This fascinating study of one of the greatest poets of the Augustan Age sheds new light on Horace's works by the way it combines literary analysis with investigation into the poet's social and political circumstances. Lyne's personal and historical approach focuses on the poet's relations with his patron Maecenas, with the Emperor Augustus, and with other grandees. Closely analyzing poems from Satires, Odes, and Epistles, Lyne reveals not only the magnificence of Horace's public literature, but the private man behind it. He shows how Horace neatly balanced deference with the careful assertion of his own social and political standing. According to Lyne, Horace was a master of private insinuation, as well as a skilled maker of public poetry. He was also a master in the art of ordering his works: exactly where a poem occurs is often of the subtlest importance. Lyne also examines the resumption of the great political lyric in the Odes of Book 4 (set aside in 23 B.C.), and contends that, beneath the public face, Horace here exhibited resentment, recording views that undermined earlier patriotic statements.
R.O.A.M. Lyne is a fellow and tutor in classics at Balliol College, Oxford. Among his books are The Latin Love Poets from Catullus to Horace (1980) and Further Voices in Vergil's Aeneid (1987).
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