Horace, Epodes

Lindsay Cameron Watson (University of Sydney)
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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 another of differing, usually shorter, length. Thus

Epodes

1-10 consist of poems in which an iambic trimeter of…

1437 words

Citation: Watson, Lindsay Cameron. "Epodes". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 March 2007 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=13380, accessed 05 March 2024.]

13380 Epodes 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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