Myth as historic benchmark in Horace Odes : 3:1-6

Thom, S. (2006)

CITATION: Thom, S. 2006. Myth as historic benchmark in Horace Odes : 3:1-6. Akroterion, 51:71-86, doi:10.7445/51-0-64.

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Can a lyric poet have anything valid to say about historic realities? In this paper I argue that by looking carefully at Horace’s use of myth as a larger frame of reference against which Odes 3.1 – 6 should be read, a case can be made for a lyric poet’s subtly critical assessment of the contemporary reality. In short I want to suggest that the poet uses myth as a means to comment (implicitly) on the contemporary historic reality concerned. Furthermore, if a reference to myth can operate as implied comment on the present, this reference can also include didactic purpose, or more specifically advice on how to act in the present reality.

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