Horace: Index M-R



Gaius Maecenas (c70-8BC) diplomat, private citizen, patron of the arts, friend of Augustus. He was a knight from an old Etruscan house. Never a senator he nevertheless was a close advisor of Augustus for many years. His protégés included VirgilHorace and Propertius.

BkISatI:1-22 Horace addresses him, as his patron.

BkISatIII:55-75 Their intimate friendship.

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

BkISatV:34-70 He enjoys some ‘sport’ at Capua, Horace playing on the double meanings!

BkISatVI:1-44 His ancestors were Lydians who settled in Tuscany.

BkISatVI:45-64 Horace claims his friendship, which causes envy in others. Horace was recommended to Maecenas by Virgil and Varus.

BkISatVIII:1-22 Maecenas laid out his Horti, Gardens which were one of Rome ’s beauty spots, on the site of an old pauper cemetery outside the famous Agger or Mound of Servius on the north-east side of Rome.

BkISatIX:35-78 The target of men seeking advantage.

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

BkIISatIII:300-326 Damasippus accuses Horace of imitating whatever Maecenas does.

BkIISatVI:1-39 As a public clerk Horace was often involved in Maecenas’ business.

BkIISatVI:40-58 The satire was written in about 31BC, four years after Maecenas had given Horace his Sabine farm, and seven years after the start of their friendship.

BkIISatVII:21-45 Horace rushes to accept his invitations.

BkIISatVIII:1-19 BkIISatVIII:20-41 Present at a dinner party Horace hears of.

BkIEpI:1-19 The Epistles addressed to him, as are the Satires, Odes and Epodes.

BkIEpVII:1-28 An apparent reproach to Horace for a lengthy stay in the country is answered.

BkIEpXIX:1-20 This epistle addressed to him. He is described as learned, cultured.


Spurius Maecius Tarpa, appointed by Pompey to select plays for the theatre. The scholiasts say the plays were judged in the Temple of the Muses. (He was known to Cicero : Ad fam. vii)

BkISatX:31-49 AP:366-407 Mentioned.


A spendthrift who figured in the satires of Lucilius.

BkISatIII:1-24 Mentioned.

BkIEpXV:26-46 Described.


The daughter of Atlas. A Pleiad, and mother of Mercury by Jupiter.

BkIISatVI:1-39 The mother of Mercury.

Maltinus, Malchinus


BkISatII:23-46 A sloppy dresser.


A notorious favourite of Julius Caesar, he hailed from his family’s town of Formiae . He was Caesar’s chief engineer in Gaul.

BkISatV:34-70 Horace passes through Formiae.


The modern Cantalupo Bardella, a village on the hill, across the Digentia, two miles from Horace’s farm.

BkIEpXVIII:86-112 The village water supply was the Digentia.


The di manes were the good deities, a generic term for the gods of the lower world, and later for the shades of the dead who were regarded as divine.

BkIIEpI:118-155 They are placated by poetry and song.



BkIISatIII:247-280 A lover who murdered his mistress.



BkISatII:47-63 Lover of an actress whom he ruined himself for.


A Satyr of Phrygia who challenged Apollo to a contest in musical skill, and was flayed alive by the God when he was defeated.  (An analogue for the method of making primitive flutes, Minerva’s invention, by extracting the core from the outer sheath) (See Perugino’s painting – Apollo and Marsyas – The Louvre, Paris)

BkISatVI:110-131 A statue of the Satyr stood in the Forum near the praetor’s tribunal showing him as a follower of Bacchus with a wine-skin over his left shoulder, his right arm raised and a pained expression on his face. The usurer Novius had his table nearby. Horace has fun with the appearance of their respective faces.


From the Mons Massicus in Campania.

BkIISatIV:40-69 Massic wine.

Matutinus, see Janus

Maximus , see Lollius


The daughter of Aeetes, king of Colchis and the Caucasian nymph Asterodeia. A famous sorceress. She conceived a passion for Jason and subsequently assisted and ultimately harmed him by witchcraft.

AP:119-152 Horace suggests how she should be portrayed.

AP:153-188 She killed Glauce her rival, and then sacrificed her own sons, before fleeing to Athens where she married King Aegeus.


King of Calydon, the son of Oeneus, and Althaea, daughter of Thestius.

AP:119-152 The uncle of Diomede.


The Ethiopian son of Tithonus and Aurora fought for Troy in the Trojan War with Greece . He was killed by Achilles, but his mother Aurora begged Jupiter for funeral honours, and he created the warring flock of birds, the Memnonides, from his ashes.

BkISatX:31-49 A reference to Furius’ Aethiopia.

Mena, Menas

A name contracted from the Greek Menodorus. A freedman taking his name Volteius from his patron.

BkIEpVII:46-98 His tale.


The Greek Attic writer of New Comedy (342-c290BC)

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

BkIIEpI:34-62 Afranius compared to him.


The younger son of Atreus, brother of Agamemnon, hence called Atrides minorParis’ theft of his wife Helen instigated the Trojan War.

BkIISatIII:187-223 Ajax attempted to kill him.


A madman.

BkIISatIII:281-299 Taken by Chrysippus as the type of the truly mad.


The messenger god, Hermes, son of Jupiter and the Pleiad Maia, the daughter of Atlas. He was therefore called Atlantiades. His birthplace was MountCyllene, and he was therefore called Cyllenius. He had winged feet, and a winged cap, carried a scimitar, and had a magic wand, the caduceus, with twin snakes twined around it, that brought sleep and healing. The caduceus is the symbol of medicine. (See Botticelli’s painting Primavera.) Mercury was associated with trade, theft, communication, good luck, and profit.

BkIISatIII:1-30 A ‘friend of Mercury’ implies a deft trader and dealer, with a hint of being a thief.

BkIISatIII:64-81 BkIISatVI:1-39 The god of luck and propitious gifts.


A name associated with the aristocratic Valerian family. One famous Messalla was Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus (64BC-8AD) distinguished soldier, statesman and supporter of the arts, a patron of Ovid and Tibullus, Lygdaus, Valgius Rufus and Aemilius Macer. Sulpicia was his niece. He switched sides adroitly during the Civil Wars fighting for Octavian at Actium in 31. He celebrated a triumph as proconsul of Gaul in 27, was city prefect in 25, Rome’s first overseer of aqueducts in 11, and nine years later proposed the title pater patriae: Father of the Country for Augustus. Noted for public works he was with Paullus Fabius Maximus the most influential of Ovid’s patrons. The father of Messalinus and his younger brother Cotta.

BkISatVI:1-44 The name mentioned, as an example of aristocratic status.

BkISatX:1-30 AP:366-407 His oratory in legal cases.

BkISatX:72-92 Horace seeks his approval of his and his brother’s literary efforts. The brother was Lucius Gellius Publicola, consul in 36BC.

Messius, see Cicirrhus


Perhaps Caecilia Metella the wife of Publius Cornelius Lentulus Spinther. She had an affair with Cicero ’s son-in-law Dolabella.

BkIISatIII:224-246 She flaunted her wealth.


Quintus Caecilius Metellus Macedonicus, Consul in 143BC. He was an opponent of Scipio, and led campaigns in Macedonia, Greece and Spain.

BkIISatI:47-86 Attacked by Lucilius.


A town on the island of Lesbos.

BkIISatVIII:42-78 Famous for its wine.


The southern Ionian city in Asia Minor.

BkIEpXVII:1-32 Famous for its wool.



BkIISatI:24-46 A heavy drinker who likes to dance when drunk.


An elegiac poet (7th century BC) from Colophon.

BkIEpVI:49-68 Horace imitates the Greek original (translated ‘What is intimate love life or pleasure without golden Aphrodite? Let me die if I do not value, intimate love, bed, and tender gifts.’)

BkIIEpII:87-125 He made the elegy a vehicle for love-poetry, and therefore Propertius is the likely reference. (See Propertius I.9.11 where he says that regarding love a line of Mimnermus carries more power than Homer)


The Roman name for Athene the goddess of the mind and women’s arts (also a goddess of war and the goddess of boundaries – see the Stele of Athena, bas-relief, Athens, Acropolis Museum )

BkIIEpII:180-216 Her festival the Quinquatrus.

AP:366-407 To act without Minerva would be to act unintelligently.


A city of Latium, three miles from the sea, on the border of Campania it was the chief Tyrrhenian river-port of the Ausoni, becoming a Roman colony in 295BC, and on the Appian Way. (Near modern Minturno, and built amidst malarial marshes formed by the overflowing River Garigliano, the ancient Liris. Here the proscribed Marius, taken prisoner in 88BC, daunted the would-be assassin sent by Sulla.)

BkIEpV:1-31 Wine from there.


He gave his name to the Via Minucia from Beneventum to Brundisium.

BkIEpXVIII:1-36 Possibly the route Horace took in Satire I.V, running north of the Via Appia from Beneventum through Canusium and Barium, and identical with the road later known as the Via Traina. It was shorter but rougher possibly than the Via Appia. Here there is a dispute as to which route is better.


A promontory in Campania on the north-west end of the Bay of Naples.

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


Inhabitants of Eastern Epirus.

BkIISatVI:77-115 They bred famous hounds.


A rhetorician from Pergamum . He was accused of poisoning, defended unsuccessfully, and exiled to Marseilles . Asinius Pollio was one of his lawyers.

BkIEpV:1-31 Torquatus was involved with defending his case.


There were three distinguished laywers called Mucius Scaevola. Publius, consul in 133BC, Quintus, consul in 117BC, and the other Quintus, consul in 95BC.

BkIIEpII:87-125 The first, Publius, was a contemporary of the Gracchi, and probably intended here.


A hanger-on to Horace.

BkIISatVII:21-45 His sneer at Horace.


Possibly a son of Lucius Munatius Plancus (see Horace’s Odes i.7.9) consul in 42BC.

BkIEpIII:1-36 A friend of Horace.


Varro Murena, Maecenas’ brother-in-law. Consul in 23BC. Involved in a conspiracy with Fannius Caepio and executed in 22BC.

BkISatV:34-70 Horace stayed at Murena’s residence in Formiae on his way to Brindisi.

Musa, see Antonius


The nine Muses are the virgin daughters of Jupiter and Mnemosyne (Memory). They are the patronesses of the arts: Clio (History), Melpomene (Tragedy), Thalia (Comedy), Euterpe (Lyric Poetry), Terpsichore (Dance), Calliope (Epic Poetry), Erato (Love Poetry), Urania (Astronomy), and Polyhymnia (Sacred Song). Mount Helicon is hence called Virgineus. Their epithets are Aonides, and Thespiades.

BkIISatIII:82-110 BkIIEpI:214-244 The Muses are identified with music, poetry and the arts, and inspire the creator.

BkIISatVI:1-39 The Muse of satire, Horace’s Muse, is a prosaic one.

BkIEpIII:1-36 The Muse of Pindar.

BkIEpVIII:1-17 Horace addresses his personal Muse.

BkIEpXIX:21-49 The Muse of Sappho.

BkIIEpI:1-33 The Roman people naively attributed all ancient writings to them.

BkIIEpI:118-155 The Muse inspired Horace’s Carmen Saeculare in 17BC.

BkIIEpII:87-125 Extravagant compliment would attribute a fine work to the Muses themselves.

AP:73-118 AP:366-407 The inspirer of lyric poetry.

AP:119-152 Horace quotes approximately from the opening of the Odyssey.

AP:295-332 The Greek Muse.


‘Mute’. An unknown landowner.

BkIEpVI:1-27 A source of competitive envy.


The main city of the island of Lesbos.

BkIEpXI:1-30 A famous city.

Naevius (1)

A spendthrift.

BkISatI:92-121 A type of prodigality.

BkIISatII:53-69 The same or perhaps another unknown character.

Naevius (2)

The Roman poet, active from about 240BC, died 199BC. He wrote tragedies and comedies, as well as an epic on the Punic War, Bellum Punicum (in Saturnian metre) which influenced the Aeneid. Only fragments of his works survive.

BkIIEpI:34-62 A respected ancient writer.


A fortune-hunter.

BkIISatV:45-69 In debt to Coranus he marries his daughter to him, hoping to ultimately escape the debts by inheriting his wealth.


Rufus Nasidienus, probably a purely fictional parvenu.

BkIISatVIII:1-19 BkIISatVIII:42-78BkIISatVIII:79-95 His dinner party.



BkISatVI:110-131 His use of lamp-oil.


God of the sea, brother of Pluto and Jupiter.

BkIEpXI:1-30 The sea, and its power.

AP:38-72 Horace quotes examples of great projects involving water: the building of the Julian harbour on the coast of Campania whereby Agrippa connected Lake Avernus to Lake Lucrinus, and a canal was made between the Lucrine and the Tuscan sea, navigable to shipping (note VirgilGeorgics ii.161): the draining of the Pomptine marshes planned by Julius Caesar and executed by Augustus: the straightening of the Tiber to protect against flood-damage.


A moneylender.

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

Nero, Tiberius Claudius

BkIIEpII:1-25 Horace calls Tiberius both Nero and Claudius.


King of Pylos, son of Neleus, long-lived, and famous for his wisdom.

BkIEpII:1-31 He tried to reconcile Achilles and Agamemnon, when they quarrelled at Troy (Iliad 1.247)

Nomentanus (1)

A spendthrift.

BkISatI:92-121 A type of prodigality.

BkISatVIII:1-22 Buried in a pauper’s grave.

BkIISatI:1-23 BkIISatIII:168-186 A wastrel.

BkIISatIII:224-246 Profligacy condemned by the Stoics.

Nomentanus (2)

A hanger-on. Maybe identical with Nomentanus (1).

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



BkISatIII:1-24 Criticised for his faults by Maenius.

BkISatVI:1-44 Example of a man risen from a humble background.


Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome (trad715-673BC). Having been instructed by Pythagoras (Ovid tells the fable) he returned to Latium, ruled there, taught the arts of peace, and died. His wife was Egeria, the nymph.

BkIEpVI:1-27 One of the famous dead.

BkIIEpI:63-89 The Salii priesthood instituted by Numa.

AP:275-294 The Pisos claimed descent from him.


An unknown friend of Horace.

BkIEpVI:1-27 This epistle addressed to him.


Octavius Musa, poet, historian and friend of Horace.

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


An Apulian peasant, a wise neighbour of Horace.

BkIISatII:1-22 His advice on plain living.

BkIISatII:53-69 Plain living is not the same as meanness.

BkIISatII:112-136 His philosophy of acceptance. He had probably lost his farm for supporting the losing side at Philippi in 42BC, as Horace and Vergil lost theirs.


The site of the pan-Hellenic Greek Games in Elis . An Olympiad was the period of five years covering successive Games at Olympia, celebrated every fifth year inclusive from 776BC, and therefore a useful measure of time.

BkIEpI:41-69 The winners were awarded the victor’s palm.


A miser.

BkIISatIII:142-167 His meanness even in extremis.


Unknown. From Canusium.

BkIISatIII:168-186 His advice to his sons.


A native of Beneventum who set up a school there, and later in Rome from 63BC when he was fifty. He lived to be a hundred and was honoured with a statue in his home town.

BkIIEpI:63-89 Horace’s teacher when a boy.


A rich landowner.

BkIIEpII:155-179 . Horace’s argument here is facetious as economics, but he is making the deeper point that in a transient world possession in a spiritual sense is an illusion, since all ownership is impermanent.


The Underworld.

BkIISatV:45-69 Going to Orcus is a synonym for dying.

BkIIEpII:155-179 Death, the grim repaer.


The son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, brother of Iphigenia and ElectraPylades was his loyal friend. He avenged Agamemnon’s death. (See Aeschylus, the Oresteia)

BkIISatIII:111-14 He killed his mother in revenge for the murder of his father by her and her lover Aegisthus.

AP:119-152 Horace suggests how he should be portrayed.



BkISatII:47-63 Marsaeus was her lover.


The mythical musician of Thrace, son of Oeagrus and Calliope the Muse. His lyre, given to him by Apollo, and invented by Hermes-Mercury, is the constellation Lyra containing the star Vega. (See John William Waterhouse’s painting – Nymphs finding the head of Orpheus – Private Collection, and Gustave Moreau’s painting – Orpheus – in the Gustave Moreau Museum, Paris: See Peter Vischer the Younger’s Bronze relief – Orpheus and Eurydice – Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg: and the bas-relief – Hermes, Eurydice and Orpheus – a copy of a votive stele attributed to Callimachus or the school of Phidias, Naples, National Archaeological Museum: Note also Rilke’s - Sonnets to Orpheus – and his Poem - Orpheus, Eurydice and Hermes.)

AP:366-407 The power of his lyre to create law and order.


A primitive people of Italy.

BkISatV:34-70 Messius is an Oscan.


The Egyptian god, Ousir, identified with Dis and Bacchus-Dionysus. A nature god, the son of Geb and Nut, born in Thebes in Upper Egypt . His consort was Isis . The story is of his death initiated by his brother Set, and his resurrection thanks to Isis, Thoth, Anubis and Horus.

BkIEpXVII:33-62   Familiar in Rome through the cult of Isis which introduced more empathetic and compassionate proto-Christian values to Roman religion.


A well-known gladiator.

BkIISatVII:95-118 A wall-sketch for advertising purposes involving him.


The tragic poet (219-129BC), Ennius’ nephew. He wrote tragedies based on Greek models.

BkIIEpI:34-62 Respected for his learning.


A cognomen associated with the Aelii and Papirii families.

BkISatIII:25-54 A polite name meaning squint-eyed.


The Palatine was the most important of Rome ’s seven hills and traditionally the site of the earliest settlements adjacent to the Tiber, south-east of theCapitoline and north of the Aventine . It became a highly fashionable residential area, and Augustus lived there in a house that had belonged to the orator Quintus Hortensius. Other residents included Cicero and Mark Antony.

BkIEpIII:1-36 The Palatine Library was sited there in the Temple of Apollo.



BkISatX:72-92 A worthless critic.


A parasite.

BkISatVIII:1-22 Buried in a pauper’s grave.

BkIISatI:1-23 A parasite.


Prince of Troy, son of Priam and Hecuba, brother of Hector. His theft of Menelaüs’ wife Helen provoked the Trojan War.

BkIEpII:1-31 He resisted the idea of returning Helen to Greece.


One of the Cyclades in the Southern Aegean . An island celebrated for its marble quarries.

BkIEpXIX:21-49 Archilochus was born there. His poetic metre.

Parmensis, see Cassius


The inhabitants of Persia (modern Iraq ) and areas north-east of the Caspian Sea.

BkIISatI:1-23 BkIEpXVIII:37-66 The eastern borders of the Empire, subdued with difficulty. The Parthians were noted for their archery and horsemanship. Octavian was in the east in 30BC and intended to lead a campaign to recover Crassus’ standards after his defeat in 53BC. They were recovered by negotiation in 20BC. Propertius is amusing on the subject.

BkIISatV:45-69 BkIIEpI:245-270 The ‘terror’ of Parthia is Octavian, later Augustus, and also Rome itself.

BkIIEpI:90-117 The Parthians were proverbial liars.


An aristocratic name associated with the Aemilian family.  For example Lucius Aemilius Paulus, consul in 216 BC. His son was the conqueror of Perseus, and the younger Scipio Africanus was in turn his son.

BkISatVI:1-44 Mentioned as an example of aristocratic status.


A Greek painter (4th Century BC) from Sicyon, a contemporary of Apelles.

BkIISatVII:95-118 Noted for his subtle technique and dubious subjects.


An ancient town between Tibur and Praeneste.

BkIEpIV:1-16 Tibullus is staying there.


A derogatory feminine name given to an unknown man Pediatus.

BkISatVIII:23-50 Mentioned.

Pedius Publicola


BkISatX:1-30 An orator, possibly the son of Quintus Pedius consul in 43BC.


The son of Aeacus, king of Aegina . He killed his brother Phocus and fled to Trachin, where Ceyx gave him sanctuary.

AP:73-118 A famous tragic exile.

Pelides, see Achilles

BkIEpII:1-31 Achilles was the son of Peleus.


The wife of Ulysses, and daughter of Icarius and the Naiad Periboa.

BkIISatV:70-88 BkIEpII:1-31 She was wooed unsuccessfully by one hundred and eight Suitors during Ulysses’ twenty year absence, as recounted in Homer’s Odyssey. They lived in his palace, idly, and consumed his estate and resources.


The son of Echion and Agave, the grandson of Cadmus through his mother. He was King of ThebesTiresias foretold his fate at the hands of the Maenads. He rejected the worship of Bacchus-Dionysus and ordered the capture of the god. He interrogated Acoetes, the priest of Bacchus, who was in fact the god in disguise. The god subsequently had him torn to pieces by the Bacchantes.

BkIEpXVI:46-79 Horace paraphrases Euripides’ Bacchae (492-8). The disguised Bacchus defies Pentheus. Similarly the convinced Stoic is always free to choose death, which is the final chalk-line, linea, the goal at the end of the race-course. Another possible source is Pacuvius’ Pentheus of the 2nd century BC.


A moneylender.

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


A wealthy Graeco-Roman from Clazomenae.

BkISatVII:1-35 His dispute with Rex.

Petillius Capitolinus

Unknown. He was accused of stealing Jupiter’s gold crown from the Capitol. Plautus alludes to this (Trinummus 83, Menaechmi 941). His cognomen of Capitolinus was unfortunate!

BkISatIV:86-106 An example of Maecenas’ defence of his friends.

BkISatX:1-30 His long and difficult case.


A mountain near Sinuessa.

BkIEpV:1-31 Mentioned.


The people of the island of Scherie (modern Corfu ) in the OdysseyAlcinous was their king. They lived a rich, contented life.

BkIEpXV:1-25 Proverbially fat and healthy.

Philippi, Filibi

The site in eastern Macedonia of the battle, in 42BC, between the forces of Ocatavian and Antony, and those of Brutus and Cassius the conpirators who had murdered Julius Caesar.

BkIIEpII:26-54 After the defeat at Philippi, Horace who had fought on the side of Brutus, withdrew from the Republican cause, unlike Pompeius Varus and other friends who fought on under Sextus Pompeius. Horace’s family estate at Venusia was confiscated.

Philippus (1)

Lucius Marcius Philippus, consul in 91BC, a distinguished lawyer.

BkIEpVII:46-98 The tale of his patronage.

Philippus (2)

Gold coins with the portrait of Philip of Macedon which circulated freely throughout the Greek world.

BkIIEpI:214-244 Choerilus was paid with them.


The Greek Epicurean philosopher (c110-c37BC) of Gadara . He was a contemporary of Cicero.

BkISatII:111-134 His epigrams survive in the Greek Anthology, though not the one referred to here. He was a client of Lucius Calpurnius Piso who was attacked by Cicero in his In Pisonem.


King of Parthia.

BkIEpXII:1-29 In 20BC, he returned the Roman standards captured from Crassus at Carrhae in 53BC. His son captured by his rival Tiridates five years previously was returned to him in exchange. The event was widely celebrated.


A region of Italy on the Adriatic.

BkIISatIII:247-280 BkIISatIV:70-95 Its apples.


Pieria in Thessaly was a haunt of the Muses.

AP:366-407 Poetry inspired by the Muses.


The lyric poet of Boeotian Thebes (after 442BC), who was famous for his odes, many celebrating the winning athletes at the Games. He was imitated by Rufus (possibly a reference to Lucius Varius) a poet in Ovid’s list of his lesser contemporaries.

BkIEpIII:1-36 Horace suggests he influenced Titius, which may be a pseudonym for Varius.

Pisos, Pisones

A father and two sons. Possibly Lucius Calpurnius Piso, consul 15BC, his sons unknown: or Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, who fought under Brutus at Philippi, and had a son Gneius, consul in 7BC and another Lucius, consul in 1BC.

AP:1-37 AP:220-250 The Ars Poetica addressed to them.

AP:366-407 The eldest son addressed.

Pitholeon, Pitholaus

Usually identified with Pitholaus who wrote abusive epigrams. (Suetonius: Julius Caesar 75)

BkISatX:1-30 His blend of Greek and Latin words.

Plato (1)

The Greek Attic poet, writer of Middle Comedy (active c425-390BC)

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

Plato (2)

The Athenian philosopher (429-347BC). A disciple of Socrates he laid the foundations of later philosophy, teaching in the Academy in Athens, and articulating legal, moral, aesthetic and political thinking. He developed the theory of ideal Forms or concepts (Ideas).

BkIISatII:70-88 Horace echoes Phaedo 83D, where Plato suggests that every pain is a nail, fixing the soul to the body. Also see Cicero De Senuctute 21.78 where the human spirit is seen as a part of the divine spirit imprisoned in the human body.

BkIISatIV:1-23 Mentioned as a famous philosopher.


The Roman comic poet, born in Umbria, died sometime after 184BC. He wrote over twenty popular comedies.

BkIIEpI:34-62 He modelled his style on Epicharmus.

BkIIEpI:156-181 Horace criticisises his motives and populist style.

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

AP:153-188 The cantor probably stood near the flautist and sang the cantica of the play while the actor mimed. Plautus’ and Terence’s comedies all end with plaudite or an equivalent phrase.

AP:251-274 Horace does not rate him for metre or wit.


Plotius Tucca edited the Aeneid with Varius after the death of Virgil, performing the role of literary executors.

BkISatV:34-70 He joins the party at Sinuessa.

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


An Athenian libertine and fop (d.270BC)

BkIISatIII:247-280 He was converted by Xenocrates, after hearing him lecture on temperance when returning from a banquet. He eschewed his former lifestyle succeeding his master as head of the Academic school of philosophy in 314/3BC.


Gaius Asinius Pollio, statesman, orator, and tragic poet. He was Consul in 40BC, and fought a successful military campaign the year after. He was still active when Horace wrote.  He also wrote speeches, criticism, letters, and a history of the Civil War.

BkISatX:31-49 His epic style.

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


The son of King Tyndareus of Sparta and Leda, and one of the twin Dioscuri, brother of Castor.

BkIIEpI:1-33 Deified.

Pompeius Grosphus, see Grosphus

Pompilius, see Numa

Numa Pompilius was the second King of Rome. The Calpurnian clan to which the Pisos belonged claimed its descent from Numa.

AP:275-294 Horace addresses the Piso brothers.


A character in a play.

BkISatIV:26-62 Mentioned.


A hanger-on of Nasidienus.

BkIISatVIII:20-41 Present at a dinner party Horace hears of.

Praeneste, Palestrina

The modern Palestrina, a hill resort, about twenty-three miles south east of Rome.

BkISatVII:1-35 Rex’s home town.

BkIEpII:1-31 Horace writes from there.


The King of Troy at the time of the Trojan War, the son of Laomedon, husband of Hecuba, by whom he had many children, including Hector.

BkISatVII:1-35 Father of Hector.

BkIISatIII:187-223 King of Troy.

AP:119-152 The collections of post-Homeric epics were arranged in a cycle from the origins of the world to the end of the heroic age.


The Pan of Mysia in Asia Minor venerated as Lampsacus, the God of gardens and vineyards. His phallic image was placed in orchards and gardens. He presided over the fecundity of fields, flocks, beehives, fishing and vineyards. He became part of the retinue of Bacchus.

BkISatVIII:1-22 His statue in the Gardens on the Esquiline.



BkIISatVII:1-20 His changeable temperament.


The daughter of Pandion, king of Athens, married to Tereus, king of Thrace . Tereus raped and mutilated her sister, and told Procne that Philomela was dead. Philomela communicated with her by means of a woven message, and she rescued her during the Bacchic rites. She murdered her son Itys and served the flesh to Tereus. Pursued by Tereus she turned into a nightingale. The bird’s call, mourning Itys, is said to be ‘Itu! Itu!’ which is something like the occasional ‘chooc, chooc’ among its wide range of notes.

AP:153-188 Her turning into a bird not to be shown on stage.

Proserpina, Persephone

Proserpine, daughter of Ceres-Demeter. Ceres searches for her after she is abducted by Pluto-Dis. She is the co-ruler of the Underworld with Dis.

BkIISatV:89-110 She calls Tiresias back to the land of shades.


The sea-god who can shift his form.

BkIISatIII:64-81 Slippery as a debtor who can’t pay.

BkIEpI:70-109 Unstable as Proteus’ shifting faces.

Publicola, see Messalla


A first name (praenomen).

BkIISatV:23-44 Horace makes the point that we all from vanity are influenced by hearing our first names used, a regular marketing ploy!


A cognomen associated with the Fabii and Iunii families.

BkISatIII:25-54 A polite name meaning puny.


A tragic poet and dramatist.

BkIEpI:41-69 Horace obviously had a low opinion of his works. Being an equites would under Roscian law merely allow a closer view of the things!


Libo ’s Wall. A puteal was a low wall round a well-head. The site in the Forum near the Arch of Fabius had been struck by lightning and was regarded as sacred.

BkIISatVI:1-39 The praetor’s tribunal was nearby.


Orestes’ loyal friend.

BkIISatIII:111-14 Abused by Orestes in his madness.


Possibly a servant girl in a comedy by Titinius (active in the mid second century BC.)

BkIEpXIII:1-19 A well-known example.


The famous Greek philosopher of Samos, the Ionian island, who took up residence at Crotona in Italy . His school was later revived at Tarentum. He flourished in the second half of the 6th century BC. He famously taught the doctrine of the transmigration of souls, metempsychosis,

BkIISatIV:1-23 Mentioned as a famous philosopher.

BkIISatVI:59-76 Pythagoras prohibited the eating of beans, and the eating of animal flesh since animals might contain the transmigrated souls of our relatives. Horace here combines the two!

BkIIEpI:34-62 Ennius claimed in Pythagorean manner to possess the soul of Homer.


The Pythian games were instituted at Delphi by Apollo. They were celebrated every four years.

AP:408-437 The flautist at the Games.


A slave-girl.

AP:220-250 A character in low comedy.


A friend of Horace, possibly the Quinctius Hirpinus of Odes II.11.

BkIEpXVI:1-24 This letter addressed to him.


The festival of Minerva from March 19th to 23rd.

BkIIEpII:180-216 A school holiday.


Quintilius Varus of Cremona (died 24/23BC), friend to Horace and Virgil.

AP:438-476 His critical habits.

Quintus (1), see Horace

Quintus (2)

A first name (praenomen).

BkIISatV:23-44 Horace makes the point that we all from vanity are influenced by hearing our first names used, a regular marketing ploy!


One of the Seven Hills of Rome named for Quirinus, the deified Romulus.

BkIIEpII:56-86 Distant from the Aventine.


The deified Romulus.

BkISatX:31-49 Appears to Horace in dream, as the divine representative of the Roman people.


Derived from the Sabines, the people of Cures, extended to the Romans after the union with the Sabines. Hence a Roman citizen.

BkIEpVI:1-27 The citizens showering gifts on performers etc.


One of the three centuries of knights created by Romulus. The others were the Tities and Luceres.

AP:333-365 The young aristocrats.


Rupilius Rex of Praeneste, who served in Africa under Attius Verus, became praetor under Julius Caesar, was later proscribed by the Triumvirs and joined Brutus in Asia.

BkISatVII:1-35 His dispute with Persius.

Rhine, Rhenus

The River Rhine.

AP:1-37 As a subject of poetry.

Rhodes, Rhodos

The island in the Aegean off the coast of Asia Minor.

BkIEpXI:1-30 A famous island.


The City on the Tiber, capital of the Empire. Founded by Romulus in 753BC on the feast of Pales, the Palilia, April 21st.

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

BkISatVI:65-88 Horace was educated in Rome.

BkIISatI:24-46 The Romans drove the Samnites out of Apulia.

BkIISatVI:1-39 Horace describes his business life in the City.


The son of Mars and Ilia, hence Iliades, the father of the Roman people (genitor). The mythical founder of Rome with his twin brother Remus. They were the children of Ilia/Rhea Silvia, daughter of Aeneas, or, in the more common tradition, of Numitor the deposed king of Alba Longa. Amulius, Numitor’s brother usurped his throne and made Ilia a Vestal Virgin, but she was visited by Mars himself. Thrown into the Tiber the twins cradle caught in a fig tree (the Ficus Ruminalis) and they were rescued by a she-wolf and fed by a woodpecker, creatures sacred to Mars. Brought up by peasants the twins built the first walled settlement on the Palatine. Romulus killed his brother for jumping over the wall.  He reigned for forty years and then vanished, becoming the Roman god Quirinus.

BkIIEpI:1-33 He was deified after his great deeds for the Roman people.

Roscius (1)


BkIISatVI:1-39 A business associate.

Roscius (2)

A popular actor and friend of Cicero, who played comedy. He died about 63BC.

BkIIEpI:63-89 He acted ancient comedies.

Roscius (3) 

Lucius Roscius Otho. The Roscian law passed in 67BC granted the equites, the knights the right to sit in the first fourteen rows of the theatre. To be a member of the equites required a minimum property of four hunred thousand sesterces.

BkIEpI:41-69 A sign of wealth.


The orators’ platforms in the Forum.

BkIISatVI:40-58 A source of City news and rumour.

Rubi, Ruvo

A town about thirty miles from Canusium.

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



BkISatII:23-46 BkISatIV:86-106 Perfumed his breath with lozenges.

Rufus (1), see Nasidienus

BkIISatVIII:42-78 A disaster at his dinner-party.

Rufus (2) 

Probably Gaius Sempronius Rufus, mentioned in Cicero ’s letters.

BkIISatII:23-52 According to Porphyrion, he set a fashion for eating storks, and was defeated for the praetorship, hence the ironic reference.


A money-lender who wrote Histories.

BkISatIII:76-98 His debtors are tormented by being forced to listen to readings of his work!


A well-known gladiator.

BkIISatVII:95-118 A wall-sketch for advertising purposes involving him.