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THE

LIFE OF HORACE,

COLLECTED FROM HIS OWN WRITINGS.

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Vita.

THE LIFE OF HORACE.

1. "Birth-place." Venusia or Venusium, a town on the confines of Lucania and Appulia.

Sequor hunc Lucanus an Appulus, anceps.

Nam Venusinus arat finem sub utrumque colonus.

Sat. II. 1. 34.

2. "Time."

December, A. u. c. 689, a. c. 65, in the consul

ship of L. Aurelius Cotta and Manlius Torquatus.

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3. "His Father." A "libertinus," a slave who had been made free. He held the office of "coactor,"* or auctioneer's clerk, at Rome, in which capacity, having made some property, he purchased a small farm in the neighbourhood of Venusia.

In Suetonius' life of our poet, we find exactionum coactor, a tax-gatherer, but Gesner emends exauctionum coactor, a person who attended on the præco, and received the purchase-money for the articles bought In the same, also, he is said to have been salsumentarius, a person who deals in salt provisions, but this appears to be an interpolation suggested by the passage in the "Treatise on Rhetoric," addressed to Herennius, IV. 54, "Ut si salsamentarii filio dicas: quiesce tu, cujus pater cubito se emungere solet."

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4. "His early education." At Rome, under the care of Orbilius Pupillus and others.

Sed puerum est ausus Romam portare docendum
Artes, quas doceat quivis eques atque senator
Semet prognatos. Vestem servosque sequentes
In magno ut populo, si quis vidisset, avitâ
Ex re præberi sumptus mihi crederet illos.
Ipse mihi custos incorruptissimus omnes
Circum doctores aderat.

Sat. I. 6. 76.

By Orbilius he was instructed in the poems of Livius Andronicus

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Before his return to Rome he visited other parts of Greece.*

Me neque tam patiens Lacedæmon,

Nec tam Larissæ percussit campus opimæ.

Carm. I. 7. 10.

*For this and the next illustration I am indebted to Mr. Tate's "Prelimin. Dissert."

He was also in Asia.

Scis Lebedus quid sit: Gabiis desertior atque
Fidenis vicus: tamen illic vivere amem.

Epist. I. 11. 7.

5. "His entrance into public life." As military tribune in the army of Brutus.

O sæpe mecum tempus in ultimum
Deducte Bruto militiæ duce.

Carm. II. 7. 1.

Tecum Philippos et celerem fugam

Sensi, relictâ non benè parmula.

Carm. II. 7. 9.

Quòd mihi pareret legio Romana tribuno.

Sat. I. 6. 48.

Dura sed emovêre loco me tempora grato
Civilisque rudem belli tulit æstus in arma
Cæsaris Augusti non responsura lacertis.

Epist. II. 2. 48.

6. "His condition when he returned to Rome." Poor, and de. prived of his father's property, which forced him to write for his support."

Unde simul primùm me dimisere Philippi
Decisis humilem pennis inopemque paterni
Et laris et fundi, paupertas impulit audax
Ut versus facerem.

Epist. II. 2. 49.

7. "His public employment after his return." As "scriba quæstoribus," or quæstor's clerk.*

De re communi scribæ magnâ atque nova te
Orabant hodie meminisses, Quincte, reverti.

Sat. II. 6. 36.

† Although I have assigned this appointment, on the authority of Suetonius, to a period before our author's introduction to Mæcenas, I think it improbable that he obtained it at this time. Indeed it is scarcely intelligible, how a person in his situation could have commanded the sum of money requisite for purchasing it. Mr. Tate's conjecture (p. lix.) that it was a corrogatio of his friends, or the amount of some arrears of rent due to him at Venusia, appears to me improbable. It is more likely that he was struggling in poverty, until some of his poetical compositions came under the notice of Virgil or Varius, who, admiring the genius which they displayed. presented him to Mæcenas, and then, through him, he obtained this appointment.

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