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A. CHRONOLOGY OF THE POEMS
The First Book of the Satires is the first work which Horace published, 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 introduction 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 may claim 35 B.c. as the probable date of the publication of Book I. At this time the poet was in his thirtieth year.
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 political events. In l. 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 l. 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 (l. 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 publication.
In the interval 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 Lollius 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 position 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 earlier 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 written 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 ll. 252—256, as Wickham has pointed out, show certain correspondences with the political Odes of Book IV.,
which was published 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 published 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 composition. 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 likely that Piso pater was Cn. Calpurnius Piso, who, like Horace, fought under Brutus at Philippi 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.
a 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” (Horace, p. 235).
B. EARLIER HISTORY OF SATIRE
The great literary critic Quintilian proudly claims Satire as a purely Roman creation, satira quidem tota nostra est (x. 1. 93) FIS kind the mixed char
of literature had originated in a sort of 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. fabula) was a miscellaneous story, which was originally presented as a dramatic entertainment.a After the introduction of the regular drama from Greece, the dramatic saturae, like the mimes and the Atellanae, survived as afterplays (exodia), 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 philosophic poem ; the Euhemerus, a rationalistic treatment of mythology; the Heduphagetica, a mock heroic poem on gastronomy; the Sota, in the Sotadean metre; and the Scipio and the Ambracia, which dealt with contemporary persons and events. Of the Satires of Pacuvius we know nothing, and
a 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. comic scenes performed separately after tragedies.