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When Augustus had brought the civil wars to an end, B.C. 28,
he applied himself to the reformation of manners, and Horace probably wrote this and other Odes to promote the reforms of Augustus-perhaps by his desire, or by that of Maecenas. They were probably all written between B.C. 28 and 25, and should be read together.' The general purport of this Ode is an exhortation to moderate living and desires. The first stanza is generally regarded as an introduction to this Ode and to the five immediately following.
I HATE and drive away the crowd profane.
Odi profanum volgus et arceo :
Virginibus puerisque canto.
Cuncta supercilio moventis.
Moribus hic meliorque fama
Omne capax movet urna nomen. Districtus ensis cui super impia Cervice pendet, non Siculae dapes
Their savour sweet affects not, nor is he