Time in the Odes of Horace

Evans, Courtney, Classics - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Clay, Jenny, Department of Classics, University of Virginia
Woodman, Anthony, Department of Classics, University of Virginia
Miller, John, Department of Classics, University of Virginia
McKinley, Mary, Department of French Language and Literatures, University of Virginia

This dissertation explores Horace’s engagement with time in the Odes, both as a concept and as a poetic device. It begins with a study of the language Horace uses to describe and characterize time, the words which form the basic building blocks with which Horace constructs the temporal world of his poetry. From there the scope widens to consider Horace’s employment of seasonal imagery and how he uses seasons as similes, seasons within similes, and as the dramatic setting for individual poems to create a juxtaposition of linear and cyclical time. The third chapter investigates Horace's tendency to call for dated wines for his symposia, and how this makes wine into a locus for memory, and its consumption into a time for commemoration, either celebratory or reflective. I argue that Horace’s use of temporal markers—words for time, temporal adverbs, seasonal imagery, dated wine, anniversaries, and the use of the Roman fasti—results in a poignant and persistent articulation of loss, and that the symposium becomes the locus for exploring that loss as well as the tensions between public present and private memory of the past. Horace’s poetry is both a product of and commentary on the author’s own time, as the Republic fades forever into Empire.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
literature, poetry, Horace, odes, time, Augustan poetry, Latin
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