Monday, September 04, 2006

The Odes of Horace and Augustan Propaganda

Quintus Horatius Flaccus (b. 65 BC, d. 8 BC) fought initially on the side of Pompey against Julius Caesar during the civil war that marked the end of the old republic. Despite being on the loosing side, he eventually found favour with Caesar Augustus and became a successful poet. In his Odes, book four, ode five, there is a poem addressed to Augustus. It includes this stanza:

As long as Caesar is safe, who would fear the
Parthian, who [would fear] the frozen Scythian, who
[would fear] the swarms which savage Germany breeds?
Who would worry about war with fierce Spain?

The poem with a very good commentary can be read here.

The ode is a good example of Roman propaganda which connected the welfare and propserity of the empire with the coming of Augustus.


Mark Owens said...

Thanks for this, Mike! Do you know have any other sources on Roman imperial propoganda? Blessings.


Kevin P. Edgecomb said...

Shouldn't that be "Augustan" in the title, Mike? Unless there's some link to Augstine I'm missing out on!