Horace's "Carmen Saeculare": Ritual Magic and the Poet`s Art

Front Cover
Yale University Press, Oct 1, 2008 - Literary Criticism - 192 pages
divThis is the first book devoted to Horace’s Carmen Saeculare, a poem commissioned by Roman emperor Augustus in 17 B.C.E. for choral performance at the Ludi Saeculares, the Secular Games. The poem is the first fully preserved Latin hymn whose circumstances of presentation are known, and it is the only lyric of Horace we can be certain was first presented orally.

Michael C. J. Putnam offers a close and sensitive reading of this hymn, shedding new light on the richness and virtuosity of its poetry, on the many sources Horace drew on, and on the poem’s power and significance as a public ritual. A rich and compelling work, this poem is a masterpiece, Putnam shows, and it represents a crucial link in the development of Rome’s outstanding lyric poet./DIV

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Horatian Background
Chapter 3 The Carmen Saeculare
Chapter 4 Horatian Hymn and the Carmen Saeculare
Chapter 5 Horace and the Hellenic Heritage
Chapter 6 The Carmen Saeculare and Latin Poetry
Chapter 7 The Carmen Seculare and Carmina
Select Bibliography

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Michael C. J. Putnam is W. Duncan MacMillan II Professor of Classics and professor of comparative literature at Brown University. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including Virgil's Epic Designs: Ekphrasis in the Aeneid, published by Yale University Press.

Bibliographic information