The Odes of Horace

  • by Horace
  • Narrated by Charlton Griffin
  • 4 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Along with Virgil, Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) was the greatest poet produced by Rome, and in many ways his work has had arguably an even greater impact. He and Virgil were both discovered and brought to the court of Augustus by that remarkable aristocrat and patron of letters, Maecenas. But there the similarities end. Virgil was an epic and didactic poet; Horace was a lyric poet who adapted the complex meters of Greek poetry to the needs of Latin. His brilliant expression and astonishing acumen continue to amaze readers today, either in their original Latin or in innumerable worldwide translations. Shakespeare's debt to Horace is incalculable, and it is difficult to read his Sonnets today without immediately being reminded of the famous Odes. Horace, born in 65 B.C. in the southeastern region of Hellenized Italy, was the son of a freedman of modest means. In the civil war between Antony and Octavian, he threw in his lot with Antony and fled along with the rest upon their defeat at Phillipi in 42 B.C. His subsequent discovery by Maecenas and eventual rehabilitation with the Augustan regime was one of history's most fortunate reconciliations. The works of Horace include the Odes, Epodes, Satires, Epistles, and various other fragments and hymns. His gentle nature and free-flowing mind produced some of the world's supremely great poetry, and his legacy to Latin letters is assured for as long as civilization itself remains. Horace died in 8 B.C., just a few short weeks after his beloved patron, Maecenas.

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Customer Reviews

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The Odes of Horace

The translation is remarkable. It is both powerful and elegant. Muscular and refined. There is an excellent introduction, which states that the translation is faithful to the original. This translation leaves others in the dust. My appreciation of Horace has totally changed. Also, the reading is perfect. His voice gives the poems the majesty they deserve.
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- Thomas

Perfection nearly perfected

This is the most perfect translation of Horace imaginable (so good W.H. Auden did not dare try to top it) and it is read beautifully -- NEARLY perfectly. I am a new, raving fan of Charlton Griffin (having just finished his reading of Ovid) and adore his reading here too. One tiny flaw: Griffin seems to miss some of the incredibly subtle rhythms and rhymes that Michie miraculously creates. But absolute perfection is far too much to expect of any reader and Griffin is awfully darn close to achieving miracles himself. A solid 5-star performance well worth listening to again and again.
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- Mark

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-13-2007
  • Publisher: Audio Connoisseur