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THE present Edition of Horace's Works is based upon that of Dr. Dübner. But the Introductions and Notes have been abridged, and in many places re-written; additional notes introduced; and pains taken to adapt the commentary more especially to the use of Schools.
Mr. Arnold at one time intended to publish an Edition of the Ecloga Horatianæ with an English digest of the Notes for School use. But he ultimately abandoned that intention in favour of the greater consistency, and less excursive character of Dr. Dübner's Notes.
The reviser of the translation has carefully endeavoured to carry out Mr. Arnold's object; and although he has added notes where they seemed to be required, he has taken pains to avoid equally the too-much and the too-little in a commentary intended principally for younger scholars.
The matter of the additional notes has been principally drawn from those appended to the Ecloga
Horatianæ, which in Pars II. are almost exclusively Orelli's. References are occasionally made under the following:
K. Keightley (Satires, &c.).
R. Riddle (Latin-English Lexicon).
C. D. or S. C. D.
D. A. or S. D. A.
Smith's Classical Dictionary.
Smith's Dictionary of Antiquities.
INTR. Introduction to Ode, Satire, &c.
LIFE OF HORACE.
HORACE (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) was born A. U. 689 at Venusia (Venosa), a small town on the confines of Lucania and Apulia-(Lucanus an Appulus anceps)-near which place his father had a small farm. His father appears to have been a collector of petty taxes or a kind of auction-broker at Rome. He had probably been a slave in a household of the Gens Horatia, but had obtained his freedom before his son's birth. When Horace was ten or eleven years old, his father, who was anxious to give him the best education that Rome afforded, brought him with him to the great city, and placed him under the first masters there, that he might come in nothing short of the advantages then enjoyed by the youths of the best Roman families. With the same view he sent him afterwards to finish his studies at Athens.
Horace was at Athens at the time of Cæsar's assassination; he subsequently joined the party of Brutus and Cassius with some of his fellow-students, and was in command as tribune at the battle of Philippi (a.u. 712), and the defeat there of the
republican cause. He soon afterwards availed himself of the amnesty offered by the conquerors; and returned to Rome to find his father dead, and himself dispossessed by confiscation of the property his father had left behind him. Through the kindness of his friends he was enabled to purchase a place in the quæstor's office; but the emoluments of it were so small, as to leave him almost entirely dependent upon his poetical powers for his support. The poets Virgil and Varius however took him by the hand, and it was to the esteem in which they held him, that he owed his introduction to Mæcenas, whose powerful patronage and intimate friendship he enjoyed to the close of his life. Mæcenas gave him a country-house and small farm, which he was very fond of, delightfully situated in the Sabine territory in the valley of Ustica, a few miles from Tibur, the modern Tivoli: and the favour of the Emperor Augustus was not among the least of his obligations to his great friend.
The poet's death occurred in the fifty-seventh year of his age, a few weeks probably after that of his beloved patron, and in remarkable coincidence with his own affectionate words:
"Ah! te meæ si partem animæ rapit
Integer? Ille dies utramque
O. ii. 16 (17).
He was buried by the side of Mæcenas' own tomb on the Esquiline Hill.
Horace's merits as a writer are very remarkable. He created the Lyric poetry of Rome: he perfected the style of Satiric poetry: and his Epistles have this testimony, that with the poem of Lucretius, the Georgics of Virgil, and perhaps the Satires of Juvenal, they are the most perfect, and most original form of Roman verse' (S. C. D.). Neither must we forget the essentially different character of two of these styles of poetry, if we would do justice to the versatility and compass of the poet's powers: nor yet again another important feature in his works, which makes him-to use Dean Milman's words-" the familiar companion, the delight not of the mere elegant scholar alone, or the imaginative reader, but, we had almost written, the manual of the statesman, and the study of the moral philosopher. Of Rome, or of the Roman mind, no one can know any thing, who is not profoundly versed in Horace; and whoever really understands Horace will have a more perfect and accurate knowledge of the Roman manners and the Roman mind, than the most diligent and laborious investigator of Roman antiquities!"— Life of Horace.