In the first book of odes, Horace presents himself to his Roman readers in a novel guise, as the appropriator of the Greek lyric tradition. He aspired to add a new province to the empire of the national literature. The first book is designed both to establish Horace's engagement with his Greek predecessors and to create a role for lyric poetry in contemporary Rome. The collection of thirty-eight poems is therefore a dazzling feat of poetic appropriation and innovation, a blend of the public and the private voice of the poet. Classic Greek songs are evoked so as to provide a springboard for reflections on moral and political issues, for the praises of gods and men, friends and public figures, for celebration of love and drinking. This edition will enable students and their instructors to enter and enjoy Horace's lyric world.
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