Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 91 pages of information about The Odes and Carmen Saeculare of Horace.

BOOK IV, ODE 9.

’Twixt worth and baseness, lapp’d in death,
What difference?

I believe I have expressed Horace’s meaning, though he has chosen to express himself as if the two things compared were dead worthlessness and uncelebrated worth.  By fixing the epithet sepultae to inertiae he doubtless meant to express that the natural and appropriate fate of worthlessness was to be dead, buried, and forgotten.  But the context shows that he was thinking of the effect of death and its consequent oblivion on worth and worthlessness alike, and contending that the poet alone could remedy the undiscriminating and unjust award of destiny.  Throughout the first half of the Ode, however, Horace has rather failed to mark the transitions of thought.  He begins by assuring himself and, by implication, those whom he celebrates, of immortality, on the ground that the greatest poets are not the only poets; he then exchanges this thought for another, doubtless suggested by it, that the heroes of poetry are not the only heroes, though the very fact that there have been uncelebrated heroes is used to show that celebration by a poet is everything.

     Or bear your banners through the fight,
       Scattering the Joemari’s firm array.

It seems, on the whole, simpler to understand this of actual victories obtained by Lollius as a commander, than of moral victories obtained by him as a judge.  There is harshness in passing abruptly from the judgment-seat to the battle-field; but to speak of the judgment-seat as itself the battle-field would, I think, be harsher still.

Finis.

*** End of the project gutenberg EBOOK, odes and Carmen Saeculare of Horace ***

This file should be named dsndc10.txt or dsndc10.zip Corrected editions of our eBooks get a new number, dsndc11.txt versions based on separate sources get new letter, dsndc10a.txt

Project Gutenberg eBooks are often created from several printed editions, all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the us unless a copyright notice is included.  Thus, we usually do not keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.

We are now trying to release all our eBooks one year in advance of the official release dates, leaving time for better editing.  Please be encouraged to tell us about any error or corrections, even years after the official publication date.

Please note neither this listing nor its contents are final til midnight of the last day of the month of any such announcement.  The official release date of all Project Gutenberg eBooks is at Midnight, Central Time, of the last day of the stated month.  A preliminary version may often be posted for suggestion, comment and editing by those who wish to do so.

Most people start at our Web sites at:  http://gutenberg.net or http://promo.net/pg

Follow Us on Facebook