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Horace's Odes

Richard Tarrant

16 October 2020

ISBN: 9780195156768

272 pages

In Stock

Oxford Approaches to Classical Literature

Price: £18.99



Horace's Odes are one of the greatest achievements of Latin literature. Richard Tarrant situates the Odes in the context of Horace's poetic career and defines their relationship to earlier literature. A number of poems are analyzed in detail, illustrating Horace's range of subject matter and his characteristic techniques of form and structure.

  • Provides fresh translations of several poems
  • Applies detailed literary analysis to select poems
  • Includes historical context for Horace's life and contemporaries

About the Author(s)

Richard Tarrant, Pope Professor of the Latin Language and Literature, Department of the Classics, Harvard University

Richard Tarrant is Pope Professor of the Latin Language and Literature, emeritus, at Harvard University.

Table of Contents

    Editors' Foreword
    Preface and Acknowledgements
    Introduction: Reading the Odes Today
    1. Horace's Life
    2. Before the Odes
    3. To the Cool Grove: The Ascent to Lyric
    4. Odes 1-3: The Collection
    5. Three Odes
    6. Friendship and Advice
    7. Amatory Poems
    8. Political Poems
    9. After the Odes I: The Book of Epistles
    10. Lyric Revisited: The Carmen saeculare and the Fourth Book of Odes
    11. After the Odes II: The Literary Epistles
    12. Reception of the Odes: From Propertius to Seamus Heaney
    Further Reading
    Works Cited


"A superbly readable book.... Tarrant gets in abundant contextual information while keeping the tone easy; the close readings of two dozen or so poems that make up the core of the book are similarly effective." - Greece & Rome

"This is a superb introduction to Horace's Odes.... Clear, expert orientation for newcomers and their guides is thus a valuable commodity, and Tarrant provides it in generous supply. There is good coverage: 66 of the 88 poems in Odes 1–3 and all the poems of book 4 receive some comment or discussion. Throughout the book there is an easy control of this disparate material, frequent, illuminating comparisons within and beyond the poems themselves, and a wealth of observations pointing to a deep familiarity with these poems.... His lucid and insightful book can be warmly recommended to this audience and to readers more familiar with the Odes as one of the best introductions now available." - Bryn Mawr Classical Review