Horace: Epistles I

(1050 words)
  • Parshia Lee-Stecum (University of Melbourne)

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.

Prior to the publication of Epistles 1, the …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

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 30 September 2016.]