Horace: Epodes

(1438 words)
  • Lindsay Cameron Watson (University of Sydney)

Horace’s Epodes were composed roughly between 41 and 30 (BC), a time of profound upheaval and bloodshed in the Roman state, a situation which the poems amply reflect. It is disputed whether Horace called his work Iambi or Epodes. Iambi reflects the genre to which the poems belonged, iambic, a literary type known for insult and fierce aggression, obscenity and a readiness to treat matters which would not be thought seemly in more dignified genres. All these characteristics are well represented in Horace’s collection. Epodes, the title by which the poems are generally known, refers to their metrical form, “epode” denoting a type of poetry in which one verse is followed by …

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Watson, Lindsay Cameron. "Epodes". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 March 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=13380, accessed 05 July 2015.]