Horace Between Freedom and Slavery: The First Book of <i>Epistles</i>
During the Roman transition from Republic to Empire in the first century B.C.E., the poet Horace found his own public success in the era of Emperor Augustus at odds with his desire for greater independence. In Horace between Freedom and Slavery, Stephanie McCarter offers new insights into Horace's complex presentation of freedom in the first book of his Epistles and connects it to his most enduring and celebrated moral exhortation, the golden mean.
She argues that, although Horace commences the Epistles with an uncompromising insistence on freedom, he ultimately adopts a middle course. She shows how Horace explores in the poems the application of moderate freedom first to philosophy, then to friendship, poetry, and place. Rather than rejecting philosophical masters, Horace draws freely on them without swearing permanent allegiance to any—a model for compromise that allows him to enjoy poetic
renown and friendships with the city's elite while maintaining a private sphere of freedom. This moderation and adaptability, McCarter contends, become the chief ethical lessons that Horace learns for himself and teaches to others. She reads Horace's reconfiguration of freedom as a political response to the transformations of the new imperial age.
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adaptability addressee Albius Alcaeus Archilochus argues Aristippean Aristippus atque Augustus Augustus’s behavior Bowditch Callimachus Catullus Cicero claims compromise countryside Cratinus Cynic Cyrenaic Davus describes desire Diogenes Diogenes Laertius enjoy Epicurean Epicurus Epistles 1.1 epistolary equanimity especially ethical exemplum extreme Florus Florus’s Freudenburg friendship with Maecenas Fuscus gladiator gladiatorial harsh Homer Horace’s Iccius imagery imitation independence Kilpatrick 1986 libertas lines Lollius Lollius’s Lucretius ludicra ludus Maecenas Maecenas’s master Mayer McGann mean Mena middle path mihi moderate freedom moral nil admirari Numicius Odes Odysseus OLD s.v. Oliensis one’s opening poem passage patron Philippus Philodemus philosophical Pindar poem Horace poem’s poet poetic poetry pursuits quae quid quod refusal role Roman Rome Sabine farm Sappho Satires servile slave slavery slavish social Socrates sphere Stoic Stoicism suggests that Horace things tibi Tibur tion Torquatus Vinnius virtue wealth Whereas wine withdrawal words καὶ