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The well-known Roman poet, born 8th Dec., B.C. 65, at Venusia, on the borders of Apulia and Lucania, where his father, who was a freedman, possessed a small property, and filled the office of a collector (coactor). To give his son a better education, he betook himself to Rome, and here Horace received a training similar to that of the sons of wealthy knights and senators, under his father's eye, who watched over him with a touching solicitude. At first he studied under the grammarian Orbillus Pupillus of Beneventum, whose flogging propensities Horace rendered proverbial. To complete his education, and especially to study philosophy, Horace resorted to Athens in B.C. 45; but towards the end of the summer of B.C. 44, when Brutus, after the murder of Caesar, appeared at Athens, Horace, like most of the young Romans studying there, joined him in his enthusiasm for the cause of liberty. At the defeat at Philippi in 42, where he fought as a military tribune, he saved himself by flight, and fortunately reached Italy in safety. It is true that he met with favour, but he found himself absolutely without means, as the property of his father, who had probably died in the interval, had been confiscated. To gain a livelihood, he managed to get a clerkship in the quaestor's office (see SCRIBAe). It was at this period that, emboldened (as he himself says) by his poverty, he first appeared as a poet. His own bent and predisposition led him at that time to satire, in which he took Lacilius for his model, and to iambic poetry after the manner of Archilochus. His first attempts gained him the acquaintance of Vergil and Varius, who commended him to their influential patron Maecenas. The latter allowed the poet to be introduced to him (about 38 B.C.,) but for fully nine months paid no attention to him, until he once more invited him to his house, and admitted him to the circle of his friends. In course of time there grew up a very intimate friendship between Maecenas and Horace. About 35 B.C. the poet dedicated to him, under the title of Sermones, the first collection of his Satires, which up to then had been published separately; and about 33 he received from Maecenas the gift of a small estate in the Sabine district, which from that time forward was his favourite abode. In the year B.C. 30, or perhaps in the beginning of B.C. 29, Horace published his second book of Satires; and (nearly simultaneously) his collection of iambic verses, or Epodes, appeared. In the following years he specially devoted himself to lyric poetry, taking the Aeolic poets for his model, and having the merit of being the first who found for their forms of verse a home on Roman ground. About 23, he published his first collection of Odes (Carmina) in three books, which were all dedicated to Maecenas. [But some of the Odes were written before B.C. 29, so that in respect to the date of composition, as distinguished from that of publication, the collections of Odes and Epodes overlap. See Prof. Nettleship's Lectures and Essays, pp. 156-163.] The Odes were followed by a continuation of the conversational Satires or Sermones in a now form, that of letters, each addressed to one person, and called the Epistulae. Through Maecenas Horace made the acquaintance of Augustus. The ex-republican and soldier of freedom had shown at first but little sympathy for him; but afterwards, having learned to recognise that the only chance of the salvation of the state lay in the rule of a monarch, and having seen Augustus successfully engaged in restoring the country to tranquillity and prosperity at home, and to its ancient prestige abroad, he was completely reconciled to the emperor, and in several of his Odes paid a high tribute to his merits. Nevertheless, he was always anxious to maintain an attitude of independence towards the emperor, and excused himself from accepting the tempting offer of Augustus to enter his service as private secretary and to form one of his suite. But he did not entirely decline to carry out his wishes. It was by his desire that (about B.C. 17) he composed, for the festival of the Secular Games, the hymn to Apollo and Diana, known as the Carmen Soeculare. He also celebrated the victories of the emperor's step-sons, Tiberius and Drasus, in several Odes (B.C. 15), which he published with some others as a fourth book of Odes (about 13 B.C.) As Augustus had complained that Horace had made no mention of him in his earlier Epistles, the poet addressed to him a composition which stands first in the second book of Epistles, probably published shortly before his death. The famous Epistula ad Pisones, commonly called the Ars Poetica, is often reckoned as the third epistle of the second book [but probably belongs to an earlier date]. The poet died 27th November, B.C. 8, and was buried on the Esquiline, near to his recently deceased friend, Maecenas. Horace, as he was himself aware, is not a poet who soars to lofty heights; on the contrary his nature is essentially reflective, and with him taste and fancy are always under the control of reason. In his lyrical poems he began with more or less free imitations of Greek models, and gradually advanced to independent compositions in the Greek form. Their merits do not consist in warmth of feeling or depth of thought, but in the perspicuity of their plan, the evenness of their execution, and the art with which both diction and metre are handled. In the poems of a higher style which he composed by desire of Augustus, or under the influence of the times in which he lived, the expression rises to actual loftiness, but the spirit of deliberate purpose is generally prominent. He succeeds best in those of his Odes in which, following his own bent, without any external prompting, he treats of some bright and simple theme, such as love or friendship. His personality reflects itself most vividly in his Satires and 'in his Epistles, which often have a similar aim. Following the method of Lucilius, he here gives his personal impressions of social and literary matters in a form that is more natural, and at the same time more artistic, than his predecessor's, and in a style that approaches the language of everyday life. At first his Satires, like his Epodes, were not without a pungency corresponding to a bitterness of feeling due to the circumstances of his life; but as his temper became calmer, they assume a more genial and less personal complexion. In the Epistles, the poet shows himself the exponent of a mild, if not very deep, philosophy of life. From, an early date Horace's poems were used in Roman schools as a text-book, and were expounded by Roman scholars, especially by Acron and Porphyrio (q.v., 6).