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Focus questions for the readings.

© 1994 D. E. Curley
Mosaic, Ostia

Below are questions to consider as you proceed through the Odfes. The questions are keyed to particular assignments.

Our in-class discussions will take their bearings from the questions on this page, so please take time to consider them carefully.

  
Odes 1.1

-- Who is Maecenas? Why does Horace dedicate the Odes to him?
-- What do the various occupations have in common?
-- How does Horace feel about his own occupation?

Odes 1.2
-- How does Horace characterize Augustus in this ode?
-- How does this ode compare to 1.1 in tone?
Odes 1.3
-- How does Horace characterize Vergil in thise ode?
-- What connections can be drawn between sailing and poetry?
-- What is the significance of the sequence Maecenas - Augustus - Vergil in odes 1.1 through 1.3?
Odes 1.4

-- Who is Sestius? Why does Horace address this ode to him?
-- What is the structure of this poem? Are the parts comparable?
-- What lessons does spring teach?

Odes 1.5

-- What, if anything, is significant about the name Pyrrha?
-- What is Horace's attitude toward love?

Odes 1.9

-- Compare and contrast this ode with 1.11.
-- How are Horace's word choices sensual in this ode?

Odes 1.11

-- Compare and contrast this ode with 1.9.
-- What does "carpe diem" mean?

Odes 1.14

-- This ode is often called "The ship of state" poem. Why?
-- Who is the "you" of line 20?

Odes 1.22

-- What is the connection between poetry and geography?
-- Who is Lalage, and why should Horace sing of her?

Odes 1.23

-- Has Horace contradicted himself (i.e. from 1.5) in this ode?
-- How are the tiger and lion apt metaphors for Horace as lover?

Odes 1.32

-- Who is the Lesbian citizen mentioned in this poem?
-- What exactly is Horace asking for?
-- What does his request mean for his collection of odes?

Odes 1.37

-- Does this poem praise or blame Cleopatra?
-- Does this poem fit into the overall scheme of book 1?

Odes 1.38

-- How does this poem read in conjunction with 1.37?
-- Is it a fitting end to the book?

Odes 2.10

-- Who is Licinius? Why does Horace address this ode to him?
-- What is the golden mean? Why does Horace advocate it?

Odes 2.14

-- Who is Postumus? Why does Horace address this ode to him?
-- What tactics does Horace use to convince Postumus?

Odes 2.20

-- What do you make of this "vates biformis?"
-- Why should the poet become a bird?
-- Is this ode a fitting end to the book?

Odes 3.1

-- What was the last poem that had "odi" in line 1?
-- Is Horace singing anything new here?
-- Is this ode a fitting start to the book?

Odes 3.2

-- Is the sentiment in line 13 characteristic of Horace?
-- Does this poem belong in the Odes?

Odes 3.4

-- What are all of these mythological villains doing here?
-- Has Horace redefined himself in this ode?

Odes 3.13

-- What does the spring offer Horace?
-- How is a goat an appropriate sacrifice?
-- Is this poem really about sacrificing goats?

Odes 3.14

-- What (or whom) does this ode celebrate?
-- How does this celebration compare to previous ones?

Odes 3.25

-- Has Horace's view of Bacchus changed from previous odes?
-- What does the god inspire the poet to do??

Odes 3.26

-- Is this just another love song?
-- Where else have we read about votive offerings in the Odes?

 
Odes 3.30

-- Was Horace really the first poet to use Aeolic meters?
-- Are the poet
's claims deserved?

 
Odes 4.1

-- Does this poem seem on a par with books 1 - 3?
-- Where in life is Horace now
?

 
Odes 4.7

-- How does this ode repeat books 1 - 3?
-- Is there anything new going on here?

 
Odes 4.11

-- Is the poet's birthday a happy occasion?
-- What is the point of the mythological interlude?

 
Odes 4.15

-- How does this ode cap books 1 - 4?
-- Has Horace achieved his poetic program?

-- Of what does the last stanza remind you?

  
© 2000 Skidmore College Classics Department