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Political Analysis In Horace’S Roman Odes

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is concerned with the way in which Horace seeks to legitimise the Augustan Principate in some of his most famous poems. Most of our evidence for political thought comes from the selfgoverning city states of antiquity, i.e. the Greek polis and Republican Rome. Horace develops a complex picture of the state of the res publica and, by extension, of the moral situation of the individuals in it. He identifies misguided attitudes and patterns of behaviour, demonstrates how they are causally connected with each other, and sketches a range of choices which the Romans as individuals face. Horace is often presented as Epicurean in outlook, which makes it striking how different from Epicurean orthodoxy the analysis of flawed human behaviour in the Roman Odes is.

Keywords: Horaces Roman Odes; political analysis



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