Horace (65-8 bc) was one of the greatest poets of the Golden or Augustan age of Latin literature, a master of precision and irony who brilliantly transformed early Greek iambic and lyric poetry into sophisticated Latin verse of outstanding beauty. Offering allusive and exquisitely crafted insights into the brief joys of the present and the uncertain nature of the future, his Odes and Epodes explore such diverse themes as the virtues of pastoral life, the joys of wine, friendship and love, and the poet's personal anguish following Brutus' defeat at the battle of Phillipi. Ranging from subtle and tender hymns to the gods to bawdy celebrations of human passions, they remain among the most influential of all poems, inspiring poets from the Roman era to the European Renaissance, the Enlightenment and beyond.
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