Exuberantly mocking the vices and pretensions of his Roman contemporaries, Horace's Satires are stuffed full of comic vignettes, moral insights, and his pervasive humanity. Boasting famous episodes such as the fable of the town mouse and the country mouse and the grotesque dinner party given by the nouveau-riche Nasidienus, these poems influenced not only contemporaries such as Juvenal, but also English satirists from Ben Jonson to W. H. Auden. In the Epistles, Horace used the form of letters to explore questions of philosophy and how to live a good life. Perhaps the best-known epistle, "The Art of Poetry" (Ars poetica), still influences the work of writers today. These new prose translations by John Davie perfectly capture the lively, scurrilous, and frequently hilarious style of the satires, and the warm and engaging persona of the more meditative epistles. Robert Cowan's introduction and notes take account of the latest scholarship, placing Horace's poems within the development of Roman satire, and exploring the themes of philosophy, morality, sex and gender, literary criticism, politics, and patronage.
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