Horace’s Epistles 1 is a collection of twenty stylized letters written in dactylic hexameter verse. The poems vary from thirteen lines (Epistle 9) to one hundred and twelve lines (Epistle 18) in length. Based on a reference to the age of the poet in the final poem, the collection was published in or near 21 BCE. Epistles 1 is the earliest surviving collection of verse letters from Greco-Roman antiquity. While several earlier poems, including Horace’s own Satires 1 and 2 (published in the late 30s BCE), resemble letters in address and form, it is probable that the publication of a complete collection of poetic epistles was an innovation on Horace’s part.

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Citation:
Lee-Stecum, Parshia. "Epistles I". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 January 2014
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=13376, accessed 04 August 2015.]