This wide-ranging selection showcases the work of one of ancient Rome’s master poets—and originator of the phrase “carpe diem”—whose influence on poetry can be traced through the centuries into our own time.
Quintus Horatius Flaccus, who lived from 65 to 8 BCE, saw the death of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Roman Empire and was personally acquainted with the emperor Augustus and the poet Virgil. He was famous during his lifetime and since for his odes and epodes, for his satires and epistles, and for Ars Poetica. His lyric poems, brief and allusive, have been translated into English by a range of famous poets, including Milton, Ben Jonson, John Dryden, William Cowper, A. E. Housman, Ezra Pound, Louis MacNeice, Robert Lowell—and even Queen Elizabeth I and the Victorian prime minister William Gladstone.
Horace’s masterly verses have inspired poets from antiquity to modernity, and his injunction to “seize the day” has echoed through the ages. This anthology of superb English translations shows how Horace has permeated English literature for five centuries.
Quintus Horatius Flaccus was born in 6 B.C. at Venusia in Apulia. His father, though once a slave, had made enough money as an auctioneer to send his son to a well-known school in Rome and subsequently to university in… More about Horace