The Ancient Library

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On this page: Hoplomachi – Horace



shields large enough to cover the whole man, appear to have worn neither cuirass nor greaves. The whole equipment, weigh­ing close on 77 Ibs., was worn only in battle; on the march the greater part of it was carried by a slave. An idea of the equip­ment of an Athenian hoplite [about 500 b.c.] may be derived from the accompanying illustration of the monument to the Athe­nian Aristion [found near Marathon, but probably of earlier date than 490]. The weapons of the Macedonian hoplites, or phalangltce, were a circular shield with a bronze plate, about two feet in diameter, and about twelve pounds in weight, a leather jerkin with brass mountings and ornaments, light greaves, a round felt hat (see causia), a short sword, and the Mace­donian sarissa (q.v.).

Hopldmachi. See gladiatores.

* HORACE. (From a gem in the British Museum.)

Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus). The well-known Roman poet, born 8th Dec., b.c. 65, at Venusia, on the borders of Apulia and Lucania, where his father, who was a freedman, possessed a small property, and filled the office of a collector (coactor). To give his son a better education, he betook himself to Rome, and here Horace received a training similar to that of the sons of wealthy knights and senators, under his father's eye, who watched over him with a touching solici­tude. At first he studied under the grammarian Orbillus Pupillusof BSueventum, whose flogging propensities Horace rendered proverbial. To complete his education, and especially to study philosophy, Horace resorted to Athens in b.c. 45; but towards the end of the summer of b.c. 44, when Brutus, after the murder of Caesar, appeared at Athens, Horace, like most of the young Romans studying there, joined him in his enthusiasm for the cause of liberty. At the defeat at Philippi in 42, where he fought as a military tribune, he saved himself by flight, and fortunately reached Italy in safety. It is true that he met with favour, but he found himself absolutely without means, as the property of his father, who had probably died in the interval, had been confiscated. To gain a livelihood, he managed to get a clerk­ship in the quaestor's office (see scribe). It was at this period that, emboldened (as

he himself says) by his poverty, he first appeared as a poet. His own bent and pre­disposition led him at that time to satire, in which he took Lucllius for his model, and to iambic poetry after the manner of Archl-I lochus. His first attempts gained him the acquaintance of Vergil and Varius, who commended him to their influential patron Maecenas. The latter allowed the poet to be introduced to him (about 38 b.c.), but for fully nine months paid no attention to him, until he once more invited him to his house, and admitted him to the circle of his friends. In course of time there grew up a very intimate friendship between Maecenas and Horace. About 35 B.C. the poet dedicated to him, under the title of Sermonfs, the first collection of his Satires, which up to then had been published separately; and about 33 he received from Maecenas the gift of a small estate in the Sabine district, which from that time forward was his favourite abode. In the year B.C. 30, or perhaps in the beginning of b.c. 29, Horace published his second book of Satires; and (nearly simultaneously) his collection of iambic verses, or Epodes, ap­peared. In the following years he specially devoted himself to lyric poetry, taking the JDolic poets for his model, and having the merit of being the first who found for their forms of verse a home on Roman ground. About 23, he published his first collection of Odes (Carmlna) in three books, which were all dedicated to Maecenas. [But some of the Odes were written before b.c. 29, so that in respect to the date of composition, as distinguished from that of publication, the collections of Odes and Epodes overlap. See Prof. Nettleship's Lectures and Essays, pp. 166-163.] The Odes were followed by a continuation of the conversational Satires or Sermones in a new form, that of letters, each addressed to one person, and called the Epistulce.

Through Maecenas Horace made the ac­quaintance of Augustus. The ex-republican and soldier of freedom had shown at first but little sympathy for him; but after­wards, having learned to recognise that the only chance of the salvation of the state lay in the rule of a monarch, and hav­ing seen Augustus successfully engaged in restoring the country to tranquillity and prosperity at home, and to its ancient pres­tige abroad, he was completely reconciled to the emperor, and in several of his Odes paid a high tribute to his merits. Never­theless, he was always anxious to maintain

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