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A Personal Introduction

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Chapter Summary

When Horace looks back and comments on the nature of his Epodes, he rejects the reception of Archilochus that limits iambic to a mode for assault, designed to inflict suffering. To push beyond this boundary, he combines iambic strains, the drive for vengeance and purification with the concept of exchange in reciprocal song. The iambiclyric Horace in essence finds a way to construct a complex iambic ethos and thereby resist a destructive cycle of retaliatory vengeance. This is the point at which Horace socializes his iambic and literary criticism. The acts of transgression, responsion, and the resulting formation of a diversified unity, become the telos of Horatian poetics. Horace's lyre engages Canidia, the personification of iambic pain. Horace's professed allegiance places the Epodes within a larger biographical context and triggers a wider set of assumptions for us who know his works from start to finish.

Keywords:Canidia; Epodes ; Horace; Horatian poetics; iambic drama

10.1163/9789004216037_002
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