The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Core Texts and Ideas

CTI Book Club: Horace

Odes and Epodes (selection)

Thu, February 8, 2018 | WAG 403B

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM


Dante gave him a special place in Limbo, but gave his life-philosophy a special place in Hell. Nietzsche wrote of him that, "no other poet has given me the same artistic delight that a Horatian ode gave me from the first.  In certain languages that which Horace has achieved could not even be attempted.  This mosaic of words, in which every word — as sound, as place, as concept — pours out its strength right and left and over the whole . . . . All the rest of poetry becomes, in contrast, something too popular — mere sentimental blather."  

Quintus Horatius Flaccus lived in interesting times. The son of a former slave, he studied philosophy in the schools Plato and Aristotle had founded, amd briefly served as a wannabe freedom fighter--until he realized he had no stomach for war, and ran away from the battlefield. He ultimately became the pre-eminent lyric poet of the first century BCE in Rome, waxing in the adulation of the most powerful men and women in the city but all the while expressing a yearning for the countryside and profound sensitivity to the frailty of life. Jefferson Scholar, Peer Mentor, D-list UT celebrity, and reigning egotist of Waggener Hall, Daniel Orr will attempt to do Horace justice in what little time there is. No guarantee, but coming and soaking up Horace's joie de vivre might change your life.  

The discussion will be led by CTI senior Daniel Orr. Email for copies of the readings.

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