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The Satires of Horace and Persius

3.57  ·  Rating Details  ·  74 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
The Satires of Horace (65-8 BC), written in the troubled decade ending with the establishment of Augustus' regime, provide an amusing treatment of men's perennial enslavement to money, power, glory and sex. Epistles I, addressed to the poet's friends, deals with the problem of achieving contentment amid the complexities of urban life, while Epistles II and the Ars Poetica ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published September 29th 2005 by Penguin Classics (first published 1973)
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Tony
Feb 27, 2012 Tony rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
SATIRES AND EPISTLES. (ca. 20 B.C.). Horace. ***.
I remember translating the odes of Horace from Latin when in high school. Those poems were difficult to translate and keep the metrical properties of the original language. When I began to read these satires, I could see that these would be an order of magnitude harder. In fact, I was never rreally able to establish any metrical quality even when reading these aloud. After reading a few of them, I decided I needed to look up the real meaning of “
...more
GoldGato
Horace was The Dude of ancient Rome. The man could turn a verse like no one else. Yet, he wasn't of the florid lurid style, he was more like the Phil Collins of the classics. Middle-class and pragmatic, which closely resembled the Roman masses themselves.

This volume collects Horace's satires along with those of Persius, who is a bit more of a prude. Persius wasn't too crazy about Nero and his extravagances and he is basically wagging a finger at the wicked one with his satires. Horace is more
...more
Jesse
Nov 24, 2010 Jesse rated it liked it
The original Latin satirist, Lucilius, is lost to us, but Horace's satires, which are considered by their author an improvement upon the former, naturally (where are the modest artists?), remain. Horace seems to be that first manifestation of literary paring down which I like to call Hemingway's disease, where the writer takes a formerly vivid and creative genre, considers much of what it was superfluous, and leaves us with an essential, visceral leftover to dumb down the reader's brain and forc ...more
Greg
Oct 06, 2014 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember as a student translating the satires of both Horace and Persius. Translating biting humor is difficult, in that it requires supreme understanding of language and the frequent double use of meaning to achieve comedic effect. In this, Rudd does an incredibly good job.

Horace, the oldest satirist in the Latin language for which we still have writings, is the formulator of what is called satirical style. Improving upon such writers as Lucilius, he strove to provide a middle path between hu
...more
Donald
Aug 28, 2010 Donald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't get enough Horace. He sounds like he was alive yesterday.
Justin Evans
Jul 17, 2012 Justin Evans rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry-and-drama
Although less biting than Juvenal, both Horace and Persius are much easier reading- the historical particulars aren't as important, the narratives are a bit more gripping, and the poems are more varied. Rudd's translation is clear and strikes a nice balance (very Horatian, that) between keeping some reminder that the poem isn't just prose chopped into shorter lines and accuracy. It's nice to read pre-Whitmanians, to remind oneself that the masses are often wrong:

"the people.../ often confer/ of
...more
Susan
Feb 18, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, tbr-list
The translator, Niall Rudd, did an amazing job of making the topical allusions in these 2,000 year old poems accessible to the modern reader. Philosophic and humorous looks at life in Roman times, sometimes X-rated and misogynistic. I was surprised to find the story of the country mouse and the town mouse goes back (at least) to Horace.
Tortla
Having read six or seven of Horace's Satires, I think I can safely conclude that I would not want to be friends with this simpering ego of a man.
❤
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  • The Poems
  • Epigrams
  • The Sixteen Satires
  • The Rope and Other Plays
  • Idylls
  • The Thebaid: Seven Against Thebes
  • The Comedies
  • Fasti
  • The Histories
  • Chattering Courtesans and Other Sardonic Sketches
  • Natural History: A Selection
  • The Letters of the Younger Pliny
  • Essays
  • Pharsalia: The Civil War
  • The Eclogues
  • Four Tragedies and Octavia
  • Selected Works
  • The Complete Poems
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Quintus Horatius Flaccus (December 8, 65 BC – November 27, 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus.

Born in the small town of Venusia in the border region between Apulia and Lucania (Basilicata), Horace was the son of a freed slave, who owned a small farm in Venusia, and later moved to Rome to work as a coactor (a middleman
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“Humour is often stronger and more effective than sharpness in cutting knotty issues.” 3 likes
“my observations are for my own improvement (137–8); and my writings are just an amusing pastime (138–9).” 0 likes
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