Odes by Horace

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This site is dedicated to bringing you information about the wonder that was the Roman Empire and how its legacy still shapes our history, our language, and the foundations of our society and its institutions. The Roman Empire endures!

The City of Rome was traditionally founded in 753 B.C. by our calendar. The Romans measured their calendar from the foundation of the City, or "Anno urbis conditae". By their calendar, today is Anno Urbis ("The Year of the City") 2768.

Roman Coliseum

The Roman Empire at its greatest extent comprised most of western Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Larger than even most modern nations, the empire was held together by a network of roads, a common language, and most of all a culture which still today exerts a powerful influence on our society and institutions, over 1600 years after the fall of Rome. No other empire or civilization has had such a lasting and significant impact on the modern world.

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Home > Latin Authors and Literature > Horace

THE ODES AND CARMEN SAECULARE OF HORACE

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CAELO TONANTEM.


Jove rules in heaven, his thunder shows;

Henceforth Augustus earth shall own

Her present god, now Briton foes

And Persians bow before his throne.

Has Crassus' soldier ta'en to wife

A base barbarian, and grown grey

(Woe, for a nation's tainted life!)

Earning his foemen-kinsmen's pay,

His king, forsooth, a Mede, his sire

A Marsian? can he name forget,

Gown, sacred shield, undying fire,

And Jove and Rome are standing yet?

'Twas this that Regulus foresaw,

What time he spurn'd the foul disgrace

Of peace, whose precedent would draw

Destruction on an unborn race,

Should aught but death the prisoner's chain

Unrivet. "I have seen," he said,

"Rome's eagle in a Punic fane,

And armour, ne'er a blood-drop shed,

Stripp'd from the soldier; I have seen

Free sons of Rome with arms fast tied;

The fields we spoil'd with corn are green,

And Carthage opes her portals wide.

The warrior, sure, redeem'd by gold,

Will fight the bolder! Aye, you heap

On baseness loss. The hues of old

Revisit not the wool we steep;

And genuine worth, expell'd by fear,

Returns not to the worthless slave.

Break but her meshes, will the deer

Assail you? then will he be brave

Who once to faithless foes has knelt;

Yes, Carthage yet his spear will fly,

Who with bound arms the cord has felt,

The coward, and has fear'd to die.

He knows not, he, how life is won;

Thinks war, like peace, a thing of trade!

Great art thou, Carthage! mate the sun,

While Italy in dust is laid!"

His wife's pure kiss he waved aside,

And prattling boys, as one disgraced,

They tell us, and with manly pride

Stern on the ground his visage placed.

With counsel thus ne'er else aread

He nerved the fathers' weak intent,

And, girt by friends that mourn'd him, sped

Into illustrious banishment.

Well witting what the torturer's art

Design'd him, with like unconcern

The press of kin he push'd apart

And crowds encumbering his return,

As though, some tedious business o'er

Of clients' court, his journey lay

Towards Venafrum's grassy floor,

Or Sparta-built Tarentum's bay.





Prev | Next | Contents

Anno Urbis - The Roman Empire Online

Facts and Information About The Roman Empire


Roman Empire at its Greatest Extent

This site is dedicated to bringing you information about the wonder that was the Roman Empire and how its legacy still shapes our history, our language, and the foundations of our society and its institutions. The Roman Empire endures!

The City of Rome was traditionally founded in 753 B.C. by our calendar. The Romans measured their calendar from the foundation of the City, or "Anno urbis conditae". By their calendar, today is Anno Urbis ("The Year of the City") 2768.

Roman Coliseum

The Roman Empire at its greatest extent comprised most of western Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Larger than even most modern nations, the empire was held together by a network of roads, a common language, and most of all a culture which still today exerts a powerful influence on our society and institutions, over 1600 years after the fall of Rome. No other empire or civilization has had such a lasting and significant impact on the modern world.

Roman Empire - Texts and Resources



        More Texts About the Roman Empire ....








Roman Empire
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