Horace and His Art of Enjoyment

Horace and His Art of Enjoyment

Horace and His Art of Enjoyment

Horace and His Art of Enjoyment

Excerpt

When Quintus Horatius Flaccus was born on December 8, 65 B.C., in the little town of Venusia in southeastern Italy, his parents in their fondest dreams for him could not have imagined how far he was to soar above the home nest. This country child, son of a freedman who perhaps through his own self-denying thrift had acquired a small holding of land in Apulia under the shadow of Mount Vultur near the roaring river Aufidus was destined, not without the aid of the gods a babe of parts, to be the friend of the great in a golden age and to strike a lyre that should echo not only throughout Italy, but throughout the world. If the life of the self-made millionaire or politician savors of the dramatic because of its amazing contrasts and reversals of fortune, the life of the self-made poet is the true romance when power so immaterial as winged words mounts Glory's car and becomes the charioteer of her recalcitrant steeds. Horace himself caught his breath in an unforgetable phrase when he realized that as a lyrist he might "strike the stars with his exalted head. . . ."

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