4th, 1881) ; Wickham's, 2 vols., annotated, 
Oxford, 1878 and I891, and the Page, Palmer and 
Wilkins edition, London and New York, 1896. 
Wickham's text edition, Oxford, 1900, was revised 
by Garrod, 1912 (see p. xxv). In America the best 
complete editions are tliose by C. L. Smith and 
J. B. Greenough, Boston, I894, and by C. H. Moore 
and E. P. Morris, New York, 1909. In France, 
there is the Waltz edition, Paris, 1887. Of the 
Plessis and Lejay edition only the volume of Satires 
by Lejay has thus far appeared (Paris, 1911)- The 
best complete edition in Italy is Fumagalli's, Rome, 
5th, 1912. 

Special editions of the Satires and Epistles are 
numerous. A few that we may mention are those 
by A. Palmer, Satires, London and New York, 1883 ; 
A. S. Wilkins, Epistles, London and New York, 1885 ; 
J. Gow, Satires, i. Cambridge, I9OI ; J. C. Rolfe, 
Boston, 1901 ; P. Rasi, Milan, 1906-07 ; Sabbadini, 
Turin, 19O6 ; E. P. Morris, New York, 1909-11. 


Among other •works of importance for the study 
of Horace may be mentioned the follo^\^ng : 

F. Hauthal, Acronis et Porphyrionis commentarii in 
Horatium, Berlin, 1864-66. 

W. Meyer, Porphyrionis commentarii in Horatium, Leip- 
zig, 1874. 

R. M. Hovenden, Horace's Life and Character, London, 

O. Keller, Epilegornena zu Horaz, Leipzig, 1879-80. 

W, Y. Sellar, Horace, Roman Poets of the Augustan Age, 
Oxford, 1892. 

R. Y. Tyrrell, Latin Poetry ; Jolms Hopkins Lectures, 1893. 

J. W. MackaU, Latin Literature, New York, 1895. 

Gaston Boissier, The Country of Horace and Virgil, trans- 
lated by Fisher, New York, 1896. 

A. Cartault, ttude sur les Satires d' Horace, Paris, 1899. 

O. Keller, Psendacronis scholia in Horatium vetustiora, 
Leipzig, 1902-4. 

F. Marx, C. Lucilii carminum reliquiae, 2 vol., Leipzig, 


G. Cichorius, Untersuchungen zu Lucilius, Berlin, 1908. 
J. W. Duff, Literary History of Rome, London, 1909. 

F. Leo, Geschichte der romischen Literatur, Berlin, 1913. 
Courtand, Horace, sa vie et sa pensee d, I'epoque des 

ipitres, Paris, 1914. 
Lane Cooper, A Concordance to the Works of Horace, 

Washington (The Carnegie Institution), 1916. 
Mary Rebecca Thayer, The Influence of Horace on the 

Chief English Poets of the Nineteenth Century, New 

Haven, 1916. 
J. F. D 'Alton, Horace and his Age, London and New 

York, 1917. 

G. C. Fiske, Lucilius and Horace : a Study in the Classical 

Theory of Imitation, MadL-on, Wisconsin, 1920. 
Grant Showerman, Horace and his Influence, Boston, 1922. 
H. N. Fowler, A History of Roman Literature, New York, 

1923 (2nd edition). 
E. E. Sikes, Roman Poetry, London, 1923. 


A. Y. Campbell, Horace, a riew Interpretation, London, 

Elizabeth H. Haight, Horace and his Art of Enjoyment, 

New York, 1925. 

There are also many pamphlets and periodical 
articles, too numerous to record, which must be 
consulted by an editor of Horace. 

F. Abbreviations 

A. J. V. = American Journal of Philology. 

A.P. A. = Transactions and Proceedings of the American 

Philological Association. 
C.P. = Classical Philology. 
C.R. = Classical Review. 
C.W. = Classical Weekly. 
¥iske = Lticilius and Horace, by G. C. Fiske. 
Harv. St. = Harvard Studies in Classical Philology. 
3. V. = Journal of Philology. 
Rh. M. = Rheinisches Museum fiir klaasische Philologie. 

Editions of Horace are often referred to by the 
name of the editor alone, e.g. Lejay = the 
Lejay edition of the Satires. 




The opening Satire serves as a dedication of the 
whole book to Maecenas, and deals with a conspicuous 
feature of social life in the Augustan age. 

Everybody, says Horace, is discontented with his 
lot and envies his neighbour. Yet, if some god were 
to give men a chance to change places, they would 
all refuse. The cause of this restlessness is the 
longing for wealth. Men will assure you that the 
only reason why they toil unceasingly is that they 
may secure a competence and then retire. They 
claim to be like the ant, which provides so wisely for 
the future ; but the ant enjoys its store when winter 
comes, whereas the money-seeking man never 
ceases from his labours, so long as there is one richer 
than himself (1-40). 

And yet what is the use of large possessions ? If 
a man has enough, more wealth will prove a burden 
and a peril. The miser claims that the wealthier he 
is the more highly will men think of him, I will 
not argue the point, says Horace, but will leave him 
to his self-esteem. He is like Tantalus, tortured 
with thirst though the waters are so near. Your 
avaricious man suffers all the pain, and enjoys none 
of the pleasure that money can buy. There is indeed 


no more certain cause of misery than avarice. Yet 
one must not run to the other extreme, but should 
observe the golden mean (41-107). 

To return to the starting-point : everybody is 
trying to outstrip his neighbour in the race for wealth. 
People are never satisfied, and therefore we seldom 
see a man who is ready to quit the banquet of life 
Uke a guest who has had enough (108-119). 

But enough of this preaching, or you wiU think 
that I have rifled the papers of Crispinus (120, 121). 

Palmer thinks that this Satire " was probably the 
last composed of those in the first book," and Morris 
speaks of its " maturity of style and treatment." 
Campbell, however, points out " distinct signs of 
immaturity," such as the Lucretian echo in 11. 23-26, 
a passage which " smacks of the no\ace in satire- 
writing " {cf. Lucr. i. 936 fF.), the weakness of 1. 108, 
and the "lame conclusion" in 11. 120, 121 {Horace, 
p. 165). Lejay thinks that our author composed 
the discussion of avaritia (28-117) first, and later, 
when dedicating his book to Maecenas, added the 
beginning and the end. This is a very plausible 

A minute analysis of this Satire is given by Charles 
Knapp in the Transactions of the American Philo- 
logical Association, xlv. pp. 91 ff. 




Qui fit, Maecenas, ut nemo, quam sibi sortem 
seu ratio dederit seu fors^ obiecerit, ilia 
contentus vivat, laudet diversa sequentis ? 
" o fortunati mercatores ! " gravis annis^ 
miles ait, multo iam fractus membra labore. 6 

coYitra mercator, navem iactantibus Austris, 
" militia est potior, quid enim ? concurritur : horae 
momento cita mors venit aut victoria laeta." 
agricolam laudat iuri^lcgumque peritus, 
sub galli cantum consultor ubi ostia pidsat. 10 

ille, datis vadibus qui rure extractus in urbem est, 
solos felices viventis clamat' in urbe. 
cetera de genere hoc, adeo sunt multa, loquacem 
delassare valent Fabium. ne te morer, audi 
quo rem deducam. si quis deus " en ego " dicat, 15 

1 fors V Mss. : sors B. 

* annis mss. : armis conjectured by Bouhier and accepted 
by Vollmer. * cantat B. 

" The reference is not so much to the professional lawyer 
as to the influential citizen, whose humble clients come 
at daybreak to ask for advice. Such a citizen would 
commonly have had a good legal training. With him is 



BOOK I i^ 
Satire I 

How comes it, Maecenas, that no man li\ing is 
content with the lot which either his choice has 
given him, or chance has thro^vn in his way, but 
each has praise for those who follow other paths ? 
" O happy traders ! " cries the soldier, as he feels 
the weight of years, his frame now shattered with 
hard ser\ice. On the other hand, when southern 
gales toss the ship, the trader cries : " A soldier's 
life is better. Do you ask why ? There is the battle 
clash, and in a moment of time comes speedy death 
or joyous victory." One learned in law and statutes 
has praise for the farmer, when towards cockcrow a 
client comes knocking at his door." The man 
yonder, who has given surety and is dragged into 
town from the country cries that they only are happy 
who Uve in town. The other instances of this kind 
— so many are they — could tire out the chatterbox 
Fabius. To be brief with you, hear the conclusion 
to which I am coming. If some god were to say : *" 

contrasted a countryman, who is a defendant in some case 
and must, therefore, come to the city against his will. 

* Horace imagines a dramatic scene where a god appears 
€x machina. C/. Sat. ii. 7. :24 ; Ara Poetica, 191. 



" iam faciam, quod voltis : eris tu, qui modo miles, 
mercator ; tu, consultus modo, rusticus ; hinc vos, 
vos hinc mutatis discedite partibus : eia ! 
quid statis ? " — nolint.^ atqui licet esse beatis. 
quid causae est, merito quin illis luppiter ambas 20 
iratus buccas inflet neque se fore posthac 
tarn facilem dicat, votis ut praebeat aurem ? 

Praeterea, ne sic, ut qui iocularia, ridens^ 
percurram : quamquam ridentem dicere verum 
quid vetat ? ut pueris olim dant crustula blandi 25 
doctores, elementa velint ut discere prima : 
sed tamen amoto quaeramus seria ludo : 
ille gravem duro terram qui vertit aratro, 
perfidus hie caupo, miles nautaeque per omne 
audaces mare qui currunt, hac mente laborem 30 
sese ferre, senes ut in otia tuta recedant, 
aiunt, cum sibi sint congesta cibaria : sicut 
parvola, nam -gxemplo est, magni formica laboris 
ore trahit quJWbumque potest atque addit acervo 
quern struit, haud ignara ac non incauta futuri. 35 
quae, simul inversum contristat Aquarius annum, 
non usquam prorepit et illis utitur ante 
quaesitis sapiens,^ cum te neque fervidus aestus 
demoveat lucro neque hiems, ignis, mare, ferrum, 
nil obstet tibi, dum ne sit te ditior alter, 40 

Quid iuvat immensum te argenti pondus et auri 
furtim defossa timidum deponere terra ? 
" quod si comminuas, vilem redigatur ad assem." 

^ nolent B. 

* II. 22, 23 with order inverted BK. 

* sapiens F, // ; patiens /. 

' The sun enters the sign of Aquarius in Januarj-, the 
chilHest month of a Roman winter, when the year's cycle 
begins anew. 


SATIRES, I. I. 16-43 

" Here I am ! I will grant your prayers forthmth. 
You, who were but now a soldier, shall be a trader ; 
you, but now a lawyer, shall be a farmer. Change 
parts ; away with you — and with you ! Well ! Why 
standing still ? " They would refuse. And yet 
'tis in their power to be happy. What reason is 
there why Jove should not, quite properly, puff out 
both cheeks at them in anger, and say that never 
again will he be so easy-going as to lend ear to their 
prayers ? 

^ Furthermore, not to skim over the subject 
with a laugh like a writer of -w-itticisms — and yet 
what is to prevent one from telling truth as he laughs, 
even as teachers sometimes give cookies to children 
to coax them into learning their ABC ? — still, putting 
jesting aside, let us turn to serious thoughts : yon 
farmer, who A\ith tough plough turns up the heavy 
soil, our rascally host here, the soldier, the sailors 
who boldly scour every sea, all say that they bear 
toil with this in \iew, that when old they may retire 
into secure ease, once they have piled up their pro- 
visions ; even as the tiny, hard-working ant (for she 
is their model) drags all she can with her mouth, 
and adds it to the heap she is building, because she 
is not unaware and not heedless of the morrow. Yet 
she, soon as Aquarius saddens the upturned year," 
stirs out no more but uses the store she gathered 
beforehand, wise creature that she is ; while as for 
you, neither burning heat, nor winter, fire, sea, 
sword, can turn you aside from gain — nothing stops 
you, until no second man be richer than yourself. 

f^ What good to you is a vast weight of silver 
and gold, if in terror you stealthily bury it in a hole 
in the ground ? " But if one splits it up, it would 



at ni id fit, quid habet pulchri constructus acervus ? 

milia frumenti tua triverit area centum, 45 

non tuus hoc capiet venter plus ac^ meus ; ut si 

reticulum panis venalis inter onusto 

forte vehas umero, nihilo plus accipias quam 

qui nil portarit. 

Vel die, quid referat intra 
naturae finis viventi, iugera centum an 50 

mille aret ? " at suave est ex magno tollere acervo." 
dum ex parvo nobis tantundem haurire relinquas, 
cur tua plus laudes cumeris granaria nostris ? 
ut tibi si sit opus liquidi non amplius urna 
vel cyatho, et dicas " magno de flumine mallem^ 55 
quam ex hoc fonticulo tantundem sumere." eo fit, 
plenior ut si quos delectet copia iusto, 
cum ripa simul avolsos ferat Aufidus acer. 
at qui tantuli eget, quanto est opus, is neque limo 
turbatam haurit aquam, neque vitam amittit in undis. 

At^ bona pars hominum decepta cupidine falso 61 
" nil satis est " inquit, " quia tanti jquantum habeas 

quid facias illi ? iubeas miserum esse, libenter 
quatenus id facit : ut quidam memoratur Athenis 
sordidus ac dives, populi contemnere voces 66 

sic solitus : " populus me sibilat, at mihi plaudo 
ipse domi, simul ac nummos contemplor in area," 

Tantalus a labris sitiens fugientia captat 
flumina — quid rides ? mutato nomine de te 
1 ac B : quam aDEM. 
* mallei: inalim, //, Bentley, Vollmer. 
^ at K'^ : ut Mss. ; Vollmer. 

<» Here and below, the miser speaks for himself. 

■" The picture is that of a gang of slaves driven to the 
market for sale. One of them carries the provisions for all. 

' The Aufidus, a stream in Horace's native Apulia, at 
times became a raging torrent, undermining its banks. 

SATIRES, I. I. 44-69 

dwindle to a paltry penny." " Yet if that is not 
done, what beauty has the piled-up heap ? Suppose 
your threshing-floor has threshed out a hundred 
thousand bushels of grain ; your stomach will not 
on that account hold more than mine : 'tis as 
if in the slave-gang you by chance should carry 
the heavy bread-bag on your shoulder, yet you 
would receive no more than the slave who carries 

*® Or, tell me, what odds does it make to the 
man who lives ^\ithin Nature's bounds, whether he 
ploughs a hundred acres or a thousand ? " But what 
a pleasure to take from a large heap ! " So long 
as you let us take just as much from our little one, 
why praise your granaries above our bins ? It is as 
if you needed no more than a jug or a cup of water, 
and Avere to say, "I'd rather have taken the quantity 
from a broad river than from this tiny brook." So it 
comes about that when any find pleasure in undue 
abundance, raging Aufidus sweeps them away, bank 
and all ; while the man who craves only so much as 
he needs, neither draws water thick with mud, nor 
loses his life in the flood." 

®^ But a good many people, misled by bhnd 
desire, say, " You cannot have enough : for you get 
your rating from what you have." What can you 
do to a man who talks thus ? Bid him be miserable, 
since that is his whim. He is hke a rich miser in 
Athens who, they say, used thus to scorn the people's 
talk : " The people hiss me, but at home I clap my 
hands for myself, once I gaze on the moneys in my 

^ Tantalus, thirsty soul, catches at the streams 
that fly from his hps — why laugh ? Change but 



fabula narratur : congestis undique saccis 70 

indormis inhians, et tamquam parcere sacris 

cogeris aut pictis tamquam gaudere tabellis. 

nescis quo valeat nummus, quem praebeat usum ? 

panis ematur, holus, vini sextarius ; adde 

quis humana sibi doleat natura negatis. 75 

an vigilare metu exanimem, noctesque diesque 

formidare malos fures, incendia, servos, 

ne te compilent fugientes, hoc iuvat ? horum 

semper ego optarim^ pauperrimus esse bonorum. 

" At si condoluit temptatum frigore corpus 80 

aut alius casus lecto te adfixit,^ habes qui 
adsideat, fomenta paret, medicum roget, ut te 
suscitet ac reddat gnatis^ carisque propinquis." 
non uxor salvum te vult,* non filius ; omnes 
vicini oderunt, noti, pueri atque puellae. 85 

miraris, cum tu argento post omnia ponas, 
si nemo praestet quem non merearis amorem ? ■* 
an si^ cognatos, nullo Natura labore 
quos tibi dat, retinere velis servareque amicos, 
infelix operam perdas, ut si quis asellum 90 

in Campo doceat parentem currere frenis ? 

Denique sit finis quaerendi, cumque habeas plus, 
pauperiem metuas minus et finire laborem 
incipias, parto quod avebas,® ne facias quod 
Ummidius quidam.' non Jonga est fabula : dives 93 

^ optarem, /. 
• adfixit K, so Bentley and most editors : adflixit most mss. 
' gnatis reddat Goth. * te vult salvum D. 

' an si] at si £": an sic Goth. 
^ habebas B. ' quidam] qui tam Bentley. 


SATIRES, I. I. 70-95 

the name, and the tale is told of you. You sleep 
with open mouth on money-bags piled up from all 
sides, and must perforce keep hands off as if they 
were hallowed, or take delight in them as if painted 
pictures. Don't you know what money is for, what 
end it serves ? You may buy bread, greens, a 
measure of wine, and such other things as would 
mean pain to our human nature, if withheld. What, 
to lie awake half-dead with fear, to be in terror 
night and day of wicked thieves, of fire, of slaves, 
who may rob you and run away — is this so pleasant ? 
In such blessings I could wish ever to be poorest of 
the poor. 

^^ " But if your body is seized with a chill and 
racked with pain, or some other mishap has pinned 
you to your bed, have you some one to sit by you, 
to get lotions ready, to call in the doctor so as to 
raise you up and restore you to your children and 
dear kinsmen ? " No, your wife does not want you 
well, nor does your son : every one hates you, 
neighbours and acquaintances, boys and girls. Can 
you wonder, when you put money above all else, 
that nobody pays you the love you do not earn ? 
Or, when Nature gives you kinsfolk without trouble, 
if you sought to hold and keep their love, would 
it be as fruitless a waste of effort, as if one were to 
train an ass to race upon the Campus " obedient to 
the rein ? 

'^ In short, set bounds to the quest of wealth, 
and as you increase your means let your fear of 
poverty lessen, and when you have won your heart's 
desire, begin to bring your toil to an end, lest you 
fare like a certain Ummidius — 'tis a short story — so 
" The Campus Martius. 



ut metiretur nummos ; ita sordidus, ut se 
non umquam servo melius vestiret ; ad usque 
supremum tempus, ne se penuria victus • 
opprimeret, metuebat. at hunc liberta securi < 
divisit medium, fortissima Tyndaridax-um. 100 

" Quid mi igitur suades ? ut vivam Naevius aut sic 
ut Nomentanus ? " pergis pugnantia secum 
frontibus adversis componere. non ego, avarum 
cum veto te fieri, vappam iubeo ac nebulonem. 
est inter Tanain quiddam socerumque Viselli : 105 
est modus in rebus, sunt certi denique fines, 
quos ultra citraque nequit consistere rectum. 

Illuc, unde abii, redeo, qui nemo, ut^ avarus, 
se probet ac potius laudet diversa sequentis, 
quodque aliena capella gerat distentius uber, 110 
tabescat, neque se maiori pauperiorum 
turbae comparet, hunc atque hunc superare laboret. 
sic festinanti semper locupletior obstat, 
ut, cum carceribus missos rapit ungula currus, 
instat equis auriga suos^ vincentibus, ilium 115 

praeteritum temnens extremos inter euntem. 
inde fit ut raro, qui se vixisse beatum 

* qui nemo ut V : nemon ut mss., Porph.: cum nemo ut 
Keck, Vollmer. For other attempts to improve the text see 
Knapp, loc. cit. pp. 102 ff. 

2 suis aDEM. 

* i.e. instead of counting it. The idea was proverbial, 
c/. Xen. Hellen. iii. 2. 27 ; Petronius, Sat. 37. 

* Clytemnestra, daughter of Tyndareus, slew her husband 
Agamemnon with an axe. Possibly the freedwoman's name 
was Tyndaris. 

* Both of these names were used by Lucilius. The men 
represent the spendthrift type. 


SATIRES, I. I. 96-117 

rich that he measured his money," so miserly that he 
dressed no better than a slave ; up to his last hour 
he feared he would die of starvation. Yet a freed- 
woman cleft him in twain with an axe, bravest of 
the Tyndarid breed." 

101 " What, then, would you have me do ? Live 
as a Naevius or a Nomentanus ? " " You go on to set 
opposites in head to head conflict with each other."* 
When I call on you not to be a miser, I am not 
bidding you become a worthless prodigal. There 
is some mean between a Tanais and the father- 
in-law of Visellius." There is measure in all things. 
There are, in short, fixed bounds, beyond and short 
of which right can find no place. 

^^ I return to my starting-point, how it comes 
that no man because of his greed is self-contented, 
but rather does each praise those who follow 
other paths, pines away because his neighbour's 
goat shows a more distended udder, and, instead of 
matching himself with the greater crowd of poorer 
men, strives to surpass first one and then another. 
In such a race there is ever a richer in your way. 
'Tis ^ as when chariots are let loose from the barriers 
and swept onwards behind the hoofed steeds : hard 
on the horses that outstrip his own presses the 
charioteer, caring naught for that other whom he 
has passed and left in the rear. Thus it comes that 
seldom can we find one who says he has had a happy 

' The figure is taken, not so much from gladiators, as 
from rams or bulls. Knapp takes componere as " reconcile " 
{loc. cit. p. 101). 

• Tanais is said to have been a freedman of Maecenas. 
The other person is unknown. 

' This passage closely resembles Virgil, Georg. L 512 ff. 



dicat et exacto contentus tempore vita^ 
cedat uti con viva satur, reperire queamus. 

lam satis est. ne me Crispini scrinia lippi 120 

compilasse putes, verbum non amplius addam. 

^ vitae D. 

Cf. Lucretius, iii. 938, 
Cur non ut plenus vitae conviva recedis. 
Aequo animoque capis securam, stulte, quietem ? 


SATIRES, I. I. 118-121 

life, and who, when his time is sped, will quit life in 
contentment, hke a guest who has had his fill." 

120 Well, 'tis enough. Not a word more ^\ill I 
add, or you will think I have rifled the rolls of blear- 
eyed Crispinus.* 

* The scrinia were the cylindrical boxes in which rolls 
of manuscript were kept. Crispiniis, according to the 
scholiasts, was an aretaloyus, one who babbled about virtue. 
He wrote, we are told, in verse. 




Men seldom keep the golden mean, but run from 
one extreme to another. Especially may this be 
illustrated by \'ictims of sensual indulgence and by 
people guilty of adultery, a vice which has become 
a shocking feature of the age. 

This immature and forbidding sketch, coarse and 
sensational in tone, and doubtless one of Horace's 
earhest efforts, is closely associated mth the Lucilian 
type of satire. It abounds in personalities, freely 
handled, and Horace liimself (in Sat. i. 4. 92) cites it 
later as an illustration of the kind of writing which 
had aroused enmity against the author. Even 
Maecenas, if we are to believe the schohasts, is 
tliinly disguised in the Maltinus of 1. 25. 

In his introduction to this Satire, Lejay has sho\vn 
how dependent it ultimately is " upon the erotic 
literature of the Hellenistic period as expressed in 
the popular Cynic philosophy, in the New Comedy, 
and in the Anthology " (Fiske, p. 251). There is a 
striking parallel between it and a poem on love in 
the Oxyrhynchus Papyri by the Cynic Cercidas of 
Megalopolis, who lived in the latter part of the third 
century b.c. See Chapter I. of Powell and Barber's 
Setv Chapters in the History of Greek Literature 
(Oxford, 1921). 

c 17 


Ambubaiarum collegia, pharmacopolae, 
mendici, mimae, balatrones, hoc genus omne 
maestum ac sollicitum est cantoris morte Tigelli : 
quippe benignus erat. contra hie, ne prodigus esse 
dicatur metuens, inopi dare nolit amico, fi 

frigus quo duramque fameni propellere^ possit. 
hunc si perconteris, avi cur atque parentis 
praeclaram ingrata stringat malus ingluvie rem, 
omnia conductis coemens obsonia nummis : 
sordidus atque animi quod parvi nolit haberi, 10 
respondet. laudatur ab his, culpatur ab illis. 
Fufidius vappae famam timet ac nebulonis, 
dives agris, dives positis in faenore nummis : ^ 
quinas hie capiti mercedes exsecat,"' atque 
quanto perditior quisque est, tanto acrius urget ; 15 
nomina sectatur modo sumpta veste virili 
sub patribus duris tironum. " maxime " quis non 
" luppiter ! " exclamat, simul atque audivit ? "at 

in se 
pro quaestu sumptum facit hic.^ vix credere possis 

^ depellere, II. 

* I. 13 { = Ars Poet. 421) rejected by Sanadon, Holder. 

' exigit E^. 

* facit. Hie ? some editors, hie] hoc S^i/'. 

" The usual rate was one per cent a month, twelve per 

Satire II 

The flute-girls' guilds, the drug-quacks, beggars, 
actresses, buffoons, and all that breed, are in grief and 
mourning at the death of the singer Tigelhus. He 
was, they sav, so generous. On the other hand, 
here's one who, fearing to be called a prodigal, 
would grudge a poor friend the where\\-ithal to banish 
cold and hunger's pangs. Should you ask another 
why, in his thankless gluttony, he recklessly strips 
the noble estate of his sire and grandsire, buying 
up every dainty ^\^th borrowed money, he answers 
that it is because he would not like to be thought 
mean and of poor spirit. He is praised by some, 
blamed by others. Fufidius, rich in lands, rich in 
moneys laid out at usury, fears the repute of a 
worthless prodigal ; five times the interest he shces 
away from the principal," and the nearer a man is 
to ruin, the harder he presses him ; he aims to get 
notes-of-hand from youths who have just donned 
the toga of manhood, and have stern fathers. 
" Great Jove ! " who does not cry as soon as he 
hears it ? " but surely he spends on himself in pro- 
portion to his gains ? " You would hardly beheve 

cent a year, but Fufidius charged five times that rate, 
and took it in advance as in discounting, so that the sum 
actually received by the borrower was only forty per cent 
of the amount borrowed. 



quam sibi non sit amicus, ita ut pater ille, Terenti 20 
fabula quern miserum gnato vixisse fugato 
inducit, non se peius cruciaverit atque hie. 

Si quis nunc quaerat " quo res haec pertinet ? " illue : 
dum vitant stulti vitia, in contraria currunt. 
Maltinus tunicis demissis ambulat ; est qui 25 

inguen ad obscenum subductis usque^ facetus. 
pastillos Rufillus olet, Gargonius hircum. 
nil medium est. sunt qui nolint^ tetigisse nisi illas 
quarum subsuta talos tegat instita veste : 
contra alius nullam nisi olenti in fornice stantem. 30 
quidam notus homo cum exiret fornice, " macte 
virtute esto " inquit sententia dia Catonis : 
" nam simul ac venas inflavit taetra libido, 
huc^ iuvenes aequum est descendere, non alienas 
permolere uxores." " nolim laudarier," inquit 35 
" sic me," mirator cunni Cupiennius albi. 

Audire est operae pretium, procedere recte 
qui moechis non voltis, ut omni parte laborent, 
utque illis multo corrupta dolore voluptas 
atque haec rara'* cadat dura inter saepe pericla. 40 
hie se praecipitem tecto dedit ; ille flagellis 
ad mortem caesus ; fugiens hie decidit acrem 
praedonum in turbam, dedit hie pro corpore nummos, 
hunc perminxerunt calones ; quin etiam illud 

^ Punctuation after usque, Vollmer. 
• nolunt aD. ' hac, II. * rata E. 

"In the Heauton Timorumenos, or Self-Tormentor, the 
father, Menedemus, seized with remorse for his harshness 
to his son CHnias, punishes himself with hard labour. 

* i.e., married women who dress as such. 


SATIRES, I. 11. 20-44 

how poor a friend he is to himself, so that the fathei 
whom Terence's play pictures as having lived in 
misery after banishing his son, never tortured himself 
worse than he." 

^ Should one now ask, " What is the point of all 
this ? " 'tis this : in avoiding a vice, fools run into 
its opposite. Maltinus walks 'with his garments 
trailing low ; another, a man of fashion, wears them 
tucked up indecently as far as his waist. Rufillus 
smells hke a scent-box, Gargonius Hke a goat. 
There is no middle course. Some men would deal 
onlv with women whose ankles are hidden by a robe 
x^ith low-hanging flounce ; * another is found only 
with such as Uve in a foul brothel. When from such 
a place a man he knew was coming forth, " A 
blessing on thy well-doing : " runs Cato's revered 
utterance ; " for when shameful passion has swelled 
the veins, 'tis well that young men come down hither, 
rather than tamper with other men's wives." " I 
should not care to be praised on that count," says 
Cupiennius, an admirer of white-robed lechery.*' 

^ It is worth your while ,'* ye who would have 
disaster wait on adulterers, to hear how on every 
side they fare ill, and how for them pleasure is marred 
by much pain, and, rare as it is, comes oft amid 
cruel perils. One man has thro^mi himself headlong 
from the roof ; another has been flogged to death ; 
a third, in his flight, has fallen into a savage gang 
of robbers ; another has paid a price to save his hfe ; 
another been abused by stable-boys ; nay, once it 

* Roman matrons dressed usually in white. 

* Cf. Ennius : 

audire est operae pretium procedere recte 
qui rem Romanam Latiumque augescere voltis. 



accidit, ut quidam testis caudamque salacem 43 

demeteret ferro. " iure " omnes : Galba negabat. 

Tutior at quanto merx est in classe secunda, 
libertinarum dico, Sallustius in quas 
non minus insanit quam qui moechatur. at hie^ si, 
qua res, qua ratio suaderet, quaque modeste 50 

munifico^ esse licet, vellet bonus atque benignus 
esse, daret quantum satis esset, nee sibi damno 
dedecorique foret. verum hoc se amplectitur uno, 
hoc amat et laudat : " matronam nullam ego tango.' 
ut quondam Marsaeus, amator Originis ille, 55 

qui patrium mimae donat fundumque laremque, 
" nil fuerit mi " inquit " cum uxoribus umquam 

verum est cum mimis, est cum meretricibus, unde 
fama malum gravius quam res trahit. an tibi abunde 
personam satis est, non illud quicquid ubique 60 

officit evitare ? bonam deperdere famam, 
rempatris oblimare, malum estubicumque. quid inter- 
est in matrona, ancilla peccesne^ togata ? 

Villius in Fausta Syllae gener, hoc miser uno 
nomine deceptus, poenas dedit usque superque 65 
quam satis est, pugnis caesus ferroque petitus, 
exclusus fore, cum Longarenus foret intus. 
huic si mutonis verbis mala tanta videnti 

^ at ^ : ut most Mss. * munificum K*. 

' -ve uss., Porph. 

" Galba was at once an adulterer and (according to the 
scholiasts) a iu7-is consultus. 

* i.e. of adulterer. The reputation of adulterer would 
come from association with matronae, but not with mere- 

' Meretrices wore the toga {cf. v. 82), in contrast with the 
slola, worn by matrons, cf. v. 71. The ancilla is a slave- 
girl who had become a meretrix. 

SATIRES, I. n. 45-68 

so befell that a man mowed dovm. with the sword the 

testicles and lustful member. " That's the law," cry 
all, Galba dissenting." 

*' But how much safer is trafficking in the second 
class — with freedwomen, I mean ; after whom 
Sallustius runs just as wild as an adulterer. Yet he, if 
he wished to be good and generous, so far as his means 
and reason would direct, and so far as one might be 
liberal in moderation, would give a sum sufficient, 
not such as would mean for him shame and ruin. 
But no ; because of this one thing he hugs himself, 
admires and plumes himself, because, says he, " I 
meddle -with no matron." Just as was once said by 
Marsaeus, Origo's well-known lover, who gave his 
paternal home and farm to an actress : " Never may I 
have dealings with other men's wives ! " But you have 
with actresses and with courtesans, through whom 
vour name loses more than does your estate. Or is it 
enough for you to avoid. the role,'' but not the thing, 
which in any case works harm ? To throw away 
a good name, to squander a father's estate, is at 
all times ruinous. What matters it, whether with 
matron you offend, or with long-gowned maid " ? 

^ Vilhus, son-in-law of Sulla, was punished richly 
and more than enough because of Fausta <* — by this 
name alone was the ^\Tetch misled — being smitten 
with the fist, assailed with the sword, and shut out 
of doors while Longarenus was within. If while 
facing such evils a man's mind were thus to plead on 

■* The reference is to a scandal of earlier days. Fausta, 
dausrhter of Sulla, was the wife of Milo, but had other 
lovers, among them Longarenus and Villius, who is called 
Sullae gener in derision. Fausta's name indicates her noble 



diceret haec animus : " quid vis tibi ? numquid ego 

a te 
magno prognatum deposco consule cunnum 70 

velatumque stola, mea cum conferbuit ira ? " 
quid responderet ? " magno patre nata puella est." 
at quanto meliora monet pugnantiaque istis 
dives opis natura suae, tu si modo recte 
dispensare velis ac non fugienda petendis 75 

immiscere. tuo vitio rerumne labores, 
nil referre putas ? quare, ne paeniteat te, 
desine matronas sectarier,^ unde laboris 
plus haurire mali est quam ex re decerpere fructus. 
nee naagis huic inter niveos viridisque lapillos 80 

(sit licet hoc, Cerinthe, tuum-) tenerum est femur aut 

rectius, atque etiam melius persaepe togatae est.^ 
adde hue quod mercem sine fucis gestat, aperte 
quod venale habet ostendit, nee, si quid honesti est, 
iactat habetque palam, quaerit quo turpia celet. 85 
regibus hie mos est, ubi equos mercantur : opertos* 
inspiciunt, ne, si facies, ut saepe, decora 
molli fulta pede est, emptorem inducat hiantem, 
quod pulchrae clunes, breve quod caput, ardua cervix, 
hoc illi recte : ne corporis optima Lyncei^ 90 

contemplere oculis, Hypsaea caecior ilia 
quae mala sunt spectes. " o crus, o bracchia ! " 


^ sectari matronas aBD. 

* Housman {J. P. vol. xxxv.) conjectures aesque, Corintlie. 
tuum. ' est omitted, most uss. 

* This verse begins a neic serino in some usa. For regibus 
Kiessling conjectured Threcibus. 

* lynceis EK. 


SATIRES, I. II. 69-92 

his passion's behalf ; " What wouldst thou ? Do I 
ever, when my rage is at its worst, ask you for a dame 
clad in a stola," the offspring of a great consul ? " 
What would he answer ? " The girl is a noble father's 
child." But how much better — how utterly at 
variance ^^^th this — is the course that nature, rich in 
her own resources, prompts, if you would only manage 
wisely, and not confound what is to be avoided with 
what is to be desired ! Do you think it makes no 
difference, whether your trouble is due to your own 
fault or to circumstances ? Wherefore, that you 
mav have no reason to repent, cease to court matrons, 
for thence one may derive pain and misery, rather 
than reap enjoyment in the reality. Though this 
may not be your opinion, Cerinthus, yet not softer or 
finer are a woman's limbs amidst snowy pearls and 
green emeralds — nay, often the advantage is with 
tlie strumpet. She, moreover, presents her wares 
>vithout disguise ; what she has for sale she openly 
displays ; and if she has some charm, she does not 
boastfully show it off, while carefully concealing all 
unsightUness. This is the way with the rich when 
they buy horses ; they inspect them covered, so 
that if a beautiful shape, as often, is supported by a 
tender hoof, it may not take in the buyer, as he 
gapes at the comely haunches, the small head, the 
stately neck. In this they act wisely. So do not 
survey bodily perfections with the eyes of a Lynceus * 
and be blinder than Hypsaea, when you gaze upon 
deformities. '* What a leg ! what arms ! " you crj^, 

" The stola was a long over-garment, caught in at the 
waist by a girdle. 

* The keen-sighted Argonaut. Nothing is known of the 
blind Hypsaea. 



depugis, nasuta, brevi latere ac pede longo est. 

matronae praeter faciem nil cernere possis, 

cetera, ni Gatia est, demissa veste tegentis. 95 

si interdicta petes, vallo circumdata (nam te 

hoc facit insanum), multae tibi tum^ efficient^ res, 

custodes, lectica, ciniflones, parasitae, 

ad talos stola demissa et circumdata palla, 

plurima quae invideant pure apparere tibi rem. 100 

altera, nil obstat ; Cois tibi paene videre est 

ut nudam, ne crure malo, ne sit pede turpi ; 

metiri possis oculo latus. an tibi mavis 

insidias fieri pretiumque avellier ante 

quam mercem ostendi ? " leporem venator ut alta 105 

in nive sectetur, positum sic tangere nolit," 

cantat et apponit " meus est amor huic similis ; nam 

transvolat in medio posita et fugientia captat." 

hiscine versiculis speras tibi posse dolores 

atque aestus curasque gravis e pectore pelli^ ? 110 

Nonne, cupidinibus statuat natura modum quem, 

quid latura sibi, quid sit dolitura negatum, 

quaerere plus prodest et inane abscindere* soldo ? 

1 dum, 11. 2 officiunt <pyp\l. 

3 tolli VBK. * abscedere B. 

' A kind of transparent silk was made in the island of 

* Horace makes use of an epigram of the poet Callimacluis 
(Anthologia Palatina, xii. 102), in which the lover is compared 
to a hunter who will go to great trouble to catch game, but 
scorns it when it is caught and lies outstretched upon the 
ground (so Orelli). The Greek runs thus : 

uypevTTis, 'EiriKides, iv oOpiffi iravTa \ay<abp 
5i(pq. Kal nd<T7]s fxj'ta SopKaXldos, 


SATIRES, I. 11. 93-113 

but there are thin hips, a long nose, a short waist and 
a long foot. In a matron one can see only her face, 
for unless she be a Catia, her long robe conceals all 
else. But if you seek forbidden charms that are 
invested with a rampart — for this it is that drives you 
crazy — many obstacles will then be in your way — 
attendants, the sedan, hairdressers, parasites, the 
robe dropping to the ankles, and, covered with a wTap, 
a thousand things which hinder you from a clear 
view. In the other — no obstacle. In her Coan silk " 
vou may see her, almost as if naked, so that she 
may not have a poor leg, an unsightly foot ; you may 
measure her whole form with your eye. Or would 
you rather have a trick played upon you and your 
money extorted before the wares are shown ? The 
gallant sings how ^ " the huntsman pursues the hare 
mid the deep snow, but declines to touch it when 
thus outstretched," and adds : " My love is like unto 
this, for it passes over what is served to all, and chases 
flying game." Do you suppose that ^vith verses 
such as these, sorrow and passion and the burden of 
care can be lifted from your breast ? 

m Would it not be more profitable to ask what 
limit nature assigns to desires, what satisfaction she 
will give herself, what privation will cause her pain, 
and so to part the "void" from what is "solid" P"^ Or, 
when thirst parches your jaws, do you ask for cups of 

ffTl/Sj (Cat Vl<p€Tl^ K€XpyiH^VOi' i)V 84 TtS fllTTI, 

" TTJ, rdde §eji\i)Ta.i dijpiov," ovk fKa^ey. 

Xciifibs Ipws Toioade' ra fuv tpevyovra. SiwKew 

oT5e, TO. 8' (V /iUffO'ifi Keifieva xapTrireTai.. 

The positum sic represents roSe /S^/SXt/tcu dtiplov, while in medio 

posita translates eV ixeaat^ Keifjieva. 

' A reference to Epicurean physics, according to which the 
universe is composed of "void" {inane) and "solid" atoms. 



num, tibi cum fauces urit sitis, aurea quaeris 
pocula ? num esuriens fastidis omnia praeter 115 
pavonem rhombumque ? tument tibi cum inguina, 

num, si 
ancilla aut verna est praesto puer, impetus in quem 
continuo fiat, malis tentigine rumpi ? 
non ego : namque parabilem amo Venerem facilem- 

que. 119 

illam " post paulo," " sed pluris," " si exierit vir," 
Gallis, hanc Philodemus ait sibi, quae neque magno 
stet pretio neque cunctetur cum est iussa venire. 
Candida rectaque sit ; munda hactenus, ut neque longa 
nee magis alba velit quam dat^ natura videri. 
liaec ubi supposuit dextro corpus mihi laevum, 125 
Ilia et Egeria est ; do nomen quodlibet illi, 
nee vereor^ ne, dum futuo, vir rure recurrat, 
ianua frangatur, latret canis, undique magno 
pulsa domus strepitu resonet, vepallida^ lecto 
desiliat^ mulier, miseram se conscia clamet, 130 

cruribus haec metuat, doti deprensa, egomet mi. 
discincta tunica fugiendum est et pede nudo, 
ne nummi pereant aut puga aut denique fama, 
deprendi miserum est : Fabio vel iudice vincam. 

1 det D. ^ metuo, //. 

• vae pallida mss. : vepallida known to Acron : ne pallida 
Bentley. * dissiliat, //. 

« These were priests of Cybele, who mutilated themselves, 
cf. the Attis of Catullus. Horace is here quoting and sum- 
marizing an epigram by Philodemus, a Greek philosopher, 
and a client of the L. Calpurnius PIso who was assailed bv 


SATIRES, I. II. 114-134 

gold ? When hungry, do you disdain everything 
save peacock and turbot ? When your passions 
prove unruly, would you rather be torn with desire ? 
I should not, for the pleasures I love are those easy 
to attain. " By and by," " Nay more," " If my 
husband goes out " — a woman who speaks thus is 
for the Galli," says Philodemus ; for himself he asks 
for one who is neither high-priced nor slow to come 
when bidden. She must be fair and straight, and 
only so far arranged that she will not wish to seem 
taller or fairer than nature allows. When she and I 
embrace, she is to me an Iha or an Egeria '' : I give 
her any name. No fears have I in her company, that 
a husband may rush back fi-om the country, the door 
burst open, the dog bark, the house ring through and 
through with the din and clatter of his knocking ; that 
the woman, white as a sheet, ^^^ll leap away, the maid 
in league with her cry out in terror, she fearing for 
her limbs, her guilty mistress for her dowry, and I for 
myself. With clothes dishevelled and bare of foot, 
I must run off, dreading disaster in purse or person or 
at least repute. To be caught is an unhappy fate : 
this I could prove, even with Fabius ' as umpire. 

Cicero in his In Pisonem, where Philodemus is characterized 
in 68 ff. The epigram is discussed bv G. L. Hendrickson 
in A.J.P. xxxix. (1918) pp. 27 ff., and bv F. A. Wright, 
xlii. (1921) pp. 168, 169. 

* Ilia, mother of Romulus, and Egeria, the nymph who 
inspired Numa, here represent women of highest rank. 

* Cf. Sat. i. 1. 14. This writer on Stoicism is said to 
have been detected in adultery. 




The connexion between this satire and the preceding 
one is indicated at the outset, for the musician 
Tigellius is again introduced as a person who well 
illustrates the foibles and inconsistencies of a large 
class of people. But, says Horace, some one may 
ask me, " Have you yourself no faults ? " Yes, I 
have, though they may not be as bad as his. I trust 
I am not like Maenius, who laid bare the faults of 
others, but overlooked his own. Self-satisfaction of 
this sort well deserves to be satirized, A man should 
examine liimself and search out his own faults before 
criticizing others (l-37j. 

Think how blind is the lover to the defects of his 
beloved, or how tenderly a fond father treats his 
child's deformities. Even so we should be indulgent 
to the weaknesses of our friends. On the contrary, 
we often look upon real virtues as faults, calling for 
example modest behaviour stupidity, and simphcity 
boorishness. We must exercise mutual forbearance 
and also discriminate between failings, for a mere 
impropriety is not as serious as a heinous crime 

In fact the Stoic paradox that all offences are 
equal, " omnia peccata paria esse " (Cicero, Dejinibus, 


iv. 19. 55), besides being repugnant to common sense, 
is historically unsound, our social ethics being the 
result of a process of evolution. Yet your Stoic 
would punish all offences alike, if he were a king 

" If he were a king," did I say ? \VTiy, according 
to another of his paradoxes, the Stoic is already a 
king, even as he is rich and handsome and everything 
else that is good. " Yes," he would explain, " I am 
a king potentially, even as Hermogenes is a singer, 
though he does not open his Hps." " Well," repUes 
Horace, " I cannot see that your crown wins you 
esteem or saves you from ill-treatment. For myself, 
not being a philosopher, I will remain a private 
citizen, and live on terms of mutual forbearance with 
others " (124^142). 

In striking contrast with Satire II., this one is 
kindly and genial in tone, and it would seem that the 
author was disarming criticism by his assurance that 
he was not disposed to be over-censorious, as we learn 
from 11. 63 fF. Horace has now become acquainted 
with Maecenas, and this improvement in his worldly 
prospects may to some extent account for the change 
of tone, and the doffing of the severity of Lucihan 



Omnibus hoc vitium est cantoribus, inter amicos 
ut numquam inducant animum cantare rogati, 
iniussi numquam desistant. Sardus habebat 
ille Tigellius hoc. Caesar, qui cogere posset, 
si peteret per amicitiam patris atque suam, non 5 
quicquam proficeret ; si collibuisset, ab ovo 
usque ad mala citaret " io Bacche^ ! " modo summa 
voce, modo hac, resonat- quae chordis quattuor ima. 
nil aequale homini fuit illi : saepe velut qui 
currebat fugiens hostem, persaepe velut qui^ 10 

lunonis sacra ferret ; habebat saepe ducentos, 
saepe decem servos ; modo reges atque tetrarchas, 
omnia magna loquens, modo " sit mihi mensa tripes et 
concha salis puri et toga, quae defendere frigus 
quamvis crassa queat." deciens centena dedisses 15 
huic parco, paucis contento, quinque diebus 
nil erat in loculis. noctes vigilabat ad ipsum 
mane, diem totum stertebat. nil fuit umquam 
sic impar sibi. 

^ Bacchae BE. * resonet \p\l. 

' B omits I. 10; see C.R. xxx. p. 15. 

" A dinner opened with the gustatio or promulsis, supposed 
to whet the appetite. In this eggs played a part. Fruit 
was served as a dessert just as with us. 

* The refrain of a drinking-song. 

' Editors commonly take summa and ima as defining the 
position of strings on the lyre, summa = vTrdrrj and ima = 
vrirrj; the former therefore being "lowest," and the latter 
" highest," and voce being " the note." But see Clement L 
Spiith in C.B. xx. (1906) pp. 397 ff. 

Satire III 

All singers have this fault : if asked to sing among 
their friends they are never so inclined ; if unasked, 
they never leave off. That son of Sardinia, Tigellius, 
was of this sort. If Caesar, who might have forced 
him to comply, should beg him by his father's friend- 
ship and his own, he could make no headway. If the 
man took the fancy, then from the egg-course to the 
fruit" he would keep chanting " lo Bacche ! "* now 
with highest voice and now with one responding in 
lowest pitch to the tetrachord." There was nothing 
consistent in the fellow. Often he would run as if 
fleeing from a foe ; very often he would stalk as 
slowly as some bearer of Juno's holy offerings.'' 
Often he would keep two hundred slaves, often only 
ten. Now he would talk of kings and tetrarchs, 
everything grand, and now he'd say, " Give me a 
three-legged table, a shell of clean salt, and a coat 
that, however coarse, can keep out the cold." Sup- 
pose you had given a milhon * to this thrifty gentle- 
man, contented with so httle ; in a week there was 
nothing in his pockets. All night, till da^vn, he 
would stay awake ; all day would snore. Never 
was a creature so inconsistent. 

•* A reference to the Kavr]<pbpoi., or basket-bearers, who 
in religious processions walked with slow and stately stride. 

' i.e. sesterces. The sum in question would amount, 
roughly speaking, to £10,000 or $50,000. 

D 33 


Nunc aliquis dicat mihi : " quid tu ? 19 
nullane habes vitia ? " inimo alia et fortasse minora.^ 
Maenius absentem Novium cum carperet, " heus tu " 
quidam ait, " ignoras te, an ut ignotum dai-e nobis 
verba putas ? " " egomet mi ignosco " Maenius 

stultus et improbus hie amor est dignusque notari. 

Cum tua pervideas- oculis mala^ lippus inunctis, 25 
cur in amicorum vitiis tarn cernis acutuni 
quam aut aquila aut serpens Epidaurius ? at* tibi 

evenit, inquirant vitia ut tua rursus et illi. 

Iracundior est paulo, minus aptus acutis^ 
naribus horum hominum ; rideri possit eo, quod 30 
rusticius tonso toga defluit et male laxus 
in pede calceus haeret : at est bonus, ut melior vir 
non alius quisquam, at tibi amicus, at ingenium ingens 
inculto latet hoc sub corpore.^ denique te ipsum 
concute, num qua tibi vitiorum inseverit' olim 35 
natura aut etiam consuetudo mala ; namque 
neglectis urenda filix innascitur agris. 

lUuc praevertamur, amatorem quod amicae* 
turpia decipiunt caecum vitia, aut etiam ipsa haec 
delectant, veluti Balbinum polypus Hagnae. 40 

vellem in amicitia sic erraremus, et isti 
errori nomen virtus^ posuisset honestum. 

1 B omits I. 20. 

2 praevideas Bentley. * male Bentley. 

* ac Mss. * aduncis Bentley. 

• pectore, //. ' insederit, IT. * amici, II. 

• victus Housman, in J. P. xviii. p. 3. 

" Epidaurus was famous for the worship of Aesculapius, 
whose symbol was a serpent or Spd/cw;', a word supposed to 
come from SdpKOfun, " to see. ' 

SATIRES, I. III. 19-42 

1* Now someone may say to me : " What about 
yourself ? Have you no faults ? " Why yes, but not 
the same, and perhaps lesser ones. When Maenius 
once was carping at Novius behind his back, " Look 
out, sir," said someone, " do you not know yourself? 
Or do you think you impose on us, as one we do not 
know ? " "I take no note of myself," said Maenius. 
Such self-love is foohsh and shameless, and deserves 
to be censured. 

^ When you look over your own sins, your eyes 
are rheumy and daubed ^\'ith ointment ; why, when 
you view the failings of yoiu: friends, are you as keen 
of sight as an eagle or as a serpent of Epidaurus * ? 
But, on the other hand, the result for you is that 
they, too, in turn peer into your faults. 

^ " He is a httle too hasty in temper, ill-suited to 
the keen noses of folk nowadays. He might awake 
a smile because his hair is cut in country style, his 
toga sits ill, and his loose shoe will hardly stay on 
his foot." * But he's a good man, none better ; but 
he's your friend ; but under that uncouth frame are 
hidden great gifts. In a word, give yourself a shaking 
and see whether nature, or haply some bad habit, 
has not at some time so^vn in you the seeds of folly ; 
for in neglected fields there springs up bracken, which 
you must burn. 

^ Let us turn first to this fact, that the lover, in his 
blindness, fails to see his lady's unsightly blemishes, 
nay is even charmed with them, as was Balbinus 
with Hagna's wen. I could wish that we made the 
like mistake in friendship and that to such an error 
our ethics had given an honourable name. At any 

" The scholiasts sugrgest that this may be a description 
either of Virgil or of Horace himself. 



at^ pater ut gnati, sic nos debemus amici^ 

si quod sit vitium non fastidire. strabonem 

appellat paetum pater, et pullum, male parvus 45 

si cui filius est, ut abortivus fuit olim 

Sisyphus ; hunc varum distortis cruribus, ilium 

balbutit scaurum pravis fultum male talis. 

parcius hie vivit : frugi dicatur. ineptus 

et iactantior hie paulo est : concinnus amicis 60 

postulat ut videatur. at est truculentior atque 

plus aequo liber : simplex fortisque habeatur. 

caldior est : acris inter numeretur. opinor, 

haec res et iungit, iunctos et servat amicos. 

at nos virtutes ipsas invertimus atque 55 

sincerum cupimus^ vas incrustare.* probus quis 

nobiscum vivit, multum demissus homo : illi^ 

tardo cognomen, pingui, damus. hie fugit omnis 

insidias nullique malo latus obdit apertum, 

cum genus hoc inter vitae versemur,^ ubi acris 60 

invidia atque vigent ubi crimina : pro bene sano 

ac non incauto fictum astutumque vocamus. 

simplicior quis et est qualem me saepe libenter 

obtulerim tibi, Maecenas, ut' forte legentem 

aut tacitum impellat^ quovis sermone molestus^ : 65 

" communi sensu plane caret " inquimus. eheu, 

1 at] ac BDEM Vollmer. ^ amicis B. 

• fugrimus B : furimus Goth., Vollmer. * incurtare BDE. 

' ille V. * versemur V Bentley : versetur mss. 

' ut] aut or haut, //. 
' impediat Bentley. Some editors punctuate after sermone. 
* modestus, //. 

" The pet names used, viz. paetus, pullus, varus, scaurus, 
are all adjectives denoting a less objectionable form of the 
defect referred to, but they were also cognomina in well- 
known family names. " Paetus " is associated with the 
Aelii and Papirii, " Pullus " with the Fabii and the lunii, 
*' Varus " with the Quintilii, and " Scaurus " with the 


SATIRES, I. III. 43-66 

rate, we should deal with a friend as a father with 
his child, and not be disgusted at some blemish. If a 
boy squints, his father calls him " Blinky " ; if his 
son is sadly puny, like misbegotten Sisyphus of 
former days, he styles him " Chickabiddy." One 
with crooked legs he fondly calls " Cruikshank," and 
one that can hardly stand on twisted ankles, " Curly- 
legs." <* Is a friend somewhat close ? Let us call 
him thrifty. Does another fail in tact and show off 
a bit too much ? He wants his friends to think him 
agreeable. Or is he somewhat bluff and too out- 
spoken ? Let him pass for frank and fearless. Hot- 
headed is he ? Let him be counted a man of spirit. 
This, I take it, is how to make friends, and to keep 
them when made. But we turn virtues themselves 
upside down, and want to soil a clean vessel. Does 
there hve among us an honest soul, a truly modest 
fellow ? We nickname him slow and stupid. Does 
another shun every snare and offer no exposed side 
to malice, seeing that we live in that kind of a world 
where keen envy and slanders are so rife ? Instead 
of his good sense and prudence we speak of his 
craftiness and insincerity. Is one somewhat simple 
and such as often I have freely sho^wTi myself to you, 
Maecenas, interrupting you perhaps while reading 
or thinking with some annoying chatter ? " He is 
quite devoid of social tact," ^ we say. Ah, how 
Aemilii and Aurelii. For the passage as a whole we may 
compare Plato, Rep. v. 474 d, Lucretius, iv. 1160 fF., Ovid, 
Ars Am. ii. 657 ; and among modern writers, Moliere, 
Misanthrope, Act ii. Sc. 5, e.ff. " lis comptent les defauts 
pour des perfections." 

" The expression communis sensus does not mean precisely 
the same as the phrase we have derived from it, viz. "common 
sense." It is rather social sense, a sense of propriety in 
dealing with our fellows, or what the French call savoir fair*. 



quam temere in nosmet legem sancimus iniquam ! 
nam vitiis nemo sine nascitur : optimus ille est, 
qui minimis urgetur. amicus dulcis, ut aequum est, 
cum mea compenset vitiis bona, pluribus hisce, 70 
si modo plura mihi bona sunt, inclinet, amari 
si volet : hac lege in trutina ponetur eadem. 
qui ne tuberibus propriis ofFendat amicum 
postulat, ignoscet^ verrucis illius : aequum est 
peccatis veniam poscentem reddere rursus. 75 

Denique, quatenus excidi penitus vitiumirae,^ 
cetera item nequeunt stultis haerentia, cur non 
ponderibus modulisque suis ratio utitur, ac res 
ut quaeque est, ita suppliciis delicta coercet ? 
si quis eum servum, patinam qui tollere iussus 80 
semesos piscis tepidumque ligurrierit ius, 
in cruce suffigat, Labeone insanior inter 
sanos dicatur. quanto hoc^ furiosius atque 
maius peccatum est : paulum deliquit amicus, 
quod nisi concedas, habeare insuavis : acerbus^ 85 
odisti et fugis ut Rusonem debitor aeris, 
qui nisi, cum tristes misero venere Kalendae, 
mercedem aut nummos unde unde extricat, amaras 
porrecto iugulo historias captivus ut audit, 
comminxit lectum potus, mensave catillum 90 

1 ignoscat B. * B omits 76-80. 

^ hoc omitted EM : deleted in V. 

* Some punctuate afte r acerbus ; so Orelli and Ritter. 

" According to the Stoics only the ideal sage, the sapiens, 
is excepted from the class of stulti. Horace places himself 
in the majority. '' Labeo was a crazy jurisconsult. 

« Ruso, the usurer, has literary aspirations and writes 
histories. The fate of the debtor, who is in Ruso's power, 
and must therefore listen while Ruso reads to him from his 
works, is humorously regarded as most horrible. Cf. 
Macaulay's story of the criminal, who went to the galleys 
rather than read the history of Guicciardini. ("Burleigh 


SATIRES, I. III. 67-90 

lightly do we set up an unjust law to our own harm ! 
For no living wight is without faults : the best is he 
who is burdened with the least. My kindly friend 
must, as is fair, weigh my \irtues against my faults, 
if he wishes to gain my love, and must turn the scales 
in their favour as being the more numerous — if only 
my virtues are the more numerous. On that con- 
dition he shall be weighed in the same scale. One 
who expects his friend not to be offended by his 
o\\Ti warts will pardon the other's pimples. It is 
but fair that one who craves indulgence for faihngs 
should grant it in return. 

"^ In fine, since the fault of anger, and all the 
other faults that cleave to fools " cannot be wholly 
cut away, why does not Reason use her own weights 
and measures, and visit offences with punishment 
suited to each ? If one were to crucify a slave who, 
when bidden to take away a dish, has greedily licked 
up the half-eaten fish and its sauce, now cold, sane 
men would call him more insane than Labeo.* How 
much madder and grosser a sin is this : a friend has 
committed a slight offence, which you would be 
thought ungracious not to pardon ; you hate him 
bitterly and shun him, as Ruso is shunned by his 
debtor, who, poor vvTctch, if at the coming of the sad 
Kalends he cannot scrape up from some quarter 
either interest or principal, must offer his throat like 
a prisoner of war and hsten to his captor's dreary 
histories ! * What if in his cups my friend has wet 
the couch or knocked off the table a bowl once 

and his Times" in Critical and Historical Essays.) Cf. 

mille pericula saevae 
Tirbis et Augusto recitantes mense poetas 

{Sat. ilL 8). 



Euandri manibus tritum deiecit^ : ob hanc rem, 
aut positum ante mea^ quia puUum in parte catini 
sustulit esuriens, minus hoc iucundus amicus 
sit mihi ? quid faciam si furtum fecerit, aut si 
prodiderit commissa fide sponsumve negarit ? 95 

quis paria esse fere placuit peccata, laborant 
cum ventum ad verum est : sensus moresque repug- 
atque ipsa Utilitas, iusti prope mater et aequl. 

Cum prorepserunt primis animalia terris, 
mutum et turpe pecus, glandem atque cubilia propter 
unguibus et pugnis, dein fustibus, atque ita porro 101 
pugnabant armis, quae post fabricaverat usus, 
donee verba, quibus voces sensusque notarent,' 
nominaque invenere ; dehinc absistere bello, 
oppida coeperunt munire et ponere leges, 105 

ne quis fur esset, neu latro, neu quis adulter, 
nam fuit ante Helenam cunnus taeterrima belli 
causa, sed ignotis perierunt mortibus illi, 
quos venerem incertam rapientis more ferarum 
viribus editior caedebat ut in grege taurus. 110 

iura inventa metu iniusti fateare necesse est, 
tempora si fastosque veils evolvere mundi. 
nee Natura potest iusto secernere iniquum, 
dividit ut bona diversis, fugienda petendis ; 
nee vincet Ratio hoc, tantundem ut peccet idemque 

^ proiecit B. 

* me, //: B omits 92, as well as 95-100, and 111-124.. 

' quibus sensus, vocesque, notarent Housman {cf. Lucr. 
V. 1041 /•.) 

° i.e. of great antiquity and consequently very valuable. 
^ This was a doctrine of the Stoics ; cf. Cicero, Be fin. iv. 
19. 55, " recte facta omnia aequaiia, omnia peccata paria esse." 

* Appeal is here made to the Epicureans, whose moral 
philosophy rested on a distinctly utilitarian basis. 


SATIRES, I. III. 91-116 

fingered by Evander," is he for such offence, or 
because when hungry he snatched up first a pullet 
served on my side of the dish, to be less pleasing in 
my eyes ? What shall I do if he commits a theft, or 
betrays a trust, or disowns his bond ? Those whose 
creed is that all sins are much on a par * are at a loss 
when they come to face facts. Feelings and 
customs rebel, and so does Expedience herself, the 
mother, we may say, of justice and right." 

^ When living creatures ** crawled forth upon 
primeval earth, dumb, shapeless beasts, they fought 
for their acorns and lairs vnth nails and fists, then 
with clubs, and so on step by step with the weapons 
which need had later forged, until they found words 
and names ' wherewith to give meaning to their 
cries and feehngs. Thenceforth they began to cease 
from war, to build towns, and to frame laws that 
none should thieve or rob or commit adultery. For 
before Helen's day a wench was the most dreadful 
cause of war, but deaths unknown to fame were 
theirs whom, snatching fickle love in wild-beast 
fashion, a man stronger in might struck down, like the 
bull in a herd. If you will but turn over the annals 
and records of the world, you must needs confess 
that justice was born of the fear of injustice.-^ Between 
right and \\Tong Nature can draw no such distinction 
as between things gainful and harmful, what is to 
be sought and what is to be shunned ; nor yriW 
Reason ever prove this, that the sin is one and the 

* The doctrine of the evolution of society, as here set 
forth, is based on Lucretius, De rerum natura, v. 780 ff. 

* Or " verbs and nouns," the two main divisions of human 
speech. Cf. A. P. 2^-5. 

* According to the utilitarian theory of ethics, the sense 
of right and wrong is not innate in us. 



qui teneros caules alieni fregerit horti 116 

et qui nocturnus sacra divum^ legerit. adsit 

regula, peccatis quae poenas inroget aequas, 

ne scutica dignum horribili sectere flagello. 

nam ut ferula caedas meritum maiora subire 120 

verbera non vereor, cum dicas esse pare* res 

furta latrociniis et magnis parva mineris 

falce recisurum simili te, si tibi regnum 

permittant homines. 

Si dives, qui sapiens est, 
et sutor bonus et solus formosus et est rex, 125 

cur optas quod habes ? " non nosti quid pater " inquit 
" Chrysippus dicat : sapiens crepidas sibi numquam 
nee soleas fecit ; sutor tamen est sapiens." qui^ ? 
" ut quamvis tacet Hermogenes cantor tamen atque 
optimus est modulator ; ut Alfenus vafer omni 130 
abiecto instrumento artis clausaque taberna"* 
tonsor'* erat, sapiens operis sic optimus omnis 
est opifex solus, sic rex." vellunt tibi barbam 
lascivi pueri ; quos tu nisi fuste coerces, 
urgeris turba circum te stante miserque^ 135 

rumperis et latras, magnorum maxime regum. 

* divum sacra aK. '^ qui B : quo other mss. 

» ustrina V. * tonsor V: sutor mss., Porph. 

* Beginning with 135, B is lacking up to the end of Book 
II. of the Epistles. 

" For another interpretation see T. G. Tucker in C.R. 
1920, p. 156. 

" The sixth Stoic Paradox according to Cicero, is " solum 
sapientem esse divitem." The Stoics held that the truly 
wise man or philosopher was perfect : he was therefore 
rich, as well as beautiful, accomplished, and a king among 
men. Horace ridicules these claims here and elsewhere, 


SATIRES, I. HI. 116-136 

same to cut young cabbages in a neighbour's garden 
and to steal by night the sacred emblems of the 
gods. Let us have a rule to assign just penalties to 
offences, lest you flay ^\ith the terrible scourge what 
calls for the strap. For " as to your striking with the 
rod one who deserves sterner measures, I am not 
afraid of that, when you say that theft is on a par 
with highway robbery, and when you threaten to 
prune away all crimes, great and small, with the 
same hook, if men would but give you royal power. 

^^ If the wise man is rich,* and a good cobbler, 
and alone handsome and a king, why crave what 
you abeady have ? * " You do not know," he 
answers, " what our father Chrysippus ** means. 
The wise man has never made himself shoes or 
sandals ; yet the wise man is a cobbler." How so ? 
" As Hermogenes, however silent, is still the best of 
singers and musicians ; as shrewd Alfenus, after 
tossing aside every tool of his art and closing his 
shop, was a barber * ; so the wise man — he alone — 
is the best workman of every craft, so is he king." 
Mischievous boys pluck at your beard, and unless you 
keep them off with your staff, you are jostled by the 
crowd that surrounds you, while you, poor wretch, 
snarl and burst with rage, O mightiest of mighty 

as in Epist. i. 1. 106. Cf. the account of the wise man of 
the Stoics given in Plutarch, Mor. p. 1057, and for St. Paul's 
application of the principle see 2 Cor. 6. 4-10. 

* The Stoic has just admitted that he is not a king. 

** Chrysippus was regarded as the second founder of 
Stoicism, the first being Zeno. 

• The reading tonsor is preferred to sutor. As the Stoic 
tries to prove that the wise man is a cobbler, he naturally 
turns elsewhere for illustrations, e.g. to Hermogenes the 
musician, and to Alfenus the barber. 



ne longum faciam : dum tu quadrante lavatum 
rex ibis neque te quisquam stipator ineptum 
praeter Crispinum sectabitur, et mihi dulces 
ignoscent, si quid peccaro stultus, amici, 140 

inque vicem illorum patiar delicta libenter, 
privatusque magis vivam te rege beatus. 

" Like a Persian king, ^affiXein ^aaCKitav. 
» C/. Sat. i. 1. 120. 


SATIRES, I. III. 137-142 

kings ! " In short, while you, a king, go to your pennj 
bath, and no escort attends you except crazy Cris- 
pinus,'' my kindly friends will pardon me if I, yovur 
foolish man,*^ commit some offence, and in turn I 
shall gladly put up with their shortcomings, and in 
my private station shall live more happily than Your 

' i^. stultus, as the Stoics used it, the opposite of sapiens. 



The writers of Old Attic Comedy assailed the vicioug 
with the utmost freedom. In Roman literature, 
Lucilius shows the same spirit and boldness, but his 
metrical forms are different, and his verse is un- 
couth. He was careless and verbose, more interested 
in the quantity than in the quality of his work (1-13). 

Similar in this last respect is Crispinus, who 
challenges the poet to a scribbling contest, but 
Horace decUnes to compete with such poetasters, 
even as he refuses to emulate the self-satisfied 
Fannius by reading his verses in public, because 
this kind of writing is not popular. Men do not 
like to have their weaknesses exposed. " Give such 
a poet a wide berth," they cry (14-38). 

" Listen to my defence," says Horace. " In the 
first place, a man who composes verses as I do, verses 
that are really more like conversation, should not be 
called a poet. The true poet has imaginative power 
and lofty utterance. This is why the question has been 
raised whether comedy is poetry, for even in its most 
spirited passages, as rendered on the stage, we are 
really dealing with pure conversation, such as would 
be suitable to similar scenes in daily life " (38-56). 

" So it is with the verses of Lucilius and my own. 
Take away the metrical element, change the word- 
order, and you have plain prose. But the question 
whether satire is poetry must be postponed. At 
present let us consider the question of its un- 
popularity " (56-65). 


" You look upon me as an informer, but even if 
you are a rogue I am no informer. My friends will 
acquit me of such a charge. I am not writing for 
the general public, and my object is not to give 
pain. Yet it is my habit to observe the conduct of 
others, and to profit thereby, for I was trained to 
do so by my father, and have always continued the 
practice. To be sure, I jot down my thoughts, but 
what of that ? Nowadays everybody writes, and 
you, my critic, ■willy-nilly, will take to ^vriting 
yourself " (65-143). 

On the appearance of his first Satires (and it is 
to be noticed that the carefully chosen subjunctive 
habeat in 1. 71 does not preclude their publication), 
the poet's critics had accused Horace of being a 
malevolent scandal-monger. They also contrasted 
him unfavourably with Lucilius, who in his open war- 
fare used the weapons of Old Comedy, was famihar 
with the Greek moralists and philosophers, and had 
the pen of a ready writer. In his reply, Horace 
maintains that his own satire is not personal, but 
rather social and general in its apphcation. He does 
not indulge in the invective of Old Comedy, but 
rather follows the New in spirit as well as in style. 
His teacher in morals, if not a great philosopher {cf. 
sapiens, 1. 115), was a representative of the fine, old- 
fashioned Roman virtues, even his own father. As for 
the copiousness of Lucihus, that was his predecessor's 
chief fault, which he himself would carefully avoid. 

This is one of the early Satires, and in \iew of the 
citation in 1. 92 is to be associated closely with the 
Second. As there is no reference to Maecenas, it 
was probably composed before the poet's introduction 
to the statesman in 38 b.c. 



Eupolis atque Cratinus Aristophanesque poetae 
atque alii, quorum comoedia prisca virorum est, 
si quis erat dignus describi, quod malus ac fur, 
quod moechus foret aut sicarius aut alioqui 
famosus, multa cum libertate notabant. 5 

hinc omnis pendet Lucilius, hosce secutus 
mutatis tantum pedibus numerisque ; facetus, 
emunctae naris, durus componere versus, 
nam fuit hoc vitiosus : in hora saepe ducentos, 
ut magnum, versus dictabat stans pede in uno ; 10 
cum flueret lutulentus, erat quod tollere velles ; 
garrulus atque piger scribendi ferre laborem, 
scribendi recte : nam ut multum, nil moror, ecce, 
Crispinus minimo me provocat : " accipe, si vis, 
accipiam^ tabulas : detur^ nobis locus, hora, 15 

custodes ; videamus uter plus scribere possit." 
di bene fecerunt, inopis me quodque pusilh 
finxerunt animi, raro et perpauca loquentis. 
at tu conclusas hircinis follibus auras 
usque laborantis, dum ferrum molliat ignis, 20 

ut mavis, imitare. 
^ accipe iam, 7, but not in harmony with hora. " dentur, II. 

" For the emphasis on poetae (denied by Uliman, A. P. A. 
xlviii. p. 115) see Epist. ii. 1. 247. 
" Proverbial for " doing without effort." 
' For Crispinus see Sat. i. 1. 120. He offers to bet a 


Satire IV *^ 

Eupolis and Cratinus and Aristophanes, true poets,* 

and the other good men to whom Old Comedy belongs, 
if there was anyone deserving to be dra\vn as a rogue 
and thief, as a rake or cut-throat, or as scandalous 
in any other way, set their mark upon him with 
_reat freedom. It is on these that Lucilius wholly 
iiangs ; these he has followed, changing only metre 
and rhythm. Witty he was, and of keen-scented 
nostrils, but harsh in framing his verse. Herein lay 
his fault : often in an hour, as though a great exploit, 
he would dictate two hundred lines while standing, 
as they say, on one foot.* In his muddy stream 
there was much that you would like to remove. He 
was wordy, and too lazy to put up with the trouble 
if \\Titing — of writing correctly, I mean ; for as to 
quantity, I let that pass. See, Crispinus challenges 
ine at long odds " : " Take your tablets, please ; 
111 take mine. Let a place be fixed for us, and time 
md judges ; let us see which can write the most." 
Ihe gods be praised for fashioning me of meagre 
wit and lowly spirit, of rare and scanty speech ! 
I>ut do you, for such is your taste, be Uke the air 
-hut up in goat-skin bellows, and ever puffing away 
until the fire softens the iron. 

large sum against a small one on my part. Bentley con- 
jectured nummo for minimo, i.e. "bets me a sesterce," that 
being all his poverty would allow. 

E 49 


Beatus Fannius ultro 

delatis capsis et imagine, cum mea nemo 

scripta legat volgo recitare timentis ob hanc rem, 

quod sunt quos genus hoc minime iuvat, utpote pluris 

culpari dignos. quemvis media elige^ turba : 25 

aut ob avaritiam^ aut miisera^ ambitione laborat. 

hie nuptarum insanit amoribus, hie puerorum ; 

hunc capit argenti splendor ; stupet Albius aere ; 

hie mutat merces surgente a sole ad eum quo 

vespertina tepet* regio ; quin per mala praeceps 30 

fertur uti pulvis collectus turbine, ne quid 

summa deperdat metuens aut ampliet ut rem : 

omnes hi metuunt versus, odere poetas. 

" faenum habet in cornu : longe fuge ! dummodo 


excutiat sibi, non hic^ cuiquam parcet amico ; 35 

et quodcumque semel chartis illeverit, omnis 

gestiet a furno redeuntis scire lacuque 

et pueros et anus." 

Agedum, pauca accipe contra. 

primum ego me illorum, dederim quibus esse poetas,® 

excerpam numero : neque enim concludere versum 40 

dixeris esse satis ; neque, si qui scribat uti nos 

sermoni propiora, putes hunc esse poetam. 

^ erue K, Vollmer : eripe 3 Bland. : arripe Bentley. 

2 ab avaritia, see lialfe, C P. vii. p. 246. 

=* miser K, II. * patet, //. 

* non non, //, adopted by Vollmer and Garrod. 

• poetis R and scholia on Sat. i. 6. 25 : so Vollmer. 

" Fannius, a petty poet, brought his writings (kept in 
capsae or cylindrical boxes), together with his portrait, into 
prominence, but in what way he did so is now unknown. 


SATIRES, I. IV. 21-42 

^ Happy fellow, Fannius, who has delivered his 
books and bust unasked ! " My writings no one 
reads, and I fear to recite them in pubhc, the fact 
being that this style * is abhorrent to some, inasmuch 
as most people merit censure. Choose anyone from 
amid a crowd : he is suffering either from avarice 
or some A;\Tetched ambition. One is mad with love 
for somebody's wife, another for boys. Here is 
one whose fancy the sheen of silver catches ; Albius " 
dotes on bronzes ; another trades his wares from 
the rising sun to regions warmed by his evening 
rays ; nay, through perils he rushes headlong, like 
dust gathered up by a whirlwind, fearful lest he lose 
aught of his total, olKaitSo add to his wealth. All 
of these dread verses and detest the poet : " He 
carries hay on his horns,** give him a wide berth. 
Provided he can raise a laugh for himself, he will 
>pare not a single friend^^nd whatever he has once 
scribbled on his sheets he will rejoice to have all 
know, all the slaves and old dames as they come 
home from bakehouse and pond." * 

^ Come now, listen to a few words in answer. 
First I will take my owti name from the list of such 
as I would allow to be poets. For you would not 
call it enough to round off a verse, nor would you 
count anyone poet who WTites, as I do, Unes more 

Probably he presented them to private libraries. At this 
time the only public library in Rome was the one founded 
by Asinius Pollio in 38 b.c, and the only living writer whose 
works were admitted to it was Varro. Another view is that 
Tannius's admirers presented the poet with book-cases and 
bust. * i.e.f Satire. 

' The extravagance of Albius impoverishes his son (1.109). 

* Dangerous cattle were thus distinguished. 

• i.e. the common people, as they went to get bread from 
the public bakery and water from the public tanks. Agrippa 
set up seven hundred locus or reservoirs in Ptome. 



ingenium cui sit, cui mens divinior atque os 

magna sonaturum, des nominis huius honorem. 

idcirco quidam Comoedia necne poema 43 

esset quaesivere, quod acer spiritus ac vis 

nee verbis nee rebus inest, nisi quod pede certo 

differt sermoni, sermo merus. " at pater ardens 

saevit, quod meretrice nepos insanus^ arnica 

filius uxorem grandi^ cum dote recuset, 50 

ebrius et, magnum quod dedecus, ambulet ante 

noctem cum facibus." numquid Pomponius istis 

audiret leviora, pater si viveret ? ergo 

non satis est puris^ versum perscribere verbis, 

quern si dissolvas, quivis stomachetur eodem 56 

quo personatus pacto pater, his, ego quae nunc, 

olim quae scripsit Lucilius, eripias si 

tempora certa modosque, et quod prius ordine 

verbum* est, 
posterius facias, praeponens ultima primis, 
non, ut si solvas " postquam Discordia taetra 60 

Belli ferratos postis portasque refregit," 
invenias etiam disiecti membra poetao. 

Hactenus haec : alias iustum sit necne poema, 
nunc illud tantum quaeram, meritone tibi sit 
suspectum genus hoc scribendi. Sulcius acer 66 

ambulat et Caprius, rauci male cumque libellis, 
magnus uterque timor latronibus : at bene si quis 
et vivat puris manibus, contemnat utrumque. 

' insanit, //. * grandem, //. ' pueris, //. * versum, II. 

" Who Pomponius was is unknown, but in real life he 
corresponds to the prodigal in the play, and the language 
used by his father under the circumstances would be similar 
to that in the scene from Comedy. 

" The passage cited is from Ennius and refers to the 
temple of Janus, which was opened in time of war. It 
is imitated in Virgil, Aen. vii. 622. 

SATIRES, I. IV. 43-68 

p.kin to prose. If one has gifts inborn, if one has a 
>oul divine and tongue of noble utterance, to such 
give the honour of that name. Hence some have 
questioned whether Comedy is or is not poetry ; 
for neither in diction nor in matter has it the fire 
and force of inspiration, and, save that it differs 
from prose-talk in its regular beat, it is mere prose. 
" But," you say, " there is the father storming in 
passion because his spendthrift son, madly in love 
with a wanton mistress, rejects a wife with large 
dower, and in drunken fit reels abroad — sad scandal 
— with torches in broad dayhght." Would Pom- 
ponius hear a lecture less stern than this, were his 
father ahve ? " And so 'tis not enough to write out 
a line of simple words such that, should you break 
it up, any father whatever would rage in the same 
fashion as the father in the play. Take from the 
verses which I am >vriting now, or which Lucilius 
wrote in former days, their regular beat and rhythm 
— change the order of the words, transposing the 
first and the last — and it would not be hke breaking 

When foul Discord's din 
War's posts and gates of bronze had broken in, 

where, even when he is dismembered, you would find 
the limbs of a poet.'' 

^ Of this enough. Some other time we'll see 
whether this kind of \VTiting is true poetry or not. 
To-day the only question I'll ask is this, whether 
you are right in vie-vWng it with distrust. Keen- 
scented Sulcius and Caprius stalk about, horribly 
hoarse and armed with wTits, both a great terror to 
robbers, but if a man is honest of life and his hands 



ut sis tu similis Caeli Birrique latronum, 

non ego sim^ Capri neque Sulci : cur metuas me ? 70 

nulla taberna meos habeat neque pila libellos, 

quis manus insudet volgi Hermogenisque Tigelli ; 

nec^ recito cuiquam nisi amicis, idque coactus, 

non ubivis coramve quibuslibet. in medio qui 

scripta foro recitent, sunt multi, quique lavantes : 75 

suave locus voci resonat conclusus. inanis 

hoc iuvat, haud illud quaerentis, num sine sensu, 

tempore num faciant alieno. 

" Laedere gaudes " 
inquit,' "et hoc studio pravus facis." Unde petitum 
hoc in me iacis ? est auctor quis denique eorum 80 
vixi cum quibus ? absentem qui rodit amicura, 
qui non defendit alio culpante, solutos 
qui captat risus hominum famamque dicacis, 
fingere qui non visa potest, commissa tacere 
qui nequit : hie niger est, hunc tu, Romane, caveto. 85 
saepe tribus lectis videas cenare quaternos, 
e quibus unus* amet^ quavis aspergere cunctos 
praeter eum qui praebet aquam ; post hunc quoque 

condita cum verax aperit praecordia Liber. 

^ sum Porph. * non, //. ' inquis M, 11. * imus, II. 
* amet 1 Bland., Bentley : avet mss. ; a subjunctive is 
necessary here. 

" Sulcius and Caprius are commonly supposed to have 
been professional informers, hoarse from bawling in the 
courts, but Ullman {A. P. A. xlviii. p. 117) takes them to be 
contemporary satirists, who recite their long-winded poems 
and carry about copies for free distribution. 

" For Tigellius see Sat. i. 3. 129. The scholiasts iden- 
tify him with the Tigellius of Sat. i. 2. 3, and i. 3. 4, 
and Ullman convincingly upholds this view {C.P. x. pp. 
270 fF.). He was now dead, but Horace treats him as the 
poet of the volgus. See note on Sat. i. 10. 90. Book-stalls 


SATIRES, I. IV. 69-89 

clean, he may scorn them both." Though you be 
like Caelius and Birrius, the robbers, I need not be 
like Caprius or Sulcius : why should you fear me ? 
I want no stall or pillar to have my httle works, 
so that the hands of the crowd — and Hermogenes 
Tigellius * — may sweat over them. Nor do I recite 
them to any save my friends, and then only when 
pressed — not anywhere or before any hearers. Many 
there are who recite their writings in the middle of 
the Forum, or in the baths. How pleasantly the 
vaulted space echoes the voice ! That delights the 
frivolous, who never ask themselves this, whether 
what they do is in bad taste or out of season. 

'* " You hke to give pain," says one, " and you 
do so with spiteful intent." \Miere have you found 
this missile to hurl at me ? Does anyone whatever 
with whom I have lived vouch for it ? The man 
who backbites an absent friend ; who fails to defend 
him when another finds fault ; the man who courts 
the loud laughter of others, and the reputation of a 
■wit ; who can invent what he never saw ; who cannot 
keep a secret — that man is black of heart ; of him 
beware, good Roman. Often on each of the three 
couches you may see four at dinner," among whom 
one loves to bespatter in any way everyone present 
except the host who provides the water, and later 
him as well, when he has well drunk and the truth 
ful god of free speech ** unlocks the heart's secrets 

were usually in arcades, the pillars of which were doubtless 
used for advertising the books within. One may compare 
the Parisian kiosques. 

* Three was the usual number, so that this was a large 
party. Cicero speaks of five as a great crush : Graeci 
stipati, quini in lectulis {In Pis. 27. 67). 

■* The god Liber was identified with Bacchus. Cf. the 
proverbs oTvos koX dXddta (Alcaeus), and in vino Veritas. 



hie tibi comis et urbanus liberque videtur, 90 

infesto nigris. ego si risi, quod ineptus 
pastillos RufiUus olet, Gargonius hircum, 
lividus et mordax videor tibi ? mentio si quac^ 
de Capitolini^ furtis iniecta Petilli 
te coram fuerit, defendas ut tuus est mos : 95 

" me Capitolinus convictore usus amicoque 
a puero est, causaque mea permulta rogatus 
fecit, et incolumis laetor quod vivit in urbe ; 
sed tamen admiror quo pacto iudicium illud 
fugerit." hie nigrae sucus lolliginis, haec est 100 
aerugo mera. quod vitium procul afore cliartis 
atque animo prius, ut^ si quid promittei'e de me 
possum aliud vere, promitto. 

Liberius si 
dixero quid, si forte iocosius, hoc mihi iuris 
cum venia dabis. insuevit pater optimus hoc me, 105 
ut fugerem exemplis vitiorum quaeque notando. 
cum me hortaretur, parce frugaliter atque 
viverem uti contentus eo, quod mi ipse parasset : 
" nonne vides, Albi ut male vivat filius, utque 
Baius inops ? magnum documentum, ne patriam rem 
perdere quis veht." a* turpi meretricis am ore 111 
cum deterreret : " Scetani dissimilis sis." 
ne sequerer moechas, concessa cum venere uti 
possem : " deprensi non bella est fama Treboni," 

* qua KM, II. ^ capitolinis DE, II. 

' animo, prius ut, ( = ut prius) Housman. * aut E, II: at M. 

" Cited from Sat. i. 2. 27. Hie in 1. 90 is Lucilius, who 
must have described such a banqueting-scene (11. 86-89) in 
the first person. See Sat. i. 10. (55, and note. 

* The crime of which Petillius is said to have been 
accused, that of stealing the gold crown of Jupiter on the 
Capitol, was a proverbial one, as is seen from the allusions 


SATIRES, I. IV. 90-114 

Such a man you think genial and witty and frank 
— you who hate the black of heart. As for me, if I 
have had my laugh because silly " RufiUus smells 
like a scent-box, Gargonius like a goat," " do you 
think I am a spiteful, snappish cur ? If in your 
presence somebody hinted at the thefts of Petillius 
Capitolinus, you would defend him after ^o«r fashion : 
" Capitohnus has been a comrade and friend of 
mine from boyhood ; much has he done to serve 
me when asked, and I rejoice that he is ahve and 
out of danger here in Rome — but still I do wonder 
how he got out of that trial." '' Here is the very 
ink of the cuttlefish ; here is venom unadulterate. 
That such malice shall be far from my pages, and 
first of all from my heart, I pledge myself, if there 
is aught that I can pledge with truth. 

^^^ If in my words I am too free, perchance too 
hght, this bit of liberty you ^\^ll indulgently grant me 
'Tis a habit the best of fathers taught me, for, to 
enable me to steer clear of follies, he would brand them, 
one by one, by his examples." Whenever he would 
encourage me to live thriftily, frugally, and content 
with what he had saved for me, " Do you not see," he 
would say, " how badly fares young Albius,** and how 
poor is Baius ? A striking lesson not to waste one's 
patrimony ! " When he would deter me from a vulgar 
amour, " Don't be like Scetanus." And to prevent me 
from courting another's wife, when I might enjoy 
a love not forbidden, " Not pretty," he would say, 

to it in Plautus, e.g. Trinummus 83, Menaechmi 941. The 
cognomen Capitolinus gave a handle to his assailants. 

' The hoc of 1. 105 refers to Horace's freedom of speech 
(liberius si dixero), while the clause tU fugerem expresses 
the father's purpose with notando. 

" Cf. 1. 28 above. 



aiebat. " sapiens, vitatu quidque petitu 115 

sit melius, causas reddet tibi : mi satis est, si 
traditum ab antiquis morem servare tuamque, 
dum custodis eges, vitam famamque tueri 
incolumem possum ; simul ac duraverit aetas 
membra animumque tuum, nabis sine cortice." sic me 
formabat puerum dictis, et sive iubebat, 121 

ut facerem quid, " habes auctorem quo facias hoc," 
unum ex iudicibus selectis^ obiciebat ; 
sive vetabat, " an hoc inhonestum et inutile factu^ 
necne sit addubites, flagret rumore malo cum 125 

hie atque ille ? " avidos' vicinum funus ut aegros 
exanimat mortisque metu sibi parcere cogit, 
sic teneros animos aliena opprobria saepe 
absterrent vitiis. 

Ex hoc ego sanus ab illis, 
perniciem quaecumque ferunt, mediocribus et quis 130 
ignoscas^ vitiis teneor. fortassis et istinc 
largiter abstulerit^ longa aetas, liber amicus, 
consilium proprium ; neque enim, cum lectulus aut me 
porticus excepit, desum mihi : " rectius hoc est : 
hoc faciens vivam melius : sic dulcis amicis 135 

occurram : hoc quidam non belle : numquid ego illi 
imprudens olim faciam simile ? " haec ego mecum 
compressis agito labris ; ubi quid datur oti, 

> electis M, II : electi E. ^ factum aDEM. 

' vides, //. * ignoscat, IT. * abstulerint aDEM. 

" A reference to the list of jurors, men of high character, 
annually empanelled by the praetor to serve in the trial 
of criminal cases. 


SATIRES, I. IV. 115-138 

is the repute of Trebonius, caught in the act. Your 
philosopher \v\\\ give you theories for shunning or 
seeking this or that : enough for me, if I can uphold 
the rule our fathers have handed down, and if, so 
long as you need a guardian, I can keep your health 
and name from harm. WTien years have brought 
strength to body and mind, you will swim without 
the cork." With words like these would he mould 
my boyhood ; and whether he were advising me 
to do something, " You have an example for so 
doing," he would say, and point to one of the special 
judges ; " or were forbidding me, " Can you doubt 
whether this is dishonourable and disadvantageous 
or not, when so and so stands in the blaze of ill 
repute ? " As a neighbour's funeral scares gluttons 
when sick, and makes them, through fear of death, 
careful of themselves, so the tender mind is oft 
deterred from vice by another's shame. 

^29 Thanks to this training I am free from vices 
which bring disaster, though subject to lesser frailties 
such as you would excuse. Perhaps even from these 
much will be withdrawn by time's advance, candid J 
finends, self-counsel ; for when my couch welcomes \^\^ 
me or I stroll in the colonnade,* I do not fail myself: 
" This is the better course : if I do that, I shall fare 
more happily : thus I shall delight the friends I meet : 
that was ugly conduct of so and so : is it possible that 
some day I may thoughtlessly do anything hke that?" 
Thus, with lips shut tight, I debate with myself; 
and when I find a bit of leism-e, I trifle with my 

* The colonnades, or porticoes, were a striking archi- 
tectural feature of ancient Rome, and much used for 
promenading in. The lectulus was an easy couch for 
reclining upon while reading, corresponding to our com- 
fortable arm-chairs. 



illudo^ chartis. hoc est mediocribus illis 

ex vitiis unum : cui si concedere nolis, 140 

multa poetarum*veniat^ manus, auxilio quae 

sit mihi (nam multo plures sumus), ac veluti te 

ludaei cogemus in hanc concedere turbam. 

^ incumbo, // : Rohl conjectures includo. 
* veniet Acron, Bentley. 

" Horace toys with his papers by jotting down his random 

* For the eagerness of the Jews to proselytize cf. St. 
Matthew xxiii. 15. 

« Among the numerous articles that contain a discussion 
of this Satire, reference may be made to the following : — 


SATIRES, I. IV. 139-143 

papers." This is one of those lesser frailties I spoke 
of, and if you should make no allowance for it, then 
would a big band of poets come to my aid — for we 
are the big majority — and we, like the Jews,'' will 
compel you to make one of our throng." 

G. L. Hendrickson, " Horace, Sermones i. 4. A Protest 
and a Programme," A. J. P. xxi. pp. 121 if.; "Satura 
— the Genesis of a Literary Form," C.P. vi. pp. 129 If. ; 

Charles Knapp, "The Sceptical Assault on the Roman 
Tradition concerning the Dramatic Satura," A.J.P. 
xxxiii. pp. 125 flF. ; 

H. R. Fairclough, " Horace's View of the Relations 
between Satire and Comedy," A.J.P. xxxiv. pp. 183 flf. ; 

B. L. Ullman, "Horace on the Nature of Satire," A.P.A. 
xlviiL pp. Ill ff.; "Dramatic Satura," CJ*. ix. pp. 1 ff. 



This Satire is modelled upon one by Lueilius, who in 
his third book had described a journey from Rome to 
Capua and thence to the Sicilian straits. 

Horace's journey was associated with an embassy 
on which Maecenas and others were sent in 38 b.c. 
by Octavian, to make terms with Marcus Antonius, 
who, notwithstanding the so-called treaty of Brundi- 
sium, made between the rivals of two years earlier, 
was again somewhat estranged. 

The travellers left Rome by the Appian Way, and 
made a night-journey from Appii Forum to Anxur 
by canal-boat through the Pomptine marshes. From 
Capua their road took them over the Apennines into 
the Apulian hill-country of Horace's birth, whence 
they passed on to Italy's eastern coast, reaching 
Brundisium in fifteen days. The journey had been 
pursued in a leisurely fashion, for if necessary it might 
have been covered in less than half that time. 

Although the mission of Maecenas was a political 
one, Horace steers clear of political gossip. The 
account reads like a compilation of scanty notes from 
a diary, and yet leaves a delightful impression about 
the personal relations of men distinguished in htera- 
ture and statesmanship. Some of the character- 


istics of the sketch are doubtless due to Horace's 
adherence to the satiric type. Thus the encounter 
of the two buffoons (51-69) is a dramatic scene, treated 
in a mock-heroic fashion, where the comparison made 
between Sarmentus and a unicorfa recalls the Lucilian 
description of a rhinoceros with a projecting tooth, 

dente adverse eminulo hie est 

(117f. ed. Marx.) 

while the four disfiguring lines (82-85) are parallel to 
a similar incident recorded by LuciUus. This close 
dependence of Horace upon Lucihus throughout is 
clearly sho^vn both by Lejay, in his introduction to 
this Satire, and by Fiske in his LuciUus and Horace, 
pp. 306 ff. 

Professor Tenney Frank, in Classical Philology, 
XV. (1920) p. 393, has made the plausible suggestion 
that Heliodorus, the rhetor, Graecorum longe doctis- 
simus, of 11. 2 and 3, is really Apollodorus, who was 
chosen by Julius Caesar to be the teacher of Octa\ian, 
and who is called by Wilamowitz " the founder of 
the classical scliool of Augustan poetry." The name 
Apollodorus cannot be used in hexameters, and 
Hehos would be an easy substitution for Apollo. 
This scholar would have been a not unworthy mem- 
ber of the distinguished literary group who accom- 
panied Maecenas to Brundisium. 



Egressum magna me accepit^ Aricia Roma 
hospitio modico ; rhetor comes Heliodorus, 
Graecorum longe^ doctissimus : inde Forum Appi, 
differtum nautis, cauponibus atque malignis. 
hoc iter ignavi divisimus, altius ac nos fi 

praecinctis unum : minus est gravis Appia tardis. 
hie ego propter aquam, quod erat deterrima, ventri 
indico bellum, cenantis haud animo aequo 
expectans comites. 

lam nox inducere terris 
umbras et caelo difFundere signa parabat. 10 

tum pueri nautis, pueris convicia nautae 
ingerere : " hue appelle ! " " trecentos inseris." 

" ohe, 
iam satis est." dum aes exigitur, dum mula hgatur, 
tota abit hora. mah culices ranaeque palustres 
avertunt somnos, absentem ut^ cantat amicam 16 
multa prolutus vappa nauta atque viator 
certatim. tandem fessus dormire viator 
incipit ac missae pastum retinacula mulae 

^ excepitZ), 11. * linguae K,IL ' ut omitted by CDK. 

" The " Market of Appius," for which see Acts xxviii. 15, 
was at the head of the canal which ran through the Pomptine 
marshes to Feronia. 

* i.e. from Rome to Appii Forum, nearly forty miles. The 
phrase altius praecinctis means literally "higher girt," of. 
the Biblical " gird up your loins." 

Satire V >^ 

Leaving mighty Rome, I found shelter in a modest 
inn at Aricia, having for companion Heliodorus the 
rhetorician, far most learned of all Greeks. Next 
came Appii Forum," crammed with boatmen and 
stingy tavern-keepers. This stretch '' we lazily cut 
in two, though smarter travellers make it in a single 
day ; the Appian Way is less tiring, if taken slowly. 
Here owing to the water, for it was \-illainous, I 
declare war against my stomach, and wait impatiently 
while my companions dine. 

' Already night was beginning to draw her curtain 
over the earth and to sprinkle the sky with stars. 
Then slaves loudly rail at boatmen, boatmen at 
slaves : " Bring to here ! " " You're packing in 
hundreds ! " " Stay, that's enough ! " What with 
collecting fares and harnessing the mule " a whole 
hour shps away. Cursed gnats and frogs of the fens 
drive off sleep, the boatman, soaked in sour wine, 
singing the while of the girl he left behind, and a 
passenger <* taking up the refrain. The passenger 
at last tires and falls asleep, and the lazy boatman 

• The mule was to pull the boat through the canal. 

"* Some take viator to mean a driver of the mule along 
the tow-path, but, according to 11. 18, 19, it would seem to 
be the boatman who drives the mule and who drops his 
work to take a nap on the bank. 

jr 65 


nauta piger saxo religat stertitque supinus. 

iamque dies aderat, nil cum procedere lintrem 20 

sentimus, donee cerebrosus prosilit unus 

ac mulae nautaeque caput lumbosque saligno 

fuste dolat. 

Quarta vix demum exponimur hora. 
ora manusque tua lavimus, Feronia, lympha. 
milia turn pransi tria repimus atque subimus 25 

impositum saxis late candentibus Anxur. 
hue venturus erat Maecenas optimus atque 
Cocceius, missi magnis de rebus uterqu& 
legati, aversos soliti componere amicosf 
hie oculis ego nigra meis collyria lippus 30 

illinere. interea Maecenas advenit atque 
Cocceius Capitoque simul Fonteius, ad unguem 
factus homo, Antoni non ut magis alter amicus. 

Fundos Aufidio Lusco praetore libenter 
linquimus, insani ridentes praemia scribae, 35 

praetextam et latum clavum prunaeque vatillum. 
in Mamurrarum lassi deinde urbe manemus, 
Murena praebente domum, Capitone culinam. 
postera^ lux oritur multo gratissima : namque 
Plotius et Varius^ Sinuessae Vergiliusque 40 

occurrunt, animae qualis neque candidiores 
terra tulit, neque quis me sit devinctior alter. 

^ proxima a. * varus K, II. 

<» The word soliti implies at least one previous experience 
of this sort and probably refers to the treaty of Brundisium, 
40 B.C. 

* The Latin expression involves a metaphor from sculpture, 
for the artist would pass his finger-nail over the marble, to 
test the smoothness of its joints. 

« The chief official at Fundi was doubtless an aedile 


SATIRES, I. V. 19-42 

turns his mule out to graze, ties the reins to a stone, 
and drops a-snoring on his back. Day was now 
da\vning when we find that our craft was not under 
way, until one hot-headed fellow jumps out, and >vith 
willow cudgel bangs mule and boatman on back and 

23 At last, by ten o'clock we are barely landed, 
and wash face and hands in thy stream, Feronia. 
Then we breakfast, and crawhng on three miles 
chmb up to Anxur, perched on her far-gleaming 
rocks. Here Maecenas was to meet us, and noble 
Cocceius, envoys both on business of import, and old 
hands at setthng feuds between friends." Here I 
put black ointment on my sore eyes. Meanwhile 
Maecenas arrives and Cocceius, and with them 
Fonteius Capito, a man without flaw,* so that Antony 
has no closer friend. 

^ Fundi, \nth its "praetor"" Aufidius Luscus, we 
quit with delight, laughing at the crazy clerk's gew- 
gaws, his bordered robe, broad stripe, and pan of 
charcoal. Next, wearied out we stop in the city 
of the Mamurrae,"* Murena proxiding shelter and 
Capito the larder. Most joyful was the morrow's 
rising, for at Sinuessa there meet us Plotius, Varius, 
and Virgil, whitest souls earth ever bore, to whom 
none can be more deeply attached than I. O the 

but as he gave himself airs, Horace dubs him " praetor." 
Aufidius, Uke Horace himself, had once been a humble 
tcriba at Rome. In his present exalted position he wears 
a toga with a purple border, and a tunic with a broad purple 
stripe. Burning charcoal is carried before him, probably 
in case some ceremonial sacrifice is seen to be appropriate 
on the occasion of this visit of Maecenas. 

"* Mamurra, a notorious favourite of Julius Caesar, came 
from Formiae. 



o qui complexus et gaudia quanta fuerunt ! 
nil ego contulerim^ iucundo sanus amico. 

Proxima Campano ponti quae villula, tectum 45 
praebuit, et paroehi quae debent ligna salemque. 
hinc muli Capuae clitellas tempore ponunt. 
lusum it Maecenas, dormitum ego Vergiliusque : 
namque pila lippis inimicum et ludere crudis. 
hinc nos Coccei recipit plenissima villa, 50 

quae super est Caudi^ cauponas. 

Nunc mihi paucis 
Sarmenti scurrae pugnam Messique Cicirri, 
Musa, velim memores, et quo patre natus uterque 
contulerit litis. Messi clarum genus Osci ; 
Sarmenti domina exstat : ab his maioribus orti 55 
ad pugnam venere. prior Sarmentus : " equi te 
esse feri similem dico." ridemus, et ipse 
Messius " accipio," caput et movet. " o tua cornu 
ni foret exsecto frons," inquit, " quid faceres, cum 
sic mutilus minitaris^ ? " at illi foeda cicatrix 60 
saetosam laevi frontem turpaverat oris. 
Campanum in morbum, in faciem permulta iocatus, 
pastorem saltaret uti Cyclopa rogabat : ' 

nil illi larva* aut tragicis opus esse cothurnis 
^ praetulerim C. 
• caudi BK Porph. : claudi most itss. 
• miniteris DEM. * barba DR. 

« The villula was probably a small house built for the 
convenience of persons travelling on public business, where 
officers were stationed whose duty it was to provide ordinary 
necessaries. For these officers Horace uses a Greek word 
(paroehi from irap^x^tv), the regular Latin word, according 
to Porphyrio, being copiarii. 

* In mock-heroic style Horace describes a battle of wit 
between two buffoons, one of whom, Sarmentus, is a freed- 
man of Maecenas, while the other, Cicirrus, or " game-cock," 
is of the native Oscan stock of Samnium. 


Satires, i. v. 43-64 

embracing ! O the rejoicing ! Nothing, so long as 
I am in my senses, would I match \\ith the joy 
a friend may bring. 

•* The little house close to the Campanian bridge 
put a roof above our heads, and the state-purveyors," 
as in duty bound, furnished fuel and salt. Next, 
at Capua, our mules lay aside their saddle-bags at 
an early hour. Maecenas goes off to ball-playing, 
V'irgil and I to sleep, for such play is hard on the 
sore-eyed and the dyspeptic. Another stage, and we 
are t^en in at the well-stocked villa of Cocceius, 
lying above the inns of Caudium. 

^^ Now, O Muse, recount in brief the contest of 
Sarmentus the jester and Messius Cicirrus, and the 
lineage of the two who engaged in the fray.* Messius 
was of famous stock, an Oscan ; the mistress of 
Sarmentus is still hving : from such ancestry sprung,* 
they entered the lists. And first Sarmentus : " You, 
I say, are Uke a wild horse." We laugh, and Messius 
himself, " I grant you," and tosses his head. " Oh ! ' 
says Sarmentus, " if only the horn had not been cut 
out of your forehead, what would you do, when you 
can threaten, thus dehorned ? " Now an unsightly 
scar had disfigured the left side of his bristly brow. 
With many a joke on his Campanian disease •* and 
on his face, he begged him to dance the Cyclops 
shepherd-dance : he would need neither mask nor 

• The scholiast on Juvenal, Sat. v. 3, tells us that a certain 
Sarmentus had been a slave, who on the proscription and 
death of his master Favonius had been bought by Maecenas 
and set free. If the Sarmentus of this scene is the same 
man, the domina is the widow of Favonius. 

■ The scholiast in Cruquius explains this of warts, which 
left scars when removed. 



multa Gicirrus ad haec : donasset iamne catenam 65 
ex voto Laribus, quaerebat ; scriba quod esset, 
nilo deterius dominae^ ius esse ; rogabat 
denique, cur umquam fugisset, cui satis una 
farris libra foret, gracili sic tamque pusillo. 
prorsus iucunde cenam producimus illam. 70 

Tendimus hinc recta^ Beneventum ; ubi sedulus 
paene macros arsit dum turdos versat in igni ; 
nam vaga per veterem dilapso^ flamma culinam 
Volcano summum properabat lambere tectum, 
convivas avidos cenam servosque timentis 76 

tum rapere atque omnis restinguere velle videres. 

Incipit ex illo montis Apulia notos 
ostentare mihi, quos torret* Atabulus et quos 
numquam erepsemus, nisi nos vicina Trivici 
villa recepisset, lacrimoso non sine fumo, 80 

udos cum foliis ramos urente camino. 
hie ego mendacem stultissimus usque puellam 
ad mediam noctem exspecto : somnus tamen aufert 
intentum veneri ; tum immundo somnia visu 
nocturnam vestem maculant ventremque supinom. 85 

Quattuor hinc rapimur viginti et milia raedis, 
mansuri oppidulo, quod versu dicere non est, 
signis perfacile est : venit vilissima rerum 
hie aqua ; sed panis longe pulcherrimus, ultra 
callidus ut soleat umeris portare viator. 90 

^ domini C. ^ recte D, //. 

» delapso CK, II. * terret CE. 

' Altino is to-day the local Apulian term for the hot 
scirocco, which Horace calls the " Atabulus." 

'' The name is not recorded, at least correctly, but Horace 
has in mind a passage in Lucilius, viz. : 


SATIRES, I. V. 65-90 

tragic buskin. Much had Cicirrus to say to this. 
Had he yet, he inquired, made a votive offering of 
his chain to the Lares ? Clerk though he was, yet 
his mistress's claim was not less strong. At the 
last he asked why he had ever run away, since a 
pound of meal was enough for one so lean and so 
puny. Right merrily did we prolong that supper. 

'^ Thence we travel straight to Beneventum, where 
our bustling host was nearly burned out while turning 
lean thrushes over the fire. For as Vulcan slipped 
out through the old kitchen the vagrant flame 
hastened to hck the roof. Then you might have seen 
the hungry guests and frightened slaves snatching 
up the dinner, and all trying to quench the blaze. 

" From this point Apulia begins to show to my 
eyes her familiar hills, which the Altino " scorches, 
and over which we had never crawled had not a \'illa 
near Trivicum taken us in, but not without smoke 
that brought tears, as green wood, leaves and all, 
was burning in the stove. Here I, utter fool that I 
am, await a faithless girl right up to midnight. 
Then, after all, sleep carries me off still thinking 
upon love, and evil dreams assail me. 

®* From here we are whirled in carriages four and 
twenty miles, to spend the night in a little to-WTi I 
cannot name in verse, though 'tis quite easy to 
define it by tokens.* Here water, nature's cheapest 
product, is sold, but the bread is far the best to be 
had, so that the kno^^ing traveller is wont to shoulder 

servorum est festus dies hie 
quern plane hexametro versu non dicere possis 

(vi. 228, ed. Marx), 
"This is the slaves' festal day, which one cannot freely 
name in hexameter verse." 



nam Canusi lapidosus (aquae non ditior urna), 
qui locus a forti Diomede est conditus olim.^ 
flentibus hinc Varius discedit maestus amicis. 

Inde Rubos fessi pervenimus, utpote longum 
carpentes iter et factum corruptius imbri. 95 

postera tempestas melior, via peior ad usque 
Bari moenia piscosi. dein^ Gnatia lymphis 
iratis exstructa dedit risusque iocosque, 
dum flamma sine tura liquescere limine sacro 
persuadere cupit. credat^ ludaeus Apella, 100 

non ego : namque deos didici securum agere aevum, 
nee, si quid miri faciat natura, deos id 
tristis ex alto caeli demittere* tecto. 
Brundisium longae finis chartaeque viaeque est. 

* Line 92 was deleted by Bentley. * dehinc, //. 

» credet CK Goth. « dimittere BE. 

" This implies that Gnatia had no springs. Pliny (N.H. ii. 
Ill) mentions the miracle of wood, placed on a sacred stone, 
taking fire spontaneously. The stone would seem to have 
been at the entrance of a temple. 

* The Jews, who were very numerous in Rome under 


SATIRES, I. V. 91-104 

a load for stages beyond ; for at Caniisium, a place 
founded long ago by brave Diomede, it is gritty, 
and as to water, the town is no better off by a 
jugful. Here Varius leaves us, to the grief of his 
weeping friends. 

^* Thence we come to Rubi, very weary after 
covering a long stage much marred by the rain. 
Next day's weather was better, but the road worse, 
right up to the walls of Barium, a fishing town. 
Then Gnatia, built under the wrath of the water- 
nymphs," brought us laughter and mirth in its effort 
to convince us that frankincense melts v\"ithout fire 
at the temple's threshold. Apella, the Jew,^ may 
beheve it, not I ; for I " have learned that the gods 
lead a care-free life," * and if Nature works any 
marvel, the gods do not send it dovvn from their 
heavenly home aloft when in surly mood ** ! Brun- 
disium is the end of a long story and of a long joiurney. 

Augustus, were regarded by the Romans as peculiarly 

* Horace is quoting from Lucretius, De rerum not. ▼. 82. 

* Horace uses tristis of the gods as Virgil speaks of 
Charon as tristis, Aen. \\. 315. 




This Satire, addressed to the poet's patron, is mainly 
autobiographical. Horace, now an intimate friend 
of Maecenas, has become an object of suspicion and 
envy to many people whose social and pohtical 
aspirations were unsatisfied. He therefore disclaims 
such ambition for himself, sets forth the principles 
upon which Maecenas chooses his friends, and pays 
a noble tribute to his o^ti father, to whom he is 
indebted for all that he is, both in character and 
education. Himself the son of a freedman, he has 
no wish to change places with a man of patrician 
birth. As it is, he lives a simple and care-free life, 
and is far more happy than if he had the burden of 
noble ancestry on his shoulders. 

As this interesting Satire contains no allusion to 
the Sabine farm, it was probably composed before 
33 B.C., the year when Maecenas presented him 
with the estate. In its subject and treatment it is 
to be grouped with the third, fourth, and tenth 
Satires. It is at once a defence of Maecenas, who 
did not look down upon men of lowly birth, and of 
the poet himself, who is not ashamed of his hiunble 
origin, but is proud of his freedman father, who had 
given him the intellectual and moral training which 
won for him a place in the circle of his patron. 

For the influence of LuciUus upon this Satire see 
Introduction C. 



Non quia, Maecenas, Lydorum quidquid Etruscos 
incoluit finis, nemo generosior est te, 
nee quod avus tibi maternus fuit atque paternus, 
olim qui magnis legionibus imperitarent,^ 
ut plerique solent, naso suspendis adunco 6 

ignotos,2 ut^ me libertino patre natum.* 

Cum referre negas quali sit quisque parente 
natus, dum ingenuus, persuades hoc tibi vere, 
ante potestatem Tulli atque ignobile regnum 
multos saepe viros nullis maioribus ortos 10 

et vixisse probos, amplis et honoribus auctos ; 
contra Laevinum, Valeri genus, unde Superbus 
Tarquinius regno pulsus^ fugit, unius assis 
non umquam pretio pluris licuisse, notante 
iudice quo nosti populo, qui stultus honores 15 

saepe dat indignis et famae servit ineptus, 
qui stupet in titulis et imaginibus. quid oportet 
nos facere a volgo longe longeque® remotos ? 

Namque esto, populus Laevino mallet honorem 

^ imperitarint, I, accepted by Vollmer. 

* ignoto Palmer. * ut D: aut aM, II; aut ut C: at ut E. 

* natus or natos aCDE. 

* pulsus regno CK. * lateque Goth. 

" Cf. Odes, i. 1. 1. The Etruscans, according to the 
tradition commonly accepted in antiquity, came from Lydia. 

'' The reference is to Servius Tuliius, the sixth king of 
Rome, said to have been the son of a female slave. See, 
however, Livy, i. 39. 5. 


Satire VI "-^ 

Though of all the Lydians that are settled in Tuscan 
lands none is of nobler birth than you," and though 
grandsires of yours, on your mother's and father's 
side alike, conunanded mighty legions in days of old, 
yet you, Maecenas, do not, hke most of the world, 
curl up your nose at men of unknown birth, men hke 
myself, a freedman's son. 

' ^\^len you say it matters not who a man's parent 
is, if he be himself free-born, you rightly satisfy 
yourself of this, that before the reign of Tulhus and 
his lowly kingship,'' numbers of men, sprung from 
ancestors of no account, often hved upright hves and 
were honoured with high office ; that Lae\inus, on 
the other hand, descendant of that Valerius through 
whom Tarquin the Proud was driven from his throne 
to exile, was never valued higher by the price of a 
single penny, even when rated by the people — the 
judge you know so well, who in folly often gives 
office to the unworthy, is stupidly enslaved to fame, 
and dazzled by titles of honour and waxen masks." 
What, then, should we •* do, we who are set far, far 
above the \Tilgar ? 

^ For let us grant that the people would rather 

* Waxen masks of ancestors ^^-ith accompanying in- 
scriptions would imply the antiquity and nobility of one's 

' The plural is generic, meaning intelligent and educated 



quam Decio mandare novo, censorque moveret 20 

Appius, ingenuo si non essem patre natus : 

vel merito, quoniam in propria non pelle quiessem. 

sed fulgente trahit constrictos Gloria curru 

non minus ignotos generosis. quo tibi, Tilli, 

sumere depositum clavum fierique tribuno ? 25 

invidia accrevit, privato quae minor esset. 

nam ut quisque insanus nigris medium impediit^ crus 

pellibus et latum demisit^ pectore clavum, 

audit continuo : " quis homo hie est^ ? " " quo patre 

natus ? " 
ut* si qui aegrotet quo morbo Barrus, haberi 30 

et cupiat formosus, eat quacumque, puellis 
iniciat^ curam quaerendi singula, quali 
sit facie, sura, quali pede, dente, capillo : 
sic qui promittit civis, urbem sibi curae, 
imperium fore et Italiam, delubra deorum, 35 

quo patre sit natus, num ignota matre inhonestus, 
omnis mortalis curare et quaerere cogit.^ 
" tune, Syri, Damae, aut Dionysi filius, audes 
deicere de saxo civis aut tradere Cadmo ? " 
" at Novius collega gradu post me sedet uno : 40 

1 impediit Porph. : impediet uss. ^ dimisit DEK. 

3 est aDE : et CK: aut Bentley. * et 0. 

' inliciat CK Goth. * cogit^: cogat Af5S. 

" A reference to the well-known fable of the Ass in the Lion's 
Skin. P. Decius Mus, first of a plebeian family to become a 
consul, sacrificed himself in the Latin war (Livj', viii. 9 ). 

* The laticlave or broad stripe (c/. Sat. i. 5. 36) of purple 
on the tunic was a mark of the senatorian order. Tillius, 
according to the scholiasts, was removed from the senate 


SATIRES, I. VT. 20-40 

give office to a Laevinus than to an unknown Decius, 
and that an Appius as censor would strike out my 
name if I were not the son of a free-born father — 
and quite rightly, for not having stayed quiet in my 
own skin." The truth is, Vanity drags all, bound 
to her gUttering car, the unkno^^'n no less than the 
well known. What good was it to you, TilUus, to 
assume the stripe once doffed and become a tribune ? ' 
Envy fastened on you afresh, but would be less, 
were you in a private station. For as soon as any 
man is so crazy as to bind the black thongs half way 
up his leg,* and to drop the broad stripe dowTi his 
breast, at once he hears : " What fellow is this ? 
What was his father ? " Just as, if one should 
suffer from the same malady as Barrus, and long to 
be thought handsome, then wherever he went he 
would make the girls eager to ask about details — 
what his face was like, his ankle, his foot, his teeth, 
his hair : so he who takes it upon himself to look 
after his fellow-citizens and the city, the empire 
and Italy and the temples of the gods, compels aU 
the world to take an interest, and to ask who was 
his father, and whether he is dishonoured through 
an unknown mother. " Do you, the son of a S}tus, 
a Dama, a Dionysius,'* dare to fling from the rock* 
or to hand over to Cadmus citizens of Rome ? " 
" But," you say, " Novius, my colleague, sits one row 

by Julius Caesar, but after the Dictator's death resumed 
this dignity and also became a military tribune. 

* Senators wore a peculiar shoe, fastened by four black 
thongs bound about the leg. 

* These are common slave-names. 

' i.e. the Tarpeian rock from which criminals were 
sometimes thrown by order of a tribune. Cadmus was a 
public executioner. 



namque est ille, pater quod erat meus." " hoc tibi 

et Messalla videris ? at hie, si plostra ducenta 
concurrantque foro tria funera magna, sonabit^ 
cornua quod vincatque tubas : saltern tenet hoc nos." 

Nunc ad me redeo hbertino patre natum, 45 

quem rodunt onines hbertino patre natum,^ 
nunc, quia sim^ tibi, Maecenas, convictor, at ohm, 
quod mihi pareret legio Romana tribuno. 
dissimile hoc ihi est, quia non, ut forsit honorem 
iure mihi invideat quivis, ita te quoque amicum, 50 
praesertim cautum dignos adsumere, prava 
ambitione procul. fehcem dicere non hoc 
me possim,* casu quod te sortitus amicum : 
nulla etenim mihi te fors obtulit ; optimus olim 
Vergilius, post hunc Varius, dixere quid essem. 55 
ut veni coram, singultim pauca locutus, 
infans namque pudor prohibebat plura profari, 
non ego me claro natum patre, non ego circum 
me Satureiano vectari rura caballo, 
sed quod eram narro. respondes, ut tuus est mos, 60 
pauca : abeo, et revocas nono post mense iubesque 
esse in amicorum numero. magnum hoc ego duco, 
quod placui tibi, qui turpi secernis honestum 
non patre praeclaro, sed vita et pectore puro. 

Atqui si vitiis mediocribus ac mea^ paucis 65 

* funera, magna sonabit ; so Palmer, Wickham, Vollmer. 

* natus aD. " sum D. 

* possunt com. Cruq., Bentley. * aut mea, //. 

« Seats in the theatre were assigned according to rank, 
knights occupying the first fourteen rows, and the senators 
the orchestral space. 

* Horace was a tribune in the army of Brutus, but each 
legion had six tribunes. 


SATIRES, I. VI. 41-65 

behind me," for he is only what my father was." 
" Do you therefore fancy yourself a Paulus or a 
Messala ? Why, this Novius, if two hundred carts 
and three big funerals come clashing in the Forum, 
will shout loud enough to drown horns and trumpets : 
that at least takes with us." 

\*^ Now to return to myself, " son of a freedman 
father," whom all carp at as " son of a freedman 
father" — now, because I consort with you, Maecenas ; 
but in other days, because as tribune I had a Roman 
legion under my command.'' This case and that are 
different, for though perchance anyone may rightly 
grudge me the office, yet he should not grudge me 
your friendship as well — the less so, as you are 
cautious to choose as friends only the worthy, who 
stand aloof from base self-seeking. Fortunate I could 
not call myself as having won your friendship by some 
chance ; for 'twas no case of luck throwing you in my 
way ; that best of men, Virgil, some time ago, and after 
him V'arius, told you what manner of man I was. 
On coming into your presence I said a few faltering 
words, for speechless shame stopped me from saying 
more. My tale was not that I was a famous father's 
son, not that I rode about my estate on a Saturian " 
steed : I told you what I was. As is your way, you 
answered little and I withdrew ; then, nine months 
later, you sent for me again and bade me join your 
friends. I count it a great honour that I pleased you, 
who discern between fair and foul, not by a father's 
fame, but by blamelessness of life and heart. 

*^ And yet, if the flaws that mar my otherwise 

sound nature are but trifling and few in number, 

* i.e. Tarentine, Saturium being the district in which 

Tarentum was founded. The adjective belongs quite as 

much to rura as to caballo. 

Q 81 


mendosa est natura, alioqui^ recta, velut si 

egregio inspersos reprehendas corpore naevos, 

si neque avaritiam heque sordes nec^ mala lustra 

obiciet vere quisquam mihi, purus et insons, 

ut me collaudem, si et vivo carus amieis ; 70 

causa fuit pater his, qui macro pauper agello 

noluit in Flavi ludum me mittere, magni 

quo pueri magnis e' centurionibus orti, 

laevo suspensi loculos tabulamque lacerto, 

ibant octonos referentes Idibus aeris,* 75 

sed puerum est ausus Romam portare, docendum 

artis, quas doceat quivis eques atque senator 

semet prognatos. vestem servosque sequentis, 

in magno ut populo, si qui^ vidisset, avita 

ex re praeberi sumptus mihi crederet illos. 80 

ipse mihi custos incorruptissimus omnis 

circum doctores aderat.^ quid multa ? pudicum, 

qui primus virtutis honos, servavit^ ab omni 

non solum facto, verum opprobrio quoque turpi ; 

nee timuit, sibi ne vitio quTs^ verteret, olim 85 

si praeco parvas aut, ut fuit ipse, coactor 

mercedes sequerer : neque ego essem questus : at 

hoc'' nunc 
laus illi debetur et a me gratia maior^ 

Nil me paeniteat sanum patris huitis, eoque 
non, ut magna dolo factum negat esse suo pars, 90 
quod non ingenuos habeat clarosque parentis, 
sic me defendam. longe mea discrepat istis 

^ alioquin, /, hut cf. Sat. i. 4. 4. 
• nee (mala) V: ac mss. : aut Porph., Bentley. ' et a. 

* octonis . . . aera M, II, retained by Wickham. 
^ si quis K, Goth. * servabat, II. ^ ad hoc n^s. 

" The pupils paid their small school fee on the Ides of 
each month. The reading octonis would imply that the 
school-year lasted eight months. 


SATIRES, T. VT. 66-92 

even as you might find fault with moles spotted over 
a comely person — if no one "will justly lay to my 
charge avarice or meanness or lewdness ; if, to venture 
on self-praise, my hfe is free from stain and guilt and 
I am loved by my friends — I owe this to my father, 
who, though poor with a starvehng farm, would not 
send me to the school of Fla\-ius, to w^hich grand boys 
used to go, sons of grand centurions, with slate and 
satchel slung over the left arm, each carrying his 
eightpence on the Ides" — nay, he boldly took his 
boy off to Rome, to be taught those studies that any 
knight or senator would have his own offspring 
taught. Anyone who saw my clothes and attendant 
slaves — as is the way in a great city * — would have 
thought that such expense was met from ancestral 
wealth. He himself, a guardian true and tried, went 
with me among all my teachers. Need I say more ? 
He kept me chaste — and that is virtue's first grace — 
free not only from every deed of shame, but from all 
scandal. He had no fear that some day, if I should 
follow a small trade as crier or like himself as tax- 
collector, somebody would count this to his discredit. 
Nor should I have made complaint, but, as it is, for 
this I owe him praise and thanks the mo re. | 

^ Never while in my senses could I be ashamed 
of such a father, and so I will not defend myself, as 
would a goodly nmnber,who say it is no fault of theirs 
that they have not free-born and famous parents. 
Far different from this is what I say and what I think : 

* I take this to mean that on going to Rome Horace's 
father did as the Romans did. At Venusia Horace would 
have gone unattended, carrying liis own books. Some, how- 
ever, take the words in magno ut populo with vidisset, i.e. 
" had anyone noticed — so far «s one could notice such things 
in a great throng." 



et vox et ratio : nam si natura iuberet 

a certis annis aevum remeare peractum 

atque alios legere ad fastum quoscumque parentis 95 

optaret sibi quisque,^ meis contentus honestos^ 

fascibus et sellis nollem mihi sumere, demens 

iudicio volgi, sanus fortasse tuo, quod 

nollem onus baud umquam solitus portare molestum. 

nam mihi continuo maior quaerenda foret res 100 

atque salutandi plures, ducendus et unus 

et comes alter, uti ne solus rusve peregreve' 

exirem, plures calones atque caballi 

pascendi, ducenda petorrita. nunc mihi curto 

ire licet mulo vel si libet usque Tarentum, 105 

mantica cui lumbos onere ulceret atque eques armos : 

obiciet nemo sordes mihi, quas tibi, Tilli, 

cum Tiburte via praetorem quinque sequuntur 

te pueri, lasanum portantes oenophorumque. 

hoc ego commodius quam tu, praeclare senator, 110 

milibus atque aliis vivo. 

Quacumque libido est, 
incedo solus ; percontor quanti bolus ac far ; 
fallacem Circum vespertinumque* pererro 
saepe Forum ; adsisto divinis ; inde domum me 
ad porri et ciceris refero laganique catinum. 115 

cena ministratur pueris tribus, et lapis albus 
pocula cum cyatho duo sustinet ; adstat echinus 
vilis, cum patera gutus, Campana supellex. 
deinde eo dormitum, non sollicitus mihi quod eras 

* si quisque, II. * (h)onustos. 

■ peregre aut M8S.: Housman conjectures ne rus solusve 
peregre. * vespertinusque. 

" The fasces were insignia of the consuls and praetors ; 
the curule sellae were a privilege of the aediles and censors 
as well. 


SATIRES, I. VI. 93-119 

for if after a given age Nature should call upon us to 
traverse our past lives again, and to choose in keeping 
with our pride any other parents each might crave — 
content >\ith my own, I should dechne to take those 
adorned with the rods and chairs of state." And 
though the world would deem me mad, you, I hope, 
would think me sane for dechning to shoulder a 
burden of trouble to which I have never been ac- 
customed. For at once I should have to enlarge my 
means, to welcome more callers, to take one or two 
in my company so as not to go abroad or into the 
country alone ; I should have to keep more pages 
and ponies, and take a train of wagons. To-day, if 
I will, I may go on a bob-tailed mule even to Taren- 
tum, the saddle-bag's weight galhng his loins, and 
the rider his withers. No one will taunt me with 
meanness as he does you, praetor Tillius,^ when on 
the Tibur road five slaves follow you, carrying a 
commode and case of wine. In this and a thousand 
other ways I live in more comfort than you, illustrious 

^^ Wherever the fancy leads, I saunter forth alone. 
I ask the price of greens and flour ; often toward 
evening I stroll round the cheating Circus * and the 
Forum. I listen to the fortune-tellers ; then home- 
ward betake me to my dish of leeks and peas and 
fritters. My supper is served by three boys, and a 
white stone-slab supports two cups with a ladle. By 
them stand a cheap salt-cellar, a jug and saucer of 
Campanian ware. Then I go off to sleep, untroubled 
with the thought that I must rise early on the morrow 

' Apparently the man mentioned in 1. 24 above. 
* The stalls in the outer wall of the Circus Maximus were 
used by fortune-tellers, confidence-men, and the like. 



surgendum sit mane, obeundus Marsya, qui se 120 

voltum ferre negat Noviorum posse minoris. 

ad quartam iaceo ; post banc vagor ; aut ego, lecto 

aut scripto quod me taciturn iuvet, unguor olivo, 

non quo fraudatis immundus Natta lucernis. 

ast ubi me fessum sol acrior ire lavatum 125 

admonuit, fugio Campum lusumque trigonem.^ 

pransus non avide, quantum interpellet inani 

ventre diem durare, domesticus otior. 

Haec est 
vita solutorum misera ambitione gravique ; 
his me consolor victurum^ suavius ac si 130 

quaestor avus pater atque meus patruusque^ fuissent. 

^ fugio campum lusumque trigonem V^, Goth, (lusitque): 
fugio rabiosi tempora signi ass. Porph. Bannier {in Rh. M. 
Ixxiii. neue Folge, pp. 65 ff.) makes the interesting claim that 
both readings are correct, the original passage having been 
such as the following : 

admonuit fugio campum lusumque trigonem 
providus et fugio rabiosi tempora signi. 
* victurus Goth. 
' For patruus Biicheler conjectured praetor. 

" A statue of the Satyr Marsyas stood in the Forum near 
the praetor's tribunal. The usurer Novius had his table 


SATIRES, I. VI. 120-131 

and pass before Marsyas, who says he cannot stand 
the face of No\aus Junior .<» I he a-bed till ten ; then 
I take a stroll, or after reading or writing something 
tliat will please me in quiet moments I anoint myself 
with oil — not such as filthy Natta steals from the 
lamps- But when I am weary and the fiercer sun 
has w^'irned me to go to the baths, I shun the Campus 
and the game of ball.* After a slight luncheon, just 
enough to save me from an all-day fast, I idle away 
time at home. 

^^ Such is the life of men set free from the burden 
of unhappy ambition. Thus I comfort myself with 
the thought that I shall hve more happily than if my 
grandfather had been a quaestor, and my father 
and uncle Ukewise. 

near by and so gives the poet an opportunity to put his own 
interpretation on the attitude or facial expression of Marsyas, 
who, after defeat in a musical contest with Apollo, was 
flayed alive. Extant copies of Myron's Mars5'as show him 
with right hand uplifted and a face expressive of pain. 

* The trigo was a game of ball in which three players 
took part. The phrase lusum trigonem means properly 
"the playing of ball," and implies a transitive use of lud^re 
(ef. " post decisa negotia," Ep. i. 7. 59 ; also Sat. ii. 3. 248). 
See Jefferson Elmore, A.P.A. xxxv. p. xciL 




The incident recorded here occurred, probably in 
43 B.C., at Clazomenae in Asia Minor, when Brutus, 
as propraetor of the Pro\'ince, was holding court, and 
Horace was ser\ing as tribune in his army. The 
poem gives us a single scene, a battle of ^^it between 
two litigants, RupiUus Rex, of Praeneste, a man 
proscribed by Antony and Octa\'ius, and Persius, 
a half-Greek, half-Roman merchant of Clazomenae. 
The main point of the story is found in Persius' pun 
on the name Rex (king), which he cleverly hnks up 
with the propraetor and the propraetor's most 
famous ancestor. The latter had driven out of Rome 
the ancient Tarquin kings, and Brutus himself had 
slain Caesar. 

This little poem, similar, perhaps, to the farcical 
and dramatic scenes of early Satura, is probably the 
first of Horace's Sermones, and must have been com- 
posed before the battle of Philippi (42 b.c ), and the 
tragic death of Brutus. 



Proscripti Regis Rupili pus atque venenum 
hybrida quo pacto sit Persius ultus, opinor 
omnibus et lippis notum et tonsoribus esse. 
Persius hie permagna negotia dives habebat 
Clazomenis, etiam litis cum Rege molestas, 6 

durus homo atque odio qui posset vincere Regem, 
confidens, tumidus,-"^ adeo sermonis amari, 
Sisennas, Barros ut equis praecurreret albis. 

Ad Regem redeo. postquam nihil inter utrumque 
convenit (hoc etenim sunt omnes iure molesti, 10 
quo fortes, quibus adversum bellum incidit : inter 
Hectora Priamiden, animosum atque inter Achillem 
ira fuit capitalis, ut ultima divideret mors, 
non aliam ob causam, nisi quod virtus in utroque 
summa fuit : duo si discordia vexet inertis, 15 

aut si disparibus bellum incidat, ut Diomedi 
cum Lycio Glauco, discedat pigrior,^ ultro 
muneribus missis), Bruto praetore tenente 
ditem Asiam, Rupili et Persi par pugnat, uti non 

^ tumidusque, II. 
' pigrior VKi pulchrior if 55. 

« He was half-Greek and half-Roman. 


Satire VII 

How the mongrel " Persius took vengeance on the 
foul and venomous Rupilius Rex (" king "), an out- 
lawed man, is a tale well known, methinks, to every 
blear-eyed man and barber.'' This Persius, a rich 
man, had a very large business at Clazomenae, also 
a troublesome lawsuit with Rex. A rough man he 
was, the sort that in ofFensiveness could outdo Rex, 
bold and blustering and so bitter of speech as to 
outstrip a Sisenna or a Barrus with the speed of white 

^ To return to Rex. When he and Persius could 
come to no terms — (for quarrelsome folk all claim 
the same right as heroes who meet front to front in 
battle : between Hector, son of Priam, and the 
wrathful Achilles, the anger was so deadly, that 
death alone could part them, and for this sole reason 
that the valour of each was supreme : if two cowards 
chance to quarrel, or an ill-matched pair meet in war, 
as Diomede and Lycian Glaucus,'* the less valiant 
man gives way and sends gifts to boot) — well, when 
Brutus was praetor in charge of rich Asia, Persius 

* The shops of apothecaries and barbers were favourite 
places of gossip. 

* A proverbial expression, white horses being regarded 
as the swiftest of their kind. Cf. Virgil, Aen. xii. 83 ff. 

•* See Index under Glaucus. The reference is to a famous 
scene in the sixth Iliad. 



compositum^ melius cum Bitho Bacchius. in ius^ 20 
acres procurrunt,^ magnum spectaculum uterque. 

Persius exponit causam ; ridetur ab omni 
conventu ; laudat Brutum laudatque cohortem ; 
solem Asiae Brutum appellat, stellasque salubris 
appellat comites, excepto Rege ; Canem ilium. 25 
invisum agricolis sidus, venisse. ruebat 
flumen ut hibernum, fertur quo rara securis. 
tum Praenestinus salso multoque* fluenti 
expressa arbusto regerit convicia, durus 
vindemiator et invictus, cui saepe viator 30 

cessisset magna compellans voce cuculum. 

At Graecus, postquam est Italo perfusus aceto, 
Persius exclamat : " per magnos, Brute, deos te 
oro, qui reges consueris tollere, cur non 
hunc Regem iugulas ? operum hoc, mihi crede, 
tuorum est." 35 

^ compositus DK. ^ in ius] intus V. 

* procurrunt VK, II : concurrunt aDEM. 

* multumque, //. 

" In par and compositum Horace uses terms appropriate 
to gladiators, to which class Bacchius and Bithus belonged. 

'' i.e. in some mountain gorge, which wood-choppers 
cannot enter. 


SATIRES, I. VII. 20-35 

and Rupilius clashed, a pair « not less well matched 
than Bacchius and Bithus. Keenly they rush into 
court, each wondrous to behold. 

^2 Persius sets forth his case : all the assembly 
laugh. He praises Brutus, he praises his staff. The 
" sun of Asia " he calls Brutus, and " healthful 
stars " his suite — all except Rex, who had come like 
tlie Dog-star, hated of husbandmen. On he rushed 
like some winter torrent, whither the axe is seldom 
borne.* Then, in answer to his full flood of wit, the 
man of Praeneste flings back abuse, the very essence 
of the vineyard, like some vine-dresser, tough and 
invincible, to whom the wayfarer has often had to 
yield, when loudly hooting at him " Cuckoo ! " * 

^2 But the Greek Persius, now soused with Italian 
vinegar, cries out : " By the great gods, I implore 
you, O Brutus, since it is in your line to take off 
" kings," why not behead this Rex ? <* This, believe 
me, is a task meet for you." 

• In calling out " Cuckoo ! " the passer-by implies that 
the vine-dresser is late in his pruning, which should be 
finished before the cuckoo arrives in the spring. 

■* It was a Brutus who had driven out the Tarquins, and 
it was a Brutus who had slain Caesar. 




Horace lays the scene of this incident in that part 
of the Esquihne which lay outside the famous Agger, 
or Mound of Servius, on the north-east side of Rome. 
In this district there had long been a burial-place, 
used especially for criminals and paupers, where, 
among the tombs, witches practised their weird and 
infernal rites. Here, however, Maecenas, co-operating 
with Augustus in the work of city improvement, had 
laid out beautiful gardens, in which he later built 
himself a palace with a conspicuous tower." 

The incident must be supposed to have occurred 
before the transformation from a squalid and repul- 
sive site had been completed. A wooden statue, 
however, of Priapus, the god of gardens, had abeady 
been set up. 

The gruesome story of the witches' incantations 
comes to a ridiculous end when the wood of the 
statue cracked, and the noise of the explosion drove 
the hags away in terror. 

The Satire is closely connected in subject with 
Epodes 5 and 17. Virgil's eighth Eclogue may also 
be compared, as well as the three Priapea to be 
found among the minor poems attributed to Virgil. 

" Cf. "molem propinquam nubibus arduis," Odes ill. 
29. 10. 



Olim truncus eram ficulnus, inutile lignum, 
cum faber, incertus scamnum faceretne Priapum, 
maluit esse deum. deus inde ego, furum aviumque 
maxima formido ; nam fures dextra coercet 
obscenoque ruber porrectus ab inguine palus ; 5 

ast importunas volucres in vertice harundo 
terret fixa vetatque novis considere in hortis. 
hue prius angustis eiecta cadavera cellis 
conservus vili^ portanda locabat in area ; 
hoc miserae plebi stabat commune sepulcrum, 10 
Pantolabo scurrae Nomentanoque nepoti. 
mille pedes in fronte, trecentos cippus in agrum 
hie dabat, heredes monumentum ne sequeretur.^ 
nunc licet Esquiliis habitare salubribus atque 
Aggere in aprico spatiari, quo^ modo tristes 15 

albis informem spectabant ossibus agrum ; 

* vilis K, II. ' sequerentur K, IL ' qua Bentley. 

« Cf. Isaiah xliv. 10 ff., especially 17 " and the residue 
thereof he maketh a god." 

* A wooden statue of Priapus, the garden-god, was used 
as a scarecrow. 

« On the Esquiline Hill, just outside the Servian Wall, was a 
cemetery largely used for the pauper and criminal classes. 
Here, however, Maecenas laid out his Horti, or gardens, 
which became one of the beauty-spots of Imperial Rome. 

<* This verse may come from Lucilius. It is repeated in 
Sat. ii. 1. 22 and Nomentanus is mentioned in Sat. i. 1. 102. 


Satire VIII 

Once I was a fig- wood stem, a worthless log, when 
the carpenter, doubtful whether to make a stool or a 
Priapus, chose that I be a god." A god, then, I 
became, of thieves and birds the special terror* ; for 
thieves my right hand keeps in check, and this red 
stake, protruding from unsightly groin ; while for 
the mischievous birds, a reed set on my head affrights 
them and keeps them from hghting in the new park." 
Hither in other days a slave would pay to have carried 
on a cheap bier the carcasses of his fellows, cast out 
from their narrow cells. Here was the common 
burial-place fixed for pauper folk, for Pantolabus 
the parasite, and spendthrift Nomentanus.'' Here a 
pillar assigned a thousand feet frontage and three 
hundred of depth, and provided that the graveyard 
should pass to no heirs.* To-day one may live on 
a wholesome Esquihne, and stroll on the sunny 
Rampart,^ where of late one sadly looked out on 
ground ghastly vnth bleaching bones. For myself, 

• Horace puts into verse form the common inscription, 
which defined the dimensions of a plot of ground assigned 
for burial purposes and often closed with the abbrevi- 
ated formula H. M. H. N. S. {Hoc monument urn heredes non 

' This is the famous Agger, an embankment and fosse 
of nearly a mile in length, which on the Esquiline level was 
a part of the Servian Wall system. 

H 97 


cum mihi non tantum furesque feraeque suetae 
hunc vexare locum curae sunt^ atque labori, 
quantum carminibus quae versant atque venenis 
humanos animos : has nullo perdere^ possum 20 

nee prohibere modo, simul ac vaga Luna decorum 
protulit OS, quin ossa legant herbasque nocentis. 

Vidi egomet nigra succinctam vadere palla 
Canidiam, pedibus nudis passoque capillo, 
cum Sagana maiore ululantem : pallor utrasque 25 
fecerat horrendas aspectu. scalpere terram 
unguibus et pullam divellere mordicus agnara 
coeperunt ; cruor in fossam confusus, ut inde 
manis elicerent, animas responsa daturas, 
lanea et effigies erat, altera cerea : maior 30 

lanea, quae poenis compesceret inferiorem ; 
cerea suppliciter stabat, servilibus ut quae 
iam peritura modis, Hecaten vocat altera, saevam 
altera Tisiphonen : serpentes atque videres 
infernas errare canes, Lunamque rubentem, 35 

ne foret his testis, post magna latere sepulcra. 
mentior at si quid, merdis caput inquiner albis 
corvorum, atque in me veniat mictum atque cacatum 
lulius et fragilis Pediatia furque Voranus. 
singula quid memorem, quo pacto alterna loquentes 40 
umbrae cum Sagana resonarint^ triste et acutum, 
utque lupi barbam variae cum dente colubrae 
abdiderint furtim terris, et imagine cerea 
largior arserit ignis, et ut non testis inultus 

^ sint D. * pellere Heinsiua. 

^ resonarint Bentley : resonarent uss. 

*• The passage is mock-heroic and based upon the famous 
scene in the eleventh book of the Odyssey (36 ff.), where the 
blood poured into a trench brought the spirits up from 

SATIRES, I. viii. 17-44 

'tis not so much the tliieves and beasts wont to 
infest the place that cause me care and trouble, as 
the witches who with spells and drugs vex human 
souls : these in no >vise can I bring to naught or 
stop from gathering bones and harmful herbs, as 
soon as the roving Moon has uplifted her beauteous 

^ My own eyes have seen Canidia walk with 
black robe tucked up, her feet bare, her hair dis- 
hevelled, shrieking ^vith the elder Sagana. Their 
sallow hue had made the two hideous to behold. 
Then they began to dig up the earth with their nails, 
and to tear a black lamb to pieces with their teeth ; 
the blood was all poured into a trench, that there- 
from they might draw the sprites, souls that would 
give them answers." One image there was of wool, 
and one of wax, the woollen one the larger, to curb 
and punish the smaller ; the waxen stood in suppliant 
guise, as if awaiting death in sla\ish fashion. One 
witch calls on Hecate, the other on fell Tisiphone. 
You might see serpents and hell-hounds roaming 
about, and the blushing Moon, that she might not 
\%itness such deeds, hiding behind the tall tombs. 
Nay, if I lie in aught, may my head be defiled by 
ravens' white ordure, and may Julius and the weak- 
hng Pediatia and the thief Voranus come to water 
and befoul me ! Why tell each detail — how in con- 
verse with Sagana the shades made echoes sad and 
shrill, how the two stealthily buried in the ground a 
wolf's beard and the tooth of a spotted snake,* how 
the fire blazed higher from the image of wax, and 
how as witness I shuddered at the words and deeds 

* With this passage cf. the famous witch scene in Macbeth 
IT. i. 



horruerim voces Furiarum et facta duarum ? 45 

nam displosa sonat quantum vesica pepedi 
diffissa nate ficus : at illae currere in urbem. 
Canidiae dentes, altum Saganae caliendrum 
excidere atque herbas atque incantata lacertis 
vincula cum magno risuque iocoque videres. 50 


SATIRES, I. VIII. 45-60 

of the two Furies — though not unavenged ? For as 
loud as the noise of a bursting bladder was the 
crack when my fig-wood buttock split. Away they 
ran into town. Then amid great laughter and mirth 
you might see Canidia's teeth and Sagana's high wig 
come tumbhng down, and from their arms the herbs 
and enchanted love-knots. 




While taking a morning stroll, Horace is joined by 
a mere acquaintance, who insists on accompanying 
iiim, hoping through closer intimacy to secure an 
introduction to Maecenas. The poet vainly en- 
deavoiu-s to shake him off, and it is only when the 
man's adversary in a lawsuit appears on the scene — 
a genuine deus ex machina — that Horace is rescued 
from his unhappy position. 

The delightful humour, the skilful dramatic treat- 
ment of the theme, and the poet's well-estabhshed 
position in Maecenas's circle which is assiuned, 
indicate that this is one of the latest Satires, in 
point of composition, in the first book. It may be 
compared with the sixth Satire, in which Horace 
gives an account of his introduction to Maecenas. 

For the connexion of this Satire with Lucilius see 
Introduction C. 



Ibam forte Via Sacra, sicut meus est mos 
nescio quid meditans nugarum, totus in illis. 
accurrit^ quidam notus mihi nomine tantum, 
arreptaque manu, " quid agis, dulcissime rerum ? *' 
" suaviter, ut nunc est," inquam, " et cupio omnia 
quae vis." 5 

Cum adsectaretur, " num quid vis ? " occupo. at ille, 
" noris nos," inquit ; " docti sumus." hie ego, " pluris 
hoc," inquam," mihi eris." miserediscedere quaerens, 
ire modo ocius, interdum consistere, in aurem 
dicere nescio quid puero, cum sudor ad imos^ 10 

manaret talos. " o te, Bolane, cerebri 
felicem ! " aiebam tacitus, cum quidlibet ille 
garriret, vicos,^ urbem laudaret. 

Ut illi 
nil respondebam, " misere cupis," inquit, " abire ; 
iamdudum video ; sed nil agis ; usque tenebo ; 15 
persequar* hinc quo nunc iter est tibi." " nil opus 
est te 

^ occurrit. 

* Bentley punctuated so as to take cum . . . manaret with 

' ficos, //, Charisius. 

* prosequar D, II, Bentley. 

" The Sacra Via was the oldest and most famous street in 
Rome, running into the Forum ; see Via Sacra in Index. 


Satire IX 


I was strolling by chance along the Sacred Way," 
musing after my fashion ^ on some trifle or other, 
and wholly intent thereon, when up there runs a 
man I knew only by name and seizes my hand : 
" How d'ye do, my dearest fellow ? " " Pretty 
well, as times are now," I answer, " I hope you get 
all you want." 

* As he kept dogging me, I break in with, "Nothing 
you want, is there ? "' But he : " You must know 
me ; I'm a scholar." To this I say, " Then I'll 
esteem you the more." Dreadfully eager to get 
away I now walk fast, at times stop short, then 
whisper a word in my slave's ear, wliile the sweat 
trickled down to my very ankles. " O Bolanus," I 
kept saying to myself, " how lucky to have your 
temper ! " while the fellow rattled on about every- 
thing, praising the streets and the city. 

^^ As I was making him no answer, " You're dread- 
fully anxious to be off," said he, " I have long seen 
that ; but it's no use, I'll stick to you ; I'll stay 
with you to your joiu-ney's end." 

" There's no need of your being dragged about ; 

^ In view oi forte, Wickham rightly associates sicut . . . 
mos with meditans, not with Ham. So too Lejay. 

• The question num quid vis? is a polite formula of 



circnmagi : quendam volo visere non tibi notum ; 
trans Tiberim longe cubat is, prope Gaesaris hortos." 
" Nil habeo quod agam et non sum piger : usque 
sequar te," 

Demitto auriculas, ut iniquae mentis asellus, 20 
cum gravius dorso subiit onus.. 

Incipit ille : 
" si bene me novi, non Viscum pluris amicum, 
non Varium facies : nam quis me scribere pluris 
aut citius possit versus ? quis membra movere 
mollius ? invideat quod et Hermogenes, ego^antQ." 

Interpellandi locus hie erat : " est tibi mater, 26 
cognati, quis te salvo est opus ? " 

" Haud mihi quisquam : 
omnis composui." 

" Felices ! nunc ego resto. 
confice ; namque instat fatum mihi triste, Sabella 
quod puero cecinit divina.mota^ anus urna : 30 

' hunc neque dira venena nee hosticus auferet ensis 
nee laterum dolor aut tussis nee tarda podagra ; 
garrulus hunc quando consumet cumque ; loquaces, 
si sapiat, vitet, simul atque adoleverit aetas.' " 

Ventum erat ad Vestae, quarta iam parte diei 36 
praeterita, et casu tunc respondere vadato 
debebat ; quod ni fecisset, perdere litem. 
" si me amas," inquit, " paulum hie ades." 

^ mota divina Bentley. 

<» These gardens, on the right bank of the Tiber, were 
left by Juhus Caesar to the people of Rome. 

^ Qualifications despised by Horace ; cf. Sat. i. 4. 12 fF. 
See Sat. i. 4. 72. 


SATIRES, I. IX. 17-38 

I want to visit a man you do not know. He's ill 
abed, a long way off across the Tiber, near Caesar's 
gardens." " 

" I've nothing to do, and I'm not a poor walker ; 
I'll keep on with you to the end." 

Down drop my poor ears hke a sulky donkey's, 
when he has come under a load too heavy for his 

^ Then he begins : " If I do not deceive myself, 
you will not think more of Viscus or of Varius as a 
friend than of me : for who can WTite more verses 
or write more quickly than I ? * Who can dance 
more daintily ? Even Hermogenes " might envy my 

^ Here was my chance to break in : " Have you 
a mother or kindred who are dependent upon your 
welfare ? " 

~^^-Net-one ; I have laid them all to rest." 

" O happy they ! now I am left. Finish me ; for 
now draws near to me that sad fate, which a Sabine 
dame, shaking her divining urn, sang for me in my 
boyhood : 

No wicked drug shall prove his end. 
No foeman's sword shall death him send, 
No cough or pleurisy or gout — 
A chatterbox shall talk him out : 
And if he's wise, as he grows old. 
He'll steer quite clear of talkers bold. 

^ fWe had come to Vesta's temple, a fourth of 
the day being now past, and by chance at that 
hour he was due to give answer to a plaintiff, on 
pain of losing his suit, should he fail to appear. 
" As you love me," he says, " do help me here a 
while ! " 



" Inteream, si 
aut valeo stare^ aut novi civilia iura ; 
et propero quo scis." 

" Dubius sum quid faciam," inquit, 40 
" tene relinquam an rem." " me, sodes." " non 

faciam," ille, 
et praecedere coepit. ego, ut contendere durum^ 
cum victore, sequor. 

" Maecenas quomodo tecum ? " 
hinc repetit : " paucorum hominum et mentis bene 

nemo dexterius fortuna est usus. haberes 45 

magnum adiutorem, posset qui ferre secundas, 
hunc hominem velles si tradere ; dispeream, ni 
summosses omnis." 

" Non isto vivimus^ illic" 
quo tu rere modo ; domus hac nee purior ulla est 
nee magis his aliena malis ; nil mi* officit, inquam, 50 
ditior hie aut est quia doctior ; est locus uni 
cuique suus." 

" Magnum narras, vix credibile ! " " atqui^ 
sic habet." 

" Accendis, quare cupiam magis illi 
proximus esse." 

" Velis tantummodo : quae tua virtus, 
expugnabis ; et est qui vinci possit, eoque 65 

difficilis aditus primos habet." 

" Haud mihi deero : 
muneribus servos corrumpam ; non, hodie si 
exclusus fuero, desistam ; tempora quaeram, 

* ista re Verrall. * durum est. ' vivitur. 

* mi omitted by VK Qoth. ' atque, //. 


SATIRES, I. IX. 38-58 

" Confound me if I either have strength to st-and 
up," or know the laws of the land ! and besides I 
must hurry, you know where." 

" I wonder," said he, " what I ought to do, whether 
to leave my suit or you." " Me, I pray ! " " No, I 
won't," said he, and started to go ahead. As for me, 
since 'tis hard to fight with one's master, I follow. 

*3 " How stands Maecenas with you," he thus 
begins afresh, " a man of few friends and right good 
sense ? No one ever made wiser use of his luck. 
You might have a strong backer, who could be your 
understudy, if you would introduce your humble 
servant. Hang me, if you wouldn't find that you 
had cleared the field ! " 

" We don't live there on such terms as you think. 
No house is cleaner or more free from such intrigues 
than that. It never hurts me, I say, that one 
is richer or more learned than I. Each has his own 

" That's a strange tale, I can scarce believe it." 

" And yet 'tis so." 

" You add flame to my desire to get closer to him." 

" You have only to wish it ; such is your valour, 
you will carry the fort. He's a man who can be won, 
and that is why he makes the first approaches so 

" I'll not fail myself. I'll bribe his slaves. If 
shut out to-day, I'll not give up. I'll look for the 

" As he would have to do in court. That this is the 
sense of stare seems to follow from valeo. Some, however, 
take stare as a synonym of adesse, " to appear in court," or 
as meaning " to be successful," i.e. in law. 



occurram in triviis, deducam. nil sine magno 
vita labore dedit morta'ibus." 

Haec dum agit, ecce 60 
Fuscus Aristius occurrit, mihi carus et ilium 
qui pulchre nosset. consistimus. " unde venis ? " et 
" quo tendis ? " rogat tt respondet. vellere coepi 
et pressare^ manu lentissima braechia, nutans, 
distorquens oculos, ut me eriperet. male salsus 65 
ridens dissimulare ; meum iecur urere bilis.^ - 
" certe nescio'quid secreto velle loqui te 
aiebas mecum," 

" Memini bene, sed meliore . 
tempore dicam ; hodie trieesima sabbata : vin tu 
Curtis ludaeis oppedere ? " 

" Nulla mihi," inquam, 70 
" religio est." 

" At mi ; sum paulo infirmior, unus 
multorum. ignosces ; alias loquar." 

Huncine solem 
tam nigrum surrexe mihi ! fugit improbus ac me 
sub cultro linquit. 

Casu venit obviu's illi 
adversarius, et, " quo tu turpissime ? " magna 76 
inclamat voce, et " licet antestari ? " ego vero 
oppono auriculam. rap^t in ius ; clamor utrimque, 
undique concursus. sic me servavit Apollo. 

^ pressare BK, Porph. : prensare V, Bentley. * bellis, //. 

<» Probably a quotation from some poet. The sentiment 
is found as early as Hesiod, Works and Days, 287. 

* This is probably pure nonsense, no particular Sabbath 
being intended. Perhaps, however, the Sabbath fell on the 
thirtieth of the month. 

« A bystander, consenting to act as witness, allowed the 


SATIRES, I. IX. 59-78 

fitting time ; 111 meet him in the streets ; I'll escort 
him home. 

Life grants no boon to man without much toil." " 

^ While he is thus running on, lo ! there comes up 
Aristius Fuscus, a dear friend of mine, who knew the 
fellow right well. We halt. " Whence come you ? 
Whither go you ? " he asks and answers. I begin to 
twitch his cloak and squeeze his arms — they were 
quite unfeeling — nodding and winking hard for him 
to save me.; The cruel joker laughed, pretending 
not to understand. I grew hot with anger. "Surely 
you said there was something you wanted to tell me 
in private." 

" I mind it well, but I'll tell you at a better time. 
To-day is the thirtieth Sabbath.* Would you affront 
the circumcised Jews ? " 

" I have no scruples," say I. 

" But I have. I'm a somewhat weaker brother, 
one of the many. You will pardon me ; I'll talk 
another day." 

To think so black a sun as this has shone for me ! 
The rascal runs away and leaves me under the knife. 

'* It now chanced that the plaintiff came face to 
face ^\ith his opponent. " Where go you, you 
scoundrel ? " he loudly shouts, and to me : " May I 
call you as witness ? " I off"er my ear to touch.* 
He hurries the man to court' There is shouting here 
and there, and on all sides a running to and fro. 
Thus was I saved by Apollo.'* 

htigant to touch the tip of his ear. The custom was an 
old one and is referred to in Plautus. 

"* Apollo was the god who befriended poets. The ex- 
pression comes, however, from Homer {Iliad, xx. 443), 
Tov 5" iirjpira^ev 'AjroXXuv, words which Lucilius had also used. 




Horace resumes a discussion of the main subject 
of his fourth Satire, which had brought down con- 
siderable censure upon him from the critics, who 
upheld the excellence of early Latin poetry, and to 
these he now makes reply. 

He reminds them that, while he had found fault 
with Lucilius's verse, he had also credited it with great 
satiric power. In this he was quite consistent, for 
one may admire good mimes without holding them 
to be good poems. You may make people laugh, 
but you must also have a terse style and a proper 
mixture of the grave and the gay, such as is seen 
in the robust writers of Old Attic Comedy, whom 
Hermogenes and his school never read. But LuciUus 
is admired for his skill in blending Greek and Latin. 
" Nonsense ! " cries Horace, " such a mixture is a 
serious blemish, and no more acceptable in poetry 
than in oratory " (1-30). 

The poet here confesses that at one time he had 
thought of writing in Greek instead of Latin, but 
realized in time that this would be like carrying 
faggots to the forest (31-35). 

So while Bibaculus essays something grand and 
lofty, Horace is less ambitious and turns to a more 
modest field. If we survey contemporary literature, 
comedy is pre-empted by Fundanius ; Polho has won 


fame in tragedy and Varius in the epic ; Virgil is 
simple and charming in his pastorals. Satire alone 
was open to Horace, for Varro Atacinus and others 
had tried it and failed, while Horace has met ^nth 
success, however short he may come of the first in 
the field (36-4-9). 

It is true that Horace had criticized Lucihus, just 
as Lucihus had pointed out defects in Accius and 
Ennius. His verse is faulty- — his stream is muddy, 
he lacks finish, he ■wrote too freely. If we were to 
compare him with a writer who is carving out a new 
species of verse quite untouched by the Greeks, we 
might attribute to him some pohsh, but the fact 
remains that had he lived in the Augustan age, he 
would have filed away his roughnesses, and learned 
" the last and greatest art, the art to blot " (50-71). 

A >\Titer should aim at pleasing, not the multitude, 
but a small circle of good critics. If he wins their 
approval, he may bid the cheap teachers of the 
lecture-room go hang ! (72-91). 

With this statement of his conviction, Horace puts 
the finishing touch to his First Book (92). 

In this satire Horace is a spokesman for the chief 
^vriters of the Augustan era, setting forth some of their 
ideals in contrast ^vith the ignorance and \'ulgarity 
of popular scribblers, as represented by men like 
Tigellius. Among the requisites of good satire 
Horace speaks of the appropriate use of humour, 
together Avith the qualities of bre\-ity, clearness, 
purity of diction and smoothness of composition, 
all of which are characteristic of the so-called 
plain style, or genus tenue, of poetry as of orator)', 
(For a full discussion see papers by Hendrickson and 
UUman ; also Fiske, Lucilius and Horace, pp. 336 ff.) 
I 113 


[Lucili, quam sis mendosus, teste Catone 
defensore tuo pervineam, qui male factos 
emendare parat versus ; hoc lenius ille, 
quo melior vir est, longe subtilior illo, 
qui multum puer et loris at funibus udis 6 

exoratus, ut esset opem qui ferre poetis 
antiquis posset contra fastidia nostra, 
grammaticorum equitum doctissimus. ut redeam 
illuc : ]i 

Nempe incomposito dixi pede currere versus 
Lucili. quis tarn Lucili fautor inepte est, 
ut non hoc fateatur ? at idem, quod sale multo 
urbem defricuit, charta laudatur eadem. 

Nee tamen hoc tribuens dederim quoque cetera ; 
nam^ sic 5 

et Laberi mimos ut pulchra poemata mirer. 
ergo non satis est risu diducere^ rictum 

^ LI. 1-8. These awkward verses are found in uss. of class 
II only, but are not commented on by the scholiasts. Persius, 
an imitator of Horace, begins his third satire with nempe. 
In I. 4, vir, used by the writer as a long syllable, appears as 
vir et in a few later uss. 

* num aM, II. * dcducere K, II. 

" The first eight lines are regarded as spurious, and the 
only reason for reproducing them is that they are given in 
many mss., though not in the best. The Cato referred to is 
Valerius Cato, a poet and critic of the late Republic, but who 
the grammaticorum equitum doctissimus was is not known. 


Satire X i^^ 

[Lucilius, how faulty you are I will prove clearly by 
the witness of Cato, your own advocate, who is setting 
to work to remove faults from your ill-wrought verses. 
This task is done so much more gently by him, as he 
is a better man, of much finer taste than the other, 
who as a boy was ofttimes gently entreated by the 
lash and moist ropes, so that later he might give aid 
to the poets of old against oxir present daintiness, 
when he had become the most learned of pedagogic 
knights. But to return •* :] 

^ To be sure I did say * that the verses of Lucilius 
run on with halting foot. Who is a partisan of 
LuciUus so in-and-out of season as not to confess 
this ? And yet on the self-same page the self-same 
poet is praised because he rubbed the city down 
with much salt. 

* Yet, while granting this virtue, I would not also 
allow Mm every other ; for on those terms I should 
also have to admire the mimes of Laberius as pretty 
poems.* Hence it is not enough to make your 
It is surely impossible " by reaching back over the relative 
clause intervening" to refer these words to Cato, as does 
Hendrickson, who upholds the genuineness of these verses. 

* In Sat. i. 4, which may be compared with this Satire 

' Mimes were dramatic scenes from low life, largely 
farcical and grotesque in character. Laberius, a Pioman 
knight, who was compelled by Julius Caesar to act in his 
own mimes, was no longer living when Horace wrote. 



auditoris ; et est quaedam tamen hie quoque virtus : 
est brevitate opus, ut currat sententia neu se 
impediat vei-bis lassas onerantibus auris ; 10 

et sermone opus est modo tristi, saepe iocoso, 
defendente vieem modo rhetoris atque poetae, 
interdum urbani/ parcentis viribus, atque 
extenuantis eas consulto. ridicullim acri 
fortius et melius magnas plerumque secat res. 15 
illi soripta quibu s comoedia prisca viris est 
hoc stabant, hoc sunt imitandi ; quos neque pulcher 
Hermogenes umquam legit neque simius iste 
nil praeter Calvum et doctus cantare Catullum. 

" At magnum fecit, quod verbis Graeca Latinis 20 

O seri studiorum, quine putetis 
difficile et mirum, Rhodio quod Pitholeonti 
contigit ! 

" At sermo lingua concinnus utraque 
suavior, ut^ Chio nota si commixta Falerni est." 

Cum versus facias, te ipsum percontor, an et cum 25 
dura tibi peragenda rei sit causa Petilli ? 
scilicet oblitus^ patriaeque patrisque, Latine* 
cum Pedius causas exsudet Publicola atque 

^ urbane, //. ^ et, //. 

' oblitos Bentley ; so Holder, Vollmer. 

* Latine comm. Cruq. : Latini V, 7, Bentley. 

" This, according to Porphyrio, is the Demetrius mentioned 
in 1. 90 below. Hendrickson thinks it is Bibaculus (CP. 
xii. p. 87). 

* For cantare " to satirize " cf. Sat. ii. 1. 46. These words 
are not, as commonly believed, said in depreciation of Calvus 
and Catullus, for there was no opposition toward thera 
on the part of the Augustan poets. See Rand, " Catullus 
and the Augustans," Harv. St. xvii. p. 28, and Ullraan, 
" Horace, Catullus, and Tigellius," C.P. x. pp. 270 ff. 

SATIRES, I. X. 8-28 

hearer grin with laughter— though even in that there 
is some merit. You need terseness, that the thought 
may run on, and not become entangled in verbiage 
that weighs upon wearied ears. You also need a 
style now grave, often gay, in keeping with the role, 
now of orator or poet, at times of the wit, who holds 
his strength in check and husbands it with wisdom. 
Jesting oft cuts hard knots more forcefully and 
effectively than gravity. Thereby those great men 
who wrote Old Comedy won success ; therein we 
should imitate them — vsTiters whom the fop Hermo- 
genes has never read, nor that ape," whose skill lies 
solely in droning Calvus and Catullus.* 

^ But that was a great feat," you say, " his 
mixing of Greek and Latin words." 

O ye late learners ! " ye who really think that a 
hard and wondrous knack, which Pitholeon of Rhodes 
achieved ! 

" But a style, where both tongues make a happy 
blend, has more charm, as when the Falernian wine 
is mixed with Chian."- 

^ In your verse-making only (I put it to your- 
self), or does the rule also hold good when you 
have to plead the long, hard case of the defen- 
dant Petillius ? Would you forsooth forget father- 
land and father, and, while Pedius Publicola and 
Corvinus si^at over their causes in Latin, would 

' Seri studiorum is a translation of ofifiaSeh, used of 
those who make a show of their newly acquired knowledge. 
In the words following, -ne should not be regarded as 
interrogative. It is an affirmative particle, as Priscian held 
it to be. Nothing is known about Pitholeon, but Bentley 
plausibly supposed he was the same as Pitholaus, who 
assailed Julius Caesar in verse (Suet. Jul. 75). 



Corvinus, patriis intermiscere petita 

verba foris malis, Canusini more bilinguis ? ^^30 

Atque^ ego cum Graecos facerem, natus mare citra, 
versiculos, vetuit me tali voce Quirinus, 
post mediam noctem visus, cum somnia vera : 
" In silvam non ligna feras insanitis ac si 
magnas Graecorum malis implere catervas." 35 

Turgidus Alpinus iugillat dum Memnona dumque 
defingit^ Rheni luteum caput, haec ego ludo, 
quae neque in aede sonent certantia iudice Tarpa, 
nee redeant iterum atque iterum spectanda^ theatris. 

Arguta meretrice potes Davoque Chremeta 40 
eludente senem comis garrire libellos 
unus vivorum, Fun^ani ; Pollio regum 
facta canit pede ter percusso ; forte epos aQcr, 
ut nemo, Varius ducit ; molle atque facetum 
Vergilio adnuerunt^ gaudentes rure Camenae. 45 
hoc erat, experto frustra Varrone Atacino 
atque quibusdam aliis, melius quod scribere possem,^ 
inventore minor ; neque ego illi detrahere ausim 
haerentem capiti cum multa laude coronam. 

^ atqui Bentley. 

^ defingit, / : diffingit K, II, Porph. 

* spectata K, II. 

* adnuerant a : adnuerint D. * possim, //. 

" At Canusium, in Apulia, both Greek and Oscan were 
spoken. ^^ 

* A sarcastic reference to M. Furius BibacvRs, who wrote 
an epic on Caesar's Gallic Wars, and also an Aethiopis, in 
which Memnon is slain by Achilles. The references would 
be more intelligible if the poems of Bibaculus were extant, 
but his bombastic style is clearly parodied. See further. 
Sat. ii. 5. 41. 

* i.e. the Temple of the Muses, where new poetry could 
be read. For Tarpa see Index, under Maecius. 

'' A reference to New Comedy, as handled by Terence. 

SATIRES, I. X. 29-49 

you prefer to jumble with your native speech words 
imported from abroad, like the Canusian's jargon <» ? 

31 I, too, though born this side of the sea, once took 
to writing verses in Greek; but after midnight, when 
dreams are true, Quirinus appeared and forbade me 
with words like these : " 'Tis just as foolish to carry 
timber to a wood as to ^vish to swell the crowded 
ranks of the Greeks." 

^ So while the pompous poet of the Alps miu-ders* 
Memnon and botches with mud the head of the 
Rhine,* I am toying 'vnth these trifles, which are 
neither to be heard in the Temple" as competing for 
Tarpa's verdict, nor are to come back again and again 
to be witnessed on the, stage. 

*^ You alone of living poets, Fundanius, can charm 
us ^v^th the chit-chat of comedies, where the artful 
mistress and Davus fool old Chremes."* In measure 
of triple beat Polho sings of kings' exploits .« Sur- 
passing all in spirit, Varius moulds the valorous epic' 
To Virgil the Muses rejoicing in rural life have 
granted simplicity and charm." This satire, which 
Varro of the Atax and some others had vainly tried, 
was what I could vncite with more success, though 
falhng short of the inventor " ; nor would I dare to 
■wTcst from him the crown that clings to his brow 
with so much glory. 

• Pollio us^^he iambic trimeter in his tragedies. 

f This was written before Virgil had composed his Aeneid. 

' A reference to the Eclogues. Professor C. N. Jackson 
has won wide acceptance for his view that in moUe atqu4 
facetum, commonly rendered as " tenderness and grace," 
Horace refers to distinctive features of the genus tenu4, or 
plain style of writing {Hare. St. xxv. pp. 117 ff.). 

* Lucilius. 



^ p At^ dixi fluere hunc lutulentum, saepe ferentem 50 
pliira quidem tollenda relinquendis. age, quaeso,^ 
tu nihil in magncf doctus reprehendis Homero ? 
nil comis tragici mutat Lucilius Acci ? 
non ridet versus Enni gravitate minores,'' 
cum de se loquitur non ut maiore reprensis ? 65 

quid vetat et nosmet Lucili scripta legentis 
quaerere, num illius, num rerum dnrfi negarit 
versiculos natura magis factes^t euntis 
mollius, ac^ si quis, pedibus quid claudere senis, 
hoc tantum contentus, amet scripsisse ducentos 60 
ante cibum versus, totidem cenatus ? Etrusci 
quale fuit Cassi rapido ferventius amni 
ingenium, capsis quem fama eft esse librisque 
ambustum propriis. 

Fuerit Lucilius, inquam, 
comis et urbanus,^ fuerit limatior idem 65 

quam rudis et Graecis intacti carminis auctor 
quamque poetarum seniorum turba : sed ille, 
si foret hoc nostrum fato delapsus' in aevum, 
detereret sibi multa, recideret omne quod ultra 
^p^fectum traheretur, et in versu faciendo 70 

saepe caput scaberet, vivos et roderet unguis. 

Saepe stilum vertas, iterum quae digna legi sint 
scripturus, neque te ut miretur turba labores, 

1 at or adj et \l^. ^ quaero, /. ^ minoris Ooth. 

* altos Goth. * et a. ® urbanis, //. 

' delapsus V, adopted by Vollmer and Lejay : dilatus one 
Bland., Bentley and generally accepted : dilapsus mss. 

" i.e. hexameters. ' On Cassius see p. 277, note *. 

« Cf. Sat. 1. 4. 90. The coincidence implies that there the 
hie is LuciHus. So Tenney Frank in A.J.P. xlvi. (1925) 
p. 72. <• Cf. Quintihan, x. 1. 93 "satura tota nostra est." 

• The phrase stilum verier e means to erase what has been 
written on the wax tablet, because the blunt end of the 

SATIRES, I. X. 50-73 

^ But I did say his stream runs muddy, and often 
carries more that you would rather remove than 
leave beliind. Come, pray, do you, a scholar, criti- 
cize nothing in the great Homer ? Does your genial 
Lucihus find nothing to change in the tragedies of 
Accius ? Does he not laugh at the verses of Ennius 
as lacking in dignity, though he speaks of himself as 
no greater than those he has blamed B' And as we 
read the writings of Lucihus, what forbids us, too, to 
raise the question whether it was his own genius, 
or whether it was the harsh nature of his themes * 
that denied him verses more finished and easier in 
their flow than if one were to put his thoughts into 
six feet <» and, content with thds alone, were proud • 
of having written two hundred hnes before and two 
hundred after supping ? Such was the gift of Tuscan 
Cassius,*" more headstrong than a rushing river, whose 
own books and cases, so 'tis told us, made his funeral 

^ Grant, say I, that Lucilius was genial and 
witty " : grant that he was also more polished than 
you would expect one to be who was creating a new 
style quite untouched by the Greeks,** and more 
polished than the crowd of older poets : yet, had 
he fallen by fate upon this our day, he would 
smooth away much of his work, would prune oflP all 
that trailed beyond the proper limit, and as he 
wrought his verse he would oft scratch his head and 
gnaw his nails to the quick. 

■^ Often must you turn your pencil to erase/ if you 
hope to write something worth a second reading, and 
you must not strive to catch the wonder of the crowd, 

stilus was used to smooth out the surface traced by the 
sharp end. 

^ 121 


contentus paucis lectoribus. an tua demens 
vilibus^ in ludis dictari carmina malis ? 75 

non ego ; nam satis est equitem mihi plaudere, ut 

contemptis aliis, explosa Arbuscula dixit. 

Men moveat cimex Pantilius, aut cruciet quod 
vellicet absentem Demetrius, aut quod ineptus 
Fannius Hermogenis laedat conviva Tigelli ? O^'*^*^ 
Plotius et Varius, Maecenas Vergiliusque, 
Valgius et probet haec Octavius optimus atque 
Fuscus et haec utinam Viscorum laudet uterque ! 
ambitione relegata te dicere possum, 
Pollio, te, Messalla, tuo cum fratre, simulque 86 

'vos, Bibule et Servi, simul his te, candide Furni, 
compluris alios, doctos ego quos et amicos 
prudens praetereo ; quibus haec, sint quaHacumque, 
adridere vehm, doUturus, si placeant spe 
deterius nostra. Demetri, teque, Tigelli, 90 

discipularum^ inter iubeo plorare cathedras. 

I, puer, atque meo citus haec subscribe libello. 
^ milibus xj/Xl. ^ discipularum uss. Porph. : discipulorum. 

" i.e. Aristius Fuscus. Octavius is Octavius Musa, poet 
and historian. 

* The phrase iubeo plorare is a satiric substitute for iubeo 
valere ("I bid farewell to"). Cf. otVcofe in Aristophanes, as 
in Plut. 257. 

* In this paragraph Horace contrasts writers of low 
literary standards, represented by Tiarellius, with members 
of the three circles of Maecenas, Pollio and Messalla. He 
himself, like Virgil, belongs to the circle of Maecenas. 
TibuUus, a member of Messalla's circle, is perhaps at this 
time too young to be named. (See Ullman, C.P. x. (1910) 
pp. 270 ff.) 

■* The last verse, addressed to the slave who acts as 
secretary, serves as an epilogue to the whole book. " The 
farewell (or rather * fare-ill ') to Tigellius is the last shot in 
the war, and Tigellius is never mentioned again. The last 

SATIRES, I. X. 74-92 

but be content with the few as your readers. WTiat, 
would you be so foolish as to want your poems 
dictated in common schools ? Not so I. " 'Tis 
enough if the knights applaud me " — to quote daunt- 
less Arbuscula's scornful remark, when the rest of 
the house hissed her. 

"* Am I to be troubled by that louse Pantilius? 
Or tortured because Demetrius carps at me behind 
my back, or because silly Fannius, who sponges 
on Hermogenes TigelUus, girds at me ? Let but 
Plotius and Varius approve of these verses ; let 
Maecenas, Virgil, and Valgius ; let Octa\-ius and 
Fuscus," best of men ; and let but the Viscus brothers 
give their praise ! With no desire to flatter, I may 
name you, PoUio ; you, Messalla, and your brother ; 
also you, Bibulus and Ser\ius ; also you, honest 
Fumius, and many another scholar and friend, whom 
I piu^osely pass over. In their eyes I should hke 
these verses, such as they are, to find favour, and I 
should be grieved if their pleasure were to fall short 
of my hopes. But you, Demetrius, and you, TigeUius, 
I bid you go whine * amidst the easy chairs of your 
pupils in petticoats ! " 

^^ Go,"* lad, and quickly add these Unes to my Uttle 

line of the first book represents the triumph of an artistic 
ideal " (Ulhnan, loc. cit. p. 279). 

* In connexion with this Satire reference may be made to 
articles mentioned on p. 61, as well as to the following: 
Hendrickson, G. L., " Horace and Lucilius. A Study of 
Horace, Serm. i. 10," in Gildersleeve Studies, pp. 151 ff. ; 
" Horace and Valerius Flaccus " (three articles), C.P. xi. 
and xii. ; B. L. Ullman, " Horace, Catullus and Tigellius," 
C.P. X. pp. 270 ff.; E. K. Rand, "Catullus and the 
Aagustans," Hare. St. xvii. pp. 15 ff.; C. F. Jackson, 
" MoUe atque Facetum." Harv. St. xxiv. pp. 117 ff. 




This Satire continues the subject of the fourth and 
tenth Satires of the First Book. That book had 
aroused much criticism, which the poet meets in this 
prologue to his Second Book. 

The Satire assumes the form of an imaginary 
dialogue between Horace and C, Trebatius Testa, a 
famous lawyer of Cicero's time, whose legal advice 
on the subject of satiric writing Horace is professedly 
anxious to secure. Trebatius advises him to give 
up writing altogether, or if that is impossible, to 
take up epic poetry (1-12). 

" I have no gift for the epic," says Horace, " and 
yet I must write, and must write satire, even as 
Lucilius used to do. I belong to a frontier stock 
but am armed for defence, not offence, using the 
pen when attacked as naturally as the bull its horns " 

TREBATIUS. Then you will come to grief. Some 
of your great friends will freeze you to death. 

HORACE. Did those of Lucilius desert him, when 
he attacked great and small ? Nay, he lived on 
intimate terms with Scipio and Laehus, and though 



I fall short of him in social rank and ability, yet I, 
too, have illustrious friends (60-79)- 

TRE. But let me remind you of the law. You 
are forbidden to write bad — that is, Ubellous — verses 
against anyone. 

HOR. Of course not. But what if they are good, 
hke mine, and win Caesar's approval ? 

TRE. Then such a charge will be laughed out of 
court (79-86). 

In view of Caesaris invicti of 1. 11, it would seem 
that this Satire was wTitten after the Battle of 
Actiimi, and therefore shortly before the pubhcation 
of this Second Book in 30 b.c. Horace is now thirty- 
five years of age and has won recognition and an 
assured position in Roman hteratiire. He no longer 
finds it necessary to defend his satire very seriously, 
but, as Lejay, in his introduction to this Satire, has 
clearly sho^^Ti, " the legal conditions under which 
satire could be produced in the Augustan age 
formed a very real restriction upon the freedom of 
speech traditional in satire. . . . There is a touch of 
serious anxiety beneath the jest upon the inala and 
bona carmina with which the Satire closes " (Fiske, 
Lucilius and Horace, p. 370). 



Sunt quibus in satura videar^ nimis acer et ultra 
legem tendere opus ; sine nervis altera, quidquid 
composui, pars esse putat similisque meorum 
mi lie die versus deduci^ posse. Trebati, 
quid faciam, praescribe. 

" Quiescas." 

Ne faciam, inquis, 5 

omnino versus ? 

" Aio." 

Peream male, si non • 
optimum erat ; verum nequeo dormirey^ 

j^i Ter uncti 

transnanto Tiberim, somno quibus e^ opus alto, 
irriguumque mero sub noctem corpus habento. 
aut si tantus amor scribendi te rapit, aude 10 

Caesaris invicti res dicere, multa laborum 
praemia laturus." 

Cupidum, pater optime, vires 
deficiunt : neque enim quivis horrentia pilis 
agmina nee fracta pereuntis cuspide Gallos 
aut labentis equo describat^ volnera Parthi. 15 

1 videor 0i/'. * diduci, II. 

» describat aEM: -it D, II: -et K. 

« We may infer from one letter of Cicero's {Ad/am. vii. 22) 

Satire I 

HORACE. There are some critics who think that I 
am too savage in my satire and strain the work 
beyond la^\•ful bounds. The other half of them hold 
that all I have composed is " nerveless," and that 
verses as good as mine could be turned out a thousand 
a day. Give me advice, Trebatius. What am I to do? 

TREBATius. Take a rest. 

HOR. Not write verses at all, you mean ? 

TRE. Yes. 

HOR. Confound me, if that would not be best ! 
But I cannot sleep. 

TRE. Let those who need sound sleep oil themselves 
and swim across the Tiber thrice ; then, as night 
comes on, let them steep themselves in wine." Or 
if such a passion for wTiting carries you away, bravely 
tell of the feats of Caesar, the unvanquished. Many 
a reward for your pains will you gain. 

HOR. Would that I could, good father, but my 
strength fails me. Not everyone can paint ranks 
bristling with lances, or Gauls falling with spear- 
heads shattered, or wounded Parthian slipping from 
his horse. 

that Trebatius was a hard drinker, and we learn from 
another (»6. vii. 10) that he was fond of swimming,s<wdio»m»- 
miM homo natandi. 



" Altamen et iustum poteras et scribere fortem, 
Scipiadam ut sapiens Lucilius." 

Haud mihi dero, 
cum res ipsa feret : nisi dextro tempore, Flacci 
verba per attentam non ibunt Caesaris aurem, 
cui male si palpere, recalcitrate undique tutus. 20 

" Quanto rectius hoc, quam tristi laedere versu 
Pantolabum scurram Nomentanumque^ nepotem, 
cum sibi quisque timet, quamquam est intactus, et 

Quid faciam ? saltat Milonius, ut semel icto 
accessit fervor capiti numerusque lucernis ; 25 

Castor gaudet equis, ovo prognatus eodem 
pugnis ; quot capitum vivunt, totidem studiorum 
milia : me pedibus delectat claudere verba 
Lucili ritu, nostrum melioris utroque, 
ille velut fidis arcana sodalibus olim 30 

credebat libris, neque si male cesserat,^ usquam 
decurrens alio, neque si bene ; quo fit, ut omnis 
votiva pateat veluti descripta tabella 
vita senis. 

Sequor hunc, Lucanus an Apulus, anceps : 
nam Venusinus arat finem sub utrumque colonus, 35 
missus ad hoc, pulsis, vetus est ut fama, Sabellis, 
quo ne per vacuum Romano incurreret hostis, 
sive quod Apula gens seu quod Lucania bellum 
incuteret violenta. sed hie stilus haud petet ultro 

1 recalcitret. * .que] -ve, //, Porph. 

' cesserat K : gesserat mss. 

" A line quoted, with change of case, from Sat. i. 8. 11. 
" Coming as he doe^ of frontier stock, Horace humorously 


SATIRES, II. I. 16-39 

THE. But you might write of himself, at once just 
and valiant, as -wise Lucihus did of Scipio. 

HOR. I ^Wll not fail myself, when the occasion 
itself prompts. Only at an auspicious moment will 
the words of a Flaccus find with Caesar entrance to an 
attentive ear. Stroke the steed climisily and back 
he kicks, at every point on his guard. 

^ THE. How much Aviser tliis than with bitter verse 
to wound " Pantolabus, the parasite, and spendthrift 
Nomentanus," " whereupon everybody is afraid for 
himself, though untouched, and hates you. 

^ HOR. What am I to do ? Milonius starts a-dancing 
once the heat has mounted to his wine-smitten brain 
and the lamps twinkle double. Castor finds joy in 
horses ; his brother, born from the same egg, in 
boxing. For every thousand hving soiils, there are 
as many thousand tastes. My own delight is to shut 
up words in feet, as did Lucilius, a better man than 
either of us. He in olden days would trust his secrets 
to his books, as if to faithful friends, never turning 
elsewhere for recourse, whether things went well 
with him or ill. So it comes that the old poet's 
whole life is open to view, as if painted on a votive 

** He it is I follow — I, a Lucanian or Apulian,* I 
know not which, for the settlers in Venusia plough 
close to the borders of both lands. Thither they 
were sent, as the old story goes, wlien the Samnites 
were driven out, and to this end, that no foe might 
ever assail the Romans through an open frontier, 
whether the Apuhan race or whether Lucania law- 
lessly threatened any war. But this, both my dagger 

claims that this is why he is so pugnacious and takes to 

M. 129 


quemquam animantem et me veluti custodiet ensis 40 
vagina tectus ; quern cur destringere^ coner 
tutus ab infestis latronibus ? o pater et rex 
luppiter, ut pereat positum robigine telum,^ 
nee quisquam noceat cupido mihi pacis ! at ille, 
qui me commorit (melius non tangere, elamo), 45 

flebit et insignis tota cantabitur urbe. » 

Cervius iratus leges minitatur et urnam, 
Canidia Albuci quibus est inimica venenum, 
grande malum Turius, si quid se iudice certes.' 
ut quo quisque valet suspectos terreat, utque 50 

imperet hoc natura potens, sic collige mecum : 
dente lupus, cornu taurus petit ; unde, nisi intus 
monstratum ? Scaevae vivacem crede nepoti 
matrem ; nil faciet sceleris pia dextera : mirura, 
ut neque calce lupus quemquam neque dente petit^ 
bos : 55 

sed mala^ toilet anum vitiato melle eicuta. 
ne longum faciam : seu me tranquilla senectus 
exspectat seu mors atris circumvolat alis, 
dives, inops, Romae, seu fors ita iusserit, exsul, 
quisquis erit vitae scribam color. 

" O puer, ut sis 60 
vitalis metuo, et maiorum ne quis amicus 
frigore te feriat." quid ? cum est Lucilius ausus 
primus in hunc operis componere carmina morem, 
detrahere et pellem, nitidus qua quisque per ora 

^ distringere, //. 

* telum Mss. : ferrum Priscian. 

' quis . . . certet BK, II. * petat D(f>ipl. 

* mala mss. : male E3I. 

" The stilus, a pointed instrument, could be used either 
as a pen or as a weapon. For the latter sense cf. stiletto. 


SATIRES, II. I. 40-64 

and pen,* shall never of my free will assail any man 
alive but shall protect me, like a sword laid up in its 
sheath. Why should I try to draw it, while I am 
safe from robbers' assaults ? O Jupiter, Sire and 
King, let perish with rust the discarded weapon, 
and let no man injure me, a lover of peace ! But if 
one stir me up (" Better not touch me ! " I shout), 
he shall smart for it and have his name sung up and 
do^^■n the town. 

*' Cer\'ius, when angry, threatens his foes with 
laws and the judge's urn ; Canidia \vith the poison 
of Albucius ; Turius with a big fine, if you go to 
court when he is judge. How everyone, using the 
weapon in which he is strong, tries to frighten those 
whom he fears, and how this is at Dame Nature's 
own command, you must infer — as I do — thus : the 
wolf attacks with fangs, the bull with horns — how 
was each taught, if not by instinct ? Suppose you 
entrust to the spendthrift Scaeva a long-lived mother : 
his filial hand will commit no crime. How mar- 
vellous ! no more so than that a wolf assails none 
with his heels, nor an ox with his teeth ; but deadly 
hemlock in drugged honey will carry the old crone 
off. To be brief — whether peaceful age awaits me, 
or Death hovers round with sable wings, rich or 
poor, in Rome, or, if chance so bid, in exile, whatever 
the colour * of my hfe, write I must. 

®* TRE. My lad, I fear your life will be brief. 
One of your great friends will strike you with a 
killing frost. 

HOR. \\'hat ! when Lucihus first dared to compose 
poems after this kind, and to strip off the skin Avith 
which each strutted all bedecked before the eyes of 
* i-e. bright or dark, with good or bad fortune. 



cederet, introrsum tiirpis, num Laelius et^ qui 65 
duxit ab oppressa meritum Karthagine nomen 
ingenio ofFensi aut laeso doluere Metello 
famosisque Lupo cooperto versibus ? atqui 
primores populi arripuit populumque tributim,^ 
scilicet uni aequus Virtuti atque eius amicis. 70 

quin ubi se a volgo et scaena in secreta remorant 
virtus Scipiadae et mitis sapientia Laeli, 
nugari cum illo et discincti ludere, donee 
decoqueretur holus, soliti. quicquid sum ego, quam- 

infra Lucili censum ingeniumque, tamen me 75 

cum magnis vixisse invita fatebitur usque 
invidia, et fragili quaerens inlidere dentem 
offendet solido, nisi quid tu, docte Trebati, 

" Equidem nihil hinc diffindere^ possum. 
sed tamen ut monitus caveas, ne forte negoti 80 

incutiat tibi quid sanctarum inscitia legum : 
si mala condiderit in quem quis carmina, ius est 

Esto, si quis mala ; sed bona si quis 
iudice condiderit laudatus Caesare ? si quis 
opprobriis dignum latraverit, integer ipse ? 8fi 

" Solventur risu tabulae, tu missus abibis." 

» etD/T: aut aE. 

* tributim aK : tributum DE. 

' diffindere VDM, II, Porph. : diffingereo: diffundere JB? : 

" The younger Scipio Africanus. 

* In 1. 82 Horace uses the very phraseology of the XII. 
Tables as cited by Pliny, " qui malum carmen incantassit" 
{Hist. Nat. xxviii. 4. 18), and Cicero, "sive carmen condi- 


SATIRES, II. I. 65-86 

men, though foul within, was Laelius offended at 
his wit, or he who took his well-earned name from 
conquered Carthage ? " Or were they hurt because 
Metellus was smitten, and Lupus buried under a 
shower of lampooning verses ? Yet he laid hold 
upon the leaders of the people, and upon the people 
in their tribes, kindly in fact only to Virtue and her 
friends. Nay, when virtuous Scipio and the wise 
and gentle Laelius withdrew into privacy from the 
throng and theatre of life, they would turn to folly, 
and flinging off restraint would indulge with him in 
sport while their dish of herbs was on the boil. Such as 
I am, however far beneath Lucilius in rank and native 
gifts, yet Envj", in spite of herself, will ever admit 
that I have lived with the great, and, while trying 
to strike her tooth on something soft, will dash upon 
what is solid. But maybe you, learned Trebatius, 

'^ TRE. Indeed, I can take no exception to this. But 
for all that, let me warn you to beware, lest haply 
ignorance of our sacred laws bring you into trouble. 
If a man write ill verses against another,'' there is a 
right of action and redress by law. 

HOR. To be sure, in case of ill verses. But what 
if a man compose good verses, and Caesar's judge- 
ment approve ? If he has barked at someone who 
deserves abuse, himself all blameless ? 

TRE. The case will be dismissed with a laugh." 
You will get off scot-free. 

disset" {De republica, iv. 10. 12). Horace is, of course, 
punning on the use of malum, which can mean both 
" libellous " and " of bad quality." 

* Literally, "the ofScial rei'ords will be cancelled." See 
Jefferson Elmore, C.R. xxxiii. p. 102. 



Horace puts the discourse in the mouth of Ofellus, 
an old neighbour of the poet's, and a representative 
of the simphcity and other sturdy quahties of the 
Apuhan farmers. As a whole, however, the Satire 
is mainly a collection of commonplaces taken from 
the teachings of the various philosophic schools, 
though the theme and even the mode of handling it 
were probably suggested by Lucilius. It stands 
midway between dialogue and monologue, and 
perhaps indicates that the author is still experi- 
menting in regard to the form. It is probably the 
first one of this book in the order of composition. 

The argument is as follows : Learn from me, or 
rather from my authority, Ofellus — a plain but 
shrewd countryman — the value of simple living. 
Let us learn the lesson before we break our fast. 

A man never despises frugal fare after heavy 
exercise, because the pleasure of eating lies, not in 
costly food, but in oneself. The most tempting 
dainties lose their flavour for the man who has no 
appetite. People foolishly prefer a peacock to a 
pullet, simply because it has a fine tail and costs 
inore money. So, too, a three-pound mullet is 
admired, while a big pike is scorned. The former 


is an unnatural rarity, the latter is common, and the 
well-fed stomach scorns things common. Some day 
we shall find roast gulls in fashion (1-52). 

Plain living is not the same as mean living, and 
you must not avoid one fault merely to fall into 
another. There is a happy mean between stinginess 
and extravagance (53-69). 

A simple fare means healtli of body, a good diges- 
tion, sound and refreshing sleep, mental vigour. It 
allows one to indulge himself occasionally, as when 
the hohdays come, or in times of ill-health, or when 
old age arrives. In the good old days dainties were 
reserved for hospitality (70-93). 

A luxurious life leads to disgrace and ruin. " That 
may be true of others," says one, " but I can well 
afford to be extravagant." Then why not use your 
money for better ends ? And what about the changes 
and chances of life ? Which of the two will meet 
them best, the man accustomed to every comfort, or 
the one who is content with little (94'-lll) ? 

I knew Ofellus in my boyhood, when he was the 
well-to-do owner of the land on which he now pays 
rent. In those days he lived the same simple life 
that he does now, and when misfortunes came, he 
faced them bravely and in true philosophic fashion 

Kiessling has pointed out how closely this Satire 
reproduces some ideas found in the well-known letter 
of Epicurus to Menoecus (Diog. Laert. x. 131), but 
Lejay has also called attention to striking parallels 
in Cicero's philosophical writings. Even the phrase 
tenuis victus (1. 53) is Ciceronian (cf. Tusc. Disp. iii. 
4.9. 5 ; V. 26. 89, etc.). " Ciceron," says Lejay (p. 380), 
" est peut-etre encore plus completement I'inspira- 
tion des grandes hgnes de la satire." 



Quae virtus et quanta, boni, sit \avere parvo 
(nee meus hie sermo est, sed quae praecepit Ofellus 
rusticus, abnormis^ sapiens crassaque Minerva), 
discite, non inter lances mensasque nitentis, 
cum stupet insanis acies fulgoribus et cum 6 

acclinis falsis animus meliora recusat, 
verum hie impransi mecum disquirite. " cur hoc ? " 
dicam, si potero. 

Male verum examinat omnis 
corruptus iudex. leporem sectatus equove 
lassus ab indomito vel, si Romana fatigat 10 

militia adsuetum graecari, seu pila velox 
moUiter austerum studio fallente laborem, 
seu te discus agit (pete cedentem aera disco) — 
cum labor extuderit fastidia, siccus, inanis 
sperne cibum vilem ; nisi Hymettia mella Falerno 15 
ne biberis diluta. foris est promus et atrum 
defendens piscis hiemat mare : cum sale panis 
latrantem stomachum bene leniet. unde putas aut 
qui partum ? non in caro nidore voluptas 

^ abnormi aEK Acr. ; ab normis Vollmer and Lejay. 

" For Romana militia, or training for the Roman army, 
cf. Cicero, De nat. deor. ii. 64, " ut exerceamur in venando 
ad similitudinem bellicae disciplinae," and for the contrast 
with Greek games see Odes, iii. 24. 54 if. 

* According to Macrobius, Saturn, vii. 12, the besi 

Satire II 

What and how great, my friends, is the virtue of 
frugal living — now this is no talk of mine, but is the 
teaching of Ofellus, a peasant, a philosopher un- 
schooled and of rough mother'-wit — learn, I say, not 
amid the tables' shining dishes, when the eye is 
dazed by senseless splendour, and the mind, turning 
to vanities, rejects the better part ; but here, before 
we dine, let us discuss the point together. " Why 
so ? " I will tell you, if I can. 

* Every judge who has been bribed weighs truth 
badly. After hunting the hare or wearily dismount- 
ing from an unbroken horse, or else, if Roman army- 
exercises " are fatiguing to one used to Greek ways, 
it may be the swift ball takes your fancy, where the 
excitement pleasantly beguiles the hard toil, or it 
may be the discus (by all means hurl the discus 
through the yielding air) — well, when toil has knocked 
the daintiness out of you ; when you are thirsty and 
hungry, despise, if you can, plain food ; refuse to 
drink any mead, unless the honey is from Hymettus, 
and the wine from Falernum.'' The butler is out ; 
the sea, dark and stormy, protects its fish ; bread 
and salt will suffice to appease your growling belly. 
Whence or how do you think this comes about ? The 
chiefest pleasure lies, not in the costly savour, but in 

mead was made of new Hymettian honey and old Falernian 



summa, sed in te ipso est. tu pulmentaria quaere 20 
sudando : pinguem vitiis albumque neque ostrea 
nee scarus aut poterit peregrina iuvare lagois. 
Vix tamen eripiam, posito pavone velis quin 
hoc potius quam gallina tergere palatum, 
corruptus vanis rerum, quia veneat auro 25 

rara avis et picta pandat spectacula cauda ; 
tamquam ad rem attineat quicquam. num vesceris 

quam laudas pluma ? cocto num adest honor^ idem ? 
came tamen quamvis distat nil, hac^ magis illam^ 
imparibus formis deceptum te petere^ ! esto : 30 
unde datum sentis, lupus hie Tiberinus an alto 
captus hiet, pontisne inter iactatus an amnis 
ostia sub Tusci ? laudas, insane, trilibrem 
muUum, in singula quern minuas pulmenta necesse 

ducit te species, video, quo pertinet ergo 35 

proceros odisse lupos ? quia scilicet illis 
maiorem natura modum dedit, his breve pondus. 
ieiunus raro stomachus volgaria temnit. 

" Porrectum magno magnum spectare catino 
vellem," ait Ilarpyiis gula digna rapacibus. at vos, 40 
praesentes Austri, coquite horum obsonia. quam- 

putet aper rhombusque recens, mala copia quando 

^ color Goth. * haec, 

» illam E Goth., Porph. : ilia aD, II. 

* petere aDEK Porph. : patet D^M, Orelli. 

* quamvis, //. 

» Cicero {Ad fam. ix. 20. 2) implies that a peacock was 
regarded as an essential feature of a banquet. 


SATIRES, II. 11. 20-42 

yourself. So earn your sauce with hard exercise. 
The man who is bloated and pale from excess 
will find no comfort in oysters or trout or foreign 

^ Yet, if a peacock be served,* I shall hardly root 
out your longing to tickle your palate with it rather 
than \\ith a pullet. You are led astray by the vain 
appearance, because the rare bird costs gold and 
makes a brave show with the picture of its outspread 
tail — as though that had aught to do >vith the case ! 
Do you eat the feathers you so admire ? Does the 
bird look as fine when cooked ? Yet, though in 
their meat they are on a par, to think that you crave 
the one rather than the other, duped by the difference 
in appearance ! Very well. But what sense tells 
you whether this pike gasping here was caught in the 
Tiber or in the sea, whether in the eddies between 
the bridges ^ or just at the mouth of the Tuscan" 
river ? You foolish fellow, you praise a three-pound 
mullet, which you must needs cut up into single 
portions. 'Tis the look, I see, that takes you. Why 
then detest a very long pike ? It is, of course, 
because nature has made the pike large, and the 
mullet hght of weight. Only a stomach that seldom 
feels hunger scorns things common. 

^ "But a big fish on a big dish outstretched! 
That's what I'd hke to see ! " cries a gullet worthy of 
the greedy Harpies. Nay, come in your might, ye 
southern gales, and taint these gluttons' dainties ! 
And yet they are already rank, yon boar and fresh 

* i.e. oS the Ins^ula Tiberina. The two bridges. Pons 
Cestius and Pons Fabricius, connected the island with the 
right and left banks of the Tiber. 

• The Tiber rises in Etruria. 



aegrum sollicitat stomachum, cum rapula plenus 

atque acidas mavolt inulas. necdum omnis abacta 

pauperies epulis regum : nam vilibus ovis 45 

nigrisque est oleis hodie locus, baud ita pridem 

Galloni praeconis erat acipensere mensa 

infamis. quid? tunc^ rhombos minus aequor alebat^? 

tutus erat rhombus tutoque cieonia nido, 

donee vos auctor docuit praetorius. ergo 50 

si quis nunc mergos suavis edixerit assos, 

parebit pravi docilis Romana iuventus. 

Sordidus a tenui victu distabit,^ Ofello 
iudice ; nam frustra vitium vitaveris illud, 
si te alio pravum detorseris. Avidienus, 55 

cui Canis ex vero ductum* cognomen adhaeret. 
quinquennis oleas est et silvestria corna, 
ac nisi mutatum parcit defundere^ vinum, et 
cuius odorem olei^ nequeas perferre, licebit 
ille repotia, natalis alios ve dierum 60 

festos albatus celebret, cornu ipse bilibri 
caulibus instillat, veteris non parcus aceti. 
quali igitur victu sapiens utetur, et horum 
utrum imitabitur? hac urget lupus, hac canis, aiunt.' 
mundus erit, qua^ non offendat sordibus, atque 65 
in neutram partem cultus miser, hie neque servis, 
Albuci senis exemplo, dum munia didit,® 

^ turn, II. ' aequora alebant EM. 

' distabit early editors : distabat mss. 

* ductum V: dictum mss. 

5 fundere, //. « olet, //. ' angit D». 

8 qui, //. » dedit DEAL 

' Lucilius had satirized Gallonius for serving a huge 
sturgeon at dinner. 

'' According to Porphyrion, the reference is to one Rufus, 
who set the fashion of eating storks, and who was defeated 


SATIRES, II. n. 43-67 

turbot, since cloying plenty worries the jaded 
stomach, which, sated as it is, prefers radishes and 
tart pickles the while. Nor is the poor man's fare yet 
wholly banished from the feasts of kings, for cheap 
eggs and black olives still have a place. 'Tis not so 
long ago that by reason of a sturgeon the table of 
Gallonius the auctioneer won ill repute." What ? 
Was the sea less a home for turbots in those days ."* 
The turbot was safe, and safe was the nest of the 
stork, till a praetor's sanction taught you the lesson .'' 
So now, should someone decree that roasted gulls are 
delicacies, our Roman youth, quick to learn ill ways, 
will obey. 

^ A mean style of living will differ, so Ofellus 
thinks, from a simple one ; for it ^\^ll be idle for you 
to shun one fault, if you turn aside into another 
crooked path. Avidienus, to whom the nickname 
" Dog " quite rightly clings, eats his olives five years 
old with cornels from the wood, and is chary of 
dra\\ing his wine till it has soured ; as to his oil, you 
couldn't bear its smell, yet even if in his whitened 
garb " he keeps a wedding or birthday feast or some 
other holiday, he drops it on the salad from a two- 
pound horn with his own hands, though his old 
vinegar he does not stint. What style then will the 
wise man adopt, and which of these two will he copy ? 
On the one side, as the saying is, a wolf attacks, on 
the other a dog. He will be neat, so far as not to 
shock us by meanness, and in his mode of living ■will 
be unhappy in neither direction. He will neither, 
like old Albucius, be cruel to his slaves, as he assigns 

for the praetorship. The word praetorius is therefore used 
in irony. 

' i^. in holiday attire, and wearing a freshly cleaned toga. 



saevus erit ; nee sic ut simplex Naevius unctam 
convivis praebebit aquam : vitium hoc quoque mag- 
num. 69 

Accipe nunc, victus tenuis quae quantaque secum 
adferat. imprimis valeas bene, nam variae res 
ut noceant homini credas, memor illius escae, 
quae simplex olim tibi sederit : at simul assis 
miscueris elixa, simul conchylia turdis, 
dulcia se in bilem vertent stomachoque tumultum 76 
lenta feret pituita. vides ut pallidus omnis 
cena desurgat dubia ? quin corpus onustum 
hesternis vitiis animum quoque praegravat una 
atque adfigit humo divinae particulam aurae. 
alter, ubi dicto citius curata sopori 80 

membra dedit, vegetus praescripta ad munia surgit. 
hie tamen ad melius poterit transcurrere quondam, 
sive diem festum rediens advexerit annus, 
seu recreare volet tenuatum corpus, ubique 
accedent anni,^ tractari mollius aetas 85 

imbecilla volet : tibi quidnam accedet ad istam 
quani puer et validus praesumis mollitiem, seu 
dura valetudo incident seu tarda senectus ? 

Rancidum api'um antiqui laudabant, non quia nasus 
illis nullus erat, sed, credo, hac mente, quod hospes 
tardius adveniens vitiatum^ commodius quam 91 

1 anni et Bentley. * vitiaret VaEM. 

" The phrase cena dubia (used by Terence, Phormio, 342) 
had become proverbial. It means a dinner so varied that 
you don't know what to take. 

* Horace is usin}? the language of high philosophy. The 
animus is a part of the universal divine spirit imprisoned in 
the body; cf. Cicero, De senectute, 21. 78, "ex universa 
mente delibatos animos." In adfigit humo Horace echoes 
Plato, who, in Phaedo 83 d, says that every pleasure and 


SATIRES, II. 11. 68-91 

their tasks, nor, like careless Naevins, will he offer 
greasy water to his guests: this too is a great 

™ Now learn what and how great are the blessings 
that simple hving brings in its train. First of all, 
good health. For how harmful to a man a variety of 
dishes is, you may realize, if you recall that plain fare 
which agreed with you in other days. But as soon as 
you mix boiled and roast, sheU-fish and thrushes, the 
sweet wll turn to bile, and the thick phlegm will 
cause intestine feud. Do you see how pale rises 
each guest from his " puzzle feast " * ? Nay more, 
clogged with yesterday's excess, the body drags 
down with itself the mind as well, and fastens to 
earth a fragment of the di\'ine spirit.' The other, 
when after refreshment he has surrendered his limbs 
to sleep sooner than you can speak,* rises up in 
vigour for his appointed tasks. Yet at times he will 
be able to pass over to better cheer, whether the 
revohing year brings some holiday, or he wants to 
renew a shrunken frame, and when, as time advances, 
the frailty of age looks for more indulgent treatment. 
But as for you, if ill-health come, or enfeebling age, 
what will you bring to add to that indulgence wliich, 
while young and hale, you thus forestall ? 

^ Our fathers used to praise a boar when high ; 
not that they had no noses, but with this thought, 
I suppose, that a guest arriving behind time could 
more conveniently eat it when tainted than the 

every pain is a sort of nail, which nails (t/xxtt/XoI) the soul 
to the body. 

* The proverbial expression dicto citius, "quicker than 
a word," is hke the English " before you can say Jack 
Robinson." The phrase curare membra or curare corpus is 
often used of taking refreshment. 



integrum edax dominus consumeret. hos utinam inter 
heroas natum tellus me prima tulisset ! 

Das aliquid famae, quae carmine gratior aurem 
occupet^ humanam : grandes rliombi patinaeque 95 
grande ferunt una cum damno dedecus ; adde 
iratum patruum, vicinos, te tibi iniquum 
et frustra mortis cupidum, cum derit egenti 
as, laquei pretium. " iure," inquit, " Trausius istis 
iui-gatur verbis : ego vectigalia magna 100 

divitiasque habeo tribus amplas regibus." ergo 
quod superat non est melius quo insumere possis ? 
cur eget indignus quisquam, te divite ? quare 
templa ruunt antiqua deum ? cur, improbe, carae 
non aliquid patriae tanto emetiris acervo ? 105 

uni nimirum recte^ tibi semper erunt res, 
o magnus posthac inimicis risus ! uterne 
ad casus dubios fidet sibi certius ? hie qui 
pluribus adsuerit mentem corpusque superbum, 
an qui contentus parvo metuensque futuri 110 

in pace, ut sapiens, aptarit idonea bello ? 

Quo magis hiscredaSjpuer"* huncego parvus Ofellum 
integris opibus novi non latius usum 
quam nunc accisis. videas metato* in agello 
cum pecore et gnatis fortem mercede colonum, 115 

^ occupat, II. * rectae V. 

^ puer X Goth. : puerum, /. * metatum, II. 

<• Horace says that their ancestors kept the boar till it 
was " high," a practice which he attributes to their hospitality, 
or desire to have something in store should a guest arrive. 

'' In Latin literature the uncle is the regular type of the 
stern and severe relative. 

" This jest, found in Plautus, e.g. Pseud. 88, doubtless 
conies from Attic comedy. 

■* The word means "measured off," i.e. for confiscation. 


SATIRES, II. n. 92-115 

greedy master, while still fresh. Oh, that the early 
world had given me birth among heroes such as 
those ! <» 

^* You set some store by good repute, which, 
sweeter than song, charms the human ear. Big 
turbots and dishes bring a big scandal and loss. Add 
the angry uncle,'' the angry neighbours, your hatred 
of self, your vain longing for death, when in your need 
you lack a penny to buy a halter ^\ith.'' " 'Tis all 
right," he answers, " for Trausius to be scolded in 
such language, but I have large revenues, and riches 
ample for three kings." Well, is there no better 
object on which you can spend your surplus ? Why 
is any worthy man in want, while you are rich ? 
Why are the ancient temples of the gods in ruin ? 
Why, shameless man, do you not measure out some- 
tliing from that great heap for your dear country ? 
You alone, of course, will always find things go well. 
Oh, what a laughing-stock you will be some day for 
your enemies ! Which of the two, in face of changes 
and chances, will have more self-confidence — he who 
has accustomed a pampered mind and body to 
superfluities, or he who, content \Wth httle and 
fearful of the future, has in peace, like a wise man, 
provided for the needs of war ? 

^^2 That you may give more credit to such words, 
I will tell you how, when I was a little boy, this 
Ofellus, as I well know, used his full means on no 
larger scale than he does now, when they are cut 
down. You may see him on his little farm, now 
assigned to others,** with his cattle and his sons, a 

It was assigned to the veteran Umbrenus (ii. 133). Probably 
Ofellus was dispossessed of his farm when Horace, like 
Virgil, lost his own property, in -tl b.c. 

L 145 


" non ego," narrantem, " temere edi luce profesta 
quiequam praeter holus fumosae cum pede pemae. 
ac mihi seu longum post tempus venerat hospes, 
sive operum vacuo gratus conviva per imbrem 
vicinus, bene erat non piscibus urbe petitis, 120 

sed pullo atque haedo ; turn^ pensilis uva secundas 
et nux ornabat mensas cum duplice ficu. 
post hoc ludus erat culpa^ potare magistra, 
ac venerata Ceres, ita culmo surgeret alto, 
explicuit vino contractae seria frontis. 125 

saeviat atque novos moveat Fortuna tumultus : 
quantum' hinc imminuet ? quanto aut ego parcius 

aut vos, 
o pueri, nituistis.'* ut hue novus incola venit ? 
nam propriae telluris erum natura neque ilium 
nee me nee quemquam statuit : nos expulit ille ; 130 
ilium aut nequities aut vafri inscitia iuris, 
postremum expellet certe vivacior heres.^ 
nunc ager Umbreni sub nomine, nuper Ofelli 
dictus, erit nulli proprius, sed cedet in usum 
nunc mihi, nunc alii.® quocirca vivite fortes, 135 
fortiaque adversis opponite pectora rebus." 

* tunc, / : turn, //, Priscian. 

* culpa MSS.f Porph. : cupa Bentley, who also suggeated 
nulla : captu . . . magistro Housman. 

^ quantum DM, II: Peerlkamp conjectured quando. 

* instituistis D^cpXl. 

* From here D is wanting up to ii. 3. 75. * aliis X. 

" Instead of the formalities of a banquet, where a magister 
bibendi prescribed the rules, any shirking would be punished 
by a forfeit. 

' Usus is probably put for usus/ructus, which was the right 


SATIRES, II. 11. 116-136 

sturdy tenant-farmer, and tliis is his stor}'- : " I was 
not the man to eat on a working day, \sithout good 
reason, anything more than greens and the shank of 
a smoked ham, and if after long absence a friend 
came to see me, or if in rainy weather, when I could 
not work, a neighbour paid me a \isit — a welcome 
guest — we fared well, not \^-ith fish sent for from town, 
but with a pullet or a kid; by and by raisins and 
nuts and split figs set off otir dessert. Then we had 
a game of drinking, with a forfeit to rule the feast," 
and Ceres, to whom we made our prayer — " so might 
she rise on lofty stalk ! " — smoothed out with >\ine 
the worries of a >vrinkled brow. Let Fortune storm 
and stir fresh turmoils ; how much -v^ill she take off 
from this ? How much less sleek have I been, or 
you, my lads, since this new landlord came ? Nature, 
in truth, makes neither him nor me nor anyone else 
lord of the soil as his ovm. He drove us out, and he 
will be driven out by villainy, or by ignorance of the 
quirks of the law, or in the last resort by an heir of 
longer life. To-day the land bears the name of 
Umbrenus ; of late it had that of Ofellus ; to no one 
will it belong for good, but for use it will pass, now 
to me and now to another.* Live, then, as brave 
men, and with brave hearts confront the strokes of 

of using and enjoying property, but not of owning it. The 
latter was called dominium. For the thought cf. the famous 
verse in Lucretius (iii. 971), " Life is granted to none in fee- 
simple, to all on lease," 

vitaque mancipio nulli datur, omnibus usu. 




According to the Stoics, everyone save the wise 
man is mad ; iroii a</>/>wv fiaire-ai,. Horace makes 
this paradox his text and assails the folhes of the 

The Satire takes the form of a dialogue between 
the poet and Damasippus. Horace is at his newly 
acquired Sabine farm, to which he has retired to 
avoid the excitement of the Saturnaha in Rome. 
Damasippus, of whom we hear in Cicero's Epistles, 
is a bankrupt speculator and dealer in works of art, 
who, having fallen into the depths of despair, had 
been rescued by the Stoic sage Stertinius, was con- 
verted by him to philosophy, and so made into the 
M-ise man he has now become. He reports a long 
discourse of Stertinius upon the text, " all men, save 
only the wise, are mad " (1-81). 

The sermon of Stertinius may be divided into four 
parts, dealing with avarice (82-157), ambition (158- 
223), self-indulgence (225-280), and superstition 
(281-295), all of which are phases of madness. 

The avaricious are the largest class of madmen. 
They beheve poverty to be the greatest possible 
disgrace, and suppose that wealth can confer every 
blessing (91-97). Avarice, as well as its opposite, 



prodigality, are illustrated by the story of the two 
sons of Servius Oppidius (168-178). 

The ambitious are mad. Agamemnon, slaying his 
daughter for the sake of power and position, was 
just as mad as Ajax, who slew sheep under the 
delusion that they were his enemies (193-213). 

The madness of self-indulgence is illustrated by 
the spendthrift Nomentanus, who wastes the fortune 
he has inherited (224-238) ; by the son of Aesopus, 
who swallows the precious pearl of his mistress 
which he has dissolved in vinegar (239-241) ; by the 
sons of Arrius, who breakfast on costly nightingales 
(243-246) ; and especially by the follies of lovers, 
who are often as crazy as would be a grown-up man 
if he indulged in the sports of children (247-254). 
Better for them to follow the example of Polemon, 
who listened to the voice of reason and cast away 
the tokens of his malady (254-257). The love passion 
may even lead to bloodshed, as we saw the other 
day when Marius murdered his mistress and took 
his own hfe (275-280). 

The madness of superstition is illustrated by the 
old freedman who prayed for immortality, and by 
the mother whose sick son recovers only to be killed 
through her foolish vow (281-295). 

" And what," asks Horace, as Damasippus brings 
tliis long sermon of Stertinius to a close, " is my 
madness ? I think I am sane." 

DAMASIPPUS. So Agave thought, when she was 
carrying in her hands the head of her unfortunate 

HORACE. Well, what is my madness ? 

DAM. You are aping the great, like the frog in 
the fable. You write verses, you have a bad temper, 


you live beyond your means, you are always falling 
in love. 

HOR. You greater madman, spare the lesser ! 

Tliis is not only the longest, but also the best 
constructed of Horace's Satires. Notwithstand- 
ing the long discourse which makes up the main 
body of the poem, the dialogue-form serves as a 
framework for the whole, and allows the poet to 
employ a light, humorous vein in both beginning 
and end, where he turns the laugh against himself. 
Note that while the ^Titer's main aim throughout is 
to portray striking forms of human folly, a second 
one is to ridicule the airs and manners of the Stoic 
preachers of the day. The Satire was probably 
written in 33 B.C., because in 1. 185 there is a reference 
to the curule aedileship of Agrippa, held in that year 
and distinguished by magnificence of display. 



" Sic* raro scribis,^ ut toto non quater anno 
membranam poscas, scriptorum quaeque retexens, 
iratus tibi, quod vini somnique benignus 
nil dignum sermone canas ; quid fiet ? at^ ipsis 
Saturnalibus hue fugisti. sobrius ergo* 5 

die aliquid dignum promissis : ineipe, nil est : 
eulpantur frustra ealami, immeritusque laborat 
iratis natus paries dis atque poetis. 
atqui voltus erat multa et praeclara minantis, 
si vaeuum tepido eepisset villula teeto. 10 

quorsum pertinuit stipare Platona Menandro, 
Eupolin, Archilochum, eomites educere tantos ? 
invidiam placare paras virtute relicta ? 
contemnere, miser, vitanda est improba Siren 
desidia, aut quidquid vita meliore parasti 15 

ponendum aequo animo." di te, Damasippe, deaeque 
^ sic : si E. 
^ scribis M: scribes aE. Dentley read si scribes. 

' at V, II : ah, I. * Bentley punctuated after sohrms. 

" Parchment would be needed for the final form of his 
words, after the poet had written and corrected his notes 
on the tablets. 

* Horace is probably thinking of Penelope's web. 

" The wall suffers because the poet pounds it in his vain 
efforts at composition. 

■* Thougli Orelli supposed that Plato the philosopher is 
here meant, it seems certain that Horace is speaking of 
Plato the poet, leader of the so-called Middle Attic Comedy. 


Satire III 

DAMASiPPUS. So seldom do you write, that not four 

times in all the year do you call for the parchment,'^ 
while you unweave the web of all you have written,*" 
and are angry ^^•ith yourself because, while so 
generous of wine and of sleep, you turn out no poetry 
worth talking about. What will be the end ? \Miy, 
you say, even in the SaturnaUa you fled here for 
refuge. Well then, in your sober mood, tell some- 
tiling worthy of your promises. Begin. Nothing 
comes. In vain you blame the pen ; and the innocent 
wall, begotten when gods and poets were angry, 
must suffer." Yet you had the look of one who 
tlireatened great and glorious things, if once you 
were care-free and your country cottage welcomed 
you under its warm roof. What was the use of 
packing Plato <* with Menander, and of taking out 
of town Eupolis and Archilochus, such weighty 
comrades ? Think you to lay Envy low by deserting 
Virtue ? You will earn contempt, poor wretch. 
You must shun the ^^^cked Siren, Sloth, or be content 
to drop whatever honour you have gained in nobler 

HORACE. May the gods and goddesses give you. 

Thus he would take with him to the country representatives 
of Old (Eupolis), Middle, and New (Menander) Comedy, 
as well as the great iambic poet, Archilochus. 



verum ob consilium donent tonsore. sed unde 
tam bene me nosti ? 

" Postquam omnis res mea lanum 
ad medium fracta est, aliena negotia euro, 
excussus propriis. olim nam quaerere amabam, 20 
quo vafer^ ille pedes lavisset Sisyphus aere, 
quid sculptum infabre, quid fusum durius esset ; 
callidus huic signo ponebam milia centum ; 
hortos egregiasque domos mercarier unus 
cum lucro norani ; unde frequentia Mercuriale 23 
imposuere mihi cognomen compita." novi, 
et miror morbi purgatum te illius. " atqui 
emovit veterem mire novus, ut solet, in cor 
fcraiecto lateris miseri capitisve^ dolore, 
ut lethargicus hie cum fit pugil et medicum urget." 30 
dum ne quid simile huic, esto ut libet. " o bone, ne te 
frustrere, insanis et tu stultique prope omnes, 
si quid Stertinius veri^ crepat, unde ego mira 
descripsi docilis praecepta haec, tempore quo me 
solatus iussit sapientem pascere barbam 35 

atque a Fabricio non tristem ponte reverti. 

^ vafer, 7, Porph. : faber, //. 
• -ve] -que a, II. ' verum, II. 

" Being a philosopher, Damasippus grows a long beard. 
See 1. 35 below. 

* The temple of Janus stood on the north side of the 
Forum, at the entrance to the street called Argiletum. 
This street, centre of the banking business of Rome, is here 
called " Janus " after the temple, and was probably lined 
with a colonnade or arcade. Horace elsewhere uses the 
expression lanus summus ab irno {Epist. i. 1. .54). 

* He was a connoisseur in antiques and objets d'art. 


SATIRES, II. in. 17-36 

Damasippus, for your sound advice — - a barber " ! 
But how come you to know me so well ? 

DAM. Ever since the ^^Teck of all my fortunes at 
the Central Arcade, '' I have looked after other 
people's business, after being flung overboard from 
my own. There was a time when my hobby ' was 
to look out for the bronze in which shrewd old 
Sisyphus had washed his feet, and to see what work 
of art was crude in the carving, what was too rough 
in the casting. As an expert, I valued this or that 
statue at a hundred thousand. As to gardens and 
fine houses, I was the one man that knew hoAV to 
buy them at a bargain ; hence the crowded streets 
gave me the nickname of " Mercury's pet."<* 

HOR. I know it, and am surprised to find you 
cured of that disorder. 

DAM. Nay, what is surprising is that a new dis- 
order drove out the old, as is the way when the pain of 
aching side or head passes into the stomach, or when 
the lethargic patient here turns boxer and pimimels 
the doctor. 

HOR. As long as you do nothing of that sort, be 
it as you please. 

DAM. My good sir, don't deceive yourself; you, 
too, are mad, and so, I may say, are all fools, if 
there is any truth in the preaching of Stertinius, 
from whom I took down these wondrous lessons that I 
learned, the very day that he consoled me, and bade 
me grow a wise man's beard, and go home from 
the Fabrician bridge,* no longer sad. For after my 

* Mercury was the god of gain ; cf. 1. 68. 

• This bridge, between the island in the Tiber, and the 
old Campus Martius, still stands. The inscription on it says 
that it was built by L. Fabricius, curator viarum. 



nam male re gesta cum vellem mittere operto 
me capite in flumen, dexter stetit et : 

' Cave faxis 
te quicquam indignum : pudor,' inquit, * te malus 

insanos qui inter vereare insanus haberi. 40 

primum nam inquiram, quid sit furere : hoc si erit^ 

in te 
solo, nil verbi, pereas quin fortiter, addam. 

' Quem mala stultitia et quemcumque inscitia veri 
caecum agit, insanum Chrysippi porticus et grex 44 
autumat. haec populos, haec magnos formula reges, 
excepto sapiente, tenet. 

' Nunc accipe, quare 
desipiant omnes aeque ac tu, qui tibi nomen 
insano posuere. velut silvis, ubi passim 
palantis error certo de tramite pellit, 
ille sinistrorsum,hic dextrorsum abit, unus utrique^ 50 
error, sed variis illudit partibus ; hoc te 
crede modo insanum, nihilo ut sapientior ille, 
qui te deridet, caudam trahat.* 

' Est genus unum 
stultitiae nihilum metuenda timentis, ut ignis, 
ut rupes fluviosque in campo obstare queratur : 56 
alterum et huic varum et nihilo sapientius ignis 
per medios fluviosque mentis, clamet amica 
mater,^ honesta soror cum cognatis, pater, uxor : 
" hie fossa est ingens, hie rupes maxima : serva ! " 

* angit 4 Bland. : urget, //. * si erit] siet, II. 
' Titrisque EM, a not legible. * trahit. 

* amica mater joined by Porph. Some editors separate 

' The discourse of Stertinius extends from here, 1. 38, to 
1. 295. 

SATIRES, II. III. 37-59 

business failed, and I wanted to cover up my head 
and fling myself into the river, he stood at my right 
hand and said " : 

" Beware of doing anytliing unworthy of yourself. 
Tis a false shame that tortures you, for among 
madmen you fear to be thought mad. For first of 
all I will ask, What is madness ? If this is found in 
you alone, I will not add another word to save you 
from dying bravely. 

" Every man whom perverse folly, whom ignorance 
of the truth drives on in blindness, the Porch '' of 
Chrysippus and his flock pronounce insane. This 
definition takes in whole nations, this takes in mighty 
kings, all save only the sage. 

*^ " Now learn why all, who have given you the 
name of madman, are quite as crazy as yourself. Just 
as in a forest, where some error drives men to wander 
to and fro from the proper path, and this one goes off 
to the left and that one to the right : both are under 
the same error, but are led astray in different ways : 
so believe yourself to be insane only so far that he 
who laughs at you drags a tail behind him, no whit 
the wiser man." 

^ " One class of fools fear where there is nothing at 
all to fear, crying out that fires, that rocks and rivers 
stop their course over an open plain. Another class, 
diverging from this, but no whit more wisely, would 
rush through the midst of fire and flood. Though a 
fond mother, a noble sister, father, wife and kindred, 
cry out : ' Here's a broad ditch, here's a huge rock, 

* Tfie term Stoic is derived from the <rrod ( = porticus) in 
Athens, where Zeno and his successors taught. 

" A reference to the trick played by children of tying a 
tail to people without their knowing it. 



non magis audierit quam Fufius ebrius olim, 60 

cum Ilionam edormit, Catienis mille ducentis 
" mater, te appello ! " clamantibus. huic ego volgus^ 
errori similem cunctum insanire docebo. 

' Insanit veteres statuas Damasippus emendo : 
integer est mentis Damasippi creditor ? esto. 65 
" accipe quod numquam reddas mihi," si tibi dicam, 
tune insanus eris si acceperis ? an magis excors 
reiecta praeda, quam praesens Mercurius fert ? 
scribe decem a Nerio^ : non est satis ; adde Cicutae 
nodosi tabulas centum, mille adde catenas : 70 

efFugiet tamen haec^ sceleratus vincula Proteus, 
cum rapies in ius* malis ridentem alienis, 
fiet aper, modo avis, modo saxum et, cum volet, arbor, 
si male rem gerere insani est, contra bene sani, 
putidius multo cerebrum est, mihi crede, Perelli 75 
dictantis, quod tu numquam rescribere possis. 

' Audire atque togam iubeo componere, quisquis 
ambitione mala aut argenti pallet amore, 
quisquis luxuria tristive superstitione 

^ vulgum a : vultum <p\l/. * Anerio knoicn to scholiasts. 

• hie E. * in iura a, II. 

" Fufius played the part of the sleeping heroine in the 
Ilione of Pacuvius, but when the ghost of her murdered 
son (a part taken by Catienus) called upon her, he was so 
sound asleep that he did not hear, though the audience, 
taking up the actor's words, joined in the appeal. 

" These words are addressed to the creditor, who is shown 
to be more foolish than the borrower, for whatever notes 
or bonds are involved in the transaction, they prove to be 
worthless in the end. "With decem understand tabulas, 
Nerius being, like Cicuta and Perellius, a money-lender. 
They are all supposed to be uncommonly shrewd. Many 

SATIRES, II. HI. 60-79 

look out ! ' they would no more give ear than once did 
drunken Fufius," as he over-slept the part of Ilione, 
while twelve hundred Catieni shouted, ' Mother, on 
thee I call ! ' Like such folly is the madness of all 
the world, as I shall prove. 

*^* " Damasippus is mad in buying old statues ; the 
creditor of Damasippus, is he sound of mind ? Be it 
so ! But if I sav to you, ' Take this sum which you 
need never return to me,' will you be a madman if 
you take it ? Or will you be more senseless if you 
spurn the booty which propitious Mercury offers ? 
' Write out ten bonds drawn up by Nerius.' * That's 
not enough ; add a hundred of the cunning Cicuta — 
add a thousand fetters ! yet your scoundrelly Proteus 
will shp out from all these ties. When you drag him 
to court, he ^vill laugh at your expense ; " he will 
turn into a boar, then into a bird, then into a stone, 
or, if he likes, a tree. If it be the mark of a madman 
to manage an estate badly, but of a sane man to 
manage well, then much more addled, believe me, is 
the brain of a Perellius, who dictates the bond, which 
you can never pay. 

^ " Now give heed, I bid you, arrange your robes,'* 
and whoever of you is pale with sordid ambition or 
avarice, whoever is feverish with extravagance or 

prefer to supply sestertia with decern, taking Nerius to 
be a banker who pays out money on an order from the 

" Horace's phrase malls ridentem alienis, " laugh with alien 
jaws," is an echo of Homer's yvadfioiai yeXoiiiji' dWoTpioicriv 
(Od. XX. 347), which, however, referred to forced, unnatural 

** Stertinius now assumes that he is addressing a class, 
and therefore bids his hearers prepare for a formal discourse, 
such as Stoic teachers frequently delivered. 



aut alio mentis morbo calet : hue propius me, 80 

dum doceo insanire omnis vos ordine, adite. 

' Danda est ellebori multo pars maxima avaris ; 
nescio an Anticyram ratio illis destinet omnem. 
heredes Staberi summam incidere sepulcro, 
ni sic fecissent, gladiatorum dare centum 85 

damnati populo paria atque epulum arbitrio Arri, 
frumenti quantum metit Africa. " sive ego prave 
seu recte hoc volui, ne sis patruus mihi : " credo, 
hoc Staberi prudentem animum vidisse. " quid ergo 
sensit, cum summam patrimoni insculpere saxo 90 
heredes voluit ? " quoad vixit, credidit ingens 
pauperiem vitium et cavit nihil acrius, ut, si 
forte minus locuples uno quadrante perisset,^ 
ipse videretur sibi nequior omnis enim res, 
virtus, fama, decus, divina humanaque pulchris 95 
divitiis parent ; quas qui construxerit,^ ille 
claruserit, fortis,iustus. "sapiensne^?" etiam,etrex 
et quidquid volet.'* hoc, veluti virtute paratum, 
speravit magnae laudi fore. 

' Quid simile isti 
Graecus Aristippus, qui servos proicere aurum 100 
in media iussit Libya, quia tardius irent 
propter onus segnes ? uter est insanior horum ? 

^ periret, /, adopted by Palmer. 
* contraxerit, //, 3 Bland. 
» -ne] -que DEM. * velut in, II. 

" The ancient specific for insanity ; cf. Ars Poetica, 
300. For Anticyra see Index. 

" This unusual number would be exhibited at the funeral 
feast. Q. Arrius entertained many thousands of people 
at the extravagant funeral feast which he gave in honour 
of his father. 

« Cf. Sat. ii. 2. 97. Staberius means that his heirs are 
not to criticize him for what may seem to them an idiotic will. 


SATIRES, 11. III. 80-102 

gloomy superstition, or some other mental disorder. 
Hither, come nearer to me, while I prove that you 
are mad, all of you from first to last. 

82 " To tiie covetous must we give far the largest 
dose of hellebore : " wisdom, I rather think, would 
assign to them all Anticyra. The heirs of Staberius 
had to engrave upon his tomb the sum of his estate : 
should they fail to do so, they were bound to provide 
for the people a hundred pairs of gladiators j** with such 
a feast as Arrius would direct, and as much corn as 
Africa reaps. ' Whether I am right or -wTong in wilhng 
this,' he vvTote, ' don't play the uncle * with me.' 
That, I take it, is what Staberius inhisvvisdom foresaw. 
' Well,' you ask, * what was his intent when he 
willed tliat his heirs should carve on stone the sum of 
his estate ? ' All his life long he thought poverty a 
monstrous e\il, and shunned nothing more earnestly, 
so that, if haply he had died less rich by a single 
penny, so far would he have thought himself the worse 
man. For all things — worth, repute, honour, things 
divine and human — are slaves to the beauty of wealth, 
and he who has made his ' pile ' will be famous, 
brave and just. ' And Mise too ? ' Yes, wise, and 
a king and anytliing else he pleases.** His riches, as 
though won by worth, would bring him, he hoped, 
great renown. 

^ ' ' What is the Ukeness between such a man and the 
Greek Aristippus, who in mid Libya bade his slaves 
throw away his gold, because, said he, freighted vWth 
the burden, they journeyed too slowly ? Which of 
the two is the madder ? Useless is an instance which 

Hoc in 1. 89 refers to this censorious attitude, not to the 
substance of II. 94 f., as Keightley, Wickham and Lejay hold. 
* Cf. Sat. i. 3. 124 and note. 

M l6l 


nil agit exemplum, litem quod lite resolvit. 
si quis emat citharas, emptas comportet in unum, 
nee studio citharae nee Musae deditus ulli, 105 

si scalpra et formas non sutor, nautica vela 
aversus mercaturis, delirus et amens 
undique dicatur merito. qui^ discrepat istis,* 
qui nummos aurumque recondit, nescius uti 
compositis metuensque velut contingere sacrum ? 110 

' Si quis ad ingentem frumenti semper acervum 
porrectus^ vigilet cum longo fuste, neque illinc 
audeat esuriens dominus contingere granum, 
ac potius foliis parcus vescatur* amaris ; 
si positis intus Chii veterisque Falerni 115 

mille cadis — nihil est, tercentum milibus — acre 
potet acetum ; age, si et stramentis incubet, unde- 
octoginta annos natus, cui stragula vestis, 
blattarum ac tinearum epulae, putrescat in area ; 
nimirum insanus paucis videatur, eo quod 120 

maxima pars hominum morbo iactatur eodem. 
filius aut etiam haec libertus ut ebibat heres, 
dis inimice senex, custodis ? ne tibi desit ? 
quantulum enim summae curtabit quisque dierum, 
unguere si caulis oleo meliore caputque 125 

coeperis impexa foedum porrigine ? quare, 
si quidvis satis est, periuras, surripis, aufers 
undique ? tun^ sanus ! 

' Populum si caedere saxis 
incipias servosve tuos,* quos aere pararis, 

* quid DE. * iste, //. * proiectus. 

* vexatur aE : pascatur M. 
* tunc D : tu insanus M, II. * tuo Goth. 

' « For 1. 122 cf. Od. ii. 14. 25 : 

absumet heres Caecuba dignior 
servata centum clavibus, etc. 


SATIRES, II. III. 103-129 

solves puzzle by puzzle. If a man were to buy 
harps, and soon as bought were to pile them together, 
though feeling no interest in the harp or any Muse ; 
if, though no cobbler, he did the same with shoe- 
knives and lasts ; with ships' sails, though set against 
a ti-ader's hfe — everyone would call him crazy and 
mad, and rightly too. How differs from these the 
man who hoards up silver and gold, though he 
knows not how to use his store, and fears to touch 
it as though hallowed ? 

^^ " If beside a huge corn-heap a man were to lie 
outstretched, keeping ceaseless watch with a big 
cudgel, yet never dare, hungry though he be and the 
o^vner of it all, to touch one grain thereof, but rather 
feed like a miser on bitter herbs ; if, with a thousand 
jars — that's nothing, say three hundred thousand — K)f 
Chian and old Falernian stored in his cellars, he were 
to drink sharp \inegar ; nay if, when but a year short 
of eighty, he should lie on bed of straw, though rich 
coverlets, prey of moths and worms, lay mouldering 
in his chest ; few, doubtless, would think him mad, 
because the mass of men toss about in the same kind 
of fever. Is it that a son or even a freedman heir 
may drink it up that you, you god-forsaken dotard, 
are guarding it ? " Is it that you fear want ? Why, 
how tiny a smn will each day dock off, if you begin 
with better oil to dress your salad, as well as your 
head, foul with uncombed scurf ? WTiy, if anything 
is enough for you, do you perjure, steal, plunder on 
every side ? You sane ! 

128 " If you were to take to pelting stones at the 
crowd, or at your own slaves, for whom you've paid 



insanum te omnes pueri clamentque puellae : 130 
cum laqueo uxorem interemis matremque veneno, 
incolumi capite es ? quid enim ? neque tu hoc facis 

nee ferro ut demens genetricem oecidis Orestes. 
an tu reris eum occisa insanisse parente, 
ac non ante malis dementem actum Furiis quam 135 
in matris iugulo ferrum tepefecit acutum ? 
quin ex quo est habitus male tutae mentis Orestes 
nil sane fecit, quod tu reprehendere possis : 
non Pyladen ferro violare aususve sororem 
Electran, tantum maledicit utrique vocando 140 

hanc Furiam, hunc aliud, iussit quod splendida bilis. 

' Pauper Opimius^ ai-genti positi intus et auri, 
qui Veientanum festis potare diebus 
Campana solitus trulla vappamque profestis, 
quondam lethargo grandi est oppressus, ut heres 145 
lam circum loculos et clavis laetus ovansque 
curreret. hunc medicus multum celer atque fidelis 
excitat hoc pacto : mensam poni iubet atque 
effundi saccos nummorum, accedere pluris 
ad numerandum. hominem sic erigit, addit et 

illud : 150 

" ni tua custodis, avidus iam haec auferet heres." 
" men vivo ? " " ut vivas igitur, vigila. hoc age." 

" quid^ vis ? " 
" deficient^ inopem venae te, ni cibus atque 
ingens accedit* stomacho fultura ruenti. 
^ Opimius Porph. : opimus, //. 

2 quod B, II. « deficiant E. * accedat DX. 

" The argument is ironical. Such an incident as this 
matricide might savour of high tragedy, but, of course, in 
the tragedy of Orestes both the place and the manner of 
killing were different. As a matter of fact, these differences 
are quite unessential. 


SATIRES, II. III. 130-154 

in cash, all would hoot at you as mad, lads and lasses 
alike. When you strangle your -wife and poison your 
mother, are you sound in head ? Why not ? You're 
not doing this at Argos, nor killing a mother with a 
sword, as mad Orestes did." Or do you suppose he 
went mad after killing his parent, and was not 
spurned to frenzy by the wicked Furies before he 
warmed his sharp steel in his mother's throat ? Nay, 
from the moment that Orestes was held to be of 
unsafe mind, he did nothing whatever that you can 
condemn. He did not dare to attack with the sword 
Pylades or his sister Electra. He merely threw ill 
words at both, calling her a Fmy, and him by some 
other name which his gleaming choler prompted.* 

"* " Opimius, a poor man for all his gold and silver 
hoarded up within, would on holidays, from ladle of 
Campanian ware," drink wine of Veii, and on working 
days soured wine. Now once he fell into a lethargy 
so deep that already his heir was running in joy and 
triumph round about his keys and coffers. But his 
physician, a man of very quick vrit and a loyal friend, 
revives him by this de\ice. He has a table brought in 
and bags of coin poured out, and bids many draw near 
to count it. Thus he brings the man to, and adds, 
' Unless you guard your wealth, your greedy heir 
will be off >\ith it forthwith.' ' WTiat, while I'm 
alive ? ' ' Well, if you mean to live, wake up. Come 
now ! ' ' What would you have me do ? ' * You 
are weak, and your veins ^^^ll fail you, unless food and 
strong support be given yoiu" sinking stomach. Do 

* The expression here used belongs to medical language. 
Black bile, which the ancients supposed to be a cause of 
madness {cf. Mf^a7xo^"i)» has a glittering appearance. 

« Cf. Campana supellex {Sat. L 6. 118). 



tucessas? agedum, sumehoctisanariumoryzae." 155 
" quanti emptae^ ? " " parvo." " quanti ergo ? " 

" octussibus." " eheu ! 
quid refert, morbo an furtis pereamque rapinis ? " 

Quisnam igitur sanus ? " qui non stultus. 

" quid avarus ? " 
stultus et insanus. " quid, si quis non sit avarus, 
continue sanus ? " minime. "cur, Stoice?" dicam. 160 
non est cardiacus (Craterum dixisse putato) 
hie aeger : recte est igitur surgetque ? negabit, 
quod latus aut renes morbo temptentur^ acuto. 
non est periurus neque sordidus : immolet aequis 
hie porcum Laribus : verum ambitiosus et audax : 165 
naviget Anticyram. quid enim difFert, barathrone 
dones quidquid habes an numquam utare paratis ? 

' Servius Oppidius Canusi duo praedia, dives 
antiquo censu, gnatis divisse duobus 
fertur et hoc^ moriens pueris dixisse vocatis 170 

ad lectum : " postquam te talos, Aule, nucesque 
ferre sinu laxo, donare et ludere vidi, 
te, Tiberi, numerare, cavis abscondere tristem, 
extimui ne vos ageret vesania* discors, 
tu Nomentanum, tu ne sequerere Cicutam. 175 

quare per divos oratus uterque Penatis, 
tu cave ne minuas, tu ne maius facias id 
quod satis esse putat pater et natura coercet. 
praeterea, ne vos titillet gloria, iure 
iurando obstringam ambo : uter aedilis fueritve 180 

* empti, II. 2 temptantur Priscian. ^ haec. 

* insania, /, adopted by Orelli and Palmer. 

• Of. 11. 82, 83, above. 


SATIRES, II. 111. 155-180 

you hold back ? Come now, take this drop of rice- 
gruel.' ' What's the cost ? ' ' Oh, a trifle.' ' How 
much, I say ? ' ' Eight pence.' ' Alack ! what 
matters it, whether I die by sickness, or by theft 
and robbery ? ' 

158 " ' Who, then, is sane ? ' He who is no fool. 

* WTiat of the covetous ? ' He is fool and madman. 

* Well, if a man is not covetous, is he then and there 
sane ? ' By no means. ' ^^^ly, good Stoic ? ' I 
will tell you. ' Tliis patient,' suppose Craterus to 
have said, * is no dyspeptic' He is well then and 
may get up ? ' No,' he will say, ' for his lungs or 
his kidneys are afflicted -vdth acute disease.' Here's 
one who is no perjurer or miser. Let him slay a 
hog to the kind Lares. But he is ambitious and 
headstrong. Let him take ship for Anticyra." For 
what is the difference, whether you throw all you 
have into a pit, or never make use of your sa\ings ? 

168 " There's a story that Ser\ius Oppidius, a rich 
man, as incomes once were, divided his two farms at 
Canusium between his tAvo sons, and on his death- 
bed called them to liim and said : ' Ever since I 
saw you, Aulus, carrying your taws and nuts in a 
loose toga, giving and gambling them away — and 
you, Tiberius, anxiously counting them and hiding 
them in holes, I have greatly feared that madness 
of different kinds might plague you — that you, my 
son, might follow after Nomentanus, and you after 
Cicuta. I therefore adjure you both, by our house- 
hold gods, the one not to reduce, the other not to 
increase, what your father thinks enough, and what 
nature sets as a limit. Further, that ambition may 
not tickle your fancy, I shall bind you both by an 
oath : whichever of you becomes aedile or praetor, 



vestrum praetor, is intestabilis et sacer esto. 
in cicere atque faba bona tu pcrdasque lupinis, 
latus ut in circo spatiere aut^ aeneus ut stes, 
nudus agris, nudus nummis, insane, paternis ? 
scilicet ut plausus, quos fert Agrippa, feras tu, 185 
astuta ingenuum volpes imitata leonem." — 

" ' Ne quis humasse velit Aiacem, Atrida, vetas 
cur ? " 

"Rex sum." 

"Nil ultra quaero^ plebeius." 

"Et aequam 
rem imperito ; at^ si cui videor non iustus, inulto 
dicere quod* sentit permitto." 

" Maxime regum, 190 
di tibi dent capta classem^ reducere^ Troia. 
ergo consulere et mox respondere licebit ? " 

" Consule," 

" Cur Aiax, heros ab Achille secundus, 
putescit, totiens servatis clarus Achivis ? 
gaudeat ut populus Priami Priamusque inhumato, 195 
per quem tot iuvenes patrio caruere sepulcro ? " 

" Mille ovium insanus morti dedit, inclitum Ulixen 
et Menelaum una mecum se occidere damans." 

" Tu cum pro vitula statuis dulcem Aulide gnatam 
ante aras spargisque mola caput, improbe, salsa, 200 
rectum animi servas cursum' ? insanus quid enini Aiax 

^ et, //. * quaere V, Bentley. ^ at V: ac uss. 

* quae D. * classem capta E. * dcducere. 

' cursum Bothe : quorsum mss. and retainfd by Orelli, 
Kiessling, Wickham, Morris, etc. : quorum Goth., Porph. 

<• These would be given to the people by way of largess 
by aediles and praetors. Such an expense might be serious 
enough for people of small fortunes. 

* The dialogue which begins here and continues to 1. 207 


SATIRES, II. in. 181-201 

let him be outlawed and accursed. Would you 
waste your wealth on vetches, beans, and lupines," 
that you may play the swell and strut in the Circus, 
or be set up in bronze, though stripped of the lands, 
stripped, madman, of the money your father left : 
to the end, oh yes, that you may win the applause 
which Agrippa wins — a cunning fox mimicking the 
noble Hon ? * 

^*^ " Son of Atreus,'' you forbid us to think of 
burying Ajax. Why is this ? 

" ' I am king.' 

" I, a common man, ask no more. 

" ' And my conunand is fair, but if anyone deems 
me unjust, I permit him to say freely what he thinks.' 

" Mightiest of kings, may the gods grant you to 
take Troy and bring your fleet safe home ! May I 
then ask questions and answer in turn ? 
Pray, do.' 

" Why does Ajax, a hero second only to Achilles, 
he rotting, though so often he won glory by sa\ing 
the Greeks ? Is it that Priam and Priam's people 
may exult in that man's lacking burial, through whom 
so many of their sons were bereft of burial in their 
native land ? 

The madman slew a thousand sheep, crying that 
he was slaying famed Ulysses, Menelaus, and myself.' 

" And you, when at Aulis you brought your sweet 
child to the altar in a heifer's stead, and sprinkled 
her head with salt meal, O shameless one, did you 
keep your mind in its sound course ? Why, what 
did the madman Ajax do, when he slew the flock 

is between the Stoic Stertinius and Agamemnon, and is 
suggested by the scene at the end of the Ajax of Sophocles, 
where Menelaus forbids Teucer to bury his brother Ajax. 



fecit cum stravit ferro pecus ? abstinuit vim 
uxore et gnato : mala multa precatus Atridis 
non ille aut Teucrum aut ipsum violavit Ulixen." 

" Verum ego, ut haerentis adverse litore navis 205 
eriperem, prudens placavi sanguine divos." 

" Nempe tuo, furiose." 

" Meo, sed non furiosus." — 

' Qui species alias veris scelerisque'- tumultu 
permixtas capiet, commotus habebitur, atque 
stultitiane erret, nihilum distabit, an ira. 210 

Aiax immeritos cuni^ occidit desipit agnos : 
cum prudens scelus ob titulos admittis inanis, 
stas animo et purum est vitio tibi, cum tumidum est, 

cor ? 
si quis lectica nitidam gestare amet agnam, 214 

huic vestem, ut gnatae, paret aneillas, paret aurum, 
Rufam aut^ Posillam^ appellet fortique marito 
destinet uxorem, interdicto huic omne adimat ius 
praetor et ad sanos abeat tutela propinquos. 
quid ? si quis gnatam pro muta devovet agna, 
integer est animi ? ne dixeris. ergo ubi prava 220 
stultitia, hie summa est insania ; qui sceleratus, 
et furiosus erit ; quem cepit vitrea fama, 
hunc circumtonuit gaudens Bellona cruentis. 

' Nunc age, luxuriam etNomentanumarripemecum : 

^ Mss. have veri sceleris or veris celeris ( V) : (veris sceleris 
Goth.). " cum immeritos D, //. 

' et F. * posillam V : pusillam uss. 

" Adverse litore : the shore refused to let the ships depart. 

'' The species ( = (j>avTa<TLas) are ideas or mental concepts, 
which may be true or false, and become confused when 
some guilty impulse causes disturbance. At 1. 208 Stertinius 
still addresses Agamemnon, but gradually slides into a 
continuation of his lecture. 

* Like Agamemnon. •* Like Ajax. 


SATIRES, II. ni. 202-224 

with the sword ? He withheld violence from wife 
and child. His curses on the Atridae were copious, 
but no harm did he do either to Teucer or even to 

But I, in order to free the ships that clung to 
a hostile ** shore, purposely appeased the gods with 

" Yes, with your own, maniac. 

My own blood ; but no maniac I.' 

^'^ " He who conceives ideas that are other than 
true, and confused by the turmoil due to sin,** will 
be held distraught and, whether he go astray from 
folly " or from rage,** it will not matter. Ajax, when 
he slays harmless lambs, is insane. When you pur- 
posely conmnit a crime for empty glory, are vou 
sound of mind, and is your heart, when swollen with 
pride, free from fault ? Suppose one chose to carry 
about in a litter a pretty lamb, and, treating it as a 
daughter, provided it with clothes, maids, gold, 
called it ' Goldie ' or ' Teenie,' and planned to have 
it wed a gallant husband : the praetor by injunction 
would take from him all control, and the care of him 
would pass to his sane relations. Well, if a man 
offers up his daughter, as if she were a dumb lamb, 
is he sound of mind ? Say not so. Thus, where 
there is perverse folly, there is the height of madness. 
The man who is criminal, will also be a maniac ; he 
who is caught by the glitter of fame has about his 
head the thunder of Bellona, who delights in blood- 

^^ " Now, come, arraign with me extravagance 
and Nomentanus ; for Reason will prove that spend- 

• Bellona's votaries were fanatics, who gashed their 
bodies with knives. 



vincet^ enim stultos ratio insanire nepotes. 225 

hie simul accepit patrimoni mille talenta, 
edicit, piscator uti, pomarius, auceps, 
unguentarius ac Tusci turba impia vici, 
cum scurris fartor, cum Velabro omne macellum 
mane domum veniant. quid tum ? venere fre- 
quentes. 230 

verba facit leno : " quidquid mihi, quidquid et horum 
cuique domi est, id crede tuum et vel nunc pete vel 

accipe quid contra haec iuvenis respondent aequus : 
" tu^ nive Lucana dermis ocreatus, ut aprum 
cenem ego ; tu piscis hiberno ex aequore verris.^ 235 
segnis ego, indignus qui tantum possideam : aufer ! 
sume tibi deciens ; tibi tantundem ; tibi triplex, 
unde uxor media currit de nocte vocata.^ " 

' Filius Aesopi detractam ex aure Metellae, 
scilicet ut deciens solidum absorberet,^ aceto 240 

diluit insignem bacam : qui sanior ac si 
illud idem in rapidum flumen iaceretve cloacam ? 
Quinti progenies Arri, par nobile fratrum, 
nequitia et nugis, pravorum et amore gemellum, 
luscinias soliti impenso prandere coemptas, 245 

quorsum abeant ? sani ut® creta, an carbone notati ? 

' Aedificare casas, plostello adiungere mures, 
ludere par impar, equitare in harundine longa, 
si quem delectet^ barbatum, amentia verset. 
si^ puerilius his ratio esse evincet amare, 250 

* vincit, //. * tu Bentley for in of mss. 

^ vellis, /, Acron. 

* citata Porph., who knows also vocata. 

* obsorberet a : exsorberet, //. 

* sani ut] sani or sanii, //. ' dclectat, //. * sic E. 

« Cf. Sat. ii. 2. 51. 

SATIRES, II. III. 225-250 

thrifts are fools and madmen. This man, soon as 
he received his patrimony of a thousand tiilents, 
decreed, in praetor-fashion," that fishmonger, fruit- 
seller, fowler, perfumer, the Tuscan Street's vile 
throng, cooks and parasites, the whole market and 
Velabrum, should come to him next morning. What 
next ? They came in crowds. A pimp was spokes- 
man. ' Whatever I have, whatever any of these 
have at home, beUeve me, is at your service. Send 
for it to-day or to-morrow.' Hear the honest youth's 
reply : ' Amid Lucanian snows you sleep well- 
booted, that I may have a boar for dinner. You 
sweep the stormy seas for fish. I am lazy and un- 
worthy to possess so much. Away with it. You 
take a milhon — you, the same — and you, from whose 
house your wife comes running when called at 
midnight, thrice that srnn.' 

239 a 'j'f^g gQjj Qf Aesopus took from Metella's ear 
a wondrous pearl, and meaning, forsooth, to swallow 
a million at a gulp, steeped it in vinegar.** How 
was he more sane than if he had flung that same 
thing into a running river or a sewer ? The sons of 
Quintus Arrius, a famous pair of brothers, twins in 
wickedness, folly, and perverted fancies, used to 
breakfast on nightingales, bought up at vast cost. 
Into which hst are they to go ? Marked with chalk 
as sane, or with charcoal ? " 

2"*^ " Building toy-houses, harnessing mice to a wee 
cart, playing odd and even, riding a long stick — if 
these things delighted a bearded man, lunacy would 
plague him. If reason prove that being in love is 

^ The same absurd story is told of Cleopatra. See Pliny, 
N.U. ix. 58. 117. 

« White was associated with good fortune, black with ill- 



nee quiequam differre, utrumne in pulvere, trimus^ 
quale prius, ludas opus, an meretricis amore 
sollicitus plores : quaero, faciasne quod olim 
mutatus Polemon ? ponas insignia morbi, 
fasciolas, cubital,^ focalia, potus ut ille 255 

dicitur ex collo furtim carpsisse coronas, 
postquam est impransi correptus voce magistri ? 
porrigis irato puero cum poma, recusat : 
" sume, catelle ! " negat ; si non des, optet. amator 
exclusus qui distat, agit ubi secum, eat an non, 260 
quo rediturus erat non arcessitus, et haeret 
invisis foribus ? " nee nunc, cum me^ vocet* ultro, 
accedam ? an potius mediter finire dolores ? 
exclusit ; revocat : redeam ? non, si obsecret." ecce 
servus non paulo sapientior : '' o ere, quae res 265 
nee modum habet neque consilium, ratione modoque 
tractari non volt, in amore haec sunt mala, bellum, 
pax rursum : haec si quis tempestatis prope ritu 
mobilia et caeca fluitantia sorte laboret 
reddere certa sibi, nihilo plus explicet ac si 270 

insanire paret certa ratione modoque." 
quid ? cum Picenis excerpens semina poinis 
gaudes, si cameram percusti forte, penes te es ? 
quid ? cum balba feris annoso verba palato, 

* primus V. ^ cubital PorpA. V: cubitale ifS5. 

2 ne Goth. * vocat. 

" Only eflPeminate men would wear these things. 

* This was Xenocrates, whose lecture on temperance 
converted the young profligate to a sober, philosophic life, 
so that he afterwards succeeded his master as head of the 

* Horace here reproduces, almost literally, a scene from 
the Eicnnchus (46-63) of Terence, where Phaedria debates 
with Parmeno, his slave, whether he is to go back to Thais. 


SATIRES, II. in. 251-274 

more childish than such ways, that it makes no 
difference whether you play at building in the sand, 
as you did when three years old, or whine in anxiety 
for love of a mistress, I ask you, will you do as once 
Polemon did, when converted ? Will you lay aside 
the tokens of your malady, garters, elbow-cushion, 
neck- wrap," even as he, 'tis said, stealthily plucked 
the chaplets from his neck after a carouse, the moment 
he was arrested by the voice of his fasting master ? ^ 
When you offer apples to a sulky child, he refuses 
them. ' Take them, pet.' He says, ' No.' Were 
you not to offer them, he would crave them. How^ 
differs the lover who, when shut out, debates with 
himself whether to go or not to where, though not 
invited, he meant to return, and hangs about the 
hated doors ? * ' Shall I not go even now, when she 
inxates me of her own accord ? Or rather, shall I think 
of putting an end to my affliction ? She shut me out. 
She calls me back. Shall I return ? No — not if she 
implores me.' Now hsten to the slave, wiser by 
far of the two : ' My master, a thing that admits of 
neither method nor sense cannot be handled by rule 
and method. In love inhere these evils — first war, 
then peace : things almost as fickle as the weather, 
shifting about by blind chance, and if one were to 
try to reduce them to fixed rule for himself, he would 
no more set them right than if he aimed at going 
mad by fixed rule and method.' Why, when you 
pick the pips from Picenian apples,** and are glad if 
by chance you have hit the vaulted roof, are you 
master of yourself } Why, when on your old palate 

■* If a lover could hit the ceiling with an apple-seed, shot 
from between his thumb and finger, he supposed his love 
was returned. 



aedificante casas qui sanior ? adde cruorem 276 

stultitiae, atque ignem gladio scrutare. modo, in- 

Hellade percussa Marius cum praecipitat se 
cerritus fuit ; an commotae crimine mentis 
absolves hominem et seeleris damnabis eundem, 
ex more imponens cognata vocabula rebus ? 280 

' Libertinus erat, qui eircum compita siccus 
lautis mane senex manibus cun-ebat et, " unum," 
(" quid tam magnum ? " addens) " unum me surpite 

dis etenim facile est ! " orabat ; sanus utrisque 
auribus atque oculis : mentem, nisi litigiosus, 285 
exciperet dominus,cum venderet. hoc quoque volgus'^ 
Chrysippus ponit fecunda in gente Meneni. 
" luppiter, ingentis qui das adimisque dolores," 
mater ait pueri mensis iam quinque cubantis, 
" frigida si puerum quartana reliquerit, illo 290 

mane^ die, quo tu indicis ieiunia, nudus 
in Tiberi stabit." casus medicusve^ levarit 
aegrum ex praecipiti, mater delira necabit 
in gelida fixum ripa febremque reducet. 
quone malo mentem concussa ? timore deorum.' 295 
Haec mihi Stertinius, sapientum octavus, amico 
^ vulgo, //. " magne aD : magno E. * -que, //. 

" Horace gives his own turn to the Pythagorean rule, 
irvp /Maxaipt} fir] (TKaXeveiv, which probably means, " excite 
not an angry man to violence." 

* See Index under Hellas. 

" According to the Stoics, crime and madness were 
identical (see 1. 221). The different names given to them 
{e.g. insania and scelus) were thus synonyms. 

<* He would follow the ritual of fasting and ceremonial 
washing, and pray at the shrines of the Lares of the crossways, 
the Lares Compitales. 


SATIRES, II. III. 275-296 

you strike out baby-talk, how are you wiser than 
the child that builds toy-houses ? Add blood to folly, 
and stir the fire with a sword." The other day, for 
instance, when Marius killed Hellas and then flung 
himself headlong, was he crazy ? '' Or will you 
acquit the man of a disordered mind and condann 
him for crime, giving to things, as we often do, 
names of kindred meaning ? * 

^^ " A freedman there was who in old age, fasting 
and with washed hands, would in early hours run to all 
street-shrines and pray : <* ' Save me, me alone 
(" Is it not a httle boon ? " he would add), save me 
alone from death. 'Tis an easy matter for the gods.' 
The man was sound in both ears and eyes ; but as to 
his mind, his master, if selling him, would no^ have 
vouched for that, unless bent on a lawsuit. All this 
crowd * also Chrysippus will place in the prohfic 
family of Menenius. ' O Jupiter, who givest and 
takest away sore afflictions,' cries the mother of a 
child that for five long months has been ill abed, ' if 
the quartan chills leave my child, then on the morning 
of the day on which thou appointest a fast,' he shall 
stand naked in the Tiber.' Should chance or the 
doctor raise the sick lad up from his peril, his crazy 
mother will kill him by planting him on the cold bank 
and bringing back his fever. What is the malady 
that has stricken her mind ? Fear of the gods.* " 

*•* Such were the weapons which my friend Ster- 
tinius, eighth of the wise men, put in my hands, that 

• i.e. the superstitious who are also insane, like Menenius, 
of whom, however, nothing is known. 

' This would be dies lovis, corresponding to our Thursday 
(Thor's day). The Jews, whose practices are here referred 
to, fasted on this day. 

N 177 


arma dedit, posthac ne compellarer inultus. 
dixerit insanum qui me, totidem audiet atque 
respicere ignoto discet pendentia tergo." 

Stoice, post damnum sic vendas omnia pluris, 300 
qua me stultitia, quoniam non est genus unum, 
insanire putas ? ego nam videor mihi sanus. 

" Quid ? caput abscisum manibus cum portat^ 
gnati infelicis, sibi tunc^ furiosa videtur ? " 

Stultum me fateor (liceat concedere veris) 305 

atque etiam insanum : tantum hoc edissere, quo me 
aegrotare putes animi vitio. 

" Accipe. primum 
aedificas, hoc est, longos imitaris, ab imo 
ad summum totus moduli bipedahs, et idem 
corpore maiorem rides Turbonis in armis 310 

spiritum et incessum : qui ridiculus minus illo ? 
an quodcumque facit Maecenas, te quoque veruni est 
tantum^ dissimilem et tanto certare minoi'era ? 

Absentis ranae pullis vituli pede pressis, 
unus ubi efFugit, matri denarrat, ut ingens 315 

belua cognatos eliserit : ilia rogare, 
quantane ? num tantum,* sufflans se, magna fuisset ? 

^ abscissum manibus cum portat Goth. : manibus portavit 
V: demens cum portat Mss. Bentley restored manibus to 

^ tum, II. ' tantum V -. tanto MSS. 

* tantum VE Porph. : tandem aD'^31, omitted in D'. 

" A reference to the fable of the two wallets. We see 
only the one in front which holds our neighbours' faults. 
But cf. 1. 53 above. 

* In the Bacchae of Euripides, Agave appears with the 
head of her son Pentheus, whom she and the other frenzied 
Maenads have torn to pieces. 


SATIRES, II. HI. 297-317 

no one thereafter might call me names \\ith impunity. 
Whoso dubs me madman shall hear as mucli in reply, 
and shall learn to look behind on what is hanging 
from his back, that is never noticed." 

^'^ HORACE. Good Stoic — as I pray that after your 
losses you may sell all you have at a profit ! — in what 
folly, since there are so many kinds, do you think my 
madness appears ? For to myself I seem sane. 

DAMASiPPUs. What ? When Agave is carrying in 
her hands the head of her luckless son,* which she 
has cut off, does she even then tliink herself mad ? 

HOR. I confess my folly — let me yield to the truth 
— and my madness too. This only unfold : from 
what mental failing do you think I suffer ? 

DAM. Listen. First, you are building,* which 
means, you try to ape big men, though from top to 
toe your full height is but two feet ; ** and yet you 
laugh at the strut and spirit of Turbo in his armour, 
as though they were too much for his body. How 
are you less foolish than he ? Is it right that what- 
ever Maecenas does, you also should do, so unlike 
him as you are and such a poor match for him ? 

^^* A mother frog * was away from home when her 
young brood were crushed under the foot of a calf. 
One only escaped to tell the tale to his mother, how 
a huge beast had dashed liis brothers to death. " How 
big was it .-^ " she asks ; " as big as this ? " puffing 
herself out. " Half as big again." " Was it big 
like this ? " as she swelled herself out more and more. 

« Probably on his Sabine farm. 

' For Horace's short stature see Epist. i. 20. 24, corporis 

* Horace reproduces, with variations, the well-known 
Aesopian fable of the Ox and the Frogs. 



' maior dimidio.' ' num tanto^ ? ' cum magis atque 

se magis inrlaret, ' non, si te ruperis,' inquit, 

' par eris.' haec a te non multum abludit imago. 320 

adde poemata nunc, hoc est, oleum adde camino 

quae si quis sanus fecit, sanus facis et^ tu. 

non dico^ horrendam rabiem," 

lam desine ! 

" Cultum 
maiorem censu," 

Teneas, Damasippe, tuis te ! 
" Mille puellarum, puerorum mille furores." 325 
O maior tandem parcas, insane, minori ! 

^ tanto Mss. : tantum. 
2 facis et] facies D, 3 Bland. * dicam D. 


SATIRES, II. III. 318-326 

" Though you burst yourself," said he, " you'll never 
be as large." Not badly does this picture hit you 
off. Now throw in your verses — that is, throw oil 
on the fire. If any man ever wrote verses when sane, 
then you are sane in writing yours. I say nothing 
of your awful temper — 

HOR. Stop now ! 

DAM. Your style beyond your means — 

HOR. Mind your own business, Damasippus. 

DAM. Your thousand passions for lads and lasses. 

HOR. O greater one, spare, I pray, the lesser 
madman I 




" Where is the man that can live without dining?" 
In the Rome of the Augustan Age cookery seems 
to have held the place it had occupied in Greece in 
the degenerate days of the Middle and New Attic 
GDraedy, when, as Mahaffy says," " it was no mere 
trade, but a natural gift, a special art, a school of 
liigher philosophy." This false importance given to 
the subject is gently satirized by Horace, who repre- 
sents himself as meeting one Catius, just as the latter 
is hurrying home to arrange his notes upon a wonder- 
ful lecture on gastronomy, which he has just heard, 
and of which Horace induces him to repeat the main 
points. Horace professes profound admiration for so 
much learning, and begs his friend to take him to 
hear the lecturer himself, who must be what Epicurus 
was to Lucretius, the fountain-head of wisdom in 
regard to right hving. 

There has been much speculation, both as to who 
Catius was or represents and as to the main purport 
of this Satire. Among the Saturae of Ennius there 
was one with the formidable title Heduphagetica, 
which dealt with gastronomical matters and was based 
on the 'H8inra^€ia of Archestratus of Gela. It is clear 
« Social Life in Greece, p. 299. 



from his fragments that LuciHus handled the same 
topic, and we find among the titles of Vario's 
Menippean Satires that of Uepl eSecr/xaTotv. It is 
probable therefore that Horace is simply trying his 
hand upon a traditional satiric theme. 

But it is possible that the Satire has a greater 
significance than this. In the preceding Satire 
Horace deals in his own humorous fashion with the 
Stoics ; in this he seems to be playing Avith the 
Epicureans. In the concluding verses the reference 
to Lucretius is unmistakable, while scattered through 
the Satire are philosophical terms, such as 7iatura 
(7, 21, 45, 64), praecepta (11), ratio (36), and ingenitim 
(47), which are conspicuous in Lucretius's great poem. 
Palmer can see no reference to Epicureanism here, 
because Horace was himself an Epicurean, but Horace 
was never firmly wedded to any school. He was a 
free lance, 

nullius addictus iurare in verba magistri 

{Epist. i. 1. 14), 

and even if he was an orthodox Epicurean, what was 
there to prevent his satirizing those of the school 
whose idea of the vita beaia was to have good things 
to eat and drink ? Even Metrodorus, intimate friend 
of Epicurus, is reported to have said that " it is our 
business, not to seek crowns by saving the Greeks, 
but to enjoy ourselves in good eating and drinking " 
(Plutarch, Adv. Col. 1125 d). 

As to Catius, the scholiasts tell us that he was an 
Epicurean and (like Lucretius) the author of a De 
rerum natura, but in commenting on 1. 47 they also 
refer to another Catius who had written a book on the 
baker's art. There is a Catius, an Insubrian and an 


Epicurean, spoken of by Cicero as lately dead (Ad 
fnm. XV. 16; cf. Quintilian, x. 1. 124), and it is 
highly probable that for this dramatic purpose Horace 
here introduces a person of an earher generation in 
much the same way in which he uses Trebatius in 
the first, and Damasippus in the third, Satires of 
this book. 



Unde et quo Catius ? 

" Non est mihi tempus aventi 
ponere signa novis praeceptis, qualia vincent^ 
Pythagoran Anytique reum doctiimque Platona." 

Peccatum fateor, cum te sic tempore laevo 
interpellarim^ ; sed des veniam bonus, oro. 5 

quod si interciderit tibi nunc aliquid, repetes mox, 
sive est naturae hoc sive artis, mirus utroque. 

" Quin id erat curae, quo pacto cuncta tenerem, 
atpote res tenuis, tenui sermone peractas." 

Edehominisnomen,simulet, Roman us anhospes. 10 

" Ipsa^ memor praecepta canam, celabitur* auctor. 

Longa quibus facies ovis erit, ilia memento, 
ut suci melioris et ut magis alba rotundis, 
ponere ; namque marem cohibent callosa vitellum. 
caule suburbano qui siccis crevit in agris 15 

dulcior ; irriguo nihil est elutius horto. 

Si vespertinus subito te oppresserit hospes, 

^ Vincent V, II : vincunt, I : vincant. 

* interpellarem. * ipse 2). * celebrabitur, II. 

" Socrates. 

* The word canam suggests that the rules that follow are 
to be treated like an oracle. They may be grouped roughly 
under four heads : (a) the antepast, or gustatio (12-34) ; 
(6) the main dinner, or mensa prima (35-69) ; (c) the dessert, 
or mensa secunda (70-75) ; (d) details of service (76-87). 


Satire IV 

HORACE. Whence and whither, Catius ? 

CATius. I have no time to stop, so keen am I to 
make a record of some new rules, such as will surpass 
Pythagoras, and the sage " whom Anytus accused, 
and the learned Plato. 

HOR. I confess my fault in thus breaking in on 
you at an awkward moment, but kindly pardon me, 
I pray. If aught has shpped from you now, you 
will soon recover it ; whether your memory is due 
to nature or to art, in either case you are a marvel. 

CAT. Nay, I was just thinking how to keep all in 
mind, for it was a subtle theme handled in subtle 

HOR. Tell me the man's name, whether he is a 
Roman or a stranger. 

^^ CAT. The rules themselves I will recite * from 
memory ; the professor's name must be withheld. 

Give good heed to serve eggs of an oblong shape, for 
they have a better flavour and are whiter than the 
round ; they are firm and enclose a male yoke. 
Cabbage grown on dry lands is sweeter than from 
farms * near the city ; nothing is more tasteless 
than a watered garden's produce. 

If a friend suddenly drops in upon you of an 

° These would be irrigated artificially. 



ne gallina malum responset^ dura palato, 
doctus eris vivam mixto^ mersare Falerno ; 
hoc teneram faciet. 

Pratensibus optima fungis 20 

natura est ; aliis male creditur. 

lUe salubris 
aestates peraget,^ qui nigris prandia moris 
finiet, ante gravem quae legerit arbore solem. 

Aufidius forti miscebat mella Falerno, 
mendose ; quoniam vacuis committere venis 25 

nil nisi lene decet ; leni praecordia mulso 
prolueris melius, si dura morabitur alvus, 
mitulus et viles pellent obstantia conchae 
et lapathi brevis herba, sed albo non sine Coo. 

Lubrica nascentes implent conehylia lunae ; 30 
sed non omne mare est generosae fertile testae : 
murice Baiano melior Lucrina peloris, 
ostrea Circeiis, Miseno oriuntur echini, 
pectinibus patulis iactat se molle Tarentum. 

Nee sibi cenarum qui vis temere arroget artem, 35 
non prius exacta tenui ratione saporum. 
nee satis est cara piscis averrere* mensa 
ignarum quibus est ius aptius et quibus assis 
languidus in cubitum iam se conviva reponet.^ 

Umber et iligna nutritus glande rotundas 40 

curvat aper lances carnem vitantis^ inertem ; 
nam Laurens malus est, ulvis et harundine pinguis. 
^ respondet DEM : responsat a. 
* mixto Mss. : niusto Bentley, widely adopted. 
' peragit, /. * avertere DM. 

* rcponit, II. * vitiantis. 

" i.e., to continue eating. This is more probable than, as 
taken by Palmer, " which ones being broiled, the guest, after 
eating his fill of them, shall at length replace himself on his 


SATIRES, II. IV. 18-42 

evening, and you fear that a tough fowl may answer 
ill to his taste, you will be wise to plunge it ahve 
into diluted Falernian : this will make it tender. 

Mushrooms from the meadows are best ; others 
are not to be trusted. 

A man » will pass his summers in health, who will 
finish his luncheon with black mulberries which he 
has picked from the tree before the sun is trying. 

Aufidius used to mix his honey with strong 
Falernian— unwisely ; for when the veins are empty 
one should admit nothing to them that is not mild. 
With mild mead you will do better to flood the 
stomach. If the bowels be costive, limpet and 
common shell-fish will dispel the trouble, or low- 
growing sorrel — but not without white Coan wine. 

New moons swell the shppery shell-fish, but it is not 
every sea that yields the choicest kind. The Lucrine 
mussel is better than the Baian cockle. Oysters come 
from Circeii, sea-urchins from Misenum, luxurious 
Tarentum plumes herself on her broad scallops. 

^ It is not everyone that may lightly claim skill 
in the dining art, without first mastering the subtle 
theory of flavours. Nor is it enough to sweep up 
fish from the expensive stall, not knowing which 
are better with sauce, and which, if broiled, will 
tempt the tired guest to raise himself once more 
upon his elbow.** 

From Umbria, fed on holm-oak acorns, comes the 
boar that makes the round dish bend, when the host 
would shun tasteless meat ; for the Laurentian is a 
poor beast, being fattened on sedge and reeds.* 

* Cf. Macaulay, " Battle of Lake Regillus " : 

From the I-aurentian jungle. 
The wild hog's reedy home. 



Vinea submittit capreas non semper edulis. 
fecundae^ leporis sapiens sectabitur armos. 
piscibus atque avibus^ quae natura et foret aetas, 45 
ante meum nulli patuit quaesita palatum. 

Sunt quorum ingenium nova tantum^ crustula 
nequaquam satis in re una consumere curam ; 
ut si quis solum hoc, mala ne sint vina, laboret, 
quali perfundat^ piscis securus olivo. 60 

Massica si caelo suppones vina sereno, 
nocturna, si quid crassi est, tenuabitur aura, 
et decedet odor nervis inimicus ; at ilia 
integrum perdunt lino vitiata saporem. 
Surrentina vafer qui miscet faece Falerna 65 

vina,^ columbino limum bene colligit ovo, 
quatenus ima petit volvens aliena vitellus. 

Tostis marcentem squillis recreabis et Afra 
potorem coclea ; nam lactuca innatat acri 
post vinum stomacho ; perna magis et^ magis hillis 60 
flagitat immorsus refici, quin omnia malit 
quaecumque immundis fervent allata popinis. 

Est operae pretium duplicis pernoscere iuris 
naturam. simplex e dulci constat olivo, 
quod pingui miscere mero muriaque decebit 65 

non alia quam qua' Byzantia putuit orca. 

1 fecundae V: feciindi Mss. 

* atque pavis. ' tamen, II. 

* profundat. * vinum. 

"^ ac EM. ' quae oD, //. 

" The ius duplex, or compound sauce, consists of (1) the 
simplex, viz. sweet olive oil, and (2) the other ingredients 
named in 11. 65 if. The passage, however, is not clear. 
Some prefer to take ius duplex as meaning two kinds of 
sauce, one of which, the simplex, described in 11. 64-66, 


SATIRES, II. IV. 4.3-66 

Roes bred in a vineyard are not always eatable 
The connoisseur will crave the ^\^ngs of a hare 
when in young. As to fish and fowl, what their 
qualities and age should be is a question never made 
clear to any palate before mine. 

Some there are whose talent lies only in finding 
new sweets ; 'tis by no means enough to spend all 
one's care on a single point — ^just as if someone were 
anxious only that his wines be good, but cared not 
what oil he poured upon his fish. 

If you set Massic wine beneath a cloudless sky, 
all its coarseness will be toned do^^•n by the night 
air, and the scent, unfriendly to the nerves, will pass 
off; but the same wine, when strained through 
linen, is spoiled, losing its full flavour. Surrentine 
vrine a knowing man mixes ^^'ith lees of Falernian, 
and carefully collects the sediment -with pigeons' 
eggs, for the yolk sinks to the bottom, carrying with 
it all foreign matter. 

A jaded drinker you will rouse afresh by fried 
prawns and African snails ; for after wine lettuce 
rises on the acid stomach. By ham and by sausages 
rather does it crave to be pricked and freshened. 
Nay, it would prefer any viands brought smoking 
hot from untidy cookshops. 

It is worth while to study well the nature of the 
compound sauce." The simple consists of sweet 
olive oil, which should be mixed with thick wine and 
with brine, such as that of which your Byzantine jar 

consists of oil, wine, and brine, while the compound adds 
to these the chopped herbs, saffron, and \'enafran oil of 
11. 67-69. 



hoc ubi confusum sectis inferbuit herbis 
Corycioque croco sparsum stetit, insuper addes^ 
pressa Venafranae quod baca remisit olivae. 

Picenis cedunt pomis Tiburtia suco ; 70 

nam facie praestant, Venucula convenit ollis ; 
rectius Albanam fumo duraveris uvam. 
banc ego cum malis, ego faecem primus et allec, 
primus et invenior^ piper album cum sale nigro 
incretum puris circumposuisse catillis. 75 

immane est vitium dare milia terna macello 
angustoque vagos piscis urgere catino. 
magna movet^ stomacho fastidia, seu puer unctis 
tractavit calicem manibus, dum furta ligurrit, 
sive gravis veteri craterae* limus adhaesit. 80 

vilibus in scopis, in mappis, in scobe quantus 
consistit sumptus ? neglectis, flagitium ingens. 
ten lapides varios lutulenta^ radere palma 
et Tyrias dare circum illuta toralia vestis, 
oblitum, quanto curam sumptumque minorem 85 
haec habeant, tan to reprehendi iustius illis, 
quae nisi divitibus nequeunt^ contingere mensis ! " 

Docte Cati, per amicitiam divosque rogatus, 
ducere me auditum, perges quocumque, memento, 
nam quamvis memori referas mihi pectore cuncta, 90 
non tamen interpres tantundem iuveris. adde 
voltum habitumque hominis, quem tu vidisse beatus 

^ addens, //. ^ inveni aM : inventor E. 

• movent, /. * creterrae V(p\l/. 

^ luculenta, (l)\j/l. ^ nequeant Bentley. 

* Byzantium was an important centre for the fishing 
industry of the Black Sea, and the brine in which the fish 
were sent was held in high esteem. 


SATIRES, 11. IV. 67-92 

smells so strong." When this, mixed with chopped 
herbs, has been boiled, and, after being sprinkled 
with Corj'cian saffron, has been left to stand, you 
are to add besides some of the juice yielded by the 
pressed berry of the Venafran olive. 

Apples from Tibur yield to the Picenian in flavour, 
but in look are finer. The Venuculan grape suits 
the preserving jar ; the Alban you had better dry 
in the smoke. This last you will find that I was the 
first to ser\"e round the board vriih apples, as I was 
the first to serve up wine-lees and caviare, white 
pepper and black salt sifted on to dainty Uttle dishes. 
It is a monstrous sin to spend three thousand 
on the fish market, and then to cramp those ro\ing 
fishes in a narrow dish. It strongly turns the 
stomach, if a slave has handled the drinking cup 
■with hands greasy from licking stolen snacks ; or if 
vile mould clings to your ancient bowl.* Common 
brooms, napkins, and sawdust, how httle do they 
cost ! But if neglected, how shocking is the 
scandal ! To think of your sweeping mosaic pave- 
ments with a dirty palm-broom, or putting unwashed 
coverlets over TjTian tapestries, forgetting that the 
less care and cost these things involve, the more 
just is blame for their neglect than for things which 
only the tables of the rich can afford ! 

HOR. O learned Catius, by our friendship and by 
the gods I beg you, remember to take me to a 
lecture, wherever you go to one. For however 
faithful the memory Asith which you tell me all, yet 
as merely reporting you cannot give me the same 
pleasure. And there is the man's look and bearing I 

* If the bowl was an antique and therefore valuable, there 
was all the more reason for its being kept clean. 

o 193 


non magni pendis, quia contigit : at mihi cura 

non mediocris inest, fontis ut adire remotos 

atque haurire queam vitae praecepta beatae. 95 

" Horace here parodies a famous passage in Lucretius : 
iuvat integros accedere fontes atque haurire. 

[De rerum nat. i. 927-8.) 


SATIRES, II. IV. 93-95 

You think little of having seen him, lucky fellow, 
because you have had that good fortune, but I have 
no shght longing to be able to draw near to the 
sequestered fountains, and to drink in the rules for 
living happily .<J 



The practice of seeking legacies, especially from 
those who had no family connexions, seems to have 
been common in Rome at the beginning of the 
Imperial period. Horace, therefore, in true satiric 
fashion, undertakes to lay down rules for the guidance 
of those who may need advice in playing the game. 

The Satire takes the form of a dialogue, and is a 
burlesque continuation of a fjimous scene in the 
Eleventh Odyssey (90-149),where Odysseus (Ulysses), 
in the lower world, learns from the Theban seer 
Tiresias that he will return to his home in Ithaca, 
but only when reduced to poverty. The hero, there- 
fore, desires to ascertain how he may again enrich 
himself, and the seer instructs him in the lucrative 
ways of fortune-hunting. 

From the obvious reference to Actium in tellure 
marique magjius (1. 63) we infer that the Satire was 
not composed before 30 b.c. The skilful parody of 
epic style shows Horace's satiric power at its best, 
and it is well to recall the fact that the travestying 
of heroic themes is traditional in both satire and 
comedy. The Amphitryo of Plautus, based on some 
play of the New Attic Comedy, is a good example. 
Both Lucilius and Varro made use of parody, and it is 



a prominent feature of the prose satire of Lucian, upon 
which many modern satires have been modelled, such 
as Disraeli's Ixion in Heaven and The Infernal 
Marriage, and Bangs's Houseboat on the Styx. Lucian's 
resemblances to Horace, which, according to Lejay, 
are due to a direct knowledge of the Roman poet on 
the part of Lucian, may really be the result of their 
common indebtedness to Menippus of Gadara {cf. 
Fiske, Lucilius and Horace, p. 401). Sellar describes 
the poem before us as " the most trenchant of all 
the Satires " of Horace, who doubtless conceived the 
utmost contempt for the fortune-hunters of his day. 
No analysis is necessary. 



Hoc quoque, Teresia,^ praeter narrata petenti 
responde, quibus amissas reparare queam res 
artibus atque modis. quid rides ? 

" lamne doloso 
non satis est Ithacam revehi patriosque Penates 
adspieere ? " 

O nulli quicquam mentite, vides ut 5 
nudus inopsque domum redeam^ te vate, neque illic 
aut apotheca procis intacta est aut pecus ; atqui^ 
et genus et virtus, nisi cum re, vilior alga est. 

" Quando pauperiem missis ambagibus horres, 
accipe qua ratione queas ditescere. 

" Turdus 10 

sive aliud privum dabitur tibi, de volet illuc, 
res ubi magna nitet domino sene ; dulcia poma 
et quoscumque feret cultus tibi fundus honores, 
ante Larem gustet venerabilior Lare dives ; 
qui quamvis periurus erit, sine gente, cruentus 15 
sanguine fraterno, fugitivus, ne tamen illi 
tu comes exterior, si postulet, ire recuses." 

Utne* tegam spurco Damae latus ? haud ita Troiae 

* Tiresia M. ^ redeat. * aut qui, II. * visne. 

" By doloso Horace translates iroXvTpoiros, or one of the 
several Homeric epithets such as iroMfj.rjTis, To\vii.r)xo-voi, 
ToiKi\6fxr]Tis, applied to Odysseus. 


Satire V 

ULYSSES. One more question pray answer me, 
Tiresias, besides what you have told me. By what 
ways and means can I recover my lost fortune ? Why 
laugh ? 

TIRESIAS. What ! not enough for the man of wiles " to 
sail back to Ithaca and gaze upon his household gods ? 

ULY. O you who have never spoken falsely to any 
man, you see how I am returning home, naked and in 
need, as you foretold ; and there neither cellar nor 
herd is unrifled by the suitors. And yet birth and 
worth, without substance, are more paltry than 

TiR. Since, in plain terms, 'tis poverty you dread, 
hear by what means you can grow rich. 

Suppose a thrush or other dainty be given you for 
your o\vn, let it wing its way to where grandeur 
reigns and the owner is old. Your choice apples or 
whatever glories your trim farm bears you, let the 
rich man taste before your Lar ; more to be rever- 
enced than the Lar is he.'' However perjured he 
may be, though low of birth, stained \vith a brother's 
blood, a runaway slave, yet, if he ask you to walk 
with him, do not dechne to take the outer side. 

VhY. What ! give the wall to some dirty Dama ? 

* First-fruits were oflfered to the Lares. 



me gessi, certans semper melioribus. 

" Ergo 
pauper eris." 

Fortem hoc animum tolerare iubebo ; 20 
et quondam maiora tuli. tu protinus, unde 
divitias aerisque ruam^ die, augur, acervos. 

" Dixi equidem et dico : captes astutus ubique 
testamenta senum, neu,^ si vafer unus et alter 
insidiatorem praeroso fugerit hamo, 25 

aut spem deponas aut artem illusus omittas. 
magna minorve foro si res eertabitur olim, 
vivet uter locuples sine gnatis, improbus, ultro 
qui meliorem audax vocet in ius, illius esto 
defensor ; fama civem causaque priorem 30 

sperne, domi si gnatus erit fecundave coniunx. 
' Quinte,' puta, aut ' Publi ' (gaudent praenomine 

auriculae), " tibi me virtus tua fecit amicum ; 
ius anceps novi, causas defender e possum ; 
eripiet quivis oculos citius mihi quam te 35 

contemptum cassa^ nuce pauperet ; haec mea cura est, 
ne quid tu perdas neu sis iocus." ire domum atque 
pelliculam curare iube ; fi cognitor ipse ; 
persta atque obdura, seu rubra Canicula findet 
infantis statuas, seu pingui tentus omaso 40 

Furius hibernas cana nive conspuet Alpis. 
" nonne vides," aliquis cubito stantem prope tangens 

1 eruam E. * seu. ^ cassa Acr. : quassa mss. 

" Cf. Kpticraoffiv l(pi fidxecrdai {Iliad, xxi. 486), one of the 
Homeric echoes in the Satire. Dama is a common slave name. 

* So Odysseus speaks in Od. xx. 18 : 

rdrXadi 87] Kpadirj' Kal Kvvrepov SXKo wot ^tXt;?. 

• Horace makes satiric use of some verses from Furius 
Bibaculus {cf. Sat. i. 10. 36, with note). In Bibaculus, as 


SATIRES, II. V. 19-42 

Not so at Troy did I bear myself, but ever was 
matched with my betters." 

TiR. Then you will be a poor man. 

ULY. I'll bid my valiant soul endure this. Ere now 
worse things have I bome.^ Go on, O prophet, and tell 
me how I am to rake up wealth and heaps of money. 

TIR. Well, I have told you, and I tell you now. 
Fish craftily in all waters for old men's ^^•ills, and 
though one or two shrewd ones escape your ^\iles 
after nibbling off the bait, do not give up hope, or 
drop the art, though baffled. If some day a case, 
great or small, be contested in the Forum, whichever 
of the parties is rich and childless, villain though he 
be, who ^Wth wanton impudence calls the better 
man into court, do you become his advocate ; spurn 
the citizen of the better name and cause, if he have 
a son at home or a fruitful wife. Say : " Quintus " 
it may be, or " Pubhus " (sensitive ears delight in the 
personal name), " your worth has made me your 
friend. I know the mazes of the law ; I can defend 
a case. I ^v^ll let anyone pluck out my eyes sooner 
than have him scorn you or rob you of a nutshell. 
This is my concern, that you lose nothing, and become 
not a jest." Bid him go home and nurse his precious 
self ; become yourself his counsel. Carry on, and 
stick at it, whether 

" the Dog-star red 
Dumb statues split," • 

or Fm-ius, stuffed with rich tripe, 

" With hoary snow bespew the wintry Alps." 

" Do you not see," says someone, nudging a neighbour 

we know from Quintilian, viii. 6. 17, the second citation 
opened with luppiter as subject. 



inquiet, * ut patiens, ut amicis aptus, ut acer ? * 
plures adnabunt thynni et cetaria crescent. 

" Si cui praeterea validus male filius in re 45 

praeclara sublatus aletur, ne manifestum 
caelibis obsequium nudet te, leniter in spem 
adrepe^ officiosus, ut et^ scribare secundus 
heres et, si quis casus puerum egerit Oreo, 
in vacuum venias : perraro haec alea fallit. 50 

" Qui testamentum tradet tibi cumque legendum, 
abnuere et tabulas a te removere memento, 
sic tamen, ut limis rapias, quid prima secundo 
cera velit versu ; solus multisne coheres, 
veloci percurre oculo. plerumque recoctus 55 

scriba ex quinqueviro corvum deludet hiantem, 
captatorque dabit risus Nasica Corano." 

Num furis ? an prudens ludis me obscura canendo ? 

" O Laertiade, quidquid dicam, aut erit aut non : 
divinare etenim magnus mihi donat Apollo." 60 

Quid tamen ista velit sibi fabula, si licet,^ ede. 

" Tempore, quo iuvenis Parthis horrendus, ab alto 
demissum genus Aenea, tellure marique 

^ arripe a, //. * ut et] ut Goth. : uti Heindorf. 

' si licet] scilicet aD. 

• Cf. Epist. i. 1. 79, " excipiantque senes quos in vivaria 
mittant." The ceCaria were artificial preserves. The tunnies 
represent the rich fools who may be caught when needed, 
cf. captes 1. 23, and captator in 1. 57. 

* It was an old Roman custom for fathers to take up in 
their arms such new-born children as they wished to rear. 
Sublatus, therefore, might be rendered as " recognized." 

' i.e. as substitute heir, to be called to the inheritance 
in case the heir first named dies. 

■* The will, it is supposed, would be written on wax tablets 
and sealed. On the inside of the first tablet would appear 
the name of the testator, followed in the second line by the 
name of the heir. 

SATIRES, II. V. 43-63 

with his elbow, " how steady he is, how helpful to his 
friends, how keen ? " More tunnies will s^^^m up, 
and your fish-ponds swell." 

*^ Again, if one with a fine fortune rears a sickly 
son whom he has taken up,'' then for fear lest open 
devotion to a childless man betray you, by your atten- 
tions worm your way to the hope that you may be 
named as second heir,* and if some chance send the 
child to his grave, you may pass into his place. 
Seldom does this game fail. 

*' Suppose someone gives you his \n\\ to read, be 
sure to decline and push the tablets from you ; yet 
in such a way that with a side glance you may catch 
the substance of the second line on the first page.** 
Swiftly run your eye across to see whether you are 
sole heir or share with others. Quite often a constable, 
new-boiled into a clerk, will dupe the gaping raven, 
and Nasica the fortune-hunter will make sport for 

ULY. Are you mad ? or do you purposely make 
fun of me wth your dim oracle ? 

TiR. O son of Laertes, whatever I say will or Mill 
not be f ; for prophecy is great Apollo's gift to me. 

ULY. But what means that story ? Tell me, if 
you may. 

TIR. In the days when a youthful hero," the 
Parthian's dread, scion of high Aeneas 's hneage, shall 

' In recocfus there is a reference to the legend of Medea, 
who restored his youth to Aeson by boiling him in a caldron. 
The quinqueviri were very humble police officials. Coranus 
had been one of these, but later had become a public clerk, 
like Horace himself {Sat. ii. 6. 36). In corvum hiantem, 
there is a reference to the fable of the raven which the fox 
flattered for its singing, and so caused it to drop the cheese, 

' A burlesque on oracular utterances. 

' i.e. the young Octavius, born 63 B.C. 



magnus erit, forti nubet procera Corano 

filia Nasicae, metuentis reddere soldura. 65 

turn gener hoc faciet : tabulas socero dabit atque 

ut legat orabit ; multum Nasica negatas 

accipiet tandem et tacitus leget, invenietque 

nil sibi legatum praeter plorare suisque. 

" Illud ad haec iubeo : mulier si forte dolosa 70 
libertusve senem delirum temperet, illis 
accedas socius ; laudes, lauderis ut absens ; 
adiuvat hoc quoque, sed vincit^ longe prius ipsum 
expugnare caput, scribet^ mala carmina vecors : 
laudato, scortator erit : cave te roget ; ultro 75 
Penelopam facilis potiori trade." 

perduci poterit tarn frugi tamque pudica, 
quam nequiere^ proci recto depellere cursu ? 

" Venit enim magnum donandi parca iuventus, 
nee tantum Veneris quantum studiosa culinae. 80 
sic tibi Penelope frugi est ; quae si semel uno 
de sene gustarit tecum partita lucellum, 
ut canis a corio numquam absterrebitur uncto. 

"Me sene quod dicam factum est. anus improba 
ex testamento sic est elata : cadaver ■ 85 

unctum oleo largo nudis umeris tulit heres, 

1 vincet a Goth. * scribit. 

* nequivere MSS. 

" The story, which was doubtless familiar to the readers 
of Horace's own day, is now obscure. Nasica probably 
owed money to Coranus, and gave him his daughter in 
marriage, hoping that the son-in-law would by will free him 
from his debt. This would seem to imply that the son-in-law 
was older than the father-in-law. 

SATIRES, II. V. 64-86 

be mighty by land and sea, the tall daughter of 
Nasica, who dreads paying up in full, shall wed 
gallant Coranus. Then shall the son-in-law thus 
proceed : to his father-in-law he shall give the tablets 
of his will, and pray him to read them. After many 
a refusal at length Nasica shall take them, and read 
them to himself, and shall find that nothing is left to 
him and his but — to whine." 

''<' Here's another hint I give you. If it so chance 
that some crafty dame or freedman sways an old 
dot-ard, make common cause \\ith them. Praise 
them, that they may praise you behind your back. 
This too helps ; but far better is it to storm the 
citadel itself. Will the idiot write poor verses ? 
Praise them. Is he a libertine ? See that he has 
not to ask you ; yourself obligingly hand over 
Penelope to your better. 

ULV. You think so ! Can she be tempted, — she 
so good, so pure, whom the suitors could not turn 
from the straight course ? 

TiR. Yes, for the young suitors who came were 
sparing of their gifts ; their thoughts were not so 
much on loving as on eating. So it is your Penelope 
is virtuous ; but if just once she gets from one old 
man a taste of gain in partnership with you, then she 
will be like the hound, which can never be frightened 
away from the greasy hide.'' 

^* I will tell you something that happened when I 
was old.'' A M-icked old crone at Thebes, by the 
terms of her will, was buried thus : her corpse, well 
oiled, her heir carried on his bare shoulders. She 

* i.e. a hide to which pieces of fat still cling. 
• The speaker, now long dead, is a shade in the lower world. 



scilicet elabi si^ posset mortua ; credo, 
quod nimium institerat^ viventi. 

" Cautus adito : 
neu desis operae neve immoderatus abundes. 
difficilem et morosum offendet^ garrulus ; ultra* 90 
non etiam sileas. Davus sis comicus atque 
stes capite obstipo, multum similis metuenti. 
obsequio grassare ; mone, si increbruit aura, 
cautus uti velet carum caput ; extrahe turba 
oppositis umeris ; aurem substringe loquaci. 95 

importunus amat laudari : donee ' ohe iam ! * 
ad caelum manibus sublatis dixerit, urge, 
crescentem tumidis infla sermonibus utrem. 

" Cum te servitio longo curaque levarit, 
et certum vigilans, ' quartae sit partis Ulixes,* 100 
audieris, ' heres ' : ergo nunc Dama sodalis 
nusquam est ? unde mihi tam fortem tamque 

fidelem ? ' 
sparge subinde et, si paulum potes, illacrimare ; est* 
gaudia prodentem^ voltum' celare. sepulcrum 
permissum arbitrio sine sordibus exstrue : funus 105 
egregie factum laudet vicinia. si quis 
forte coheredum senior male tussiet, huic tu 
die, ex parte tua seu fundi sive domus sit 
emptor, gaudentem nummo te addicere. 

" Sed me 
imperiosa trahit Proserpina : vive valeque." 110 

1 si] ut sic V. * extiterat. ' offendit <p\pl. 

* ultro. * est deleted in a. 

« prudentem. ' multum (pxj^l. 

« Cf. " Davoque Chreraeta eludente," Sat. i. 10. 40. 

SATIRES, J I. V. 87-110 

wanted, of course, to see whether she could give him 
the slip when dead. I suppose, when she was Uving, 
he had borne too hard upon her. 

^ Be cautious in your approach ; neither fail in 
zeal, nor show zeal beyond measure. A chatterbox 
will offend the peevish and morose ; yet you must 
not also be silent beyond bounds. Act the Davus of 
the comedy," and stand with head bowed, much hke 
one overawed. With flattery make your advances ; 
warn him, if the breeze stiffens, carefully to cover up 
his precious pate ; shoulder a way and draw him out 
of a crowd ; make a trumpet of your ear when he 
is chattering. Does he bore you with his love of 
praise ? Then ply him with it till with hands uplifted 
to heaven he cry " enough ! " and blow up the 
swelling bladder with turgid phrases. 

^ And when from your long care and ser\'itude he 
sets you free, and wide awake you hear the words, 
" To one-fourth let Ulysses be heir," then, now and 
again, scatter about such words as these, "Ah! is my 
old friend Dama now no more ? VV^here shall I find 
one so firm, so faithful ? " and if you can do a bit of 
it, drop in some tears. If your face betray joy, 
you can hide it. If the tomb is left to your discretion, 
build it in style : let the neighbours praise the hand- 
some funeral. If one of your co-heirs happens to be 
older than you, and has a bad cough, say to him that 
if he would hke to buy land or a house that is in your 
share, you would gladly knock it down to him for a 

But Proserpine, our queen, calls me back. Live 
and fare well 1 




This famous Satire, which has been so happily 
imitated by Pope, contrasts the annoyances and 
discomforts of hfe in Rome with the peace and 
happiness enjoyed by the poet on his beloved Sabine 

It is probably owing to its peculiarly personal tone 
that for this Satire Horace does not set up a dialogue 
framework, but reverts to the monologue form of 
the First Book, although a large portion of the poem, 
viz. the fable of the Town and the Country Mouse, 
is put into the mouth of another speaker. 

Kiessling has pointed out how the hours of morning 
(1-23) and of evening (60-76), as spent in the country, 
suggest the two side-pictures of a triptych, which 
enclose the central and larger picture, that of a day 
passed in Rome (23-59). The contrast thus pre- 
sented between the peacefulness of rural life and 
the restlessness of city life is then summed up in 
the delightful allegory with which the Satire con- 
cludes (79-117). Nothing could be more artistic 
than such an arrangement. 

Besides being one of the most charming of Horace's 
compositions, this Satire is important for settling 
some of the chronology of Horace's life. Thus 1. 38 



seems to refer to the time which included the Battle 
of Actium and succeeding events, when Maecenas, 
in the absence of Octa\-ian, had full control in Rome 
and Italy. The mention of the Dacians in 1. 53 
reminds us that these people wavered between 
Octa\ian and Antony and that Crassus was sent 
against them in 30 b.c. Again, the assignment of 
lands to the veterans, referred to in 1. 55, is doubtless 
the reward promised for ser\-ices at Actium. In this 
connexion some of the soldiers mutinied in the winter 
of 31 B.C. The Satire therefore was composed late 
in 31 B.C. or early in 30 b.c, and it follows from 
11. 40 ff. that Horace entered the circle of Maecenas 
in 39 or 38 b.c. The Sabine farm was given to the 
poet some six years later. 



Hoc erat in votis : modus agri non ita magnus, 
hortus ubi et tecto vicinus iugis aquae fons 
et paulum silvae super his foret. auctius atque 
di melius fecere. bene est. nil amplius ore, 
Maia nate, nisi ut propria haec mihi munera faxis. 6 
si neque maiorem feci ratione mala rem 
nee sum facturus vitio culpave^ minorem, 
si veneror stultus nihil horum : " o si angulus ille 
proximus accedat, qui nunc denormat agellum ! 
o^ si urnam argenti fors quae mihi monstret, ut illi, 10 
thesauro invento qui mercennarius agrum 
ilium ipsum mercatus aravit, dives amico 
Hercule ! " si quod adest gratum iuvat, hac prece te 

oro : 
pingue pecus domino facias et cetera praeter 
ingenium, utque soles, custos mihi maximus adsis ! 15 

Ergo ubi me in montes et in arcem ex urbe removi, 
quid prius illustrem saturis Musaque pedestri ? 
nee mala me ambitio perdit nee plumbeus Auster 
autumnusque gravis, Libitinae quaestus acerbae. 
^ -ve] -que a Goth. * heu 0i/'. 

" In the opening words Horace gives utterance to a feeling 
of deep satisfaction as he contemplates the scene before him 
in the morning sunshine. His former prayer has been 
realized. Hence the past tense of erat. 

* Mercury was god of luck and gain ; Hercules the god 
of treasure-trove (see 11. 12, 13 below). 

Satire VI '-^ 

This is what I prayed for ! " — a. piece of land not 
so very large, where there would be a garden, and 
near the house a spring of ever-floving water, and 
up above these a bit of woodland. More and better 
than this have the gods done for me. I am content. 
Nothing more do I ask, O son of Maia,** save that 
thou make these blessings last my hfe long. If I 
have neither made my substance larger by evil ways, 
nor mean to make it smaller by excesses or neglect ; 
if I offer up no such foolish prayers as these : " O if 
there could be added that near comer, which now 
spoils the shape of my httle farm ! O that some 
lucky strike would disclose to me a pot of money, like 
the man who, having found a treasure-trove, bought 
and ploughed the self-same ground he used to work 
on hire, enriched by favour of Hercules " I— if what I 
have gives me comfort and content, then thus I pray to 
thee : make fat the flocks I own, and all else save my 
wit, and, as thou art wont, still be my chief guardian I 

" So, now that from the city I have taken myself 
off to my castle in the hills, to what should I sooner 
give renown in the Satires of my prosaic Muse ? Here 
no wTctched place-hunting worries me to death, nor 
the leaden scirocco, nor sickly autumn, that brings 
gain to hateful Libitina.* 

* The old Italian goddess Libitina, sometimes identified 
with Persephone, presided over funerals. 



Matutine pater, seu " lane " libentius audis, 20 
unde homines operum primes vitaeque labores 
instituunt (sic dis placitum), tu carminis esto 
prineipium. Romae sponsoi'em me rapis : " heia, 
ne prior officio quisquam respondeat, urge." 
sive Aquilo radit terras seu bruma nivalem 25 

interiore diem gyro trahit, ire necesse est. 
postmodo, quod mi obsit, clare certumque locuto 
luctandum in turba et facienda iniuria tardis. 
" quid tibi vis, insane, et quam rem^ agis ? " improbus 

iratis precibus : " tu pulses omne quod obstat, 30 
ad Maecenatem memori si mente recurras." 

Hoc iuvat et melli^ est, non mentiar. at simul atras 
ventum est Esquilias, aliena negotia centum 
per caput et circa saliunt latus. " ante secundam 
Roscius orabat sibi adesses ad Puteal eras." 36 

" de re communi scribae magna atque nova te 
orabant hodie meminisses, Quinte, reverti." 
" imprimat liis, cura, Maecenas signa tabellis." 
dixeris, " experiar " : " si vis, potes," addit et instat 

Septimus octavo propior^ iam fugerit annus, 40 

^ quam rem Bentley : mss, show quas res, which can be 
kept if tibi or agis is deleted. Thus Orelli, Wickham, Lejay. 
^ mel, II. ' propior E : proprior o. 

" Cf. Milton's " Or hear'st thou rather pure ethereal 
stream " {Par. Lost, iii. 6). The language is mock heroic, 
and the apostrophe of the god of the morn, or of beginnings, 
indicates the time of day when Horace was writing. 

'' Horace gives an illustration of early morning duties in 

" The circles apparently traced by the sun get smaller 
up to the winter solstice. 

•* Probably the sponsor was directed by the court to speak 

' i,e. this recognition of his intimacy with Maecenas. 


SATIRES, II. VI. 20-40 

^ O Father of the dawn, or Janus, if so thou 
hearest rather," from whom men take the beginnings 
of the work and toil of hfe — such is Heaven's >nll — 
be thou the prelude of my song ! At Rome thou 
hurriest me off to be surety '' : " Come ! bestir 
yourself, lest someone answer duty's call before vou." 
Whether the North-A^nd sweeps the earth, or ^vinter 
drags on the snowy day in narrower circle," go I 
must. Later, when I have said in clear and certain 
tones ** what may work me harm, I must battle in 
the crowd and do damage to the slow of pace. 
" What do you mean, madman ? What are you 
driving at ? " So some ruffian assails me with angry 
curses : " You would jostle everything in your way, 
should you be posting back to Maecenas, thinking 
only of him." 

32 That" gives pleasure and is like honey, I'll 
not deny. But as soon as I come to the gloomy/ 
Esquihne, a hundred concerns of others dance 
through my head and all about me : " Roscius begs 
you to meet him to-morrow at Libo's Wall" before 
seven o'clock." " The clerks beg you, Quintus, to 
be sure to return to-day on some fresh and important 
business of common interest.* " " Have Maecenas 
put his seal to these papers." If you say, " I'll try," 
" You can, if you will," he adds insistently. 

*° The seventh year — nay, nearer the eighth — wiU 

' " Gloomy," because of the old associations of the place. 
See Satire i. 8. 14, note c. 

» The praetor's tribunal was near the Puteal Lihonis, a 
place in the Forum, which, having been struck by lightning, 
was enclosed by a wall, and regarded as sacred. 

* Horace, being himself a member of the guild of scribae, 
is addressed on familiar terms. He had been a member 
of the quaestor's staff. 



ex quo Maecenas me coepit habere suorum 

in numero, dumtaxat ad hoc, quern tollere raeda 

vellet iter faciens, et cui concredere nugas 

hoc genus : " hora quota est ? " " Thraex est 

GalHna Syro par ? " 
" matutina parum cautos iam frigora mordent ; " 45 
et quae rimosa bene deponuntur^ in aure. 
per totum hoc tempus subiectior in diem et horam 
invidiae noster. ludos spectaverat^ una, 
luserat^ in Campo : " Fortunae filius ! " omnes. 
frigidus a rostris manat per compita rumor : 60 

quicumque obvius est me consuht : " o bone, nam te 
scire, deos quoniam propius* contingis, oportet, 
numquid de Dacis audisti ?" '^nil equidem." "ut tu 
semper eris derisor ! " " at^ omnes di exagitent me, 
si quicquam." "quid? militibus promissa Triquetra 
praedia Caesar an est Itala tellure daturus ? " 56 
iurantem me scire nihil mirantur^ ut unum 
scilicet egregii mortalem altique silenti. 

Perditur haec inter misero lux non sine votis : 
o rus, quando ego te aspiciam ! quandoque licebit 60 
nunc veterum libris, nunc somno et inertibus horis,' 
ducere sollicitae iucunda oblivia vitae ! 
o quando faba Pythagorae cognata simulque 
^ disponunturiJ. ^ spectaverit. ^ luserit. ^proprius^^X. 

* at Goth. : ad Mss. * miratur 4>->j/. ' hortis (p\f/. 

" The reference is to some sporting event of the day. 
The men mentioned were gladiators, one being armed like 
a Thracian. 

^ This colloquial use of noster ="I ", for which we have 
examples in Plautus, enables the writer to avoid a tone of 
egoism. Cf. dvijp oSe. 

" Sicily. After the battle of Actium the soldiers who had 
served with Octavius had lands allotted to them. The 
expression used for Sicily is probably an echo of Lucretius 
(i. 717) " insula . . . triquetris terrarum . . . in oris." 


SATIRES, II. VI. 41-63 

soon have sped, since Maecenas began to count me 
among his friends — merely thus far, as one he would 
hke to take in his carriage when on a journey, and 
confide to liis ears trifles hke this : " What's the 
time ? " "Is the Tlrracian Chicken a match for 
Syrus ? " ** " The morning frosts are nipping now, 
if people are careless," and such chat as is safely 
dropped into a leaky ear. For all these years, every 
day and hour, our friend * has been more and more 
the butt of en\y,. Has he viewed the games, or 
played ball in the Campus ^^'ith Maecenas ? " For- 
tune's favourite ! " all cry. Does a chilly rumour 
run from the Rostra through the streets ? Whoever 
coiaaes my way asks my opinion : " My good sir, 
you must know — you come so much closer to the 
gods : you haven't heard any news about the 
Dacians, have you ? " " None whatever." " How 
you will always mock at us ! " But heaven confound 
me, if I have heard a word ! " Well, is it in the 
three-cornered isle," or on Italian soil, that Caesar 
means to give the soldiers their promised lands ? " 
When I swear I know nothing, they marvel at me 
as, forsooth, the man of all men remarkably and 
profoundly reticent. 

^ Amid such trifling, alas ! I waste my day, pray- 
ing the while : O rural home : when shall I behold 
you ! When shall I be able, now with books of the 
ancients, now ^vith sleep and idle hours, to quaff" 
sweet forgetfulness of hfe's cares ! O when shall 
beans, brethren of Pythagoras,** be serv'ed me, and 

<* Pv'thasroras forbade the eating of beans as well as of 
the flesh of animals, in the latter case because of his doctrine 
of transmigration of souls. Horace humorously applies 
this doctrine to beans as welL C/. Gellius, iv. 11. 



uncta satis pingui ponentur holuscula lardo ! 

o noctes cenaeque deum ! quibus ipse meique 65 

ante Larem proprium vescor vernasque procaces 

pasco libatis dapibus. prout cuique libido est, 

siccat inaequalis calices conviva, solutus 

legibus insanis, seu quis capit acria fortis 

poeula, seu modicis uveseit^ laetius. ergo 70 

sermo oritur, non de villis domibusve alienis, 

nee male necne Lepos saltet ; sed quod magis ad nos 

pertinet et nescire malum est, agitamus : utrumne 

divitiis homines an sint virtute beati ; 

quidve ad amicitias, usus rectumne, trahat nos ; 75 

et quae sit natura boni summumque quid eius. 

Cervius haec inter vicinus^ garrit anilis 
ex re fabellas. si quis nam laudat ArelU 
sollicitas ignarus opes, sic incipit : " olim 
rusticus urbanum murem mus paupere fertur 80 

accepisse cavo, veterem vetus hospes amicum, 
asper et attentus quaesitis, ut tamen artum 
solveret hospitiis animum. quid multa ? neque ille 
sepositi ciceris nee longae invidit avenae, 
aridum et ore ferens acinum semesaque lardi 85 

frusta^ dedit, cupiens varia fastidia cena 
vincere tangentis male singula dente superbo ; 
cum pater ipse domus palea porrectus in horna 
esset ador loliumque, dapis meliora relinquens. 
tandem urbanus ad hunc, " quid te iuvat," inquit, 
" amice, 90 

1 humescit E. * vicino E : vicinos V. 

' frustra E<f>\ Goth. : furta Peerlkamp. 

" Another plausible interpretation of libatis dapibus is 
" after due offering," i.e. to the Lares, before the mensa 
secunda with its wine-drinking began. 


SATIRES, II. VI. 64-90 

with them greens well larded with fat bacon ! O 
nights and feasts divine ! When before my own 
Lar we dine, my friends and I, and feed the 
saucy slaves from the barely tasted dishes." Each 
guest, as is his fancy, drains cups big or small, not 
bound by crazy laws, ^ whether one can stand strong 
bumpers in gallant style, or with mild cups mellows 
more to his Uking. And so begins a chat, not about 
other men's homes and estates, nor whether Lepos 
dances well or ill ; but we discuss matters which 
concern us more, and of which it is harmful to be in 
ignorance — whether wealth or virtue makes men 
happy, whether self-interest or uprightness " leads 
us to friendship, what is the nature of the good and 
what is its highest form. 

" Now and then oiu* neighbour Cervius rattles oflF 
old wives' tales that fit the case. Thus, if anyone, 
blind to its anxieties, praises the wealth of Arellius, 
he thus begins : " Once on a time — such is the tale 
— a country mouse welcomed a city mouse in his 
poor hole, host and guest old friends both. Roughly 
he fared, frugal of his store, yet could open his thrifty 
soul in acts of hospitahty. In short, he grudged not 
his hoard of vetch or long oats, but bringing in his 
mouth a dried raisin and nibbled bits of bacon he 
served them, being eager by varying the fare to 
overcome the daintiness of a guest, who, \vith squeam- 
ish tooth, would barely touch each morsel. Mean- 
while, outstretched on fresh straw, the master of 
the house himself ate spelt and darnel, lea%'ing the 
titbits to his friend. At last the city mouse cries 
to him : " What pleasure can you have, my friend, 

" Cf. Sat. ii. 2. 123 and note. 
<^ Fundamental questions of ethical philosophy. 



praerupti nemoris patientem vivere dorso ? 

vis tu homines urbemque feris praeponere silvis ? 

carpe viam, mihi crede, comes, terrestria quando 

mortalis animas vivunt sortita, neque ulla est 

aut magno aut parvo leti fuga, quo, bone,^ circa, 95 

dum licet, in rebus iucundis vive beatus ; 

vive memor, quam sis aevi brevis." haec ubi dicta 

agrestem pepulere, domo levis exsilit ; inde 

ambo propositum peragunt iter, urbis aventes 

moenia nocturni subrepere. 

lamque tenebat 100 

nox medium caeli spatium, cum ponit uterque 
in locuplete domo vestigia, rubro ubi cocco 
tincta super lectos canderet vestis eburnos, 
multaque de magna superessent fercula cena, 
quae procul exstructis inerant hesterna canistris. 105 
ergo ubi purpurea porrectum in veste locavit 
agrestem, veluti succinctus cursitat hospes 
continuatque dapes, nee non verniliter^ ipsis' 
fungitur officiis, praelambens omne quod adfert.^ 
ille Cubans gaudet mutata sorte bonisque 110 

rebus agit laetum convivam, cum subito ingens 
valvarum strepitus lectis excussit utrumque. 
currere per totum pavidi conclave, magisque 
exanimes trepidare, simul domus alta Molossis 
personuit canibus. tum rusticus, " baud mihi vita 115 
est opus hac," ait " et valeas : me silva cavusque 
tutus ab insidiis tenui solabitur ervo." 

^ bene E. * vernaliter. 

3 ipse Lambinue. * afflat ^^X, 


SATIRES, II. VI. 91-117 

in living so hard a life on the ridge of a steep wood ? 
Wouldn't you put people and the city above these 
wild woods ? Take my ad\ice : set out -with me. 
Inasmuch as all creatures that hve on earth have 
mortal souls, and for neither great nor small is there 
escape from death, therefore, good sir, while you 
may, live happy amid joys ; live mindful ever of how 
brief yom* time is ! " These words struck home with 
the rustic, who hghtly leaped forth from his house. 
Then both pursue the journey as planned, eager to 
creep under the city walls by night. 

^^ And now night was holding the mid space of 
heaven, when the two set foot in a wealthy palace, 
where covers dyed in scarlet glittered on ivory 
couches, and many courses remained over from a 
great dinner of the evening before, in baskets piled 
up hard by. So when the town mouse has the 
rustic stretched out on purple covers, he himself 
bustles about in waiter-style, serWng course after 
course, and doing all the duties of the home-bred 
slave, first tasting everj'thing he serves. The other, 
lying at ease, enjoys his changed lot, and amid the 
good cheer is playing the happy guest, when of a 
sudden a terrible banging of the doors tumbled them 
both from their couches. In panic they run the 
length of the hall, and still more terror-stricken were 
they, as the lofty palace rang with the barking of 
Molossian hounds. Then says the rustic : " No use 
have I for such a hfe, and so farewell : my wood 
and hole, secure from alarms, will solace me with 
homely vetch." 




The scene is laid in Rome during the Saturnalia, when 
slaves were treated ^\■ith great indulgence (1. 4 and 
Sat. ii. 3. 5). Davus, the slave of Horace, is 
therefore permitted to speak his mind freely to his 
master (1-5). 

He remarks that some men are consistent in their 
vices, others waver between vice and \irtue. Horace 
is an inconsistent man. He praises the good old 
times, but would not go back to them if he could. 
In town he pines for the country, in the country he 
longs for the town. If not in\ited out, he pretends 
to be glad, but if an in%atation from Maecenas comes 
at a late hour, off he runs in great excitement, lea\ing 
his expectant parasites in the lurch, and proving that 
he is no better than they (6-42). 

" WTiat," asks Davus, " if you, the master, be 
found to be a greater fool than I, your slave ? " 
Such an audacious remark provokes Horace's wTath, 
but Davus is allowed to report the lessons of wsdom, 
which a servant of Crispinus had overheard at the 
door of his master's lectiure-room, and had passed on 
to him (42-45). 

The so-called master, victim of his passions, 
pursues intrigues, stoops to mean devices to gain his 



ends, runs all sorts of risks, and sacrifices character 
and everything else that he has. He is a real slave, 
whom no manumission can free, and his Davus is but 
his fellow-slave. He is a mere puppet, worked by 
wires that others pull (46-82). 

Who, then, is free ? Only the wise man, who is 
complete master of himself. He who is subject to 
passion is never that (83-94). 

Again, the so-called master is not above his slave 
in other faults. The latter wastes time gazing on 
crude posters, the former is crazy over some great 
artist's paintings. The slave likes pasties and gets 
a thrashing, the master loves grand suppers and 
suffers from indigestion. The slave swaps the brush 
he has stolen for a bunch of grapes, the master sells 
off his estates to fill his belly. Why, this master 
cannot bear his own company. He is a runaway and 
vagabond, ever seeking, though in vain, to baffle care 

This is too much for the angered master, who 
threatens to send his slave out to liis Sabine farm 

This Satire is a close companion of the third, and 
deals with another Stoic paradox, viz. that only the 
philosopher is free, on (lovos 6 aocfih'i kXevdepo<;. Both 
Satires have the Saturnalia — a time of free speech — 
as their setting, and are much alike in substance, 
both dealing with the follies of mankind, and handling 
the theme in a very similar dramatic fashion. Here 
the Stoic teacher Crispinus corresponds to Stertinius. 
The slave Davus, who finds that, being -wise, he is 
free, takes the place of the social outcast Damasippus, 
who discovered that he was no more mad than other 
men. In both Satires Horace is the auditor of the 


sermon, the lessons of which he must apply to himself. 
In both he feigns an outburst of anger. 

Though Horace thus allows his own name to be 
used, the dialogue is really between any slave and 
any master. It is true that, to heighten the humour 
of the scene, he introduces, at the beginning and 
perhaps at the end of the criticism of the master 
(so 11. 22-35 ; 111-115), some of the atmosphere of 
reality, but so far as the main features of the master's 
portrait are concerned, it would be more correct to 
regard the slave Da\Tis, the preacher of \visdom, as 
the Horace of real life. That the poet is not describ- 
ing himself with any consistency is clear from 11. 102, 
ff., where he is accused of gluttony, whereas we 
know that he was very abstemious (cf. Sat. i. 5. 7-9)- 
The seeming self-accusation as to serious offences, 
therefore, we may put down to dramatic necessity or 
to comic exaggeration. 

The dialogue form is maintained throughout, 
though during the delivery of Crispinus's lecture it 
is held in suspense. 



" lamdudum ausculto et cupiens tibi dicere servus 
pauca reformido." Davusne ? " ita, Davus, amicum 
mancipium domino et frugi quod sit satis, hoc est, 
ut vitale putes." age, libertate Decembri, 
quando ita maiores voluerunt, utere ; narra. 6 

" Pars hominum vitiis gaudet constanter et urget 
propositum ; pars multa natat, modo recta capessens, 
interdum pravis obnoxia. saepe notatus 
cum tribus anellis, modo laeva Priscus inani, 
vixit inaequalis, clavum ut mutaret in horas, 10 

aedibus ex magnis subito se conderet, unde 
mundior exiret vix libertinus honeste ; 
iam moechus Romae, iam mallet doctus^ Athenis 
vivere, Vertumnis, quotquot sunt, natus iniquis. 
scurra Volanerius, postquam illi iusta cheragra 15 
contudit articulos, qui pro se tolleret atque 
mitteret in phimum^ talos, mercede diurna 

^ The Bland, uss. make no division between this and the 
previous Satire ; so too Bentley : not so aE\ or Porph. 

* doctor V, II; so Lejay. 

* pyrgum Goth. ; no doubt a gloss. 

" The Satire begins like a scene in comedy. The slave 
has had to listen to his master's preaching, and now would 
like to have his turn at fault-finding. 

* Alluding to the familiar saying that the good die young. 

* During the Saturnalia, which came in December, slaves 
were allowed great freedom, because, in the age of Saturn, 
all men were equal. 

** As senator, Priscus would wear a broad stripe ; as eques, 


Satire Vll 

DAvus. I've been listening some time, and ^^ishing 
to say a word to you, but as a slave I dare not." 

HORACE, Is that Da\^s ? 

DAV. Yes, Davus, a slave loyal to his master, and 
fairly honest — that is, so that you need not think 
him too good to live.*" 

HOR. Come, use the licence December allows,*' 
since our fathers willed it so. Have your say. 

DAV. Some mtn persist in their love of vice and 
stick to their purpose ; the greater number waver, 
now aiming at the right, at times giving way to evil. 
Thus Priscus, who often attracted notice by wearing 
three rings, but once in a while by wearing none, 
was so fickle in his Ufe, that he would change his 
stripe every hour.** Passing from a stately mansion, 
he would bury himself in a den, from which a decent 
freedman could scarcely emerge without shame. 
Now he would choose to hve in Rome as a rake, now 
as a sage in Athens — a man born when every single 
V'ertumnus was out of sorts.* Volanerius, the jester, 
when the gout he had earned crippled his finger- 
joints, kept a man, hired at a daily wage, to pick 

a narrow one. Rings were worn on the left hand {laeva) ; 
only a fop would wear more than one. 

• Vertumnus, god of the changing year, could assume 
any shape he pleased. For the form of expression ef. 
"lymphis iratis," Sat. i. 5. 97. 

Q 225 


conductum pavit ; quanto constantior isdem^ 
in vitiis, tanto levius^ miser ac prior^ illo,* 
qui iam contento, iam^ laxo fune laborat.' 20 

Non dices hodie, quorsum haec tarn putida tendant, 
furcifer ? " ad te, inquam." quo pacto, pessime ? 

fortunam et mores antiquae plebis, et idem, 
si quis ad ilia deus subito te agat, usque recuses, 
aut quia non sentis quod clamas rectius esse, 26 

aut quia non firmus rectum defendis, et haeres 
nequiquam caeno cupiens evellere plantam. 
Romae rus optas ; absentem rusticus urbem 
tollis ad astra levis. si nusquam es forte vocatus 
ad cenam, laudas securum holus ac, velut usquam 30 
vinctus eas, ita te felicem dicis amasque, 
quod nusquam tibi sit potandum. iusserit ad se 
Maecenas serum sub lumina prima venire 
convivam : ' nemon oleum feret^ ocius ? ecquis' 
audit ? ' cum magno blateras clamore fugisque.^ 35 
Mulvius et scurrae, tibi non referenda precati, 
discedunt. ' etenim fateor me,' dixerit ille, 
* duci ventre levem, nasum nidore supinor,^ 

^ idem E\. * levius] est melius, //. 

* ac prior] acrior aE Goth. 

* illo <t>^ one Bland. : ille best ass., yet an error. 

* iam . . . iam] tarn . . . quam (p^p : second iam omitted 
E ; becomes quam a. 

* fert El Vollmer. ' et quis E. 

* furisque V. " supino, //. 

' The source of the figure is probably an animal tied by 
a rope, and pulled up with a jerk, as it tries to get free. 

'' We are to suppose that Horace, who is already dining 
at home, gets a late invitation from Maecenas to fill a vacant 
place. The oil he calls for is needed for the lantern to light 
him through the streets. 


SATIRES, II. viT. 18-38 

up the dice for him and put them in the box. As he 
was the more persistent in his \-ices, so he was the 
less unhappy and the better man, than the one who, 
with rope now taut, now loose, is in distress." 

HOR. Are you to take all day, you scape-gallows, 
in telling me the point of such rot ? 

DAV. 'Tis you, I say. 

HOR. How so, villain ? 

DAV. You praise the fortune and manners of the 
men of old ; and yet, if on a sudden some god were 
for taking you back to those days, you would refuse 
every time ; either because you don't really think 
that what you are ranting is sounder, or because you 
are wobbly in defending the right, and, though vainly 
longing to pull your foot from the filth, yet stick 
fast in it. At Rome you long for the country ; in 
the country, you extol to the stars the distant town, 
you fickle one ! If so it be that you are asked out 
nowhere to supper, you praise your quiet dish of 
herbs, and, as though you were in chains when you 
do go anywhere, you call yourself lucky, and hug 
yourself, because you have not to go out for some 
carousal. Let but Maecenas bid you at a late hour 
come to him as a guest, just at lamp-lighting time : 
" Won't someone bring me oil this instant ? * Does 
nobody hear me ? " So you scream and bawl, then 
tear off. Muhius and his fellow-jesters sneak off 
with curses for you that I cannot repeat." " Yes," 
he would say, " 'tis true that I'm a fickle creature, 
led by my stomach. I curl up my nose for a savoury 

* Mulvius was a parasite, who had come to share Horace's 
dinner and is now disappointed. His quoted remarks show 
that Davus looked upon Horace himself as a parasite at the 
table of Maecenas. 



imbecillus, iners, si quid vis, adde, popino. 

tu cum sis quod ego et fortassis nequior, ultro 40 

insectere velut melior verbisque decoris 

obvolvas vitium ? ' quid, si me stultior ipso^ 

quingentis empto drachmis deprenderis ? aufer 

me voltu terrere ; manum stomachumque teneto, 

dum quae Grispini docuit me ianitor edo. 45 

" Te coniunx aliena capit, mieretricula Davum. 
peccat uter nostrum cruce dignius ? acris ubi me 
natura intendit,^ sub clara nuda lucerna 
quaecumque excepit turgentis verbera caudae, 
clunibus aut agitavit equum lasciva supinum, 50 

dimittit neque famosum neque sollicitum ne 
ditior aut formae melioris meiat eodem. 
tu^ cum proiectis insignibus, anulo equestri 
Romanoque habitu, prodis ex iudice Dama 
turpis, odoratum caput obscurante lacerna,^ 55 

non es quod simulas ? metuens induceris atque 
altercante^ libidinibus tremis ossa pavore. 
quid refert, uri virgis ferroque necari 
auctoratus eas, an turpi clausus in area, 
quo te demisit^ peccati conscia erilis, 60 

contractum genibus tangas caput ? estne marito 
matronae peccantis in ambo'^ iusta potestas ? 
in corruptorem vel iustior. ilia tamen se 

^ ipse E. 2 incendit Goth. ' te, //. * lucerna E. 
* alternante Goth. * dimisit, II. ' ambos. 

" Roughly equivalent to £20, or $100, a low price for a 

* Davus is a (nrep/xoKoyoi, " a picker up of learning's 
crumbs," and he has picked them up, not from the Stoic 
Crispinus himself, but at second-hand from his door-keeper, 
who would be in a position to catch some scraps of the 
lectures delivered in the school-room. 

" The term index implies a citizen of good standing. 



SATIRES, II. vTi. 39-63 

smell. I am weak, lazy, and, if you like to add, a 
toper. But you, since you are just the same and 
maybe worse, would you presume to assail me, as 
though you were a better man, and would you throw 
over your own vices a cloak of seemly words ? " 
What if you are found to be a greater fool than even 
I, who cost you five hundred drachmas ? <* Don't try 
to scare me by your looks. Hold back your hand 
and temper, while I set forth the lessons taught me 
by the porter of Crispinus.^ 

^ You are the slave of another man's wife ; Davus 
of a poor harlot. Which of us commits a sin more de- 
serving of the cross ? When vehement nature drives 
me, she who satisfies mypassion sends me awayneither 
disgraced nor anxious lest some richer or naore 
handsome man possess her. You, when you have cast 
aside your badges, the ring of knighthood and your 
Roman dress, and step forth, no longer a judge," but 
a low Dama, with a cape hiding your perfumed head, 
are you not what you pretend to be ? Full of fear, 
you are let into the house, and you tremble with a 
terror that clashes with your passions. What matters 
it, whether you go off in bondage,** to be scourged 
and slain with the sword, or whether, shut up in a 
shameful chest, where the maid, conscious of her 
mistress's sin, has stowed you away, you touch your 
crouching head with your knees ? Has not the 
husband of the erring matron a just power over 
both ? Over the seducer a still juster ? Yet she 

See note on Sat. i. 4. 123. That Horace could claim 
equestrian rank, and was even a " potential senator," is 
maintained by Lilv Ross Tavlor in an article on " Horace's 
Equestrian Career'" in A.J.'P. xlvi. (1925) pp. 161 ff. So, 
too, Haight, Horace, etc. p. 38. 

'' The word aitctoratus is technical, being applicable to 
one who sold himself as a gladiator. 



non habitu mutatve loco peccatve^ superne, 
cum te formidet mulier neque credat amanti. 68 

ibis sub furcam prudens, dominoque furenti 
committesrem omnemetvitam at cum corpora famam. 

" Evasti : credo, metues doctusque cavebis ; 
quaeres,^ quando iterum paveas iterumque perire 
possis, o totiens servus ! quae belua ruptis, 70 

cum semel efFugit, reddit se prava catenis ? 
" non sum moechus," ais : neque ego, hercule, fur, 

ubi vasa^ 
praetereo sapiens argentea. tolle periclum : 
iam vaga prosiliet frenis Natura remotis. 
tune mihi dominus, rerum imperiis hominumque 75 
tot tantisque minor, quern ter vindicta quaterque 
imposita baud umquam misera formidine privet ? 
adde super* dictis quod non levius valeat : nam 
sive vicarius est, qui servo paret, uti^ mos 
vester ait, seu conservus, tibi quid* sum ego ? nempe 
tu, mihi qui imperitas, alii'^ servis miser atque 81 

duceris ut nervis alienis mobile lignum. 

" Quisnam igitur liber? sapiens, sibiqui* imperiosus, 
quem neque pauperies neque mors neque vincula 

responsare cupidinibus, contemnere honores 85 

fortis, et in se ipso totus,^ teres atque rotundas, 

^ peccatque, //. ^ quaeres El : quaeris, //. 

■ visa V. * supra, //. " uti] ut est, II. 

• quid Goth. : quod MSS. ' aliis, //. 

* sibi qui I, Bentley : sibiqne V, mss. 

' Bentley first punctuated after totus. 

<* As the man had done, 11. 53, 54. 

' i.e. like an unbridled horse. 

« The vindicta is the rod used in the formal manumission 
of a slave in the presence of the praetor. 

SATIRES, II. vn. 64-86 

does not change either garb or position," and she 
is not the chief sinner, since she is in dread of 
you and does not trust her lover. You with eyes 
open will pass under the yoke, and hand over to a 
furious master your fortune, your Ufe, your person 
and repute. 

^ Suppose you have escaped : then, I take it, you 
will be afraid and cautious after your lesson. No, 
you will seek occasion so as again to be in terror, 
again to face ruin, O you slave many times over ! 
But what beast, having once burst its bonds and 
escaped, perversely returns to them again ? "I am 
no adulterer," you say. And, in faith, I am no thief 
either, when I wisely pass by your silver plate. 
Take away the risk, set aside restraint, and Nature will 
spring forward, to roam at \vill.'' Are you my master, 
you, a slave to the dominion of so many men and 
things — you, whom the praetor's rod, though placed 
on your head three or four times over," never frees 
from base terror ? And over and above what I have 
said, add something of no less weight : whether one 
who obeys a slave is an underslave,'' as the custom 
of your class names him, or a fellow-slave, what am 
I in respect of you ? Why, you, who lord it over 
me, are the MTCtched slave of another master, and 
you are moved like a wooden puppet by wires that 
others pull. 

®3 Who then is free ? The wise man, who is lord 
over himself, whom neither poverty nor death nor 
bonds affright, who bravely defies his passions, and 
scorns ambition, who in himself is a whole, smoothed 
and rounded, so that nothing from outside can rest 

■* The vicar ius was a slave bought by another out of his 
peculium to help him in his work. 



externi ne quid valeat per leve morari, 
in quem manca ruit semper Fortuna. 

ex his ut proprium quid noscere ? quinque talenta 
poscit te mulier, vexat foribusque repulsum 90 

perfundit gelida, rursus vocat : eripe turpi 
colla iugi, ' liber, liber sum,' die age ! non quis : 
urget enim dominus mentem non lenis et acris 
subiectat lasso stimulos versatque negantem. 

Vel cum Pausiaca torpes, insane, tabella, 95 

qui peccas minus atque ego, cum Fulvi Rutubaeque 
aut Pacideiani contento poplite miror 
proelia rubrica picta aut carbone, velut si 
re vera pugnent, feriant vitentque moventes^ 
arma viri ? nequam et^ cessator Davus ; at ipse 100 
subtilis veterum index et callidus audis. 

" Nil ego, si ducor libo fumante : tibi ingens 
virtus atque animus cenis responsat opimis ? 
obsequium ventris mihi perniciosius est cur ? 
tergo plector enim. qui tu* impunitior ilia, 105 

quae parvo sumi nequeunt, obsonia captas ? 
nempe inamarescunt epulae sine fine petitae, 
illusique pedes vitiosum ferre recusant 
corpus, an hie peccat, sub noctem qui puer uvam 
furtiva mutat strigili ? qui praedia vendit, 110 

' potestne, //. ^ morientes, II. 

3 et omitted, II. * qui dum (t>\pl. 

" The wise man of the Stoics is self-contained or in- 
dependent of externals, avrapKrii, and is like the perfect 
sphere of the k6<tij.os itself (c/. Plato, Tim. 33). In the 
Protagoras 339 d, Plato also makes use of a figure of 
Simonides, who calls the truly good man a square, rerpd- 
yuvos. So too Aristotle, Ehet. iii. 11. 

* These are names of gladiators. The last named is 


SATIRES, II. vn. 87-110 

on the polished surface, and against whom Fortune 
in her onset is ever maimed." 

^ Of these traits can you recognize any one as 
your own ? A woman asks of you five talents, 
worries you, shuts her door in your face, drenches 
you in cold water, then— calls you back. Rescue 
your neck from the yoke of shame ; come, say, " I 
am free, am free." You cannot ; for you have a 
master, and no gentle one, plaguing your soul, 
pricking your weary side with the sharp spur, and 
driving you on against your will. 

^^ Or when, madman, you stand dazed before a 
picture of Pausias, how do you offend less than I, 
when I marvel at the contests of Fuhdus, Rutuba, 
or Pacideianus,* ^\ith their straining legs, drawn in 
red chalk or charcoal, just as lifehke as if the heroes 
were really waving their weapons, and fighting, 
striking, and parrying ? Davus is a " rascal and 
dawdler," but you are called a " fine and expert critic 
of antiques." 

102 jf j'jjj tempted by a smoking pasty, I'm a good- 
for-naught : but ^ow— does your heroic virtue and 
spirit defy rich suppers ? Why is it more ruinous for 
me to obey the stomach's call ? My back, to be sure, 
pays for it. But how do you escape punishment 
more than I, when you hanker for those dainties 
which cannot be bought at small cost ? Why, that 
feasting, endlessly indulged, turns to gall, and the 
feet you've duped refuse to bear up your sickly 
body. Is the slave guilty, who at fall of night swaps 
for grapes the flesh-brush he has stolen ? Is there 

borrowed from Lucilius ; the other two may be contemporary 
with Horace. Pictures of gladiators were drawn on walls, 
and served the purpose of modern posters. 



nil servile gulae parens habet ? adde, quod idem 
non horam tecum esse potes, non otia recte 
ponere, teque ipsum vitas fugitivus et^ erro, 
iam vino quaerens, iam somno fallere Curam ; 114 
frustra: namcomesatrapremitsequiturquefugacem." 
Unde mihi lapidem ? 

" Quorsum est opus ? " 

Unde sagittas ? 
" Aut insanit homo aut versus facit." 

Ocius hinc te 
ni rapis, accedes opera agro nona Sabino. 
1 ut. 


SATIRES, II. VII. 111-118 

nothing of the slave about one who sells his estates 
at his belly's bidding ? And again, you cannot 
yourself bear to be in your own company, you 
cannot employ your leisure aright, you shun yourself, 
a runaway and vagabond, seeking now ^\-ith wine, 
and now ^\•ith sleep, to baffle Care." In vain : that 
black consort dogs and follows your flight. 

HOR. Where can I find a stone ? 

DAVus. What's it for ? 

HOR. Or where arrows ? 

DAVUS. The man's ra\ing, or else verse-making. 

HOR. If you don't take yourself off in a jiff)', you'll 
make the ninth labourer on my Sabine farm. 

• Cy. OcUt iii. 1. 40. 




The poet describes a dinner at which Maecenas was 
the guest of honour. Three men of letters were 
also in the company — Fundanius, Viscus, and Varius. 
The rest of the guests are undistinguished, and are 
probably imaginary characters who could not be 
identified. Porcius, for instance, true to his name, 
eats like a pig. Balatro is a buffoon, and Nomen- 
tanus is one of the traditional characters of satire. 
Moreover, the host, Nasidienus Rufus, is otherwise 
quite unknown. 

These facts warrant us in acquitting Fundanius 
(and therefore the author who introduced him) on 
the charge of extremely bad taste in heaping ridicule 
on a host whose hospitality had been accepted. 
Horace, in fact, adopts a principle, which is illustrated 
in the previous Satire, of securing a certain amount 
of verisimilitude through the use of known facts, 
and of drawing on his imagination for the rest of 
his material. The Satire is directed, partly against 
the ostentation and vulgarity sometimes displayed 
by wealth, and partly against the curious and 
affected erudition of pronounced epicures. In this 
latter respect it resembles the fourth Satire of this 


The party was arranged according to the following 
plan : 

Medius Lectus 

1. Fundanius ; 2. Viscus ; 3. Varius ; 4. Balatro ; 5. 
Vibidius; 6. Maecenas; 7. Nomentanus ; 8. Nasidienus ; 
9. Porcius. 

Fiske has sho^^•n that Lucilius was "the first to 
estabhsh the traditions of the Sd-n-vov in Latin 
Satire," and that in this Eighth Satire Horace keeps 
in fairly close touch with the twentieth book of 
LuciUus, where a banquet given by the praeco 
Granius was reported to the satirist by L. Licinius 
Crassus (Lucilius and Horace, pp. 408 ff.). But, as 
Lucihus ^\Tote at least five satires on banquets, it 
is not surprising to find that Lejay (p. 580) regards 
his fifth book as the chief model followed here by 



Ut Nasidieni iuvit te cena beati ? 
nam mihi quaerenti convivam dictiis here illic 
de medio potare die. 

" Sic, ut mihi numquam 
in vita fuerit melius." 

Da,^ si grave non est, 
quae prima iratum ventrem pacaverit^ esca. 6 

" In primis Lucanus aper ; leni fuit Austro 
captus, ut aiebat cenae pater ; acria circum 
rapula, lactucae, radices, quaha lassum 
pervellunt stomachum, siser, allec, faecula Coa. 
his ut^ sublatis puer alte cinctus acernam 10 

gausape purpureo mensam pertersit, et alter 
sublegit quodcumque iaceret inutile quodque 
posset cenantis ofFendere ; ut Attica virgo 
cum sacris Cereris, procedit fuscus Hydaspes 
Caecuba vina ferens, Alcon Chium maris expers. 15 
hie erus : ' Albanum, Maecenas, sive Falernum 
te magis appositis delectat, habemus utrumque.' " 

1 dsi (l>^: die Bland, (da is the more unusual). 

* pacaverit C : peccaverit E : placaverit ^\f/. 

' ut C Priscian : ubi E. 

" A dinner-party usually began at the ninth hour (about 
3 P.M.), but an ultra-extravagant one might begin even earlier. 

" The boar with relishes here formed the gustatio, and is 
another sign of extravagant luxury ; cf. Pliny viii. 210, " in 
principio (cenae) bini ternique mandantur apri." More 
commonly it would appear as the piece de resistance. See 
note on Sat. ii. 4. 11. 

Satire VIII 

HORACE. How did you like your dinner vnih the 
rich Nasidienus ? Yesterday, when I tried to get 
you as my o\\"n guest, I was told you had been 
dining there since midday." 

FUNDANius. So much so that never in my hfe did 
I have a better time. 

HOR. Tell me, if you don't mind, what was the 
first dish to appease an angry appetite ? 

FUN. First there was a ^^^ld boar.* It was caught 
when a gentle south \vind was blowing, as the father 
of the feast kept telling us. Around it were pungent 
turnips, lettuces, radishes — such things as whet a 
jaded appetite — skirret, fish-pickle, and Coan lees. 
When these were removed, a high-girt slave with 
purple napkin wiped well the maple-wood table, 
while a second swept up the scraps and anything 
that could ofifend the guests. Then, hke an Attic 
maid* bearing Ceres' sacred emblems., there came 
forward dusky Hydaspes with Caecuban wine, and 
Alcon with Chian, unmixed with brine.<* Then said 
our host : " If Alban is more to your taste, Maecenas, 
or Falernian, we have both." 

* i.e. like a Kavt)4>6po% in the rites of Demeter ; ef. Sat. i. 3. 9. 

•* The Caecuban was one of the finest Italian, as Chian was 
one of the best Greek, wines. The host's Chian being very 
good, he did not do what was often done — add sea-water to 
give it a tang. Columella (xii. 21. 37) gives directions as to 
the proportions to be used. The phrase maris expers cor- 
responds to ov Te6a\aTTUfjL^voy in Athenaeus i. p. 32. 



Divitias miseras ! sed quis cenantibus una, 
Fundani, pulchre fuerit tibi, nosse laboro. 

" Summus ego et prope^ me Viscus Thurinus et 
infra, 20 

si memini, Varius ; cum Servilio Balatrone 
Vibidius, quos^ Maecenas adduxerat umbras. 
Nomentanus erat super ipsum, Porcius infra, 
ridiculus totas semeP absorbere placentas ; 
Nomentanus ad hoc, qui, si quid forte lateret, 26 

indice monstraret digito : nam cetera turba, 
nos, inquam, cenamus avis, conchylia, piscis, 
longe dissimilem noto celantia sucum ; 
ut vel continuo patuit, cum passeris atque 
ingustata mihi porrexerat ilia rhombi. 30 

post hoc me docuit meUmela rubere minorera 
ad lunam delecta. quid hoc intersit ab ipso 
audieris melius. 

" Tum Vibidius Balatroni : 
' nos nisi damnose bibimus, moriemur inulti,* 
et calices poscit maiores. vertere pallor 35 

tum parochi faciem nil sic metuentis ut acris 
potores, vel quod maledicunt liberius vel 
fervida quod subtile exsurdant vina palatum, 
invertunt Allifanis vinaria tota 

Vibidius Balatroque, secutis omnibus ; imi^ 40 

convivae lecti nihilum nocuere lagoenis. 

^ pro V. * quas Goth. * simul E. * imis C, II. 

" The umbrae were uninvited guests who came with a man 
of high station. 

* The cetera turba are the uninitiated guests as contrasted 
with the knowing Nomentanus. The subject of porrexerat 
is not the host, as commonly supposed, but Nomentanus, 
who is doing the work assigned him. Palmer takes ingustata 
to mean " untasted," implying that the odour was enough 


HOR. O the misery of wealth ! But who, Fun- 
danius, were those at dinner, with whom you had 
so fine a time ? I am eager to know. 

FU\. Myself at the top, then next to me Viscus 
of Thurii, and below, if I remember, Varius. Then 
Vibidius and Ser\ilius Balatro, the " shades " " that 
Maecenas had brought -with him. Above our host 
was Nomentanus ; below him, Porcius, who made 
us laugh by swallo%\'ing whole cheese-cakes at a 
mouthful. Nomentanus was there to see that if 
anything perchance escaped our notice, he might 
point it out ^\ith his forefinger ; for the rest of the 
folk ^ — we, I mean — eat fowl, oysters, and fish, which 
had a flavour far different from any we knew, as, 
for instance, was made clear at once, after he had 
handed me the hvers of a plaice and a turbot, a dish 
I had never tasted before. After this he informed 
me that the honey-apples were red because picked 
in the light of a waning moon. What difference that 
makes you would learn better from himself. 

^ Then said Vibidius to Balatro : " Unless we 
drink him bankrupt, we shall die unavenged," and 
he calls for larger cups. Then did paleness over- 
spread the face of the host, who dreaded nothing so 
much as hard drinkers, either because they chaff one 
too freely or because fiery wines dull the dehcate 
palate. Vibidius and Balatro tilt whole decanters of 
wine into Allifan goblets." All followed suit, save 
the guests on the lowest couch, who did no harm to 
the flagons.'* 

to betray the nature of the food, but the point lies, not in 
the badness, but in the novelty, of the dishes. 

* i.e. large cups made at Allifae in Samnium. 

' Porcius and Nomentanus would, of course, do nothing 
to offend their host. They therefore " spared the bottle." 

R 241 


" Adfertur squillas inter murena natantis 
in patina porrecta. sub hoc erus, ' haec gravida,' 

* capta est, deterior post partum came futura. 

his mixtum ius est : oleo, quod prima Venafri 46 
pressit cell a ; garo de sucis piscis Hiberi ; 
vino quinquenni, verum citra mare nato, 
dum coquitur (cocto Chium sic convenit, ut non 
hoc magis ullum aliud) ; pipere albo, non sine aceto, 
quod Methymnaeam vitio mutaverit^ uvam. 50 

erucas viridis, inulas ego primus amaras 
monstravi incoquere ; illutos Curtillus echinos, 
ut melius muria quod^ testa marina remittat.' ^ 

" Interea suspensa gravis aulaea ruinas 
in patinam fecere, trahentia pulveris atri 55 

quantum non Aquilo Campanis excitat agris. 
nos maius veriti, postquam nihil esse pericli 
sensimus, erigimur. Rufus posito capite, ut si 
filius immaturus obisset, flere. quis esset 
finis, ni sapiens sic Nomentanus amicum 60 

tolleret : ' heu, Fortuna, quis est crudelior in nos 
te deus ? ut semper gaudes illudere rebus 
humanis ! ' Varius mappa compescere risum 
vix poterat. Balatro, suspendens omnia naso, 

* haec est condicio vivendi,' aiebat, ' eoque 65 
responsura tuo numquam est par fama labori. 

tene, ut ego accipiar laute, torquerier omni 
sollicitudine districtum, ne panis adustus. 
ne male conditum ius apponatur, ut omnes 

1 motaverit, I. ^ quod mss. : quo V: quani Bentley. 

^ remittas E : remittit C. 

" i.e. Italian, not Greek. 

SATIRES, II. viii. 42-69 

** Then is brought in a lamprey, outstretched on 
a platter, with shrimps s^\■imming all round it. Upon 
thds the master : " This," said he, " was caught 
before spawning ; if taken later, its flesh would have 
been poorer. The ingredients of the sauce are 
these : oil from Venafrum of the first pressing, roe 
from the juices of the Spanish mackerel, wine five 
years old, but produced this side of the sea," poured 
in while it is on the boil — after boiling, Chian suits 
better than anything else — white pepper, and vinegar 
made from the fermenting of Lesbian vintage. I was 
the first to point out that one should boil in the sauce 
green rockets and bitter elecampane ; Curtillus would 
use sea-urchins, unwashed, inasmuch as the yield of 
the sea-shellfish itself is better than a briny pickle." 

^ Meantime the canopy ^ spread above came down 
in mighty ruin upon the platter, trailing more black 
dust than the North-wind raises on Campanian plains. 
We feared a worse disaster, but finding there was no 
danger recover ourselves. Rufus drooped his head 
and wept as if his son had fallen by an untimely 
fate. What would have been the end, had not 
Nomentanus, the philosopher, thus rallied his friend : 
" Ah, Fortune, what god is more cruel toward us 
than thou ! How thou dost ever delight to make 
sport of the Ufe of man ! " Varius could scarce 
smother a laugh with his napkin. Balatro, who 
sneers at everything, said : " These are the terms 
of life, and therefore the meed of fame y\i\\ never 
equal your labour. To think that, in order that I 
may have la\-ish entertainment, you are to be racked 
and tortured with every anxiety, lest the bread be 
burned, lest sauce be served ill-seasoned, that all 

* The aulaea were hangings used to decorate the walls. 



praecincti recte pueri^ comptique ministrent ! 70 

<adde hos praeterea casus, aulaea ruant si, 
ut modo ; si patinam pede lapsus frangat agaso. 
sed convivatoris, uti ducis, ingenium res 
adversae nudare solent, celare secundae.' 
Nasidienus ad haec : ' tibi di quaecumque precerls^ 76 
commoda dent ! ita vir bonus es convivaque comis ; ' 
et soleas poscit. turn in lecto quoque videres 
stridere secreta divisos aure susurros." 

Nullos his mallem ludos spectasse ; sed ilia 
redde, age, quae deinceps risisti. 

" Vibidius dum 80 

quaerit de pueris num sit quoque fracta lagoena, 
quod sibi poscenti non dentur^ pocula, dumque 
ridetur fictis rerum Balatrone secundo, 
Nasidiene, redis mutatae frontis, ut arte 
emendaturus fortunam. deinde secuti 85 

mazonomo pueri magno diseerpta ferentes 
membra gruis sparsi sale multo non sine farre, 
pinguibus et ficis pastum iecur anseris albae,'* 
et leporum avolsos, ut multo suavius, armos, 
quamsicumlumbis quis edit.^ tum^pectoreadusto 90 
vidimus et merulas poni et sine clune palumbes, 
suavis res, si non causas narraret earum et 
naturas dominus : quem nos sic fugimus ulti, 
ut nihil omnino gustaremus, velut illis 
Canidia adflasset peior serpentibus Afris.' " 95 

^ pueri recte C Goth. ^ precaris E Goth. 

* dentur C^ Bentley : dantur Ef. 

* albae V : albi mss. * edat Priscian. ' cum, /. 

' Afris E Goth.: atris C, //, Bentley. 

" Their light slippers were removed when the guests took 
their places ; to call for them was to indicate a wish to leave 
the dining-room. 



your slaves may be properly attired and neat for 
waiting ! Then, too, these risks besides — the canopy 
falUng, as it did just now, or a numskull stumbling 
and breaking a dish ! But one who entertains is like 
a general : mishaps oft reveal his genius, smooth 
going hides it." To this rephes Nasidienus : 
" Heaven grant you every blessing you crave, so 
kind a man are you, so civil a guest ! " and calls for 
his shppers." Then on each couch you might note 
the buzz of whispers in secret ears exchanged.'' 

HOR. No play would I have rather seen ; but pray 
tell me, what did you find to laugh at next ? 

FUN. While Vibidius is asking the servants whether 
the flagon also was broken, since cups were not 
brought him when called for, and while we were 
laughing at pretended jests, Balatro egging us on, 
back you come, Nasidienus, mth altered brow, as if 
bent on mending misfortune by art. Then follow 
servants, bearing on a huge charger the hmbs of a 
crane sprinkled with much salt and meal, and the 
Uver of a white goose fattened on rich figs, and hares' 
limbs torn off, as being more dainty than if eaten 
with the loins. Then we saw blackbirds served with 
the breast burnt, and pigeons without the rumps — 
real dainties, did not our host unfold their laws and 
properties." But off we ran, taking our revenge on 
him by tasting nothing at all, as though the things 
were blasted with Canidia's** breath, more deadly 
than African serpents. 

* The remarkable accumulation of sibilants in 1. 78 
imitates the whispering. 

* Nasidienus discourses upon the dishes with all the 
seriousness of a philosopher lecturing de rerum natura. 

* For Canidia see Sat. i. 8. 24. 




The First Epistle, which serves as an introduction to 
the First Book, and is addressed to the poet's patron, 
Maecenas, professes to explain why Horace has 
given up the writing of lyric poetry. He is now too 
old for such folly, and his mind has turned to another 

" Why," he asks, " should you wish the gladiator, 
who has earned his discharge, to return to his former 
training-school ? A warning voice within bids me 
loose the old steed before he stumble at the end of 
his course. And so I give up my verses with other 
toys, and turn all my thoughts to philosophy, follow- 
ing no special school but letting myself be borne 
along as the breeze may set, now behaving as a true 
Stoic, being all for action, and now relapsing into 
the passiveness of a Cyrenaic (1-19). 

" With impatience do I await the day when I may 
devote myself to the serious problems of life ; mean- 
while I must guide and comfort myself with what 
little knowledge I possess. A cure for all diseases 
of the soul may be found in the charms and spells of 
philosophy, if the patient will but submit to treatment 

" The first step in virtue and wisdom is to eschew 


vice and folly. Men are anxious to avoid poverty 
and ought to be quite as eager to escape from evil 
desires, especially as the prize offered is so much 
greater (41-51). 

" True, the world takes a different view, but the 
children who sing ' You'll be king, if you do right ' 
should teach us how much better than riches is the 
power to stand erect and free and to fling defiance 
at Fortune (52-69). 

" If I were asked why I do not go along with the 
world and share its opinions, I should recall the fable 
of the fox declining the lion's invitation to enter his 
den, because the footprints point in only one direc- 
tion. The man who once gives in to popular opinion 
becomes the victim of a hydra. Cutting off one head 
does no good. Men are capricious, and even the 
same man changes his views from hour to hour (70-93). 

" I am as bad as others, but though you are quick 
to notice some carelessness in my dress or appear- 
ance, you fail to observe my graver inconsistencies 
of life and thought (94-105). 

" In short, the Stoics are right : only the sage 
can be perfect, and even he may suffer from a cold ! " 




Prima dicte mihi, summa dicende Camena, 
spectatum satis et donatum iam rude quaeris, 
Maecenas, iterum antique me includere ludo, 
non eadem est aetas, non mens. Veianius armis 
Herculis ad postem fixis latet aTbditus agro, 5 

ne populum extrema totiens exo'ret^ harena. 
est mihi purgatam crebro qui personet aurem : 
" solve senescentem mature sanus equum, ne 
peccet ad extremum ridendus et ilia ducat." 

Nunc itaque et versus et cetera ludicra pono ; 10 
quid verum atque decens euro et rogo et omnis in hoc 

sum ; 
condo et compono quae mox depromere possim. 
ac ne forte roges, quo me duce, quo lare tuter : 
^ exornet (p\pS. 

" The first Satire, the first Epode, and the first Ode are 
all addressed to Maecenas. 

'> Horace compares himself to an old gladiator, who has 
often won approval, and received the wooden foil which 
was a symbol of discharge from the school of gladiators. 

" The defeated combatant would beg for his life. Veianius, 
after his discharge, yielded to no inducements to return to 
the arena. 

:r.4- i?;-'^ 

. , 2, -^ ' S ik- 


Epistle I 

You, of whom my earliest Muse has told," of whom 
my last shall tell — you Maecenas, seek to shut me 
up again in my old school, though well tested in the 
fray, and already presented with the foil.* My 
years, my mind, are hot the same. Veianius hangs 
up his arms at Hercules' door, then lies hidden in 
the country, that he may not have to plead with the 
crowd again and again from the arena's edge." Some 
one there is who is always dinning in my well-rinsed 
ear : " Be wise in time, and turn loose the ageing 
horse, lest at the last he stumble amid jeers and 
burst his wind." 

^*^ So now I lay aside my verses and all other toys. 
What is right and seemly is my study and pursuit, 
and to that am I wholly given. I am putting by 
and setting in order the stores on which I may some 
day draw. Do you ask, perchance, who is my chief, 
in what home I take shelter ? I am not bound over ** 

•* Horace, still using terms applicable to a gladiator, 
who took an oath to the master of his training-school, is 
speaking of the acceptance of the formula of some school 
of philosophy. 



nullius addictus^ iurare in verba magistri, 

quo me cumque rapit tempestas, deferor hospes. 15 

nunc agilis fio et mersor civilibus undis, 

virtutis verae custos rigidusque satelles ; 

nunc in Aristippi furtim praecepta relabor 

et^ mihi res, non me rebus, subiungere conor. 

Ut nox longa quibus mentitur arnica, diesque 20 
longa videtur opus debentibus, ut piger annus 
pupillis, quos dura premit custodia matrum ; 
sic mihi tarda fluunt ingrataque tempora, quae spem 
consiliumque morantur agendi naviter id quod 
aeque pauperibus prodest, locupletibus aeque, 25 
aeque neglectum pueris senibusque nocebit. 
restat ut his ego me ipse regam~§blerque dementis, 
non prfssis oculo^ quantum contendere Lynceus, 
non tamen idcirco contemnas hppus inungui ; 
nee quia desperes invicti membra Glyconis,'' 30 

nodosa corpiis nohs prohibere cheragra. 
est quadam^ prodire tenus, si non datur ultra. 

P'ervet avaritia miserfoque cupidine pectus : 
sunt verba et voces, quibus hunc lenire dolorem 
possis et magnam morbi deponere partem. 35 

laudis amore tumes ; sunt certa piacula, quae te 
ter pure lecto poterunt recreare lihello. 

> addictus, //: adductus aEM, I, yet addictus is surely 

2 ac. ' oculos. 

* Milonis knojpn to Acron. - ^ quodam, //. 

" By agilis Horace translates irpaKriKds, and civilibus — 
ToXiTi/coij ; the Stoics approved of an active participation 
in public life. 

* Aristippus founded the Cyrenaic school, which taught 
that a man should control circumstances, not be controlled 
by them. 

* As he has not yet been able to take up philosophy 




EPISTLES, I. I. 14^37 

to swear as any master dictates ; wherever the storm 
drives me, I turn in for comfort. Now I become all 
action," and plunge into the tide of civil life, stern 
champion and follower of true Virtue ; now I slip 
back stealthily into the rules of Aristippus, and 
would bend the world to myself, not myself to the 

^^ As the night seems long for one whose mistress 
proves false, and the day long for those who work 
for hire ; as the year lags for wards held in check by 
their mother's strict guardianship : so slow and thank- 
less flow for me the hours which defer my hope and 
piu^ose of setting myself vigorously to that task 
which profits alike the poor, alike the rich, but, if 
neglected, will be harmful ahke to young and to old. 
What remains is for me to guide and solace myself 
with these poor rudiments." You may not be able, 
with your eyes, to see as far as Lynceus, yet you 
would not on that account scorn to anoint them, if 
sore. Nor, because you may not hope for uncon- 
quered Glycon's strength of limb, would you decline 
to keep your body free from the gnarls of gout. It 
is worth while to take some steps forward, though 
we may not go still further. 

^ Is your bosom fevered with avarice and sordid 
covetousness ? There are spells and sajrings"* whereby 
you may soothe the pain and cast much of the malady 
aside. Are you swelling with ambition ? There are 
fixed charms which can fashion you anew, if with 
cleansing rites you read the booklet thrice. The 

vigorously, his only comfort is to make the most of the little 
knowledge of it that he had. 

* The lessons of philosophy are compared to the magic 
formulas which were used in the medical art of ancient days. 



invidus, iracundus, iners, vinosus, amator, 

nemo adeo ferus est, ut non mitescere possit, 

si modo culturae patientem commodet aurem. 40 

Virtus est vitium fugere et sapientia prima 
stultitia caruisse. vides, quae maxima credis 
esse mala, exiguum censum turpemque repulsam,' 
quanto devites animi capitisque labore ; 
impiger extremes curris mercator ad Indog, 45 

per mare pauperiem fugiens, per saxa, per ignis : 
ne cure&ea, quae stulte miraris et optas, 
discere^ et audire et meliori credere non vis ? 
quis circum pagos et eircum compita pugnax 
magna coronari contemnat Olympia, cui spes, 50 
cui sit condicio dulcis sine pulvere palmae ? 

Vilius argentum est auro, virtutibus aurum. 
" o cives, cives, quaerenda pecunia primum est ; 
virtus post nummos ! " haec lanus summus ab imo 
prodocet, haec recinunt iuvenes dictata senesque, 55 
laevo suspensi loculos tabulamque lacerto. 
est animus tibi, sunt mores, est lingua^ fidesque, 
sed* quadringentis sex septem milia desunt^ ; ^ 
plebs eris. at pueri ludentes, " rex eris," aiunt, 
" si recte facies." hie murus aeneus esto, 60 

nil conscire sibi, nulla pallescere culpa. 

^ laborem Rdir. " dicere, //. 

• est lingua E : et lingua other mss. 

* si. ' desint (pxj/'Kl. 

• The order of II. 57, 58 thus in E, reversed in other uss. 
Housman would place I. 56 after I. 59. 

~ For the thought cf. Sat. i. 1. 30 ; i. 4. 29 £f. 

* Cf. Sat. ii. 3. 18. The arch of Janus represents the 
banking world of Rome. 

• Repeated from Sat. i. 6. 74. In this respect the old 
still behave as school-boys. 

* Enrolment in the equites implied a fortune of 400,000 


EPISTLES, I. I. 38-61 

slave to envy, anger, sloth, wine, lewdness — no one 
is so savage that he cannot be tamed, if only he 
lend to treatment a patient ear. 

*^ To flee \'ice is the beginning of \'irtue, and to 
ha\e got rid of folly is the beginning of >nsdom. 
You see -with what anxious thought and peril of life 
you strive to avoid those ills you deem the greatest, 
a slender fortune and the shame of failure at the 
polls. Ardent-trader that you are, you rush to the 
furthest Indies, fleeing poverty through sea, through 
rocks, through flame " : but that you may cease to 
care for the things which you foolishly admire and 
crave, \sill you not learn and listen and trust one 
wiser than yourself? What wTcstler in the village 
games and at the cross-ways would scorn being 
crowned at the great Olympic games, who had the 
hope, M-ho had the surety of victory's palm without 
the dust ? 

'^ Of less worth than gold is silver, than virtue 
gold. " O citizens, citizens, money you first must 
seek; \-irtue after pelf." This rule the Janus arcade 
proclaims from top to bottom * ; this is the lesson 
the old as well as the young are singing, " ^^ith slate 
and satchel slung over the left arm." " You have 
sense, you have morals, eloquence and honour, but 
there are six or seven thousands short of the four 
hundred •* ; you will be in the crowd. Yet boys at 
play crj' ; " You'll be king, if you do right." * Be 
this our wall of bronze, to have no guilt at heart, no 
wrongdoing to turn us pale. 

• The Scholiast gives the verse, which children sang in 
their game, thus : 

r^x erit qui r^cte faciei ; qui non faciei, non erit. 

There is a pun in rex and recte. 



Roscia, die sodes, melior lex an puerorum est 
nenia, quae regnum recte facientibus ofFert, 
et maribus Curiis et decantata Camillis ? 
isne tibi melius suadet, qui '^fem facias, rem, 65 

si possis, recte, si non, quocumque modo, rem," 
ut propius spectes lacrimosa poemata Pupi, 
an qui Fortunae te responsare superbae 
liberum et erectum praesens hortatur et aptat^ ? 

Quod si me populus Romanus forte roget, cur 70 
non ut porticibus sic iudiciis fruar isdem,^ 
nec^ sequar aut* fugiam quae^ diligit ipse vel odit, 
olim quod volpes aegroto cauta leoni 
respondit, referam : " quia me vestigia terrent, 
omnia te adversum spectantia, nulla retrorsum." 75 
belua multorum es capitum. nam quid sequar aut 

quem ? 
pars hominum gestit conducere publica ; sunt qui 
frustis^ et pomis viduas venentur avaras 
excipiantque senes, quos in vivaria mittant ; 
multis occulto crescit res faenore. 

Verum 80 

esto aliis alios rebus studiisque teneri : 
idem eadem possunt horam durare probantes ? 
" nullus in orbe' sinus Bais praelucet amoenis," 
si dixit dives, lacus et mare sentit amorem 
festinantis eri ; cui si vitiosa libido 85 

^ optat Goth. ^ idem ERw. 

* ne E. * et or ac, //. ' quem Rtt. 

* crustis. ' urbe cfi^f/h. 

« See Sat. i. 6. 40 and note. 

* Cf. Sat. i. 4. 134, where see note. 

" See the subject of Sat. ii. 5. 

•* For excipiant cf. excipere aprum. Odes iil. 12. 12. Wild 
animals were sometimes caught and turned into preserves 
(Pliny viii. 52. 211). Cf. Sat. ii. 3. 44. 

EPISTLES, I. I. 62-85 

'* Tell me, pray, which is better, the Roscian law " 
or the children's jingle which oifers a kingdom to 
those who "do right" — a jingle once trolled by 
the manly Curii and Camilli ? Does he ad\'ise you 
better, who bids you " make money, money by fair 
means if you can, if not, by any means money," 
and all that you may have a nearer view of the doleful 
plays of Pupius ; or he who, an ever present help, 
urges and fits you to stand free and erect, and defy 
scornful Fortune ? 

™ But if the people of Rome should ask me, 
perchance, why I do not use the same judgements 
even as I walk in the same colonnades * as they, why 
I do not follow or eschew whkt they love or hate, I 
should reply as once upon a lime the prudent fox 
made answer to the sick Hon :sJ" Because those foot- 
prints frighten me ; they all lead toward your den, 
and none lead back." You are a many-headed 
monster-thing. For what am I to follow or whom ? 
Some men rejoice to farm state-revenues ; some 
with titbits and fruits hunt miserly widows,* and 
net old men to stock their preserves ; ^ with many 
their money grows with interest unobserved." 

But let it be that men are swayed by different aims 
and hobbies ; can the same persons persist for one 
hour in Uking the same things ? " No bay in the 
world outshines lovely Baiae." If so the rich man 
has said, lake and sea suffer from the eager ^^ner's 
fancy ; but if a morbid whim has given him the 

• Money grows by the "unobserved" accumulation of 
interest, just as a tree grows by the unobserved lapse of time, 
"crescit occulto velut arbor aero," Odes i. \2. 45. The idea 
that occulto here means " secret, in the sense of" unlawful," 
is absurd. 

6 '257 


fecerit auspicium, " eras ferramenta Teanum 

tolletis, fabri ! " lectus genialis in aula est : 

nil ait esse prius, melius nil caelibe vita ; 

si non est, iurat bene solis esse maritis. 

quo teneam voltus mutantem Protea nodo ? SO 

quid pauper ? ride : mutat cenacula, lectos, 

balnea, tonsores, conducto navigio aeque 

nauseat ac locuples, quern ducit priva triremis. 

Si curatus inaequali tonsore capillos 
ocourri,^ rides ; si forte subucula pexae 95 

trita subest tunicae, vel si toga dissidet impar, 
rides : quid, mea cum pugnat sententia secum,^ 
quod petiit spernit, repetit quod nuper omisit, 
aestuat et vitae disconvenit ordine toto, 
diruit, aedificat, mutat quadrata rotundis ? 100 

insanire putas^ soUemnia me neque rides, 
nee medici credis nee curatoris egere 
a praetore dati, rerum tutela mearum 
cum sis et prave sectum stomacheris ob unguem 
de te pendentis, te respicientis amici. 105 

Ad summam : sapiens uno minor est love, dives, 
liber, honoratus, pulcher, rex denique regum, 
praecipue sanus, nisi cum pituita molesta est. 

^ occurrit or occurro. ^ meouiTi Rbtr Ooth. 

^ putas, / Porph. : putat, //. 

<■ The usual way to consult the auspices would be to observe 
the flight of birds and other means of augurj-, but the rich 
nan's own caprice is a sufficient guide for him. Cf. " an sua 
cuique deus fit dira cupido ? " (\'irgil, Aen. ix. 185). Teanum 
-vtas an inland town. 


EPISTLES, I. I. 86-108 

omen,* " My lads," he cries, " to-morrow you'll carry 
your tools to Teanum." Is the bed of his Genius * in 
his hall ? " Nothing," he says, " is finer or better 
than a single hfe." If it is not, he swears that only 
the married are well off. With what knot can I 
hold this face-changing Proteus ? What of the poor 
man ? Have your laugh I He changes his garret, 
his bed, his baths, his barber. He hires a boat and 
gets just as sick as the rich man who sails in his 
private yacht. 

^* If, when some uneven barber has cropped my 
hair, I come your way, you laugh ; if haply I have 
a tattered shirt beneath a new tunic, or if my go^vn 
sits badly and askew, you laugh, \\1iat, when my 
judgement is at strife ^\■ith itself, scorns what it 
craved, asks again for what it lately cast aside ; 
when it shifts like a tide, and in the whole system of 
Ufa is out of joint, pulhng down, building up, and 
changing square to round ? You think my madness 
is the usual thing, and neither laugh at me nor deem 
that I need a physician or a guardian assigned by 
the court," though you are keeper of my fortimes, 
and flare up at an ill-pared nail of the friend who 
hangs upon you and looks to you in all. 

^'^ To sum up<* : the \\-ise man is less than Jove 
alone. He is rich, free, honoured, beautiful, nay a 
king of kings ; above all, sound * — save when 
troubled by the " flu " I 

* The marriage-bed was dedicated to the Genius of the 

" Cf. Sat. u. 3. 217. 

^ Cf. Sat. i. 3. 124 and ff. 

« Horace plays upon the double sense of sarms, " sound " 
and " sane." 




The poem is addressed to a young man who is 
studying rhetoric in Rome, and who, if he is the same 
Lollius as is addressed in Epistle i. 18, had already 
served in the Cantabrian war of 25-24 b.c. Horace 
seeks to interest him in moral philosophy through 
Homer, whom the ancients perused, as we are told 
to read the Apocrypha, " for examples of hfe and 
instruction of manners." 

The poet has been reading Homer afresh while in 
Praeneste, and pronounces him a wiser teacher than 
all the philosophers. The Iliad pictures for us the 
follies of princes and the sufferings of the people. 
The Odyssey shows us the value of courage and self- 
control. Ulysses is the truly wise man, in contrast 
with whom the worthless suitors of Penelope or the 
idle youth at the court of Alcinous are but ciphers, 
the undistinguished mass of mankind, mere consumers 
of earth's products (1-31), 

And such cipiiers are we. Surely it is time for us 
to wake up to the importance of right living and 
devote ourselves to study and virtue. To put off 
the day of reform is to be hke the clown who waits 
for the stream to run dry (32-4-3). 

Men are eager to become rich, but riches will not 



bring health, either of body or of mind. We must 
clean the inside of the platter and make our hearts 
sound (il-oi). 

And so, in a Polonius strain, Horace gives a variety 
of moral maxims. In this quest of wisdom, the 
middle-aged poet must pursue his own quiet way, 
and the youthful Lolhus must not expect him to be 
either too indifferent or too enthusiastic (55-71). 



Troiani belli scriptorem, Maxime Lolli, 
dum tu declamas Romae, Praeneste relegi ; 
qui quid sit pulchrum, quid turpe, quid utile, quid non, 
planius^ ac melius Chrysippo et Crantore dicit. 
cur ita erediderim, nisi quid te distinct,^ audi. 5 

Fabula, qua Paridis propter narratur amorem 
Graecia barbariae lento collisa duello, 
stultorum regum et populorum continet aestus.^ 
Antenor censet belli* praeeidere causam : 
quid^ Paris ? ut salvus regnet vivatque beatus 10 
cogi posse negat. Nestor componere litis 
inter Peliden festinat et inter Atriden ; 
hunc'' amor, ira quidem communiter urit utrumque. 
quidquid delirant reges, plectuntur Achivi, 
seditione, dolis, scelere atque libidine et ira 15 

Iliacos intra muros peccatur et extra, 

Rursus, quid virtus et quid sapientia possit, 
utile proposuit nobis exemplar Ulixen, 

^ plenius, //. 

2 distinct, 77 E^ : destinet a : detinet E^M. 

^ aestum V, I J. * belli censet E. 

* quod, 77: hence Bentley quod Paris, ut. * nunc. 

" i.e. study rhetoric under a rhetor, or professor who 
made his pupils prepare speeches on the themes given them 
and often taken from history or literature ; ef. Juvenal vii. 
150 ; X. 166. 

Epistlb II 

While you, LoBius Maximus, declaim " at Rome. 
I have been reading afresh at Praeneste the writer 
of the Trojan War ; who tells us what is fair, what 
is foul, what is helpful, what not, more plainly and 
better than Chrysippus or Grantor. Why I have 
come to think so, let me tell you, unless there is 
something else to take your attention. 

^ The story in which it is told how, because of 
Paris's love Greece clashed in tedious war with a 
foreign land, embraces the passions of foolish kings 
and peoples. Antenor moves to cut away the cause 
of the war.* WTiat of Paris ? To reign in safety 
and to live in happiness — nothing, he says, can force 
him.* Nestor is eager to settle the strife between 
the sons of Peleus and of Atreus. Love fires one, 
but anger both in common. Whatever folly the 
kings commit, the Achaeans pay the penalty. With 
faction, craft, crime, lust and WTath, within and 
without the walls of Troy all goes wrong. 

^' Again, of the power of worth and wisdom he 
has set before us an instructive pattern in Ulysses, 

* Cf. Iliad, vii. 350, where Antenor urges that the Trojans 
restore Helen to the Atridae. 

* This is, of course, ironical. If we read quod Paris, ut with 
Bentley, it would go with cogi, so that, without any irony, 
Paris would say that he could not be forced into doing that, 
viz. giving up Helen, in order to reign in safety. 



qui domitor Troiae multorum providus urbes 

et mores hominum inspexit, latumque per aequor, 20 

dum sibi, dum soeiis reditum parat, aspera multa 

pertulit, adversis rerum immersabilis undis. 

Sirenum voces et Circae pocula nosti ; 

quae si cum soeiis stultus cupidusque bibisset, 

sub domina meretrice fuisset turpis et excors, 25 

vixisset canis immundus vel amica luto sus. 

nos numerus sumus et fruges consumere nati, 

sponsi Penelopae nebulones, Alcinoique 

in cute curanda plus aequo operata iuventus, 

cui piilchrum fuit in medios dormire dies et 30 

ad strepitum citliarae cessatum ducere curam.^ 

Ut iugulent hominem, surgunt de nocte latrones ; 
ut te ipsum serves, non expergisceris ? atqui^ 
si noles^ sanus, curres* hydropicus ; et ni 
posces ante diem librum cum lumine, si non 35 

intendes animum studiis et rebus honestis, 
invidia vel amore vigil torquebere. nam cur 
quae laedunt oculum^ festinas demere ; si quid^ 
est animum, diflPers curandi tempus in annum ? 
dimidium facti qui coepit habet ; sapere aude ; 40 
incipe ! qui recte vivendi' prorogat horam, 
rusticus exspectat dum defluat amnis ; at ille 
labitur et labetur in omne volubilis aevum 

Quaeritur argentum puerisque beata creandis 
uxor, et incultae pacantur vomere silvae : 46 

1 curam, /: somnum Eir Goth. Bentley read cessantem 
ducere somnum. IF, R. Inge suggests cessantem ducere 
noctem {C.R. 1921, p. 103). 

* atque, i/, V. ' nolisX?. * cures, 77; so Bentley. 

• oculum E, II : oculos aM Goth. * si quod (l)\p\l. 
' qui recte vivendi E Goth., Porph. : vivendi qui recte 

other MSS. 

EPISTLES, I. II. ia-45 

that tamer of Troy, who looked with discerning eyes 
upon the cities and manners of many men, and while 
for self and comrades he strove for a return across 
the broad seas, many hardships he endured, but 
could never be o'erwhelmed in the waves of adver- 
sity." You know the Sirens' songs and Circe's cups ; 
if, along A\-ith his comrades, he had drunk of these 
in folly and greed, he would have become the shape- 
less and witless vassal of a harlot mistress — would 
have lived as an unclean dog or a sow that loves the 
mire. We are but ciphers, bom to consume earth's 
fruits, Penelope's good-for-naught suitors, young 
courtiers of Alcinous, unduly busy in keeping their 
skins sleek, whose pride it was to sleep till midday 
and to lull care to rest to the sound of the cithern. 

^2 To cut men's throats, robbers rise up by night ; 
to save your o'v^ti life, won't you wake up ? Nay, 
just as, if you won't take up running in health, 
you'll have to do it when dropsical ; so, if you don't 
call for a book and a light before daybreak, if you 
don't devote your mind to honourable studies and 
pursuits, envy or passion will keep you awake in 
torment, ^^'hy indeed are you in a hui-ry to remove 
things which hurt the eye, while if aught is eating 
into your soul, you put off the time for cure till next 
year ? Well begun is half done ; dare to be ^^^se ; 
begin ! He who puts off the hour of right living is 
like the bumpkin waiting for the river to run out : 
yet on it glides, and on it will glide, rolling its flood 

*^ We seek money and a rich yrife to bear us 
children ; the wild woods, too, are tamed by our 

" This sentence gives a free rendering of the opening 
lines of the Odyssey. 



quod satis est cui contingit,^ nihil amplius optet. 
non domus et fundus, non aeris acervus et auri 
aegroto domini deduxit corpore febris, 
non animo curas ; valeat possessor oportet, 
si comportatis rebus bene cogitat uti. 60 

qui eupit aut metuit, iuvat ilium sic domus et res, 
ut lippum pictae tabulae, fomenta^ podagram, 
auriculas citharae coUecta sorde dolentis. 
sincerum est nisi vas, quodcumque infundis acescit. 

Sperne voluptates ; nocet empta dolore voluptas. 
semper avarus eget ; certum voto pete finem. 56 
invidus alterius macrescit rebus opimis ; 
invidia Siculi non invenere tyranni 
maius tormentum. qui non moderabitur irae,^ 
infectum volet esse, dolor quod suaserit et mens,* 60 
dum poenas odio per vim festinat inulto. 
ira furor brevis est : animum rege ; qui nisi paret 
imperat ; hunc frenis, hunc tu compesce catena.^ 

Fingit equum tenera docilem cervice magister 
ire viam qua^ monstret eques ; venaticus, ex quo 65 
tempore cervinam pellem latravit in aula, 
militat in silvis catulus. nunc adbibe puro 
peetore verba puer, nunc te melioribus offer, 
quo semel est imbuta recens, servabit odorem 
testa diu. quod si cessas aut strenuus anteis, 70 

nee tardum opperior nee praecedentibus insto. 

^ contigit is VK * tomenta Bouhier. ' irani, //. 

* et mens] exmens or amens. 

* catcnis E Goth. * qua E : quam a. 

' Such as the cruel Dionysius or Phalaris. 

* Cf. " sapor, quo nova imbuas, durat " (Quintilian, i. 1. 5). 
Un^lazed ware, which Horace doubtless has in mind, is 
more absorbent than glazed. 


EPISTLES, I. 11. 4t>-7l 

plough : but he, to whose lot sufficient falls, should 
covet nothing more. No house or land, no pile of 
bronze or gold, has ever freed the o^\■ne^'s sick body 
of fevers, or his sick mind of cares. The possessor 
must be sound in health, if he thinks of enjoying the 
stores he has gathered. To one with fears or cravings, 
house and fortune give as much pleasure as painted 
panels to sore eyes, warm vsTaps to the gout, or 
citherns to ears that suffer from secreted matter. 
Unless the vessel is clean, whatever you pour in 
turns sour. 

^ Scorn pleasures ; pleasure bought with pain is 
harmful. The covetous is ever in want : aim at a 
fixed limit for your desires. The envious man grows 
lean when his neighbour waxes fat ; than envy 
Sicihan tyrants * invented no worse torture. He 
who curbs not his anger will wish that undone which 
vexation and WTath prompted, as he made haste 
with violence to gratify his unsated hatred. Anger is 
short-lived madness. Rule your passion, for unless it 
obeys, it gives commands. Check it with bridle — 
check it, I pray you, with chains. 

" WTiile the colt has a tender neck and is able to 
learn, the groom trains him to go the way his rider 
directs. The hound that is to hunt does service in 
the woods from the time that it first barked at a 
deer-skin in the yard. Now, while still a bov, drink 
in my words with clean heart, now trust yourself to 
your betters. The jar will long keep the fragrance 
of what it was once steeped in when new.'* But if you 
lag behind, or with vigour push on ahead, I neither 
wait for the slow nor press after those who hurry on 




The Julius Florus, to whom this Epistle is addressed, 
and to whom Epistle ii. 2 is later dedicated, was one 
of a number of young literary men who accompanied 
Tiberius to the East in 20 B.C., when the prince was 
sent by Augustus to place Tigranes on the throne 
of Armenia after the murder of Artaxias. Horace, 
now forty-five years old, makes kindly inquiries 
about his younger literary friends, and urges Florus, 
whatever field of letters he is cultivating, not to 
neglect philosophy. 



lull Flore, quibus terrarum militet oris 
Claudius Augusti privignus, scire laboro. 
Thracane^ vos Hebrusque nivali compede vinctus, 
an freta vicinas inter currentia turris,^ 
an pingues Asiae campi collesque morantur ? 6 

Quid studiosa cohors operum struit ? hoc quoque 
quis sibi res gestas Augusti scribere sumit ? 
V bella quis et paces longum difTundit in acvum ? 
quid Titius, Romana brevi venturus in era ? 
Pindarici fontis «flii non expalluit haustus, 10 

fastidire lacus et rivos ausus apertos. 
ut valet ? ut meminit nostri ? fidibusne Latinis 
Thebanos aptare modos studet auspice Musa, 
an tragica desaevit et ampuUatur in arte ? 
quid mihi Celsus agit ? monitus multumque monen- 
dus, 15 

privatas ut quaerat opes et tangere vitet 

^ Threcane E. 
^ terras V: terres 5^ : terris R^. 

" i.e. Tiberius Claudius Nero, later the Emperor Tiberius. 

'' The towers of Hero and Leander, at Sestos and Abydos, 
on either side of the Hellespont. 

* In lacos et rivos apertos Horace refers to the artificial 
pools and tanks from which anyone could draw water, as 
contrasted with the natural springs in far distant hills, which 


Epistlb III 

I long to know, Julius Florus, in what regions of 
the earth Claudius,*' step-son of Augustus, is now 
campaigning. Does Thrace stay your steps, and 
Hebrus, bound in snowy fetters, or the straits that 
run between neighbouring towers,* or Asia's fertile 
plains and hills ? 

^ Wliat works is the learned staff composing ? 
This, too, I want to know. WTio takes upon him to 
record the exploits of Augustus ? Who ddown dis- 
tant ages makes known his deeds in war and peace ? 
What of Titius, soon to be on the hps of Romans, who 
quailed not at draughts of the Pindaric spring, but 
dared to scorn the open " pools and streams ? How 
fares he ? How mindful is he of me ? Does he essay, 
under favour of the Muse, to fit Theban measures to 
the Latin lyre ? Or does he storm and swell <* in the 
tragic art ? What, pray, is Celsus doing ? He was 
warned, and must often be warned to search for 
home treasures, and to shrink from touching the 

one could reach only with difficulty. Apart from the 
metaphor, the contrast is between those Greek writers who 
could easily be reproduced, and the inimitable Pindar. For 
the latter idea cf. Odes, iv. 2, " Pindarum quisquis studet 
aemulari," etc 

** The word ampullatur, translating XriKvdil^u, is from 
ampulla, a flask, the swelling body of which led to the use 
of the word for bombait. Cf. Art Poet. 97. 



scripta Palatinus quaecumque receptt Apollo, 
ne, si forte su^s repetitum venerit olim 
grex avium plumas, moveat cornicula^ risum 
furtivis nudata coloribus. ipse quid audes ? 20 

quae circumvolitas agilis thy ma ? non tibi parvum 
ingenium, non incultum est et^ turpiter hirtum, 
seu linguam causis acuis seu civica iura 
respondere^ paras seu condis amabile carmen, 
prima feres hederae victricis praemia. quod si 25 

frigida curarum fomenta relinquere posses, 
quo te caelestis sapientia dueeret, ires.^ 
hoc opus, hoc studium parvi properemus et ampli, 
si patriae volumus, si nobis vivere cari. 

Debes hoc etiam rescribere, sit^ tibi curae 30 

quantae conveniat Munatius ; an male sarta 
gratia nequiquam coit et rescinditur ? at^ vos 
seu calidus sanguis seu" rerum inscitia vexat 
indomita cervice feros, ubicumque locorum 
vivitis, indigni fraternum rumpere foedus, 35 

pascitur in vestrum reditum votiva iuvenca. 

1 vulpecula Servius on Aen. xi. 522. 

2 nee <}>\pd. * responsare E. 

* Hitziff would transpose II. 26, 27 with each other, perhaps 

* si 5 : hence si tibi curae est Bentley, Orelli. 

' ac Mss. '' seu . . . seu Acron : heu . . . heu uss. 

" Celsus is urged to depend more upon himself, instead 
of drawing so freely upon earlier writers, whose works he 
consulted in the library of the temple of Apollo on the 

* Strictly speaking, the ivy applies only to the poet. 
For this c/ Odes, i. 1, 29. 


EPISTLES, I. HI. 17-36 

writings which Apollo on the Palatine has admitted " : 
lest, if some day perchance the flock of birds come 
to reclaim their plumage, the poor crow, stripped of 
his stolen colours, awake laughter. And yourself — 
what do you venture on ? About what beds of thyme 
are you busily flitting ? No small gift is yours : not 
untilled is the field, or rough-grown and unsightly. 
WTiether you sharpen your tongue for pleading, or 
essay to give advice on civil law, or build charming 
verse, you \A'ill win the first prize of the victor's ivy.** 
But could you but lay aside your cares — those cold 
compresses" — you would rise to where heavenly 
wisdom would lead. This task, this pursuit let us 
speed, small and great alike, if we would hve dear 
to our country, and dear to ourselves. 

^ This, too, when you reply, you must tell me — 
whether you esteem Munatius as much as you should. 
Or does your friendship, hke a wound ill-stitched, 
close vainly and tear open once more ? Yet, whether 
hot blood or ignorance of the world drives you both, 
\vild steeds with untamed necks, wherever on earth 
you are living — you who are too good to break the 
bond of brotherhood — a votive heifer is fattening 
against your return. 

' Horace seems to mean that the cares which weigh upon 
Florus are like the cold bandages which physicians in his 
day were prescribing for certain bodily ailments, cf. Suet. 
Aug. 81. The curae chilled the fire of inspiration, and were 
therefore far from beneficial, because Florus was continually 
wrapping himself up in his troubles. Some, however, prefer 
to take curariim as an objective genitive, so that curarum 
/omenta means " remedies against cares." 




AxBFUS TiBuixus, the elegiac poet, who died the same 
year as Virgil, 19 b.c, when still quite young, had 
returned from a campaign in Aquitania in 27 b.c, 
and then perhaps read for the first time the Satires 
of Horace. As the first verse of this Epistle refers 
only to the Satires and not to the Odes, this short 
letter seems to have been written before 23 b.c, 
when the Odes (Books i.-iii.) were published. 

TibuUus seems to have been of a sensitive and 
somewhat melancholy disposition, like the English 
poet, Thomas Gray. Horace here tries to divert 
him, and concludes \vith an in\-itation to visit him, 
a prosperous Epicurean, at his Sabine farm. 

The commonly accepted view that the Albius liere 
addressed by Horace is the poet Tibullus has been 
rejected bv Cruquius, Baehrens and, more recently, 
by Professor J. P. Postgate (Selections from Tibullus, 
1903, p. 179). The identity of Albius and Tibullus 
is upheld by Professor B. L, Ullman in an article 
on " Horace and Tibullus " in the American Journal 
of Philology, xxxiii. (1912) pp. 14-9 ff., to which 
Professor Postgate replies briefly in the same volume, 
pp. 450 fF. Ullman also holds that Tibullus is the 
Albifilius of Sat. i. 4. 109, ^NTitten when Tibullus was 
about sixteen years of age. 



Albi, nostrorum sermonum candide iudex, 
quid nunc te dicam facere in regione Pedana ? 
scribere quod Cassi Parmensis opuscula vincat, 
an taciturn silvas inter reptare salubris, 
curantem quidquid dignum sapiente bonoque^ est ? 5 
non tu corpus eras sine pectore : di tibi formam, 
di tibi divitias dederunt^ artemque fruendi. 
quid voveat dulci nutricula maius alumno, 
qui^ sapere et fari possit quae sentiat, et cui 
gratia, fama, valetudo contingat abunde, 10 

■^ et mundus^ victus non deficiente crumina ? 

Inter spem curamque, timores inter et iras^ 
omnem crede diem tibi diluxisse supremum. 
grata superveniet, quae non sperabitur hora. 
me pinguem et nitidum bene curata cute vises, 15 
cum ridere voles, Epicuri de^ grege porcum. 

^ bonumque Rtt. 2 dederant EM. 

* qui EV Porph. : quin a, II: qun M. 

* mundus, /: modus et, //: domus et Bentley. 

* tumores . . . iram E. • cum E. 

" i.e. the Satires. The word Sermonen means " talks," 


Epistle IV 

Albius, impartial critic of my " chats," " what shall 
I sav vou now are doing in your country at Pedum ? 
Writing something to outshine the pieces of Cassius 
of Parma * ? Or strolhng peacefully amid the health- 
ful woods, and musing on all that is worthy of one 
wise and good ? Never were you a body without 
soul. The gods gave you beauty, the gods gave you 
wealth, and the art of enjoyment. <= For what more 
would a fond nurse pray for her sweet ward, if he 
could think aright and utter his thoughts — if favour, 
fame, and health fall to him richly, with a seemly 
living and a never failing purse ? 

Amid hopes and cares, amid fears and passions, 
believe that every day that has dawned is your last. 
Welcome will come to you another hour unhoped for. 
As for me, when you want a laugh, you will find me 
in fine fettle, fat and sleek, a hog from Epicurus's herd. 

" conversations," and was adopted by Horace for his 
Satires. See Introduction B, note a. 

* The scholiasts identifv him with Cassius Etruscus of 
Sat. i. 10. 61. So too Ullnian, loc. cit. p. 164. 

« If Ullman's view is correct, Horace is here contrasting 
the son Albius with the father of the same name. 





V ,r.^- ^ 

Horace here invites to a simple dinner, on the eve 
of the birthday of Augustus, a member of the wealthy 
family of the Manlii Torquati, probably the same as 
the one to whom the seventh ode of the Fourth Book 
is later addressed. Torquatus is asked to bring some 

As to the hour set for the dinner Porphyrio 
explains supremo sole (1. 3) as meaning hora sexta, 
i.e. midday, and Professor A. J. Bell favours this 
interpretation {Classical Review, xxix. (1915) p. 200. 
But Horace's simple dinner is quite unlike the 
extravagant one given by Nasidienus, which began 
de medio die {Sat. ii. 8. 3), and people who have 
spent a hot September in Rome will not think it 
hkely that the sensitive poet would have invited his 
guests to come at high noon in that unpleasant 
month. As to the last two lines Torquatus is pre- 
sumably a busy la-wyer, and some of his clients 
might have to wait tiU late in the day in order to 
consult him. If so, this would be another reason 
why Horace would not expect his friend to come 
before evening. Maecenas, also a busy man, dined 
sub lumina prima {Sat. ii. 7. SS). 



Si potes Archiacis conviva recumbere lectis 
nee modiea eenare times holus omne patella, 
supremo te sole domi, Torquate, manebo. 
vina bibes iterum Tauro diffusa palustris 
inter Minturnas Sinuessanumque Petrinum. 6 

si melius quid habes, arcesse, vel imperium fer. 
iamdudum splendet focus et tibi munda supellex. 
mitte levis spes et certamina divitiarum 
et Moschi causam : eras nato Gaesare festus 
dat veniam somnumque dies ; impune licebit 10 

aestivam^ sermione benigno tendere noctem. 

Quo mihi fortunam,^ si non conceditur uti ? 
parcus ob heredis curam nimiumque severus 
adsidet insano. potare et spargere flores 
incipiam, patiarque vel inconsultus haberi. 15 

quid non ebrietas dissignat^ ? operta recludit, 
^ festivam. * fortuna R : fortunas. * designat a(p Goth. 

" Archias was a maker of unpretentious furniture. 
According to Porphyrio his couches were small ones. 
See note on 1. 29. 

* 26 B.C. At that time the wine had been poured from 
the large dolium into the smaller amphorae. 

" According to the Scholiasts, Moschus, a rhetorician 
from Pergamum, was accused of poisoning, and defended 
by Torquatus as well as by Asinius Pollio. 

'' September 23. September is one of the warmest months 
in Rome. 

' In dissignare the original idea of sealing seems to be 


Epistle V 

If you can recline at my table on couches made 
by Archias," and are not afraid of " a dinner of 
herbs " only, from a modest dish, I shall expect you, 
Torquatus, at my house at sunset. You will drink 
wine that was bottled in Taurus 's second consulate ^ 
between marshy Minturnae and Petrinum near 
Sinuessa. If you have aught better, bid it be sent, or 
submit to orders. Long has my hearth been bright, 
and the furniture made neat for you. Dismiss airy 
hopes and the struggle for wealth, and Moschus's 
cause.* To-morrow, the festal day of Caesar's birth,** 
gives excuse for sleeping late ; without penalty shall 
we be free to prolong the summer night in genial 

^ Why is fortune mine, if I may not use it ? He 
who, from regard to his heir, pinches and spares 
overmuch is next door to a madman. I shall begin 
the drinking and the scattering of flowers, and shall 
sutfer you, if you will, to think me reckless. WTiat 
a miracle cannot the wine-cup work ! * It unlocks 

negatived by the prefix dis-, and to " unseal " (a verb 
appropriately used in the present connexion) signifies 
(according to Porphyrio) to "open," i.e. reveal something. 
Hence it is used of any strange effect. Cf. Terence, 
Adelphoe, 87, "modo quid dissignavit ? " "What out-of- 
the-way thing has he now done ? " For the general thought 
cf. Od. iii. 21. 13 ff. 



spes iubet esse ratas, ad proelia trudit inertem,^ 
sollicitis animis onus eximit, addocet^ artes. 
fecundi^ calices quem non fecere disertum ? 
contracta quem non in paupertate solutum ? 20 

Haec ego procurare et idoneus imperor et non 
in Vitus, ne turpe tox-al, ne sordida mappa 
corruget naris, ne non et cantharus et lanx 
ostendat tibi te, ne fidos inter amicos 
sit qui dicta foras eliminet, ut* coeat par 25 

iungaturque pari. 

Butram tibi Septiciumque, 
et nisi cena prior potiorque puella Sabinum 
detinet, adsumam.^ locus est et pluribus umbris : 
sed nimis arta premunt olidae convivia caprae. 
tu quotus esse velis rescribe et rebus omissis 30 

atria servantem postico falle clientem. 

^ inermem aM. 
2 et docet E. * facundi E5ir Vollmer. 

* et (pfXl. ^ ad summam a, II. 

" See note on Sat. ii. 8. 23. 

" Tliis unsavoury detail is meant to be jocular, but as it 



EPISTLES, I. V. 17-31 

secrets, bids hopes be fulfilled, thrusts the coward 
into the field, takes the load from anxious hearts, 
teaches new arts. The flowing bowl — whom has it 
not made eloquent ? WTiom has it not made free 
even amid pinching poverty ? 

^ Here is what I charge myself to pro^^de — and 
able and willing I am : that no untidy coverlet, no 
soiled napkin ^vrinkle up your nose ; that tankard 
and plate become for you a mirror ; that there be 
none to carry abroad what is said among faithful 
friends ; that hke may meet and mate with like. 

^ Butra and Septicius I shall have to meet you, 
and Sabinus, unless a better supper and a goodlier 
girl detain him. There is room, too, for several 
" shades " " ; but the reek of goats makes too 
crowded feasts unpleasant.'' Write back, pray, how 
many you would hke us to be ; then drop your 
business, and by the back-door give the slip to the 
client waiting in your hall. 

was the warm season Horace does not want his small couches 
to be too crowded. 




Nothing is known about the person to whom this 
letter is addressed, but the ideas expressed in it 
have made it one of the most famous of Horace's 

The key-note is struck in the opening phrase, nil 
admirari, a rendering of the to fj.r]8h' davfxd(eiv of 
Pythagoras, or of rj ddavjMaa-Tia of philosophers in 
general (Strabo, i. 3. 21). This ddavjxaa-TLa, identical 
with the d6afj./3ia of Democritus (Cic. De Jin. v. 29. 
87), the drapa^ia of the Epicureans, and the dirddeLa 
of the Stoics, is a philosophic calm, a composure of 
mind and feeling, a freedom from exciting emotions, 
which ancient philosophy often regarded as the 
summum honum and which Tennyson defines so well 
in his Lucretius : 

O thou. 
Passionless bride, divine Tranquillity, 
Yearn'd after by the wisest of the wise. 
Who fail to find thee, being as thou art 
Without one pleasure and without one pain. 

This " wise indifference," says Horace, is perhaps 
the only clue to happiness. If men can gaze un- 
moved on the wonders of the firmament, they can 
surely look calmly upon things of less moment, such 


as wealth and honovirs, neither craving their rewards 
nor fearing their loss. " Nothing in excess " should 
be one's rule even in the pursuit of Virtue. And 
bear in mind that, however much you may long for 
treasures of art, for fame and wealth, death must be 
the end of all (1-27). 

You think I am wrong ? If you are ill, you take 
medicine ; if you want to " live well," and know 
that Virtue alone can give you that boon, follow 
her at all costs. If, on the contrary, you think \'irtue 
a mere name, then make haste to get rich. Be not 
like the Cappadocian king, who was so poor, but 
rather be hke Lucullus, who didn't know how wealthy 
he was (28-48). 

If you have set your heart on office and honours, 
stoop to all the tricks of the pohticians (49-55). If 
" li\ang well " means for you good eating (56-64) or 
love and pleasure (65, 66), then think of nothing else. 

Such are my views. Have you anything better to 
offer ? (07, 68). 



Nil admirari prope res est una, Numici, 
solaque quae possit facere et servare beatum, 
hunc solem et stellas et decedentia certis 
tempora momentis sunt qui formidin^ nulla 
imbuti spectent : quid censes munera terrae, 6 

quid maris extremes Arabas ditantis et Indos, 
ludicra quid, plausus et amici dona Quiritis, 
quo spectanda modo, quo sensu credis et ore ? 

Qui timet his adversa, fere miratur eodem 
quo cupiens pacto : pavor est utrobique molestus, 10 
improvisa simul species exterret utrumque.^ 
gaudeat an doleat, cupiat metuatne, quid ad rem, 
si, quicquid vidit melius peiusve^ sua spe, 
defixis oculis animoque et corpore torpet ? 
insani sapiens nomen ferat, aequus iniqui, 15 

ultra quam satis est Virtutem si petat^ ipsam. 

I nunc, argentum et marmor vetus aeraque et artcs 
suspice,* cum gemmis Tyrios mirare colores ; 
gaude quod spectant^ oculi te mille loquentem ; 
navus mane forum et vespertinus pete tectum, 20 
ne plus frumenti dotalibus emetat agris 
Mutus et (indignum, quod sit peioribus ortus) 

* exterret (-it R) utrumque, //: most editors exterruit 
utrum aE. 

* pciusne Rd. * petet aM. 

* suscipe EXItt. ^ spectent E. 


Epistle VI 

" Marvel at nothing " — that is perhaps the one 
and only thing, Numicius, that can make a man 
happy and keep him so. Yon sun, the stars and 
seasons that pass in fixed courses — some can gaze 
upon these with no strain of fear : what think you of 
the gifts of earth, or what of the sea's, which makes 
rich far distant Arabs and Indians — what of the shows, 
the plaudits and the favours of the friendly Roman 
— in what \nse, with what feelings and eyes think 
you they should be viewed ? 

® And he who fears their opposites " marv^els " in 
much the same way as the man who desires : in either 
case 'tis the excitement that annoys, the moment some 
unexpected appearance startles either. Whether 
a man feel joy or grief, desire or fear, what matters 
it if, when he has seen aught better or worse than 
he expected, his eyes are fast riveted, and mind and 
body are benumbed ? Let the wise man bear the 
name of madman, the just of unjust, should he 
pursue Virtue herself beyond due bounds. 

^' Go now, gaze with rapture on silver plate, 
antique marble, bronzes and works of art ; " marvel " 
at gems and Tyrian dyes ; rejoice that a thousand 
eyes survey you as you speak ; in your diligence get 
you to the Forum early, to your home late, lest 
Mutus reap more grain from the lands of his wife's 
dower, and (oh the shame, for he sprang from meaner 



hie tibi sit potius quam tu mirabilis illi. 
quidquid sub terra est, in apricum proferet^ aetas, 
defodiet condetque nitentia. cum bene notum 25 
porticus Agrippae, via te^ conspexerit Appi, 
ire tamen restat Numa quo devenit et Ancus. 
Si latus aut renes morbo temptantur acuto, 
quaere fugam morbi. vis recte vivere : quis non ? 
si Virtus hoc una potest dare, fortis omissis 30 

hoc age deliciis. 

Virtutem verba putas^ et 
lucum ligna : cave ne portus occupet alter, 
ne Cibyratica, ne Bithyna negotia pei'das ; 
mille talenta rotundentur, totidem altera, porro et* 
tertia succedant et quae pars quadret^ acervum. 35 
scilicet uxorem cum dote fidemque et amicos 
et genus et formam regina Pecunia donat, 
ac bene nummatum decorat Suadela Venusque. 
mancupiis locuples eget aeris Cappadocum rex : 
ne* fueris hie tu. chlamydes Lucullus, ut aiunt, 40 
si posset centum scaenae praebere rogatus, 
" qui possum tot ? " ait ; " tamen et quaeram et quot 

mittam : " post paulo scribit sibi milia quinque 
esse domi chlamydum ; partem vel toUeret omnis. 
exilis domus est, ubi non et multa supersunt 45 

et dominum fallunt et prosunt furibus. ergo 

* proferat aM. " et via, II. 

■ putes AH Bentley. * et omitted aMS. 

• quadrat aM. • nee E. 

" Both were frequented by the fashionable world. The 
portico of Agrippa, near the Pantheon, was opened in 25 b.c. 
For the Appian Way cf. Epode iv. 14 and Sat. i. 5. 6. 

* This is a proverbial expression, applicable to the material- 


EPISTLES, I. VI. 23-46 

stock !) lest you " marvel " at him rather than he at 
you. Time will bring into the light whatever is 
under the earth ; it will bury deep and hide what 
now shines bright.^ When Agrippa's colonnade, when 
Appius's way " has looked upon your well-kno\vn 
form, stiU it remains for you to go where Numa and 
Ancus have gone down before. 

^ If your chest or reins are assailed by a sharp 
disease, seek a remedy for the disease. You wish 
to hve aright (and who does not ?) ; if then Virtue 
alone can confer this boon, boldly drop trifles and 
set to work ! 

'^ Do you think Virtue but words, and a forest * but 
firewood ? Take care lest your rival make harbour 
first, lest you lose your ventures from Cibyra and 
Bithynia. Suppose you round off a thousand talents ; 
as marly in a second lot ; then add a third thousand, 
and enough to square the heap. Of course a wife 
and dowTy, credit and friends, birth and beauty, are 
the gift of Quee^ Cash, and the goddesses Persuasion 
and Venus grace the man who is well-to-do. The 
Cappadocian king '^ is rich in slaves, but lacks coin : 
be not hke him. Lucullus, 'tis said, was asked if he 
could lend a hundred cloaks for the stage. " How 
can I so many ? " he answers, " yet I'll look and send 
as many as I have." A httle later he writes : " I 
have five thousand cloaks at home ; take some or 
all." Poor is the house where there's not much to 
spare, much that escapes the master and profits his 

ists of the day, who were ready to cut down even sacred 

* Viz. Ariobarzanes, of whom Cicero says, "erat rex 
perpauper" {Ad Att. vi. 3). For Lucullus "see Plutarch's 
Lives. Litcullus. ch. 39. Horace expands the story somewhat. 

U 289 


si res sola potest facere et servare beatum, 

hoc primus^ repetas opus, hoc postremus omittas. 

Si fortunatum species et gratia praestat, 
mercemur servum, qui dictet nomina, laevum^ 50 
qui fodicet latus et cogat trans pondera^ dextram 
porrigere : " hie* multum in Fabia valet, ille Velina ; 
cui libet hie fasces dabit eripietque curule 
cui volet importunus ebur." " frater," " pater "adde : 
ut cuique est aetas, ita quemque facetus adopta.* 55 

Si bene qui cenat bene vivit, lucet, eamus 
quo ducit gula ; piscemur, venemur, ut olim 
Gargilius, qui mane plagas, venabula, servos 
difFertum transire** forum populumque' iubebat, 
unus ut e multis populo spectante referret 60 

emptum mulus aprum. crudi tumidique lavemur. 
quid deceat, quid non, obliti, Caerite cera 
digni, remigium vitiosum Ithacensis Ulixei, 
cui potior patria^ fuit interdicta voluptas^ 
si, Mimnermus uti censet, sine amore iocwque 65 

nil est iucundum, vivas in amore iocisqy. 

Vive, vale ! si quid novisti rectius ifcis, 
candidus imperti ; si nil,^ his utere mecum. 

^ primum, 11. 
" laevum E : saevum {i.e. scaevum) aM, 11% so Pithoeus. 

* pondere, II. * liis or is Mdir. 

* adapta 4>4'^l' * transferre Goth. 

' campum Bentley. * patriae, //. * non, 11. 

" A slave, called nomenclator, had the duty of informing 
his master of the names of people he did not know. 

'' The scholiasts explain pondera as the term applied to 
the high stepping-stones used for crossing the streets as 
may be seen in Pompeii. Horace, therefore, is picturing 
the ambitious politicians as hurrying over these to greet 
a voter on the other side of the street. Other interpretations, 


EPISTLES, I. VI. 47-68 

knaves. So if wealth alone can make you happy 
and keep you so, be the first to go back to this task, 
the last to leave it off, 

*^ If pomp and popularity make the fortunate man, 
let us buy a slave to call off names," to nudge our 
left side, and make us stretch out the hand across 
the streets.'' " This man has much influence in the 
Fabian tribe ; that in the Veline. This man will 
give the fasces to whom he will, or, if churlish, will 
snatch the curule ivory from whom he pleases." 
Throw in " Brother ! " " Father ! " — politely adopt 
each one according to his age. 

^ If he who dines well, Uves well, then — 'tis 
daybreak, let's be off, whither the palate guides us. 
Let us fish, let us hunt, like Gargilius in the story. 
At dawn of day he would bid his slaves with hunting- 
nets and spears pass through the throng in the 
crowded Forum, that in the sight of that same throng 
one mule of all the train might bring home a boar he 
had purchased. Wliile gorged with undigested food, 
let us bathe, forgetful of what is or is not seemly, 
deserving to have our place in the Caere class,'' hke the 
wicked crew of Ulysses of Ithaca, to whom forbidden 
pleasure was dearer than fatherland. If, as Mim- 
nermus holds, without love and jests there is no joy, 
live amid love and jests. 

^" Live long, farewell. If you know something 
better than these precepts, pass it on, my good 
fellow. If not, join me in follo^ving these. 

such as that pondera means the weights on a shop-counter, 
are pure conjectures. 

« As deserving to be disfranchised. The people of Caere 
were munteipes sine suffragii iure (Gellius, xvi. 13). The 
word cera refers to the wax-covered tablets on which the 
lists of citizens were entered. 




Maecenas has apparently reproached Horace for 
staying in the country longer than he had said he 
would, when he himself had to remain in Rome, 
and perhaps he had reminded the poet of his 
obligations to his patron. 

Horace makes a manly and dignified reply. He 
assures his patron that he is not ungrateful for past 
benefits, but he must consider his health, and he 
refuses to surrender his personal independence. If 
that is demanded, he is willing to give up everything 
that Maecenas has conferred upon him. 

The poet's attitude is illustrated by several stories, 
the last of which — the tale of Philippus and his client, 
Volteius Mena — takes up half of the poem. Of this 
Swift has made a very humorous use in his " Address 
to the Earl of Oxford." 



Quinque dies tibi pollicitus me rure futurum, 
Sextilem totum mendax desideror. atque^ 
si me vivere vis sanum recteque valentem, 
quam mihi das aegro, dabis aegrotare timenti, 
Maecenas, veniam, dum ficus prima calorque^ 5 

dissignatorem decorat lictoribus atris, 
dum pueris omnis pater et matercula pallet, 
officiosaque sedulitas et opella forensis 
adducit^ febris et testamenta resignat. 
quod si bruma nives Albanis illinet agris, 10 

ad mare descendet vates tuus et sibi parcet 
contractusque leget ; te, dulcis amice, reviset 
cum Zephyris, si concedes,* et hirundine prima. 

Non quo more piris vesci Calaber iubet hospes, 
tu me fecisti locupletem. " vescere, sodes." 15 

" iam satis est." " at tu quantum vis tolle." " be- 

" non invisa feres pueris munuscula parvis." 
" tarn teneor dono, quam si dimittar onustus." 
" ut libet ; haec porcis hodie comedenda relinques.^ " 

^ atqui E, but cf. {e.g.) Terence, Andria "225. 

* colorque Va. ' adducet RSir. 

* concedis E. * relinquis (p^j/Xl. 

" Quinque is a round number here. Similarly, decern dies 
may be used of " a long w eek." 


Epistle VII 

Only a week " was I to stay in the country — such 
was my promise — but, false to my word, I am missed 
the whole of Augast. And yet, if you would have 
me hve sound and in good health, the indulgence 
which you grant me when ill you will grant me when 
I fear to become ill, while the first figs and the heat 
adorn the undertaker \^-ith his black attendants, 
while every father and fond mother turns pale with 
fear for the cliildren, and while diligence in cour- 
tesies ^ and the Forum's petty business bring on 
fevers and unseal wills. But if %\'inter shall strew 
the Alban fields with snow, your poet \^ill go down 
to the sea, will be careful of himself and, huddled 
up, will take to his reading : you, dear friend, he 
vriW — if you permit — revisit along with the zephyrs 
and the first swallow. 

^* 'Twas not in the way a Calabrian host invites 
you to eat his pears that you have made me rich. 
" Eat some, pray." " I've had enough." " Well, 
take away all you please." " No, thanks." " Your 
tiny tots \\-ill love the little gifts you take them." 
" I'm as much obhged for your offer as if you sent 
me away loaded dowTi." " As you please ; you'll 
be leaving them for the swine to gobble up to-day." 

'' The phrase refers to social duties, such as attendance 
upon the great. 



prodigus et stultus donat quae spernit et odit ; 20 
haec seges ingratosi tulit et feret omnibus annis. 
vir bonus et sapiens dignis ait esse paratus, 
nee tamen ignorat quid distent aera lupinis. 
dignum praestabo me etiam pro laude merentis. 
quod si me noles usquam diseedere, reddes 25 

forte latus, nigros angusta fronte capillos, 
reddes dulee loqui, reddes ridere decorum et 
inter vina fugam Cinarae maerere protervae. 

Forte per angustam tenuis volpecula^ rimam 
repserat in cumeram^ frumenti, pastaque rursus 30 
ire foras pleno tendebat corpore frustra ; 
cui mustela procul, " si vis," ait, " effugere istinc, 
macra cavum repetes artum, quem macra subisti." 
hac ego si compellor imagine, cuncta resigno ; 
nee somnum plebis laudo satur altilium nee 36 

otia divitiis Arabum liber rima muto, 
saepe verecundum laudasti, rexque paterque 
audisti coram nee verbo parcius absens : 
inspice si possum donata reponere laetus. 
baud* male Telemachus, proles patientis^ Ulixei : 40 
" non est aptus equis Ithace locus, ut neque planis 

^ ingrato E'^b'^ : ingratis (p\l/\l. 

* nitedula Bentley : accepted by Lachmann, Kiessling, 
Holder and others. ' cameram ir. 

* at (pfSXl : aut Rir. ' sapientis E. 

* i.e. real money and the imitation lupine seeds, used for 
counters in playing games. 

* For the beauty of a narrow brow cf. Od. i. 33. 5, 
'* insignem tenui fronte Lycorida." Horace is becoming bald, 
and is praecanus {Epist. 1. 20. 24). 

* Bentley's conjecture nitedula, " shrew-mouse," has been 


EPISTLES, I. VII. 20-41 

The foolish prodigal gives away what he despises 
and dislikes : the field thus sown has always yielded, 
and always will yield, a crop of ingratitude. Your 
good and wise man claims to be ready to help the 
worthy , and yet he knows well how coins and counters" 
diifer. Worthy I, too, vn\\ show myself, as the glory 
of your good deed demands. But if you will 
never suffer me to leave you, you must give me 
back strength of lung, and black locks on a narrow 
brow ^ ; you must give back a pleasant prattle, give 
back graceful laughter and laments amid our cups 
o'er saucy Cinara's flight. 

^ Once it chanced that a pinched little fox " had 
crept througli a narrow chink into a bin of corn, and 
when well fed was trying with stuffed stomach to 
get out again, but in vain. To him quoth a weasel 
hard by : "If you >^'ish to escape from there, you 
must go back lean to the narrow gap which you 
entered when lean." If challenged by this fable, I 
give up all. I neither praise the poor man's sleep, 
when I am fed full on capons, nor would I barter my 
ease and my freedom for all the wealth of Araby. 
Often have you praised my modesty, and have been 
called " king " ** and " father " to your face, nor do I 
stint my words behind your back. Try me, whether 
I can restore your gifts, and cheerfully too. 'Twas 
no poor answer of Telemachus, son of enduring 
Ulysses * : " Ithaca is no land meet for steeds, for 

widely accepted, because in real life the fox does not eat 
grain. But the traditional text must be retained. 

"* The term rex was used of a patron ; c/" coram rege suo," 
Epist. i. 17. 43. 

• IntheOdy««t;2/('v. 601ff.). Telemachus, son of Odysseus, 
declines the horses and chariot oflFered him in friendship by 



porrectus spatiis nee multae prodigus herbae : 
Atride, magis apta tibi tua dona relinquam." 
parvum parva decent : mihi iam non regia Roma, 
sed vacuum Tibur placet aut imbelle Tarentum. 45 

Strenuus et fortis causisque Philippus agendis 
clarus, ab officiis octavam circiter horam 
dum redit atque Foro nimium distare Carinas 
iam grandis natu queritur, conspexit, ut aiunt, 
adrasum quendam vacua tonsoris in umbra 60 

cultello proprios^ purgantem^ leniter unguis. 
" Demetri," (puer hie non laeve iussa Philippi 
accipiebat) " abi, quaere et refer, unde domo, quis, 
cuius fortunae, quo sit patre quove patrono." 
it,^ redit et narrat, Volteium nomine Menam, 66 
praeconem, tenui censu, sine crimine, notum 
et properare loco* et cessare et quaerere et uti, 
gaudentem parvisque sodalibus et lare certo^ 
et ludis et post decisa negotia Campa, 
" scitari libet ex ipso quodcumque refers : die 60 
ad cenam veniat." non sane credere Mena, 
mirari secum tacitus. quid multa ? " benigne," 
respondet.^ " neget'' ille mihi ? " " negat improbus 

et te 
neglegit aut horret." 

Volteium mane Philippus 
vilia vendentem tunicato scruta popello 06 

occupat et salvere iubet prior, ille Philippe 
excusare laborem et mercennaria vincla, 

^ proprio. * resecantem E Goth. 

» et, JI. * locum, //. 

^ curto. * rcspondit 5 Goth. ' negat a Goth. 

« i.e. such games as those of the Circus and the athletic 
contests in the Campus Martins. ^ ^>^ 


EPISTLES, I. VII. 42-67 

it has no level courses outspread, nor is it la\ish of 
much herbage. Son of Atreus, I will leave you your 
gifts, as being more meet for you." Small things 
befit small folk ; my o\vn dehght to-day is not 
queenly Rome, but qmet Tibur or peaceful Tarentvun. 

** Philippus, the famous pleader, a man of \igour 
and courage, was returning home from work about 
two o'clock. Being now somewhat on in years, he 
was grumbhng at the Carinae being too far from the 
Forum, when (so the story goes) he caught sight of 
a man close-shaven, sitting in a barber's empty 
booth, and with pocket-knife quietly cleaning his 
nails for himself. " Demetrius " (this lad was not 
slow to catch his master's orders), " go, ask, and 
bring me word, where that man's from, who he is, 
and what's his standing, who is his father, or who 
his patron." He goes, and comes back \nih the tale 
that his name is Volteius Mena, a crier at auctions, 
of modest fortime and blameless record, kno^vn to 
work hard and idle in season, to make money and 
spend it, taking pleasure in his humble friends and 
a home of his own and, when business is over, in the 
games and in the field of Mars." " I'd hke to hear 
from his own hps all you tell me. Bid him come to 
supper." Mena cannot really believe it ; he marvels 
in thoughtful silence. To be brief, " No, thank you," 
he answers. " Would he refuse me ? " " He does, 
the rascal, and either shghts or dreads you." 

^ Next morning Phihppus comes on Volteius 
selling cheap odds and ends to the common folk in 
tunics ^ and is first to give a greeting. The other 
makes work and the ties of his trade an excuse to 

* The common people did not wear the toga in daily life. 



quod non mane domum venisset, denique quod non 
providisseti eum. " sic ignovisse putato 69 

me tibi, si cenas hodie mecum." " ut libet." " ergo 
post nonam venies : nunc i, rem strenuus auge." 
ut ventum ad cenam est,^ dicenda tacenda locutus 
tandem dormitum dimittitur. 

Hie ubi saepe 
occultum visus decurrere piscis ad hamum, 
mane cliens et iam certus conviva, iubetur 75 

rura suburbana indictis comes ire Latinis. 
impositus mannis arvum caelumque Sabinum 
non cessat laudare. videt ridetque Philippus, 
et sibi dum requiem, dum risus undique quaerit, 
dum septem donat sestertia, mutua septem 80 

promittit, persuadet uti mercetur agellum. 
mercatur. ne^ te longis ambagibus* ultra 
quam satis est moi*er, ex nitido fit rusticus atque 
sulcos et vineta crepat mera, praeparat ulmos, 
immoritur studiis et amore senescit habendi. 85 

verum ubi oves furto, morbo periere capellae, 
spem mentita seges, bos est enectus arando, 
ofFensus damnis media de nocte caballum 
arripit iratusque Philippi tendit ad aedis. 89 

quem simul aspexit scabrum intonsumque Philippus, 
" durus," ait, " Voltei, nimis attentusque videris 
esse mihi." " pol, me miserum, patrone, vocares, 
si velles," inquit, " verum mihi ponere^ nomen. 

^ praevidisset. * est otnitted w. 

^ nee RItt. * ambiguus Rir. 

^ ponere VaE : dicere B, II. 

' i.e. to pay his respects, in view of the invitation sent him. 

* The^feriae Latinae were held annually on a day appointed 
and announced — usually at the end of April or the beginning 
of May. All legal business was suspended for the time. 


EPISTLES, I. VII. 68-93 

Philippus for not having come to his house that 
morning," in fine for not seeing him first. " You're 
to take it that I've pardoned you only if you sup 
with me to-day." " As you please." " You wiU 
come then after three o'clock. Now go, set to and 
add to your wealth ! " On coming to supper, he 
chatted about anything and everything, and then at 
last was sent off to bed. 

'^ When he had often been seen to run like a fish 
to the hidden hook, in the morning a client and now 
a constant guest, he was invited to come as com- 
panion, when the Latin games were proclaimed, ** to 
a country estate near Rome. Mounted behind the 
ponies, he is ever praising the Sabine soil and climate. 
Philippus notes and smiles, and what vrith looking 
for his own rehef and amusement from any source, 
and what with gi\ing him seven thousand sesterces, 
and offering him a loan of seven thousand more, he 
persuades him to buy a little farm. He does so. 
Not to hold you too long with a rambhng tale, our 
spruce cit becomes a rustic and chatters about 
nothing but furrows and \ineyards, makes ready his 
elms, nearly kills himself over his hobbies, and grows 
old with his passion for getting. But when he has 
lost his sheep by theft and his goats by disease, 
when his crops have fooled his hopes and his ox is 
worn to death A\-ith ploughing, fretting over his 
losses, in the middle of the night he seizes his nag 
and in a rage makes straight for the house of 
Phihppus. He, soon as he saw him, rough and 
unshorn, " Volteius," cries he, " you seem to me 
too hard-worked and over-strained." " Egad ! my 
patron," said he, " you would call me miserable 
wretch, if you could give me my true name. But 



quod te per Genium dextramque deosque Penatis 
obsecro et obtestor, vitae me redde priori ! " 95 

Qui semel^ aspexit, quantum dimissa petitis 
praestent, mature redeat repetatque relieta. 
metiri se quemque suo modulo ac pede verum est. 
» semel early editions : simul mss. ; taken from 1. 90. 


EPISTLES, I. vn. 94-98 

by your genius, by your right hand and household 
gods, I implore and entreat you, put me back in my 
former hfe." 

^ Let him, who once has seen how far what he 
has given up excels what he has sought, go back in 
time and seek again the things he has left. 'Tis 
right that each should measure himself by his own 
rule and standard. 




This brief letter is addressed to the Celsus men- 
tioned in the third epistle of this book as a member 
of the staff of Tiberius Claudius Nero. 

The poet confesses that he himself is out of sorts 
and discontented, but the main point of his letter 
hes in the admonition to his friend not to be unduly 
elated by liis good fortune. 




Celso gaudere et bene rem gerere Albinovano 
Musa rogata refer, comiti scribaeque Neronis. 
si quaeret^ quid agam, die multa et pulchra minantem 
vivere nee recte nee suaviter ; haud^ quia grando 
contuderit vitis oleamque^ momorderit aestus, 5 

nee quia longinquis armentum aegrotet in agris ; 
sed quia mente minus validus quam corpore toto 
nil audire velim, nil discere, quod levet aegrum ; 
fidis ofFendar medicis, irascar amicis, 
cur me* funesto properent arcere^ veterno ; 10 

quae nocuere sequar, fugiam quae profore credam ; 
Romae Tibur amem ventosus,® Tibure Romam. 

Post haec, ut valeat, quo pacto rem gerat et se, 
ut placeat iuveni percontare utque cohorti. 
si dicet, " recte," primum gaudere, subinde 15 

praeceptum auriculis hoc instillare memento : 
" ut tu fortunam, sic nos te, Celse, feremus." 

* quaerit a. * aut ir'. ' oleamve E. 

* mihi E. * urguere ir. 

^ venturus V, 11, Porph. {on Serm. ii. 7. 28). 


Epistle VIII 

To Celsus Albinovanus greetings and good wishes ! 
This message bear, O Muse, at my request, to the 
comrade and secretary of Nero. If he ask you how 
I fare, tell him that despite many fine promises I 
live a hfe neither wise nor pleasant ; not because 
hail has beaten down my vines and heat blighted my 
olives, nor because my herds are sickening on 
distant pastures ; but because, less sound in mind 
than in all my body, I ■will listen to nothing, will 
learn nothing, to relieve my sickness ; quarrel with 
my faithful physicians, and angrily ask my friends 
why they are eager to rescue me from fatal 
lethargy ; because I follow after what has hurt me, 
avoid what I believe vill help me, and am fickle as 
the wind, at Rome loxing Tibur, at Tibur Rome. 

Then ask him how his own health is, how in estate 
and person he is faring, how he stands in favour 
viiih prince and staff. If he says " Well," first wish 
him joy ; then by and by remember to drop this 
warning in the dear fellow's ears : "As you bear 
your fortune, Celsus, so we shall bear with you." 




This charming letter of introduction is addressed to 
the young prince Tiberius on behalf of one Septiniius, 
probably the friend of Carm. ii. 6, 

Septimi, Gadis aditure mecum et 
Cantabrum indoctum iuga ferre nostra et 
barbaras Syrtis. 

The delicate tact of the writer, who would seem 
selfish if he did not heed his friend's request, and 
might be guilty of effrontery if he did, has often 
been admired. The letter was probably written in 
20 B.C., when Tiberius was preparing to set out for 
the East, 



Septimius, Claudi, nimirum intellegit unus, 
quanti me facias, nam cum rogat et pi-ece cogit 
scilicet ut tibi se laudare et tradere coner, 
dignum mente domoque legentis honesta Neronis, 
munere cum fungi propioris censet amici, 5 

quid possim videt ac novit^ me valdius ipso, 
multa quidem dixi cur excusatus abirem ; 
sed timui mea ne^ finxisse minora putarer, 
dissimilator opis propriae, milii commodus uni. 
sic ego, maioris fugiens opprobria culpae, 10 

frontis ad urbanae descendi praemia. quod si 
depositum laudas ob amici iussa pudorem, 
scribe tui gregis hunc et fortem crede bonumque. 

^ ac novit aE Ooth : agnovit A\ II. 
* non <f>\p. 


Epistle IX 

Only Septimius of course understands how much, 
Claudius, you make of me. For when he begs and 
by prayer forces me — mark you ! — to an endeavour 
to commend and present him to you, as one worthy 
of the mind and household of Nero, the lover of 
virtue — when he deems that I fill the place of a 
closer friend,! he sees and knows what I can do 
more fully than myself. To be sure I gave him many 
reasons for letting me go excused ; but I feared that 
I might be thought to have made out my influence too 
small, falsely hiding my real power and seeking favour 
for myself alone . So to avoid the reproach of a graver 
fault, I have stooped to win the reward of town-bred 
impudence. But if you approve of my thus doffing 
modesty at the bidding of a friend, enrol him in vour 
circle and believe him brave and good. 



According to the scholiasts, Aristius Fuscus, to whom 
this letter is addressed, was a dramatic writer and 
a scholar. He appears in the list of Horace's literary 
friends given in Sat. i. 10. S3, figures in an amusing 
role in Sat. i. 9- 61 ff., and is best known as the 
man to whom the famous Integer viiae ode {Carm. i. 
22) is dedicated. 

The Epistle is a rhapsody upon the simplicity and 
charm of country life addressed to a cultivated man 
of the town. In the country Horace is perfectly 
content, save for the fact that his friend is elsewhere. 


Urbis amatorem Fuscum salvere iubemus 
ruris amatores. hac in re scilicet una 
multum dissimiles, at^ cetera paene gemelli 
fraternis animis (quidquid^ negat alter, et alter) 
adnuimus pariter vetuli notique columbi.^ 5 

Tu nidum servas ; ego laudo ruris amoeni 
rivos et musco circumlita saxa nemusque. 
quid quaeris ? vivo et regno, simul ista reliqui 
quae vos ad caelum efFertis* rumore secundo, 
utque sacerdotis fugitivus liba recuso ; 10 

pane egeo iam mellitis potiore placentis. 

Vivere Naturae si^ convenienter oportet, 
ponendaeque^ domo quaerenda est area primum, 
novistine locum potiorem rure beato ? 
est ubi plus tepeant hiemes, ubi gratior aura 15 

leniat et rabiem Canis et momenta Leonis, 
cum semel accepit Solem furibundus acutum ? 
est ubi divellat' somnos minus invida Cura ? 
^^^'deterius Libycis olet aut nitet herba lapillis ? 

^ at VE : ad a, 11. ^ si quid E. 

' vetulis notisque columbis V (corrected). Lavibinus had 
conjectured the same reading, columbis being governed by 
pariter. ■* effertis V : fertis Mss. ^ sic <f>\p. 

* ponendaque one Bland. " depellat a. 

" The slave in a priest's household was fed so much on 
sacrificial cakes that he ran away to get plain fare. 


Epistle X 

To Fuscus, lover of the city, I, a lover of the 
country, send greetings. In this one point, to be sure, 
we differ much, but being in all else much like twins 
with the hearts of brothers — if one says " no," the 
other says " no " too — we nod a common assent hke 
a couple of old familiar doves. 

^ You keep the nest ; I praise the lovely country's 
brooks, its grove and moss-grown rocks. In short : 
I live and reign, as soon as I have left behind what 
you townsmen with shouts of applause extol to the 
skies. Like the priest's runaway slave, I loathe 
sweet wafers ; 'tis bread I want, and now prefer to 
honeyed cakes." 

^2 If " to hve agreeably to Nature "^ is our duty, 
and first we must choose a site for building our house, 
do you know any place to be preferred to the blissful 
country ? Is there any where winters are milder, 
where a more grateful breeze tempers the Dog-star's 
fury and the Lion's onset, when once in frenzy he 
has caught the sun's piercing shafts ? '^ Is there any 
where envious Care less distracts our slumber ? Is 
the grass poorer in fragrance or beauty than Libyan, 

* ofjioXoyovfUyus tj <f>v(rei ^qv : one of the Stoic rules of 

" The Dog-star rises July 20, becoming visible on July 26. 
The sun enters Leo July 23. The constellation is compared 
to a lion roused to fury when wounded with arrows. 



purior in vicis aqua tendit rumpere plumbum, 20 
quam quae per pronum trepidat cum murmure rivum? 
nempe inter varias nutritur silva columnas, 
laudaturque domus longos quae prosplcit agros. 
Naturam expelles^ furca, tamen usque recurret, 
et mala perrumpet furtim fastidia^ victrix. 25 

Non, qui Sidonio contendere callidus ostro 
nescit Aquinatem potantia vellera fucum, 
certius accipiet damnum propiusve^ medullis, 
quam qui non poterit vero distinguere falsum. 
quem res plus nimio delectavere secundae, 30 

mutatae quatient. si quid mirabere, pones 
invitus. fuge magna : licet sub paupere tecto 
reges et regum vita praecurrere amicos. 

Cervus equum pugna melior communibus herbis 

pellebat, donee minor in certamine longo 35 

imploravit opes hominis frenumque recepit ; 

sed postquam victor violins* discesisit ab hoste, 

non equitem dorso, non frenum depulit ore. 

sic qui pauperiem veritus potiore metallis 

libertate caret, dominum veliet^ improbus atque 40 

serviet aeternum, quia parvo nesciet uti. 

cui non conveniet sua res, ut^ calceus olim, 

si pede maior erit, subvertet, si minor, uret. 

^ expellas early editions. 

- fastigia a, II : vestigia V. ^ propiusque a. 

* violens victor E : victo ridens Haupf. 

8 vehit E. « et <p^\l. 

" i.e. the costly pavements of the great Roman houses. 
* i.e. the marble columns of diiferent colours wliich formed 
the colonnade surrounding the peristyle or inner court of a 


EPISTLES, I. X. 20-43 

mosaics " ? Is the water purer which in city-streets 
struggles to burst its leaden pipes than that fWhich 
dances and purls adown the sloping brook ? ^^Why, 
amid your varied columns * you are nursing trees, 
and you praise the mansion which looks out on distant 
fields. You may drive out Nature with a pitchfork, 
yet she M-ill ever hurry back, and, ere you know it, 
will burst through your foolish contempt in triumph. 

2*' The man who has not the skill to match \vith 
Sidonian purple the fleeces that drink up Aquinum's 
dye," will not suffer surer loss or one closer to his 
heart than he who shall fail to distinguish false from 
true. One whom Fortune's smiles have dehghted 
overmuch, will reel under the shock of change. If 
you set your heart on aught, you will be loth to lay 
it down. Flee grandeur : though humble be your 
home, yet in hfe's race you may outstrip kings and 
the friends of kings. 

^ The stag could best the horse in fighting and used 
to drive him from their common pasture, until the loser 
in the long contest begged the help of man and took 
the bit. But after that, in overweening triumph, he 
parted from his foe, he did not dislodge the rider 
from his back or the bit from his mouthy So he who 
through fear of poverty forfeits liberty, which is 
better than mines of wealth, will in his avarice carry 
a master, and be a slave for ever, not kno\ving how 
to live on little. When a man's fortune will not fit 
liim, 'tis as ofttimes with a shoe — if too big for the 
foot, it will trip him ; if too small, will chafe. 

Roman house. In this court, trees as well as shrubs, were 

* A lichen found at Aquinum produced a colour like the 
famous Sidonian purple. 



Laetus sorte tua vives sapienter, Aristi, 
nee me dimittes^ incastigatum, ubi plura 45 

cogere quam satis est ac non cessare videbor. 
imperat aut servit collecta pecunia cuique, 
tortum digna sequi potius quam ducere funem, 

Haec tibi dictabam post fanum putre Vacunae, 

excepto quod non simul esses, cetera laetus. 50 

* dimittis i2ir. 


EPISTLES, r. X. 44-50 

** You will live wisely, Aristius, if cheerful in your 
lot, and you will not let me off unrebuked, when I 
seem to be gathering more than enough and never 
to rest. Money stored up is for each his lord or his 
slave, but ought to follow, not lead, the twisted rope."* 

These lines I am dictating to you behind Vacuna's 
crumbling shrine, happy on all counts save that you 
are not with me. 

" Probably a reference to some story of an animal being 
led by a rope and running away with its keeper. 




BuiXATius, a friend of the poet's, has been travelling 
in the Pro\-inee of Asia, and Horace, who seems to have 
had httle of the Wanderlust himself, asks him whether, 
tired of journeying by land and sea, he would Uke to 
settle down at even so deserted a place as Lebedus. 
That lonely spot, with its outlook on the raging sea, 
appealed strongly to the poet, who would love to 
live there, 

The world forgetting, by the world forgot. 

But after all a man's happiness depends, not on 
his place of abode, but on his state of mind. 




Quid tibi visa Chios, Bullati, notaque Lesbos, 
quid concinna Samos, quid Croesi regia Sardis, 
Zmyrna quid et Colophon ? maiora minorave^ fama, 
cunctane^ prae Campo et Tiberino flumine sordent ? 
an venit in votum AttaUcis ex urbibus una, 6 

an Lebedum laudas odio maris atque viarum ? 
scis Lebedus quid sit : Gabiis desertior atque 
Fidenis vicus ; tamen illic vivere vellem, 
oblitusque meorum, obhviscendus et illis, 
Neptunum procul e^ terra spectare furentem. 10 

Sed neque qui Capua Romam petit, imbre hitoque 
aspersus, volet in caupona vivere ; nee qui 
frigus collegit, furnos et balnea laudat 
ut* fortunatam plene praestantia vitam ; 
nee si te validus iactaverit Auster in alto, 16 

ideirco navem trans Aegaeum mare vendas. 

Incolumi Rhodos et Mytilene pulchra faeit quod 
paenula solstitio, campestre nivalibus auris, 
per brumam Tiberis, Sextili mense caminus. 

1 minorave uss. (-que E) : minorane Bentley. 
^ cunctaque aRv. ^ ex <lR : et E. * et, II. 

" The most important were Pergamum, Apollonia, and 


^ According to some editors, 11. 7-10 are supposed to be 
spoken by Bullatius, perhaps as a quotation from a letter, 
but \yhy may we not suppose that this lonely sea-sido place, 
which Horace had probably visited when he served with 


Epistle XI 

'UTiat did vou think of Chios, my Bullatius, and of 
famous Lesbos ? \\Tiat of charming Samos ? \Miat 
of Sardis, royal home of Croesus ? What of Smyrna 
and Colophon ? Whether above or below their 
fame, do they all seem poor beside the Campus and 
Tiber's stream ? Or is your heart set upon one of 
the cities of Attalus ? " Or do you extol Lebedus, 
because sick of sea and roads ? You know what 
Lebedus is — a town more desolate than Gabii and 
Fidenae : yet there would I love to hve, and for- 
getting my friends and by them forgotten, gaze 
from the land on Neptune's distant rage.* 

Yet he who travels from Capua to Rome, though 
bespattered Avith rain and mud, A^ill not want to 
live on in an inn, nor does he who has caught a chill 
cry up stoves and baths as fully furnishing a happy 
life. And so you, though a stiff south ^^•ind has 
tossed vou on the deep, will not on that account sell 
your ship on the far side of the Aegean Sea. 

^' To a sound man Rhodes or fair Mitylene is what 
a heavy cloak is in summer, an athlete's garb when 
snowy winds are blowing, the Tiber in winter, a 
stove in the month of August. While one may, and 

Brutus, appealed strongly to the poet? With 1. 10 ef. 

Lucretius, ii. If.: 

suave, mari magno turbantibus aequora ventis, 
e terra magnum alterius spectare laborem. 



dum licet ac voltum servat Fortuna benignum, 20 
Romae laudetur Samos et Chios et Rhodes absens. 
tu quamcumque deus tibi fortunaverit horam 
grata sume manu, neu dulcia differ in annum ; 
ut^ quocumque loco fueris vixisse libenter 
te dicas. nam si ratio et prudentia curas, 25 

non locus efFusi late maris arbiter aufert, 
caelum, non animum, mutant, qui trans mare currunt. 
strenua nos exercet inertia : navibus atque 
quadrigis petimus bene vivere. quod petis hie est, 
est Ulubris, animus si te non deficit aequus. 30 

1 tu V, II. 

" Cf. "patriae quis exsul se quoque fugit?" {fides ii. 
16. 19). 


EPISTLES, I. XI. 20-30 

Fortune keeps a smiling face, at Rome let Samos 
be praised, and Chios and Rhodes — though far away ! 
And you — whatever hour God has given for your 
weal, take it with grateful hand, nor put off joys 
from year to year ; so that, in whatever place you 
have been, you may say that you have lived happily. 
For if 'tis reason and wisdom that take away cares, 
and not a site commanding a \\-ide expanse of sea, 
they change their clime, not their mind, who rush 
across the sea." *Tis a busy idleness that is our bane; 
■with yachts and cars we seek to make life happy. 
What you are seeking is here ; it is at Ulubrae,^ if 
there fail you not a mind well balanced. 

* Ulubrae, called vacuae by Juvenal (^Sat. x. 101), was 
a decaying town in the Pomptine marshes, where the frogs 
were very clamorous (Cicero, Ad Jam. vii. 81). 




Horace introduces Grosphus to Iccius, and in doing 
so takes occasion to rally his friend on his discontent. 

Iccius, whom in one of his Odes (i. 29) Horace 
rallies for deserting philosophy to take part in a 
military expedition to Arabia Fehx, has now, some 
five years later, become the procurator or " agent," 
who had charge of Agrippa's estates in Sicily. 
Apparently he had written to Horace, grmnbling 
because he was not an independent landowner, to 
which Horace rephes that the agent of a large estate 
is able to hve on the produce very comfortably, 
inasmuch as it is all at his disposal, though he is not 
the actual o\\Tier. Then in a somewhat ironical 
vein (12-20), Horace congratulates his friend on 
being able, amid all his business cares, to study the 
physics of Empedocles and the dialectic of the Stoics. 

The letter closes with some bits of news, preceded 
by the request to show some courtesy to Pompeius 
Grosphus, whom we have also encountered in the 
Odes (ii. 16), where he is spoken of as a wealthy 
proprietor in Sicily. 




Fructibus Agrippae Siculis, quos colligis, Icci, 
si recte frueris, non est ut copia maior 
ab Jove donari possit tibi. tolle querellas : 
pauper enim non est, cui rerum suppetit usus. 
si ventri bene, si lateri est pedibusque tuis, nil 6 

divitiae poterunt regales addere mains. , 
si forte in medio positorum abstemius h^fbis^ •''' 
vivis et urtica, sic vives protinus, ut te 
confestim liquidus Fortunae rivus inauret, 
vel quia naturam mutare pecunia nescit, 10 

vel quia cuncta putas una virtute minora. 

Miramur, si Democriti pecus edit agellos 
cultaque, dum peregre est animus sine corpore velox ; 
cum tu inter scabiem tantam et contagia lucri 
nil parvum sapias et adhuc sublimia cures : 15 

quae mare compescant causae, quid temperet^ annum, 
stellae sponte sua iussaene vagentur et errent, 
quid premat obscurum lunae, quid proferat orbem, 
quid velit et possit rerum concordia discors, 
Empedocles an Stertinium deliret acumen. 20 

Verum seu piscis seu porrum et caepe trucidas, 

1 temperat, II. 

■» A reference to the main principle of Empedocles' 
philosophy that the life of the world is due to a perpetual 
conflict of the two principles of Love and Strife. 


Epistlb XII 

If, Iccius, you are enjoying as you should the 
Sicilian products which you collect for Agrippa, 
Jupiter himself could not give you greater abundance. 
Away with complaints ; for he is not poor, who has 
enough of things to use. If stomach, lungs, and 
feet "are all in health, the wealth of kings can give 
you nothing more. If haply you hold aloof from 
what is -within your reach, and live on nettles and 
other greens, you will go on living in the same way, 
though Fortune's stream suddenly flood you with 
gold : either because money cannot change your 
nature, or because you count all else below the one 
thing, virtue. 

^ We marvel that the herds of Democritus ate 
up his meadows and corn-fields, while his swift mind 
wandered abroad without his body ; though you, in 
the very midst of the contagious itch of gain, still 
have a taste far from mean, still set your thoughts 
on lofty themes : what causes hold the sea in check, 
what rules the year, whether stars roam at large of 
their own \\ill or by law, what hides the moon's disk 
in darkness, what brings it into light, what is the 
meaning and what the effects of Nature's jarring 
harmony ,<» whether Empedocles is doting or subtle 

*"■ However, whether it is fish, or only leeks and 



utere Pompeio Grospho et, si quid petet, ultro 
defer ; nil Grosphus nisi varum orabit et aequum. 
vilis amicorum est annona, bonis ubi quid deest. 

Ne tamen ignores, quo sit Romana loco res, 25 

Cantaber Agrippae, Claudi virtute Neronis 
Armenius cecidit ; ius imperiumque Phraates 
Caesaris accepit genibus minor ^.—smrea fruges 
Italiae pleno defudit^Copia cornu. 

1 defudit uss. : defiindit VA^. 

" According to the scholiast, fish are here mentioned as 
costly fare in contrast to a simple diet. In trucidas, however, 
Horace makes a humorous allusion to the Pythagoreans, 
whom Empedocles followed in regard to the doctrine of 
transmigration of souls, for he asserted that he himself had 
once been a fish {eiv a\l ^Woiros Ixdi^'s, Fr. 11 Miill.). To 
eat a fish, therefore, might mean murder. This ban on 
living things was extended even to vegetables, cf. Sat. ii. 6. 
63 above, and Juvenal's well-known verse 


EPISTLES, I. xii. 22-29 

onions that you butcher," receive Pompeius Grosphus 
as a friend, and if he asks aught of you, give it freely: 
Grosphus will sue for nothing but what is right and 
fair. The market-price of friends is low, when good 
men are in need. 

^ Yet, that you may not be ignorant how the 
world wags in Rome, the Cantabrian has fallen before 
the valour of Agrippa, the Armenian before that of 
Claudius Nero. Phraates, on humbled knees, has 
accepted Caesar's imperial sway.* Golden Plenty 
from full horn has poured her fruits upon Italy. 

porrum et caepe nefas violare et frangere morsu 

(15. 9), with Mayor's note. 

* The Cantabrians were conquered by Agrippa in 19 b.c, 
shortly after Armenia had submitted to Tiberius. In 
connexion with the latter event, Phraates, the Parthian 
king, restored the Roman standards taken long before from 
Crassus at Carrhae. 




Horace is sending Augustus a copy of his poems, 
probably the Odes, Books i., ii., iii., which were 
pubhshed in 23 B.C. The volume is carried to court 
by a messenger, one Vinius, whose cognomen is pre- 
sumably Asina (1. 8), though the usual form of the 
name is Asellus. 

Instead of writing a formal note to the Emperor 
to accompany the gift, Horace indulges in the fiction 
of sending a letter of instructions to the messenger, 
in which he humorously expresses his anxiety about 
the reception of the poems. 



Ut proficiscentem docui te saepe diuque, 
Augusto reddes signata volumina, Vini,^ 
si validus, si laetus erit, si denique poscet ; 
ne studio nostri pecces odiumque libellis 
sedulus importes opera vehemente minister. 5 

si te forte meae gravis uret^ sarcina chartae, 
abicito potius, quam quo perferre iuberis 
clitellas ferus impingas, Asinaeque paternum 
cognomen vertas in risum et fabula fias. 

Viribus uteris per clivos, flumina, lamas. 10 

victor propositi simul ac perveneris illuc, 
sic positum servabis onus, ne forte sub ala 
fasciculum portes librorum ut rusticus agnum, 
ut vinosa glomus^ furtivae Pyrria lanae, 
ut cum pilleolo soleas conviva tribulis. 15 

neu* volgo narres te sudavisse ferendo 
carmina, quae possint oculos aurisque morari 
Caesaris. oratus multa prece, nitere porro. 
vade ; vale ; cave ne titubes mandataque frangas. 

1 vinni or venni mss. {but inscriptions favour the form 
Vinius). ^ urit E : urat Priscian. 

3 glomes (f>\/y\l. * neu a : nee E : ne, //. 

" i.e. the books. Tliese, of course, could not be heavy in 
themselves, though they might make " heavy reading." 

" This is said to be an allusion to a scene in one of the 
plays of Titinius. 

" The tribulis, a humble man whom for political purposes 
a richer member of the same tribe has invited to dinner, has 


Epistle XIII 

As I instructed you often and at length, when you 
set out, Vinius, you will deliver these close-sealed rolls 
to Augustus, if he's well, if he's in good spirits, ij"— 
in fine — he asks for them ; lest you blunder in your 
eagerness for me, and by officious service and ex- 
cessive zeal bring resentment on my poor works. 
If haply my book's burden gall you with its weight, 
fling it from you, rather than savagely dash down 
vour pack " where you are bidden to deliver it, and 
turn your father's name of Asina into a jest, and 
you become the talk of the town. 

Put forth your strength over hills, streams, and 
fens ; when once you have achieved your purpose 
and reached your journey's end, you are to keep 
vour burden so placed as not, for instance, to carry 
the Uttle packet of books under your armpit, even 
as a bumpkin carries a lamb, as tipsy Pyrria a ball 
of stolen wool,'' as a poor tribesman his slippers and 
felt cap, when asked out to dinner.* And mind you 
don't tell all the world that you have sweated in 
carrying verses that may win a hold on the eyes and 
ears of Caesar. Though besought by many a plea,"^ 
press on. Be off ; fare well ; take care you do not 
stiunble and smash your precious charge. 

no slave to take his cap and sandals, which he would need 
coming and going, though not in the dining-room. 
•^ i.e. by inquisitive people. 




This epistle is professedly addressed to the slave, 
whom the poet had promoted from low rank in his 
town establishment to the position of bailiff or 
superintendent of his small country estate. The 
slave now hankers after city life, while the master, 
detained in Rome by a friend's bereavement, longs 
for the country, which he has always preferred. The 
difference between the two is due to their tastes. 
The slave still clings to his follies ; the master has 
learned wisdom with advancing years. 

The theme is essentially the same as in Epistles 
viii. and x. of this book, while the setting of the 
letter is in marked contrast with Sat. ii. 7, where it 
is the slave who lectures the master. 



Vilice silvarum et milii me reddentis agelli, 
quern tu fastidis, habitatum quinque focis et 
quinque bonos solitum Variam dimittere patres, 
certemus, spinas animone ego fortius an tu 
evellas agro, et melior sit Horatius an res. 8 

Me quamvis Lamiae pietas et cura moratur, 
fratrem maerentis, rapto de fratre dolentis 
insolabiliter, tamen istue mens animusque 
fert et amat spatiis obstantia rumpere claustra. 
rure ego viventem, tu dicis in urbe beatum. 10 

cui placet alterius, sua nimirum est odio sors.^ 
stultus uterque locum immeritum causatur inique : 
in culpa est animus, qui se non efFugit umquam. 

Tu mediastinus tacita prece rura petebas, 
nunc urbem et ludos et balnea vilicus optas : 15 

me constare mihi scis et discedere tristem 
quandocumque trahunt invisa negotia Romam. 
non eadem miramur ; eo disconvenit inter 
meque et te. nam quae^ deserta et inhospita tesqua 
credis, amoena vocat mecum qui sentit, et odit 20 

^ res E. * quae E, II : qua Va. 

" These were probably coloni, who held their land in 
lease under Horace. They would go to Varia (now Vico- 
varo) to market and for local elections. 

* Cf. Epist. i. ii. 27 and Odes ii. 16. 19. 


Epistle XIV 

Bailiff of my woods and of the little farm which 
makes me myself again — while you disdain it, 
though the home of five households and wont to 
send to Varia their five honest heads " — let us 
have a match to see whether I more stoutly 
root out thorns from the mind or you from the 
land, and whether Horace or his farm is in a better 

^ For me, though kept here by the love and 
grief of Lamia, who is sighing for his brother, 
grieving for his lost brother inconsolably, yet thither 
thought and feehng bear me longing to burst the 
barriers that block the track. I call him happy 
who hves in the country ; you him who dwells in 
the city. One who likes another's lot, of course 
dislikes his o\\ti. Each is foohsh and unfairly blames 
the undeserving place ; what is at fault is the mind, 
which never escapes from itself.* 

^* You, as a common drudge, used to sigh in secret 
for the country ; now as a bailiff you long for the 
town, its games and baths : as for me, you know 
that I'm consistent with myself, and depart in gloom, 
whenever hateful business drags me to Rome, Our 
tastes are not the same : therein lies the difference 
between you and me. What you hold to be desert and 
inhospitable wilds, he who shares my views calls 



quae tu pulchra putas. fornix tibi et uncta popina 

incutiunt urbis desiderium, video, et quod 

angulus iste feret piper et tus oeius uva, 

nee vicina subest vinum praebere taberna 

quae possit^ tibi, nee meretrix tibicina, cuius 25 

ad strepitum salias terrae gravis ; et tamen urges 

iampridem non tacta ligonibus arva bovemque 

disiunctum curas et strictis frondibus exples ; 

addit opus pigro rivus, si decidit imber, 

multa mole docendus aprico parcere prato. 30 

Nunc age, quid nostrum concentum^ dividat audi, 
quern tenues decuere togae nitidique capilli, 
quern scis immunem Cinarae placuisse rapaci, 
quem bibulum liquidi media de luce Falerni, 
cena brevis iuvat et prope rivum somnus in herba ; 35 
nee lusisse pudet, sed non incidere ludum. 
non istic obliquo oculo mea commoda quisquam 
limat, non odio obscuro morsuque venenat : 
rident vicini glaebas et saxa moventem. 
cum servis urbana diaria^ rodere mavis ; 40 

horum tu in numerum voto ruis ; invidet usum 
lignorum et pecoris tibi calo argutus et horti. 
optat ephippia bos, piger optat arare caballus. 
quam scit uterque libens censebo exerceat artem. 

^ possit E, II : posset aR. 
* consensum E. ' cibaria R Goth. 

" In the mouth of the baihff, angulus is a term of con- 
tempt. The same expression, however, is used elsewhere 
by Horace of a place unique in his affections, " ille terrarum 
mihi praeter omnis angulus ridet " {Odes ii. 6. 13). 

* i.e. although you have no pleasures. From 1. 22 to 
1. 30 Horace repeats some of the grumbling remarks of 
the bailiff. 


EPISTLES, I. XIV. 21-44 

lovely, and hates what you believe so beautiful. Tis 
the brothel, I see, and greasy cookshop that stir in 
you a longing for the city, and the fact that that 
poky spot" will grow pepper and spice as soon as 
grapes, and that there is no tavern hard by that 
can supply you with wine and no flute-playing cour- 
tesan, to whose strains you can dance and thump 
the ground. And yet * you toil over fields long 
untouched by the hoe, you care for the ox after he 
is unyoked, and you fill him up with fodder you have 
stripped ; when you are dead tired, the brook brings 
fresh work, for if rain has fallen, it must be taught 
by many a mounded dam to spare the sunny meadow. 
^ Now come, hear what makes the discord in our 
common song. One whom fine-spun clothes became, 
and shining locks, one who, as you know, though 
empty-handed, found favour with greedy Cinara, and 
in midday hours would drink the clear Falernian, 
now takes pleasure in a simple meal, and a nap on 
the grass beside the stream : nor is it shameful to 
have once been foohsh, but not to cut folly short. 
WTaere you hve, no one with eye askance detracts 
from " my comforts, or poisons them vriih the bite 
of secret hate. As I move sods and stones the 
neighbours laugh. You would rather be munching 
rations with the slaves in to\^Ti ; it is their number 
you fain would join : my sharp-witted groom envies 
you the use of fuel, flock, and garden. The ox longs 
for the horse's trappings : the horse, when lazy, 
longs to plough. What I shall advise is that each 
contentedly practise the trade he understands. 

* The verb limat (lit. " files away "), as used with obliquo 
oculo, involves a play upon limU oculis {cf. Sat. ii. 5. 53). 




Ordered by his physician to take the cold-water 
cure, Horace writes to his friend Vala for information 
about two seaside places, Veha and Salernum, 
especially as to the climate, people, drinking water, 
game, and fish. As such an interest in personal 
luxuries may seem quite inconsistent with doctrines 
he has often preached, Horace humorously admits 
that he is hke the well-kRo^vn Maenius, who would 
loudly proclaim the blessings of a simple life, but, if 
he had the chance, would indulge his appetite to the 

The opening paragraph (1-25) is loosely framed, with 
lengthy parentheses, giving an air of careless freedom 
of style, after the fashion of conversation in real life. 
Numonius Vala, who had a country house in southern 
Italy, belonged to a family of some distinction in 
Lucania, as is evidenced by coins and inscriptions. 



Quae sit hiems Veliae, quod caelum, Vala, Salemi, 
quorum hominum regio et qualis via (nam mihi Baias 
Musa supervacuas Antonius, et tamen illis 
me facit invisum, gelida cumi perluor unda 
per mediumi frigus. sane murteta relinqui 5 

dictaque cessantem nervis elidere morbum 
sulfura contemni vicus gemit, invidus aegris, 
qui caput et stomachum supponere fontibus audent 
Clusinis^ Gabiosque petunt et frigida rura. 
mutandus locus est et deversoria^ nota 10 

praeteragendus equus. "quo tendis ? non mihi Cumas 
est iter aut Baias," laeva stomachosus habena 
dicet^ eques ; sed equi frenato* est auris in ore) ; 
malor utrum populum frumenti copia pascat ; 
collectosne bibant imbres puteosne perennis 16 

iugis^ aquae (nam vina nihil moror illius orae : 
rure meo possum quidvis perferre patique ; 
ad mare cum veni, generosum et lene requiro, 
quod curas abigat, quod cum spe divite manet 
in venas animumque meum, quod verba ministret, 20 
quod me Lucanae iuvenem commendet^ amicae) ; 

^ Clusinos VE. * diversoria EJR<pf. 

' dicit E. * equis frenato w. 

' dulcis VE. * commendat aB. 

" Baiae was famous for its hot sulphur baths, but Musa 
has prescribed the cold-water treatment, which is not to be 
had there. 

Epistle XV 

'V^Tiat's the winter like, my Vala, at Velia, what's 
the climate at Salernum, what sort of people hve 
there, what kind of road is it — for Antonius Musa 
makes Baiae useless to me, and yet " puts me in ill 
favour there, now that in midwinter I drench myself 
in cold water. Of course the town murmurs at its 
myrtle-groves being deserted, and its sulphur baths 
despised, so famous for dri\-ing a hngering disorder 
from the sinews, and takes offence at invahds who 
dare to plunge head and stomach under the showers 
from Clusium's springs, or who repair to Gabii and 
its cold country-side. I must change my resort, and 
drive my horse past the familiar lodgings. " \Miere 
are rou going ? I'm not bound for Cumae or Baiae " ; 
so will the rider say as he tugs in anger at the left 
rein — but the horse's ear is in its bridled mouth* 
— which town has the better supply of food, do they 
drink rain-water from tanks, or have they spring- 
water, welhng forth all the year — (for that region's 
^^^nes I put out of court : in my country home I 
can stand and suffer anything ; but when I go to 
the seaside I need something generous and mellow, 
to drive care awav, to flow with rich hope into veins 
and heart, to find me a flow of words, and to give me 
the grace of youth with the ladies of Lucania) — 

* The rider might have spared his words, for the horse 
is guided only by the bit. 



tractus uter pluris lepores, uter educet apros ; 
utra magis piscis et echinos aequora celent, 
pinguis ut inde domum possim Phaeaxque reverti, 
scribere te nobis, tibi nos accredere par est. 25 

^Maenius, ut rebus maternis atque paternis 
fortiter absumptis urbanus coepit haberi 
scurra vagus, non qui certum praesepe teneret, 
impransus non qui civem dinosceret hoste, 
quaelibet in quemvis opprobria fingere saevus,^ 30 
pernicies et tempestas barathrumque macelli, 
quidquid quaesierat, ventri donabat^ avaro. 
hie ubi nequitiae fautoribus et timidis nil 
aut paulum abstulerat, patinas cenabat omasi, 
vilis et agninae,* tribus ursis quod satis esset ; 35 

scilicet ut ventres lamna candente nepotum 
diceret urendos correctus^ Bestius. idem, 
quidquid erat nactus praedae maioris, ubi onine 
verterat^ in fumum et cinerem, " non hercule miror," 
aiebat, " si qui comedunt bona, cum sit obeso 40 

nil melius turdo, nil vulva pulchrius ampla." 

Nimirum hie ego sum. nam tuta et parvola laudo, 
cum res deficiunt, satis inter vilia fortis' : 
varum ubi quid melius contingit et unctius, idem 
vos sapere et solos aio^ bene vivere, quorum 45 

conspicitur nitidis fundata pecunia villis.^ 

^ Here a new Epistle begins in all important Mss. except a. 

^ certus two Bland. 

* donarat V, II : donaret Bentley. * agnini oX. 

' correptus ER : corrector Lambimis. * verteret E. 

' In a 11. 43-4:4. follow 39 ; in w they follow 38. 

* alio (f>\p. * vallis (j>\l/. 

" As if he were one of the Alcinoi inventus of Epist, 
i. 2. 28. 

** The language is Plautine. Where food was concerned, 
he swept everything before him. 


EPISTLES, I. XV. 22-46 

which country rears more hares, which, more boars, 
which one's seas give more hiding to fish and sea- 
urchins, so that I may return home from there a fat 
Phaeacian " — all this you must write us, and we must 
credit you in full. 

2* Maenius gallantly used up all his mother and 
father had left him, then came into note as a city wit, 
a parasite at large, with no fixed fold, a man who 
when dinnerless knew not friend apart from foe, but 
would savagely trump up scandal against anybody, 
the market's ruin, a cyclone and abyss ''—and so, 
whatever he gained, he gave to his greedy maw. 
This fellow, whenever he got little or nothing from 
those who applauded or feared his wicked wit, would 
sup on plates of tripe and cheap lamb, enough to 
satisfy three bears, so as actually to proclaim that 
prodigals should have their bellies branded with 
white-hot iron — he, a Bestius reformed ! " Yet the 
same man, if he ever got hold of some larger booty, 
would turn it into smoke and ashes, and then, " In 
faith, I don't wonder," he would say, " if some devour 
their substance, since there is nothing better than a 
fat thrush, nothing finer than a large sow's paunch." 

*2 Such a man, in truth, am I. When means fail, 
I crv up a safe and lowly lot, resolute enough where 
all is paltry : but when something better and richer 
comes my way I, the same man, say that only men 
Uke you are wise and b've welH — whose invested 
wealth is displayed in handsome villas. 

' Nothing is known about Be&tius, but he may well have 
been what Slaenius was, a figure in Lucilius. According to 
Acron, he was severely frugal. Presumably he had been a 
spendthrift in earlier life^ The corrector of Lambinus would 
give good sense, Bestius being an example of the rake in the 
pulpit. ** For bene vivere cf. Epist. i. 6. 56; i. 11. 29. 



The Quinctius addressed may be Quinctius Hirpinus 
of Odes ii. 11. He is evidently a prominent man 
(1. 18), who is perhaps in pubhc office (11. 33. 34), 
but nothing definite is known about him. The 
Epistle is the poet's commentary on the second Stoic 
paradox, on avrapKi^'i rj aper^ tt/jos evSaifiovLav (Cic. 
Parad. 2). 

To save you the trouble of asking about the 
products of my estate, my dear Quinctius, let me 
describe it to you. It lies in a valley among the 
hills, gets plenty of sun, has a good climate, grows 
an abundance of wild fruit and foliage, and possesses 
a copious spring of fresh water. In this charming 
retreat I enjoy good health even in the worst season 
of the year (1-16). 

And now about yourself. Are you really the good 
and happy man that people think you are ? Re- 
member that popular applause is fickle, and often 
insincere, and that those who give titles can also 
take them away (17-40). 

Well, who is the " good " man ? The world will 
answer that it is he who keeps the laws, whose word 
is a bond and whose testimony is trusted, but those 
who live near him may know better. Such a man, 


EPISTLES, I. xvi. 

eager to seem good, but not to be good, may be no 
better than the slave, wlio refrains from steahng 
merely from fear of being found out (40-62). 

The man who has set his heart on money is a 
creature of desires and fears. He is a deserter from 
the cause of Virtue, You might treat him as a 
prisoner or put him to death, yet he may make a 
useful slave (63-72). 

No, the truly good and M-ise man will be as fearless 
and independent as Dionysus in the play, for no 
misfortunes — not death itself — can daunt him (7.S-79). 



Ne perconteris, fundus meus, optime Quincti, 
arvo pascat erum an bacis opulentet olivae, 
pomisne an pratis^ an amicta^ vitibus ulmo, 
scribetur tibi forma loquaciter et situs agri. 

Continui montes, ni^ dissocientur opaca 5 

valle, sed ut veniens dextrum latus aspiciat sol, 
laevum discedens^ curru^ fugiente vaporet. 
temperiem laudes. quid si'' rubicunda benigni' 
coma vepres et pruna ferant ? si* quercus et ilex 
multa fruge pecus, multa dominum iuvet umbra ? 10 
dicas adductum propius frondere Tarentum. 
fons etiam rivo dare nomen idoneus, ut nee 
frigidior Thracam nee purior ambiat Hebrus, 
infirmo capiti fluit utilis, utilis^ alvo. 
hae latebrae dulces, etiam, si credis, amoenae, 15 
incolumem tibi me praestant Septembribus horis. 

^ an pratis E Goth. : et pratis most usa. 
' arnica E. 

* si aE (sci A^). The lemma of Porph. gives si but the 
note supports ni. 

* descendens tt : decedens Bentley. ' cursu V. 

* quod si a. ' benignae. 
^ si omitted by a; et {/or si) w. 

' aptus et utilis A^Iiw^). 

" Ancient iiusbandry was chiefly concerned v.ith five 
products, viz. grain, oil, fruit, cattle, and wine. 

" i.e. the valley of the Digentia (see Epist. i. 18. 104), 

Epistle XVI 

Lest you, my good Quinctius, should have to ask 
me about my farm, whether it supports its master 
with plough-land, or makes him rich with oUves, 
whether with apples or with meadows or vine-clad 
ehns,* I will describe for you in rambling style the 
nature and he of the land. 

* There are hills, quite unbroken, were they not 
cleft by one shady valley,* yet such that the rising 
sun looks on its right side, and when departing in his 
flying car warms the left. The climate would win 
your praise.. Wliat if you knew that the bushes bear- 
a rich crop of ruddy cornels and plums, that oak 
and ilex gladden the cattle with plenteous fruitage, 
and their lord with plenteous shade ? You would 
say that Tarentum ^\ith its verdure was brought 
nearer home. A spring, too, fit to give its name 
to a river, so that not cooler nor purer is Hebrus 
winding through Thrace, flows with heahng for sickly 
heads and sickly stomaclis. This retreat, so sweet 
— yes, believe me, so bewitching — keeps me, my 
friend, in sound health in September's heat. 

now called Licenza. Kiessling prefers the rival reading 
si dlssocientur, with temperiem lavdes the main clause in a 
conditional sentence, meaning : " if you picture a mass of 
hills broken by a valley, you may imagine how pleasant 
the climate is." 



Tu recte vivis, si curas esse quod audis. 
iactamus iam pridera omnis te Roma beatum ; 
sed vereor ne cui de te plus quam tibi credas, 
neve putes alium sapiente bonoque beatum, 20 

neu, si te populus sanum recteque valentem 
dictitet, occultam febrem sub tempus^ edendi 
dissimules, donee manibus tremor incidat unctis. 
stultorum ineurata pudor malus ulcera eclat. 

Si quis bella tibi terra pugnata marique 25 

dicat et his verbis vacuas permulceat auris : 
" tene magis salvum populus velit an populum tu, 
servet in ambiguo, qui consulit et tibi et urbi, 
luppiter," Augusti laudes agnoseere possis : 
cum pateris^ sapiens emendatusque vocari, 30 

respondesne tuo, die sodcs, nomine ? " nempe 
vir bonus et prudens dici delector ego ac tu." 
qui dedit hoc hodie, eras, si volet, auferet, ut^ si 
detulerit fasces indigno, detrahet* idem. 
" pone, meum est " inquit : pono tristisque recedo. 35 
idem si clamet furem, neget esse pudicum, 
contendat laqueo collum pressisse paternum, 
mordear opprobriis falsis mutemque colores ? 
falsus honor iuvat et mendax infamia terret 
quem nisi mendosum et medicandum^ ? 

^ pectus aRir. 

* pateris Porph. : poteris aR : cupias E. 

s aut. * detrahati?. 

^ mendicandum lir : mendacem Ma (corrected). 

" The ancients ate with their fingers. 

^ According to the scholiasts the verses cited are from 
the " Panegyric on Augustus " by Varius, Virgil's great 


" And you — you live the true life, if you take 
care to be what people call you. All we in Rome 
have long talked of you as happy ; but I fear, as 
touching yourself, that you may give more credit to 
others than to your own judgement, or that you may 
think someone other than the wise and good man 
can be happy ; or that, if over and over men say 
YOU are in sound and good health, you may, toward 
the dinner-hour, disguise the hidden fever, until a 
trembling falls upon your greasy hands." Fools, 
through false shame, hide the unhealed sore. 

25 Suppose a man were to speak of wars fought by 
you on land and sea, and with words hke these flatter 
your attentive ears : 

May He, to whom both thou and Rome are dear. 
Keep secret still, which is the fuller truth. 
The love of Rome for thee, or thine for her ! 

vou would see in them the praises of Augustus.* 
Wlien you suffer yourself to be called wise and 
flawless, do you answer, pray tell me, in your own 
name ? " To be sure, I hke to be called a good 
man and •^^•ise, even as you do." But they who gave 
vou this title to-day will, if they so please, take it 
away to-morrow ; even as, if they bestow the hctor's 
rods on one unworthy, they will hkewise vn-est them 
from him. , " Put that down, 'tis ours," they say. I 
do so, and sadly withdraw. If the same people were 
to cry after me "Thief!", call me "Profligate," 
insist that I strangled my father, ought I to be stung 
by such lying charges, and change colour ? WTiom 
does false honour delight, whom does lying calumny 
affright, save the man who is full of flaws and needs 
the doctor ? 

2a 353 


Vir bonus est qiiis ? 40 
" qui consulta patrum, qui leges iuraque servat, 
quo multae magnaeque secantur iudice lites, 
quo res sponsored et quo causae teste tenentur." 
sed videt hunc omnis domus et vicinia tota 
introrsum^ turpem, speeiosum pelle decora. 45 

" nee furtum feci nee fugi," si mihi dicat^ 
servus, " habes pretium, loris non ureris," aio. 
" non hominem occidi " : " non pasces in cruce corvos." 
" sum bonus et frugi " : renuit negitatque^ Sabellus. 
cautus enim metuit foveam lupus accipiterque 60 
suspectos^ laqueos et opertum niiluus hamum. 
oderunt peccare boni virtutis amore. 
tu nihil admittes in te formidine poenae : 
sit spes fallendi, miscebis sacra profanis,--'' 
nam de mille fabae modiis cum surripis unum, 55 
damnum est, non facinus, mihi pacto lenius isto. 
vir bonus, omne forum quern spectat et omne tribunal, 
quandocumque deos vel porco vel bove placat, 
" lane pater ! " clare, clare cum dixit, " Apollo ! " 
labra movet metuens audiri : " pulchra Laverna, 60 
da mihi fallere, da iusto sanctoque® videri, 
noctem peccatis et fraudibus obice nubem," 

Qui melior servo, qui' liberior sit avarus, 
in triviis fixum cum se demittit^ ob assem, 

* res sponsore V: responsore mss. 

* introrsiis tt" : hunc prorsus, II. * dicit. 

* negitatque VE : negat atque a. 

* suspectus M, II. 

• iustum sanctumque ^i^X. 

' qui . . . qui V, I : quo . . . quo, II. 

* demittit E : dimittit aM. 

" LI. 41-43 are the reply of the person addressed by the 
poet. This ought to be Quinctius, but the poet is now 


EPISTLES, I. XVI. 40-64 

^ Who is the " good man " ? " He who observes 
the Senate's decrees, the statutes and laws ; whose 
judgement settles many grave suits ; whose surety 
means safety for property ; whose testimony wins 
suits at law." " Yet this very man all his household 
and all his neighbours see to be foul within, though 
fair without, under his comely skin. If a slave were 
to say to me, " I never stole or ran away " : my 
reply would be, " You have your reward ; you are 
not flogged." " I never killed anyone." " You'll 
hang on no cross to feed crows." " I am good and 
honest." Our Sabine friend^ shakes his head and 
says, " No, no I " For the wolf is wary and dreads 
the pit, the hawk the suspected snare, the pike the 
covered hook. The good hate vice because they 
love virtue ; you " will commit no crime because 
you dread punishment. Suppose there's a hope of 
escaping detection ; you will make no difference 
between sacred and profane. For when from a 
thousand bushels of beans you steal one, my loss in 
that case is less, but not your sin. This " good 
man," for forum and tribunal the cynosure of every 
eye, whenever vrith swine or ox he makes atonement 
to the gods, cries with loud voice " Father Janus," 
with loud voice " Apollo," then moves his hps, 
fearing to be heard : " Fair Lavema,** grant me to 
escape detection ; grant me to pass as just and 
upright, shroud my sins in night, my lies in clouds ! " 

^^ How the miser is better than a slave, or is more 
free, when he stoops at the cross-roads to pick up 

carrying on a dialogue with an imaginary interlocutor. 
So " tu " in 1. 53. 

* By Sabellus Horace means one of his honest Sabine 

• i.e. the slave. ^ The goddess of theft. 



non video ; nam qui cupiet, metuet quoque ; porro, 65 
qui metuens vivet, liber mihi non erit umquam. 
perdidit arma, locum Virtutis deseruit, qui 
semper in augenda festinat et obruitiu* re. 
vendere cum possis captivum, occidere noli ; 
serviet utiliter ; sine pascat durus aretque, 70 

naviget ac mediis hiemet mercator in undis, 
annonae prosit, portet frumenta penusque. 

Vir bonus et sapiens audebit dicere : " Pentheu, 
rector Thebarum, quid me perferre patique 
indignum coges ? " 

" Adiraam bona." 

" Nempe pecus, rem, 75 
lectos, argentum : toUas licet." 

" In manieis ot 
compedibus saevo te sub custode tenebo." 
" Ipse deus, simul atque volam, me solvet." opinor, 
hoc sentit " moriar." mors ultima linea rerum est.^ 

^ est omitted by E. 

" We are told that Roman boys would solder a coin to 
the pavement and then ridicule those who tried to pick it 
up (so scholiast on Persius, v. 111). 

* Such a man is really a slave, and should be treated as 

" As opposed to the man called bonus in 11. 32 and 57. 

•* The dialogue following is paraphrased from Euripides, 
Bacchae, 492-8, a scene where the disguised Dionysus defies 


EPISTLES, I. XVI. 65-79 

the copper fastened there," I do not see : for he 
who covets will also have fears ; further, he who 
hves in fear, will never, to my mind, be free. A man 
has lost his weapons, has quitted his post with Virtue, 
who is ever busied and lost in making money. When 
you can sell a captive,* don't kill him : he will 
make a useful slave. If hardy, let him be shepherd 
or ploughman : let him go to sea, and winter as a 
trader in the midst of the waves : let him help the 
market : let him carry food and fodder. 

^2 The truly good and wise man " will have courage 
to sav:"* " Pentheus, lord of Thebes, what shame 
will you compel me to stand and suffer ? " 

" I will take away your goods." 

" You mean my cattle, my substance, couches, 
plate ? You may take them." 

" I will keep you in handcuffs and fetters, under 
a cruel jailer." 

" God himself, the moment I choose, will set me 
free." This, I take it, is his meaning : " I will 
die." * Death is the line that marks the end of all.' 

Pentheus, king of Thebes. The latter, intent on suppressing 
the Bacchic worship, has made a prisoner of the Lydian 
stranger, who, being really a god, sets the king's threats 
at nought. 

• The moriar does not belong to the scene. The Stoics 
sanctioned suicide as an escape from life's evils. 

' A chalk-line marked the goal in the race-course. 




The subject of this and the following Epistle is 
personal independence, as illustrated in the relations 
of patron and protege. Horace's own happy con- 
nexion with Maecenas, which he sets forth so ad- 
mirably in Epist. i. 7, furnished him with an experi- 
ence which possibly led others to seek his advice as 
to their conduct toward men of high station. As 
to Scaeva, however, nothing is known about him, 
and it is quite possible that there was no such person 
in real life, but that the name was chosen to fit an 
assumed character, it being the same as o-kuios, 
" awkward " or " gauche." 

After disclaiming any peculiar right to give advice 
on such a subject (1-5), and assuring Scaeva that if 
he really wants to live a quiet, comfortable life, he 
should retire from Rome altogether (6-10), Horace 
proceeds in reality to defend himself against the 
attacks made on him as a sycophant of the great. 
He therefore contrasts the conduct of the Cyrenaic 
Aristippus, who had plenty of savoir faire and 
could adapt himself to any circumstances, with the 
less sensible behaviour of Diogenes, the boorish 
Cynic, who courted the common people and knew how 
to live only amid sordid surroundings (13-32). To 



gain distinction in life oneself is the highest ambition, 
but it is also no mean achievement to win favour 
with the great. He who succeeds in doing so is a 
true man and plays a manly part (33-42). 

Here the tone abruptly changes, and in the last 
twenty lines (43-62) Horace lays down rules which the 
young aspirant for favour is supposed to follow. In 
this part the poet is far from serious, but, after his 
fashion, is indulging in good-natured irony. 



Quamvis, Scaeva, satis per te tibi consulis et scis, 
quo tandem pacto deceat maioribus iiti, 
disee, docendus adhuc quae censet amiculus, ut si 
caecus iter monstrare velit ; tamen aspice si quid 
et nos, quod cures proprium fecisse, loquamur. 5 

Si te grata quies et primam somnus in horam 
delectat, si te pulvis strepitusque rotarum, 
si laedit^ caupona, Ferentinum ire iubebo. 
nam neque divitibus contingunt gaudia solis, 
nee vlxit male, qui natus moriensque fefellit. 10 

si prodesse tuis pauloque benignius ipsum 
te tractare voles, accedes siccus ad unctum.^ 

" Si pranderet holus patienter, regibus uti 
nollet Aristippus." " si sciret regibus uti, 
fastidiret holus qui me notat." utrius horum 15 

verba probes et facta doce, vel iunior audi 
cur sit Aristippi potior sententia. namque 
mordacem Cynicum sic eludebat, ut aiunt : 

1 laedet aM, 11. 
^ ad unctum Porph. ass. : inunctum V : adinunctum E. 

" A quiet country town in the Alban region of Latium, 
according to Professor W.B.M'DanielM.P.^.xliii. pp. 67 ff.). 

*" According to the Epicurean precept, \ ^nvaas. 

" This remark is made by Diogenes the Cynic. The story 
referred to is found in Diogenes Laertius, ii. 8. 68. The 
Cynic was cleaning vegetables for dinner, when Aristippus 
passed by. Said the former: " if you had learned to put up 


Epistle XVII 

Even though, Scaeva, you look after your ovm 
interests quite -wisely by yourself, though you know on 
what terms, in fine, one should handle greater folk, 
yet learn the views of your humble friend, who still 
needs some teaching. It is as if a blind man sought 
to show the way ; yet see whether even I have 
aught to say, which you may care to make your own. 

^ If pleasant ease and sleep till sunrise be your 
delight, if dust and noise of wheels, or if tavern 
offend you, I shall order you off to Ferentinum." 
For jovs fall not to the rich alone, and he has not 
Uved amiss who from birth to death has passed 
unknovvTi.'' But if you wish to help your friends 
and to treat yourself a httle more generously, 
you in your hunger vvill make for a rich table. 

^3 "If Aristippus could be content to dine on 
greens, he would not want to Hve with princes." " 
"If he who censures me knew how to hve with 
princes, he would sniff at greens." Of these two 
sages tell me whose words and deeds you approve ; 
or, since you are the younger, hear why the \iew of 
Aristippus is the better. For this is the way, as the 
story goes, that he dodged the snapping cynic : " I 

with this, you would not be courting princes." To this gibe 
Aristippus replied, "and you, if you knew how to consort 
witii men, would not be cleaning greens." 

36 1 


" scurror ego ipse mihi, populo tu ; rectius* hoc et 
splendidius multo est. equus ut me portet, alat rex, 
officium facio ; tu poscis vilia, verum^ 21 

dante minor, quamvis fers te nullius egentem." 
omnis Aristippum deeuit color et status et res, 
temptantem maiora, fere praesentibus aequum, 
contra, quem duplici panno patientia velat, 25 

mirabor, vitae via si conversa decebit. 
alter purpureum non exspectabit amictum, 
quidlibet indutus celeberrima per loca^ vadet, 
personamque feret non inconcinnus utramque ; 
alter Mileti textam cane peius et angui 30 

vitabit^ chlamydem, morietur frigore, si non 
rettuleris pannum. refer et sine vivat ineptus. 
Res gerere et captos ostendere civibus hostis 
attingit solium lovis et caelestia temptat : 
principibus placuisse viris non ultima laus est. 36 

non cuivis homini contingit adire Corinthum. 
sedit qui timuit ne non succederet 

" Esto. 
quid, qui pervenit,^ fecitne viriliter ? " atqui 
hie est aut nusquam, quod quaerimus. hie onus horret, 
ut parvis animis et parvo corpore maius ; 40 

' regibus (p^. 

* verum or verum es, I, II : rerum {to be taken with vilia) 
only inferior Mss. 

' ioca, //. * vitavit aM. ' pervenerit, II. 

" Scurror means " play the scurra." In effect, Diogenes 
had taunted him with being a parasite. 

" The cloak worn by the Cynics is called pannus in 
contempt. They wore no under-garment, but doubled the 
cloak instead. Hence it was called di-irXoU. 

* The poet refers in a general way to the triumphal career 
of Augustus. 


EPISTLES, I. x\ai. 19-40 

play the buffoon " for my own profit, you for the 
people's. My conduct is better and nobler by far. 
I do service that I may have a horse to ride and be 
fed by a prince : you sue for paltry doles ; but you 
become inferior to the giver, though you pose as 
needing no man." To Aristippus every form of life 
was fitting, every condition and circumstance ; he 
aimed at higher things, but as a rule was content 
with what he had. On the other hand, take the man 
whom endurance clothes ^\^th its double rags * : I 
shall marvel if a changed mode of hfe befit him. 
The one ^vill not wait for a purple mantle ; he will 
put on anything and walk through the most crowded 
streets, and in no inelegant fashion will play either 
part. The other ^^ill shun a cloak woven at Miletus 
as worse than a dog or a snake, and will die of cold if 
you do not give him back his rags. Give them back 
and let him live his uncouth life. 

^ To achieve great deeds and to display captive 
foemen to one's fellow-citizens is to touch the throne 
of Jove and to scale the skies. "^ Yet to have won 
favour with the foremost men is not the lowest 
glory. It is not every man's lot to get to Corinth.'' 
He who feared he might not win sat still.* 

Be it so — what of him who reached the goal ? Did 
he play the man ? Nay, but here or nowhere is 
what we look for. One dreads the burden as too 
big for his small soul and small body : another Ufts 

* A rendering of the Greek proverb, Ov -wavTbi dt-Spos ^s 
KSpivdof 1(76' 6 ttXoOs, which originally referred to the great 
expense of a self-indulgent life at Corinth. Here, however, 
the application is very different, viz. that not everyone can 
gain the prize of virtue. 

• i.e. never entered the race. 



hie subit et perfert. aut virtus nomen inane est, 
aut decus et pretium recte petit experiens vir. 

Coram rege sua^ de paupertate tacentes 
plus poscente ferent^ : distat, sumasne pudenter 
an rapias ; atqui rerum caput hoc erat, hie fons. 45 
" indotata mihi soror est, paupercula mater, 
et fundus nee vendibilis nee pascere firmus," 
qui dicit, elamat, " victum date ! " succinit alter, 
" et mihi ! " dividuo findetur munere quadra, 
sed tacitus pasci si posset corvus, haberet 50 

plus dapis et rixae multo minus invidiaeque. 

Brundisium comes aut Surrentum ductus amoenum 
qui queritur salebras et acerbum frigus et imbres, 
aut cistam effractam et subducta viatica plorat, 
nota refert meretricis acumina, saepe catellam, 55 
saepe periscelidem raptam sibi flentis, uti mox 
nulla fides damnis verisque doloribus adsit. 
nee semel irrisus triviis attollere curat 
fracto crure planum, licet ilh plurima manet 
lacrima, per sanctum iuratus dicat Osirim : GO 

" credite, non ludo ; crudeles, tollite claudum ! " 
" quaere peregrinum," vicinia rauca reclamat. 

^ sua Bentley : suo Mss. ^ ferunt E. 

" In comedy the term rex is used by a parasite of his 
patron ; cf. Plautus, Capt. 92 ; Terence, PJiormio 338. 
So ^aaiXeds in Greek comedy ; cf. Meineke, fragm. p. 774 

^ Viz. getting as much as possible. 

• As a result of so much begging no one gets a whole loaf. 



it and carries it to the end. Either manhood is an 
empty name, or the man who makes the attempt 
justly aims at honour and reward. 

*3 Those who in the presence of their patron ** say 
nothing of their own need >vill get more than one 
who begs. It makes a difference whether you take 
modestly or snatch greedily. And yet this ^ was 
the head and front of all. " My sister has no dower, 
mv poor mother is a beggar, my farm is neither 
salable nor able to support us." He who so speaks, 
cries aloud, " Give us food." His neighbour chimes 
in with " me too." So the gift will be divided and 
the morsel split." But if the crow could feed in 
quiet, he would have more meat, and much less 
WTangling and envy."* 

=2 The man who, when taken as companion to 
Brundisium or lovely Surrentum, grumbles about bad 
roads and bitter cold and rain, or moans over his 
box broken open and his stores pilfered, recalls the 
familiar tricks of a mistress who oft bewails a pretty 
chain, oft a stolen anklet, so that by and by her real 
losses and griefs win no belief. And he who has 
once been fooled does not care to Hft up at the 
crossings a beggar with a broken leg, though many 
a tear flow down his cheeks, though he swear by holy 
Osiris and cry : " Believe me, I'm in earnest ; cruel 
men, lift up the lame ! " " Look for a stranger," 
the neighbours bawl back till they are hoarse. 

^ The crow's cawing calls other crows to share in the 
booty it has found. 



A true friend, Lollius, never plays the parasite, 
yet on the other hand never shows his independence 
by rudeness or by insistence upon trifles (1-20). 

As protege, you must not try to emulate your patron 
in his ostentation or other weaknesses, for you will 
merely earn his contempt or hatred. Neither should 
you pry into his secrets, though if he entrust any to 
you you must keep them faithfully (21-38). 

Do not emphasize your own tastes in contrast with 
your patron's. If he wishes to go a-hunting, put 
your books aside, even as Amphion gave up the 
lyre to humour Zethus, The sport will whet your 
appetite ; it is a national pastime and you have 
always been a good athlete and soldier. You have 
been cheered on the Campus Martins, and crowds 
have witnessed your mimic reproduction of the 
Battle of Actium (39-66). 

Be discreet in your criticism of others ; covet not 
your patron's slaves ; be careful to introduce only 
people who will not humiliate you later, but should 
you make a mistake, don't fail to acknowledge it, 
so that, if necessary, you may be able to defend 
those who really deserve your aid. Remember that 
some day you yourself may be bitten by the tooth of 

EPISTLES, I. xvin. 

slander. A protege, you see, must be ever watchful 
of his conduct. He must fall in w-ith his patron's 
moods and at all times show a cheery face (67-95). 

Above all, you must study the words of the wise 
and learn the secret of a tranquil life. That is what 
/ have found in my peaceful country home, where I 
pray the gods for the blessings of life, for the means 
of living, and for a goodly supply of books. The 
aeqiius animus I will see to myself (96-112). 

This Epistle is addressed to the Lollius whom we 
have already met in the second Epistle of this book. 
Yet the main theme of the letter is the same as that 
already treated in the seventeenth, viz. the manner 
in which a person should conduct himself in his 
intercourse with the great. Lollius, however, is not 
what Scaeva is conceived to have been, poor and of 
lowly station. He has an ancestral estate, large 
enough to be the scene of an historical pageant, and 
he was probably the son of the Lollius who was 
Consul in 21 b.c,'(c/. Epist. i. 20. 28). 

It is commonly supposed that the young Lollius 
is thinking of attaching himself to a man of great 
prominence in the state, with whom he would be on 
terms of confidential intimacy (11. 37 f. ; 68 ff.), and 
that he has consulted Horace, who has himself been 
so successful ^\ith a patron. But most commentators 
take the letter too seriously. It is a satire and the 
poet is in a playful mood (see e.g. 11. 72 ff.). So, 
under the guise of a Professor of Social Philosophy, 
he gives his young friend a lecture in Stoic fashion 
on his favourite theme bene vivere, which here may 
be taken to mean " How to get on in the world." 



Si bene te no^^, metues, liberrime Ldlli, 
scurrantis speciem praebere, professus amicum 
ut matrona meretrici dispar erit atque 
discolor, infido scurrae distabit amicus, 
est huic diversum vitio vitium prope maius, 5 

asperitas agrestis et inconcinna gravisque, 
quae se commendat tonsa cute, dentibus atris, 
dum volt libertas dici mera veraque virtus, 
virtus est medium vitiorum et utrimque^ reductum. 
alter in obsequium plus aequo pronus et imi 10 

derisor lecti sic nutum divitis horret, 
sic iterat voces et verba cadentia toUit, 
ut puerum saevo credas dictata magistro 
reddere vel partis mimum tractare secundas. 
alter rixatur^ de lana saepe caprina,^ 15 

propugnat nugis armatus : " scilicet, ut non 
sit mihi prima fides, et vere quod placet ut non 
acriter elatrem ! pretium aetas altera sordet." 

^ utrumque aR. 

* rixatur uss. : rixatus V : fixator Muretus, 

^ caprina et Bentley. 

« Cf. Epist. i. 17. 19 and note. 

* fji,€<T6Tris Suo KaKidv (Arist. Nicomach. Eth. ii. 6). 

• Cf. Sat. ii, 8. 40 f., where the scurrae were with the host 
on the lowest couch. 


Epistle XVIII 

If I know you well, my Lollius, most outspoken 
of men, you will shrink from appearing in the guise 
of a parasite <* when you have professed the friend. 
As matron and mistress will differ in temper and 
tone, so ^\•ill the friend be distinct from the faithless 
parasite. There is a \'ioe the opposite of this — 
perhaps a greater one — a clo^^^lish rudeness, awkward 
and offensive, which commends itself by scraped 
skin and black teeth, while fain to pass for simple 
candour and pure virtue. Virtue is a mean 
between vices,'' remote from both extremes. The 
one man, over-prone to servihty, a jester of the 
lowest couch," so reveres the rich man's nod, so 
echoes his speeches, and picks up his words as they 
fall, that you would think a schoolboy was repeating 
his lessons to a stern master or a mime-player acting 
a second part."* The other man \\Tangles often about 
goat's wool,* and donning his armour fights for trifles : 
" To think, forsooth, that I should not find credence 
first, or that I should not blurt out strongly what I 
really think ! A second life were poor at such a 

* In the mimes the actor playing second part commonly 
imitated the chief actor in word and gesture. 

* The question whether the hair of goats could be 
called lana or wool, was proverbial for a matter of no im- 

2 b S69 


ambigitur quid enim ? Castor sciat an Dolichos^ plus ; 
Brundisium Minuci melius via ducat an Appi. 20 

Quern damnosa Venus, quern praeceps alea nudat, 
gloria quem supra vires et vestit et unguit, 
quern tenet argenti sitis importuna famesque, 
quem paupertatis pudor et fuga, dives amicus, 
saepe decem vitiis instructior, odit et horret, 26 

aut, si non odit, regit ac veluti pia mater 
plus quam se sapere et virtutibus esse priorem 
volt et ait prope vera : " meae (contendere noli) 
stultitiam patiuntur opes ; tibi parvola res est. 
arta decet sanum comitem toga ; desine mecum 30 
certare." Eutrapelus, cuicumque nocere volebat, 
vestimenta dabat pretiosa : " beatus enim iam 
cum pulchris tunicis sumet^ nova consilia et spes, 
dormiet in lucem, scorto postponet honestum 
officium, nummos alienos pascet, ad imum 35 

Thraex erit aut holitoris aget^ mercede caballum." 

Arcanum neque tu scrutaberis illius* umquam, 
commissumque teges et vino tortus et ira. 
nee tua laudabis studia aut aliena reprendes,^ 
nee, cum venari volet ille, poemata panges.® 40 

gratia sic fratrum geminorum, Amphionis atque 
Zethi, dissiluit, donee suspecta severo 
conticuit lyra. fraternis cessisse putatur 
moribus Amphion : tu cede potentis amici 

1 docilis Mss. * sumit E. ' aget E : agit aM. 

* ullius MSS. * rependes E. • pangas E. 

" These were actors or gladiators. 

* The story of how the brothers Zethus and Amphion 
quarrelled about the rival merits of music and hunting was 
set forth by Euripides in his Antlnpe, and was reproduced 
in a play oiP the same name by Pacuvius. 



price." WTiy, what's the question in dispute ? 
\\Tiether Castor or Dolichos " has more skill ; which 
is the better road to Brundisium, that of Minucius 
or that of Appius ! 

-^ The man whom ruinous passion or desperate 
gambling strips bare, whom vanity dresses up and 
perfumes beyond his means, who is possessed by an 
insatiate hunger and thirst for money, by the shame 
and dread of poverty, his rich friend, though often 
ten times as well equipped with \ices, hates and 
abhors : or if he does not hate him schools him and 
like a fond mother would have him \^'iser and more 
\'irtuous than himself. He says to him what is pretty 
nearly true : " My wealth — don't try to rival me — 
allows of foUv : your means are but trifling. A 
narrow toga befits a chent of sense ; cease to vie with 
me." Eutrapelus, if he wished to injure someone, 
would give him costly clothes : " for now," said he, 
" the happy fellow will, together ^^^th his fine tunics, 
put on new plans and hopes, will sleep till dawn, 
vnl\ postpone honest business for a wanton, ^vill swell 
his debts, and at last ^\ill become a gladiator, or 
the hired driver of a greengrocer's nag." 

^ You \n\\ never pry into your patron's secrets, 
and if one is entrusted to you, you will keep it, 
though wine or anger puts you on the rack. Again, 
you will neither praise your own tastes, nor find 
fault with those of others, nor when your friend 
would go a-hunting, will you be penning poems. 
'Twas so that the brotherly bond between the twins 
Amphion and Zethus parted asunder, till the lyre, on 
Avhich the stem one looked askance, was hushed.'' 
Amphion, 'tis thought, yielded to his brother's mood : 
do you yield to your great friend's gentle biddings ; 




lenibus imperiis, quotiensque educet^ in agros 45 

Aetolis^ onerata plagis iumenta canesque, 
surge et inhumanae senium depone Camenae, 
cenes ut pariter pulmenta laboribus empta : 
Romanis sollemne viris opus, utile famae 
vitaeque et membris ; praesertim cum valeas et 50 
vel cursu superare canem vel viribus aprum 
possis. adde virilia quod speciosius arma 
non est qui tractet ; scis, quo clamore coronae 
proelia sustineas campestria ; denique saevam 
niilitiam puer et Cantabrica bella tulisti 65 

sub duce qui templis Parthorum signa refigit 
nunc et, si quid abest, Italis^ adiudicat armis.* 

Ac ne te retrahas et inexcusabilis absis, 
quamvis nil extra numerum fecisse modumque 
curas, interdum nugaris rure paterno : 
partitur lintres exercitus, Actia pugna 
te duce per pueros hostili more^ refertur ; 
adversarius est frater, lacus Hadria, donee 
alterutrum velox Victoria fronde coronet, 
consentire suis studiis qui crediderit te, 65 

fautor utroque tuum laudabit polHce ludum. 

1 educit M : ducit or ducet, //. 

« Aeoliis van Vliet. ' abest aliis ir. 

* arvis Bentley. ' mole E. 

" Probably a literary epithet, reminding the reader of 
the mythical boar-hunt of Meleager in Calydon. The con- 
jectural Aeoliis is explained as equivalent to Cumanis, because 
flax, which made strong nets (Pliny, N.H. xix. 1. 10), grew 
near Cumae, a colony from Cyme in Aeolia. 

* Cf. " tu pulmentaria quaere sudando," Sat. ii. 2. 20. 

« Cf. Sat. ii. 2. 10 f., where hunting is called Romana 

<* i.e. the sports of the Campus Martius. 

* In 20 B.C. Augustus recovered from the Parthians by 



and when he takes out into the country his mules 
laden with Aetolian * nets, and his dogs, up with you 
and cast aside the glumness of your unsocial Muse, 
that you may share his supper with a relish, whereof 
toil has been the price * — 'tis the wonted pastime 
of the heroes of Rome," is good for fame as well as 
for hfe and limb — especially when you are in health, 
and can outdo either the hound in speed or the boar 
in strength. Add that there is none who more grace- 
fully handles manly weapons : you know how loudly 
the ring cheers when you uphold the combats of the 
Campus."* In fine, while a mere youth, you served in 
a hard campaign, and in the Cantabrian wars, under 
a captain who even now is taking down our standards 
from the Parthian temples * and, if aught is still 
beyond our sway, is assigning it to the arms of Italy. 
^ Further, that you may not draw back and stand 
aloof without excuse, bear in mind that, however 
much you take care to do nothing out of time and 
tune, you do sometimes amuse yourself at your 
father's country-seat : your troops divide the skiffs ^ ; 
with you as captain, the Actian fight is presented by 
your slaves in true foemen's style ; opposing you is 
your brother, the lake is the Adriatic ; till winged 
Victory crowns with leafage one or the other chief- 
tain. He who believes that you fall in with his 
pursuits will with both thumbs " eagerly commend 
your sport. 

treaty the standards they had taken from Crassus ; cf. Epist. 
i. 12. 28. 

^ In a sham fight on their father's estate, Lollius and his 
brother have represented the famous battle of Actium. 

» A reference to the way in which the audience in the 
amphitheatre expressed approval. The precise form of the 
gesture referred to is doubtful. 



Protinus ut moneam (si quid monitoris eges tu) 
quid de quoque viro et cui dicas, saepe videto. 
percontatorem fugito : nam garrulus idem est, 
nee retinent patulae commissa fideliter aures, 70 

et semel emissum volat irrevocabile verbum. 
non ancilla tuum iecur ulceret ulla puerve 
intra marmoreum venerandi limen amici, 
ne dominus pueri^ pulchri caraeve puellae 
munere te parvo beet aut incommodus angat. 75 

qualem commendes, etiam atque etiam aspice, ne mox 
incutiant aliena tibi peccata pudorem. 
fallimur et quondam non dignum tradimus : ergo 
quern sua culpa premet, deceptus omitte tueri, 
ut penitus notum, si temptent crimina, serves 80 

tuterisque tuo fidentem'^ praesidio : qui 
dente Theonino cum eircumroditur, ecquid^ 
ad te post paulo ventura pericula sentis ? 
nam tua res agitur, paries cum proxinuis avdet, 
et neglecta solent incendia sumere vires. 85 

Dulcis inexpertis cultura potentis amici : 
expertus metuit.^ tu, dum tua navis in alto est, 
hoc age, ne mutata retrorsum te ferat aura, 
oderunt hilarem tristes tristemque iocosi, 
sedatum celeres, agilem navumque remissi ; 90 

potores [bibuli media de nocte Falerni^ 
oderunt] porrecta negantem pocula, quamvis 
nocturnos iures te formidare tepores. 

^ pueri dominus E, lemma in Porph. 

2 fidens est 4>\p'\l : fidenter. ^ et quid A^ER. 

* metuit aM : metuet E, II, 

* Line 91 does not occur in any good ms. sinless inserted 
by a late hand. Meineke deleted bibuli . . . oderunt and 
retained potores. 

" Proverbial for calumny, though the origin of the ex- 
pression is unknown. 



" To continue my advice, if you need advice in 
aught — think often of what you say, and of whom, 
and to whom you say it. Avoid a questioner, for he 
is also a tattler. Open ears Nvill not keep secrets 
loyally, and the word once let slip flies beyond recall. 
Let no maid or boy within your worshipful friend's 
marble threshold inflame your heart, lest the owner 
of the pretty boy or dear girl make you happy with 
a present so trifling or torment you if disobliging. 
What sort of a person you introduce, consider again 
and again, lest by and by the other's failings strike 
you with shame. At times we err and present some- 
one unworthy : therefore, if taken in, forbear to 
defend him whose ovm fault drags him do^\Ti, in order 
that, if charges assail one you know thoroughly, you 
may watch over and protect the man who relies on 
your championship. For when he is nibbled at with 
Theon's tooth " of slander, don't you feel that a httle 
later the peril will pass to yourself? 'Tis your own 
safety that's at stake, when your neighbour's wall 
is in flames, and fires neglected are wont to gather 

^^ Those who have never tried think it pleasant to 
court a friend in power ; one who has tried dreads 
it. While your barque is on the deep, see to it lest 
the breeze shift and bear you back. The grave 
dislike the gay, the merry the grave, the quick the 
staid, the lazy the stirring man of action : drinkers 
[who quaff" Falernian in midnight hours] ^ hate the 
man who declines the proffered cups, however much 
you swear that you dread fevers at night. Take the 

* The words bracketed in the Latin were probably intro- 
duced an a gloss from Epist. i. 14. 3i. 



deme supercilio nubem : plerumque modestus 
occupat obscuri speciem, taciturnus acerbi. 95 

Inter cuncta leges et percontabere doctos, 
qua ratione queas traducere leniter aevum, 
num te semper inops agitet vexetque cupido, 
num^ pavor et rerum medioeriter utilium spes, 
virtutem doctrina paret Naturane donet, 100 

quid minuat curas, quid te tibi reddat amicum, 
quid pure tranquillet, honos an dulce lucellum, 
an secretum iter et fallentis semita vitae. 

Me quotiens reficit gelidus Digentia rivus, 
quern Mandela bibit, rugosus frigore pagus, 105 

quid sentire putas ? quid credis, amice, precari ? 
sit mihi quod nunc est, etiam minus, et^ mihi vivam 
quod superest aevi, si quid superesse volunt di ; 
sit bona^ librorum et provisae frugis in annum 
copia, neu fluitem dubiae spe pendulus horae.^ 110 

Sed satis est orare lovem, qui^ ponit® et aufert, 
det vitam, det opes ; aequum mi animum ipse 

^ num . . . num all good ass., V: ne or non. 

2 et V, II : ut aEM Porph. 

' spes bona E. * aurae. 

* quae a, II. • ponit V, 11 : donat, I. 

" i.e. philosophers. 

* These are things which may be contrasted with virtue, 
the summiim bonum, e.g. our possessions, classed by the 
Stoics as a5id<popa, indifferent things. 

' Whether virtue can be taugnt {8i5aKTri, cf. doctrina) is 
discussed in I'lato's Meno. 


EPISTLES, I. xviii. 94-112 

cloud from your brow ; shyness oft gets the look of 
secrecy, silence of sour temper. 

^ Amid all this you must read and question the 
wise," how you may be able to pass your days in 
tranquillity. Is greed, ever penniless, to drive and 
harass you, or fears and hopes about things that 
profit little ? ^ Does wisdom beget virtue," or 
Nature bring her as a gift ? What will lessen care ? 
What will make you a friend to yourself ? What 
gives you unruffled calm — honour, or the sweets of 
dear gain, or a secluded journey along the pathway 
of a life unnoticed ** ? 

^^^ For me, oft as Digentia * refreshes me, the icy 
brook of which Mandela drinks, that village -wrinkled 
with cold, what deem you to be my feeUngs ? What, 
think you, my friend, are my prayers ? May I have 
my present store, or even less ; may I live to myself 
for what remains of life, if the gods will that aught 
remain. May I have a goodly supply of books and 
of food to last the year ; nor may I waver to and fro 
with the hopes of each uncertain hour. 

^^ But 'tis enough to pray Jove, who gives and 
takes away, that he grant me life, and grant me 
means : a mind well balanced I will myself provide.^ 

" Cf. Epist. i. 17. 10. 

• Cf. Epist. i. 16. 5, with its note b. Mandela, now 
Cantalupo Bardella, is a lofty village, whose people came 
down to the Digentia for their water. 

' i.e. the gods may give me life, and the means of ex- 
istence, but, as Henley says, " I am the captain of my soul." 




Writing shortly before the publication of this book, 
in 20 B.C., Horace replies to the adverse criticism 
which had been levelled against his Epodes and 
Odes (Books i.-iii.). These, it was claimed, lacked 
originaUty and were mere imitations of Greek ex- 
emplars. Horace therefore contrasts the rude and 
servile imitation, to which he has himself been sub- 
jected, with his o^vn generous use of noble models, 
according to rules followed by the great Greek poets 
themselves (1-34.). 

But the real reason why Horace has been assailed 
hes in the fact that the poet has not tried to please 
the general public or his offended critics. He refuses 
to resort to the usual methods of winning approval, 
and is therefore supposed to be arrogant. Tliis is a 
charge which he dechnes to face (35-i9). 



Frisco si credis, Maecenas docte, Cratino, 
nulla placere diu nee vivere carmina possunt, 
quae scribuntur aquae potoribus.^ ut male sanos 
adscripsit Liber Satyris Faunisque poetas, 
vina fere dulces oluerunt mane Camenae. 5 

laudibus arguitur vini vinosus Homerus ; 
Ennius ipse pater numquam nisi potus ad arma 
prosiluit dicenda. " Forum Putealque Libonis 
mandabo siccis, adimam cantare severis " : 
hoc simul edixi,^ non cessavere poetae 10 

nocturno certare mero, putere diurno. 
quid ? si quis voltu torvo ferus et pede nudo 
exiguaeque togae simulet textore^ Catonem, 
virtutemne repraesentet moresque Catonis ? 
rupit larbitam Timagenis aemula lingua,'* 15 

dum studet urbanus tenditque disertus haberi. 

1 potioribus ERir. " edixi E, Porph. : edixit a. 

' ex ore <p^ : extore B. * cena aE. 

• On Cratinus see Index. In his HvtIvt) he jested upon 
his own intemperance. 

* Cf. Iliad, vi. 261 av8pl 8i K€K/JL7]uyn ix^vos fj.4ya olvos a^^et, 
and the use of epithets applied to wine, such as evTivujp, rjSvwoTos, 
/xeXirjSris, ixe\i(ppuv. 

" Ennius says of himself, "numquam poetor nisi si 

Epistle XIX 

If you follow old Cratinus," my learned Maecenas, 
DO poems can please long, nor live, which are written 
by water-drinkers. From the moment Liber en- 
listed brain-sick poets among his Satyrs and Fauns, 
the sweet Muses, as a rule, have had a scent of wine 
about them in the morning. Homer, by his praises 
of wine, is convicted as a winebibber.* Even Father 
Ennius never sprang forth to tell of arms save after 
much drinking." " To the sober I shall assign the 
Fonun and Libo's WelH ; the stern I shall debar 
from song." Ever since I put forth this edict,* poets 
have never ceased to vie in wine-drinking by night, 
to reek of it by day. What, if a man were to ape 
Cato with grim and savage look, with bare feet and 
the cut of a scanty gown, would he thus set before 
us Cato's virtue and morals ? In coping with Tima^ 
genes, his tongue brought ruin to larbitas ' ; so 
keen was his aim and effort to be deemed a man of 

"* Cf. Sat. ii. 6. 35. The expression forum putealque 
Libon in denotes a life of business. 

• For the term used cf. Sat. ii. 2. 51. 

' The precise meaning of rupit is uncertain. Porphyrio 
takes it literally, as if the attempt to rival the eloquence 
of Timagenes (a rhetorician of the day) made larbitas 
" burst asunder." More probably the word has the general 
sense of " ruined." 



decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile : quod si 

pallerem^ casu, biberent exsangue cuminum. 

o imitatores, servum pecus, ut mihi saepe 

bilem, saepe iociim vestri movere tumultus ! 20 

Libera per vacuum posui vestigia princeps, 
non aliena meo pressi pede. qui sibi fidet,^ 
dux reget^ examen. Parios^ ego primus iambos 
ostendi Latio, numeros animosque secutus 
Archilochi, non res et agentia verba Lycamben. 26 
ac ne me foliis ideo brevioribus ornes, 
quod timui mutare modos et carminis artem, 
temperat Archilochi Musam pede mascula Sappho, 
temperat Alcaeus, sed rebus et ordine dispar, 
nee socerum quaerit, quem versibus oblinat^ atris, 30 
nee sponsae laqueum famoso carmine nectit. 
hunc ego, non alio dictum prius ore, Latinus^ 
volgavi fidicen. iuvat immemorata ferentem 
ingenuis^ oculisque legi manibusque teneri. 

Scire velis, mea cur ingratus opuscula lector 35 
laudet ametque domi, premat extra limen iniquus ; 
non ego ventosae plebis sufFragia venor 
impensis cenarum et tritae munere vestis ; 
non ego, nobilium scrip torum auditor* et ultor, 

1 pallerent R-k. « fidit ^/'Xi. 

^ regit. * patrios, //. * obtinet II. 

® Latinis \l, ' ingeniis. * adiutor. 

" A pale complexion was supposed to result from drinking 

* i.e. in the Epodes. 

" Sappho was worthy to rank with men. M. B. Ogle 
argues (against Bentley) in fa%rour of construing Musam 
with Archilochi^ and of interpreting temperat as " moderates " 
(A.J.P. xliij. (1922) pp. 55 ff.). 

•* A reference to Neobule and her father Lycambes, who 
were assailed by Archilochus ; c/. Epod. vi. 13. 

EPISTLES, I. XIX. 17-39 

wit and eloquence. A pattern •with faults easy to 
copy leads astray. So if by chance I lost my colour, 
these poets would drink the bloodless cummin."^- 
O you mimics, you slavish herd ! How often yotlr 
pother has stirred my spleen, how often my mirth ! 

^ I was the first to plant free footsteps on a virgin 
soil; I walked not where others trod. Who trusts 
himself will lead and rule the swarm. I was the 
first to show to Latium the iambics * of Paros, follow- 
ing the rhythms and spirit of Archilochus, not the 
themes or the words that hounded Lycambes. And 
lest you should crown me ^^ith a scantier wreath 
because I feared to change the measures and form 
of verse, see how manlike * Sappho moulds her Muse 
by the rhythm of Archilochus ; how Alcaeus moulds 
his, though in his themes and arrangement he differs, 
looking for no father-in-law to besmear ^ith deadly 
verses, and weaving no halter for his bride ** with 
defaming rh}'me. Him, never before sung by other 
lips, I, the lyrist of I^atium, have made known.* It is 
my joy that I bring things untold before, and am read 
by the eyes and held in the hands of the gently born. 

^ Would you know why the ungrateful reader 
praises and loves my pieces at home, unjustly decries 
them abroad ? I am not one to hunt for the votes 
of a fickle public at the cost of suppers and gifts of 
worn-out clothes/ I am not one who, hstening to 

* The poet referred to in hunc (1. 32) is Alcaeus, not 
Arciiilochus, and Horace is now boasting, not of his Epodes, 
but of his Odes. 

' The poet here contrasts himself with the politician 
seeking votes. Pie does not invite people to come together 
to hear his poems, and then by unworthy means seek to 
win their approval. 



grammaticas ambire tribus et pulpita dignor. 4.0 

hinc illae lacrimae. " spissis indigna theatris 
scripta pudet recitare et nugis addere pondus," 
si dixi, " rides," ait, " et lovis auribus ista 
servas : fidis enim manare poetica mella 
te solum, tibi pulcher." ad haec ego naribus uti 45 
formido et, luctantis acuto ne secer ungui, 
" displicet iste^ locus," clamo et diludia posco. 
ludus enim genuit trepidum certamen et iram, 
ira truces inimicitias et funebre bellum. 

1 ille, II. 

" I take nohiles as used in irony, not in seriousness, for 
the opening words of Juvenal " Semper ego auditor tantum ? 
numquamne reponam . . . ? " show what 1. 39 means as 
a whole. Ultor is also ironical ; after listening to those 
who called themselves nobiles scrlptores the poet takes his 
revenge by reciting. Others take nohiles scriptores to mean 
PoUio, Virgil, Varius, etc., so that Horace says, " I hear 
such good poets that I neglect and so offend the professors 
of literature." In this case, ultor is added by way of jest. _ 

* The grammatici, who lecture upon the poets from their 
pulpita or platforms, are the professional teachers of litera- 
ture. Tribus is said in contempt. 


EPISTLES, 1. XIX. 40-49 

" noble writers " and taking my revenge,^ deign to 
court the tribes of lecturing professors. ^ " Hence 
those tears."* If I say, " I am ashamed to recite 
my worthless writings in your crowded halls, and give 
undue weight to trifles," " You are in merry mood," 
says one, " and keep your lines for the ears of Jove."* 
Fair in your o^vn eyes you are, and beUeve that you, 
and you alone, distil the honey of poesy." At this 
I am afraid to turn up a scornful nose, and lest, if 
he wrestle with me, I be torn by his sharp nails, 
" The place * you choose suits me not," I cry, and 
call for a truce in the sports. For such sport begets 
tumultuous strife and wrath, and ^vrath begets fierce 
quarrels, and war to the death. 

« This expression, first used literally by Terence in his 
Andria (1. 1-25). where Pamphilus shed tears of sympathy at 
the funeral of Chrysis, became proverbial in Latin literature, 
and was used, as here, even when there were no actual tears ; 
cf. Cic. Pro Gael. 25. 61. 

* t.^. Augustus. Cf. Sat. ii. 6. 52. 

* The battle of wits has become a gladiatorial contest. 
In this, a combatant, if he thought his opponent had an 
unfair advantage in position, might call for a pause in the 
struggle (diludia), and an adjustment of conditions. 

2c 385 



This is an Epilogue to the collection of Epistles, 
now ready for publication. 

The poet addresses his Book, as if it were a young 
and handsome slave, who is eager to escape from his 
master's house and to see something of the great 
world. There are untold perils in the path. After 
a brief vogue, the book ■will be neglected or sent to 
the pro\inces, and finally its doom ^nll be sealed 
when it becomes a school-book for lads to learn their 
letters from ! 

Yet, when the book finds an audience, the poet 
would have it impart some information about his own 
life and characteristics. 



/ Vertumnum lanumque, liber, spectare videris, 
scilicet ut^ prostes Sosiorum pumice mundus.^ 
odisti clavis et grata sigilla pudico ; 
paucis ostendi gecpis et communia laudas, 
non ita nutritus. fuge quo descendere gestis. 5 

non erit emisso reditus tibi. " quid miser egi ? 
quid volui ? " dices, ubi quis^ te laeserit, et scis 
in breve te cogi, cum plenus languet amator. 

Quod si non odio peccantis desipit augur, 
carus eris Romae, donee te deserat* aetas ; 10 

contrectatus ubi manibus sordescere volgi 
coeperis, aut tineas pasces tacitm-nus inextis 
aut fugies Uticam aut vinctus mitteris Ilerdam. 
ridebit monitor non exauditus, ut ille 
qui male parentem in rupes protrusit^ asellum 15 

iratus : quis enim invitum servare laboret ? 
hoc quoque te manet, ut pueros elementa docentem 
occupet extremis in vicis balba^ senectus. 

1 ut omitted by E. " nudus d\p\l. 

* quid MSS. * deseret. * protrudit E. • bella E. 

" i.e. the booksellers' quarters in Rome. There is a 
double entendre in prostes, pumice mundus and in other 
expressions in 11. 1-8. 

" The pumice was used to smooth the ends of the roll. 
For the Socii, well-known as booksellers, see Ars Poet. 345. 

" Referring to the scrinia or cases, in which books were 
kept under lock or seal. 

■* As applied to the book, in breve cogi means " rolled up 


Epistle XX 

You seem, my book, to be looking wistfully 
toward Vertumnus and Janus," in order, forsooth, 
that you may go on sale, neatly poUshed with the 
pumice * of the Sosii. You hate the keys and seals," 
so dear to the modest ; you grieve at being shown 
to few, and praise a life in pubhc, though I did not 
rear you thus. Off wth you, dovm to where you 
itch to go. When you are once let out, there will 
be no coming back. " What, alas ! have I done ? 
What did I want ? " you will say, when someone 
hurts you, and you find yomself packed into a 
comer,"* whenever your sated lover grows languid. 

^ But unless hatred of your error makes the 
prophet lose his cunning, you will be loved in Rome 
till your youth leave you ; when you've been well 
thumbed by vulgar hands and begin to grow soiled, 
you will either in silence be food for vandal moths, 
or will run away to Utica, or be sent in Ijonds to 
Ilerda.* Your monitor, from whom you turned away 
your ear, will then have his laugh, hke the man who 
in anger pushed his stubborn ass over the chff : for 
who would care to save an ass against his will ? This 
fate, too, awaits you, that stammering age will come 
upon you as you teach boys their A B C in the city's 

small." With reference to the slave, it means " brought to 
poverty," ' i.e. sent to the provinces. 



Cum tibi sol tepidus pluris admoverit auris,^ 

me libertino natum patre et in tenui re 20 

maiores pinnas nido extendisse loqueris, 

ut quantum generi demas virtutibu? addas ; 

me primis urbis belli placuisse domique, 

corporis exigui, praecanum, solibus aptum, 

irasci celerem, tamen ut placabilis essem. 25 

forte meum si quis te percontabitur aevum, 

me quater undenos sciat imple\isse Decembris, 

collegam Lepidum quo duxit^ Lollius anno. 

^ annos. 

* duxit Mss. Porph. : dixit urged by Keller, accepted by 
Wilkins, Rol/e. 


EPISTLES, I. XX. 19-28 

^^ When the milder sun brings you a larger 
audience, you will tell them about me : that I was 
a freedman's son, and amid slender means spread 
wings too wide for my nest, thus adding to my merits 
what you take from my birth ; that I found favour, 
both in war and peace, with the foremost in the 
State ; of small stature, grey before my time, fond 
of the sun, quick in temper, yet so as to be easily 
appeased. If one chance to inquire my age, let him 
know that I completed my forty-fourth December in 
the year when Lollius drew Lepidus for colleague." 

• Lollius was consul in 21 b.c. The other consulship, 
first intended for Augustus himself, was later filled by the 
appointment of Lepidus. 


B««K II 


In his Life of Horace, Suetonius tells us that the poet 
composed this Epistle for Augustus after the em- 
peror, on reading certain of his Sermones, had com- 
plained because none of them were addressed to 
him : " Augustus scripta quidem eius usque adeo 
probavlt . . . ut . . . post sermones vero quosdam 
lectos nullam sul mentionem habitam ita sit questus : 
' irasci me tibi scito, quod non in plerisque eiusmodi 
scriptis mecum potissimum loquaris. An vereris ne 
apud posteros infame tibi sit, quod videaris familiaris 
nobis esse ? ' Expressitque eclogam ad se cuius 
initium est cum tot sustineas," '^ etc. It is quite im- 
probable that the sermones here referred to are 
either the Satires, which were published sixteen years 
earlier, or the First Book of Epistles, published some 

<» " Augustus appreciated his writings so highly that, after 
reading some of his Sermones and finding no mention therein 
of himself, he sent him this complaint : ' Know that I am 
angry with you, because in your several writings of tliis type 
you do not address me — me above all. Is it your fear that 
posterity may deem it to your discredit, that you seem to be 
intimate with me ? ' And so he wrung from ttie poet the 
selection addressed to him, beginning cum tot sustineas." 



six years before They must be the Epistles addressed 
to Florus (ii. 2), and to the Pisones {Ars Poetica), the 
present Epistie, therefore, being the latest of the 
three in composition. 

Burdened as you arc, 9 Caesar, with cares of 
State, you must not be approached by me in a long 
discourse (l-'i). 

Unhke the demigods of story, whose benefits to 
mankind were recognized only after death, your 
great services to the world are acknowledged in 
your Hfetime (5-17), but this principle is not elsewhere 
applied by the Romans to contemporary merit, for 
they admire only what is ancient, and defend their 
attitude on the ground that the best works of the 
Greeks were their earliest (18-33). But how can a 
line be drawn strictly between ancient and modern 
(34-19) ? 

Take a list of the older poets, and note how secure 
they are in the reputation assigned them by the 
critics. Ennius, for example, their " second Homer," 
cares httle whether the promises of his Pythagorean 
dreams are fulfilled. Naevius is as familiar to us as 
if he were a recent writer. So with Pacuvius and 
Accius in tragedy ; Afranius, Plautus, Caecihus, and 
Terence in comedy (50-62). 

This admiration should be more discriminating, 
for these early wTiters are far from perfect and often 
call for our indulgence rather than our approval. 
It is really envy of contemporary merit that accounts 
for this undue praise of the old writers and a 
depreciation of the new (63-89). 

How different was the attitude of the Greeks 
toward novelty ! ©nee rid of war, they turned like 
children from one amusement to another — athletics, 



sculpture, painting, music, and tragedy, but in Rome 
we have been more serious, devoting ourselves to 
practical affairs, and only now, in these late days, 
turning to the writing of verses, as I am doing 
myself (90-117). 

This craze is not without its advantages. Poets 
are free from many vices. They promote the educa- 
tion of the young and serve the cause of religion 
(118-138). Let us look at the history of dramatic 
poetry. Beginning M'ith rude Fescennine verses, 
whose scurrility had to be checked by law, it came 
under the refining influence of Greek art, which led 
to the almost complete elimination of the earlier 
rusticity (139-160). For tragedy the Romans have 
a natural aptitude, but they lack the finishing touch. 
Comedy is supposed to involve less labour, but for 
that very reason failure can not be so easily excused. 
Plautus, for instance, is careless and slipshod, being 
more anxious to fill his purse than to write good 
plays (161-176). The dramatic writer depends for 
success upon his audience, and therefore I renounce 
the stage. The masses call for bears and boxers, 
and even the educated care more for what delights 
the restless eye than for good drama. If ©emocritus 
were alive to-day, he would laugh, not at the scene 
on the stage, but at the audience, who applaud the 
actor before he utters a word, simply because of his 
fine clothes (177-207) ! Yet don't suppose that I 
undervalue an art which I cannot handle, for to me 
a great dramatic poet, who can move my soul with 
his airy creations, is a wondrous magician (208-213). 

But I pray you, @ Caesar, to bestow a share of 
your patronage on those who write, not for spectators, 
but for readers (214-218). 


We poets, I know, often behave foolishly. We 
are tactless, over-sensitive to criticism, and expect 
too much consideration. But, after all, great merits 
call for great poets to celebrate them. Alexander 
was a good judge of painting and sculpture, but in 
poetry his taste was Boeotian, for he paid the 'WTCtched 
Choerilus for his poor verses. You, on the contrary, 
have chosen Virgil and Varius to sing your exploits, 
and you know that no sculptor reproduces the features 
of heroes more faithfully than the poet does their 
souls (219-250). If I could do so, I should much 
prefer to sing your exploits, but you are worthy of a 
greater poet, and I will not run "the risk of bringing 
discredit upon you as well as upon myself. I should 
no more hke to have a poor waxen portrait of myself 
offered for sale than to be sung in uncouth verses 
which sooner or later must come to an ignoble end, 
and provide wrapping material in a grocer's shop 
''250-270) I 



Cum tot sustineas et tanta negotia solus, 
res Italas armis tuteris, moribus ernes, 
legibus emendes, in publica commoda peccem, 
si longo sermone morer tua tempora, Caesar. 

Romulus et Liber pater et cum Castore Pollux, 5 
post ingentia facta^ deorum in templa recepti, 
dum terras hominumque colunt genus, aspera bella 
componunt, agros assignant, oppida condunt, 
ploravere suis non respondere favorem 
speratum meritis. diram qui contudit hydram 10 
notaque^ fatali portenta labore subegit, 
comperit invidiam supremo fine domari. 
urit enim fulgore suo, qui praegravat artis 
infra se positas ; exstinctus amabitur idem, 
praesenti tibi maturos largimur honores, 15 

iurandasque tuum per numen^ ponimus aras, 
nil oriturum alias, nil ortum tale fatentes. 

Sed tuus hie* populus sapiens et iustus in uno, 
te nostris ducibus, te Grais anteferendo, 

* fata Bentley. ^ totaque E. 

' numen VE : nomen aM. * hoc Bentley. 

<• Augustus initiated many social reforms, in an effort to 
improve the morals of the people, cf. Odes iii. 24. 35 ; iv. 
5. 22 ; iv. 15. 9. ' Hercules. 



Epistle I 

Seeing that you alone carry the weight of so many 
great charges, guarding our Itahan state vriih arms, 
gracing her with morals," and reforming her \vith 
laws, I should sin against the public weal if with long 
talk, O Caesar, I were to delay your busy hours. 

* Romulus, father Liber, Pollux and Castor, who, 
after mighty deeds, were welcomed into the temples 
of the gods, so long as they had care for earth and 
human kind, settling fierce wars, assigning lands, 
and founding towns, lamented that the goodwill 
hoped for matched not their deserts. He'' who 
crushed the fell Hydra and laid low with fated 
toil the monsters of story found that Envy is quelled 
only by death that comes at last. For a man scorches 
with his brilHance who outweighs merits lowlier than 
his own, yet he, too, ^vill \sin affection when his 
light is quenched. Upon you, however, wliile still 
among us, we bestow honours betimes, set up altars " 
to swear by in your name, and confess that nought 
like you will hereafter arise or has arisen eie now. 

^ Yet this people of yours, so wise and just in 
one respect, in ranking you above our own, 

* According to Suetonius {Claud. 11.), an altar was first 
set up to Augustus at Lugdunum (Lyons) in 12 b.c, yet 
this Epistle must be a year or two earlier than that date. 



cetera nequaquam simili ratione modoque 20 

aestimat et, nisi quae terris semota suisque 
temporibus defuncta videt, fastidit et odit ; 
sic fautor veterum, ut tabulas peccare vetantis, 
quas bis quinque viri sanxerunt, foedera regum 
vel Gabiis vel cum rigidis aequata Sabinis, 25 

pontificum libros, annosa volumina vatum 
dictitet^ Albano Musas in monte locutas. 

Si, quia Graiorum^ sunt antiquissima quaeque 
scripta vel optima, Romani pensantur eadem 
scriptores trutina, non est quod multa loquamur ; 30 
nil intra est olea,^ nil extra est in nuce duri ; 
venimus ad summum fortunae, pingimus atque 
psallimus et luctamur Achivis doctius* unctis. 

Si meliora dies, ut vina, poemata reddit, 
scire velim, chartis pretium quotus arroget annus. 35 
scriptor abhinc annos centum qui decidit, inter 
perfectos veteresque^ referri debet an inter 
vilis atque novos ? excludat iurgia finis. 
" est vetus atque probus, centum qui perficit annos." 
quid, qui deperiit minor uno mense vel anno, 40 

inter quos referendus erit ? veteresne poetas, 
an quos et praesens et postera respuat® aetas ? 

1 dirat et 0/'Xi : dicit et Rtt. 

^ Graiorum VE: Graecorum aM, II- 

3 olea Bentley after some inferior mss. : oleaiii uss. 

* scitius. * veteresne, //. 

* respuat V: respuit M: respuet (t>\l/\l. 

" The Twelve Tables, drawn up by the Decemvirs. 

" A copy of a treaty made by Tarquinius Superbus with 
Gabii and written in archaic letters on bull's hide was still 
in existence in the time of Dionysius of Halicarnassus, i.e. 
the Augustan age (Dion. Hal. iv. 58). 

' Books of ritual and religious law. 


EPISTLES. II. T. 20-42 

above Greek leaders, judges all other things by a 
wholly different rule and method, and scorns and 
detests all save what it sees has passed from earth 
and hved its davs. So strong is its bias toward 
things ancient, that the Tables * forbidding trans- 
gression, which the ten men enacted, treaties in 
which our kings made equal terms %vith Gabii ^ or 
the sturdy Sabines, the Pontiffs' records," the mouldy 
scrolls of seers <* — these, it tells us over and over, 
were spoken by the Muses on the Alban mount. 

^ If, because among Greek wTitings the oldest are 
quite the best, we are to weigh Roman wTiters in the 
same balance, there is no need of many words. The 
olive has no hardness ^\ithin, the nut has none 
without * ; we have come to fortune's summit ; we 
paint, we play and sing, we v.Testle with more skill 
than the well-oiled Greeks. 

^ If poems are like wine which time improves, I 
should like to know what is the year that gives to 
■wTitings fresh value. A wTiter who dropped off a 
hundred vears ago, is he to be reckoned among the 
perfect and ancient, or among the worthless and 
modern ? Let some limit banish disputes. " He is 
ancient," vou say, " and good, who completes a 
hundred years." " What of one who passed away 
a month or a year short of that, in what class is he 
to be reckoned ? The ancient poets, or those whom 
to-day and to-morrow must treat with scorn ? " He 

•* Such as the Sibylline books. 

* The Greeks and Romans may differ in the development 
of their genius just as much as olives and nuts, both of 
which are fruits, may differ in character from each other. 
Moreover, though we have conquered the world, it does not 
follow that we are superior to the Greeks in painting, in 
music, and in wTiting. 



" iste quidem veteres inter ponetur honeste, 

qui vel mense brevi vel toto est iunior anno." 

utor permisso, caudaeque pilos ut equinae 45 

paulatim vello et demo unum, demo etiam^ unum, 

dum cadat^ elusus ratione ruentis acervi, 

qui redit in^ fastos* et virtutem aestimat annis 

miraturque nihil nisi quod Libitina saeravit. 

Ennius et sapiens et fortis et alter Homerus, 50 
ut critici dicunt, leviter curare videtur, 
quo promissa cadant et somnia Pythagorea. 
Naevius in manibus non est et mentibus haeret 
paene recens ? adeo sanctum est vetus omne poema. 
ambigitur quotiens, uter utro sit prior, aufert 65 

Pacuvius docti famam senis, Accius alti, 
dicitur Afrani toga convenisse Menandro, 
Plautus ad exemplar Siculi properare Epicharmi, 
vincere Gaecilius gravitate, Terentius arte. 

^ etiam, 7: et item {or idem), II. 

* cadet M. " ad E, Porph. * fastus aMRir. 

" Horace makes use of the logical puzzle known as 
sorites {a-wpds, a heap). How many grains of sand make 
a heap or pile ? The addition of no one grain will make that 
a heap which was not a heap before. He also seems to have 
asked how many hairs make a tail. See Plutarch's story 
of the two horses in his Sertorius. 

* Horace is giving a summary of the conventional literary 
opinions of his day as to the old writers. Ennius is called 
sapiens because of his philosophical poems, and fortis, 
because in his Annales he recounted the fortia facta 
patrum. As to alter Homerus, this exaggerated phrase was 
used of him by Lucilius (ed. Marx, frag. 1189). 

" Ennius tells us that Homer, appearing to him in a 
dream, informed him that his soul now dwelt in Ennius's 


EPISTLES, II. I. 43-59 

surely ■will find a place of honour among the ancients, 
who is short by a brief month or even a whole year." 
I take what you allow, and like hairs in a horse's 
tail, first one and then another I pluck and pull away 
little by Bttle, till, after the fashion of the falling 
heap,<* he is baffled and thrown do\\Ti, who looks 
back upon the annals, and values worth by years, 
and admires nothing but what the goddess of funerals 
has hallowed. 

** Ennius,*' the v^ise and valiant, the second Homer 
(as the critics style him), seems to care but httle 
what becomes of his promises and Pythagorean 
dreams." Is not Nae\'ius in our hands, and chnging 
to our minds, almost as of yesterday ? ** So holy a 
thing is every ancient poem. As often as the ques- 
tion is raised, which is the better of the two, Pacu\ius 
gains fame as the learned old writer, Accius as the 
lofty one. The gown * of Afranius, 'tis said, was of 
Menander's fit ; Plautus hurries along ' hke his 
model, Epicharmus of Sicilv. Caecilius wins the 
prize for dignity, Terence for art. These authors 

body. This doctrine of transmigration of souls was taught 
by Pythagoras. 

* Naevius died in 199 b.c. He wrote both tragedies and 
comedies, as well as an epic, the Bellum Ptinicum (this in 
Saturnian metre). Of the other writers named here, 
Pacuvius and Accius were tragic poets ; the rest comic poets. 
For Livius see note a overleaf. 

' Horace mentions the toga of Afranius, because that 
writer's plays were called togatae, being comedies based on 
Italic characters and customs, in contrj^ with the palliatae, 
which were Greek throughout. 

^ The verb properare implies rapiditj- of movement, 
which we are to associate with Epicharmus, the great writer 
of Sicilian comedv. This was " essentially burlesque " 
(Jevons, Uist. of Greek Lit. p. 240). 

2d 401 


hos ediscit^ et hos arto stipata theatre 60 

spectat Roma potens ; habet hos numeratque poetas 
ad nostrum tempus Livi scriptoris ab aevo. 

Interdum volgus rectum videt, est ubi peccat. 
si veteres ita miratur laudatque poetas, 
ut nihil anteferat, nihil illis comparet, errat. 65 

si quaedam nimis antique, si pleraque dure 
dicere credit eos, ignave multa fatetur, 
et sapit et mecum facit et love iudicat aequo, 
non equidem insector delendave^ carmina Livi^ 
esse reor, memini quae plagosum mihi parvo 70 

Orbilium dictare ; sed emendata videri 
pulchraque et exactis minimum distantia miror. 
inter quae verbum emicuit si forte decorum, et* 
si versus paulo concinnior unus et alter, 
iniuste totum ducit venditque poema. 75 

Indignor quicquam reprehendi, non quia crasse 
compositum illepideve putetur, sed quia nuper, 
nee veniam antiquis, sed honorem et^ praemia posci. 
recte necne^ crocum floresque perambulet' Attae 
fabula si dubitem, clament periisse pudorem 80 

cuncti paene patres, ea cum reprehendere coner, 
quae gravis Aesopus, quae doctus Roscius egit ; 
vel quia nil rectum, nisi quod placuit sibi, ducunt,® 

^ ediscet JRtt. * -que, //. 

* Livii M : lev! aE {hence Bentley read Laevi). 

* et ilf, 7: omitted in aE. ^ ac E Goth. * necne] nee. 

' perambulat aMRir. * dicunt Eir. 

" Livius Andronicus, earliest of Latin writers, brought 
out two plays, a tragedy and a comedy, in 240 b.c. He 
died in 204 b.c. 

* For recte perambulat cf. recto stet fabula talo (1. 176 
below). The name Atta is said by Festus to have been a 
nickname meaning " one with a light, tripping step." 

* The stage was perfumed with saffron-water. In /lores 


EPISTLES, II. I. 60-83 

mighty Rome learns by heart ; these she views, 
when packed in her narrow theatre ; these she 
counts as her muster-roll of poets from the days of 
LiWus " the >vriter to our own. 

*^ At times the pubhc see straight ; sometimes 
they make mistakes. If they admire the ancient 
poets and cry them up so as to put nothing above 
them, nothing on their level, they are wrong. If 
they hold that sometimes their diction is too quaint, 
and ofttimes too harsh, if they admit that much of 
it is flat, then they have taste, they take my side, 
and give a verdict vriih Jove's assent. Mark you ! 
I am not crying down the poems of Livius — I would 
not doom to destruction verses which I remember 
Orbilius of the rod dictated to me as a boy : but that 
they should be held faultless, and beautiful, and 
well-nigh perfect, amazes me. Among them, it may 
be a pleasing phrase shines forth, or one or two hnes 
are somewhat better turned — then these unfairly 
carry off and sell the whole poem. 

'* I am impatient that any work is censured, not 
becavise it is thought to be coarse or inelegant in 
style, but because it is modern, and that what is 
claimed for the ancients should be, not indulgence, 
but honour and rewards. If I were to question 
whether a play of Atta's keeps its legs '' or not 
amidst the saffron and flowers," nearly all our elders 
would cry out that modesty is dead, when I attempt 
to blame what stately Aesopus and learned Roscius 
once acted ; either because they think nothing can 
be right save what has pleased themselves, or 

Porphyrio finds a reference to a play of Atta's called Matertera, 
in which a great number of flowers were enumerated. Atta, 
a writer of togat<ie, died in 78 b.c. He was, therefore, not 
very ancient, though his fragments show many archaisms. 



vel quia turpe putant parere minoribus, et quae 
imberbes^ didicere senes perdenda fateri. 86 

iam Saliare Numae carmen qui laudat et illud, 
quod mecum ignorat, solus volt scire videri, 
ingeniis non ille favet plauditque sepultis, 
nostra sed impugnat, nos nostraque lividus edit. 

Quod si tarn Graecis novitas invisa fuisset 90 

quam nobis, quid nunc esset vetus ? aut quid haberet ^ 
quod Icgeret tereretque viritim^ publicus usus ? 

Ut primum positis nugari Graecia bellis 
coepit et in vitium fortuna labier aequa, 
nunc athletarum studiis, nunc arsit equorum, 95 

marmoris aut eboris fabros aut aeris amavit, 
suspendit picta voltum mentemque tabella, 
nunc tibicinibus, nunc^ est gavisa tragoedis ; 
sub nutrice puella velut si luderet infans, 
quod cupide petiit, mature plena reliquit. 100 

quid placet aut odio est, quod non mutabile credas ?^ 
hoc paces habuere bonae ventique secundi. 

Romae dulce diu fuit et sollemne reclusa 
mane domo vigilare, clienti promere iura, 
cautos nominibus rectis expendere nummos, 105 

maiores audire, minori dicere, per quae 
crescere res posset, minui damnosa libido. 

* imberbes uss. : imberbi Cruquius. 

* haberes, II. ' Quiritum Ur sinus. * tunc, II. 

* Line 101 gives a fair sense here. Lachmann, hotcever, 
transposed it so as to follow 107 and most editors accept his 
verdict. Vollmer puts it after 102. 

" The hymns of the Salii, a priesthood of Mars instituted 
by Numa, were almost uninteUigible to the priests them- 
selves in the days of Quintilian ; "Saliorum carmina vix 
sacerdotibus suis satis intellecta" (Quint, i. 6. 40). 

* Probably a reference to the Persian wars, which were 


EPISTLES, II. I. 84-107 

because they hold it a shame to yield to their juniors, 
and to confess in their old age that what they learned 
in beardless youth should be destroyed. Indeed, 
whoever cries up Numa's Salian hymn," and would 
alone seem to understand what he knows as little of 
as I do, that man does not favour and applaud the 
genius of the deaa, but assails ours to-day, spitefully 
hating us and everything of ours. 

*^ But if novelty had been as offensive to the Greeks 
as it is to us, what in these days would be ancient ? 
What would the pubhc have to read and thumb, 
each according to his taste ? 

^^ From the day she dropped her wars,^ Greece 
took to trifling, and amid fairer fortunes drifted into 
folly : she was all aglow with passion, now for 
athletes, now for horses ; she raved over workers in 
marble or ivory or bronze ; with eyes and soul she 
hung enraptured on the painted panel ; her joy was 
now in flautists, and now in actors of tragedy. Like 
a baby-girl playing at its nurse s feet, what she 
wanted in impatience, she soon, when satisfied, cast 
off. What hkes and dislikes are there that you 
would not think easily changed ? Such was the 
effect of happy times of peace and prosperous gales. 

^^ At Rome it was long a pleasure and habit to be 
up at daw'n with open doors, to set forth the laAV for 
clients, to pay out to sound debtors money under 
bonds, to give ear to one's elders and to tell one's 
juniors how an estate might be increased and ruinous 

followed by a wonderful literary and artistic epocfi in 
Athens. In what follows Horace speaks of the various arts 
and pursuits of peace from the old Roman point of view. 
When the Iloman was not at war, he \vaj> at work (c/. U. 
103 ff.). 



mutavit mentem populus levis et calet uno 
scribendi studio ; pueri^ patresque severi 
fronde comas vincti cenant et carmina dictant. 110 
ipse ego, qui nuUos me adfirmo scribere versus, 
invenior Parthis mendacior, et prius orto 
sole vigil calamum et chartas et scrinia posco. 
navem agere ignarus navis timet ; habrotonum aegro 
non audet nisi qui didieit dare ; quod medicorum^ est 
promittunt medici^ ; tractant fabrilia fabri : 116 

scribimus indocti doctique poemata passim. 

Hie error tamen et levis haec insania quantas 
virtutes habeat, sic collige. vatis avarus 
non temere est animus; versus amat, hocstudetunum; 
detrimenta, fugas servorum, incendia ridet ; 121 

non fraudem socio puerove incogitat^ ullam 
pupillo ; vivit siliquis et pane secundo ; 
militiae quamquam piger et malus, utilis urbi, 
si das hoc, parvis quoque rebus magna iuvari. 125 
OS tenerum pueri balbumque poeta figurat, 
torquet ab obscenis iam nunc sermonibus aurem, 
mox etiam pectus praeceptis format amicis, 
asperitatis et invidiae corrector et irae, 
recte facta refert, orientia tempora notis 130 

instruit exemplis, inopem solatur et aegrum. 
castis cum pueris ignara puella mariti 
disceret unde preces, vatem ni Musa dedisset ? 
poscit opem chorus et praesentia numina sentit, 
caelestis implorat aquas docta prece blandus,^ 135 
avertit morbos, metuenda pericula pellit, 

* puerique inferior mss., Bentley. 

* melicorum, melici Bentley : modicorum, modici /. S. 
Phillimore. * puero vel cogitat E. * blandos a. 

" Even while dining, they have an amanuensis ready and 
they wear the ivy sacred to poets instead of the usual garland 
of flowers. 

EPISTLES, II. I. loS-136 

indulgence curbed. The fickle public has changed 
its taste and is fired throughout with a scribbling 
craze ; sons and grave sires sup crowned with leaves 
and dictate their lines." I myself, who declare that 
I write no verses, prove to be more of a liar than the 
Parthians : before sunrise I wake, and call for pen, 
paper, and writing-case. A man who knows nothing 
of a ship fears to handle one ; no one dares to give 
southernwood to the sick unless he has learnt its 
use ; doctors undertake a doctor's work ; carpenters 
handle carpenters' tools : but, skilled or unskilled, 
we scribble poetry, all ahke. 

^^ And yet this craze, this mild madness, has its 
merits. How great these are, now consider. Seldom 
is the poet's heart set on gain : verses he loves ; 
this is his one passion. Money losses, runaway 
slaves, fires — he laughs at all. To cheat partner or 
youthful ward he never plans. His food is pulse 
and coarse bread. Though a poor soldier, and slow 
in the field, he serves the State, if you grant 
that even by small things are great ends helped. 
The poet fashions the tender, lisping hps of child- 
hood ; even then he turns the ear from unseemly 
words ; presently, too, he moulds the heart by 
kindly precepts, correcting roughness and envy and 
anger. He tells of noble deeds, equips the rising 
age with famous examples, and to the helpless and 
sick at heart brings comfort, ^^'hence, in company 
with chaste boys, would the unwedded maid learn 
the suppliant hymn, had the Muse not given them 
a bard ? Their chorus asks for aid and feels the 
presence of the gods, calls for showers from heaven, 
winning favotir \nth the prayer he has taught, averts 
disease, drives away dreaded dangers, gains peace 



impetrat et pacem et locupletem frugibus annum, 
carmine di superi placantur, carmine Manes. 

Agricolae prisci, fortes parvoque beati, 
condita post frumenta levantes tempore festo 140 
corpus et ipsum animum spe finis dura ferentem, 
cum sociis operum et pueris^ et coniuge fida, 
Tellurem porco, Silvanum lacte piabant, 
floribus et vino Genium memorem brevis aevi 
Fescennina per hunc inventa- licentia morem 145 

versibus alternis opprobria rustica fudit, 
libertasque recurrentis accepta per annos 
lusit amabiliter, donee iam saevus apertam 
in rabiem coepit verti iocus et per honestas 
ire domos impune minax. doluere cruento 150 

dente lacessiti ; fuit intactis quoque cura 
condicione super communi ; quin etiam lex 
poenaque lata,^ malo quae nollet carmine quemquam 
describi : vertere modum, formidine fustis 
ad bene dicendum delectandumque redacti. 155 

Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit et artis 
intulit agresti Latio. sic horridus ille 

^ et pueris E : pueris (et omitted) aR 
invecta Poliziano, Bentley, ^ i 

nata, //. 

" In 11. 131-133, Horace is thinking chiefly of the chorus 
of boys and girls who sang the Carmen Saecularc in 17 b.c. ; 
in 11. 134-137, he sets forth the function of the chorus, 
especially in association with religious ceremonies. 

* This account of the development of a Latin drama from 
a rustic origin may be compared with Virgil's sketch of the 
rise of the drama in Georg. ii. 385 ff., and with the outline 
given by Livy in Book vii. 2. 

' Each man's guardian spirit ; cf. Epist. i. 7. 94. 

"* These Fescennine verses, the earliest form of Italian 
drama, survived in later times in the abusive songs sung 
at weddings and in triumphal processions. They were so 


EPISTLES. II. I. 137-157 

and a season rich in fruits. Song wins grace with 
the gods above, song wins it with the gods below .<* 

^^ The farmers ^ of old, a sturdy folk >\'ith simple 
wealth, when, after harvesting the grain, they sought 
relief at holiday time for the body, as well as for the 
soul, which bore its toils in hope of the end, together 
>vith slaves and faithful \\ife, partners of their 
labours, used to propitiate Earth with swine, Silvanus 
with milk, and \vith flowers and wine the Genius ' 
who is ever mindful of the shortness of life. Through 
this custom came into use the Fescennine hcence, 
which in alternate verse poured forth rustic taunts •* ; 
and the freedom, welcomed each returning year, 
was innocently gay, till jest, now growing cruel, 
turned to open frenzy, and stalked amid the homes 
of honest folk, fearless in its threatening. Stung to 
the quick were they who were bitten by a tooth 
that drew blood ; even those untouched felt concern 
for the common cause, and at last a law * was carried 
with a penalty, forbidding the portrayal of any in 
abusive strain. Men changed their tune, and terror 
of the cudgel led them back to goodly and gracious 
forms of speech. 

156 Greece, the captive, made her savage victor 
captive, and brought the arts into rustic Latium. 

named either from the town of Fescennium in Etruria, or 
from the fact that a symbol of life (fascinum) was often 
carried in procession in order to ward oif the evil eye. Such 
a phallic symbol was in common use among the Greeks, 
and it is a well-known fact that the germ of Greek comedy 
is to be found in the phallic songs sung in the Dionysiac 

* In the Twelve Tables, viz., as given by Cicero, De rep. 
iv. 10. 12, " si quis occentavisset sive carmen condidisset quod 
infamiam faceret flagitiumve alteri." Cf. Sat. ii. 1. 82. 



defluxit Humerus^ Saturnius, et grave virus 

munditiae pepulere^ ; sed in longum tamen aevum 

manserunt hodieque manent vestigia ruris. 160 

serus enim Graecis admovit acumina chartis 

et post Punica bella quietus quaerere coepit, 

quid Sophocles et Thespis et Aeschylus utile ferrent. 

temptavit quoque rem, si digne vertere posset, 

et placuit sibi, natura sublimis et acer : 165 

nam spirat tragicum satis et feliciter audet, 

sed turpem putat inscite^ metuitque lituram. 

Creditur, ex medio quia res accersit,* habere 
sudoris minimum, sed habet Comoedia tanto 169 

plus oneris, quanto veniae minus, adspice, Plautus 
quo pacto partis tutetur amantis ephebi, 
ut patris attenti, lenonis ut insidiosi, 
quantus sit Dossennus edacibus in parasitis, 
quam non adstricto percurrat pulpita socco. 
gestit enim nummum in loculos demittere,^ post hoc 
securus cadat an recto stet fabula talo. 176 

Quem tulit ad scaenam ventoso Gloria curru, 

^ numeris i2</>i/'. * peperere (t>^\l. 

3 inscit(a)e a, II: inscriptis VEi inscitiae FVJ/, 

* accersit o, II, Porph. : accessit VE. 

^ dimittere aM. 

" This ancient Italian metre, now generally believed to 
be based on accent instead of quantity, was used by Naevius 
in his epic on the Punic War, and is illustrated by numerous 
inscriptions. With the introduction of Greek literature into 
Rome, it gave way to the hexameter and other Greek 
metrical forms. 

'' The word vertere means not merely to "translate," 
but rather to " transfer," i.e. from the Greek to the Roman 

''■ i.e. as Pope says of Dryden, he lacks " the last and 
greatest art, the art to blot." 

"* Dossennus, the sly villain, was one of the stock characters 


EPISTLES, II. I. 158-177 

Thus the stream of that rude Satumian measure " 
ran dry and good taste banished the offensive 
poison ; yet for many a year hved on, and still live 
on, traces of our rustic past. For not till late did 
the Roman turn his wit to Greek \^Ti tings, and in 
the peaceful days after the Punic wars he began to 
ask what service Sophocles could render, and Thespis 
and Aeschylus. He also made essay, whether he 
could reproduce * in worthy style, and took pride in 
his success, being gifted with spirit and vigour ; for 
he has some tragic inspiration, and is happy in his 
ventures, but in ignorance, deeming it disgraceful, 
hesitates to blot.'' 

168 "Tis thought that Comedy, drawing its themes 
from daily hfe, calls for less labour ; but in truth it 
carries a hea\ier burden, as the indulgence allowed 
is less. See how Plautus plays the part of the 
youthful lover, how he plays that of the close 
father, or of the tricky pander ; what a Dossennus <* 
he is among his greedy parasites ; with what a loose 
sock * he scours the scene. Yes, he is eager to 
drop a coin into his pocket and, that done, he cares 
not whether his play fall or stand square on its feet.' 

^" The man whom Glory carries to the stage in 

in the Atellan farce of the Oscans. The nomen of Plautus, 
viz. Maccius, is plausibly derived from another of these 
stock characters, i.e. Maccus, the buffoon. 

' The soccus, or low slipper worn by the actors, represents 
Comedy, as the cothurnus, or high buskin, stands for 

f Horace, wedded to classical standards, could not 
appreciate Plautus fairly. Thus he here imputes to him a 
sordid motive for characteristics which were probably due 
to the influence of native forms of drama. See the trans- 
lator's edition of the Andria of Terence (Introduction, 
p. xxviiij. 



exanimat lentus spectator, sedulus inflat : 
sic leve, sic parvum est, animum quod laudis avarum 
subruit aut reficit. valeat res ludicra, si me 180 

palma negata macrum, donata reducit opimum. 

Saepe etiam audacem fugat hoc terretque poetam, 
quod numero plures, virtute et honore minores, 
indocti stolidique et depugnare parati, 
si discordet eques, media inter carmina poscunt 185 
aut ursum aut pugiles : his nam plebecula gaudet.^ 
verum equitis quoque iam migravit ab aura voluptas 
omnis ad incertos oculos et gaudia vana. 
quattuor aut pluris aulaea premuntur in horas, 
dum fugiunt equitum turmae peditumque catervae ; 
mox trahitur manibus regum fortuna retortis, 191 
esseda festinant, pilenta, petorrita, naves, 
captivum portatur ebur, captiva Corinthus. 
si foret in terris, rideret Democritus, seu 
diversum confusa genus panthera camelo 195 

sive elephans albus volgi converteret^ ora ; 
spectaret populum ludis attentius ipsis 
ut sibi praebentem nimio^ spectacula plura : 
scriptores autem narrare putaret asello 
fabellam surdo. nam quae pervincere voces 200 

evaluere sonum, referunt quem nostra theatra ? 
Garganum mugire putes nemus aut mare Tuscum ; 
* plaudet, II. 
* converterit Priscian, Bentley. 
' nimio V, I: mimo, II Porph.; so Bentley, Orelli, Vollmer. 

" i.e. always looking for something fresh. For the 
knights cf. Sat. i. 10. 76. They occupied the first fourteen 
rows in the theatre, in accordance with the law of Roscius. 

* i.e. the performance continues. In the ancient theatre 
the curtain was lowered into the floor at the beginning and 
raised from it at the end of a play. 

* i.e. the laughing philosopher. See Epist. i. 12. 12. 
'' The camelopard or giraffe. 


EPISTLES, II. I. 178-202 

her windy car, the listless spectator leaves spiritless, 
the eager one exultant ; so light, so small is what 
casts do^vn or upbuilds a soul that craves for praise. 
Farewell the conaic stage, if denial of the palm sends 
me home lean, its bestowal plump ! 

^*- Often even the bold poet is frightened and put 
to rout, when those who are stronger in number, but 
weaker in worth and rank, unlearned and stupid and 
ready to fight it out if the knights dispute with them, 
call in the middle of a play for a bear or for boxers: 
'tis in such things the rabble delights. But now- 
adays all the pleasure even of the knights has passed 
from the ear to the vain delights of the wandering " 
eye. For four hours or more the curtains are kept 
down,** while troops of horse and files of foot sweep 
by : anon are dragged in kings, once fortune's 
favourites, their hands bound behind them : with 
hurry and scurry come chariots, carriages, wains, 
and ships ; and borne in triumph are spoils of ivory, 
spoils of Corinthian bronze. Were Democritus " 
still on earth, he would laugh ; whether it were some 
hybrid monster — a panther crossed with a camel •* 
— or a white elephant, that drew the eyes of the crowd 
— he would gaze more intently on the people than 
on the play itself, as giving him more by far worth 
looking at. But for the authors — he would suppose 
that they were telUng their tale to a deaf ass.* For 
what voices have ever prevailed to dro\\'n the din 
with which our theatres resound ? One might think 
it was the roaring of the Garganian forest or of the 

* By introducing asello, Horace varies the old proverbial 
.saying for wasted labour, surdo fahellam narrare {cf. 
Terence, Heaiit. 222). There was a Greek saying, 6v<p tu 
iXeye fivdov • b di to. Stra iKivei, "a man told a story to an ass; 
the ass only shook his ears." 



tanto cum strepitu ludi spectantur et artes 
divitiaeque peregrinae, qiiibus oblitus actor 
cum stetit in scaena, concurrit dextera laevae.^ 205 
" dixit adhuc aliquid ? " "nil sane." " quid placet 

ergo ? " 
" lana Tarentino \'iolas imitata^ veneno." 
ac ne forte putes me, quae facere ipse recusem, 
cum recte tractent alii, laudare maligne, 
ille per extentum^ funem mihi posse videtur 210 

ire poeta, meum qui pectus inaniter angit, 
irritat, mulcet, falsis terroribus implet, 
ut magus, et modo me Thebis, modo ponit Athenis. 

Verum age et his, qui se lectori credere malunt 
quam spectatoris fastidia ferre superbi, 215 

curam redde brevem, si munus Apolline dignum 
vis complere libris et vatibus addere calcar, 
ut studio maiore petant Helicona virentem. 

Multa quidem nobis facimus mala saepe poetae 
(ut vineta egomet caedam mea), cum tibi librum 220 
sollicito damus aut fesso ; cum laedimur, unum 
si quis amicorum est ausus reprehendere versum ; 
cum loca iara recitata revolvimus irrevocati ; 
cum lamentamur non apparere labores 
nostros et tenui deducta poemata filo ; 225 

cum speramus eo rem venturam* ut, simul atque 
carmina rescieris nos fingere, commodus ultro 
arcessas^ et egere vetes et scribere cogas. 

^ laeva, //. * imitare, //. ' extensum M. 

* eo rem] forem Rn- : item fore venturum cpypXl. 

* accersas E. 

» i.e. the actor's dress. 

* The library founded by Augustus in Apollo's temple on 
the Palatine ; cf. Epist. i. 3. 17. 


EPISTLES, II. 1. 203-228 

Tuscan Sea : amid such clamour is the entertain- 
ment \ae\ved, the works of art, and the foreign 
finery, and when, overlaid vriih this, the actor 
steps upon the stage, the right hand clashes with 
the left. " Has he yet said anything ? " Not 
a word. " Then what takes them so ? " "Tis the 
woollen robe " that \ies with the violet in its Taren- 
tine dye. And lest, perchance, you may think that 
I begrudge praise when others are handhng well 
what I decline to try myself, methinks that poet is 
able to walk a tight rope, who ^vith airy nothings 
wrings m}' heart, inflames, soothes, fills it with vain 
alarms hke a magician, and sets me down now at 
Thebes, now at Athens. 

^* But come, upon those, too, who prefer to put 
themselves in a reader's hands, rather than brook 
the disdain of a scornful spectator, bestow a moment's 
attention, if you wish to fill with volumes that gift 
so worthy of Apollo,* and to spur on our bards to 
seek with greater zeal HeUcon's verdant lawns. 

^^ Wc poets doubtless often do much mischief to 
our own cause — let me hack at my own vines "— 
when you are anxious or weary and we offer you 
our book ; when we are hurt if a friend has dared 
to censure a single verse ; when, unasked, we turn 
back to passages already read; when we complain 
that men lose sight of our labours, and of our poems 
so finely spun ; when we hope it will come to this, 
that, as soon as you hear we are composing verses, 
you will go so far as kindly to send for us, banish our 
poverty, and compel us to wTite. None the less, 

' Proverbial of doing something to one's own injury. 
Horace humorously include himself among the poetasters 
who are so annoying. 



sed tamen est operae pretium cognoscere, qualis 

aedituos habeat belli spectata domique 230 

Virtus, indigno non committenda poetae. 

gratus Alexandre regi magno fuit ille 

Choerilus, incultis qui versibus et male natis 

rettulit acceptos, regale nomisma, Philippos; 

sed veluti tractata notam labemque remittunt 235 

atramenta, fere scriptores carmine foedo 

splendida facta linunt. idem rex ille, poema 

qui tam ridiculum tarn care prodigus emit, 

edicto vetuit, ne quis se praeter Apellen 

pingeret, aut alius Lysippo duceret aera 240 

fortis Alexandri voltum simulantia. quod si 

iudicium subtile videndis artibus illud 

ad libros et ad haec Musarum dona vocares, 

Boeotum in crasso iurares aere natum. 

At neque dedecorant tua de se iudicia atque 245 
munera, quae multa dantis cum laude tulerunt 
dilecti tibi^ Vergilius Variusque^ poetae, 
nee magis expressi voltus per aenea signa, 
quam per vatis opus mores animique virorum 
clarorum apparent, nee sermones ego mallem 250 
repentis per humum quam res componere gestas, 
terrarumque situs et flumina dicere, et arces 
montibus impositas et barbara regna, tuisque 
auspiciis totum confecta duella per orbem, 
claustraque custodem pacis cohibentia lanum, 255 
1 tui E. " Varusque V. 

" Virtus, the sum total of a great man's merits, is here 
personified, and poets are spoken of as the priests in her 

* The Philippi were gold coins which bore the image of 
Philip of Macedon, and circulated freely throughout the 
Greek world. Choerilus was an epic poet of lasos in Caria, 
mentioned again in Ars Poetica, 357. 

EPISTLES, II. I. 229-255 

'tis worth inquiring what manner of minis trants 
attend on Merit,* tried at home and in the field, 
and never to be entrusted to an unworthy poet. 
Well-pleasing to the great king Alexander was that 
poor Choerilus, who could thank his uncouth and 
misbegotten verses for the philips ^ — good royal coin 
— that he received ; but as ink when handled leaves 
mark and stain, so ofttimes with unseemly verse 
poets put a blot on bright exploits. That same king 
who lavishly paid so dearly for a poem so foolish, by 
an edict forbade anyone save Apelles to paint him, 
or any other than Lysippus to model bronze in copy- 
ing the features of brave Alexander. But call that 
judgement, so nice for viewing works of art, to books 
and to these gifts of the Muses, and you'd swear 
that he'd been born in Boeotia's heavy air." 

But Virgil and Varius, those poets whom you love, 
discredit not your judgement of them nor the gifts 
which, to the giver's great renown, they have 
received ; and features are seen -with no more truth, 
when moulded in statues of bronze, than are the 
manners and minds of famous heroes, when set forth 
in the poet's work. And for myself, I should not 
prefer my " chats," that crawl along the ground,'* to 
the story of great exploits, the tale of distant lands 
and rivers, of forts on mountain tops, of barbaric 
realms, of the ending of wars under your auspices 
throughout the world, of bars that close on Janus, 

« As the heavy air of the moist lowlands of Boeotia was 
contrasted with the clear atmosphere of Attica, so the 
Boeotians were proverbially dull, the Athenians sharpn 
witted ; cf. Cicero, De fato, iv. 7. 

■* Under sermones Horace includes both his Satires and 
Epistles, which are inspired by a Musa pedestris {Sat. ii. 
6. 17). 

2b 417 


et formidatam Parthis te principe Romam, 

si quantum cuperem possem quoque ; sed neque 

carmen maiestas recipit tua, nee meus audet 
rem temptare pudor quam vires ferre recusent. 
sedulitas autem stulte quem diligit urget, 260 

praecipue cum se numeris commendat et arte ; 
discit^ enim citius meminitque libentius illud 
quod quis deridet, quam quod probat et veneratur. 
nil moror officium quod me gravat, ac neque ficto 
in peius voltu proponi cereus usquam 206 

nee prave factis decorari versibus opto, 
ne rubeam pingui donatus munere, et una 
cum scriptore meo, capsa porrectus^ operta,' 
deferar in vicum vendentem tus et odores 
et piper et quidquid chartis amicitur ineptis.* 270 

* discet V. ^ porreptus E. 

* aperta. * inemptis. 

" For the closing of the temple of Janus in peace cf. 
Odes, iv. 15. 9, and with 11. 252, 253 cf. "arces Alpibus 
impositas tremendis," in Odes iv. 14. 11. 

^ That Augustus was sensitive about being made the 
subject of poor eulogies is stated by Suetonius {Augustus, 

* i.e. to have one's portrait in wax offered for sale. 

* Horace means that sooner or later the work of a poor 


EPISTLES, II. I. 256-270 

guardian of peace," and of that Rome who under 
your sway has become a terror to Parthians — if only 
I had power equal to my longing ; but neither does 
your majesty admit of a lowly strain,'' nor does my 
modesty dare to essay a task beyond my strength 
to bear. Nay, zeal is foolish to worry those it 
loves, above all when it commends itself by numbers 
and by art ; for men more quickly learn and more 
gladly recall what they deride than what they 
approve and esteem. Not for me attentions that 
are burdensome, and I want neither to be displayed 
anywhere in wax," with my features misshaped, nor 
to be praised in verses ill-^^Tought, lest I have to 
blush at the stupid gift, and then, along with my 
poet, outstretched in a closed chest, be carried into 
the street where they sell frankincense and perfumes 
and pepper and everything else that is wrapped in 
sheets of useless paper .<* 

poet is found to be worthless, and his books can be used 
only for waste paper. Thus, under the figure of a funeral 
the poet is borne to his last resting-place — the grocer's shop ! 
Cf. Euphues' Anatomy of Wit : " We constantly see the 
booke that at Christmas lieth bound on the stacioner's stall, 
at Easter be broken in the haberdasher's shop." In 1. 269 
there is an amusing pun on Vicus Tuscus, the name of a 
street leading out of the Forum, along which were all kinds 
of shops ; ef. Sat. ii. 3. 228. 




If one were to offer a slave for sale, and declare 
his defects, the purchaser would have no right to 
complain of these later. So you, Florus, must not 
grumble at my not writing to you, for I warned you 
before you started that I never answer letters. And 
then, over and above this, you complain of my 
breaking my word, when you receive from me no 
poems (1-25). 

Let me remind you of the story of a certain 
soldier of Lucullus. One night he had all his sa\ings 
stolen. Upon this he rushed off furiously to storm 
a castle, and won thereby both glory and a rich 
reward. But later, when his general invited him to 
repeat the exploit, he declined, and advised the 
officer to send somebody who had lost his purse. I 
am like that soldier. I lost everything at Philippi, 
and took to poetry to make a living, but now that 
I have a competence I should be mad if I did not 
prefer ease to writing (26-54). 

But there are other reasons why I do not write. 
Time is stealing from me my poetical power, as it 
has already taken from me my youth. After all, 
too, tastes vary, and while you are asking for Odes, 
others call for Epodes or Satires. Besides, how can 



you expect a man to write amid all the distractions 
of Rome ? The poet must live in seclusion, and then 
he becomes quite unfit for active life. If this is true 
of Athens, how much more so is it of noisy Rome ? 
How then can I deign to write poetry here ? (55-86). 

" Deign," did I say ? Why, the only way to win 
success here as a poet is to join some mutual admira- 
tion club, and for my part I am no longer suing for 
favour — I am no longer writing, and I can decline to 
listen to the recitations of others (87-105). 

Poor poets, however much derided, are well 
satisfied with themselves. But the writing of good 
poetry is a very serious matter, and demands a fine 
taste and careful discrimination in the choice of 
language. The result will seem easy, but that ease 
is the product of much labour. Perhaps it is better 
to be one of those self-complacent writers than to 
be ever finding fault with oneself. The man at 
Argos learned what a misfortune it is to be robbed 
of one's illusions (106-140). 

The truth is, it is time for a man of my years to 
throw aside mere toys like poetry and take up the 
serious business of life, that of philosophy. So, 
beginning with the elements, I repeat to myself the 
wise precepts that I have picked up. Avarice, for 
example, is as much a disease as dropsy. For the 
latter you consult a doctor, and when the course 
prescribed brings no relief, you change the treatment 
or the doctor. Should not avarice be dealt with in 
like manner ? (141-154). 

If wealth could make you wise, you ought to devote 
yourself wholly to it. And yet what comes from all 
this struggle to make money ? Ownership brings 
no more satisfaction than the right to use and enjoy, 


and even the law recognizes the fact that this 
usucapio is the same in the end as dominium or owner- 
ship. As a matter of fact, there is no such thing as 
out and out ownership, or o\vnership in perpetuity, 
for Death prevents that (155-179). 

In any case, wealth takes many forms, and some 
care nothing for what others value so highly. WTiy 
this is so, I cannot say, but for my part I hold that 
Ufe's pleasures are to be enjoyed in moderation. 
Let me but be free from squalor, and I shall be just 
as happv saihng on hfe's sea in a small as in a large 
ship (180-204). 

But avarice is not the only e\il that may assail the 
heart, and the wise man will free himself from all 
disturbing passions and fears. If one cannot hve 
well, he should give way to those who can. When 
a man has had his share in the banquet of hfe, it is 
time to \vithdraw (205-216). 

The Florus of this Epistle is the Julius Florus to 
whom Epist. i. 3 is also addressed. He is still in 
the suite of Tiberius, and as there is a great similarity 
of tone between this Epistle and the first of the First 
Book, it is likely that it was \vritten shortly after the 
pubhcation of that book in 20 B.C. At any rate, in 
view of the writer's renunciation of lyric poetry in 
this Epistle, it can hardly have been written in the 
years when the Carmen Saeculare and the Fourth 
Book of Odes came into being (17-13 B.C.). 



Flore, bono claroque fidelis amice Neroni, 
si quis forte velit puerum tibi vendere natura 
Tibure vel Gabiis, et tecum sic agat : " hie et 
candidus et talos a vertice pulcher ad imos 
fiet eritque tuus nummorum milibus octo, 6 

verna ministeriis ad nutus aptus erilis, 
litterulis Graecis imbutus, idoneus arti 
cuilibet ; argilla quidvis^ imitaberis^ uda ; 
quin etiam canet indoctum sed dulce bibenti. 
multa fidem promissa levant, ubi plenius aequo 10 
laudat venalis qui volt extrudere^ merces. 
res urget me nulla ; meo sum pauper in aere. 
nemo hoc mangonum faceret tibi ; non temere a me 
quivis ferret idem, semel hie cessavit et, ut fit, 
in scalis latuit metuens pendentis habenae : 15 

des nummos, excepta nihil te si fuga laedit* " : 
ille ferat pretiium poenae securus, opinor. 
prudens emisti vitiosum ; dicta tibi est lex^ : 

^ quavis E. * imitabimur, II. ^ excludere V, II. 

* laedit V, Bentley : laedat mss. Orelli. * est tibi lex, /. 

" Tiberius Claudius Nero, the future Emperor Tiberius : 
c/. Epist. i. 3. 2. ^ i.e. iioine-born, not foreign. 

' i.e. the strap which was hanging up where all could 
see it. 

^ i.e. because he has not represented the slave as faultless, 
but has expressly mentioned {excepta) a defect. Cf. Sat. 
ii. 3. 286. Editors who {e.g. Orelli) read laedat (1. 16) make 


Epistle II 

My Florus, loyal friend of great and good Nero,* 
suppose someone by chance should wish to sell you 
a slave, born at Tibur or Gabii," and should deal 
with you thus : " Here's a handsome boy, comely 
from top to toe ; you may take him, to have and to 
hold, for eight thousand sesterces ; home-bred he is, 
apt for ser\ice at his owner's beck, knows a bit of 
Greek learning, and can master any art ; the clay 
is soft — you \vill mould it to what you will ; more- 
over, he will sing for you over your cups in a sweet 
if artless fashion. Too many promises lessen con- 
fidence, when a seller who wants to shove off his 
wares praises them unduly. I am under no con- 
straint ; I have slender means, but am not in debt. 
None of the slave-dealers would give you such a 
bargain ; not everyone would easily get the like 
from me. Once he played truant, and hid himself, 
as boys \sill do, under the stairs, fearing the hanging 
strap." Give me the sum asked, if his running off, 
duly noted, does not trouble you " : the seller, I 
take it, would get his price without fear of penalty.** 
You bought him with your eyes open — fault and 
all ; the condition was told you ; do you still pursue 

the speech of the seller close with line 15, so that both des (1. 
16), and ferat (1. 17) provide the apodosis or conclusion to 
«i quis forte relit (1. 2). We prefer to follow Bentley in 
including 1. 16 in the seller's speech. 



insequeris tamen hunc et lite moraris iniqua ? 

dixi me pigrum proficiseenti tibi, dixi 20 

talibus officiis prope mancum, ne mea saevus 

iurgares ad te quod epistula nulla rediret.^ 

quid turn profeci, mecum facientia iura 

si tamen attemptas ? quereris super hoc etiam, quod 

exspectata tibi non mittam carmina mendax. 25 

Luculli miles collecta viatica multis 
aerumnis, lassus dum noctu stertit, ad assem 
perdiderat : post hoc vehemens lupus, et sibi et hosti 
iratus pariter, ieiunis dentibus acer, 
praesidium regale loco deiecit, ut aiunt, 30 

summe munito et multarum divite rerum. 
clarus ob id factum donis ornatur honestis,^ 
accipit et bis dena super sestertia nummum. 
forte sub hoc tempus castellum evertere praetor 
nescio quod cupiens hortari coepit eundem 35 

verbis quae timido quoque possent addere mentem : 
" i, bone, quo virtus tua te vocat, i pede fausto, 
grandia laturus meritorum praemia. quid stas ? " 
post haec ille catus, quantumvis rusticus : " ibit, 
ibit eo, quo vis, qui zonam perdidit," inquit. 40 

Romae nutriri mihi contigit atque doceri 
iratus Grais quantum nocuisset Achilles, 
adiecere bonae paulo plus artis Athenae, 
scilicet ut vellem^ curvo dinoscere rectum 
atque inter silvas Academi quaerere verum. 45 

dura sed emovere loco me tempora grato 

1 veniret (pfXl. * opimis V. 

' possim, II: possem. 

* LucuUus commanded the Roman forces in the war with 
Mithridates, king of Pontus, from 74 b.c. to 67 b.c. 
^ He studied Homer's Iliad. 


EPISTLES, II. n. 19-46 

the seller and annoy him with an unjust suit ? I 
told you when you were lea\ing that I was lazy ; I 
told you that for such duties I was well-nigh crippled, 
lest you should angrily scold, because no letter of 
mine reached you in reply. What good did I then 
do, if when right is on my side you still attack it ? 
And then, over and above this, you complain that 
the verses you looked for I fail to send, false to my 

^ A soldier of Lucullus,** by dint of many toils, 
had laid by savings, but one night, when weary and 
slumbering, had lost all down to the last penny. 
After this, furious as a wolf, angry ^nth himself and 
his foe ahke, and fiercely showing hungry teeth, he 
dislodged, they say, a royal garrison from a strongly 
fortified site, rich in vast treasure. Winning fame 
therebv, he was decorated with gifts of honour, and 
received, over and above, twenty thousand sesterces 
in coin. Soon after this it chanced that the com- 
mander, wishing to storm some fort, began to urge 
the man with words that might have given spirit 
even to a coward : " Go, sir, whither your valour 
calls you. Go, good luck to you ! — to win big rewards 
for your merits. Why stand still ? " On this the 
shrewd fellow, rustic though he was, replied : " Yes, 
he will go — go where you -wish — he who has lost his 

*•■ At Rome I had the luck to be bred, and taught 
how much Achilles' wrath had harmed the Greeks.' 
Kindly Athens added somewhat more training, so 
that, vou know, I was eager to distinguish the 
straight from the crooked, and to hunt for truth in 
the groves of Academe. But troublous times tore 
me from that pleasant spot, and the tide of civil 



civilisque rudem belli tulit aestus in arma 

Caesaris August! non responsura lacertis. 

unde simul primum me dimisere Philippi,^ 

decisis humilem pennis inopemque paterni 50 

et laris et fundi, paupertas impulit audax 

ut versus facerem : sed quod non desit^ habentem 

quae poterunt umquam satis expurgare cicutae, 

ni melius dormire putem quam scribere versus ? 

Singula de nobis anni praedantur euntes ; 55 

eripuere locos, Venerem, convivia, ludum ; 
tendunt extorquere poemata : quid faciam vis ? 
denique non omnes eadem mirantur amantque : 
carmine tu gaudes, hie delectatur iambis, 
ille Bioneis sermonibus et sale nigro. 60 

tres mihi convivae prope dissentire videntur, 
poscentes vario multum diversa palato. 
quid dem ? quid non dem ? renuis tu, quod^ iubet 

alter ; 
quod petis, id sane est invisum acidumque duobus. 

Praeter cetera me Romaene poemata censes 65 
scribere posse inter tot curas totque labores ? 
hie sponsum vocat, hie auditum scripta, relictis 
omnibus officiis ; cubat hie in colle Quirini, 
hie extremo in Aventino, visendus uterque ; 
intervalla vides humane commoda. " verum 70 

purae* sunt plateae, nihil ut meditantibus obstet." 

^ philippis (p\p\l. 

* defit O.W. Mooney in Hermath. xv. p. 161 ; c/, Tib. iv. 1 . 100. 

* quod tu, // {not 5) ; so Vollmer. 

* plures, II (plurae JR). 

» After the defeat of Brutus at Philippi Horace withdrew 
from the Republican cause, unlike Pompeius Varus and 
other friends, who kept up the struggle under Sextus Pom- 
peius. Cf. Odes ii. 7. 15. The poet's estate at Venusia was 
doubtless confiscated. 

"" Cf. Sat. ii. 1.7. " Such as Horace's Epodes. 


EPISTLES. II. II. 47-71 

strife flung me, a novice in war, amid weapons that 
were to be no match for the strong arms of Caesar 
Augustus. Soon as Philippi gave me discharge" 
therefrom, brought low with wings clipped and 
beggared of paternal home and estate, barefaced 
poverty drove me to writing verses. But now that I 
have sufficient store, what doses of hemlock could 
ever suffice to cleanse my blood, if I were not to think 
it better to slumber *• than to scribble verses ? 

^ The years, as they pass, plunder us of all joys, 
one by one. They have stripped me of mirth, love, 
feasting, play ; they are striving to wrest from me 
my poems. What would you have me do ? After 
all, men have not all the same tastes and likes. 
Lyric song is your delight, our neighbour here takes 
pleasure in iambics,* the one yonder in Bion's satires, 
with their caustic wit.** 'Tis, I fancy, much like 
three guests who disagree ; their tastes vary, and 
they call for widely different dishes. What am I to 
put before them ? what not ? You refuse what 
your neighbour orders : what you crave is, to be 
sure, sour and distasteful to the other two. 

^^ Besides all else, do you think I can write verses 
at Rome amid all my cares and all my toils ? One 
calls me to be surety, another, to leave all my duties 
and listen to his writings. One hes sick on the 
Quirinal hill, another on the Aventine's far side ; I 
must visit both. The distances, you see, are com- 
fortably convenient ! " Yes, but the streets are 
clear, so that nothing need hinder you in conning 

** Athenian philosopher of the early third cent, b.c, 
was famous for his biting wit. His name represents Satire 
in general, including Horace's own Sermones or Satires, 
which contain but a minimum of the sal niger referred to. 



festinat calidus mulis gerulisque redemptor, 
torquet nunc lapidem, nunc ingens machina tignum, 
tristia robustis luctantur funera plaustris, 
hac rabiosa fugit canis, hac lutulenta ruit sus : 76 
i nunc et versus tecum naeditare canoros. 
scriptorum chorus omnis amat nemus et fugit urbem,^ 
rite cliens Bacchi somno gaudentis et umbra : 
tu me inter strepitus nocturnes atque diurnos 
vis canere et contracta^ sequi vestigia vatum ? 80 
ingenium, sibi quod vacuas desumpsit Athenas 
et studiis annos septem dedit insenuitque 
libris et curis, statua taciturnius exit 
plerumque et risu populum quatit : hie ego rerum 
fluctibus in mediis et tempestatibus urbis 85 

verba lyrae motura sonum conectere digner ? 
Frater erat Romae consulti rhetor, ut^ alter 
alterius sermone meros audiret honores, 
Gracchus ut hie illi, foret huic ut Mucius ille.* 
qui minus argutos vexat furor iste poetas ? 90 

carmina compono, hie elegos. mirabile visu 
caelatumque novem Musis opus 1 adspice primum, 
quanto cum fastu, quanto molimine circum- 
spectemus vacuam Romanis vatibus aedem ! 

^ urbes, //. 

2 contracta E, knoton to Porph. : contacta mss., Porph., 

adopted by Orelli and others : cantata Vi non tacta Bentley. 

' et, II {not S). Bentley read pactus {for frater) and consulto, 

* huic . . . ille Lambinus, Bentley, all editors : hie . . . 
illi M8S. 

" Hie, i.e. in Rome, where it is even more difficult to 
devote oneself to study than in Athens. 

* Under such conditions self-respect would prevent him 
from writing. This is further illustrated in the next 
paragraph. See p. 422. 

' Both the Gracchi, Tiberius and Gaius, were orators. 
There were three well-known jurists named Mucius Scaevola. 


EPISTLES, II. 11. 72-94 

verses." In hot haste rushes a contractor with mules 
and porters ; a huge crane is lioisting now a stone 
and now a beam ; mournful funerals jostle massive 
wagons ; this way runs a mad dog : that way rushes 
a mud-bespattered sow. Now go, and thoughtfully 
con melodious verses. The whole chorus of poets 
loves the grove and flees the town, duly loyal to 
Bacchus, who finds joy in sleep and shade. Would 
you wish me, amid noises by night and noises by 
day, to sing and pursue the minstrels' narrow path- 
way ? A gifted man, that has chosen for home 
sequestered Athens, that has given seven years to his 
studies and grown grey over his books and medi- 
tations, when he walks abroad is often more mute 
than a statue and makes the people shake with 
laughter : and here^ amid the waves of Ufe, amid 
the tempests of the town, am I to deign '' to weave 
together words which shall awake the music of the 
lyre ? 

®' Two brothers at Rome, a lawyer and a pleader, 
were on such terms that nothing but compliments 
would each hear from the other's lips : the one was 
Gracchus to the other, the other Mucins to him.'' 
And our singer poets — how does this madness trouble 
them any the less ? I compose lyrics, my friend 
elegiacs : " 'Tis wondrous to behold ! A work of 
art, engraven by the Muses nine ! " Mark you 
first, with what pride, with what importance, our 
contemplative gaze wanders o'er the temple, now 
open to Roman bards.** And by and by, if haply 

'' The temple of Apollo on the Palatine, with -which was 
associated a famous library in two sections, one for Greek, 
the other for Latin books. On the walls were medallions 
of famous authors. Of. EpUt. ii. 1. 216. 



mox etiam, si forte vacas/ sequere et procul audi, 95 

quid ferat et qua re sibi nectat uterque eoronam. 

caedimur et totidem plagis consumimus hostem 

lento Samnites ad lumina prima duello. 

discedo Alcaeus puncto illius ; ille meo quis ? 

quis nisi Callimachus ? si plus adposcere visus, 100 

fit Mimnermus et optivo cognomine crescit. 

multa fero, ut placem genus irritabile vatum, 

cum scribo et supplex populi suffragia capto ; 

idem finitis studiis et mente recepta 

obturem patulas impune legentibus auris. 105 

Ridentur mala qui componunt carmina ; verum 
gaudent scribentes et se venerantur et ultro, 
si taceas, laudant quidquid scripsere beati. 
at qui legitimum cupiet fecisse poema, 
cum tabulis animum censoris sumet honesti ; 110 

audebit, quaecumque parum splendoris habebunt 
et sine pondere erunt et honore indigna ferentur,^ 
verba movere loco, quamvis invita recedant 
et versentur adhuc intra^ penetralia Vestae ; 

* vacat. ^ feruntur, /, 5. ' inter Mss. 

" The two poets, indulging in mutual compliments, and 
inflicting their compositions on each other, are humorously 
compared to a pair of those heavy-armed gladiators known 
as Samnites, who would engage in a wearisome, though 
harmless fight, till night put an end to the contest. 

* It is commonly supposed that in this whole scene the 
second poet referred to by Horace is Propertius, the elegiac 
writer (c/. 1. 91) who called himself "the Roman Calli- 
machus." Callimachus, an Alexandrian poet of the third 
cent. B.C., was commonly held to be the greatest of Greek 
elegists. For Mimnermus cf. Epist. i. 6. 65. He lived in 
the latter half of the seventh cent. B.C., and was the first to 
make elegy a vehicle for love-sentiment. 


EPISTLES, II. II. 95-114 

you have time, follow, and draw close to hear what 
each has to offer, and with what he weaves for 
himself a chaplet. We belabour each other, and 
with tit for tat use up our foe, hke Samnites, in a 
long-drawn bout, till the first lamps are lighted." 
By his vote I come off an Alcaeus. What is he by 
mine ? What, but a CalUmachus ! If he seems to 
claim more, he becomes a Mimnermus, and is glorified 
with the title of his choice.* Much do I endure, 
to soothe the fretful tribe of bards, so long as I am 
scribbling, and humbly suing for public favour ; but 
now that my studies are ended and my \nts recovered, 
I would, without fear of requital, stop up my open 
ears when they recite." 

106 Xhose who vrrite poor verses are a jest ; yet 
they rejoice in the ^^Titing and revere themselves ; 
and, should you say nothing, they themselves praise 
whatever they have produced — happy souls ! But 
the man whose aim is to have WTOught a poem true 
to Art's rules, when he takes his tablets, will take also 
the spirit of an honest censor.** He wll have the 
courage, if words fall short in dignity, lack weight, or 
be deemed unworthy of rank, to remove them from 
their place, albeit they are loth to ^vithdraw, and 
still hnger within Vesta's precincts.* Terms long 

* Horace means that if he does not write, he need not 
listen. Others prefer to connect impune with legentibus. 
The others recite vdthout fear of his retaliating. 

** These lines were used by Dr. Johnson as the motto for 
his Dictionary. 

* The allusion is obscure. Vesta perhaps stands for the 
most sacred traditions of Rome, so that the words rejected 
by the poet still remain in common use. Keller thinks that 
Horace uses a quotation from Ennius or some other early 

2p 433 


obscurata diu populo bonus eruet atque 118 

proferet in lucem speciosa vocabula rerum, 
quae priscis memorata Catonibus atque Cethegis 
nunc situs informis premit et deserta vetustas ; 
adsciscet nova, quae genitor produxerit usus. 
vemens et liquidus^ puroque simillimus amni 120 

fundet opes Latiumque beabit divite lingua ; 
luxuriantia compescet, nimis aspera sano 
levabit cultu, virtute carentia^ toilet, 
ludentis speciem dabit et torquebitur, ut qui 
nunc Satyrum, nunc agrestem Cyclopa movetur. 125 

Praetulerim scriptor delirus inersque videri, 
dum mea delectent mala me vel denique fallant, 
quam sapere et ringi. fuit baud ignobilis Argis,' 
qui se credebat miros audire tragoedos 
in vacuo laetus sessor plausorque theatre ; 130 

cetera qui vitae servaret munia recto 
more, bonus sane vicinus, amabilis hospes, 
comis in uxorem, posset qui ignoscere servis 
et signo laeso non insanire lagoenae, 
posset qui rupem et puteum vitare patentem.* 135 
hie ubi cognatorum opibus curisque refect us 
expulit elleboro morbum bilemque meraco, 
et redit ad sese : " pol, me occidistis, amici, 
non servastis," ait, " cui sic extorta voluptas 
et demptus per vim mentis gratissimus error." 140 

* vehemens mss. : et vehemens liquidus D. 
* carentia D^lf : calentia Va. 
• Argus. * parentem, II. 

• Cf. Ars Poetica, 50. * Cf. Ars Poetica, 71, 72. 

* Those who dance most easily do so as the result of hard 
training ; cf. Pope : 

As those move easiest who have learn 'd to dance. 

' Ringi means literally " to show one's teeth like a snarling 


EPISTLES, II. n. 115-140 

lost in darkness the good poet will unearth for the 
people's use and bring into the light — picturesque 
terms which, though once spoken by a Cato and a 
Cethegus of old.** now lie low through unseemly 
neglect and dreary age. New ones he will adopt 
which Use has fathered and brought forth.'' Strong 
and clear, and truly like a crystal river, he will pour 
forth wealth and bless Latium with richness of 
speech ; he will prune down rankness of growth, 
smooth with wholesome refinement what is rough, 
sweep away what lacks force — wear the look of being 
at play, and yet be on the rack, hke a dancer who 
plays now a Satyr, and now a clownish Cyclops." 

^^ I should prefer to be thought a foolish and 
clumsy scribbler, if only my failings please, or at 
least escape me, rather than be wise and unhappy .** 
Once at Argos there w^as a man of some rank, who 
used to fancy that he was listening to wonderful 
tragic actors, while he sat happy and applauded 
in the empty theatre — a man who would correctly 
perform all other duties of hfe, a most worthy 
neighbour, an amiable host, kind to his wife, one 
that could excuse his slaves, and not get frantic 
if the seal of a flask were broken, one that could 
avoid a precipice or an open well. This man was 
cured by his kinsmen's help and care, but when with 
strong hellebore he had driven out the malady and 
its bile, and had come to himself again, he cried : 
" Egad ! you have killed me, my friends, not saved 
me ; for thus you have robbed me of a pleasure and 
taken away perforce the dearest illusion of my heart." 

dog," and is used here of the unhappy, self-critical poet who 
is never content with what he produces, in contrast with the 
contented, self-complacent writer. 



Nimirum sapere est abiectis utile nugis, 
et tempestivum pueris concedere ludum, 
ac non verba sequi fidibus modulanda Latinis, 
sed verae numerosque modosque ediscere vitae. 
quocirca mecum loquor haec tacitusque recorder : 145 

Si tibi nulla sitim finiret copia lymphae, 
narrares medicis : quod, quanto plura parasti, 
tan to plura cupis, nulline faterier audes ? 
si volnus tibi monstrata radice vel herba 
non fieret levius, fugeres radice vel herba 150 

proficiente nihil curarier : audieras, cui 
rem di donarent, illi decedere pravam 
stultitiam ; et cum sis nihilo sapientior ex quo 
plenior es, tamen uteris monitoribus isdem ? 

At si divitiae prudentem reddere possent, 155 

si cupidum timidumque minus te, nempe ruberes, 
viveret in terris te si quis avarior uno. 
si proprium est, quod quis libra mercatus^ et acre est,^ 
quaedam, si credis consultis, mancipat usus ; 
qui te pascit ager tuus est, et vilicus Orbi, 160 

cum segetes occat tibi mox frumenta daturas,^ 
te dominum sentit. das nummos, accipis uvam, 
pullos, ova, cadum temeti : nempe modo isto 
paulatim mercaris agrum, fortasse trecentis 
aut etiam supra nummorum milibus emptum. 165 
quid refert, vivas numerato nuper an olim ? 

^ mercatus, 7, w. mercatur, II: est omitted, II. 
2 daturas V, II: daturus, I. 

" A reference to the common mode of conveying ownership 
in property, viz. by a symboHc sale, in which a balance, 
held by a third party, was struck by the purchaser with 
a copper coin. 

'' Usucapio, legal possession, uninterrupted and continued 
for a certain time, resulted in ownership (dominium). But 
perhaps Horace jocularly refers to matrimony, where in 


EPISTLES, II. 11. 141-166 

^*^ In truth it is profitable to cast aside toys and 
to learn wisdom ; to leave to lads the sport that fits 
their age, and not to search out words that will fit 
the music of the Latin lyre, but to master the 
rhythms and measures of a genuine life. There- 
fore I talk thus to myself and silently recall these 
precepts : 

If no amount of water could quench your thirst, 
you would tell your story to the doctor : seeing that 
the more you get, the more you want, do you not 
dare to make confession to any man ? If your 
wound were not relieved by the root or herb pre- 
scribed, you would give up being treated >vith the 
root or herb that did you no good : you had perhaps 
been told that perverse folly flees from him to whom 
the gods had given wealth ; but though you are no 
wiser since you became richer, do you still follow 
the same counsellors ? 

1^ But surely if wealth could make you wise, if 
less wedded to desires and fears, you would blush if 
there hved upon earth a greater miser than you. If 
that is a man's own which he buys with bronze and 
balance," there are some things, if you trust the 
lawyers, which use ^ conveys ; the farm which gives 
you food is yours, and the bailiff of Orbius, when he 
harrows the corn-land which is shortly to give you 
grain, feels you to be his master. You give your 
coin ; you receive grapes, poultry, eggs, ajar of wine : 
in that way, mark you ! you are buying bit by bit 
the farm once purchased for three hundred thousand 
sesterces, or perhaps even more. What does it matter, 
whether you live on what was paid out lately or 

certain cases manus might result from usus. So PoUuck, 
C.R. xxxi. (1917). 



emptor Aricini quondam^ Veientis et arvi 

emptum cenat holus, quamvis aliter putat ; emptis 

sub noctem gelidam lignis calefactat aenum ; 

sed vocat usque suum, qua^ populus adsita certis 170 

limitibus vicina refugit^ iurgia ; tamquam 

sit proprium quicquam, puncto quod mobilis horae 

nunc prece, nunc pretio, nunc vi, nunc morte suprema 

permutet dominos et cedat in altera iura. 

sic* quia perpetuus nulli datur usus, et heres 176 

heredem alterius^ velut unda supervenit undam, 

quid vici prosunt aut horrea ? quidve Calabris 

saltibus adiecti Lucani, si metit Orcus 

grandia cum parvis, non exorabilis auro ? 

Gemmas, marmor, ebur, Tyrrhena sigilla, tabellas, 
argentum, vestes Gaetulo murice tinctas 181 

sunt qui non habeant, est qui non curat habere, 
cur alter fratrum cessare et ludere et ungui 
praeferat Herodis palmetis pinguibus, alter 
dives et importunus ad umbram lucis ab ortu 185 

silvestrem flammis et ferro mitiget agrum, 
scit Genius, natale comes qui temperat astrum, 
naturae deus humanae, mortalis in unum 
quodque caput, voltu mutabilis, albus et ater. 
utar et ex modico, quantum res poscet, acervo 190 
tollam, nee metuam quid de me iudicet heres, 
quod non plura datis invenerit ; et tamen idem 
scire volam, quantum simplex hilarisque nepoti 

^ quondam tt* : quoniam V, most uss. 

* quia EB : quod ir. * refigit. 

• sic E^M' : si uss., Porph. * alternis Bentley. 

" Ownership may be transferred by donation in response 
to an appeal (prece), and by confiscation {vi), as well as by 
purchase and inheritance. 


EPISTLES, II. II. 167-193 

some time ago ? The man who once bought a farm 
at Aricia or Veii bought the greens for his dinner, 
though he thinks otherwise ; he bought the logs 
with which he boils the kettle in the chill of nightfall. 
Yet he calls it all his own, up to where the poplars, 
planted beside fixed boundaries, prevent the wranghng 
of neighbours: just as though anything were one 'sown, 
which in a moment of flitting time, now by prayer,* 
now by purchase, now by force, now — at the last — by 
death, changes owners and passes under the power of 
another. Thus since to none is granted lasting use, 
and heir follows another's heir as wave follows wave, 
what avail estates or granaries — what avail Lucanian 
forests joined to Calabrian, if Death reaps great and 
small — Death who never can be won over with gold ? 
^^° Gems, marble, ivory, Tuscan vases, paintings, 
plate, robes dyed in GaetuHan purple — there are 
those who have not ; there is one who cares not to 
have. Of two brothers one prefers, above Herod's 
rich palm-groves,* idhng and playing and the anoint- 
ing of himself ; the other, wealthy and untiring, from 
dawn to shady eve subdues his woodland farm with 
flames and iron plough. Why so, the Genius alone 
knows — that companion who rules our star of birth, 
the god of human nature, though mortal for each 
single life, and changing in countenance, white or 
black." I shall use and from my modest heap take 
what need requires, nor shall I fear what my heii 
will think of me, because he does not find more than 
1 have given him. And yet, withal, I shall wish to 
know how much the frank and cheerful giver is 
distinct from the spendthrift, how much the frugal 

* Herod the Great had famous groves of date-palms near 
Jericho. • Cf. Epist. ii. 1. 144. 



discrepet et quantum discordet parcus avaro. 194 

distat enim, spargas tua prodigus, an neque sumptum 
invitus facias neque plura parare labores, 
ac potius, puer ut festis Quinquatribus olim, 
exiguo gratoque fruaris tempore raptim. 
pauperies immunda domus^ procul absit^ : ego, utrum 
nave ferar magna an parva, ferar unus et idem. 200 
non agimur tumidis velis Aquilone secundo : 
non tamen adversis aetatem ducimus Austris, 
viribus, ingenio, specie, virtute, loco, re^ 
extremi primorum, extremis usque priores. 204 

Non es avarus : abi. quid ? cetera iam simul isto 
cum vitio fugere^ ? caret tibi pectus inani 
ambitione ? caret mortis formidine et ira ? 
somnia, terrores magicos, miracula, sagas, 
nocturnos lemures portentaque Thessala rides ? 
natalis grate numeras ? ignoscis amicis ? 210 

lenior et melior fis* accedente senecta ? 
quid te exempta iuvat^ spinis de pluribus una ? 
vivere si recte nescis, decede peritis. 
lusisti satis, edisti satis atque bibisti : 
tempus abire tibi est, ne potum largius aequo 215 
rideat et pulset lasciva decentius^ aetas. 

^ domus and absit omitted, II {only absit omitted in R). 
Hence procul procul absit Bentley. 

* loco re, /, R : colore, II. 

» fugere i), //: fuge rite aEM. 

* sis E. * iuvit D : levat. • licentius ir*. 

° The Quinquatnis, or festival of Minerva, was a school- 
vacation of five days, from March 19 to March 23. 

* ForThessalian witchcraft cf. Epod. v. 45 ; Odes, i. 27. 21. 


EPISTLES, II. II. 194-216 

is at variance with the miserly. For it does differ 
whether you scatter your money lavishly, or whether, 
while neither reluctant to spend, nor eager to add 
to yoiu- store, you snatch enjoyment of the brief and 
pleasant hour, hke a schoolboy in the spring hohdays." 
Far from me be squahd want at home : yet, be my 
vessel large or small, I, the passenger aboard, shall 
remain one and the same. Not with swelling sails 
are we borne before a favouring north wind, yet we 
drag not out our hfe struggling with southern gales ; 
in strength, in wit, in person, in virtue, in station, in 
fortune, behind the foremost, ever before the last. 

^^ You are no miser. Good ! What then ? Have 
all the other \'ices taken to flight with that ? Is 
your heart free from vain ambition ? Is it free from 
alarm and anger at death ? Dreams, terrors of 
magic, marvels, witches, ghosts of night, Thessahan 
portents ** — do you laugh at these ? Do you count 
your birthdays thankfully ? Do you forgive your 
friends ? Do you grow gentler and better, as old 
age draws near ? What good does it do you to 
pluck out a single one of many thorns ? If you 
know not how to hve aright, make way for those 
who do. You have played enough, have eaten and 
drunk enough. 'Tis time to quit the feast," lest, 
when you have drunk too freely, youth mock and 
jostle you, playing the wanton >\ith better grace. 

* C/. Sat. i. 1. 118, where, as here, Horace has in mind 
the famous passage in Lucretius, De rerum nat. iii. 938, 

cur non ut plenus vitae conviva recedis ? 




Tins, the longest of Horace's poems, is found in 
nearly all mss. under the title Ars Poetica, which is 
also the name assigned to it by QuintiUan and used 
by the commentator Porphyrio. Yet the composi- 
tion is a letter rather than a formal treatise, and it 
is hard to believe that Horace himself is responsible 
for the conventional title. It has the discursive and 
occasionally personal tone of an Epistle, whereas it 
lacks the completeness, precision, and logical order 
of a well-constructed treatise. It must therefore be 
judged by the same standards as the other Epistles 
and Sermones, and must be regarded as an expression 
of more or less random reflections, suggested by 
special circumstances, upon an art which peculiarly 
concerned one or more of the persons addressed. 
These are a father and two sons of the Piso family, 
but nobody knows with certainty what particular 
Pisos — and there are many on record — they are. 

Though the writer touches upon various kinds of 
poetry, yet as fully one-third of the whole poem is 
concerned with the drama, it is a plausible inference 
that one at least of the Pisos — presumably the 
elder son (1. 366) — was about to write a play, perhaps 
one with an Homeric background (11. 128, 129), and 


possibly one conforming to the rules of the Greek 
satyric drama (11. 220 fF.). Thus the special interests 
of the Pisos may have determined Horace's choice 
of topics. 

The following is a brief outline of the main subjects 
handled in the letter : 

(a) A poem demands unity, to be secured by 
harmony and proportion, as well as a wise choice of 
subject and good diction. Metre and style must be 
appropriate to theme and to character. A good 
model will always be found in Homer (11. 1-152). 

(b) Dramatic poetry calls for special care — as to 
character drawing, propriety of representation, length 
of a play, number of actors, use of the chorus and 
its music, special features for the satyric type, verse- 
forms, and employment of Greek models (11. 153- 

(c) A poet's qualifications include common sense, 
knowledge of character, adherence to high ideals, 
combination of the dulce >vith the utile, intellectual 
superiority, appreciation of the noble history and 
lofty mission of poetry, and above all a wilHngness 
to Usten to and profit by impartial criticism (11. 

The following is a more detailed analysis : 
In poetry as in painting there must be unity and 
simplicity (1-23). We poets must guard against 
extremes, and while avoiding one error must not fall 
into its opposite (24-31). A good sculptor pays careful 
attention to details, but at the same time makes sure 
that his work as a whole is successful (32-37). 

A writer should confine himself to subjects within 
his power. He will then be at no loss for words and 
will follow a correct order, which will enable him to 



say the right thing at the right moment (38-4<5). 
As to diction, he must be careful in his choice of 
language. He can, by means of a skilful combina- 
tion, give a fresh tone to familiar terms, and he may 
even coin words in moderation as the old poets used 
to do. Like all other mortal things, words change 
and pass out of existence, for they are subject to 
the caprice of fashion (46-72). 

The metres most fitting for the several types of 
verse were established by the great Greek poets, 
and we must follow them (73-85). So with the tone 
and style of the various kinds. In the drama, for 
example, the tragic and the comic are distinct, 
though occasionally they will overlap (86-98), for 
above all things a play must appeal to the feehngs 
of an audience, and the language must be adapted 
to the characters impersonated. Where there is 
lack of such agreement, everybody will laugh in 
scorn (99-118). 

Either follow tradition or invent a consistent story. 
Achilles, Medea, Orestes, and so on must be portrayed 
as tliey are known to us in Greek literature, while 
new characters must be handled with a consistency 
of their own (1 19-127). It is hard to deal with general 
notions, such as anger, greed, and cowardice, so as 
to individualize them for yourself and you, my friend 
Piso, are quite right to dramatize some Homeric 
theme, where the characters introduced have well- 
known traits, rather than attempt something dis- 
tinctly original. And yet, even in such public 
property as the Homeric epics you may win private 
rights by handling your material in an original 
fashion. Make a simple beginning, like that of the 
Odyssey, where the sequel becomes clearer and 


increases in brilliancy. Homer indulges in no lengthy 
introduction, but hurries on ^\^th his narrative, omits 
what he cannot adorn, and never loses the thread 
of his story (128-152). 

If you want your play to succeed, you must study 
the " strange, eventful history " of human life, and 
note the characteristics of the several ages of man, 
so that the different periods may not be confused 
(153-178). Events may be set forth in action or, 
less preferably, in narrative. The latter method, 
however, must be used in the case of revolting and 
incredible incidents (179-188). 

A play should be in five acts. The deus ex machina 
should be employed only rarely, and there should 
never be more than three characters on the stage at 
one time (1 89-1 92). The Chorus should take a real 
part in the action ; it should not sing anything 
irrelevant, and should promote the cause of morality 
and religion (193-201). As to the music, the flute was 
once a simple instrument, which accompanied the 
chorus, and was not expected to fill large theatres as 
nowadays. With the growth of wealth and luxury 
in the state, and the consequent deterioration in 
the taste and character of the audience, the music 
became more florid and sensational, the diction more 
artificial, and the sentiments more obscure and 
oracular (202-219). 

The satyric dramn, \\ith its chorus of goat-footed 
fauns, which was de\ised for spectators in their 
lighter moods, naturally assumed a gay and frolic- 
some tone as compared with the serious tragedy from 
which it sprang, but this does not warrant a writer 
in permitting his gods and heroes to use vulgar 
speech, or on the other hand in allowing them to 



indulge in ranting. There should be a happy mean 
between the language of tragedy and that of comedy. 
I would aim at a familiar style, so that anyone might 
think it easy to write in that fashion, but on trying 
would find out his mistake. The rustic fauns must 
not talk like city wits, nor yet use such coarse language 
that they will give offence to the better part of an 
audience (220-250). 

As to metre, the iambic is strictly a rapid measure, 
so that a senarius is counted as a trimeter. But 
the older poets admitted the spondee so freely, that 
it obscured the rhythm and made it heavy. In fact, 
it is not every critic that can detect unmusical 
verses, and too much freedom has been allowed our 
native poets. Shall I presume on this or shall I 
write with caution ? If I follow the latter course, I 
may avoid criticism, but I shall not win praise. The 
proper course is to study Greek models m'ght and 
day. He who is conversant with them will see that 
our fathers' admiration for the rhythms, as well as 
the wit, of Plautus, was uncalled for (251-274). 

Thespis, we are told, invented Tragedy, and Aes- 
chylus perfected it. Old Attic Comedy, too, won 
no little renown until its licence had to be checked 
by law and its chorus was silenced (275-284). Our 
Roman poets, besides following the Greeks, were bold 
enough to invent forms of a national drama, and 
might have rivalled their masters, had they taken 
more pains. I beg you, my friends, to condemn 
every poem which has not been subjected to the 
finishing touch (285-294). 

The idea that genius is allied to madness is carried 
so far that many would-be poets are slovenly in 
appearance and neglect their health. It is not worth 


while to compose poetry at the expense of your wits, 
so, refraining from MTiting myself, I will teach the 
art to others, even as a whetstone can sharpen 
knives, though it cannot cut (295-308). 

The first essential is wisdom. This you can 
cultivate by study of the philosophers, and when 
you have first learned from them valuable lessons of 
life, you should apply yourself to hfe itself, and then 
your personages will speak like real living beings. 
Sometimes striking passages and characters properly 
portrayed commend a mediocre play better than do 
verses which lack substance, mere trifles, however 
melodious (309-322). 

The Greeks had genius, eloquence, and ambition ; 
the Romans are too practical, even in their elementary 
schooling. How can we expect a people thus trained 
to develop poets ? Poetry aims at both instruction 
and pleasure. In your didactic passages, be not 
long-\vinded ; in your fiction, avoid extravagance. 
Combine the utile with the dulce, for only thus will 
you produce a book that will sell, and enjoy a wide 
and lasting fame (323-346). 

Absolute perfection, however, is not to be expected, 
and we must allow for slight defects. When I come 
across a good hne in a poor poem, I am surprised 
and amused ; I am merely grieved if Homer now 
and then nods (347-360). The critic must bear in 
mind that poetry is hke painting. In each case the 
aim in view is to be considered. A miniature should 
bear close inspection ; a wall-painting is to be seen 
from a distance. One thing which may be tolerated 
in other fields, but which in the sphere of poetry, 
whose aim is to give pleasure, is never allowed, is 
mediocrity. I^ike the athlete, therefore, the poet 



needs training — a truth overlooked by many. But 
you are too sensible to make a mistake here. You 
will wi'ite only when Minerva is auspicious, and what 
you write you will submit to a good critic. Even 
then you mil be in no haste to publish (361-390). 

Remember the glorious history of poetry, which — 
as the stories of Orpheus and Amphion show — has 
from the very infancy of the race promoted the 
cause of civihzation. Then, from Homer on, it has 
inspired valour, has taught wisdom, has won the 
favour of princes, and has afforded relief after toil. 
Never need you be ashamed of the Muse (391-407). 

The question has been asked whether it is natural 
ability or teaching that makes the poet. Both are 
necessary. However much people may boast of their 
gifts, ability without training will accomplish no more 
in writing than in running a race or in flute-playing 

It is easy for a rich poet to buy applause. Flatterers 
are like hired mourners at a funeral, who feel no 
grief, however much they may weep. So be not 
deceived, but take a lesson from those kings, who, 
acting on the adage in vino Veritas, make men disclose 
the truth by plying them with wine (419-437). 

Quintilius Varus was a frank and sincere critic, 
and if you would not take his advice he would leave 
you to your self-conceit. No honest man, for fear 
of giving offence, will conceal his friend's faults from 
him, for those faults may lead to serious consequences 

And think of the danger of a crazy poet roaming 
at large. First, there is danger for himself, for if, 
as he goes about with upturned gaze, he fall into a 
ditch, nobody will pull him out. Indeed, he may 


have gone in on purpose, like Empedocles, who, 
thinking himself divine, once leaped into burning 
Aetna. And secondly, there is danger for others, 
for if he is so stark, staring mad as to be ever making 
verses, he will become a public scourge, and if he 
catches some poor wretch he will fasten on him like 
a leech, and make him listen to his recitations until 
he has bored him to death (i53-i76) ! 

The sketch of a crazy poet with which the poem 
closes corresponds to that of the crazy painter with 
which it opens. Both painter and poet are used to 
impress upon readers the lesson that in poetry as in 
other arts the main principle to be followed is 
propriety. This idea of hterary propriety, which 
runs through the whole epistle, is illustrated in 
many ways, and may be said to give the Ars Poeiica 
an artistic unity. (So Roy Kenneth Hack, " The 
Doctrine of Literary Forms " in Harvard Studies in 
Classical Philology, vol. xxvii., 1916.) 

SG 449 


Humano capiti^ cervicem pictor equinam 
iungere si velit, et varias inducere plumas 
undique collatis membris, iit turpiter atrum 
desinat in piscem miilier formosa superne, 
spectatum admissi^ risum teneatis, amici ? 6 

credite, Pisones,* isti tabulae fore librum 
persimilem, cuius, velut aegri^ somnia, vanae 
fingentur^ species, ut nee pes nee caput uni 
reddatur formae. " pictoribiis atque poetis 
quidlibet" audendi® semper fuit aequa potestas." 10 
scinius, et banc veniam petimusque daniusque 

vicissim ; 
sed non ut placidis coeant immitia, non ut 
serpentes avibus geminentur, tigribus agni. 

Inceptis gravibus plcrumque et magna professis 
purpureus, late qui splendeat, unus et alter 15 

adsuitur pannus, cum lucus et ara Dianae 
et properantis aquae per amoenos ambitus agros 
aut flumen Rlienum aut pluvius^ describitur arcus. 
sed nunc non erat his locus, et fortasse cupressum 
scis simulare : quid hoc, si fractis enatat exspes^** 20 

^ For the Ars Poetica class I of the uss. includes aBCKM, 
while class II includes R<fi-^5\lir. 

• pectori B^. ^ missi EC. * pisonis, //. * aegris a^BIi. 

• fungimtur B : fingentur or finguntur. 

' quodlibet tt. * audiendi B. 

• fluvius, //. " expers, //. 



If a painter chose to join a human head to the neck 
of a horse, and to spread feathers of many a hue over 
limbs picked up now here now there, so that what at 
the top is a lovely woman ends below in a black and 
ugly fish, could you, my friends, if favoured with a 
private view, refrain from laughing ? Believe me, 
dear Pisos, quite hke such pictures would be a book, 
whose idle fancies shall be shaped like a sick man's 
dreams, so that neither head nor foot can be assigned 
to a single shape. " Painters and poets," you say, 
" have always had an equal right in hazarding any- 
thing." We know it : this licence we poets claim 
and in our turn we grant the hke ; but not so far 
that savage should mate with tame, or serpents 
couple with birds, lambs ^^^th tigers. 

1* Works with noble beginnings and grand promises 
often have one or two purple patches so stitched on 
as to ghtter far and wide, when Diana's grove and 
altar, and 

The winding stream a-speeding 'mid fair fields 
or the river Rhine, or the rainbow is being described." 
For such things there is a place, but not just now. 
Perhaps, too, you can draw a cypress. But what of 
that, if you are paid to paint a sailor swim m ing from 

• These examples are doubtless taken from poems current 
in Horace's day. 



navibus, aere dato qui pingitur ? amphora coepit 

institui : currente rota cur urceus exit ? 

denique sit quod vis,^ simplex dumtaxat et unum. 

Maxima pars vatum, pater et iuvenes patre digni, 
decipimur specie recti, brevis esse laboro, 25 

obscurus fio ; sectantem levia^ nervi 
deficiunt animique ; professus grandia turget ; 
serpit humi tutus nimium timidusque procellae : 
qui variare cupit rem prodigialiter unam, 
delphinum silvis appingit, fluctibus aprum. 30 

in vitium ducit culpae fuga, si caret arte. 

Aemilium circa ludum faber imus^ et unguis 
exprimet et mollis imitabitur aere capillos, 
infelix operis summa, quia ponere totum 
nesciet. hunc ego me/ si quid componere curem, 35 
non magis esse velim, quam naso vivere pravo,^ 
spectandum nigris oculis nigroque^ capillo. 

Sumite materiam vestris, qui scribitis, aequam 
viribus et versate diu, quid ferre recusent, 
quid valeant umeri. cui lecta potenter erit res, 40 
nee facundia deseret hunc nee lucidus ordo. 
ordinis haec virtus erit et venus, aut'' ego fallor, 
ut* iam nunc dicat iam nunc debentia dici, 

* quidvis K Bentley. * lenia Bentley. 

3 unus 5^ Bentley. * egomet 8(p\p. 

* parvo b\ir. ^ nigrove BCK. 

' haut or haud BCK^ II (except w). * aut, //. 

' One who has been saved from a shipwreck wants to 
put a picture of the scene as a votive offering in a temple. 
* So the schoUasts, imus being local amd meaning 



his wrecked vessel in despair ? * That was a wine- 
jar, when the moulding began : why, as the wheel 
runs round, does it turn out a pitcher ? In short, be 
the work what you will, let it at least be simple and 

** Most of us poets, O father and ye sons worthy 
of the father, deceive ourselves by the semblance of 
truth. Stri\ing to be brief, I become obsciure. 
Aiming at smoothness, I fail in force and fire. One 
promising grandeur, is bombastic ; another, over- 
cautious and fearful of the gale, creeps along the 
ground. The man who tries to vary a single subject 
in monstrous fashion, is like a painter adding a 
dolphin to the woods, a boar to the waves. Shunning 
a fault may lead to error, if there be lack of art. 

^ Near the Aemilian School, at the bottom of the 
row,* there is a craftsman who in bronze will mould 
nails and imitate wa\ing locks, "but is unhappy in 
the total result, because he cannot represent a whole 
figure. Now if I wanted to write something, I should 
no more wish to be Hke him, than to hve with my 
nose turned askew, though admired for my black 
eyes and black hair. 

^ Take a subject, ye writers, equal to your 
strength ', and ponder long what your shoulders 
refuse, and what they are able to bear. Whoever 
shall choose a theme ^\ithin his range, neither speech 
will fail him, nor clearness of order. Of order, this, if 
I mistake not, will be the excellence and charm that 
the author of the long-promised poem shall say at 
the moment what at that moment should be said, 

" the last " of a number of shops. Some, however, take 
it in the sense of " humblest." Bentley's unus is to be taken 
closel}' with exprimet, " mould better than any others." 



pleraque difFerat et praesens in tempus omittat, 
hoc amet, hoc spernat^ promissi carminis auctor. 45 

In verbis etiam tenuis cautusque serendis^ 
dixeris^ egregie, notum si calhda verbum 
reddiderit iunctura novum, si forte necesse est 
indiciis monstrare recentibus abdita rerum,* 
fingere cinctutis non exaudita Cethegis 50 

contingetj dabiturque hcentia sumpta pudenter : 
et nova fictaque^ nuper habebunt verba fidem, si 
Graeco fonte cadent^ parce detorta. quid autem 
CaeciHo Plautoque dabit Romanus ademptum 
Vergiho Varioque' ? ego cur, adquirere pauca 65 
si possum, invideor, cum lingua Catonis et Enni 
sermonem patrium ditaverit et nova rerum 
nomina protulerit ? hcuit semperque hcebit 
signatum praesente nota producere^ nomen. 
ut silvae fohis^ pronos mutantur in annos, 60 

prima cadunt ; ita verborum vetus interit aetas, 
et iuvenum ritu florent modo nata vigentque. 
debemur morti nos nostraque : sive receptus 
terra Neptunus classes Aquilonibus arcet, 
regis opus, sterilisve^" palus diu aptaque remis 65 

^ spernet BC. 

* Bentley transposed II. 45 and 46, and has been followed by 
most editors. The scholiasts, however, had 1. 45 preceding 1. 46. 
Servius, too, though he cites I. 45 three times {on Aeneid, 
iv. 413, 415; Georgics, ii. 475) noichere applies it to diction. 

^ dixerit B. * rerum et, //. * factaque. 

* cadant a, Servius on Virg. Aen. vi. 34. 

' \'aroque (t>^5. * procudere Bentley. 

' folia in silvis Diomedes. " sterilisque, / {except a). 

" Bentley's transposition of lines 45 and 46, making 
hoc . . , hoc refer to verbis, seems unnecessary. The tradi- 
tional order is retained by Wickham and Rolfe. Horace 
deals first with the arrangement of argumentative material, 



reserving and omitting much for the present, loving 
this point and scorning that." 

*'^ Moreover, with a nice taste and care in 
weaving words together, you will express yoiuself 
most happily, if a skilful setting makes a familiar 
word new. If haply one must betoken abstruse 
things by novel terms, you will have a chance 
to fashion words never heard of by the kilted* 
Cethegi, and licence will be granted, if used with 
modesty : while words, though new and of recent 
make, will win acceptance, if they spring from a 
Greek fount and are drawn therefrom but sparingly.*' 
Why indeed shall Romans grant this licence to 
Caecihus and Plautus, and refuse it to Virgil and 
Varius ? And why should I be grudged the right of 
adding, if I can, my httle fund, when the tongue of 
Cato and of Ennius has enriched oiur mother-speech 
and brought to hght new terms for things ? It has 
ever been, and ever ^\i\\ be, permitted to issue words 
stamped with the mint-mark of the day. As forests 
change their leaves with each year's decline, and the 
earhest drop off ** : so with words, the old race dies, 
and, hke the young of human kind, the new-born 
bloom and thrive. We are doomed to death — we and 
all things ours ; whether Neptune, welcomed within 
the land, protects our fleets from northern gales — a 
truly royal work — or a marsh, long a waste where oars 
and in 1. 46 passes to diction (c/. Fiske, Lucilius and Horace, 
p. 449 and note 50). 

* The cinctus was a loin-cloth worn instead of the tunica 
by the Romans in days of old. 

« As Wickham has seen, the metaphor is taken from 
irrigation ; " the sluices must be opened sparingly." 

•^ In Italian woods, as in Californian, leaves may stay on 
the trees two or even three years. Only the oldest {jprima) {| 
drop off each autumn. '' 



vicinas urbes alit et grave sentit aratrum, 
sen cursum mutavit iniquum frugibus aniiiis 
doctus iter melius : mortalia facta peribunt, 
nedum sermonum stet honos et gratia vivax. 
multa renascentur quae iam cecidere, cadentque 70 
quae nunc sunt in honore vocabula, si volet usus, 
queni penes arbitrium est et ius et norma loquendi. 

Res gestae regumque ducumque et tristia bella 
quo scribi possent numero, monstravit Homerus. 
versibus impariter iunctis querimonia primum, 75 
post etiam inclusa est voti sententia compos ; 
quis tamen exiguos elegos emiserit auctor, 
grammatici certant et adhuc sub iudice lis est. 
Archilochum proprio rabies armavit iambo : 
hunc socci cepere pedem grandesque coturni 80 

alternis aptum sermonibus et popularis 
vincentem strepitus et natum rebus agendis. 
musa dedit fidibus divos puerosque deorum 
et pugilem victorem et equum certamine primum 
et iuvenum curas et libera vina referre. 85 

descriptas servare vices operumque color es 

" Horace finds tliree illustrations of human achievement 
in certain engineering works planned by Julius Caesar or 
Augustus. These were: (1) the building of the Julian 
Harbour on the Campanian coast, where, under Agrippa, 
Lakes Avernus and Lucrinus were connected by a deep 
channel, and the sandy strip between the Lucrine Lake 
and the sea was pierced so as to admit ships from the 
Tuscan Sea; c/. Virgil, Georgics, ii. 161 fF. ; (2) the draining 
of the Pomptine marshes, planned by Julius Caesar and 
perhaps executed by Augustus ; (3) the straightening of 
the Tiber's course so as to protect Rome fnom floods. 

" Cf. Epistles ii. 2. 119. " The dactylic hexameter. 

"^ The elegiac couplet, made up of a hexameter and a 
pentameter (hence impariter iunctis), was commonly used 
in inscriptions associated with votive offerings and expressed 



were plied, feeds neighbouring towns and feels the 
weight of the plough ; or a river has changed the 
course which brought ruin to corn-fields and has learnt 
a better path " : all mortal things shall perish, much 
less shall the glory and glamour of speech endure 
and live. Many terms that have fallen out of use 
shall be born again, and those shall fall that are now 
in repute, if Usage so \^ill it, in whose hands lies the 
judgement, the right and the rule of speech.* 

'' In what measure the exploits of kings and 
captains and the sorrows of war may be written, 
Homer has shown.* Verses yoked unequally first 
embraced lamentation, later also the sentiment of 
granted prayer ^ : yet who first put forth humble 
elegiacs, scholars dispute, and the case is still before 
the court. Rage armed Archilochus with his own 
iambus : this foot comic sock and high buskins alike 
adopted, as suited to alternate speech, able to drown 
the clamours of the pit, and by nature fit for action.* 
To the l)Te the Muse granted tales of gods and 
children of gods, of the victor in boxing, of the horse 
first in the race, of the loves of swains, and of freedom 
over wine.^ If I fail to keep and do not understand 
these well-marked shifts and shades of poetic forms," 

in the form of epigrams. The earliest elegiacs, however, 
were probably laments, such as those written by Archilochus 
on the loss of friends at sea. 

• The iambic trimeter was the measure used in dialogue, 
both in comedies and tragedies. For Archilochus see 
Epist. i. 19. 23 ff. 

' Greek Ij-ric poetry embraced hymns to the gods and 
heroes, odes commemorating victories in the games, love 
poems, and drinking-songs. For Pindaric themes cf. Odes, 
iv. 2. 10-24. 

' From here on Horace deals especially with dramatic 
poetry. Tone and style, diction and metre should all accord. 



cur ego si nequeo ignoroque poeta salutor ? 

cur nescire pudens prave quam discere malo ? 

versibus exponi tragicis res comica noii volt ; 

indignatur item privatis ac prope socco 90 

dignis carminibus narrari cena Thyestae. 

singula quaeque locum teneant sortita decentem.'^ 

interdum tamen et vocem Comoedia tollit, 

iratusque Chremes tumido delitigat ore ; 

et tragicus plerumque dolet sermone pedestri 95 

Telephus et Peleus, cum pauper et exsul uterque 

proicit ampullas et sesquipedalia verba, 

si curat^ cor spectantis tetigisse querella. 

Non satis est pulchra esse poemata ; dulcia sunto 
et quocumque volent^ animum auditoris agunto. 100 
ut ridentibus arrident, ita flentibus adsunt^ 
humani voltus : si vis me flere, dolendum est 
primum ipsi tibi : tunc^ tua me infortunia laedent, 
Telephe vel Peleu ; male si mandata loqueris, 
aut dormitabo aut ridebo. tristia maestum 105 

voltum verba decent, iratum plena minarum, 
ludentem lasciva, severum seria dictu. 
format enim Natura prius nos intus ad omnem 
fortunarum habitum ; iuvat aut impellit ad iram, 
aut ad humum maerore gravi deducit et angit ; 110 
post effert animi motus interprete lingua, 
si dicentis erunt fortunis absona dicta, 
Romani tollent equites peditesque cachinmim. 
intererit multum, divusne® loquatur an heros, 
maturusne senex an adhuc florente iuventa 116 

^ decentem VBK: decenter aCM, II. 
• curas. ' volunt, II. 

* adsunt MSS. : adflent Bentley. 
6 turn BGK. « Davusne R. 

• Cf. Epist. i. 3. 14. 


why am I hailed as poet ? Why through false shame 
do I prefer to be ignorant rather than to learn ? A 
theme for Comedy refuses to be set forth in verses 
of Tragedy ; likewise the feast of Thyestes scorns to 
be told in strains of daily life that well nigh befit the 
comic sock. Let each style keep the becoming 
place allotted it. Yet at times even Comedy 
raises her voice, and an angry Chremes storms in 
swelUng tones ; so, too, in Tragedy Telephus and 
Peleus often grieve in the language of prose, when, 
in poverty and exile, either hero throws aside his 
bombast* and Brobdingnagian * words, should he 
want his lament to touch the spectator's heart. 

^ Not enough is it for poems to have beauty : 
they must have charm, and lead the hearer's soul 
where they >vill. As men's faces smile on those 
who smile, so they respond to those who weep. If 
you would have me weep, you must first feel grief 
yourself: then, O Telephus or Peleus, will your 
misfortunes hurt me : if the words you utter are ill 
suited, I shall laugh or fall asleep. Sad tones befit the 
face of sorrow ; blustering accents that of anger ; jests 
become the merry, solemn words the grave. For 
Nature first shapes us within to meet every change 
of fortune : she brings joy or impels to anger, or 
bows us to the ground and tortures us under a load 
of grief ; then, with the tongue for interpreter, she 
proclaims the emotions of the soul. If the speaker's 
words sound discordant with his fortunes, the 
Romans, in boxes and pit aUke, will raise a loud 
guffaw. Vast difference will it make, whether a god 
be speaking or a hero, a ripe old man or one still in 

* Segfiuipedalia verba, lit. " words a foot and a half in 



fervidus, et matrona potens an sedula nutrix, 
mercatorne vagus cultorne virentis^ agelli, 
Colchus an Assyrius, Thebis nutritus an Argis. 

Aut famam sequere aut sibi convenientia finge. 
scriptor honoratum^ si forte reponis Achillem, 120 
impiger, iracundus, inexorabilis, acer, 
iura neget sibi nata, nihil non arroget armis. 
sit Medea ferox invictaque, flebilis Ino, 
perfidus Ixion, lo vaga, tristis Orestes, 
si quid inexpertum scaenae committis et audes 125 
personam formare novam, servetur ad imum, 
qualis ab incepto processerit, et sibi constet. 

Difficile est proprie communia dicere ; tuque 
rectius Iliacum carmen deducis in actus, 
quam si proferres ignota indictaque primus. 130 

publica materies privati iuris erit, si 
non circa vilem patulumque moraberis orbem, 
nee verbo verbum^ curabis reddere fidus 
interpres, nee desilies imitator in artum, 
unde pedem proferre pudor vetet aut operis lex. 135 

^ vigentis M, II. * Homereum Bentley. 

* verbum verbo C. 

" The Assyrian would be effeminate, as compared with 
the Colchian, but both would be barbarians. The Theban 
Creon is a headstrong tyrant, while the Argive Agamemnon 
shows reserve and dignity. 

" In the Iliad Achilles was first scorned by Agamemnon 
but in the sequel (Book IX, the embassy) highly honoured. 
Bentley conjectured that honoratum was a corruption of 
Homereum, " the Achilles of Homer," but we are dealing 
with a not uncommon use of the participle. So Elmore in 
G.R. xxxiii. (1919) p. 102 ; cf. Sat. i. 6. 126. 

"' By publica materies Horace means Homer and the epic 
field in general. A poet may make this his own by original- 
ity in the handling. Commentators are divided as to 
whether communia (1. 128) is identical with publica materies 



the flower and fervour of youth, a dame of rank or a 
bustling nurse, a roaming trader or the tiller of a 
verdant field, a Colchian or an Assyrian, one bred at 
Thebes or at Argos," 

^^ Either follow tradition or invent what is self- 
consistent. If haply, when you write, you bring 
back to the stage the honouring of Achilles,* let him 
be impatient, passionate, ruthless, £erce ; let him 
claim that laws are not for him, let him ever make 
appeal to the sword. Let Medea be fierce and un- 
yielding, Ino tearful, Ixion forsworn, lo a wanderer, 
Orestes sorrowful. If it is an untried theme you 
entrust to the stage, and if you boldly fashion a 
fresh character, have it kept to the end even as it 
came forth at the first, and have it self-consistent. 

^^ It is hard to treat in your o^\^l way what is 
common : and you are doing better in spinning into 
acts a song of Troy than if, for the first time, you 
were giving the world a theme unknown and unsung. 
In ground open to all you will win private rights," 
if you do not linger along the easy and open pathway, 
if you do not seek to render word for word as a 
slavish translator, and if in your copying you do not 
leap into the narrow well, out of which either shame 
or the laws of yoiu- task will keep you from stirring 

or not. The language is in the domain of law and as res 
communes, things common to all mankind, as the air and 
sea, differ from res publicae, things which belong to all 
citizens of a state, as its roads and theatres, so here communia 
covers a larger field than publico, and denotes characteristics 
which are common among mankind. These may be com- 
pared to the general truths {to. KadoXov) of Aristotle {Poet, ix.), 
as distinguished from particular ones (ri Ka6' (KaoTov). In 
Horace it is obvious that communia does not apply to 
Iliacum carmen, which does, however, come under the 
publico tnateries of the poet. 



nee sie ineipies ut scriptor cyclicus olim : 
" fortunam Priami cantabo et nobile^ helium. " 
quid dignum tanto feret hie promissor hiatu ? 
parturient^ montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. 
quanto rectius hie, qui nil molitur inepte : 140 

" die mihi, Musa, virum, captae post tempora Troiae 
qui^ mores hominum multorum vidit et urhes." 
non fumum ex fulgore, sed ex fumo dare lucem 
cogitat, ut speciosa dehinc miracula promat, 
Antiphaten Scyllamque et cum Cyclope Charybdin. 
nee reditum Diomedis ah interitu Meleagri, 146 

nee gemino helium Troianum orditur ah ovo ; 
semper ad eventum festinat et in medias res 
non secus ac notas auditorem rapit, et quae 
desperat tractata nitescere posse, relinquit, 150 

atque ita mentitur. sic veris falsa remiscet, 
primo ne medium, medio ne discrepet imum. 

Tu quid ego et populus mecum desideret audi, 
si plosoris* eges aulaea manentis et usque 
sessuri,^ donee cantor " vos plaudite " dicat, 155 

aetatis cuiusque notandi sunt tibi mores, 
mobilibusque^ decor naturis dandus et annis. 
reddere qui voces iam scit puer et pede certo 
signat humum, gestit paribus colludere, et iram 

^ cantarat nobile B. * parturiunt. ^ quis B. 

* plosoris V, It plus oris, II: plausoris B^. 

* sessori B. • nobilibusque B. 

" Horace utilizes the fable of the goat that leapt into a 
well, but has nothing to say about the fox who persuaded 
him to do so. 

* The opening of the Odyssey. 

' Meleager was an uncle of Diomede, and therefore of 
an older generation. 

"* i.e. from the birth of Helen. 

• The cantor was probably the young slave who stood 



a step." And you are not to begin as the Cyclic 
poet of old : 

Of Priam's fate and famous war I'll sing. 

What will this boaster produce in keeping with such 
mouthing ? Mountains will labour, to birth will 
come a laughter-rousing mouse ! How much better 
he who makes no fooHsh effort : 

Sing, Muse, for me the man who on Troy's fall 
Saw the wide world, its ways and cities all." 

Not smoke after flame does he plan to give, but 
after smoke the hght, that then he may set forth 
striking and wondrous tales — Antiphates, Scylla, 
Charj'bdis, and the Cyclops. Nor does he begin 
Diomede's return from the death of Meleager,*' or 
the war of Troy from the twin eggs.** Ever he 
hastens to the issue, and hurries his hearer into the 
story's midst, as if already known, and what he fears 
he cannot make attractive with his touch he aban- 
dons ; and so skilfully does he invent, so closely 
does he blend facts and fiction, that the middle is 
not discordant with the beginning, nor the end with 
the middle. 

1^ Now hear what I, and with me the pubhc, 
expect. If you want an approving hearer, one who 
waits for the curtain, and will stay in his seat till 
the singer * cries " Give your applause," you must 
note the manners of each age, and give a befitting 
tone to shifting natures and their years. The child, 
who by now can utter words and set firm step upon 
the ground, dehghts to play with his mates, flies 

near the flute-player and sang the eantica of a play, while 
the actor gesticulated. All the comedies of Plautus and 
Terence close with plaudite or an equivalent phrase. 



colligit ac ponit temere et mutatur in horas. 160 

imberbis^ iuvenis, tandem custode remote, 
gaudet equis eanibusque et aprici gramine Campi, 
cereus in vitium flecti, monitoribus asper, 
utilium tardus provisor, prodigus aeris, 
sublimis cupidusque et amata relinquere pernix. 165 
conversis studiis aetas animusque virilis 
quaerit opes et amicitias, inservit honori, 
commisisse cavet quod mox mutare^ laboret. 
multa senem circumveniunt incommoda, vel quod 
quaerit et inventis miser abstinet ac timet uti, 170 
vel quod res omnis timide gelideque ministrat, 
dilator^ spe longus, iners avidusque futuri, 
difficilis, queruius, laudator temporis acti 
se puero, castigator censorque minorum. 
multa ferunt anni venientes commoda secum, 175 
multa recedentes adimunt. ne forte seniles 
mandentur iuveni partes pueroque viriles, 
semper in adiunctis aevoque morabimur* aptis.^ 

Aut agitur res in scaenis aut acta refertur. 
segnius irritant animos demissa per aurem 180 

quam quae sunt oculis subiecta fidelibus et quae 
ipse sibi tradit spectator : non tamen intus 
digna geri promes in scaenam, multaque tolles 

1 imberbis aB: imberbus VCM; cf. Epist. ii. 1. 85. 

* mox mutare] permutare. II. * delator B. 

* morabitur B, II, Vollmer. » apti B. 

" i.e. Campus Martius. 

* Spe longus seems to be a translation of Aristotle's 
SiVeXTTis {Rhet. ii. 12), hence Bentley conjectured lentus for 
longus. It is, however, in view of Horace's spes longa 
{Odes, i. 4. 15; i. 11. 6) taken by some as "far-reaching 
in hope," the hope requiring a long time for fulfilment. 
Wickham suggests " patient in hope," but the quality is here 
one of the incommoda of age, not one of its blessings. The 



into a passion and as lightly puts it aside, and 
changes every hour. The beardless youth, freed at 
last from his tutor, finds joy in horses and hounds 
and the grass of the sunny Campus," soft as wax for 
moulding to evil, peevish with his counsellors, slow 
to make needful provision, lavish of money, spirited, 
of strong desires, but swift to change his fancies. 
With altered aims, the age and spirit of the man 
seeks wealth and friends, becomes a slave to am- 
bition, and is fearful of ha\ing done what soon it 
will be eager to change. Many ills encompass an 
old man, whether because he seeks gain, and then 
miserably holds aloof from his store and fears to use 
it, or because, in all that he does, he lacks fire and 
courage, is dilatory and slow to form hopes,'' is 
sluggish and greedy of a longer life, peevish, surly, 
given to praising the days he spent as a boy, and to 
repro\ing and condemning the young. Many bless- 
ings do the advancing years bring -with them ; many, 
as they retire, they take away. So, lest haply we 
assign a youth the part of age, or a boy that of man- 
hood, we shall ever linger over traits that are joined 
and fitted to the age. 

"^ Either an event is acted on the stage, or the 
action is narrated. Less vividly is the mind stirred 
by what finds entrance through the ears than by 
what is brought before the trusty eyes, and what 
the spectator can see for himself. Yet you will not 
bring upon the stage what should be performed 
beliind the scenes, and you will keep much from our 

phrase is explanatory of dilator, even as avidus futuri 
explains iners, for unlike the youth, who is absorbed in the 
present, the old man fails to act promptly, because his heart 
is in the future, however brief that is to be. 

2h 465 


ex oculis, quae mox narret facundia praesens ; 
ne pueros coram populo Medea trucidet, 185 

aut humana palam coquat exta nefarius Atreus, 
aut in avem Procne vertatur, Gadmus in anguem. 
quodcumque ostendis mihi sic, incredulus. odi. 

Neve minor neu sit quinto productior actu 
fabula quae posci volt et spectata^ reponi. 190 

nee deus intersit, nisi dignus vindice nodus 
incident, nee quarta loqui persona laboret. 

Actoris partis chorus officiumque virile 
defendat, neu quid medios intercinat actus 
quod non proposito conducat et haereat apte. 195 
ille bonis faveatque et consilietur amice, ^ 
et regat iratos et amet peccare timentis^ ; 
ille dapes laudet mensae brevis, ille salubi'em 
iustitiam legesque et apertis otia portis ; 
ille tegat commissa deosque precetur et oret 200 

ut redeat miseris, abeat fortuna superbis. 

Tibia non, ut nunc, orichalco vincta^ tubaeque 
aemula, sed tenuis simplexque foramine pauco^ 
adspirare et adesse choris erat utilis atque 
nondum spissa nimis complere sedilia flatu ; 205 

quo sane populus numerabilis, utpote parvus, 
et frugi castusque^ verecundusque coibat. 
postquam coepit agros extendere victor et urbes 
latior amplecti murus, vinoque diurno 
placari Genius festis impune diebus, 210 

accessit numerisque modisque licentia maior. 

^ spectata SXlir : spectanda (exsp-JS/L) other mss. Both 
known to scholiasts. The latter perhaps an early error, 
due to Sat. i. 10. 39, 

* amici(s), //. * pacare tumentes. * iuncta C'K. 

* parvo, // {except w). • cautusque C : catusque ^t/-. 

" The deus ex machina. As vindex, he is to deliver men 
from difficulties seemingly insoluble. 


eyes, which an actor's ready tongue will narrate anon 
in our presence ; so that Medea is not to butcher her 
boys before the people, nor impious Atreus cook 
human flesh upon the stage, nor Procne be turned 
into a bird, Cadmus into a snake. Whatever you 
thus show me, I discredit and abhor. 

^^' Let no play be either shorter or longer than 
five acts, if when once seen it hopes to be called for 
and brought back to the stage. And let no god" 
intervene, unless a knot come worthy of such a 
dehverer, nor let a fourth actor essay to speak.* 

1^^ Let the Chorus sustain the part and strenuous 
duty of an actor, and sing nothing between acts 
which does not advance and fitly blend into the plot. 
It should side with the good and give friendly counsel ; 
sway the angry and cherish the righteous. It should 
praise the fare of a modest board, praise wholesome 
justice, law, and peace with her open gates ; should 
keep secrets, and pray and beseech the gods that 
fortune may return to the unhappy, and depart from 
the proud. 

2-2 The flute — not, as now, bound with brass and 
a rival of the trmnpet, but shght and simple, with 
few stops — was once of use to lead and aid the chorus 
and to fill with its breath benches not yet too crowded, 
where, to be sure, folk gathered, easy to count, 
because few — sober folk, too. and chaste and modest. 
But when a conquering race began to widen its 
domain, and an ampler wall embraced its cities, and 
when, on festal days, appeasing the Genius" by 
daylight drinking brought no penalty, then both 
time and tune won greater hcence. For what taste 

* i.e. not more than three speaking characters are to be 
on the stage at once. • Cf. Epistlet, ii. 1. 144. 



indoctus quid enim saperet liberque laborum 
rusticus urbano confusus, turpis honesto ? 
sic priscae motumque et luxuriem addidit arti 
tibicen traxitque vagus per pulpita vestem ; 215 

sic etiam fidibus voces crevere severis, 
et tulit eloquium insolitum facundia praeceps, 
utiliumque sagax rerum et divina futuri 
sortilegis non discrepuit sententia Delphis. 

Carmine qui tragico vilem certavit ob hircum, 220 
mox etiam agrestis Satyros nudavit et asper 
incolumi gravitate iocum^ temptavit, eo quod 
illecebris erat et grata novitate morandus 
spectator, functusque sacris et potus et exlex. 
verum ita risores, ita commendare dicaces 225 

conveniet Satyros, ita vertere seria ludo, 
ne quicumque deus, quicumque adhibebitur heros, 
regali conspectus in auro nuper et ostro, 
migret in obscuras hximili sermone tabernas, 
aut, dum vitat humum, nubes et inania captet. 230 
efFutire levis indigna Tragoedia versus, 
ut festis matrona moveri iussa diebus, 
intererit Satyris paulum pudibunda protervis. 
non ego inornata et dominantia nomina solum 

^ locum BKSir. 

' Horace seems to speak flippantly of the style of choruses 
in Greek tragedy. He assumes that as the music became 
more florid, both speech and thought also lost their simplicity, 
the former becoming dithyrambic, the latter oracular and 
obscure. It is probable, however, that he has in view the 
post-classical drama. 

* Tragedy or " goat-song " was supposed to take its 
name from the prize of a goat. It was so called, however, 
because the singers were satyrs, dressed in goat-skins. 
Satyric drama, the subject of this passage, is closely con- 
nected with tragedy, and must not be handled as comedy. 



could you expect of an unlettered throng just freed 
from toil, rustic mixed up with city folk, vulgar ^vith 
nobly-born ? So to the early art the flute-player 
added movement and display, and, strutting o'er the 
stage, trailed a robe in train. So, too, to the sober 
lyre new tones were given, and an impetuous style 
brought in an unwonted diction ; and the thought, 
full of wise saws and prophetic of the future, was 
attuned to the oracles of Delphi." 

^^ The poet who in tragic song first competed for 
a paltry goat ^ soon also brought on unclad the 
woodland Satyrs, and with no loss of dignity roughly 
essayed jesting, for only the lure and charm of novelty 
could hold the spectator, who, after observance of 
the rites," was well drunken and in lawless mood. 
But it will be fitting so to seek favour for your 
laughing, bantering Satyrs, so to pass from grave to 
gay, that no god, no hero, who shall be brought 
upon the stage, and whom we have just beheld in 
royal gold and purple, shall shift with vulgar speech 
into dingy hovels, or, while shunning the ground, 
catch at clouds and emptiness. Tragedy, scorning 
to babble trivial verses, will, hke a matron bidden 
to dance on festal days, take her place in the 
saucy Satyrs' circle with some little shame. Not 
mine shall it be, ye Pisos, if writing Satyric plays, to 

It came as a fourth play after a tragic trilogy. Horace 
treats this form as if it had developed out of traged j-, whereas 
in fact tragedy is an offshoot from it (see e.g. Barnett, 
The Greek Drama, p. 11). As for a Satjric drama in Latin, 
little is known about it, but Pomponius, according to 
Porphyrio on 1. 221, wrote three Satyrica, viz. Atalanta, 
Sisyphus, and Ariadne. 

* i.e. of Bacchus at the Dionysia, when plays were 



verbaque, Pisones, Satyrorum scriptor amabo, 235 

nee sic enitar tragico difFerre colori, 

ut nihil intersit, Davusne loquatur et audax^ 

Pythias, emuncto lucrata Simone talentum, 

an custos famuhisque dei Silenus alumni. 

ex noto fietum carmen sequar, ut sibi qui vis 240 

speret idem, sudet multum frustraque laboret 

ausus idem : tantum series iuncturaque pollet, 

tantum de medio sumptis accedit honoris. 

silvis deducti caveant me iudice Fauni, 

ne velut innati triviis ac paene forenses 245 

aut nimium teneris iuvenentur versibus umquam, 

aut immunda crepent ignominiosaque dicta : 

ofFenduntur enim, quibus est equus et pater et res, 

nee, si quid fricti^ ciceris probat et nucis emptor, 

acquis accipiunt animis donantve^ corona. 250 

Syllaba longa brevi subiecta vocatur iambus, 
pes citus ; unde etiam trimetris accrescere iussit 
nomen iambeis, cum senos redderet ictus 
primus ad extremum similis sibi. non ita pridem, 

^ et audax VBCKi an audax a, II. 

2 fricti aM(p^p : strict! C : fracti BK5-rr. 

' donantque tt. 

» For nomina verbaque cf. Sat. i. 3. 103. Plato {Cratylus, 
431 b) uses prifiara and dvbfxara to cover the whole of 
lanpfuage. The epithet dominantia translates Kvpia. Such 
words are the common, ordinary ones, which are contrasted 
with all that are in any way uncommon. 

* Davus, Pythias and Simo are cited as names of typical 
characters in comedy {cf. Sat. i. 10. 40). On the other hand, 
Silenus, the jolly old philosopher, who was father of the 
Satyrs and guardian of the youthful Dionysus, appeared in 
Satyric dramas, e.g. the Cyclops of Euripides. 

' By carmen Horace means poetic style, not plot, as some 



affect only the plain nouns and verbs of established 
use <* ; nor shall I strive so to part company with 
tragic tone, that it matters not whether Davus be 
speaking with shameless Pythias, who has won a 
talent by bamboozling Simo, or Silenus, who guards 
and serves his di\ine charge.^ My aim shall be 
poetry," so moulded from the familiar that anybody 
may hope for the same success, may sweat much 
and yet toil in vain when attempting the same : 
such is the power of order and connexion, such the 
beauty that may crown the commonplace. When 
the Fauns ^ are brought from the forest, they should, 
methinks, beware of behaving as though born at the 
crossways and almost as dwelling in the Forum, 
plapng at times the young bloods with their mawkish 
verses, or cracking their bawdy and shameless jokes. 
For some take offence — knights, free-bom, and men 
of substance — nor do they greet ^nth kindly feelings 
or reward with a crown everything which the buyers 
of roasted beans and chestnuts * approve. 

^^ A long syllable following a short is called an 
iambus — a hght foot ; hence it commanded that the 
name of trimeters should attach itself to iambic lines, 
though it pelded six beats, being from first to last 
the same throughout.^ But not so long ago, that it 

have taken it. Thus 11. 240-243 are in harmony with those 
that precede and those that follow. The word Return 
suggests that this style will look like a new creation. This 
is to seem easy enough to tempt others to try it. 

•* i.e. Sati,Ts. These wild creatures of the woods must 
not speak as though they were natives of the city, whether 
vulgar and coarse or refined and sentimental. 

* These are still cheap and popular articles of food in 

' An iambic trimeter contains six feet, but it takes two 
feet to make one metrum. 



tardior ut paulo graviorque veniret ad auris, 255 

spondeos stabilis in iiira paterna recepit 

commodus et patiens, non ut de sede secunda 

cederet aut quarta socialiter. hie et in Acci 

nobilibus trimetris apparet rarus, et Enni 

in scaenam missos cum magno pondere versus 260 

aut operae celeris nimium^ curaque carentis 

aut ignoratae premit artis crimine turpi. 

non quivis videt immodulata poemata iudex, 

et data Romanis venia est indigna poetis. 

idcircone vager scribamque licenter ? an omnis 265 

visuros peccata putem mea, tutus et intra 

spem veniae cautus ? vitavi denique culpam, 

non laudem merui. vos exemplaria Graeca 

nocturna versate manu, versate diurna. 

at vestri proavi Plautinos et numeros et 270 

laudavere sales, nimium patienter utrumque, 

ne dicam stulte, mirati, si modo ego et vos 

scimus inurbanum lepido seponere dicto 

legitimumque sonum digitis callemus et aure. 

Ignotum tragicae genus invenisse Camenae 275 
dicitur et plaustris vexisse poemata Thespis, 
quae eanerent agerentque peruncti faecibus ora.^ 
post hunc personae pallaeque repertor honestae 
Aeschylus et modicis instravit pulpita tignis 
et docuit magnumque loqui nitique cothurno. 280 

1 nimium celeris o. * ora aKM, II: atris BC. 

" The admission of spondees to the odd places in the 
trimeter, though mentioned by Horace as recent, is really 
very old. Pure iambic trimeters are occasionally used by 
Catullus and by Horace {Epode xvi.). 

* The epithet given by this poet's admirers. Cf. EpisL i. 
19. 39. " See notes on Epist. ii. 1. 170-176. 

•* Jesting from wagons (to. ef a/xd^rjs (TKun/jLara), in the 
processions which formed a feature of the vintage celebration, 



might reach the ears -sdth somewhat more slowness 
and weight, it admitted the steady spondees to its 
paternal rights ,<» being obhging and tolerant, but not 
so much so as to give up the second and fourth places 
in its friendly ranks. In the " noble " ^ trimeters of 
Accius this iambus appears but seldom ; and on the 
verses which Ennius hurled ponderously upon the 
stage it lays the shameful charge either of hasty 
and too careless work or of ignorance of the art. 
Not every critic discerns unmusical verses, and so 
undeserved indulgence has been granted our Roman 
poets. Am I therefore to run loose and -WTite %\ith- 
out restraint r Or^ supposing that all will see my 
faults, shall I seek safety and take care to keep 
within hope of pardon ? At the best I have escaped 
censure, I have earned no praise. For yourselves, 
handle Greek models by night, handle them by day. 
Yet your forefathers, you say, praised both the 
measures and the wit of Plautus.'U Too tolerant, not 
to sav foolish, was their admiration of both, if you 
and I but know how to distinguish coai-seness from 
wit, and with fingers and ear can catch the lawful 

2"^ Thespis is said to have discovered the Tragic 
Muse, a type unknown before, and to have carried 
his pieces in wagons to be sung and acted by players 
with faces smeared with M-ine-lees."* After him 
Aeschylus, inventor of the mask and comely robe, 
laid a stage of small planks, and taught a lofty speech 
and stately gait on the buskin. To these succeeded 

is associated, not with Tragedy, but with Comedy. Horace 
seems to confuse the two. The words peruncti faecibus ora 
are an allusion to rpvyifioia, a term used of comedy {cf. 
Aristophanes, Achamians, 499, 500), and derived from t/w|, 
** wine-lees." 



successit vetus his comoedia, non sine multa 
laude ; sed in vitium libertas excidit et vim 
dignam lege regi : lex est accepta chorusque 
turpiter obticuit sublato iure nocendi. 

Nil intemptatum nostri liquere poetae, 2S6 

nee minimum meruere decus vestigia Graeca 
ausi deserere et celebrare domestica facta, 
vel qui praetextas vel qui docuere togatas. 
nee virtute foret clarisve^ potentius armis 
quam lingua Latium, si non ofFenderet unum 290 
quemque poetarum limae labor et mora, vos, o 
Pompilius sanguis, carmen reprehendite quod non 
multa dies et multa litura coercuit atque 
praesectum^ deciens non castigavit ad unguem. 

Ingenium misera quia fortunatius arte 295 

credit et excludit sanos Helicone poetas 
Democritus, bona pars non unguis ponere curat, 
non barbam,^ secreta petit loca, balnea vitat. 
nanciscetur enim pretium nomenque poetae, 
si tribus Anticyris caput insanabile numquam 300 
tonsori Licino oommiserit. o ego laevus, 
qui purgor bilem sub verni temporis horam ! 
non alius faceret meliora poemata : verum 
nil tanti est, ergo fungar vice cotis, acutum 
reddere quae ferrum valet, exsors ipsa* secandi ; 305 

^ clarisque BCK. 

* praesectum VBC: perspectum tt : perfectum a, //. 

3 barbas B. * exsortita aBCMRir. 

" Fahulae praetextae (or praetextatae) were tragedies with 
Roman themes, so called because of the toga praetexta 
worn by the actors. Similarly comedies, in which Roman 
citizens appeared, were called togatae. Cf. Epist. ii. 1. 57, 
and note e. 


Old Comedy, and won no little credit, but its freedom 
sank into excess and a \aolence deserving to be 
checked by law. The law was obeyed, and the 
chorus to its shame became mute, its right to injure 
being withdrawn. 

^^ Our own poets have left no style untried, nor 
has least honour been earned when they have dared 
to leave the footsteps of the Greeks and sing of 
deeds at home, whether they have put native 
tragedies or native comedies upon the stage." Nor 
would Latium be more supreme in valour and glory 
of arms than in letters, were it not that her poets, 
one and all, cannot brook the toil and tedium of the 
file. Do you, O sons of PompiUus,* condemn a 
poem which many a day and many a blot has not 
restrained and refined ten times over to the test of 
the close-cut nail." 

^^ Because Democritus believes that native talent 
is a greater boon than wTctched art, and shuts out 
from Hehcon poets in their sober senses, a goodly 
nxunber take no pains to pare their nails or to shave 
their beards ; they haunt lonely places and shun 
the baths — for surely one will win the esteem and 
name of poet if he never entrusts to the barber 
Licinus a head that three Anticyras cannot cure.'* 
Ah, fool that I am, who purge me of my bile as the 
season of spring comes on ! Not another man would 
compose better poems. Yet it's not worth while.* 
So I'll play a whetstone's part, which makes steel 
sharp, but of itself cannot cut. Though I write 

* The Calpurnii are said to have been descended froni 
Calpus, one of the sons of Numa Pompilius. 

' A metaphor from sculpture ; cf. Sat. i. 5. 32. 

" Cf. Sat. ii. 3. 82, 166. 

' Viz. to write poetry and lose your wits. 



munus et officium, nil scribens ipse, docebo, 
unde parentur opes, quid alat formetque poetam, 
quid deceat,^ quid non, quo virtus, quo ferat error. 

Scribendi recte sapere est et principium et fons. 
rem tibi Socraticae poterunt ostendere chartae, 310 
verbaque provisam rem non invita sequentur. 
qui didicit patriae quid debeat et quid amicis, 
quo sit amore parens, quo frater amandus et hospes, 
quod sit conseripti, quod iudicis officium, quae 
partes in bellum missi ducis, ille profecto 315 

reddere personae scit convenientia cuique. 
respicere exemplar vitae morumque iubebo 
doctum imitatorem et vivas bine ducere voces, 
interdum speciosa locis^ morataque recte 
fabula nullius veneris, sine pondere et arte, 320 

valdius oblectat populum meliusque moratur 
quam versus inopes rerum nugaeque canorae. 

Grais ingenium, Grais dedit ore rotundo 
Musa loqui, praeter laudem nullius avaris. 
Romani pueri longis rationibus assem 325 

discunt in partis centum diducere. " dicat 
filius Albani^ : si de quincunce remota est 
uncia, quid superat? poteras* dixisse." " triens." 


rem poteris servare tuam. redit uncia, quid fit ? " 
"semis." an,^ haec animos aerugo et cura peculi 330 

1 doceat aRd. * iocis K, II. 

' Albini, //. * poterat o, //. 

* an FjS: &daCMK,II. 

" I take doctum as a repetition of qui didicit (1. 312). 
The drama is an imitation of life, and the would-be dramatist 
who has first learned about life from his studies should next 
turn to real life and make his own observations. 

*" Some take Iocis as equivalent to sententiis, moral reflec- 
tions or commonplaces, which may be used anywhere. 



naught myself, I will teach the poet's office and duty ; 
whence he draws his stores ; what nurtures and 
fashions him ; what befits him and what not ; whither 
the right course leads and whither the ^vrong. 

^^ Of good writing the source and fount is \\isdom. 
Your matter the Socratic pages can set forth, and 
when matter is in liand words will not be loath to 
follow. He who has learned what he owes his country 
and his friends, what love is due a parent, a brother, 
and a guest, what is imposed on senator and judge, 
what is the function of a general sent to war, he surely 
knows how to give each character his fitting part. 
I would ad\ise one who has learned the imitative 
art to look to Ufe and manners for a model, and draw 
from thence hving words." At times a play marked 
by attractive passages '' and characters fitly sketched, 
though lacking in charm, though without force and 
art, gives the people more delight and holds them 
better than verses void of thought, and sonorous 

^^ To the Greeks the Muse gave native wit, to 
the Greeks she gave speech in well-rounded phrase * ; 
they craved naught but glory. Our Romans, by 
many a long sum, learn in childhood to divide the 
as into a hundred parts. " Let the son of Albinus 
answer.** If from five-twelfths one ounce be taken, 
what remains ? You might have told me by now." 
" A third." " Good ! you %\-ill be able to look after 
your means. An ounce is added ; what's the result ? " 
" A half." \Mien once this canker, this lust of petty 

* Ore rotundo is here used of stjle, not utterance. 

•* This is a school-lesson in arithmetic. The Romans used 
a duodecimal system (their as being divided into twelve 
ounces), and the children learn to reduce figures to decimals 
{in partes centum). 



cum semel imbuerit, speramus^ carmina fingi 
posse linenda cedro et levi servanda cupresso ? 

Aut prodesse volunt aut delectare poetae 
aut simul et iucunda et idonea dicere vitae. 
quidquid praecipies, esto brevis, ut cito dicta 335 
percipiant animi dociles teneantque fideles : 
omne supervacuum pleno de pectore raanat. 
ficta voluptatis causa sint proxima veris, 
ne^ quodcumque velit^ poscat sibi fabula credi, 
neu pransae Lamiae vivum puerum extrahat alvo. 340 
centuriae seniorum agitant expertia frugis, 
celsi praetereunt austera poemata Ramnes : 
omne tulit punctum qui miscuit utile dulci, 
lectorem delectando pariterque monendo. 
hie meret aera* liber Sosiis, hie et mare transit 345 
et longum noto scriptori prorogat aevum. 

Sunt delicta tamen quibus ignovisse velimus : 
nam neque chorda sonum reddit, quem volt manus 

et mens, 
poscentique gravem persaepe remittit acutum ; 
nee semper feriet quodcumque minabitur arcus. 350 
verum ubi plura nitent in carmine, non ego paucis 
ofFendar maculis, quas aut incuria fudit 
aut humana parum cavit natura. quid ergo est ? 
ut scriptor si peccat idem librarius usque, 
quamvis est monitus, venia caret, et^ citharoedus 355 
ridetur, chorda qui semper oberrat* eadem : 

1 speremiis, II. * nee BC. ' volet, //. 

* aere C, // (but not ir). * ut. ^ oberret aM. 

" Lamia was " a bugbear of the Greek nursery." 

* An ancient classification of the citizens into seniores 
and iuniores is here referred to. The former were between 
the ages of forty-six and sixty. The terms Ramnes, Titles, 
and Luceres were applied to the three centuries of equites 



gain has stained the soul, can we hope for poems to 
be fashioned, worthy to be smeared with cedar-oil, 
and kept in polished cypress ? 

^^ Poets aim either to benefit, or to amuse, or to 
utter words at once both pleasing and helpful to hfe. 
Whenever you instruct, be brief, so that what is 
quickly said the mind may readily grasp and faith- 
fully hold : every word in excess flows away from 
the full mind. Fictions meant to please should be 
close to the real, so that your play must not ask for 
belief in anything it chooses, nor from the Ogress's " 
belly, after dinner, draw forth a h\ing child. The 
centuries of the elders chase from the stage what 
is profitless ; the proud Ramnes disdain poems * 
devoid of charms. He has won every vote who has 
blended profit and pleasure, at once dehghting and 
instructing the reader. That is the book to make 
money for the Sosii" ; this the one to cross the sea 
and extend to a distant day its author's fame. 

^^ Yet faults there are which we can gladly 
pardon ; for the string does not always yield the 
sound which hand and heart intend, but when you 
call for a flat often returns you a sharp ; nor will 
the bow always hit whatever mark it threatens. 
But when the beauties in a poem are more in number, 
I shall not take offence at a few blots which a careless 
hand has let drop, or human frailty has failed to 
avert. What, then, is the truth ? As a copying 
clerk is without excuse if, however much warned, he 
always makes the same mistake, and a harper is 
laughed at who always blunders on the same string : 

formed by Romulus, so that " Ramnes " is here used for 
the young aristocrats. 

' For the Sosii, famous booksellers, cf. Epiat. i. 20. 2. 



sic mihi, qui multum cessat, fit Choerilus ille, 
quern bis terve^ bonum cum risu miror ; et idem 
indignor quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus, 
verum operi^ longo fas est obrepere somnum. 360 

Ut pictura poesis : erit quae, si propius stes, 
te capiat magis, et quaedam, si longius abstes. 
haec amat obscurum, volet haec sub luce videri, 
iudicis argutum quae non formidat acumen ; 
haec placuit semel, haec deciens repetita placebit. 365 

O maior iuvenum, quamvis et voce paterna 
fingeris ad rectum et per te sapis, hoc tibi dictum 
tolle memor, certis medium et tolerabile rebus 
recte concedi. consultus iuris et actor 
causavum mediocris abest virtute diserti 370 

Messallae, nee scit^ quantum Cascellius Aulus, 
sed tamen in pretio est : mediocribus esse poetis 
non homines, non di, non concessere column ae. 
ut gratas inter mensas symphonia discors 374 

et crassum unguentum et Sardo cum melle papaver 
ofFendunt, poterat duci quia cena sine istis : 
sic animis natum inventumque poema iuvandis, 
si paulum summo decessit, vergit* ad imum. 
ludere qui nescit, campestribus abstinet armis, 
indoctusque pilae discive trochive quiescit, 380 

ne spissae risum tollant impune coronae : 
qui nescit versus tamen audet fingere. quidni ? 
liber et ingenuus, praesertim census equestrem 
summam nummorum vitioque remotus ab omni. 

^ terque aCM. ^ opere 5: opere in aM. 

* nee scit VB: nescit a C J/. * pergit £C. 

" Dormitat — aitrowdTa^ei. Cf. iv eiriardK-Q yp6.\}/as . . . 
dnovva-Tci^eLv rbv At) /j-oa 9 ivrjv (Plutarch, Cicero, 24). 

* Poppy-seeds, when roasted and served with honey, were 
considered a delicacy, but were spoilt if the honey had a 
bitter flavour. 


so the poet who often defaults, becomes, methinks, 
another Choerilus, whose one or two good lines cause 
laughter and surprise ; and yet I also feel aggrieved, 
whenever good Homer "nods,"" but when a work 
is long, a drowsy mood may well creep over it. 

^^ A poem is Uke a picture : one strikes your 
fancy more, the nearer you stand ; another, the 
farther away. This courts the shade, that will wish 
to be seen in the Hght, and dreads not the critic 
insight of the judge. This pleased but once ; that, 
though ten times called for, will always please. 

^^ O you elder youth, though wise yourself and 
trained to right judgement by a father's voice, take 
to heart and remember this sa\ing, that only some 
things rightly brook the medium and the bearable. 
A lawyer and pleader of middling rank falls short of 
the merit of eloquent Messalla, and knows not as 
much as Aulus Cascellius, yet he has a value. But 
that poets be of middling rank, neither men nor gods 
nor booksellers ever brooked. As at pleasant ban- 
quets an orchestra out of tune, an unguent that is 
thick, and poppy-seeds served with Sardinian honey,' 
give offence, because the feast might have gone on 
without them : so a poem, whose birth and creation 
are for the soul's deUght, if in aught it falls short 
of the top, sinks to the bottom. He who cannot 
play a game, shuns the weapons of the Campus,'' 
and, if unskilled in ball or quoit or hoop, remains 
aloof, lest the crowded circle break out in righteous 
laughter. Yet the man who knows not how dares to 
frame verses. WTiy not .'' He is free, even free- 
born, nay, is rated at the fortune of a knight, and 
stands clear from every blemish. 

" The Campus Martius in Rome. 

2 1 4,81 


Tu nihil invita dices faciesve^ Minerva ; 385 

id tibi indicium est, ea mens, si quid tamen olim 
scripseris, in Maeci descendat iudicis auris 
et patris et nostras, nonumque prematur in annum, 
membranis intus positis : delere licebit 
quod non edideris ; nescit vox missa reverti. 390 

Silvestris homines sacer interpresque deorum 
caedibus et victu foedo deterruit Orpheus, 
dictus ob hoc lenire tigris rabidosque^ leones. 
dictus et Amphion, Thebanae conditor urbis,^ 
saxa movere sono testudinis et prece blanda 395 

ducere quo vellet. fuit haec sapientia quondam, 
pubhca privatis secernere, sacra profanis, 
concubitu prohibere vago, dare iura maritis, 
oppida moliri, leges incidere ligno. 
sic honor et nomen divinis vatibus atque 400 

carminibus venit. post hos insignis Homerus 
Tyrtaeusque mares animos in Martia bella 
versibus exacuit ; dictae per carmina sortes, 
et vitae monstrata via est, et gratia regum 
Pieriis temptata modis, ludusque repertus 405 

et longorum operum finis : ne forte pudori 
sit tibi Musa lyrae sollers et cantor Apollo. 

1 faciesque aM. * rapidos aCM, II. ' arcis aM. 

" The phrase invita Minerva is explained by Cicero, 
De off. i. 31. 10, as meaning adversante et repugnante 
natura x cf. " crassa Minerva," Sat. ii. 2. 3. 

» Cf. Sat. i. 10. 38. ' Cf. Epist. i. 20. 6. 

<* The laws of Solon were published thus. 

« The first poets were inspired teachers. 

f Tyrtaeus, who according to tradition was a lame Attic 
schoolmaster, composed marching-songs and martial elegies 
for the Spartans in the seventh century b.c. 



2^ But you will say nothing and do nothing 
against Minerv'a's will "» ; such is your judgement, 
such your good sense. Yet if ever you do write 
anything, let it enter the ears of some critical 
Maecius,^ and your father's, and my ovra ; then put 
your parchment in the closet and keep it back till 
the ninth year. What you have not pubHshed you 
can destroy ; the word once sent forth can never 
come back.** 

^^ While men still roamed the woods, Orpheus, 
the holy prophet of the gods, made them shrink from 
bloodshed and brutal h\ ing ; hence the fable that he 
tamed tigers and ravening lions ; hence too the fable 
that Amphion, builder ofThebes's citadel, moved stones 
by the sound of his lyre, and led them whither he 
would by his supphcating spell. In days of yore, this 
was wisdom, to draw a hne between public and private ' 
rights, between things sacred and things common, 
to check vagrant union, to give rules for wedded life, 
to build towns, and grave laws on tables of wood<* ; 
and so honour and fame fell to bards and their 
songs, as divine.* After these Homer won his renown, \ 
and Tyrtaeus ^ with his verses fired manly hearts for 
battles of Mars. In song oracles were given, and 
the way of hfe was shown " ; the favour of kings 
was sought in Pierian strains,^ and mirth was found 
to close toil's long spell.' So you need not blush 
for the Muse skilled in the lyre, and for Apollo, god 
of song. 

» In didactic poetry such as Hesiod's, and gnomic poetry 
such as Solon's. 

* A reference to Pindar, Simonides, and Bacchylides. 

* The ludus is such festal mirth as was exhibited in the 
dramatic performances of the Dionysia. Cf. Epist. ii. 1. 
139 ff. 



Natura fieret laudabile carmen an arte, 
quaesitum est : ego nee studium sine divite vena, 
nee rude quid prosit^ video ingenium : alterius sic 410 
altera poscit opem res et coniurat amice, 
qui studet optatam cursu contingere metam, 
multa tulit fecitque puer, sudavit et alsit, 
abstinuit Venere et vino ; qui Pythia cantat 
tibicen, didicit prius extimuitque magistrum. 415 
nunc^ satis est^ dixisse: "ego mira poemata pango; 
occupet extremum scabies ; mihi turpe relinqui est 
et quod non didici sane nescire fateri." 

Ut praeco, ad merces turbam qui cogit emendas, 
adsentatoi-es iubet ad lucrum ire poeta 420 

dives agris,* dives positis in faenore nummis. 
si^ vero est, unctum qui recte ponere possit 
et spondere levi pro paupere et eripere atris® 
litibus implicitum, mirabor, si sciet inter- 
noscere mendacem verumque beatus amicum. 425 
tu seu donaris seu quid donare voles cui,' 
nolito ad versus tibi factos ducere plenum 
laetitiae : clamabit enim " pulchre ! bene ! recte ! " 
pallescet super his, etiam stillabit amicis 
ex oculis rorem, saliet, tundet pede terram. 430 

ut qui conducti plorant in funere dicunt 
et faciunt prope plura dolentibus ex animo, sic 
derisor vero plus laudatore movetur. 
reges dicuntur multis urgere culullis 

^ possit. ^ nee. ^ et BC. * agri BC. 

* sin Xtt. * artis : so Bentley. ' qui B : quoi V. 

" An allusion to a game of tag, in which the children cried: 
habeat scabiem quisquis ad me venerit novi'ssimus. 
Horace means that people play at poetry like children. Cf, 
Ep. i. 1. 59. 



*** Often it is asked whether a praiseworthy poem 
be due to Nature or to art. For my part, I do not 
see of what avail is either study, when not enriched 
by Nature's vein, or native \sit, if untrained ; so 
truly does each claim the other's aid, and make with 
it a friendly league. He who in the race-course 
craves to reach the longed-for goal, has borne much 
and done much as a boy, has sweated and shivered, 
has kept aloof from •nine and women. The flautist 
who plays at the Pythian games, has first learned 
his lessons and been in awe of a master. To-day 'tis 
enough to say : " I fashion wondrous poems : the 
devil take the hindmost ! " 'Tis unseemly for me 
to be left behind, and to confess that I really do not 
know what I have never learned." 

*^^ Like the crier, who gathers a crowd to the 
auction of his wares, so the poet bids flatterers flock 
to the call of gain, if he is rich in lands, and rich in 
moneys put out at interest. But if he be one who 
can fitly serve a dainty dinner, and be surety for a 
poor man of httle credit, or can rescue one entangled 
in gloomy suits-at-law, I shall wonder if the happy 
fellow will be able to distinguish between a false 
and a true friend. And you, if you have given or 
mean to give a present to anyone, do not bring him, 
in the fulness of his joy, to hear verses you have 
wTitten. For he will call out " Fine ! good ! 
perfect ! " He will change colour over them ; he 
\\i\\ even distil the dew from his friendly eyes, he 
will dance and thump the ground with his foot. As 
hired mourners at a funeral say and do almost more 
than those who grieve at heart, so the man who 
mocks is more moved than the true admirer. Kings, 
we are told, ply with many a bumper and test witli 



et torquere mero, quem perspexisse laborent,^ 435 
an sit amicitia dignus : si carmina condes, 
numquam te fallent^ animi sub volpe latentes. 

Quintilio si quid recitares, " corrige, sodes, 
hoc," aiebat, " et hoc." melius te posse negares 
bis terque expertum frustra, delere iubebat 440 ^ 

et male tornatos^ incudi reddere versus. | 

si defendere delictum quam vertere malles, i 

nullum ultra verbum aut operam insumebat inanem, 
quin sine rivali teque et tua solus amares. 
vir bonus et prudens versus reprehendet inertis, 445 
culpabit duros, incomptis allinet atrum 
transverso calamo signum, ambitiosa recidet 
ornamenta, parum claris lucem dare coget, 
arguet ambigue dictum, mutanda notabit, 
fiet Aristarchus ; nee* dicet: " cur ego amicum 450 
ofFendam in nugis ? " hae nugae seria ducent 
in mala derisum semel exceptumque sinistre. 

Ut mala quem scabies aut morbus regius urget 
aut fanaticus error et iracunda Diana, 
vesanum tetigisse timent fugientque^ poetam 455 
qui sapiunt ; agitant pueri incautique sequuntur. 
hie, dum sublimis versus ructatur et errat, 

1 laborant, // {not <t>). * fallant <t>f8. 

^ torquatos Ex ter natos Bentley. * non, II. 

* fugientque a^ : fugentque M: fugiuntque K. 

' In one of Aesop's fables, the crow, yielding to the fox's 
flatterj% drops the cheese he has found. 

* i.e. Quintilius Varus, whose death is lamented in Odes, 
i. 24. 

« The name of Aristarchus, famous as an Homeric scholar 
of Alexandria in the second century B.C., had become pro- 
verbial as that of a keen critic. 



wine the man they are anxious to see through, 
whether he be worthy of their friendship. If you 
mean to fashion verses, never let the intent that 
lurks beneath the fox ensnare you.<* 

*^ If you ever read aught to Qiiintilius,' he would 
say : " Pray correct this and this." If, after two or 
three vain trials, you said you could not do better, 
he would bid you blot it out, and return the ill- 
shaped verses to the anvil. If vou preferred defend- 
ing your mistake to amending it, he would waste 
not a word more, would spend no fruitless toil, to 
prevent your lo\ing yourself and your work alone 
without a rival. An honest and sensible man will 
censure Ufeless lines, he will find fault with harsh 
ones ; if they are graceless, he will draw his pen 
across and smear them with a black stroke ; he will 
cut away pretentious ornament ; he wiU force you 
to flood the obscure with light, \vill convict the doubt- 
ful phrase, will mark what should be changed, will 
prove an Aristarchus." He will not say, " WTiy should 
I give offence to a friend about trifles ? " These 
trifles will bring that friend into serious trouble, 
if once he has been laughed dowm and given an 
unlucky reception. 

*^^ As when the accursed itch plagues a man, or 
the disease of kings,** or a fit of frenzy and Diana's 
wrath,' so men of sense fear to touch a crazy poet and 
run away ; children tease and pursue him rashly. He, 
with head upraised, splutters verses and off he strays; 

•* The morbus regius, said to be so called because the 
patient was treated with costly remedies, which only the 
rich (reges) could afford, was our jaundice and was supposed 
to be contagious. 

« " Lunacy " was supposed to be caused by the moon, 
and the moon-goddess was Diana. 



si* veliiti merulis intentus decidit auceps 

in puteum foveamve, licet " succurrite " longuin 

clamet " io cives ! " non sit qui tollere curet. 4G0 

si curet quis opem ferre et demittere^ funem, 

" qui scis, an prudens hue se deiecerit^ atque 

servari nolit ? " dicam, Siculique poetae 

narrabo interitum. deus immortalis haberi 

dum cupit Empedocles, ardentem frigidus Aetnam 

insiluit. sit ius liceatque perire poetis : 466 

invitum qui servat, idem facit occidenti. 

nee semel hoc fecit, nee, si retractus erit, iam 

fiet homo et ponet famosae mortis amorem. 

nee satis apparet, cur versus factitet, utrum 470 

minxerit in patrios cineres, an triste bidental 

moverit incestus : certe furit, ac velut ursus, 

obiectos* caveae valuit si frangere clatros, 

indoctum doctumque fugat recitator acerbus ; 

quern vero arripuit, tenet occiditque legendo, 475 

non missura cutem, nisi plena cruoris, hirudo. 

1 si K8 : sic aEM. ^ dimittere most ms8. 

' proiecerit, //. * obiectas E. 

" So Thales is said to have fallen into a well while studying 
the stars (Plato, Theaetetug, 174 a). 



then if, like a fowler with his eyes upon blackbirds, he 
fall into a well <* or pit, despite his far-reaching cry, 
" Help, O fellow-citizens ! " not a soul will care to 
pull him out. And if one should care to lend aid 
and let do^^■n a rope, " How do you know," I'll say, 
" but that he threw himself in on purpose, and does 
not wish to be saved ? " and I'll tell the tale of the 
Sicilian poet's end. Empedocles, eager to be thought 
a god immortal, coolly leapt into burning Aetna. 
Let poets have the right and power to destroy them- 
selves. Who saves a man against his %\'ill does the 
same as miu-der him. Not for the first time has he 
done this, nor if he is pulled out will he at once 
become a human being and lay aside his cra\ing for 
a notable death. Nor is it very clear how he comes 
to be a verse-monger. Has he defiled ancestral ashes 
or in sacrilege disturbed a hallowed plot ** ? At any 
rate he is mad, and, hke a bear, if he has had strength 
to break the confining bars of his cage, he puts learned 
and unlearned ahke to flight by the scourge of his 
recitals. If he catches a man, he holds him fast and 
reads him to death — a leech that will not let go the 
skin, till gorged with blood. 

* The hidental was a spot struck by lightning, which was 
consecrated by a sacrifice of sheep {biderUet). 



The references are to books and lines in the Latin text. Abbreviatious : 
A.P.=An Poetica; E. = Epistles; S.=Satires or Sermones; also adj.= 
adjectiTe; a/. = alios; /em. = feminine ; pJur. = plural ; rin^. = singular ; 
«iil»<. =sabst&ntiTe. 

ACASEJTus, an old Athenian hero. 

In a garden dedicated to him and 

called Academia, Plato and his 

successors taught. E. ii. 2. 45 
Accius, Roman tragic poet, bom 

170 ac, S. L 10. 53 ; E. u. 1. 56 ; 

A. P. 258 
Achilles, hero of the Iliad, S. L 7. 

12 ; iL 3. 193 ; E. il 2. 42 ; A.P. 

120. See Pelides 
Achivi, the Greeks, S. ii 3. 194; 

E. L 2. 14 ; ii. 1. 33 
Actius, adj., of Actiiim, promon- 
tory and town of Greece on the 

Ambracian Gulf, where Octavius 

defeated Antony in 31 &a, £. L 

18. 61 
Aegaeus, adj., Aegean, applied to 

the sea between Greece and Asia 

Minor, E. i. 11. 16 

who, according to Porphyrio, 

set up a gladiatorial school, 

A.P. 32 
Aeneas, the Trojan hero, son of 

Anchises and Venus, S. ii. 5. 63 
Aeschylus, Greek tragic poet, E. 

U. 1. 163 ; A.P. 279 
Aesopus, Roman tragic actor, S. 

ii. 3. 239 ; E. ii. 1. 82 
Aetna, the famous Mt. Etna in 

SicUy, A.P. 465 
Aetolus, adj., of Aetolia, in central 

Greece, E. i. 18. 46 
Afer, adj., African, S. ii. 4. 58 ; 

ii. 8. 95 
Atenius. a writer of comedies with 

a Roman setting, known as 
togatae, E. ii. 1. 57 

Africa, i.e. Africa Provincia, the 
Roman province of Africa, S. 
ii. 3. 87 

Agave, daughter of Cadmus, wife 
of Echion, king of Thebes, who 
in the madness of Bacchic rites 
tore her son Pentheus to pieces, 
S. ii. 3. 203 

Agrippa, i.e. M. Vipsanius Agrippa, 
S'jn-in-law of Augustus, aedile in 
33 B.C., S. ii. 3. 185 ; erected the 
Portico of Neptune in 27 b.c., 
B. i. 6. 26 ; had estates in Sicily, 
E. L 12. 1 ; conquered the Can- 
tabri in 20-19 B.C., E. i. 12. 26 

Aiax, Greek hero, son of Telamon, 
and brother of Teucer. In his 
tragedy, the Ajax, Sophocles 
represents Menelaus as forbid- 
ding Teucer to burv the dead hero. 
S. ii. 3. 187. 193, 201, 211 

Albanns, adj., Alban, associated 
with the Alban hills, or the 
Alban Mount (now Monte Cavo) 
near Rome, S. ii. 4. 72 ; B. L 7. 
10 ; u. 1. 27 

Albino%-anus, i.«. Celsus Albino- 
vanus, E. i. H. 1, See Celsus 

Albinus, probably a usurer, A.P. 327 

Albins, (1) a man of expensive tastes, 
S. i. 4. 28, 109; (2) the poet, 
Albius TibuUus, E.i.i.\, possibly 
son of (1) 

Albucius, a name from Lucillns. 
S. iL 1. 48 ; iL 2. 67 



Alcaeus, Lesbian poet, E. i. 19. 29 ; 

ii. 2. 99 
Alcinous, king of Pliaeacia and 

host of Ulysses, E. i. 2. 28 
Alcon, a Greek slave, S. ii. 8. 15 
Alexander, i.e. Alexander the Great, 

king of Macedon, E. ii. 1. 232, 241 
Alfenus, a barber, who is said to 

have become eminent in the law, 

S. i. 3. 130 
AUifanus, adj., of Allifae, a town 

of Samnium, known for its 

pottery, S. ii. 8. 39 
Alpes, the Alps, S. ii. 5. 41 
Alpinus, properly an adj., of the 

Alps, a nickname given to M. 

Furius Bibaculus, who wrote an 

Aethiopis and a poem on Gaul, S. i. 

10. 3(5. See also Furius 
Amphion, son of Jupiter and 

Antiope, mother of Zethus, and 

famous player on the lyre. The 

citadel of Thebes was built to the 

accompaniment of his music. E. 

i. 18. 41, 44 ; ^.P. 394. See Zethus 
Aiieus, Ancus Marcius, fourth king 

of Rome, E. i. 6. 27 
Antenor, a Trojan chief, who pro- 
posed to restore Helen to the 

Greeks, E. 1. 2. 9 
Anticyra, a town in Phocis on the 

Corinthian gulf, famous for its 

hellebore, S. ii. 3. 83, 106, A. P. 

Antiphates, king of the Laestry- 

gones (Homer, Od. x. 100 f.), A.P. 

Antonius, (1) Marcus Antonius, 

the triumvir, S. i. 6. 33; (2) 

Antonius Musa, a freedman and 

physician, who cured Augustus 

by cold-water treatment, E. i. 

15. 3 
Anxur, the old name of Terracina, 

originally built at the top of a 

hill, but later rebuilt on the 

plain below, S. i. 5. 26 
Anytus, one of the accusers of 

Socrates, S. ii. 4. 3 
Apella, a Jewish freedman, S. i. 5. 

Apelles, a famous Greek painter, 

E. ii. 1. 239 
Apollo, the god, S. 1. 8. 78 ; ii. 6. 


60; E. i. 3. 17; i. 16. 59; 11. 1 

216 ; A.P. 407 
Appia (Via), Appian Way, S. i. 5. 6 
Appius, i.e. Appius Claudius 

Caecus, who in 312 B.C. built the 

Appian Way and Aqueduct, E. 

i. 6. 26; i. 18. 20. The Forum 

Appi, 43 miles south of Rome, was 

also named from him, S. i. 53. 

The Appius mentioned in S. i. 6. 

21 is perhaps Appius Claudius 

Pulcher, who was censor in 50 b.o. 
Apulia, a district of Italy, S. i. 5. 77 
Apulus, adj., of Apulia, S. ii. 1. 

34, 38 
Aquarius, the water-bearer, a sign 

of the Zodiac, S. i. 1. 86 
Aquilo, the north wind, or the 

North, S. ii. 6. 25; ii. 8. 56; 

A.P. 64 
Aquinas, adj., of Aquinum, a town 

of Latium, E. i. 10. 27 
Arabs, an Arab, E. i. 6. 6 ; i. 7. 36 
Arbuscula, an actress or mima, 

celebrated in Cicero's time (Ad 

Att. iv. 15), S. i. 10. 77 
Archiacus, adj., of Archias, a maker 

of furniture, E. i. 5. 1 
Archilochus, Greek iambic poet, 

flourished about 650 B.O., S. ii. 3. 

12; E. i. 19. 25, 28; A.P. 79 
Arellius, a rich neighbour of Horace, 

S. ii. 6. 78 
Argi, city of Argos, in the Pelopon- 
nesus, often representative of 

Greece in general, S. ii. 3. 132 ; 

E. ii. 2. 128; A.P. 118 
Aricia, a town sixteen miles south 

of Rome, S. i. 5. 1 
Aricinus, adj., of Aricia, E. ii. 2. 167 
Aristarchus, a great Homeric critic, 

flourished at Alexandria about 

180 B.C. ; A.P. 450 
Aristippus, founder of the Cyrenaic 

school of philosophy, S. ii. 3. 100 ; 

E. i. 1. 18 ; i. 17. 14, 23 
Aristius Fuscus, a friend of Horace, 

S. i. 9. 61 ; i. 10. S3 ; E. i. 10. 1 
Aristophanes, the most famous of 

Attic writers of comedy, S. i. 4. 1 
Armenius, adj., Armenian, E. i. 12. 

Arrius, whose praenomen was Quin- 

tus, and who gave a great funeral 


entertainment, mentioned by 

Cicero (/n Vatinium, xii.), S. ii 3. 

86, 243 
Asia, the province of Asia, in Asia 

Minor, 6\ i. 7. 19, 24 ; £. L 8. 6 
Asina, cognomen of Vinius, E. 1. 

IS. 8 
Assyrius, adj., of Assyria, A. P. 118 
Atabulus, a hot, dry wind, peculiar 

to Apulia, the scirocco, S. i. 5. 78 
Atacinus. See Varro 
Athenae, Athens, 5. i. 1. 64 ; ii. 7. 

13 ; E. ii. 1. 213 ; ii. 2. 43, 81 
Atreus, son of Pelops, murdered 

the children of Thyestes, his 

brother, and served them as a 

meal to their father, A.P. 1S6 
Atrides, son of Atreus, Agamem- 
non, .S. iL 3. 187; E. i. 2. 12; 

Menelaus, E. i. 7. 43 ; plur. of 

both sons, S. ii. 3. 203 
Atta, i.e. T. Qnintius .\tt3, a writer 

of togatae, who died in 78 B.C., 

E. ii. 1. 79 
Attalicus, adj., of Attains, the 

name of several kings of Pergamos. 

The last of these left his enormous 

wealth to the Roman people in 

133 B.C., E. i. 11. 5 
Atticus, adj., of Attica or Athens, 

S. ii. 8. 13 
Autidins, perhaps M. Aufldius 

Lurco, the first to fatten pea- 
cocks for sale, according to PUny 

(N.H. X. 23. 20), S. ii. 4. 24 
Aufldius Luscus, the "praefectns" 

at Fundi, S. i. 5. 34 
Autidus, a river of Apulia, now 

Ofanto, S. i. 1. 58 
Augustus, imperial title of Octaviiis 

Caesar, E. i. 3. 2, 7 ; i. 16. 29 ; 

ii. 2. 48. See Caesar 
Aulis, a town of Boeotia, whence 

the Greeks sailed for Troy, S. 

ii. 3. 199 
Aulus, son of Oppidius, S. ii. 3. 171. 

See Cascellius 
Auster, the south wind, S. i. 1. 6 ; 

ii. 2. 41 ; ii. 6. 18 ; il. 8. 6 ; B. i. 

11. 15 
Avidienus, a miser, S. it 2. 55 

Bacchius, n famous gladiator, S. 1. 
7. 2a See Bithus 

Bacchus, a god of wine and of poets, 

S. L 3. 7 where some editors 

read Bacchae, i.e. votaries of 

Bacchus ; E. ii. 2. 78 
Baiae, a town of Campania, a 

favourite seaside resort of the 

Romans, E. i. 1. 83 ; i. 15. 2, 12 
Baianus, adj., of Baiae, S. ii. 4. 32 
Baius, a certain poor man, S. i. 4. 1 10 
Balatro, a parasite of Maecenas, S. 
. iL S. 21, 33, 40, 83 (cf. S. i. 2. 2) 
Balbinus, a person unknown, S. 

i. 3. 40 
Barbaria, a general term for all 

countries not Greek, E. i. 2. 7 
Barium, a town in Apulia, now 

Bari, S. i. 5. 97. To-day steamers 

go from Bari to ports in Albania, 

Montenegro, and Dalmatia 
Barrus, (1) a vain person, unknown, 

S. i. 6. 30; (2) a foul-mouthed 

person, S. i. 7. 8 
Bellona, sister of Mars, and goddess 

of war, S. ii. 3. 223 
Beneveutum, a town of Samnium, 

now Benevento, S. i. 5. 71 
Bestius, probably a character in 

Lucilins, E. i. 15. 37 
Bibulus, prob;ibly C. Calpumiua 

Bibulus, a step-scfh of Brutus .S. 

i. 10. 86 
Bioneus, adj. , of Bion, a philosopher, 

bom in Scythia, who lived in 

Athens in the third century B.a, 

and was famous for his caustic 

wit, E. ii. 2. 60 
Birrius, a robber, S. i. 4. 69 
Bithus, a gladiator. He and 

Bacchius, after slaying many 

opponents, finally killed each 

other. S. i. 7. 20 
Bithynus,a<y., of Bithynia, a Roman 

province in Asia Minor, south of 

the Euxine, E. i. 6. 33 
Boeotus, adj., of Boeotia, a district 

in Greece, north-west of Attica 

E. ii. 1. 244 
Bolanus, ahot-headed acquaintance 

of Horace (the name was derived 

from Bola, a town of the Aequi) 

S. L 9. U 
Brundisium, now Brindisi, famous 

port of Calabria, S. L 6. 104 ; £ 

i. 17. 52 ; i. 18. 20 



Bnitus, i.e. M. Junius Brutus, who 
slew Caesar. He was properly pro- 
praetor of Macedonia, but after 
the coalition of Octavian and M. 
Antonius, and the murder of C. 
Trebonius, proconsul of Asia, he 
assumed the jurisdiction of that 
province as well, S. i. 7. 18, 33 

BuUatius, a friend of Horace, E. i. 
11. 1 

Butra, a friend of Torquatus, E. i. 
5. 26 

Byzantius, adj., of Byzantium, 
centre of the tunny fishery of 
the Black Sea, S. ii. 4. 66 

Cadmus, (1) a public executioner, 
S. i. 6. 39 : (2) founder of Thebes 
in Boeotia. He and his wife 
Harmonia were changed into 
serpents (so Ovid, Met. iv. 563 ff.), 
A.P. 187 

Caecilius, Roman comic poet, older 
contemporary of Terence, E. ii. 
1. ."iQ ; A.P. 54 

Caelius, a robber, S. i. 4. 69 

Caeres, adj., belonging to Caere, an 
old town of Etruiia, which had 
a limited Roman franchise. 
Whether thi% was given as a re- 
ward or was due to punisliment 
imposed, is uncertain, E. i. 6. 62 

Caesar, a family name in the Julian 
gens ; hence (1) C. Julius Caesar, 
the famous statesman and dic- 
tator, who left his gardens by his 
will to the Roman people, S. i. 9. 
18 ; (2) C. Julius Caesar Octavia- 
iius, also called Augustus when 
emperor, grandnephew of the 
dictator, who adopted him as his 
son and heir, S. i. 3. 4 ; ii. 1. 11, 19, 
84; E. i. 5. 9; i. 12. 28; i. 13.18; 
ii. 1. 4 ; ii. 2. 48. See Augustus 

Calaber, adj., of Calabria, E. i. 7. 
14 ; ii. 2. 177 

Calliniachus, famous poet of Alex- 
andria, flourished about 270 B.C., 
E. ii. 2. 100 

Calvus, i.e. C. Liciniua Cahnis, 
orator and poet, friend of Catul- 
lus, S. i. 10. 19 

Camena, pure Latin name of the 
Grefk MoOcra, Muse, S. L 10. 


45 ; B. i. I. 1; 1. 18. 47 ; L 19 

5 ; A.P. 275 
Caraillus, i.e. M. Furius Camillus, 

who took Veil and freed Rome 

from the Gauls, 390 B.C. , £. i. 1. 64 
Campanus, adj., of Campania, S. i. 

5. 45, 62 ; i. 6. 118 ; ii. 3. 144 ; ii. 

8. 56 
Campus, the Campus Martins or 

Field of Mars, in Rome, S. i. 1. 

90 ; i. 6. 126 ; ii. 6. 49 ; E. i. 7. 

59 ; i. 18. 54 
Canidia, a sorceress, S. 1, 8. 24, 48 ; 

ii. 1. 48 ; ii. 8. 95 
Canis, (1) the Dog-star, E. i. 10 

16 ; (2) a nickname, S. ii. 2. 56 
Cantaber, adj., of Cantabria, in 

Spain, E. i. 12. 26 
Caiitabricus, adj., of Cantabria, 

E. i. 18. 55 
Canusinus, adj., of Canusium, S. 

i. 10, 30 
Canusium, a place in Apulia, where 

they spoke both Greek and Latin, 

S. i. 5. 91 ; ii. 3. 168 
Capito. See Fonteius' 
Capitolinus. See Petillius 
Cappadox, a Cappadocian, living in 

Cappadocia, the most eastern 

Asiatic province of the Romans, 

E. i. 6. 39 
Caprius, a public prosecutor, S. i. 

4. 66 

Capua, a town in Campania, & L 
b. 47 ; E. i. 11. 11 

Cascellius, with praenomen Aulus, 
an eminent jurist, contemporary 
of Cicero, but living into the 
time of Augustus, A.P. 371 

Cassius, (1) Btruscus, a poet, per- 
haps same as (2), .<. i. 10. 62 ; (2) 
Parmeusis, an elegiac poet, one 
of the slayers of Caesar, E. i. 4. 3 

Castor, (1) brother of Pollux and 
Helen, S. ii. 1. 26 ; E. ii. 1. 5 ; 
(2) a gladiator, E. i. 18. 19 

Catia, a shameless woman, S. I. 2. 95 

Catienus, an actor, S. ii. 3. 61 

Catius, according to the scholiasts 
either an Epicurean philosopher, 
or a writer on the art of baking, 

5. iL 4. 1, 88 

Cato, (1) the famous censor, M. 
Porcius Cato, S. i. 2. 32 ; E. 


H. S. 117 ; A.P. 56 ; (2) another 
M. Porcius Cato, called Uticensis, 
because he killed himself at 
Utica, E. i. 19. 13, 14 ; (3) Valerius 
Cato, a grammarian of the late 
Republic, S. i. 10. 1* (interpo- 

Catullus, the famous Roman poet, 
87-54 B.C., S. i. 10. 19 

Caudiam, a Samnite town at the 
head of the famous Caudine 
Forks, S. i. 5. 51 

Celsus Albinovanns, a friend of 
Horace, one of the staff of Tiberius 
and his secretary, E. i. 3. 15 ; i. 
8. 1, 17 

Ceres, goddess of agriculture, 6'. 
ii. 2. 124 ; ii. 8. 14 

Cerinthus, a profligate, S. i. 2. 81 

Cervius, (1) an informer, S. ii. 1. 
47 ; (2) one of Horace's country 
neighbours, S. ii. 6. 77 

Cethegus, an orator of the old 
Republic, consul in 204 B.C., E. 
u. 2. 117 ; A.P. 50 

Charybdis, a whirlpool in the 
straits of Messina (see Homer, 
Od. xii. 81 ff^.), A.P. 145 

Chios, an island in the Aegean, 
E. i. 11. 1, 21 

Choerilns, a poet of lasos in Caria, 
who followed in the train of 
Alexander the Great and com- 
posed epic verse upon his 
victories, £. ii. 1. 233 ; ^.P. 357 

Chremes, an old man figuring in 
the Aniria and Heauton. of 
Terence, and typical of his form 
of comedy, S. i. 10. 40 ; A.P. 94 

Chrysippus, a Stoic philosopher, 
bom at Soli in Cilicia in 280 rc, 
S. i. 3. 127 ; iL 3. 44, 287 ; E. i. 2. 4 

Cibyraticus, oulj., of Cib3rra, a town 
in southern Phrygia, centre of a 
eonventus of twenty-five towns, 
E. i. 6. 33 

Cicirrhus Messins, an Oscan 
("Cicirrhus" is a nickname, 
meaning "a cock"X S. i. 5. 52, 

Cicuta, a moneylender (the name 
is probably a nickname, i.e. 
"hemlock-poison"), S. iL 3. 69, 
175. See PerelUua 

Cinara, a girl who figures in Horace's 

lyric poetry, E. I 7. 28 ; L 14. 

Circe, a famous enchantress in 

Homer's Odyssey (x. 230 ff.X E. 

L 2. 23 
Circeii, a promontory in lAtium, 

S. ii. 4. 33 
Claudius, t.e. Tiberius Claudius 

Xero, son of Livia, and later 

emperor, E. i. 3. 2; i. 12. 26 
Clazomenae, a town in Asia Minor, 

on the bay of Smyrna, S. i. 7. 5 
Clusinus, adj., of Clusium, lu 

Etruria, E. i. 15. 9 
Cocceius, i.e. M. Cocceius Nerva, 

consul 36 B.C., great-grandfather 

of the emperor Kerva, S. L 5. 

28, 50 
Colchns, an inhabitant of Colchis 

on the Black Sea, A.P. 118 
Colophon, a city of Ionia, on the 

coast of Lydia, E. L 11. 3 
Copia, Abundance (a personifica- 
tion), E. i. 12. 29 
Coranus, a quinqnerir who became 

a scriba, S. ii 5. 57, 64 
Coriiithus, a city on the Isthmus 

of Corinth, E. L 17. 36 ; ii. 1. 193 
Corvinus, S. i. 10. 29. See Messalla 
Corycius, adj., at Corycus in 

Cilicia, S. ii. 4. 68 
Cous, adj., of Cos, an island near 

Halicarnassus in Caria, S. i. 2. 

101 ; ii. 8. 9 
Crantor, an Academic philosopher 

and a voluminous writer, E. i. 2. 4 
Craterus, a physician named in 

Cicero's letters {Ad Att. xiL 13. 1 ; 

xii. 14. 4), S. ii. 3. 161 
Cratinus, a poet of the Old Attic 

Comedy, S. i. 4. 1 ; B. L 19. 1 
Crispinus, a Stoic writer, despised 

by Horace, S. L 1. 120; i. 3. 139; 

i. 4. 14 ; ii. 7. 45 
Croesus, a wealthy king of Lydia, 

E. i. 11. 2 
Cumae, a town in Campania, B. L 

15. 11 
Cupiennius, i.e. C. C!npiennius 

Libo of Cumae, a favourite of 

Augustus, S. i. 2. 36 
Curius, i.e. M. Curius Dentatus, 

consul 290 sua, conqueror of the 



Samnites, Senones, and Pyrrhus, 

E. i. 1. 64 
Curtillus, unknown except from S. 

ii. 8. 52 
Cyclops, one of the Cyclopes, a 

one-eyed race of giants, especially 

the Cyclops Polyphemus, S. i. 5. 

63 ; E. ii. 2. 125 ; A.P. 145 
Cynicus, a Cynic philosopher, E. 

i. 17. 18 

Daods, adj., Dacian, of the Daci, a 
people on the north bank of the 
Danube, S. ii. 6. 53 

Dama, a slave-name, S. i. 6. 38 ; ii. 
5. 18, 101 ; ii. 7. 54 

Damasippus, i.e. Junius Damas- 
ippus, a man who figures in 
Cicero's Letters as an agent in the 
purchase of works of art and other 
kinds of property (Ad Att. xii. 
29. S3; Adfam. vii. 23). Horace 
represents him as a convert to 
Stoicism, S. ii. 3. 16, 64, 65, 824 

Davus, (1) a slave character in 
Comedy, S. 1. 10. 40 ; u. 5. 91 ; 
A.P. 237; (2) a slave of Horace, 
S. ii. 7. 2, 46, 100 

December, the tenth month of the 
Roman year, when the Saturnalia 
were celebrated, S. ii. 7. 4 ; E. 
I. 20. 27 

Decius, i.e. P. Decius Mus, who 
devoted himself to death in the 
Latin War, was the first consul 
of his family, the Decian gens 
being plebeian, S. i. 6. 20 

Delphi, seat of the oracle of Apollo, 
A.P. 219 

Demetrius, (1) a trainer of actresses 
(mimae), S. i. 10. 79, 90, and 
probably the simius of 1. 18 ; (2) 
a Greek slave, E. i. 7. 52 

Democritus, the Eleatic laughing 
philosopher of Abdera in Thrace, 
E. i. 12. 12; ii. 1. 194; A.P. 297 

Diana, sister to Apollo, and goddess 
of the Moon, A.P. 16, 454 

Digentia, a small river in the Sabine 
country, now the Licenza, E. 
i. 18. 104 

Diomede, or Diomedes, son of 
Tydeus, who was famous as a 
Greek hero at Troy and later was 


said to have founded Cannsium 

and other towns in Apulia, S. i. 

5. 92; i. 7. 16; A.P. 146 
Dionysius, a slave-name, S. i. 6. 38 
Dolichos (al. Docilis), a gladiator, 

E. i. 18. 19 

EoERiA, a nymph of Latium who 
became wife of Numa, S. i. 2. 126 

Erapedocles, a philosopher, bom at 
Agrigentum in Sicily, who wrote 
a poem on Nature, E. i. 12. 20 ; 
A.P. 465 

Ennius, a famous Roman epic poet, 
born at Rudiae, in Calabria, 
240 B.C., author of the Annales, 
S. 1. 10. 5i; E. I 19. 7 ; IL 1. 50 ; 
A.P. 56, 259 

Epicharmus, writer of Doric 
comedy, born at Cos, but lived 
most of his life in Sicily, E. ii. 1. 

Epicurus, founder of the Epicurean 
school of philosophy, E. i. 4. 16 

Epidaurius, adj., of Epidaurus, 
a city of Argolis in Greece, 
dedicated to Aesculapius, whose 
symbol was a serpent, S. i. 3. 27 

Btruscus, adj., Etruscan, S. 1. 6. 
1 ; i. 10. 61 

Eupolis, a poet of the Old Attic 
Comedy, S. i. 4. 1 ; ii. 8. 12 

Eutrapelus, i.e. P. Volumnius Eu- 
trapelus, a knight, and friend of 
Antonius, to whom are addressed 
two of Cicero's letters (Ad fam. 
vii. 32. 33), E. i. 18. 31 

Evander, the king of Pallanteum, 
who welcomed Aeneas to his 
home on the Palatine Hill, S. 
i. 3. 91 

Fabia, adj. (sc. tribus), the Fabian 
tribe, of Roman citizens, E. i. 6. 52 

Fabius, a Roman eqites, who wrote 
on Stoic philosophy, 5. i. 1. 14 ; 
i. 2. 134 

Fabricius, adj., of Fabricius, who 
in 62 B.C. built the bridge con- 
necting the Insula Tiberina with 
the left bank of the Tiber, S. ii. 
3. 36 

Fannius, a vain poet, S. L 4. 21 ; 
L 10. 80 


Fanni, gods of the forests, identi- 
fied with the Greek satyra, the 
followers of Bacchus, £. i. 19. 4 ; 
A.F. 244 

Faiista, daughter of the dictator 
Sulla, S. i. 2. 6i 

Ferentinuni, a qniet hamlet in the 
Alban district, wliere the mem- 
bers of the Latin league once 
assembled, E. L 17. S 

Feronia, an Italian goddess, perhaps 
Etrujscan, who had a shrine near 
Tarracina, S. L 5. 24 

Fescenninus, adj., Fescennine, of 
doubtful origin. The Fescennina 
carmiiux were coarse verses sung 
at rustic festivals and at 
weddings, E. iL 1. 145 

Fidenae, a town on the Via Salaria, 
five miles from Rome, E. i. 11. 8 

Flaecus, S. ii. 1. 18. See Horatins 

Flavius, a schoolmaster at Yenusia, 
S. i. G. 72 

Florus, i.e. Julius Floras, a friend 
of Horace and of Tiberius, a 
student of oratory and a writer 
of satires, i. 3, 1 ; ii 2. 1 

Fonteius Capito, consul suffectus in 
30 B.C., 5. L 5. 32, 38 

Fortuna, Fortune (personification), 
S. ii. 2. 126 ; u. 6. 49 ; u. 8. 61 ; E. 
L 1. 68 

Forum Appi. See Appins 

Fufidius, a money-lender of Arpi- 
num, with whom Cicero had deal- 
ings, 6'. i. 2. 12 
tifius, an actor, S. ii. 3. 60 

Fulvius, a gladiator, S. iL 7. 96 

Fundanius, a writer of comedies, 
S. i. 10. 42 ; ii. 8. 19 

Fundi, a town in Latium on the 
Appian Way, now Fondi, S. i. 
5. 34 

Furiae, goddesses of vengeance, S. 
L 8. 45 ; ii. 3. 135 : the singular 
Furia, S. ii. 3. 141 

Furius, i.e. M. Fiirius Bibacnlus, a 
poet of Cremona, whom Quintilian 
classes with Catullus and Horace 
as a writer of iambics (x. i. 96). 
See also Alpinus, S. ii. 5. 41 

Fumius, consul 17 B.C., a firiend of 
Horace, S. i. 10. 86 

Fuscus. See Aristius 

Gabii, an old town of Latium, 

between Rome and Praeneste, 

£. i. 11. 7; L 15. 9; ii. 1. 25; 

iL 2. 3 
Gaetulus, adj., Gaetulian, African, 

the Gaetuli bt-ing a people of 

north-west Africa, E. iL 2. ISl 
Galba, aJuriscon;<ult, but a man of 

low morals, S. i. 2. 46 
Galli, (1) priests of Cybele, S. i. 2. 

121 ; (2) the Gauls, S. iL 1. 14 
GaUina, a gladiator, S. iL 6. 44. 

See Thrax 
Gallonius, an epicure figuring in 

Lucilius, S. iL 2. 47 
Garganus, a mountain in Apulia, 

now Monte di S. Angelo, E. u. 1. 

Gargilius, a man who wanted to be 

known as a huntsman, E. i. 6. 58 
Gargonius, an unsavoury person, 

5. i. 2. 27 ; i. 4. 92 
Genius, guardian spirit, E. L 7. 

94 ; iL 1. 144 ; iL 2. 187 ; A.P. 

Glaucns, the Lycian hero who, 

instead of fighting with Diomedes, 

exchanged his golden armour for 

the other's brazen (Homer, Iliad 

vi.), S. L 7. 17 
Glycon, a famous athlete, E. i. 1. 30 
Gnatia, or Egnatia, a town of 

Apulia, on the Adriatic coast, 5. 

L 5. 97 
Gracchus, an eloquent orator, like 

the famous brothers Gaius and 

Tiberius Gracchus, the re- 
formers, E. iL 2. 89 
Graecia, Greece, £. L 2. 7 ; ii. 1. 93, 

Graecus, adj., Greek, S. L 5. 3 ; L 7, 

32 ; L 10. 20, 31, 35, 66 ; iL 3. 100 ; 

E. iL 1. 90, 161 ; ii. 2. 7; A.P. 53, 

268, 286 
Grains, adj., Greek, E. iL 1. 19, 28 ; 

u. 2. 42 ; .4. P. 323 
Grosphus, a Roman knight, living 

in Sicily, where he owned a large 

esUte, JS. L 12. 22 

Hadria, the Adriatic, E. L 18. 63 
Hagne, a woman loved by Balbinua, 

5. i. 3. 40 
Harpyia, a Harpy, a monster with 




a human head, but the body of a 

bird, .<?. ii. 2. 40 
Hebrus, a river of Tlirace, now 

Maritza, E. i. 3. 3 ; i. 16. 13 
Hecate, a goddess of the lower 

world, and sister of Latona, 

identified with Diana on earth 

and Luni in heaven, and tliere- 

fore represented with three 

heads, S. i. 8. 33 
Hector, eldest son of Priam, chief 

hero of Troy, slain by Achilles, 

S. i. 7. 12 
Helena, wife of Menelaus, carried 

off by Paris to Troy, S. i. 3. 107 
Helicon, famous mountain in 

Boeotia, abode of the Muses, E. 

ii. 1. 118 ; A. P. 296 
Heliodonis, a rhetorician, known 

only from S. i. 5. 2. See p. 63 
Hellas, a girl murdered by her 

lover Marius, S. ii. 3. 277 
Hercules, son of Jupiter and 

Alcmena, renowned for his 

"Labours," E. i. 1. 5 ; sometimes, 

like Mercury, regarded as a god 

of gain, S. ii. 6. 13 
Hermogenes Tigelliiis, a singer and 

poet despised by Horace, S. i. 3. 

129 ; i. 4. 72 ; i. 9. 25 ; i. 10. 18, SO, 

90. See Tigellius and p. 54, note *> 
Herodes, i.e. Herod the Great, who 

derived a large revenue from the 

palm-groves of Judaea, especially 

about Jericho, E. ii. 2. 184 
Hiberus, adj., Iberian, Spanish, 

thepiscis Hiberus was the scom- 
ber or mackerel, S. ii. 8. 46 
Homerus, the Greek epic poet ; S. 

i. 10. 52; E. i. 19. 6; ii. 1. 50; 

A. P. 74, 359, 401 (c/. E. i. 2. 1) 
Horatius, i.e. Quintus Horatius 

Fiaccus, the poet, E. i. 14. 5. See 

Flaccus and Quintus 
Hydaspes, an Indian slave, named 

from tlie river Hydaspes, now 

Djelun, S. ii. 8. 14 
Hydra, a seven-headed snake, killed 

by Hercules, E. ii. 1. 10 
Hymettius, adj., of Ilymettus, a 

mountain of Attica, .S. ii. 2. 15 
Hypsaea, a blind woman, who is 

said to have also had tlie name 

Plotia or Plautia, S. i. 2. 91 


Ianus, a two-faced Italian deity, 
god of beginnings, entrances, and 
undertakings, whose temple, said 
to have been built originally by 
Numa, stood in the Argiletum, 
north of ths Roman Forum. It 
was opened on the declaration of 
war, but kept closed in time of 
peace. S. ii. 6. 20 ; E. i. 16. 59 ; 
i. 20. 1 ; ii. 1. 255. Certain arches 
in the Forum itself also went by 
the name of Ianus, and were the 
centre of the banking business of 
Rome, S. ii. 3. 18; E. i. 1. 54 

larbila, a Moor, E. 1. 19. 15 

Iccius, a friend of Horace, pro- 
curator of Agrippa's estates in 
Sicily, E. i. 12. 1 (c/. Odes i. 29) 

Idus, the Ides, the middle of the 
Roman month, the fifteenth day 
in March, May, July, October ; 
the thirteenth in the other 
months, .S. 1. 6. 75 

Ilerda, atown in Spain, now Lerida, 
E. i. 20. 13 

Ilia, mother of Romulus and 
Remus, S. 1. 2. 126 

Iliacus, adj., of Ilion, Trojan; E. 
i. 2. 16; A.P. 129 

Iliona or Ilione, eldest daughter of 
Priam, wifeof Polymnestor, king 
of Thrace, wliose son Deiphilus 
was killed by his father. This 
furnished the subject of the 
tragedy Ilione by Pacuwus. S. 
ii. 3. 61 

Indi, inhabitants of India, E. i. 1. 
45 ; i. 6. 6 

Ino, daughter of Cadmus and wife 
of Athamas, who, after her hus- 
band went mad and toie one of 
her children to pieces, was 
changed into a sea-goddess, A.P. 

lo, daughter of Inachus, loved by 
Jupiter and changed by Juno into 
a heifer, A.P. 124 

Italia, Italy, S. i. 6. 85; E. i. 12. 

Italus, adj., Italian, S. i. 7. 82; 
ii. 6. 56 ; E. 1. 18. 57 ; ii. 1. 2 

Ithaca, Ithaca, an island off the 
west coast of Greece, S. iL 5. 4; 
B. i. 7. 41 


Ithacensb, adj., of Ithaca, E. L 6. 

[adaena, adj., of Judaea, used a« a 

noon, a Jew; pi. the Jews, S. 

i. 4. 143 ; L 5. 100 ; L 9. 70 
lolios, possibly a freedman of Julias 

Caesar, & L 8. 39 
lolios Floms. See Floras 
lano, danghter of Satoin and wife 

of Jupiter, & L 3. 11 
lappiter, son of Saturn and king 

of the gods, S. L 1. 20 ; L i 18 ; 

a. 1. 43 ; iL 3. 288 ; £. i 1. 106 ; 

i. 12. 3 : i. 16. 29 ; L 17. 34 ; i. 18. 

Ill ; L 19. 43 ; iL L 16, 68. See 

Ixion, king of the Lapithae and 

&ther of Pirithous. Called per- 

Jidtu, because, after being kindlj 

treated by Jupiter, he tried to 

dishonour Juno, A. P. 124 

KAI.KXOAJC, first day of the month, 
one of the regular days for the 
settling of debts, S. L 3. 87 

Earthago, Carthage, 5. ii. 1. 66 

LiABEO, «.e. according to the 

scholiasts, M. Antistins Labeo, 

a Jniisconsult, 5. L 3. 82 
Laberins, a Boman knight, who 

composed mimes in the time of 

Julius Caesar, S. L la 6 
Laelius, «.«. C. Laelins Sapiens, a 

friend of Scipio and Terence, S. 

ii. 1. 65, 72 
Laertiades, the son of Laertes, i.€. 

Ulysses, S. iL 5. 59. See Ulixes 
Laerinus, t.e. P. Valerias Laerinus, 

a man of high birth but poor 

character, S. L 6. 12, 19 
Lamia, (1) a witch who preyed on 

children, a vampire, A. P. 340; 

(2) L. Aelins Lamia, a friend of 

Horace, B. i. 14. 6 (see Odts iii. 

17. 1 ff.) 
Lares (also sing. Lar), tutelar d« ties 

of the hearth, 5. L 5. 66 ; iL 3. 

165 ; ii. 5. 14 ; iL 6. 66 
Latinae(K. feriae), the Latin games, 

the days for which wereappointed 

annu^y by the consuls, E.i. 7. 

Latin us, (1) Latinns, kingof Latinm, 

whose danghter I.arinia became 
the wife of Aeneas, S L iO. S7 
(reading Latini) , (2) adj., ].atin, 
S. L 10. 20 , E. i. 3. 12 ; L 19. 32 ; 
iL 2. 143; adv. Latins, 5. L 10. S7 

Latiom, the plain between tlie 
lower Tiber and C^unpania, E. 
L 19. 24; iL L 157; iL 2. 121; 
^.P. 290 

Laurens, adj., of Laurentum, capital 
of latium, 5. IL 4. 42 

Larema, goddess of thieves, B. 
L 16. 60 

Lebedu-s, a town of Ionia, neax 
Colophon, in Asia Minor, de- 
stroyed )>y Lysiroachus after the 
battle of Ipsus (301 B.C.), B. L IL 

Leo, constellation of the Lion, 
E. L 10. 16 

Lepidus, i.e. Q. Aemilius Lepidns, 
one of the consuls of 21 B.a, E. 
L 20. 28 

Lepos, a fionous mime actor, & 
ii. 6. 72 

Lesbos, Uie island of Lesbos, in the 
A^aaan, famous tat its beauty, 
its climate, its wine, its art, and 
its literature, E. L 11. 1 

Liber, the same as 6acchn.s, 5. L 4. 
89 ; £. i. 19. 4 ; ii. 1. 5 

Libitina, goddess of death, S. iL flw 
19 ; £. iL L 49 

Libo, as in jmUal LibofiU, " Libo's 
well," a well-head in the Forom, 
near the Arch of Fabins, where a 
tribunal was first set up by one 
Libo, JB. L 19. 8 ; ef. S. ii. 6. 35 

Libya, the northern part of Africa, 
S. iL 3. 101 

Libycns, adj., of Libya, E. L 10. 19 

Licinns, a barber, A.P. SOI 

Linns (Andronicus), who first 
brought ont a play in Ri>me in 
240 B.C., and translated the 
Odgtteg into Satornian verse, E. 
iL 1. 62, 69 

Lollios, (1) i.«. IL Lollins, consul 
in 21 B.a, £ L 20l 28; (2) 

- Lollios Maximos, probably a 
relative of the former, who served 
under Augnstos in tiie Cantabrian 
campaign, 25 B.C., & L L 1 ; L 
18. 1 



Iiongarenus, unknown except from 

S. i. 2. 67 
Lacania, a district of lower Italy, 

S. li. 1. 38 
Lucanus, culj., of Lncania, S. ii. 1. 

34 ; ii. 3. 234 ; ii. 8. 6 ; JS. i. 15. 21 ; 

ii. 2. 178 
Lucilius, i.e. C. Lucilius, friend of 

Scipio, writer of satires, who 

lived about 180 to 103 B.C., S. i. 

4. 6, 57 ; i. 10. 1* (interpolated 
lines) ; i. 10. 2, 53, 56, 64 ; ii. 1. 
17, 29, 62, 75 

Lncrinus, adj., of the Lucrine lake, 
in Campania, S. ii. 4. 32 

LucuUus, i.e. h. Licinius Lucullus, 
general against Mithridates, ex- 
tremely wealthy, E. i. 6. 40 ; ii. 
2. 26 

Lupus, i.e. L. Cornelius Lentuhig 
Lupus, consul 156 B.C., who was 
assailed by Lucilius, S. ii. 1. 68 

LycAnibes, the father of Neobule, 
who betrothed hertoArchilochus, 
but later broke his word. The 
poet's invectives caused Lycambes 
to hang himself. E. i. 19."25. See 
Epode vi. 13 

Lydi, the Lydians, by whom Etruria 
is said to have been settled, S. 
1. 6. 1 

Lymphae, nymphs of the springs, 

5. i. 5. 97 

Lynceus, one of the Argonauts, son 
of Apliareus and brotlier of Ida, 
possessed of very keen sight, S. 
i. 2. 90 ; E. i. 1. 28 

Lysippus, a famous Greek sculptor 
of the fourth century b.c., E. 
ii. 1. 240 

Maecenas, a Roman knight, friend 

of Augustus, and patron of 

Horace, S. i. 1. 1 ; i. 3. 64 ; i. 6. 

27, 31, 48; i. 6. 1 ; i. 9. 43; i. 10. 

81 ; ii. 8. 312 ; ii. 6. 31, 38, 41 ; ii. 

7. 33 ; ii. 8. 16, 22 ; E. i. 1. 3 ; i. 

7. 5 ; i. 19. 1 
Maecius, i.e. Spurius Maecius Tarpa, 

a critic of the drama known to 

Cicero (Ad fam. vii. 1), A.P. 387 
Maenius, a spendthrift, who figured 

in Lucilius, S. i. 3. 21 ; E. i. 15. 



Maia, mother of Mercury, and 
daughter of Atlas, S. ii. 6. 5 

Maltinus(f<i.Malchinu8), an effemin- 
ate person, S. i. 2. 25. See p. 17 

Mamurra, a Roman knight of 
Formiae, a favourite of Caesar's, 
wlio amassed great wealth, S. i. 
5. 37 

Manes, the spirits of the departed, 
the gods below, S. i. 8. 29 ; E. 
ii. 1. 138 

Marius, a man who murdered his 
mistress and then committed 
suicide, S. ii. 3. 277 

Marsaeus, lover of Origo, S. i. 2. 56 

Marsya, Marsyas, a satyr, who 
challenged Apollo to a musical 
contest and, being defeated, was 
flayed alive. A statue of Marsyas 
stood in the Forum near the 
Rostra. Either the expression 
of pain or the uplifted arm is re- 
ferred to in S. i. 6. 120 f. 

Martins, adj.; of Mars, the god of 
war. A.P. 402 

Matutinus, adj., belonging to the 
morning, or used as a noun, god 
of the morning, a term applied 
to lanus, S. ii. 6. 20 

Maximus, E. i. 2. 1. See Lollius 

Medea, the sorceress, daughter of 
Aeetes in Colchis, whence she 
fled with Jason the Argonaut, 
who afterwards deserted her. 
She then slew their common 
children. This is the subject of 
the Med-ea of Euripides. A.P. 
123, 185 

Meleager, son of Oeneus and 
Althaea, was the half-brother of 
Tydeus (son of Periboea), father 
or Diomedes. He was cursed by 
his mother for the death of his 
two brothers, and her Erinnys 
pursued him to his death. A.P. 

Memnon, son of Tithonus and 
Aurora and king of the Ethi- 
opians. His death at the hands 
of Achilles was the subject of 
the Aethiopis of Arctinus, a 
cyclic poet. S. i. 10. 36 

Mena, or Menas, a name contracted 
from the Greek Menodorua. He 


was a freednian, and took the 
Roman genti le name Voltt ivs from 
his patron. B. L 7. 55, 61. See 

Menander, famous writer of the 
New Attic Comedy, lived from 
342 to 290 B.a, S. ii. 3. 11 ; E. 
iL 1. 57 

Menelaus, son of Atreus, brother of 
Agamemnon, and husband of 
Helen, S. ii. 3. 198. See Atrides 

Menenius, a roadman, 5. ii. 3. 287 

MercuriaUs, adj., of Mercury, the 
god of gain, 5. ii. 3. 25 

Mercurins. Mercury, son of Jupiter 
and Maia, and messenger of the 
gods, god of gain and good 
luck, S. ii 3. 68 ((/. ii. 6. 5) 

Uessalla, a name associated with 
the aristocratic Valerian gens. 
M. Valerius MessaUa Corvinus, 
orator and historian, was consul 
in 31 B.C., and triumphed over 
the Aqoitani in 27 b.c. He had 
a brother, L. Gelliiis Pnblicola, 
who was consul in 36 b. a S. 
L 6. 42; i. 10. 85; A. P. 371 

Hessius, & i. 5. 52, 54. SeeCicirrhns 

Metella, perhaps Caecilia Metella, 
divorced wife of P. Comehns 
Lentolns Spinther, 5. ii. 3. 239 

Metellus, t.*. Q. Caecilius Metellns 
Macedonicus, consul 143 b.c., 
political opponent of Scipio, S. 
ii. 1. 67 

Methynmaens, adj., of MethjTnna, 
a town in Lesbos, S. ii. 8. 50 

Miletus, a city of Ionia in Asia 
Minor, E. i. 17. 30 

Milonius, according to PorphjTio, 
a seurra or parasite, S. ii. 1. 24 

Himnennus, an elegiac poet of 
Colophon, of the sixth century 
B.C., E. i. 6. 65; ii. 2. 101 

Minerva, goddess of wisdom, patro- 
ness of arts and science, S. ii. 2. 
3 ; A. P. 385 

Mintumae, a town on the borders 
of Latinm and Campania, at the 
mouth of the Liris, £. i. 5. 5 

Minucius, who gave his name to 
the Via Minucia, which ran from 
Bmndisiom to Beneventum, E. 

Misenom, a promontory of Cam 
pania, north of the bay of Naples, 
S. ii. 4. 33 

Mitylene, capital of Lesbos, E. L 
11. 17 

Molossus, adj., of the Molossians, 
who lived in Eastern Epims, 8. 
ii. 6. 114 

Moschus, a rhetorician from Per- 
gamum, who was tried for poison- 
ing, £. L 5. 9 

Mucins, a famous lawyer, probably 
P. Mucins Scaevola, consul in 133 
B.a, or his son Q. Mucius 
Scaevola, consul in 95 b.c., £. ii. 
2. 89 

Mulvius, a parasite, S. ii. 7. 36 

Munatius, son of L. Munatina 
Plancus, the consul of 42 B.& 
(see Odes i. 7. 19 ; iiL 14. 28) ; E. 
i. 3. 31 

Mnrena, Cc. L. Licinins Mnrena, 
brother-in-law of Maecenas, S. i, 

5. 38 

Mosa, (1) a Muse, S. L 5. 53 ; ii. 3. 

105 ; ii. 6. 17 ; £. i. 3. 13 ; i. 8. 2; 

i. 19. 2S ; ii. 1. 27, 133, 243 ; iL 

2. 92; A.P. 83, 141, 324, 407; 

(2) Musa Antonius. See Autonius 
Mutns, unknown elsewhere, E. i, 

6. 22 

Nakvius, (1) * spendthrift, S. L 1. 
101 ; S. ii. 2. i>8 (perhaps not the 
same) ; (2) a poet from Campania 
of the third century B.C. (he wrote 
dramas and also an epic, the 
BeUum Pvnicum, this last in 
Satumian verse), E. ii. 1. 53 

Nasica, a man who, being in debt 
to Coranus, gave him his daughter 
in marriage, S. ii. 5. 57, 65, 67 

Kasidienus, Rufns (probably a 
fictitious nameX a wealthy up- 
start, S. U. 8, 1, 58, 75, 84 

Natta, a stingy person, S. i. 6. 124 

Xeptunus, Neptune, god of the sea, 
E. i. 11. 10; A.P. 64 

Nero, t.e. Tiberius Claudius Nero, 
£. L 8. 2 ; i. 9. 4 ; L 12. 26 ; ii, 
2. 1. See Claudius 

Nestor, son of Neleus, king of 
Pylu-s, oldest of the Greeks before 
Troy, B.i.%n 




Nomentanus, (l)a spendthrift, who 

figures in Lucilius, S. i. 1. 102 ; 

18. U ; ii. 1. 22 ; ii. 3. 175, 224 ; 

(2) a parasite, S. ii. 8. 23, 25, 60 
Novius, a money-lender, one of two 

brothers, S. i. 3. 21 ; i. 6. 40 ; i. 

6. 121 
Numa, i.e. Numa Pompilms, 

second king of Rome, E. i. 6. 

27 ; ii. 1. 86 
Numicius, unknown, E. i. 6. 1 

OcTAViua, a poet and historian, 
friend of Horace, S. i. 10. 82 

Ofellus, a country neighbour of 
Horace's, S. ii. 2. 2, 53, 112, 133 

Olympia, the Olympic games, cele- 
brated every four years at Olym- 
pia, in Elis, E. i. 1. 50 

Opimius, a miser, S. ii. 3. 142 

Oppidius, i.e. Servius Oppidius, a 
man of Canusium who had two 
sons, Aulus and Tiberius, S. ii. 
3. 168, 171, 173 

Orbilius, a native of Benevenlum, 
who set up a school there, and 
later in Rome, E. ii. 1. 71 

Orbius, a rich landowner, E. ii. 2. 

Orcus a god of the lower world. 
Death, S. ii. 5. 49 ; E. ii. 2. 178 

Orestes, son of Agamemnon and 
Clytemnestra. He killed his 
mother and was driven mad by 
the Furies. S. ii. 3. 133, 137; 
A.P. 124 

Origo, a mima, or actress, S. i. 2. 

Orpheus, a mythical bard of Thrace, 
whose song charmed wild beasts, 
A.P. 392 
Oscus, adj., Oscan, of the Oscans, 
a primitive people of Italy, S. i. 

5. 54 
Osiris, an Egyptian deity, husband 
of Isis, E. i. 17. 60 

Pacideianus, agladiator, " the best 

that ever lived," according to 

Lucilius, S. ii. 7. 97 
Pacuvius, a famous writer of 

tragedies, nephew of Eunius, E. 

ii. 1. 56. See Ilione 


Palatinus, adj., of the Palathie, 
where Augustus in 28 b.c. dedi- 
cated a temple to Apollo, with a 
public library, E. i. 3. 17 
Pantilius, unknown, S. i. 10. 78 
Pantolabus, a parasite. The name 
is probably coined for satire 
{ttolv +\a^eii', " all-receiver "), S. 
i. 8. 11 ; ii. 1. 22 
Paris, son of Priam and Hecuba, 
who carried off Helen, wife of 
Menelaus, and so led to the Trojan 
war, E. i. 2. 6, 10 
Parius, adj., of Paros, an island of 
the Cyclades in the Aegaean, 
famous for its marble and as the 
birtliplace of Archilochus, E. i. 
19. 23 
Parmensis. See Cassius 
Parthus, a Parthian. TheParthians 
lived north-east of the Caspian 
Sea, S. ii. 1. 15 ; ii. 5. 62 ; E. i. 
18. 66 ; ii. 1. 112, 256 
Paulus, a cognomen of the Aemilian 
gens, to which belonged L. 
Aemilius Paulus, consul in 216 
B.C. ; his son, the conqueror of 
Perseus, and the younger Scipio 
Africanus, the latter's son, S. i. 
6. 41 
Pausiacus, adj., of Pausias, a Greek 
painter from Sicyon, contempor- 
ary of Apelles in the fourth 
century B.C., S. ii. 7. 95 
Pedanus, adj., of Pedum, a town 
between Xibur and Praeneste, 
E. i. 4. 2 
Pediatia, a feminine name given in 
contempt to one Pediatius, a 
Roman knight who had lost both 
fortune and repute, S. i. 8. 39 
Pedius, an orator, probably the son 
of Q. Pedius, who was consul in 
43 B.C., S. i. 10. 28 
Peleus (the subject of a tragedy by 
Sophocles), son of Aeacus, was 
driven from Aegina for the murder 
of his half-brother Phocus, A.P. 
96, 104 
Pelides, son of Peleus, Achilles, E. 

i. 2. 12. See Achilles 
Penates, the Penates, household 
gods, S. ii. 3. 176 ; E. i. 7. 94 
I Penelope, the faithful wife of 


Ulysses, 5. U. 5. 76, 81 ; £. i. 2. 


Pentheus, king of Thebes, torn in 
pieces by his mother Agave 
because he had mocked at the 
rites of Bacchus, E. i. 16. 73. 
See Agave 

Perellius, a banker, perhaps the 
' same as Cicuta, 5. ii. 3. 75 

Persius, a wealthy man of Clazo- 
menae, bom of a Greek father and 
a Roman mother, S. i. 7. 2, 4, 19, 

Petillius Capitolinns, said to have 
been accused of stealing the gold 
crown from the statue of Jupiter 
on the Capitol, and to have been 
acquitted by Caesar. The story 
is an exaggeration, because the 
name Capitolinus, which is said 
to have been given Petillius be- 
cause of the charge, was a cogno- 
men of the Petillia gens, and the 
crime of stealing the crown of 
Jupiter is proverbial in the plays 
of Plautus. S. i. 4. 94 ; L 10. 26 

Petrinus, a town in the Falemian 
district, E. i. 5. 5 

Phaeax, a Phaeacian. The Phae- 
acians were mythic inhabitants 
of Corcyra, subjects of Alcinous, 
and living in luxury, E. 1. 15. 24 

Philippi, a town of Macedonia, 
now Filibi, where Brutus and 
Cassius were defeated by Oc- 
tavius and Antony, 42 b.c., E. 
ii. 2. 49 

Philippus, (1) L. Marcius Philip- 
pus, consul 91 B.C., a distin- 
gnished lawyer, £. i. 7. 46, 52, 
64, 66, 78, 89, 90 ; (2) a gold coin, 
the Macedonian stater, bearing 
the head of Philip the Great, 
worth rather more than one 
guinea, or five dollars, E. ii. 1. 234 

Philodemus, of Gadara, poet and 
Epicurean philosopher, who lived 
at Rome in the time of Cicero, 
S. L 2. 121 

Phraates, king of the Parthians, 
who in 20-19 B.& restored to the 
Romans the standards taken 
from Crassos at Charrae, E. i. 
IS. 37 

Picenns, adj., of Picennm, a di» 
trict of Italy on the Adriatic, 
S. ii 3. 272 ; ii. 4. 70 

Pieriu-s, adj., Pierian, Thessalian, 
from Pieria in Thessaly, haunted 
by the Muses, A. P. 405 

Pindaricus, adj., of Pindar, from 
Thebes in Boeotia, greatest of 
the Greek lyric poets, £. i. 3. 

Pisones or Pisos, a father and two 
sons, to whom the Ars Poetica is 
addressed. According to Por- 
phyrio, the father was L. Cal- 
pumius Piso, praefedus urbi in 
A. V. 14. Others hold that he waa 
Cn. Calpumius Piso, who, like 
Horace, fought under Brutus 
and Cassius at Philippi. He had 
a son, Cneius, who was consul 
7 B.C., and another Lucius, who 
was consul in 1 b.c. A. P. 6, 235. 
See Pompilius 

Pitholeon, according to Bentley 
the same as Pitholaus, who 
libelled Julius Caesar in his 
verses (Suetonius, ItUiiis, 75), 
S. i. 10. 22 

Plato, (1) the comic poet, repre- 
sentative of Attic Middle 
Comedy, S. ii. 3. 11 ; (2) cele- 
brated Greek philosopher, dis- 
ciple of Socrates, 5. ii. 4. 3 

Plautinus, adj., of Plautus, A.P. 

Plautus, Roman comic poet, who 
died in 184 b.c. ; E. ii. 1. 58, 170 ; 
A.P. 64 

Plotius, i.e. Plotius Tucca, friend 
of Virgil and Horace. He and 
Varius were Virgil's literary 
executors. S. i. 5. 40 ; 1. 10. 81 

Polemon, a luxurious Athenian 
youth, reformed by Xenocrates, 
whom he succeeded as head of 
the Academic school of philo- 
sophy, 5. ii. 3. 254 

PoUio, i.e. C. Asinius PoUio, dis- 
tinguished as statesman, orator, 
historian, and tragic poet, S. 
i. 10. 42, 85 

Pollux, twin brother of Castor, 
E. ii. 1. 5 (c/. S. ii. L 26) 

Pompeius Grosphns. See Orosphns 



Pompilius, adj., Pompilian. The 
Calpurnian gens, to which the 
Pisones belonged, claimed de- 
scent from Numa Pompilius, 
second king of Rome. A. P. 292 

Pomponius, a dissolute youth, S. 

1. 4. 52 

Porcius, a parasite of Nasidienus. 
Tlie name is probably fictitious 
and chosen for its meaning 
(porcus, a pig), S. ii. 8. 23 

Praeneste, an ancient city of 
Latium, now Palestrina, E. i. 

2. 2 

Praenestinus, adj., of Praeneste, 

i.'. i. 7. 28 
Priamides, son of Priam, Hector, 

.«!. i. 7. 12 
Priamus, Priam, king of Troy, S. 

ii. 3. 195 ; A. P. 137 
Priapus, god of gardens (his image 

served as a kind of scarecrow), 

S. i. 8. 2 
Priscus, a changeable person, S. 

ii. 7. 9 
Procne, wife of Tereus and sister 

of Philomela, changed into a 

swallow, A. P. 1S7 
Proserpina, daughter of Ceres and 

wife of Pluto, S. ii. 5. 110 
Proteus, a sea-god, who had the 

power of changing himself into 

all kinds of forms, S. ii. 3. 71 ; 

E. i. 1. 90 
Publicola, cognomen of Q. Pedius, 

S. i. 10. 28, though some take it 

there with Corvinus. See Mes- 

Publius, a praenomen, S. ii. 6. 32 
Pupius, a tragic poet, E. 1. 1. 67 
Pusilla, a pet name for a girl, 

meaning " tiny," S. ii. 3. 216 
Puteal. See Libo 
Pylades, faithful friend of Orestes, 

S. ii. 3. 139 
Pyrria, a maid - servant who 

figured in a togata of Titinius, 

E. i. 13. 14 
Pythagoras, a philosopher of Samos 

of the sixth century b. c, who 

believed in the transmigration of 

souls, S. ii. 4. 3 ; ii. 6. 63 
Pythagoreus, adj., of Pythagoras, 

E. ii 1, 52 


Pythia, the Pythian games, cele 
brated every five years at Delphi 
in honour of Apollo, A.P, 414 

Pythias, a maid figuring as a char- 
acter in a play of Caecilius, A.P. 

QuiNCTios, unknown except firom B. 
i. 16. 1 

Quinquatrus, a festival of five days 
in honour of Minerva, beginning 
on March 19th, during which 
school-boys had holidays, E. ii. 
2. 197 

Quintilius, i.e. Quintilius Varus, of 
Cremona, a friend of Virgil and 
Horace (see Odes i. 24), A.P. 438 

Quintus, (1) Horace's own praeno- 
men, S. ii. 6 37 ; (2) an ordinary 
praenomen, S. ii. 8. 243 ; ii. 5. 32 

Quirinus, i.e. Romulus, representa- 
tive of the Roman people, S. 
i. 10. 32 

Quiris, a Roman citizen, E. i. 6. 7 

Ramnes, one of the three centuries 
of equites or knights established 
by Romulus. They represent 
the equites of Horace's day, and 
stand for youngmen as contrasted 
with old. ^.P. 342 

Rex, i.e. Rupilius Rex, of Praeneste, 
who served in Africa under Attius 
Verus, became Praetor under 
Julius Caesar, and later joined 
the army of Brutus, S. i. 7. 1, 6, 
6, 9, 19, 25, 35 

Rhenus, the river Rhine, S. 1. 10. 
37; A.P. 18 

Rhodius, adj., of Rhodes, S. 
i. 10. 22 

Rhodos, the island of Rhodes, off 
the south - west coast of Asia 
Minor, E. i. 11. 17, 21 

Roma, Rome, S. i. 5. 1 ; i. 6. 76 ; 
ii. 1. 59 ; ii. 6. 23 ; ii. 7. 13, 2S ; E. 
i. 2. 2 ; i. 7. 44 ; i. 8. 12 ; i. 11. 
11, 21 ; i. 14. 17 ; i. 16. 18 ; i. 20. 
10; ii. 1. 61, 103, 256; ii. 2. 41, 
65, 87 

Romanus, adj., Roman, S. i. 4. 
85; i. 6. 48; ii. 1. 37; ii. 2. 10, 
52; ii. 4. 10; ii. 7. 54; E. i. 1. 70; 
1. 3. 9 ; 1. 12. 25 ; 1. 18. 49 ; IL 1. 


29; {£ 2. M; A.P. 54, 118, 264, 
285, 325 

Romulus, the mythical founder of 
Rome, E. ii. 1. 5. See Quirinus 

Roscius, (1) a person unknown, 5. 
U. 6. 35 ; (2) the great actor, a 
friend of Cicero, E. ii. 1. 82 ; (3) 
adj., Roscian. The Roscian Law, 
passed by L. Roscius Otho in 
67 ac, gave the first fourteen 
rows in the theatre to the equites, 
who had to have a property 
minimum of 400,000 sesterces, E. 
i. 1. 62 

Rnbi, now Ruvo, a town about 
thirty miles from Canusium, S. 
i. 5. 94 

Rufa, a pet name for a girl ( = " red- 
hi^ded "), 5. ii. 3. 216 

Rutillus, an unknown fop, S. L 2. 
27 ; i. 4. 92 

Rufus. See Nasidienus 

Ruso, i.e. Octavius Ruso, a money- 
lender, who also wrote histories, 
S. i. 3. 86 

Rutuba, a gladiator, S. iL 7. 96 

Sabbata, the Jewish Sabbath, S. 

i. 9. 69 
Sabellns, adj., Sabellian or Sabine, 

of the Sabelli or Sabini, S. i. 9. 

29 ; ii. 1. 36 ; K L 16. 49 
Sabinus, (1) adj., Sabine, of the 

Sabines, a people of Central Italy, 

S. ii. 7. 118 ; E. i. 7. 77 ; ii. 1. 25 ; 

(2) a friend of Torquatus, E. L 5. 27 
Sagana, a witch, S. L 8. 25, 48 
Salemum, a town in Campania, 

now Salerno, E. L 15. 1 
Saliaris, adj., of the Salii, the 

twelve dancing priests of Mars, 

E. ii. 1. 86 
Sallnstius, t.e. C. Sallustius Cri.spus, 

grand - nephew of the historian 

Sallust (see Odes ii. 2), S. i. 2. 48 
Samnites, the Samnites, living in 

Central Italy, E. u. 2. 98 
Samas, an island off the coast of 

Asia Minor, now Samo, E. i. 11. 

2, 21 
Sappho, the famou.s poetess of 

Lesbos, of the sixth century B.C., 

E. i. 19. 28 
Sardis, capital of Lydia, E. i. U. 2 

Sard OS, adj., from Sardinia, 5. i. 8 
5; ^.P. 375 

Sarraentu.s, a slave of M. Favonius, 
of Etruscan birth, freed by Ma» 
cenas, became a »criba in the 
quaestor's department and sat 
among the equiUs. When old he 
was reduced to poverty, S. i. 5. 
52, 55, 56 

Satureianos, adj., of Saturium, the 
district in which Tarentum in 
southern Italy was founded, S. i- 
6. 59 

Saturnalia, a festival beginning on 
the 17th December, during which 
the Romans granted much licenca 
to their slaves, S. ii. 3. 5 

Satnmius (numerus), the Satumian 
measure, a verse form native to 
Italy, used by LiWus Audronicus 
in his translation of the Odyssey, 
and by Naevius in his epic on 
the Punic War. It seems to have 
been based on accent rather than 
on quantity, E. iii. 1. 158 

Satyrus, a satyr, a companion of 
Bacchus, represented with the 
ears and tail of a goat. Also 
used in pi. of the Greek Satyric 
drama, in which Satyrs formed 
the chorus. E. i. 19. 4 ; ii. 2. 125 ; 
A.P. 221, 226, 233, 235 

Scaeva, (1) a spendthrift, who poi- 
soned his mother, S. ii. 1. 53 ; 
(2) the unknown person to whom 
E. L 17 is addressed ; see p. 358 

Scanrus, adj., "with swollen 
ankles," perhaps a proper name 
in S. i. 3. 48 

Scetanus, a proftigate, S. L 4. 112 

Scipiadas, one of the family of the 
Scipios, a Scipio (the form was 
used by Lucilius), S. ii. 1. 17, 72 

Scylla, a sea-monster dwelling on 
one side of the Straits of Messene, 
A.P. 145. See Charybdis 

September, adj., belonging to Sep- 
tember, the seventh month of 
the Roman year, E. i. 16. 16 

Septicius, a friend of Torquatus, E. 
i. 5. 26 

Septimius, a friend of Horace, whom 
the poet introdoces to Tiberius 
in £. L e 



Servilius (Balatro). See Balatro 

Servius, (1) perhaps the son of 
Servius Sulpicius Rufus, a lawyer 
and friend of Cicero, S. i. 10. 86 ; 
(2) see Oppidius 

Sextilis, the sixth month of the 
Roman year, afterwards called 
August, E. i. 7. 2 ; i. 11. 19 

Siculus, adj., Sicilian, E. i. 2. 58; 
i. 12. 1; ii. 1. 68; A. P. 403 

Sidonius, adj., of Sidon, a city of 
Phoenicia, Phoenician, E. i. 10. 

Silenus, an old Satyr, chief attend- 
ant of Bacchus, A.P. 239 

Silvanus, an Italian god of forests 
and the country, E. ii. 1. 143 

Simo, an old man, figuring in a 
comedy of Caecilius, A.P. 238 

Sinuessa, a town of Latium, near 
the modern Mondragone, S. i. 5. 

Sinuessanus, adj., of or near Sinu- 
essa, E. 1. 6. 6 

Siren, a Siren. The Sirens were 
fabulous creatures, half maiden, 
half bird, living on rocky islands 
near the Campanian coast, and 
with their songs enticing sailors 
to their destruction. See Homer, 
Odyssey,xn. S. ii.3. 14 £.1.2.22 

Sisenna, a foul-mouthed person, S. 
i. 7. 8 

Sisyphus, (1) a dwarf in the house 
of M. Antonius, S. i. 3. 47 ; (2) 
mythical founder of Corinth, 
famous for its bronze, subject of 
a Satyric drama of Aeschylus, 
S. Ii. 3. 21 

Smyrna, a famous city of Ionia, E. 
i. 11. 3 

Socraticus, adj., of Socrates, the 
famous Atlienian philosopher, 
A.P. 310 

Sophocles, famous Greek tragic 
poet of the 5th century B.C., E. 
ii. 1. 163 

Sosii, brothers, who were Horace's 
booksellers, E. i. 20. 2 ; ^.P. 345 

Staberius, a miser, S. ii. 3. 84, 89 

Stertinius, (1) a philosopher, who 
wrote 220 volumes on Stoicism ; 
S. a 3. 33, 296 ; (2) adj., of Ster- 
tinius, E. I 12. 20 


Stoicus, a Stoic, S. Ii. 3. 160, 300 

Suadela, the goddess of Persuasion, 
a personification ( = Tlei0a)), E. 
i. 6. 38 

Sulcius, a public prosecutor, S. 
i. 4. 65 

Sulla, i.e. L. Cornelius SuUa, the 
dictator, S. i. 2. 64 

Surrentum, a city at the south end 
of the Bay of Naples, now Sor- 
rento, E. i. 17. 52 

Syrus, (1) a common slave-name, 

5. 1. 6. 38; (2) a gladiator, S. ii. 

6. 44 

Tanais, a freedman of Maecenas, a 
eunuch, S. i. 1. 105 

Tantalus, a Phrygian king, who 
offered his own child as food for 
the gods, and was punished in 
Hades by a craving for food and 
drink that escaped his reach, S. 
i. 1. 68 

Tarentinus, adj., of Tarentum, 
where a famous purple dye was 
produced, E. ii. 1. 207 

Tarentum, a city of Calabria in 
southern Italy, now Taranto, S. 
i. 6. 105 ; u. 4. 34 ; E. i. 7. 45 ; 
i. 16. 11 

Tarpa, i.e. Spurius Maecius Tarpa, 
S. i. 10. 38. See Maecius 

Tarquinius, i.e. Tarquinius Super- 
bus, last king of Rome, S. i. 6. 13 

Taurus, i.e. T. Statilius Taurus, 
who was consul for the second 
time in 26 b.c, E. i. 5. 4 

Teanum, i.e. Teanum Sidicinum, a 
town in Campania, now Teano, 
E. i. 1. 86 

Telemachus, son of Ulysses and 
Penelope, who visited Menelaus 
in Sparta in quest of news of his 
father (Homer. Odyssey iv.), E. L 

7. 40 

Telephus, son of Hercules, and king 
of Mysia. He was wounded by 
the spear of Achilles, but finally 
healed by its rust. This was the 
subject of a tragedy by Euri- 
pides, A.P. 96, 104 

Tellus, the goddess Earth, all- 
nourishing, E. ii. 1. 143 

Terentius, i.e. P. Terentius Afer^ 


oomio poet, who lived 185-159 
B-c, S. L 2. 20 ; li. 1. 59 

Teucer, son of Telamon, king of 
Salamis, and Hesione, and brother 
of Ajax, 6". ii. 3. 204. See Aiax 

Thebac, a city of Uoeotia, founded 
by Cadmus with the help of Ani- 
phion, birth-place of Pindar, 5. 
ii. 5. 84 ; K. L 16. 74 ; ii 1. 213 ; 
A.P. 118 

Tbebanus, adj., of Thebes, B. i 3. 
13 ; A.P. 394 

Theoniuus, adj., of Theon, an un- 
known person of a bitter tongue, 
E. i. 18. 82 

Thespis, of Icaria, who first exhi- 
bited tragedies in Athens, E. ii 

1. 163 ; A.P. 276 

Thessalus, adj., of Thessaly, a 
country of northern Greece, 
famous for magic and drugs, E. 
ii. 2. 209 

Thraca, Thrace, a land north of 
Greece, E. i 3. 3 ; i. 16. 13 

Thrax, wJj., Thracian, or as subsL, 
a Thracian, a name given to a 
gladiator who was anued with 
a Thi-acian buckler and short 
sword, S. ii 6. 4 ; B. i. 18. 36 

Thuriiius, adj., of Thurii, a town of 
Lucania, on the Tarentine Gulf, 
& ii. 8. 20 

Thyestes, son of Pelops, brother of 
Atreus, who placed before him for 
food his own son, A.P. 91 

Tiberinus, adj., of the Tiber, S. ii 

2. 31 ; E. i 11. 4 

Tiberis, the Tiber, river of Rome, 
now Tevere ; S. i. 9. 18 ; ii 1. 8 ; 
ii. 3. 292 ; E. i 11. 19 

Tiberius, (1) i.«. Tiberius Claudius 
Nero. See Claudius; (2) son of 
Oppidius, S. ii. 3. 173 

Tibur, ancient city of Latium, on 
the Anio, now Tivoli, E. i. 7. 45 ; 
i 8. 12 ; ii 2. 3 

Tiburs, adj., of Tibur, Tiburtine, 
S. i 6. 108 ; ii 4. 70 

Tigellius, a freedman from Sar- 
dinia, a favourite of Caesar and 
of Cleopatra, a well-known mu- 
sician, S. i 2. 3 ; i 3. 4 ; probably 
the same as Hermogenes Tigel- 
lioB. See Hermogenes 

Tillius, probably a brother of Tillhw 
Cimber, who was among Caesar's 
assa-^ins. He was removed from 
the senate by Caesar, but later 
resumed his dignities and became 
a tribune of the .soldiers, also, it 
would seem, a praetor, S. L 6. 
24, 107 

Tiniagenes, a native of Alexandria, 
was taken prisoner by A. Gabinius 
and sold as a slave. In Rome, 
where he received his freedom 
through Faustns, son of Sulla, 
he taught rhetoric, and won as 
patrons, first Augustus and then 
Asinius Pollio, with whom he 
lived at Tusculum. E. i 19. 15 

Tiresias, famous blind soothsayer 
of Thebes, S. ii 5. 1 

Tisiphone, one of the Furies, S. 
i 8. 34 

Titius, a young Roman who ven- 
tured to present the Greek poet 
Pindar in Latin dress, E. i. 3. 9 

Torquatus, a friend of Horace, per- 
haps the Aulus Torquatus who, 
according to N'epos in his life of 
Acticus (c. xi.), was with Brutus 
and Cassiu-s at Philippi He is 
addressed in Odes iv. 7 and E. 
i. 5. 3 

Transius, an unknown person, both 
poor and extravagant, S. ii. 2. 99 

Trebatius, i.e. C. Trebatius Testa, 
a lawyer of distinction, a friend 
of Cicero and of Caesar. From 
Cicero's Letters (Ad fam. vii. 6-22) 
addressed to him, we learn that 
he was a good swimmer and a hard 
drinker. S. ii 1. 4, 78 

Trebouius, an adulterer, S. i. 4. 114 

Triquetra, adj., " three-cornered," 
applied to .Sicily, S. ii 6. 55 

Trivlcum, a town of Apulia, now 
Trevico, S. i. 5. 79 

Troia, Troy, S. ii 3. 191 ; a 5. 18 ; 
E. i. 2. 19; A.P. 141 

Troianus, adj., of Troy, £. L 8. 1 ; 
A.P. 147 

TuUius, i.e. Servius TuUius, sixth 
king of Rome, born a slave, S. i 

Turbo, a gladiator, of small stature 
bat grntt courage, 5. ii 3. 310 



Turius, praetor in 76 B.C., 6'. ii. 1. 49 

Tuscus, adj., of Etruria, Etruscan, 
or Tuscan, applied to the Tiber, 
whicli rises in Etruria, .S. ii. 2. 33 ; 
to the Vicus Tuscus, a street 
leading from the Forum to the 
Velabrum, and perhaps named 
from the Etruscan workmen who 
once lived there, S. ii. 3. 228 ; to 
the sea, south and west of Italy, 
E. ii. 1. 202 

Tyndaridae, children of Tyndarens 
and Leda, including Castor and 
Pollux, Helen and Clytemnestra, 
the last of whom slew her hus- 
band Agamemnon on his return 
from Troy, S. i. 1. 100 

Tyrius, adj. , of Tyre, a city of Phoe- 
nicia famous for its purple, S. ii. 
4. 84 ; E. i. 6. 18 

Tyrrhenus, adj., of the Tyrrheni or 
Etruscans, who were famous for 
their bronze- work, E. ii. 2. 180 

Tyrtaeus, a ^vTiter of elegiac verse, 
said to be a native of Attica, who 
with his songs aided the Spartans 
in their Second Messenian War, 
A.P. 402 

Ulixes, Ulysses, the hero Odysseus 

of the Odyssey, S. ii. 8. 197, 204 ; 

IL 5. 100; E. i. 2. 18; i. 6. 63; 

i. 7. 40. Cf. A.P. 141 and see 

Ulubrae, a small town of Latium, 

near the Pomptine marshes, E. 

i. 11. 30 
Umber, adj., Umbrian, of the 

Umbri, a tribe of Northern Italy, 

S. ii. 4. 40 
Umbrenus, a veteran soldier, S. ii. 

2. 133 
Ummidius, a rich and mean man, S. 

i. 1. 95 
Utica, a town in Africa, north of 

Carthage, E. i. 20. 13 

Vacuna, a Sabine goddess, whose 
name popular etymology associ- 
ated with vacuus, "idle," E. i. 
10. 49 

Vala, probably Numonius Vala. a 
friend of Horace, addressed in E. 
i. 15 


Valerius, i.e. P. Valerius PubUcola, 
collea^rue of Brutus after the ex- 
pulsion of the kings, S. i. 6. 12. 
See Messalla 
Valgius, i.e. C. Valgius Rufus, con- 
sul 12 B.C., an elegiac poet, to 
whom Od. ii. 9 is addressed, S. 
i. 10. 82 
Varia, a small town in the Sabine 
territory, now Vico Varo, E. L 
14. 3 
Varius, i.e., L. Varius, tragic and 
epic poet, friend of Virgil and 
Horace, S. i. 5. 40, 93 ; L 6. 55 ; 
i. 9. 23 ; i. 10. 44, 81 ; S. ii. 8. 21, 
63 ; E. ii. 1. 247 ; A.P. 55. See 
Varro Atacinus, i.e. P. Terentius 
Varro, called Atacinus from his 
birth-place on the river Atax 
(Aude) in Gallia Narbonensis. 
He wrote Argonautica, and, 
according to Horace, Satires, S. 
i. 10. 46 
Veianius, a retired gladiator, E. i. 

1. 4 
Veiens, of Veil, Veientine. Veii was 
an old town in Etruria, destroyed 
by Camillus, near Isola Farnese, 
eleven miles north of Rome, E. 
ii. 2. 167 
Velia, a town of Lucania, also called 
Elea, associated with the Eleatio 
School of philosophy, E. i. 15. 1 
Velina, a^j., with tribus "tribe" 
understood. The Veline tribe 
was one of the last of the thirty- 
five tribes of Roman citizens to 
be formed, E. i. 6. 52 
Venafranus, adj., of Venafrum, S. 

ii. 4. 69 
Venafrum, now Venafro, the most 
northern town of Campania, 
celebrated for its olives, 6". ii. 8. 
Veiiucula, name of a grape, S. ii. 

Venus, daughter of Jupiter and 
Dione, goddess of love and 
beauty, E. i. 6. 38 ; L 18. 21 
Venusinus, ailj., of Venusia, an 
old Samnite town in Apulia, neai 
which Horace was born, S. iL 1. 


Vergilius, ».«,, P. Vergiliiis Maro, 
the great poet Virgil, S. i. 5. 40, 
48 ; L & 55 ; i. 10. 45, 81 ; E. iL 
1. 247 ; A.P. 55 

Vertumnus, the god of the chang- 
ing seasons, and the god of ex- 
change (buying and selling). A 
statue of the god stood at the 
end of the Vicus Tuscus, where it 
entered the Forum. S. ii 7. 14 ; 
E. i. 20. 1 

Vesta, goddess of the hearth and 
household, emblem of family life. 
The Temple of Vesta in Rome 
stood at the east end of the 
Forum. S. L 9. 35; £. ii. 2. 

Via Sacra, oldest and most famous 
street in Rome, running from the 
Velia through the Forum along 
the foot of the Palatine ; probably 
called sacra because of the shrines 
along its course, 5. i. 9. 1 (qf. 
Epode iv. 7) 

Vibidius, a parasite of Maecenas, 
S. a 8. 22, 33, 40, 80 

VilUns, perhaps Sextus Villius, 
friend of Milo, 5. i. 2. 64 

Vinius, the person addressed in B. 
L 13. From L 8 it is inferred 
that his cognomen was Asina, 
or AseUns The fbruier is fouud 

with the Cornelian gnu ; the 
Uitter with the Annian and 
Clandian gentes 
Viscus and pL Visci. Nothing 
certain is known of these men, 
except that one, being called 
Thurinus, doubtless came from 
Thurii. The scholiast says that 
the two mentioned in the tenth 
satire. Book I., were brothers, 
sons of Vibius Viscus, a rich 
friend of Augustus, who remained 
an etfues even after his sons had 
become senators, £>. i. 9. 22 ; L 10. 
83 ; ii. 8. 20 
Visellius, unknown, S. i 1. 105 
Volanerius, a parasite, S. ii. 7. 15 
Volcanus, Vulcan, go<i of fire, S. 

i. 5. 74 
Volteius Mena, E. i. 7. 55, 64. 91- 

See Mena 
Voranns, a thief, S. L 8. 39 

Zephyrcs, god of the west wind, 
E. i. 7. 13 

Zethus, brother of Amphion, whose 
lyre he despised, being hioisflf a 
shepherd and huntsman. The 
story of the two was told in the 
Antiopt of Euripides, and the 
Aniiope of Pacuviug, X. L 18 
4S, See AmphioD 

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