ANCIENT SCHOLARS

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Horace: World's first autobiographer

Quintus Horatius Flaccus (December 8, 65 BC – November 27, 8 BC) was born at the city of Apulia.

His father was a propertied freedman of a small farm in the vicinity of that place from which he afterwards removed to Rome, when his son had attained the age of nine or ten years in order to afford him the benefits of a liberal education.
About the age of twenty-one, Horace was sent to Athens to complete his education. Horace was 21 when the assassination of Julius Caesar precipitated 17 years of civil war. In 44 BC he joined Brutus’ faction and in 42 he fought as an officer at the battle of Philippi, where Brutus was defeated.

When Horace returned to Rome in 41 BC his land had been confiscated. He joined the civil service and forced by poverty, turned to writing. He became a friend of Virgil and in 38 BC met Maecenas, who became his patron. Horace rose to be the supreme lyric poet of his time.

Augustus courted Horace’s friendship. The emperor Augustus gave him a farm in the Sabine hills.

The works of Horace are numerous, displaying a knowledge of philosophy, vast vocabulary and a reliance upon common sense.
Satires 1 (c. 35–34 BC)
Satires 2 (c. 30 BC)
Epodes (30 BC)
Odes 1–3 (c. 23 BC)
Epistles 1 (c. 21 BC)
Carmen Saeculare (17 BC)
Epistles 2 (c. 11 BC)
Odes 4 (c. 11 BC)
Ars Poetica (c. 10–8 BC)
Horace: World's first autobiographer
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