O matre pvlchra: The logical iambist

Classical Quarterly 68 (1):192-198 (2018)
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Abstract

‘Who wrote the scurrilous iambic poems of the first stanza?’, asks David West at the start of his commentary on the ode. ‘The culprit’, he declares, ‘must be Horace.’ This answer accords with that to be found in other commentaries: ‘my scurrilous verses’, ‘my scandalous lines’, ‘my scurrilous iambics’, ‘my abusive iambics’, ‘miei ingiuriosi giambi’, ‘my libellous iambics’, ‘my libellous iambic verses’, ‘miei giambi ingiuriosi’. What, then, are these iambic verses? Some earlier scholars suggested that Horace is referring to various of his epodes, such as those addressed to Canidia ; but our knowledge of Canidia indicates that she would scarcely make plausible the accent on beauty in the first line of the ode. Most commentators, at least since the latter half of the nineteenth century, have believed that Horace is referring to some iambics which he had targeted at the ode's addressee but of which we now have no further knowledge: Kiessling and Heinze, for example, refer to ‘the satirical poems which Horace … has levelled at her’, while in the most recent commentary in 2012 Mayer says that Horace ‘assures an unnamed young woman that it rests with her to put an end to his vituperative attacks’.

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Anna Woodman
University of Alberta

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Two conjectures in Horace: Odes 1.16.8 and 1.35.25.David Kovacs - 2013 - Classical Quarterly 63 (1):339-345.
Comment Terminer Une Ode?P. H. Schrijvers - 1973 - Mnemosyne 26 (2):140-159.

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