Horace: Index A-C


Abratonum, Habratonum

Artemisia Abrotonum , or Southernwood, a wild plant whose common name in England is Lad’s Love, or Old Man (See Edward Thomas’ lovely poem, ‘Old Man’). It has a bitter taste and aromatic leaves. It was used for various medicinal purposes, including as an antidote to poison when taken with wine. (See Gerard’s Herbal of 1633: Chap 454.)

BkIIEpI:90-117 Its use required knowledge of the plant and the disease.


Plato established his school, the Academy, c385BC, in a park named after the ancient Athenian hero Academus, on the outskirts of Athens.

BkIIEpII:26-54 Horace studied in Athens, or at least studied the works of the Greeks.


Lucius Accius, the tragic poet (170-c85BC). He adapted many Greek tragedies for the Roman stage. His remaining fragments show a rhetorical style open to parody.

BkISatX:50-71 Criticised by Lucilius.

BkIIEpI:34-62 Considered by many to have a noble style.

AP:251-274 His failure to use pure iambic trimeters, with six iambic feet, in three pairs each called a metrum.


Achaea was a name for the Greek mainland, derived from a region in the northern Peloponnese . Hence the Achaeans for the name of the people who fought against Troy in Homer’s Iliad.

BkIEpII:1-31 They suffered for their leaders’ follies.

BkIIEpI:1-33 They oiled themselves for wrestling. Horace perhaps uses the term in a derogatory sense also.


The Greek hero of the Trojan War. The son of Peleus, king of Thessaly, and the sea-goddess Thetis (See Homer’s Iliad).

BkISatVII:1-35 He killed Hector.

BkIISatIII:187-223 Ajax was second only to Achilles as a warrior.

BkIEpII:1-31 The son of Peleus. He quarrelled with Agamemnon at Troy.

BkIIEpII:26-54 The anger of Achilles, and his quarrel with Agamemnon, is the theme of the Iliad.

AP:119-152 In Book IX of the Iliad, Achilles is honoured. Horace suggests how he should be portrayed.


The promontory in Epirus site of the famous naval battle in the bay between Octavian (later Augustus Caesar) and Antony in 31BC. (It lies opposite the modern port of Préveza on the Gulf of Amvrakia .) Antony was defeated by Octavians’ admiral, Agrippa and the outcome led to Cleopatra’s downfall.

BkIEpXVIII:37-66 Re-enacted in mock naval engagements.


The Aegean Sea between Greece and Asia Minor.

BkIEpXI:1-30 Bullatius crossed it to reach Asia.

Aemilius (Lepidus)

Lepidus Aemilius.

AP:1-37 His gladiatorial school, near which artists worked.


Trojan prince, the son of Venus and Anchises, and the hero of Virgil’s Aeneid. From him the Roman race and the Caesars in particular descended, according to the myth elaborated by Virgil and others.

BkIISatV:45-69 The ancestor of Augustus.


The Greek Tragic Dramatist (c525-456BC). He wrote over eighty plays of which seven survive including the Oresteia trilogy. He introduced a second actor, and innovations in costume and scenery.

BkIIEpI:156-181 A model for Roman playwrights.

AP:275-294 His introduction of masks, fine robes, and the wooden stage, sonorous speech and the tragic buskin, or high-soled boot.


A famous actor and friend of Cicero (first half of the first century BC).

BkIISatIII:224-246 He left a forune to a spendthrift son.

BkIIEpI:63-89 An actor of the ancient dramas.

Aetna, Etna

The volcanic mountain in Sicily.

AP:438-476 Empedocles fabled to have leapt into the volcano.


The region in central Greece.

BkIEpXVIII:37-66 The scene of the Calydonian boar hunt, hence a literary reference to the hero Meleager.


A writer (born c.150BC) of comedies with a Roman setting, known as togatae as distinct from the palliatae with a Greek setting such as Plautus and Terence produced.

BkIIEpI:34-62 Deemed to have received Menander’s mantle.


The Roman Province of North Africa, Africa Provincia.

BkIISatIII:82-110 Its imported corn, predominantly from Egypt.

BkIISatIV:40-69 African snails prized by epicures.

BkIISatVIII:79-95 Snakes from North Africa, Libya in particular.


The king of Mycenae, son of Atreus, brother of Menelaüs, husband of Clytaemnestra, father of Orestes, Iphigenia, and Electra. The leader of the Greek army in the Trojan War. See Homer’s Iliad, and Aeschylus’ Oresteian tragedies. He sacrificed his daughter Iphigenia at Aulis.

BkIISatIII:187-223 His sacrifice of his daughter to gain favourable winds.

BkIEpII:1-31 The son of Atreus. He quarrelled with Achilles at Troy.


A daughter of Cadmus, who married Echion, King of Thebes, and was the mother of Pentheus. A Maenad, she destroyed her son Pentheus, not recognising him in the madness of the sacred Bacchic mysteries.

BkIISatIII:300-326 She tore Pentheus’ head from his shoulders and carried the head along with her in the Maenads’ mad rush.


Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa (64/63-12BC), son-in-law and friend of Octavian/Augustus, and aedile in 33BC when he used his wealth liberally in Octavian’s cause. As Augustus’ general and admiral he was largely responsible for his naval victories in the wars against Lucius Antonius, Sextus Pompeius and Mark Antony. He married Augustus’ daughter Julia in 21BC.

BkIISatIII:168-186 His fame.

BkIEpVI:1-27 His fashionable Portico near the Pantheon opened in 25BC.

BkIEpXII:1-29 Iccius was his procurator in Sicily. He conquered the Cantabrians in 19BC.


A hero of the Trojan War, the son of Telamon and grandson of Aeacus.

BkIISatIII:187-223 Defeated by Ulysses/Odysseus in his claim for Achilles’ arms, he decided to murder Agamemnon, Ulysses, and MenelausMinerva/Athene drove him mad and he slaughtered a flock of sheep instead. He then committed suicide, and Agamamenon and Menelaus ordered his body lie unburied.


From the Alban Hills thirteen miles south-east of Rome.

BkIISatIV:70-95 Grapes from there.

BkIISatVIII:1-19 Alban wine.

BkIEpVII:1-28 Their winter snow-cover.

BkIIEpI:1-33 The Alban Mount, now Monte Cavo, an ancient sanctuary.

Albinovanus, see Celsus


Unknown. Possibly a money-lender.

AP:295-332 His son.


A man with expensive tastes. Possibly the father of Albius Tibullus the poet to whom Epistle I iv may be dedicated.

BkISatIV:26-62 His taste for bronze-wares.

BkISatIV:107-143 He has run through his inheritance.


Unknown. Mentioned by Lucilius.

BkIISatI:47-86 BkIISatII:53-69 Mentioned.


Poet of Lesbos, born c620BC.

BkIEpXIX:21-49 A major influence on Horace, both in Horace’s use of the Alcaic stanza and in his themes, including love, wine, death and politics.

BkIIEpII:87-125 The other poet, probably Propertius is intended, dubs Horace, Alcaeus.


The king of the Phaeacians, and son of Nausithous, husband of Arete, and father of Nausicaa. He provided hospitality to Ulysses, the unknown stranger.

BkIEpII:1-31 The young men of his palace, noted for their looks, dancing etc (See Odyssey 7 and 8).


A Greek slave.

BkIISatVIII:1-19 Acts as a wine-waitor.

Alexander the Great

Alexander III of Macedon (356-323BC) who between 334 and his death conquered most of the civilised world. He was a pupil of Aristotle. He defeated Darius III of Persia in 330 at the Issus, and conquered the Lebanon, Egypt and Babylon, moving on to Media and central Asia . He crossed the Indusand took the Punjab, but was forced by his army to turn back and died of sickness at Babylon.

BkIIEpI:214-244 Choerilus was a court poet of his. His instructions regarding artistic likenesses of himself.


A barber. Sometimes identified with Alfenus Varus the jurist.

BkISatIII:120-142 Mentioned.


Samnian town known for its pottery.

BkIISatVIII:20-41 Its earthenware.


The highest European mountain chain running 800 miles in an arc through France, Switzerland, Italy and Austria, with Mont Blanc (15771 feet) near its western end. The Rivers Rhone, Rhine and Po rise there. The snowline varies between 8000 and 10000ft.

BkIISatV:23-44 The place where Jupiter makes permanent snow fall.


The musician, son of Jupiter and Antiope, and brother of Zethus the huntsman. They built the walls of Thebes together, but their different tastes lef to a quarrel.

BkIEpXVIII:37-66 The story was told in Euripides’ Antiope, and Pacuvius’ Antiopa.

AP:366-407 The power of his lyre.


Ancus Marcius the fourth King of Rome, from whom the Marcian clan claimed descent.

BkIEpVI:1-27 One of the famous dead.


Trojan prince.

BkIEpII:1-31 He proposed returning Helen to Greece to end the War (Iliad 7.347).


A town in Phocia on the gulf of Corinth.

BkIISatIII:82-110 BkIISatIII:142-167 Famous for its hellebore used to treat the mad by reducing black bile. The effects included convulsions and vomiting. Hellebore was a name given in ancient times to various poisonous plants. Gerard’s Herbal (1633: chap 378) mentions Dioscorides’ comments about the black hellebore of Anticyra, and identifies it with a plant Gerard calls astrantia nigra. There is a modern garden hellebore known as the Christmas Rose.

AP:295-332 Three Anticyras couldn’t provided a sufficient dose to clear the poet’s madness.


The chief of the Laestrygonians, a cannibal race, who attacked Odysseus’ men.

AP:119-152 See Odyssey Book X:103.

Antonius, Marcus

Antony, the Roman general, and triumvir, who seized the inheritance at Julius Caesar’s death, despite his will, and who was defeated by Octavian at Mutina in Cisalpine Gaul, and Octavian’s naval commander, Vispanius Agrippa, at the naval battle of Actium in 31BC. Lover of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt  .

BkISatV:1-33 Fonteius Capito a close ally.

Antonius Musa

A freedman physician who cured Augustus of an illness in 23BC by a treatment involving cold baths and drinks.

BkIEpXV:1-25 Horace is supposedly taking his advice.


On the west coast of Italy sixty-five miles south of Rome . The old Volscian name for Tarracina.

BkISatV:1-33 Horace travels from Rome to Brindisi (and possibly Tarentum) in 38 or 37 BC.


The Athenian who laid capital charges against Socrates.

BkIISatIV:1-23 Socrates, mentioned as a famous philosopher.


A Jewish freedman.

BkISatV:71-104 There was a large Jewish population in Rome under Augustus, noted for their proselytising and superstitions.


The painter of Cos and Ephesus (4th century BC) and court painter to Alexander the Great. He depicted Venus Aphrodite, rising from the waves, wringing the sea-water from her hair. He seems to have specialised in portraits and allegories, aiming at realistic representation. He also painted Alexander as Zeus, and his style of portraiture was a major influence for two centuries.

BkIIEpI:214-244 Court painter to Alexander.


Son of Jupiter and Latona (Leto), brother of Diana (Artemis), born on Delos . God of poetry, art, medicine, prophecy, and of the sun. (See the Apollo Belvedere, sculpted by Leochares? in the Vatican: the Piombino Apollo, Paris Louvre: the Tiber Apollo, Rome, National Museum of the Terme: the fountain sculpture by Tuby at Versailles – The Chariot of Apollo: and the sculpture by Girardon and Regnaudin at Versailles – Apollo Tended by the Nymphs – derived from the Apollo Belvedere, and once part of the now demolished Grotto of Thetis )

BkISatIX:35-78 The patron of poets, so the god who saves Horace.

BkIEpIII:1-36 BkIIEpI:214-244 BkIIEpII:87-125 The Palatine Library was established in 28BC by Augustus in the Temple of Apollo, as god of the arts, on the Palatine Hill.

BkIEpXVI:46-79 Invoked as a god of the arts.

AP:366-407 The god of music and song.

Appia, Via

The Appian Way from Rome to Capua and Brindisi . It was built by Appius Claudius Caecus in 312BC along with the accompanying aqueduct. The Forum Appi was also named for him.

BkISatV:1-33 Horace travels from Rome to Brindisi (and possibly Tarentum) in 38 or 37 BC.

BkIEpVI:1-27 A fashionable place to be seen.

BkIEpXVIII:1-36 A route to Brundisium.


BkISatVI:1-44 Perhaps Appius Claudius Pulcher, cemsor in 50BC.


Puglia, a region of SE Italy on the Adriatic . It consists of lowlands in the north and south (the heel of Italy ) and a hilly central area. Bari is the modern capital.

BkISatV:71-104 Horace travels through on his way to Brindisi.

BkIISatI:24-46 Venusia is in Apulia near its border with Lucania.


The constellation of the Water-Bearer, one of the original Babylonian star configurations, and one of the four fixed signs. In Greek myth it represents Ganymede, the shepherd boy carried off by Zeus, to become wine-bearer to the gods.

BkISatI:23-60 The sun is in Aquarius in the winter (Jan-Feb)


The north wind. As a god he is Boreas.

BkIIEpII:180-216 Favourable northerly winds


The home town of Juvenal, in Latium on the Via Latina, about eighty miles south-east of Rome.

BkIEpX:26-50 A lichen found there produced a purple dye similar to be but inferior to Sidonian purple.


The country.

BkIEpVI:1-27 A source of spices, gifts of the earth.

BkIEpVII:29-45 Its riches.


An actress, a mima, celebrated in Cicero ’s time (Att. iv 15.6)

BkISatX:72-92 Her scorn for the groundlings.


A furniture maker.

BkIEpV:1-31 His small unpretentious couches


Archilochus of Paros a writer of abusive iambic verse (fl c.650BC).

BkIISatIII:1-30 Horace has taken his writings along with him.

BkIEpXIX:21-49 Horace used his iambic metre for the Epodes. Traditionally when Lycambes refused to allow his daughter Neobule to marry Archilochus, the poet wrote a savage poem accusing Lycambes or cheating and his daughters of immorality. The girls supposedly hanged themselves as a result of the public ignominy.

AP:73-118 A writer of early elegiacs lamenting friends lost at sea.


Unknown. A wealthy man.

BkIISatVI:77-115 Mentioned.


The capital of the Argolis in the Peloponnese.

BkIISatIII:111-14 The region of Clytemnestra’s murder with Aegisthus of her husband Agamemnon, and of her son Orestes’ revenge. He killed both her and Aegisthus.

BkIIEpII:126-154 The tale of a deluded inhabitant of Argos.

AP:73-118 The setting for the Oresteia of Aeschylus.


About fifteen miles south-east of Rome. Famous for its worship of Diana, see Frazer’s ‘The Golden Bough’ Chapter I.

BkISatV:1-33 Horace travels from Rome to Brindisi (and possibly Tarentum) in 38 or 37 BC.

BkIIEpII:155-179 Farmland there.


The Homeric scholar of Alexandria in the 2nd century BC.

AP:438-476 The proverbial keen critic.


A pupil of Socrates and founder (c435-c356BC) of the Cyrenaic school of hedonistic philosophy. His school saw pleasure as the highest good and equated virtue with the rational pursuit of enjoyment.

BkIISatIII:82-110 An incident showing his supposed rationality.

BkIEpI:1-19 Horace follows his precepts (sometimes!).

BkIEpXVII:1-32 Horace uses the conversation between Aristippus and Diogenes the Cynic found in Diogenes Laertius (ii.8.68)

Aristius Fuscus

A friend of Horace. Possibly a schoolteacher.

BkISatIX:35-78 They meet.

BkISatX:72-92 Horace seeks his approval of his literary efforts.

BkIEpX:1-25 BkIEpX:26-50 This letter addressed to him.


The Greek Comic Dramatist (c450-c385BC). Eleven of his plays survive. His plots were satirical fantasies on literature, social manners and Athenian involvment in war. He was unsuccessfully prosecuted by Cleon for his criticism.

BkISatIV:1-25 Mentioned. A key dramatist of the Old Comedy.


The province in Asia Minor.

BkIEpXII:1-29 Tiberius installed Tigranes on the throne unopposed in 20BC, though it was commemorated as a military victory.


Qintus Arrius.

BkIISatIII:82-110 He entertained thousands at an extravagant funeral feast for his father (Cicero, In Vatin.30ff).

BkIISatIII:224-246 His sons were also extravagant.


The province of Asia, in Asia Minor.

BkIEpIII:1-36 Tiberius campaigned there.


BkIEpXIII:1-19 See Vinius.


The Assyrians dominated the area of modern Iraq in ancient times.

AP:73-118 Examples of oriental types.

Atacinus, see Varro


The chief city of Attica, sacred to Minerva ( Pallas Athene).

BkISatI:61-91  Horace quotes the example of an Athenian miser.

BkIISatVII:1-20 BkIIEpII:56-86 A city noted for its learning, where young Roman noblemen went to study. (Note Ovid’s visit there)

BkIISatVIII:1-19 Attic girls carried Ceres’ sacred emblems to Eleusis . Horace mocks the ultra-solemn ceremony of bringing in the wine at a dinner party.

BkIIEpI:182-213 A common location in Greek Comedy.

BkIIEpII:26-54 Horace studied there, or at least studied the works of the great Athenians.


King of Mycenae, the son of Pelops, and the father of the Atridae, Agamemnon and Menelaüs.

BkIISatIII:187-223 BkIEpII:1-31 The father of the Atridae.

BkIEpVII:29-45 The father of Menelaus.

AP:153-188 He murdered the sons of his brother Thyestes and served their flesh to their father at a banquet.


A Roman writer (died 77BC). He composed togatae of which eleven survive in an archaic style. The name Atta was claimed to mean ‘with a lively step’. One play Matertera involved lists of flowers.

BkIIEpI:63-89 Horace suggests his plays were stumbling and heavy-footed!


The name of a number of kings of Pergamum . Attalus III bequeathed his kingdom to Rome in 133BC. It included Pergamum, Apollonia and Ephesus.

BkIEpXI:1-30 Famous cities indicating Pergamum ’s power.

Aufidius Lurco

Marcus Aufidius Lurco who according to Pliny (Natural History X 20.45) fattened peacocks for sale (c.67BC)

BkIISatIV:24-39 An epicure.

Aufidius Luscus

The chief official at Fundi, an aedile but with the airs of a praetor. He had once been a scriba, a clerk.

BkISatV:34-70 He wears the purple-fringed toga, a broad-striped tunic, and burning charcoal is carried in front of him in case of ceremonial sacrifice. Horace mocks his status.


A river in Apulia near Horace’s birthplace of Venusia. Now the Ofanto.



Julius Caesar’s grand-nephew, whom he adopted and declared as his heir, Octavius Caesar (Octavian). (The honorary title Augustus was bestowed by the Senate 16th Jan 27BC). His wife was Livia.

BkISatIII:1-24 Mentioned.

BkIISatI:1-23 Horace is advised to write about him.

BkIISatVI:40-58 After Actium, Octavian promised his soldiers land.

BkIEpIII:1-36 He was the step-father of Tiberius who conducted a campaign for him in the East, to place Tigranes on the Armenian throne which he did in 20BC.

BkIEpV:1-31 Augustus’ birthday was the 23rd September, one of the warmest months in Rome.

BkIEpXII:1-29 The successful campaigns in SpainArmenia and Parthia of 20/19BC.

BkIEpXIII:1-19 Horace oversees delivery of his books, probably the Odes Books I-III, published in 23BC, to Augustus. Alternatively these Epistles are intended, of 20BC, when Augustus was in the East.

BkIEpXVI:25-45 It was customary to flatter Augustus in this way. The verses are claimed to come from Varius’ ‘Panegyric on Augustus.’

BkIIEpI:1-33 This epistle, a defence of modern poetry, is addressed to Augustus. Suetonius claims that it was written because Augustus complained he had not been addressed previously.

BkIIEpII:26-54 His victory at Philippi.


The Boeotian harbour where the Greek fleet massed prior to setting out for Troy and where Iphigenia was sacrificed. The area was a rich fishing-ground.

BkIISatIII:187-223 Iphigenia was sacrificed there to gain favourable winds.


Son of Oppidius.

BkIISatIII:168-186 A potential spendthrift.


The south wind.

BkIISatII:23-52 Capable of causing food to spoil.

BkIIEpII:180-216 A hostile southerly.


One of the Seven Hills of Rome . A mythical Alban king Aventinus gave his name to the hill from which he ruled.

BkIIEpII:56-86 Distant from the Quirinal.


An unknown miser.

BkIISatII:53-69 His mean style of living.


A famous gladiator, matched with Bithus. They eventually killed each other.

BkISatVII:1-35 Mentioned.


The god Dionysus, the ‘twice-born’, the god of the vine. The son of Jupiter and Semele. His worship was celebrated with orgiastic rites borrowed fromPhrygia . His female followers were the Maenades. He carried the thyrsus, a wand tipped with a pine-cone, the Maenads and Satyrs following him carrying ivy-twined fir branches as thyrsi. (See Caravaggio’s painting –Bacchus – Uffizi, Florence )

BkISatIII:1-24 Io Bacche’ the chorus of a drinking song.

BkIIEpII:56-86 The choir of poets are his followers.


The modern Baia, opposite Pozzuoli on the Bay of Pozzuoli, once the fashionable bathing place of the Romans owing its name, in legend, to Baios, the navigator of Ulysses. The Emperors built magnificent palaces there. Part now lies beneath the sea due to subsidence.

BkIISatIV:24-39 Its inferior mussels.

BkIEpI:70-109 Rich men built their seaside villas there.

BkIEpXV:1-25 Its hot sulphur baths were famous, and it was a spa town where Romans went for the cure.



BkISatIV:107-143 His poverty, having run through an inheritance.


Servilius Balatro a hanger-on to Maecenas.

BkIISatVIII:20-41 BkIISatVIII:42-78BkIISatVIII:79-95 Present at a dinner party Horace hears of.



BkISatIII:25-54 He is charmed by his lover’s defect.

Barium, Bari

The modern capital and a major port of Apulia . Noted in Horace’s time for its fishing industry.

BkISatV:71-104 Horace travels through on his way to Brindisi.

Barrus (1)


BkISatVI:1-44 A vain fop.

Barrus (2)


BkISatVII:1-35 A foul-mouthed person.


An Italian war goddess, the sister of Mars. Her followers were fanatics who indulged in self-mutilation.

BkIISatIII:187-223 The ambitious court this blood-stained goddess.


A Samnian town, now Benevento.

BkISatV:71-104 Horace travels through on his way to Brindisi.


A reformed wastrel.

BkIEpXV:26-46 A ‘poacher turned gamekeeper’.


Lucius Calpurnius Bibulus, stepson of Brutus. He supported Antony after Philippi and served as a naval commander. He was Governor of Syria, dying there in 32BC. Horace may have met him as a student in Athens.

BkISatX:72-92 Horace seeks his approval of his literary efforts.


A philosopher (c325-c255BC) of Athens, from Borysthenes in Scythia, north-west of the Black Sea, famous for his caustic wit.

BkIIEpII:56-86 He developed the popular diatribe or sermon, the equivalent of Horace’s Satires, as the Epodes exemplify iambics, and the Odes lyric poetry.



BkISatIV:63-85 Deemed guilty of theft.


A famous gladiator, matched with Bacchius. They eventually killed each other.

BkISatVII:1-35 Mentioned.


The province in Asia Minor, on the south-west end of the Black Sea.

BkIEpVI:28-48 A centre for Black Sea trade.


A country in mid-Greece containing Thebes.

BkIIEpI:214-244 The Boeotians were proverbially dull, the Athenians sharp-witted, contrasted like the moist Boeotian lowlands and the clear skies ofAttica.



BkISatIX:1-34 Renowned for a quick temper.

Brundisium, Brindisi

The famous port of Calabria, about 340 miles from Rome.

BkISatV:71-104 Horace’s destination.

BkIEpXVII:33-62 A distant destination.

BkIEpXVIII:1-36 A dispute over the best route there from Rome.

Brutus, Marcus Junius

Marcus Junius Brutus was one of the leaders of the conspiracy to assassinate Julius Caesar. He was propraetor of Macedonia, but after the formation of the Triumvirate of Octavian, Mark Antony and Lepidus, and the murder of Trebonius the proconsul of Asia he ruled that province also.

BkISatVII:1-35 Judge in the case. An earlier Brutus drove out the Tarquins, Kings of Rome.


A friend of Horace.

BkIEpXI:1-30 He is travelling in Asia Minor.


A friend of Horace and Torquatus.

BkIEpV:1-31 To be invited to dinner.


The modern Constantinople . The ancient centre of the Black Sea tunny fishing trade.

BkIISatIV:40-69 The brine-salt the imported fish were packed in, was highly prized.

Cadmus (1)

The public executioner.

BkISatVI:1-44 Criminals were executed by being hurled from the Tarpeian Rock on the Capitol.

Cadmus (2)

The son of the Phoenician king Agenor who searched for his sister Europa stolen by Jupiter. The founder of Thebes. Cadmus and Harmonia his wife were turned into serpents. There is a tradition that this happened in a cave on the coast of Dalmatia near Dubrovnik ( Ragusa ), (see Rebecca West ‘Black Lamb and Grey Falcon’ p251). It was ten miles north of an ancient Dalmatian Epidaurus (now Tsavtat) founded by Greek colonists.

AP:153-188 The transformation of Cadmus not to be seen on stage.


The Roman comic poet, an older contemporary of Terence. he arrived in Rome as a prisoner from northern Italy, and died in 168BC. Fragments of his comedies survive. They were admired for their plots and emotional force.

BkIIEpI:34-62 Considered a dignified poet.

AP:38-72 An example of a great earlier writer who coined new words and phrases.


A fine Italian wine from Caecubum in Southern Latium.

BkIISatVIII:1-19 Served for Maecenas.



BkISatIV:63-85 Deemed guilty of theft.


An ancient town in southern Etruria.

BkIEpVI:49-68 According to Livy the citizens were disenfranchised as a punishment for rebellion against Rome in the 3rd century. Horace’s mention of cera refers to the wax tablets on which the citizen lists were entered. (See also Gellius xvi.13)

Caesar, Julius

Gaius Julius Caesar, Roman General, Consul and Dictator from 49 to 44 BC when he was assassinated by Brutus, Cassius and the other conspirators. He married Cornelia, the daughter of Cinna, and had a daughter Julia.

BkISatIX:1-34 His Gardens on the right bank of the Tiber left to the Roman people in his will.

Caesar, Augustus, see Augustus


The relatively poor area in the heel of Italy.

BkIEpVII:1-28 The pears might be expected to be hard and sour!

BkIIEpII:155-179 Pasture land there.


The Hellenistic poet of Cyrene (c305-240BC) who worked at Alexandria in Egypt . Aetia (Causes) was one of his main works. With Philetas of Cos he was a major influence on Propertius who calls himself the Roman Callimachus. Callimachus was held to be the greatest of the Greek elegists.

BkISatII:86-110 Horace translates one of his epigrams (Anthologia Palatina xii. 102). Horace does not refer to Callimachus by name in the text.

BkIIEpII:87-125 Probably Propertius is intended, the elegiac writer who called himself ‘the Roman Callimachus’. 


Gaius Licinius Calvus, the orator and poet, friend of Catullus and Propertius and a member of the Alexandrian School. His works are lost. He wrote poems addressed to a girl he called Quintilia.

BkISatX:1-30 His use of Greek words mingled with Latin for effect.


The water-nymphs whose spring ran through the sacred grove outside the Porta Capena. They became identified with the MusesEgeria was one of them.

BkISatX:31-49 Mentioned.

BkIEpI:1-19 Horace’s personal Muse.

BkIEpXIX:1-20 Poetic inspiration akin to drunkenness.

AP:275-294 The Muse of Tragedy.

Camillus, Marcus Furius

Camillus captured the Etruscan oupost of Veii around 396BC, and freed Rome from the Gauls , leading the Romans to victory after the Gallic invasion of 387-386.

BkIEpI:41-69 An example of Roman virtue.


The Italian coastal and inland region south-east of Latium and Rome, containing Naples.

BkISatV:34-70 Horace passed through on his journey to Brindisi, stopping by the Campanian Bridge at Sinuessa.

BkISatVI:110-131 BkIISatIII:142-167 Its plain everyday pottery.

BkIISatVIII:42-78 The dust blown from its fields by the northerlies.

Campus Martius

The great recreation ground of ancient Rome, the Field of Mars, just outside the ancient city to the north-west along the Tiber. Originally it was open pasture outside the city boundary (pomerium) in the bend of the Tiber south of the Pincian Hill and east of the Janiculum, used for army musters and political assemblies. It took its name from the altar of Mars located there. It was encroached on by public buildings later including the Portico of Octavia and the Theatre of Pompey, but still retained its function as a park and exercise ground. Horse races were conducted there on the Equirria.

BkISatI:61-91 Used for excercising and racing horses.

BkISatVI:110-131 BkIISatVI:40-58 BkIEpVII:46-98 Ball games were played there including trigo, a game for three players.

BkIEpXI:1-30 An attractive part of ancient Rome.

BkIEpXVIII:37-66 AP:366-407 Crowds would watch the sports and military exercises.

AP:153-188 A place where young men went to enjoy themselves.


A witch.

BkISatVIII:23-50 She carries out magical rites.

BkIISatI:47-86 BkIISatVIII:79-95 A poisoner.

Canis, see Sirius


The Cantabri were a tribe of Northern Spain.

BkIEpXII:1-29 BkIEpXVIII:37-66 They were defeated by Agrippa in 19BC. He had campaigned there previously. Lollius had been on the campaign.


A town in Italy, in Apulia, where Greek and Latin were both spoken. The dry region suffered from lack of water. The population was part Greek, part Oscan.

BkISatV:71-104 Horace travels through on his way to Brindisi.

BkISatX:1-30 Their mixed language.

BkIISatIII:168-186 Oppidius a landowner there.

Capito, see Fonteius

Capitolinus , see Petillius


The eastern region of Asia Minor. It was conquered by the Persians (584BC) but became an independent kingdom in the 3rd century BC. It had a poro-Roman ruling dynasty, became strategically important, and was a Roman Province by 17AD.

BkIEpVI:28-48 The king here is probably Ariobarzanes III (d.42BC) whose financial problems due to Roman exploitation are mentioned by Cicero . His successor was Archelaus.


A satirist or informer.

BkISatIV:63-85 He pursued those deemed guilty of theft.


The town in Campania.

BkISatV:34-70 Horace passed through on his way to Brindisi.

BkIEpXI:1-30 On the road to Rome.


A fashionable area on the southern tip of the Esquiline, about a quarter of a mile from the Forum.

BkIEpVII:46-98 A good walk from the Forum for an elderly man.


The Phoenician city in North Africa, allegedly founded by Dido of Tyre, a manifestation of the great Goddess. Under Hannibal the Carthaginians nearly defeated the Romans in Italy . The city was razed finally by Publius Scipio Africanus Minor in 146BC.

BkIISatI:47-86 Scipio took his name Africanus after the victory.

BkIIEpI:156-181 The Punic Wars were the three wars between Rome and Carthage that gave Rome control of the Mediterranean . The First War (264-241BC) saw Rome a naval power, victory at Mylae, and the driving of the Carthaginians from Sicily. The Second War (218-201) saw Hannibal checked inItaly after disastrous Roman losses at Saguntum in Spain, Trebia, Lake Trasimene and Cannae . Scipio Africanus eventually defeated Hannibal at Zamain North Africa, and Carthage became a Roman ally. The Third Punic War (149-146) caused by Roman fears of a Carthaginian resurgence saw Carthage destroyed, and its territory become the Roman province of Africa.

Cascellius, Aulus

An eminent lawyer (born c.104BC), contemporary with Cicero but still alive in Augustus’ time.

AP:366-407 His legal skills.

Cassius (1)

An unknown Etruscan poet, perhaps identical with Parmensis (2).

BkISatX:50-71 His funeral pyre was reputed to have consisted of his own books.

Cassius (2)

An elegiac poet. He was part of the conspiracy to assassinate Julius Caesar, as was the better known Cassius Longinus. He fought on Antony’s side at Actium and was later executed on Octavian’s orders.

BkIEpIV:1-16 His opuscula, pieces, probably elegies.

Castor (1)

The son of Tyndareus of Sparta and Leda, and twin brother of Pollux who was in fact fathered by Jupiter-Zeus. They were brothers of Helen. Castor was an expert horseman, Pollux a noted boxer. They came to be regarded as the protectors of sailors, and gave their names to the two major stars of the constellation Gemini, The Twins.

BkIISatI:24-46 Castor’s skill with horses, Pollux’s at boxing.

BkIIEpI:1-33 Deified.

Castor (2)

A gladiator.

BkIEpXVIII:1-36 A dispute over his skill.


A noted adulteress.

BkISatII:86-110 Her shameless style of dress.


An actor.

BkIISatIII:31-63 See the entry for Fufius.


An epicure, possibly an Epicurean.

BkIISatIV:1-23 His summary for Horace of a lecture on the culinary arts.

BkIISatIV:70-95 Horace begs to attend the next lecture with him.

Cato, the Censor

Marcus Portius Cato (234-194BC), famed for his strict morality.

BkISatII:23-46 His words to a young man leaving a brothel.

BkIIEpII:87-125 AP:38-72 The Censor had the power to remove unworthy senators from the Senate. Horace treats Cato as a guardian of the ancient language.

Cato, of Utica

Marcus Portius Cato (95-46BC) great-grandson of Cato the Censor. A famous Stoic. He committed suicide at Utica, for moral reasons.

BkIEpXIX:1-20 His austere manner and style.


Gaius Valerius Catullus (c84-c54AD), the Roman lyric poet, friend of Calvus and Propertius. He wrote poems addressed to a girl he called Lesbia (most probably Clodia Metelli).

BkISatX:1-30 His use of Greek words mingled with Latin for effect.


A Samnite town at the head of the famous Samnite Forks.

BkISatV:34-70 Horace passed through on his way to Brindisi.


Albinovanus Celsus, secretary on Tiberius’ staff.

BkIEpIII:1-36 A friend of Horace, on campaign with Tiberius.

BkIEpVIII:1-17 This epistle addressed to him.


The Corn Goddess. The daughter of Saturn and Rhea, and Jupiter’s sister. As Demeter she was represented in the sky by the constellation and zodiacal sign of Virgo, holding an ear of wheat, the star Spica. It contains the brightest quasar, 3C 273. (The constellation alternatively depicts Astraea.) The worship of her and her daughter Persephone, as the Mother and the Maiden, was central to the Eleusinian mysteries, where the ritual of the rebirth of the world from winter was enacted. Ceres was there a representation of the Great Goddess of Neolithic times, and her daughter her incarnation, in the underworld and on earth.

BkIISatII:112-136 Goddess of the harvest.

BkIISatVIII:1-19 Horace alludes to the festival in her honour.


Unknown. Possibly a notorious adulterer.

BkISatII:64-85 Mentioned, though the text is disputed.

Cervius (1)

An unknown informer.

BkIISatI:47-86 Mentioned.

Cervius (2)

A neighbour.

BkIISatVI:77-115 A teller of tales.


Marcus Cornelius Cethegus, consul in 204BC.

BkIIEpII:87-125 A famous orator of the old Republic.

AP:38-72 The Cethegi, the ancient family, who would have worn the cinctus, a loin-cloth or kilt rather than the toga.


The whirlpool between Italy and Sicily in the Messenian straits. Charybdis was the voracious daughter of Mother Earth and Neptune, hurled into the sea, and thrice, daily, drawing in and spewing out a huge volume of water.

AP:119-152 See Odyssey Book XII:36 et al.


The island in the north-eastern Aegean off the coast of Ionia . Famous for its wine.

BkIISatIII:111-14 BkIISatVIII:42-78 Chian wine.

BkIEpXI:1-30 A famous island.


An epic poet from Iasos in Caria, a court poet to Alexander the Great.

BkIIEpI:214-244 He was paid in gold for the (few) lines Alexander considered worthy.

AP:333-365 Horace’s example of a poet with a few golden lines amongst the dross.


The character of an old man in Comedy. He appears in the Andria and Heauton of Terence.

BkISatX:31-49 A typical character in Comedy.

AP:73-118 A scene where he storms about in anger, using tragic tones.


The Stoic philosopher of Soli in Cilicia (c280-207BC). He was regarded as the second founder of Stoicism, after Zeno. He was converted to Stoicism by Cleanthes and succeeded him as Head of the Stoic School . He was an apologist and logician.

BkISatIII:120-142 The Sixth Stoic paradox according to Cicero is ‘solum sapientem esse divitem’. The truly wise man is perfect in all respects. Horace ridicules the concept.

BkIISatIII:31-63 The Stoic school met in the Painted Porch in Athens . Chrysippus considered the foolish and deluded as insane.

BkIISatIII:281-299 He classed most men as mad.

BkIEpII:1-31 A teacher of the good life.

BkIIEpI:34-62 Chrysippus asked the logical riddle as to when a heap of beans piled on a table ceases to be a heap, as one removes a bean at a time.


A town in southern Phrygia, the centre of a conventus of twenty-five towns.

BkIEpVI:28-48 A trading centre.

Cicirrus Messius

His name means ‘game-cock’. He is an Oscan from Samnium and so ridiculed as a primitive, a Cyclops.

BkISatV:34-70 He is ridiculed for his scars caused by removing warts, the Campanian disease.


A moneylender, and miser.

BkIISatIII:64-81 One who takes foolish risks on a debtor who will be unable to repay.

BkIISatIII:168-186 His miserliness.


Horace’s ex-lover.

BkIEpVII:1-28 Her flight from him. Her name is mentioned in the Odes.

BkIEpXIV:31-44 He calls her greedy, for gifts.


The sea-nymph, daughter of Sol and Perse, and the granddaughter of Oceanus. (Kirke or Circe means a small falcon.) She was famed for her beauty and magic arts and lived on the ‘island’ of Aeaea, which is the promontory of Circeii. (Cape Circeo between Anzio and Gaeta, on the west coast of Italy, now part of the magnificent Parco Nazionale del Circeo extending to Capo Portiere in the north, and providing a reminder of the ancient Pontine Marshesbefore they were drained, rich in wildfowl and varied tree species.) Cicero mentions that Circe was worshipped religiously by the colonists at Circei. (‘On the Nature of the Gods’, Bk III 47) (See John Melhuish Strudwick’s painting – Circe and Scylla – Walker Art Gallery, Sudley, Merseyside, England : See Dosso Dossi’s painting - Circe and her Lovers in a Landscape- National gallery of Art, Washington).

BkIEpII:1-31 She seduced Ulysses and transformed Ulysses’ men into beasts (Odyssey 10.135).


Circe the sea-nymph in the Odyssey, lived on the ‘island’ of Aeaea, which is the promontory of Circeii, Cape Circeo, between Anzio and Gaeta, on the west coast of Italy, about fifty miles south-east of Rome, and now part of the magnificent Parco Nazionale del Circeo extending to Capo Portiere in the north, and providing a reminder of the ancient Pontine Marshes before they were drained, rich in wildfowl and varied tree species. Cicero mentions that Circe was worshipped religiously by the colonists at Circei. (‘On the Nature of the Gods’, Bk III 47)

BkIISatIV:24-39 A source of oysters eaten in Rome.

Circus Maximus

The huge circus in Rome between the Palatine and Aventine Hills used for pageants races etc.

BkISatVI:110-131 The stalls in the outer wall were used by con-men and fortune tellers.

BkIISatIII:168-186 A place to show off, for the famous.


The Emperor, Tiberius Claudius Nero (42BC-37AD), the elder son of Livia, by her first husband. Augustus adopted the boy and appointed him as his successor after the early deaths of other candidates. He was also Augustus’s ‘stepson’ through his marriage to the elder Julia, Augustus’s daughter by Scribonia.

BkIEpIII:1-36 He campaigned for Augustus on many fronts, here in Asia Minor to set Tigranes on the throne of Armenia in 20BC.

BkIEpVIII:1-17 Celsus is on his staff.

BkIEpIX:1-13 A letter of introduction to him, probably written in 20BC as Tiberius set out on his Eastern Campaign.

BkIEpXII:1-29 His successful conclusion of the Armenian campaign.

BkIIEpII:1-25 Florus was on his staff.


A town in Asia Minor on the Bay of Smyrna.

BkISatVII:1-35 Persius’ home town.


The modern Chiusi in Etruria about eighty-five miles north-west of Rome.

BkIEpXV:1-25 Its cold water springs.


Lucius Cocceius Nerva. He negotiated the Treaty of Brundisium in 40BC that divided the world between the triumvirs, AntonyOctavian and Lepidus.

BkISatV:1-33 Horace travels with him from Rome to Brindisi (and possibly Tarentum) in 38 or 37 BC.

BkISatV:34-70 His villa at Caudium provides a staging post.


A country in Asia, south east of the Black Sea.The destination of the Argonauts and home of Medea.

AP:73-118 Noted for its fierce warriors.


An Ionian city on the Lydian coast.

BkIEpXI:1-30 A famous port.


A minor official who has become a public clerk, like Horace, and acquired wealth.

BkIISatV:45-69 He defeats the wiles of Nasica a fortune-hunter.


The city on the Isthmus between Attica and the Argolis . Built on the hill of Acrocorinth, it and Ithome were ‘the horns of the Greek bull’, whoever held them held the Peloponnese . It was destroyed by the Roman general Mummius in 146BC and rebuilt by Julius Caesar in 44BC.

BkIEpXVII:33-62 Horace adapts a Greek proverb regarding the cost of entertaining Lais and other courtesans at Corinth being beyond most men, to his own thoughts on the pursuit of virtue.

BkIIEpI:182-213 Famous for its bronze-work. After the destruction of the city, Romans searched for antique bronzes in the ruins.

Corvinus, see Messalla


A mountain on the coast of Cilicia in Asia Minor to the north of Cyprus.

BkIISatIV:40-69 Its imported saffron.


The Ionian Greek Island of Cos in the Aegean off the coast of ancient Caria, famous for its silks.

BkISatII:86-110 The semi-transparent silk dresses made from the silk.

BkIISatIV:24-39 BkIISatVIII:1-19 Its white wine.


A leading philosopher (c340-275BC) of the Academy.

BkIEpII:1-31 A teacher of the good life.


A well known physician mentioned in Cicero ’s letters.

BkIISatIII:142-167 A type of the respected medical man.


A Greek dramatist of the 5th Century BC.

BkISatIV:1-25 Mentioned as a dramatist of the Old Comedy.

BkIEpXIX:1-20 His reputation for drunkenness was enhanced by his own reference to himself in his play the Tankard.


Acording to the scholiasts, an aretalogus, a speaker on Stoic virtue. He wrote verses.

BkISatI:92-121 A wordy writer.

BkISatIII:120-142 Horace considers him absurd.

BkISatIV:1-25 Made fun of again as a garrulous writer.

BkIISatVII:21-45 Even his doorkeeper acquires knowledge he passes on!


The last king of Lydia (reigned c560-c546BC, died c546BC), famed for his wealth. He conquered the Greek cities on the coast of Asia Minor but was defeated by the Persian king Cyrus II, the Great, in 546. According to legend he was saved by Apollo from execution by Cyrus and became his counsellor.

BkIEpXI:1-30 Sardis was his royal capital city.


The site of a famous oracle of Apollo, and its prophetess, the Sibyl. A legendary entrance to the underworld. Daedalus rested there after his flight fromCrete, and built a temple to Apollo, before going on to Sicily, where he made the golden honeycomb, for the goddess at Eryx. An ancient Euboean colony on the sea coast of Campania it was just north of Baiae. (See Michael Ayrton’s drawings and paintings of the site.)

BkIEpXV:1-25 On the road to Baiae.


Gaius Cupiennius Libo of Cumae, a favourite of Augustus.

BkISatII:23-46 Horace accuses him of adultery.


Marcus Curius Dentatus, consul 290BC, a hero of the Samnite and Pyrrhic Wars.

BkIEpI:41-69 An example of Roman virtue.


Unknown. A chef or gourmet.

BkIISatVIII:42-78 Mentioned.


A race of giants living on the coast of Sicily of whom Polyphemus was one. They had a single eye in the centre of their foreheads. They forged Jupiter’s lightning-bolts. See Homer’s Odyssey Book IX et al.

BkISatV:34-70 BkIIEpII:87-125 Their rustic shepherd’s dances, an object of ridicule to the sophisticated.

AP:119-152 Polyphemus.


Diogenes of Sinope (active early 3rd century BC) and his followers, the Cynics. They were unconventional and outspoken critics of accepted social values, deriving their attitudes from the teachings of Antisthenes, a pupil of Socrates, and moral philosopher. The name Cynic is from the Greek term for a dog, kunos, used as a derogatory nickname.

BkIEpXVII:1-32 Horace contrasts Diogenes attitude to society with that of Aristippus. The Cynics wore a doubled cloak without an undergarment.