Horace (Q. Horatius Flaccus) has consistently convinced readers for two thousand years that they are in the presence of a friend, a recognisable and often very appealing personality emerging from his poetry. Throughout his literary works, satire, iambus (poetry of criticism) and lyric, there is a strong autobiographical thread, and although we shouldn’t be seduced into believing it is the real Q. Horatius Flaccus that we are seeing in his poetry, he did always take care to write poetry appropriate to his time of life, the more aggressively critical poetry when a younger man; the mature wisdom of his lyric poetry (the Odes) in middle age; and the detached and philosophically-coloured Epistles later still. His life (56-8 BC) spanned tumultuous times, and both the trauma of Civil War (in which he was directly involved) and the restoration of peace by Augustus, to whom he became close, had a formative influence on his work. Horace’s poetry covers a wide range of tones and styles, but he is probably most celebrated for his curiosa felicitas, an unparalleled talent for encapsulating ideas in a succinct and memorable (and quotable) form. Carpe diem!

Dr Llewelyn Morgan,
Vice-Principal, Brasenose College, Oxford

Odes | Epodes
Epistulae | Saturae


Odes 1.4 | Spring
Contributed by Viviana La Russa and Simona Borrello

Odes 1.5 | Pyrrha
Contributed by Anne Dicks

Odes 1.9 | Horace’s Poetry and Wartime Bonds
Contributed by Nicholas Debenham

Odes 1.11| carpe diem
Contributed by Vittoria Smorto

Odes: 1.34. 1-15|The Power of Fortuna
Contributed by Deanna Kalian

Odes: 1.37. |nunc est bibendum – the death of Cleopatra
Contributed by Kate S

Odes 3.12 | Neobule
Contributed by Terry Walsh

Odes 3.29.29-64 | How to live life
Contributed by Llewelyn Morgan

Odes 3.30 | My Muse and I
Contributed by Terry Walsh