Horace the Epistles by Colin Macleod

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39 NOTES 3. 6. Varia (modern Vicovaro) was the local town . Unlike the bailiff, the "five fathers" find enough there to amuse them. Lamia is the addressee of Odes 3. 8. 40 Epistles L 15 Epistles 1. 15 EPISTLE 15 The letter is addressed to Numonius Val a who belonged to a family of standing in the region of Salernum and Velia. The poet enquires how suitable his homeland would be for a convalescent, playing artfully with a great complexity of syntax. In the first long parenthesis it is for medical reasons that Horace thinks of visiting Lucania and abandoning luxurious Baiae - against the will of his horse which represents , rather as in the myth of Plato's Phaedrus, the appetites of the rider.

All the while keep reading, sounding out the wise on how to live your life in peace: whether desire, forever in need, tOrmenrs you, or anxious hope of things that do not counr; if goodness is gained by learning or given by nature; what CutS down worry, sets you at one with yourself, what makes you clear and still - advancement, cash, or a life that steals along out of sight. Each time I slake my thirst with the cooling stream the frost-wrinkled village of Mandela drinks , what prayer do you suppose is in my mind?

But when the warm sun brings along more hearers, tell them that I, the son of a humble freedman, grew wings that outspread the nest (so that whatever my family lose in the tale my merits gain), found favour with the great, in war and peace, was short, prematurely grey, fond of the sun, quick-tempered, but quick to be calmed down again . If anyone makes enquiries about my age, say I completed my forty -fourth December in the year when Lepidus joined Lollius. 20 . 17-20, where, in grand style, Horace imagines his work being read in the most distant parts of the Roman empire.

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