« PredošláPokračovať »
INTRODUCTION-BIRTH, PARENTAGE, EDUCATION OF HORACE-
HE POETRY of HORACE is
period, which is called the Augustan Age of Letters.
war; and afterwards subsiding quietly into literary ease, the partisan of Brutus softens into the friend of Mæcenas, and the happy subject, if not the flatterer, of Augustus. Nor is his personal history merely illustrative of his times in its broader outline; every part of it, which is revealed to us in his poetry, is equally instructive. Even the parentage of the poet is connected with the difficult but important questions of the extent to which slavery in the Roman world was affected by manumission, and the formation of that middle class (the libertini), with their privileges, and the estimation in which they were held by society. His birthplace in the romantic scenery, and among the simple virtues of the old Italian yeomanry; his Roman education; his residence. at Athens; his military services; the confiscation of his estate; his fortunes as a literary adventurer, cast upon the world in Rome; the state of Roman poetry when he commenced his career; the degree in which his compositions were Roman and original, or but the naturalization of new forms of Grecian poetry; the influence of the different sects of philosophy on the literature and manners of the age; even the state of religion, particularly as it affected the higher and more intellectual orders, at this momentous crisis when Christianity was about to be revealed to mankind-every circumstance in the life of the Poet is an incident in the history of man. The influences which formed his moral and poetical character, are the prevalent modes of feeling and thought among the people, who had achieved the conquest of the