In this concise analysis, written with elegant wit, the greatest living textual critic of Latin authors offers new insight into the poetry of Horace.
Horace is best known for his four books of Odes, cherished for their lyric grace. His amiable persona is displayed more intimately in the moralizing verses of the Satires and Epistles. In a reading of all the poetry, but focusing especially on problematic areas, Shackleton Bailey examines Horace’s art of self-presentation. A variety of themes are elucidated, from the poet’s relations with his patron to Roman sexual attitudes. Close scrutiny is given to about thirty passages which, he argues, have been misread. An appended essay on a notable predecessor, the textual scholar Richard Bentley, is especially revealing on the art of classical scholarship.