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Horace: Satires Book I



Part of Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics

  • Date Published: January 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521458511

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About the Authors
  • Horace's first book of Satires is his debut work, a document of one man's self-fashioning on the cusp between republic and empire, and a pivotal text in the history of Roman satire. It wrestles with the problem of how to define and assimilate satire and justifies the poet's own position in a suspicious society. The commentary gives full weight to the dense texture of these poems while helping readers interpret their most cryptic aspects and appreciate their technical finesse. The introduction puts Horace in context as late-Republican newcomer and a vital figure in the development of satire, and discusses the structure and meaning of Satires I, literary and philosophical influences, style, metre, transmission and Horace's rich afterlife. Each poem is followed by an essay offering overall interpretation. This work is designed for upper-level students and scholars of classics but contains much of interest to specialists in later European literature.

    • Argues for a new interpretation of Satires I as the product of both a sophisticated education and a volatile political period
    • Gives full weight to the dense texture of the poems while helping readers interpret their most cryptic aspects and appreciate their technical finesse
    • Takes into account the recent explosion of scholarship on Horace's satirical works
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Gowers is a brilliant critic … Any sentence chosen at random would illustrate her critical perceptiveness and penetration, and the deftness, liveliness and sheer interest to be found in the way she writes.' Exemplaria Classica

    'Emily Gowers' new Green and Yellow commentary does far more than bring things up to date. It innovates, and opens pathways for fresh interrogation. By combining the best of the solid philological and historical gains made by the great nineteenth- and twentieth-century commentaries in French, German and Italian, with the best of recent cultural and literary-critical scholarship (primarily in English), Gowers has managed to produce something that the field has not, in fact, ever seen: an impressively full and thought-provoking commentary in English on the first book of Horace's Sermones … Gowers' points of emphasis are well chosen and well balanced … [her] note on 'numerus'… is itself worth the price of the book … outstanding …' Kirk Freudenburg, The Journal of Roman Studies

    'Everyone who reads satire comes to it with different interests, and Gowers accordingly gives space to a variety of topics and avenues of investigation in her essays and notes … She is particularly talented at exposing the relationship between the anecdotal poems 7-9 and unpacking the various messages that are embedded in Horace's dense verse. These pieces reward readers with a tantalizing … glimpse into the historical poet's lived experience.' Jayne Knight, Mnemosyne

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521458511
    • length: 379 pages
    • dimensions: 215 x 139 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • contains: 1 map
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents


  • Author



    Emily Gowers, University of Cambridge
    E. J. Gowers is Senior Lecturer in Classics, University of Cambridge and Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge. Her first book, The Loaded Table (1993), about the representation of food in Latin literature, won the Premio Langhe Ceretto in 1994. With William Fitzgerald, she co-edited Ennius Perennis (Cambridge Classical Journal supplementary volume 31, 2007), to which she contributed a chapter and the introduction. She has written numerous articles on Roman satire and has also published widely on other aspects of Latin literature and culture, including Apuleius, Columella, Ovid, Terence, Valerius Maximus, Virgil, Roman food, trees, Sicily, the Emperor Augustus and the Cloaca Maxima. She regularly reviews books for the Times Literary Supplement and other journals.

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