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Satires and Epistles

Translated by Smith Palmer Bovie
The writings of Horace have exerted strong and continuing influence on writers from his day to our own. Sophisticated and intellectual, witty and frank, he speaks to the cultivated and civilized world of today with the same astringent candor and sprightliness that appeared so fresh at the height of Rome’s wealthy and glory.

The Satires and Epistles spans the poet’s career as a satirist, critic, and master of lyric poetry, as man of the world, friend of the great, and relentless enemy of the mediocre. "Horace," writes translator Smith Palmer Bovie, "is the best antidote in the world for anxiety. His Satires and Epistles demonstrate the good-humored freedom of a man who has cheerfully assumed the responsibility for making his own life not so much a ’success’ as the occasion for a true enjoyment of virtue and knowledge." Bovie’s impeccable translation, along with Clancy’s edition of the Odes and Epodes, offers the reader a complete and modern Horace.

326 pages | 5-1/4 x 8 | © 1959

Ancient Studies


Table of Contents

General Introduction
Introduction to Book One
1. Don’t go overboard
2. Adultery is childish
3. But no one asked you to sing
4. And when I have time, I put something down on paper
5. From Rome to Brindisi, with stops
6. I am only a freedman’s son
7. King Rex: off with his head
8. A little Walpurgisnacht music
9. Bored to distraction
10. The fine art of criticism
Introduction to Book Two
1. To write or not to write? (A talk with my lawyer)
2. Plain living and high thinking
3. A Stoic sermon
4. Gourmet à la mode
5. How to recoup your losses
6. The town mouse and the country mouse
7. My slave is free to speak up for himself
8. Nasidienus has some friend in for dinner
Introduction to Book One
1. To Maecenas (20 B.C.): Philosophy has clipped my wings
2. To Lollius Maximus (22 B.C.): Homer teaches us all how to live, but we have to do it ourselves
3. To Julius Florus, campaigning with Tiberius (20 B.C.): How are you out there with all those officers? What are you doing with your spare time?
4. To Albius Tibullus (24 B.C.): Don’t be depressed, my friend. I’m not!
5. To Torquatus (22 B.C.): Come to dinner tonight, the twenty-second
6. To Numicius (no date): Nil admirari
7. To Maecenas (no date): I won’t be coming to town this winter. Sorry!
8. To Celsus Albinovanus, campaigning with Tiberius (20 B.C.): I’m depressed. Hope you aren’t
9. To Tiberius (20 B.C.): Recommending to you my friend Septimius
10. To Aristius Fuscus (21 B.C.): You can leave the city. I’ll take the country
11. To Bullatius (no date): How was your trip?
12. To Iccius, in Sicily (20 B.C.): Hope you are doing well in your work for the Department of External Revenue. But do look up Pompeius Grosphus. Here’s the latest news from Rome
13. To Vinius Asina (23 B.C.): Please give these does to Augustus, and watch what you’re doing!
14. To the foreman on my farm (no date): You can have the city; I’ll take the country
15. To Numonius Vala (22 B.C.): I’m planning to come south for the winter. What’s it like down there?
16. To Quinctius (25 B.C.): Virtue is wisdom
17. To Scaeva (no date): How to win friends and influence patrons
18. To Lollius Maximus (20 B.C.): How to influence patrons: be yourself!
19. To Maecenas (20 B.C.): My lyric poetry is not derivative, it’s contributive
20. To my first book of epistles (20 B.C.): I guess it’s up to you to make your own way in the world
Introduction to Book Two
1. The Epistle to Augustus: The literary tradition, and the role of our Roman writers
2. To Julius Florus, still campaigning with Tiberius: Literary ambitions, and how to survive them
3. The art of poetry

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