Horace: Index S-Z


Sabines, Sabini

The Sabines, a people of Central Italy who merged with the people of Romulus . (See Giambologna’s sculpture – The Rape of the Sabines – Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence )

BkISatIX:1-34 Sabine prophecy.

BkIISatVII:95-118 The Roman villa on the east slope of the Colle Rotondo (980 meters above sea level) in the Lucretili Mountains near the hilltown of Licenza has been identified with Horace’s Sabine Farm since the eighteenth century. The villa is located about 30 miles from the center of Rome in a lovely valley near Vicovaro, and Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli.

BkIEpVII:46-98 The Sabine region’s fertile soil and fine skies.

BkIEpXVI:46-79 Sabine wisdom is the judgement of the common man.

BkIIEpI:1-33 Tullus Hostilius made a treaty with the Sabines in the mid seventh century.


A friend of Horace and Torquatus.

BkIEpV:1-31 To be invited to dinner.


A witch.

BkISatVIII:23-50 She carries out magical rites.

Salernum, Salerno

The modern Salerno, in Campania, twenty-five miles north-west of Paestum.

BkIEpXV:1-25 Horace seeks information about it.


The dancing priests. They carried a spear and a sacred shield (one of the ancilia said to have fallen from heaven in Numa’s reign). There were originally twelve Palatine Salii with a shrine on the Palatine Hill, twelve more were created by King Tullus Hostilius, the Colline, Agonalian or Agonensian Salii with a shrine on the Quirinal . They wore embroidered tunics, bronze belts, purple edged cloaks and high conical caps. They also had swords at their sides. The festival lasted thirty days of March, and the sacred shields were kept in the sacrarium of Mars. Other colleges of dancing priests existed at Tibur and elsewhere in Italy.

BkIIEpI:63-89 Their archaic hymns were unintelligible to the priests by the time of Quintilian (Quint. 1.6.40)


Gaius Sallustius Crispus, grand-nephew of the historian Sallust. (See Odes ii.2)

BkISatII:47-63 A chaser after freedwomen.


An ancient people of central Italy.

BkIISatI:24-46 Driven out of Apulia by the Romans.

BkIIEpII:87-125 Heavily armed Samnite gladiators in the arena would engage in long, tiring, but fruitless contents till nightfall.


An island off the coast of Asia Minor opposite Ephesus, sacred to Juno, and the birthplace of Pythagoras (at Pythagórion = Tigáni). Samos was famous for its Heraion, the great sanctuary of the goddess Hera-Juno.

BkIEpXI:1-30 A famous island.


The lyric poetess was born c. 618BC on Lesbos, where she spent her life apart from a short period in exile in Sicily. Known as the ‘Tenth Muse’, her intense erotic relationships with women led to the term Sapphic, or Lesbian.

BkIEpXIX:21-49 Her metre. Horace did adopt some of her stanza forms.


The ancient capital of Lydia on the River Pactolus.

BkIEpXI:1-30 Croesus’ capital.


The Mediterranean island off Italy.

BkISatIII:1-24Tigellius the singer was a Sardinian.

AP:366-407 Sardinian honey had a bitter taste.


A freedman of Maecenas, employed in the Treasury. His name means a twig, suiting his physique. The scholiast on Juvenal, Sat v.3, suggest he was owned by Favonius, and bought by Maecenas, his ‘lady’ presumably being Favonius’ widow.

BkISatV:34-70 The chain referred to is his chain of slavery, and his leanness suggests slave’s rations of a pound or so of meal a day.


The district in which wealthy Tarentum lay.

BkISatVI:45-64 Having an estate there would indicate wealth and nobility. Lucilius may have had land there.


The festival beginning on the 17th December (17-19th), noted for its freedom and licence. The festival marked the end of sowing, and the distinction between master and slave was suspended to mark the Golden Age of Saturn when all men were free.

BkIISatIII:1-30 Horace has retreated from its distractions.

BkIISatVII:1-20 Slaves are allowed freedom to speak on the Saturnalia.

Saturnian Measure

An ancient Italian metre, based on accent rather than quantity, used by Livius Andronicus and by Naevius in his epic on the Punic War, and illustrated by numerous inscriptions. Study of Greek literature caused it to be superceded by the hexameter and other metres.

BkIIEpI:156-181 The ancient form of Latin verse.


Demi -gods. Woodland deities of human form but with goats’ ears, tails, legs and budding horns. Sexually lustful.

BkIEpXIX:1-20 They are followers of Bacchus-Dionysus.

BkIIEpII:87-125 Nimble dancers.

AP:220-250 Tragedy or ‘goat-song’ derived as an offshoot of Greek Satyric drama where the singers dressed as Satyrs in goat-skins, as wild followers of Bacchus.

Scaeva (1)

A spendthrift who poisoned his mother.

BkIISatI:47-86 Mentioned.

Scaeva (2)

Unknown. The name means awkward or gauche.

BkIEpXVII:1-32 This letter addressed to him.


A cognomen associated with the Aemilii and Aurelii families.

BkISatIII:25-54 A polite name meaning with swollen or twisted ankles.



BkISatIV:107-143 His affair(s) with prostitutes.


The Scipio family. A Scipio or Scipiadas as Lucilius calls a member of the clan.

BkIISatI:1-23 Scipio Aemilianus Africanus (c184-129BC) son of Lucius Aemilius Paulus was adopted by the son of Scipio Africanus the Elder. He conquered Carthage in 146BC and Numantia in Spain in 133BC. Lucilius accompanied him during his Spanish campaign.

BkIISatI:47-86 Attacked in verse by Lucilius.


The daughter of Phorcys and the nymph Crataeis, remarkable for her beauty. Circe or Amphitrite, jealous of Neptune’s love for her changed her into a dog-like sea monster, ‘the Render’, with six heads and twelve feet. Each head had three rows of close-set teeth.Her cry was a muted yelping. She seized sailors and cracked their bones before slowly swallowing them. Her rock projects from the Calabrian coast near the village of Scilla, opposite CapePeloro on Sicily. See Ernle Bradford ‘Ulysses Found’ Ch.20)

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


A friend of Horace and Torquatus.

BkIEpV:1-31 To be invited to dinner.


The unknown friend of Odes II.6.

BkIEpIX:1-13 A letter of introduction written for him.

Servilius, see Balatro

Servius (1)

Probably the son of the lawyer Servius Sulpicius Rufus, a friend of Cicero.

(See also the writer of erotic verse mentioned in Ovid Tristia 2.441)

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

Servius (2), see Oppidius


The Mediterranean island, west of Italy. Called also Sicania, and Trinacris from its triangular shape.

BkIISatVI:40-58 Here called Triquetra, three-cornered. Octavian’s veterans who fought at Actium hoped to be granted land there.

BkIEpXII:1-29 Agrippa’s estates there.

BkIIEpI:34-62 Epicharmus came from there.

AP:438-476 Empedocles came from there.


The city of the Phoenicians in the Lebanon . Home of Europa.

BkIEpX:26-50 Associated with Tyre, the source of Tyrian purple dyed cloth.


Silenus and his sons the Satyrs were originally primitive mountaineers of northern Greece who became stock comic characters in Attic drama. He was called an autochthon, or son of Pan by one of the nymphs. He was Bacchus’s tutor, portrayed usually as a drunken old man with an old pack-ass, who is unable to tell truth from lies.( See the copy of the sculpture attributed to Lysippus, ‘Silenus holding the infant Bacchus’ in the Vatican )

AP:220-250 A character in the Satyr plays.


An ancient Italian god of forests, and open country. When untilled land was cultivated offerings were made to the god.

BkIIEpI:118-155 Propitiated with milk.


An old man.

AP:220-250 A character in low comedy.


A town in Latium on the Appian Way, near the modern Mondragone.

BkISatV:34-70 Horace passed through on his journey to Brindisi, meeting Virgil there.

BkIEpV:1-31 Wine from near there. The battle of Trifanum with associations for Torquatus was fought nearby.


The daughters of Acheloüs, the Acheloïdes, companions of Proserpina, turned to woman-headed birds, or women with the legs of birds, and luring the sailors of passing ships with their sweet song. They searched for Proserpine on land, and were turned to birds so that they could search for her by sea. (There are various lists of their names, but Ernle Bradford suggests two triplets: Thelxinoë, the Enchantress; Aglaope, She of the Beautiful Face, and Peisinoë, the Seductress: and his preferred triplet Parthenope, the Virgin Face; Ligeia, the Bright Voice; and Leucosia, the White One – see ‘Ulysses Found’ Ch.17. Robert Graves in the index to the ‘The Greek Myths’ adds Aglaophonos, Molpe, Raidne, Teles, and Thelxepeia.) (See Draper’s painting – Ulysses and the Sirens – Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, England, and Gustave Moreau’s watercolour in the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard)

BkIISatIII:1-30 BkIEpII:1-31 The archetypal seducers of men (Odyssey 12.39).


Sirius the Dog-star is in the constellation of Canis Major near Orion, which rises in August and is associated with dry parching weather. Supposedly it represents the dog Maera, that discovered the body of Icarius.

BkISatVII:1-35 Mentioned.

BkIEpX:1-25 Associated with the ‘dog-days’ of mid-summer.



BkISatVII:1-35 A foul-mouthed person.

Sisyphus (1)

A dwarf belonging to Marcus Antonius.

BkISatIII:25-54 Mentioned.

Sisyphus (2)

The mythical founder of Corinth.

BkIISatIII:1-30 Corinth was famous for its bronzes. Sisyphus’ footbath mentioned by Aeschylus would have been a rare antique.


The modern Izmir, in Asia Minor on the Aegean.

BkIEpXI:1-30 A famous trading port.


The Athenian Greek philosopher (c469-399BC), Plato’s teacher. An ethical philosopher with an emphasis on logic, and the ‘Socratic method’ of interrogation to reveal inconsistency. He was charged with atheism and corruption of the young and was condemned to die by drinking hemlock. See Plato’s Phaedo, Symposium etc.

AP:295-332 There was no Socratic School as such. Horace here means various moral philosophers. The Minor Socratic Schools, influenced to some lesser or greater degree by Socrates, include those of Euclid of Megara (not the mathematician), Phaedo of Elis, the Cynics including Antisthenes and Diogenes, the Cyrenaics including Aristippus, and the Atomists including Democritus of Abdera.


The Greek Tragic Dramatist (c496-406BC). He developed the more static dcrama of Aeschylus. Seven of his one hundred and twenty three plays survive, notably the Theban trilogy. He was a friend of Pericles and held several civil and administrative posts.

BkIIEpI:156-181 A model for Roman playwrights.


Two brothers who ran a publishing firm.

BkIEpXX:1-28 Pumice was used for trimming book rolls and removing hair from the surface. Horace represents his book as a young slave-boy in an extended double-entendre.

AP:333-365 A potential best-seller for them.


A miser.

BkIISatIII:82-110 His will.


Stoic philosopher.

BkIISatIII:31-63 Damasippus’ mentor. His words of wisdom.

BkIISatIII:281-299 His concluding remarks.

BkIEpXII:1-29 An example of a Stoic philosopher.


A member of the school of philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium at Athens about 300BC. They used the Stoa Poikile, the Painted Porch, built about 460BC, which was decorated with paintings by Polygnotus. One represented the Battle of Marathon. Stoics believed in a Universe controlled by Reason, that human souls were sparks of divine fire, and that the wise man lived in harmony with nature. Later Stoicism stressed active virtue and duty. Epictetus taught that all men were brothers.

BkIISatIII:31-63 Chrysippus, a member of the school.

BkIISatIII:142-167 Stertinius the speaker is a Stoic.

BkIISatIII:300-326 Damasippus is addressed as a Stoic.


Persuasion or Charm, personified.

BkIEpVI:28-48 Those with money receive the powers of charm and persuasion too (Horace is being ironic)


A satirist or informer.

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


Lucius Cornelius Sulla, the dictator (c138-78BC). An opponent of Marius and Cinna, he stormed Rome in 87 and forced them to flee. Outlawed on their return, he campaigned to defeat Mithidrates, and in 83 invaded Italy and took Rome . Elected dictator, he butchered his opponents but retired in 79 after restoring the Senate’s constitutional powers.

BkISatII:64-85 His notorious daughter, Fausta.

Surrentum, Sorrento

The city at the south end of the Bay of Naples, now Sorrento.

BkIISatIV:40-69 A way to improve its cheap wine.

BkIEpXVII:33-62 A distant destination.

Syrus (1)

A slave name.

BkISatVI:1-44 Mentioned.

Syrus (2)

A gladiator.

BkIISatVI:40-58 Mentioned.


Unknown. Perhaps a freedman of Maecenas.

BkISatI:92-121 He represents one extreme of a polar opposite.


The king of Phrygia, son of Jupiter, father of Pelops and Niobe. He served his son Pelops to the gods at a banquet and was punished by eternal thirst in Hades.

BkISatI:61-91 A symbol of unattainable desire.


A wealthy city and old Greek colony in Calabria in Southern Italy, now Taranto.

BkISatVI:89-109 A place where the rich had landed estates.

BkIISatIV:24-39 Noted for its luxurious living. A source of the broad scallops eaten in Rome.

BkIEpVII:29-45 Peaceful compared with Rome.

BkIEpXVI:1-24 Its leafy tranquillity.

BkIIEpI:182-213 A source of purple dyes.

Tarpa, see Maecius


Tarquinius Superbus (the Proud) was the (possibly mythical) seventh and last King of Rome, and son of Lucius Tarquinius Priscus. He ruled according to Roman tradition from 534 to 510BC. He was finally expelled from the city.

BkISatVI:1-44 Driven from Rome in the ‘Flight of the Kings’.


Titus Statilius Taurus was consul for a second time in 26BC.

BkIEpV:1-31 The wine was bottled in his consulship.

Teanum, Teano

Teanum Sidicinum, now Teano, inland in Campania, about thirty miles north of Baiae.

BkIEpI:70-109 Rich men built villas there.


The son of Ulysses and Penelope.

BkIEpVII:29-45 He gave the equivalent of this answer to Menelaus in Homer’s Odyssey (iv 601).


King of Mysia, son of Hercules and the nymph Auge. He was wounded and healed by the touch of Achilles’ spear at Troy, after begging Achilles to save him.

AP:73-118 An example of a tragic beggar.


The Earth, worshipped as a deity.

BkIIEpI:118-155 Sacrifices to her.

Terentius, Terence

Publius Terentius Afer (c195-c160BC) an ex-slave from North Africa, born in Carthage, who adapted the plays of Menander and Apollodorus for the Roman stage, often blending material from different plays, in a sophisticated and realistic manner. Six plays are extant.

BkISatII:1-22 A reference to his play Heauton Timorumenos, or The Masochist, where the father Menedemus punishes himself with hard labour after treating his son Clinias harshly.

BkIISatII:70-88 The phrase cena dubia, a doubtful feast, one that confuses the diner with choice, became proverbial. Terence uses it in Phormio 342.

BkIEpXIX:21-49 The phrase hinc illae lacrimae, hence the tears, was used literally by Terence in his Andria (l. 125) where Pamphilus shed tears at the funeral of Chrysis. It became proverbial (See Cicero Pro Cael. 25.61)

BkIIEpI:34-62 Noted for his refined artistic style.

BkIIEpI:182-213 A proverbial saying: wasted labour is like surdo fabellam narrare, talking to the deaf. (See Terence’s Heaut.222). A Greek saying adds the ass or donkey.


The son of Telamon and Hesione, half-brother of Ajax, cousin of Achilles. He founded Salamis in Cyprus, having been born on the Greek island ofSalamis that was the scene of the naval battle against the Persians.

BkIISatIII:187-223 Ajax did not harm him in his madness.


The city in Boeotia founded by Cadmus.

BkIISatV:70-88 The city from which Tiresias came.

BkIEpIII:1-36 The city from which Pindar came.

BkIEpXVI:46-79 Pentheus was king there. The city was noted for its worship of Bacchus-Dionysus.

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

AP:73-118 The setting for the Theban Trilogy of Sophocles.

AP:366-407 Its walls were built magically by Amphion.


The bite of Theon’s tooth was proverbial for slander, though the source is unknown.

BkIEpXVIII:67- 85 The danger of association.


The semi-legendary Greek poet (6thcentury BC). Traditionally he was the inventor of tragic theatre, winning a prize at Athens in c534BC. He introduced a single actor into the previously wholly choral scene, and introduced the wearing of linen masks.

BkIIEpI:156-181 A model for Roman playwrights.

AP:275-294 Inventor of Tragic theatre.


The region in northern Greece . Its old name was Haemonia.

BkIIEpII:180-216 Famous for witchcraft.


The country bordering the Black Sea, Propontis and the northeastern Aegean.

BkIISatVI:40-58 BkIEpXVIII:1-36 Noted for its fierce fighting-men. Here, a gladiator. The Thracian gladiators were armed with scimitars and round shields.

BkIEpIII:1-36 A border of the Empire.

BkIEpXVI:1-24 The Hebrus its major river.


Lucanian town on the Tarentine Gulf.

BkIISatVIII:20-41 Viscus, from there.


Son of Pelops. His two sons were cooked and served to him, by his brother Atreus, as a revenge during their feud.

AP:73-118 A subject for tragedy.


The River Tiber on which Rome is situated, named after King Tiberinus who drowned there. Also called the Tevere in modern times. Noted for the yellow sands carried by the waters.

BkIISatI:1-23 Horace is advised to swim across it to help him sleep.

BkIISatII:23-52 Two bridges Pons Cestius and Pons Fabricius connected the island, the Insula Tiberina with the right and left banks. The main sewer discharged into the Tiber between the Aemilian and the Sublician Bridges.

BkIISatIII:281-299 Its riverbanks the scene of superstitious ritual.

BkIEpXI:1-30 Its stream a nostalgic memory for a Roman.

Tiberius (1), see Claudius

Tiberius (2)

Son of Oppidius.

BkIISatIII:168-186 A potential miser.


Albius Tibullus (c.54-19BC) the elegiac poet and friend of Ovid, whose patron was Messalla Corvinus. He accompanied Messalla on a campaign in Gaulin 31 for which Messalla celebrated a triumph in 27, the year Tibullus returned to Rome.

BkIEpIV:1-16 Horace addresses this epistle to Albius whom I take to be Tibullus.

Tibur, Tivoli

A small town on the Anio, in the Sabine hills, twenty miles northeast of Rome, the modern Tivoli.

BkISatVI:89-109 A place of resort for wealthy Romans.

BkIISatIV:70-95 Its apples from the famous orchards there.

BkIEpVII:29-45 Free and easy compared with Rome.

BkIEpVIII:1-17 An alternative to Rome.

BkIIEpII:1-25 A trained house-slave from there.



BkISatII:1-22 A generous Sardinian singer who had died recently.

BkISatIII:1-24 Notorious for his inconsistencies.


Possibly a brother of Tillius Cimber one of Julius Caesar’s assassins. Removed previously from the Senate by Caesar he later resumed his senatorial honours and became a military tribune and also a praetor. BkISatVI:1-44 Envied for his status. The Senators wore the laticlave or broad stripe of purple on their tunics, and a peculiar shoe fastened by four black thongs round the legs.

BkISatVI:89-109 A symbol of wealth and authority.


A rhetorician and historian from Alexandria . He travelled to Rome in 55BC. He knew Augustus but incurred displeasure by criticism of the Imperial family.

BkIEpXIX:1-20 His witty and eloquent style of speaking.


The Theban sage who was blinded by Juno-Hera but given the power of prophecy by Jupiter-Zeus.

BkIISatV:1-22 He was summoned by Ulysses in the Underworld (Homer: Odyssey Book XI) to answer his questions regarding his return to Ithaca.


A Fury. The Furies, The Three Sisters, were Alecto, Tisiphone and Megaera, the daughters of Night and Uranus. They were the personified pangs of cruel conscience that pursued the guilty. (See Aeschylus – The Eumenides). Their abode was in Hades by the Styx.

BkISatVIII:23-50 The witches call on her.


Possibly a pseudonym for the lyric poet Varius who wrote tragedies, such as Thyestes performed in 29BC after Actium

BkIEpIII:1-36 Horace suggests he studied Pindar and the Greek sources.


A friend of Horace, and descendant of Titus Manlius Torquatus who killed a Gaul in single combat, and after a battle at Trifanum in 340BC had his son executed for disobedience in the field. This gave rise to the phrase imperia Manlia for a severe order. Trifanum was fought near Sinuessa. The Torquatus concerned here might be Aulus who was said to have fought with Brutus and Cassius at Philippi.

BkIEpV:1-31 Horace makes play of ‘obeying orders’, and the wine’s location to point up the associations.



BkIISatII:89-111 Poor and extravagant.


Gaius Trebatius Testa, a distinguished jurist, recommended to Caesar by Cicero as his legal advisor. He was respected by Augustus also. From Cicero ’s letters to him (Ad fam VII: 6-22) we learn he was a good swimmer and a hard drinker.

BkIISatI:1-23 Horace turns to him for advice.

BkIISatI:47-86 He gives his legal opinion!



BkISatIV:107-143 His reputation suffered from chasing a married woman.

Trivicum, Trevico

A town in Apulia.

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


Troy in Dardania, the famous city of the Troad in Asia Minor near the northern Aegean Sea and the entrance to the Hellespont . The scene of the Trojan War.

BkIISatIII:187-223 Agamemnon was the leader of the Greeks there.

BkIISatV:1-22 Ulysses was one of the main Greek heroes at Troy.

BkIEpII:1-31 AP:119-152 The story of the War is narrated in Homer’s Iliad.


Servius Tullius, sixth king of Rome, said to have been the son of a female slave.

BkISatVI:1-44 His low birth.


A gladiator of small stature.

BkIISatIII:300-326 Mentioned.


Unknown. A corrupt judge.

BkIISatI:47-86 Mentioned.

Tuscus, Etruscans, Tyrrheni, see Etruscus


The children of Tyndareus, King of Sparta. Castor, Pollux, Helen and Clytmenestra. His wife was Leda.

BkISatI:92-121 Probably a reference to Clytemnestra’s muder of her husband Agamemnon.

AP:119-152 Helen and the others were born from eggs laid by Leda after her rape by Jupiter.


The city of the Phoenicians in the Lebanon, famed for its purple dyes used on clothing, obtained from the murex shell-fish.

BkIISatIV:70-95 Tyrian damask for upholstery.

BkIEpVI:1-27 The Tyrian purple dyes.


A Greek elegiac poet of the 7th century BC. Tradition has it that he was a lame Attic schoolmaster who composed marching songs and martial elegies for the Spartans.

AP:366-407 His poetry.


The Greek hero, son of Laërtes. See Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey.

BkIISatIII:187-223 Ajax attempted to kill him.

BkIISatV:1-22 Homer describes him as a ‘man of many resources’, cunning and subtle. Here Ulysses quizzes Tiresias on how to return home wealthy, an ironic development of Odyssey XI.

BkIEpII:1-31 An example of a man of clear mind, who avoided foolishness and so survived.

BkIEpVI:49-68 His crew slaughtered the Cattle of the Sun instead of obeying orders to head for home. His homeland was Ithaca.

BkIEpVII:29-45 His son Telemachus.


A decaying town in the Pomptine marshes where the frogs were very noisy ( Cicero, Ad fam vii.81).

BkIEpXI:1-30 You would need a calm mind to stand the place!


Of the Umbri a tribe of Northern Italy . The Umbrian region is in central Italy.

BkIISatIV:40-69 Umbria the source of the best tasting wild boar.


The assignee of a farm. Probably a veteran rewarded after Philippi in 42 BC.

BkIISatII:112-136 He was assigned the farm previously belonging to Ofellus.


A rich miser.

BkISatI:92-121 Proverbial miserliness.


On the coast of North Africa near Carthage.

BkIEpXX:1-28 Provincial but part of the extended Empire.


An ancient Sabine war-goddess. Popular etymology associated her name with the verb vacare, to be idle.

BkIEpX:26-50 There was an temple of Vacuna near Horace’s farm.


A member of the Numonius Vala family, a friend of Horace. Quintus Numonius Vala was a prominent figure in Paestum (half way between Velia and Salernum) but may not be the Vala in question.

BkIEpXV:1-25 This letter addressed to him.


Publius Valerius Publicola colleague of Brutus in the consulship of 509BC.

BkISatVI:1-44 Ancestor of Laevinus.


Gaius Valgius Rufus, an elegiac poet. Consul in 12BC.

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

Varia, VicoVaro

A town on the Anio, now Vicovaro, a few miles south of Horace’s Sabine farm.

BkIEpXIV:1-30 The neighbouring market town.


Lucius Varius, tragic and epic poet, edited the Aeneid with Plotius after the death of Virgil, performing the role of literary executors. He wrote tragedies, such as Thyestes performed in 29BC after Actium, and an epic On Death. Rufus, possibly synonymous with him, is given as a poet in Ovid’s list of his lesser contemporaries (Ex Ponto IV.16.28.)

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

BkISatV:71-104 And leaves it at Canusium.

BkISatVI:45-64 He had originally recommended Horace to Maecenas.

BkISatIX:1-34 A close friend.

BkISatX:31-49 His epic style.

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

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

BkIIEpI:245-270 He was favoured by Augustus.

AP:38-72 An example of a great modern writer entitled to coin new words and phrases.


Publius Terentius Varro called Atacinus from his birth-place on the River Atax (Aude) in Gallia Narbonenis. Born 82BC. He wrote the Argonautica after Apllonius and a number of elegies. He also wrote an epic on Caesar’s campaign of 58 BC.

BkISatX:31-49 A writer of Satires according to Horace.


A cognomen associated with the Quintilii family.

BkISatIII:25-54 A polite name meaning knock-kneed or crooked.


A gladiator.

BkIEpI:1-19 He retired to the country.


An old town in Etruria taken by Camillus, near Isola Farnese, about ten miles north-west of Rome.

BkIISatIII:142-167 Its cheap wine.

BkIIEpII:155-179 Farmland there.


The low ground between the Capitol and Palatine Hills.

BkIISatIII:224-246 A working-class area.


A Greek colony on the coast of Lucania about seventy miles south-east of Naples, founded in the middle of the sixth century BC. Also called Elea and associated with the Eleatic school of philosophy.

BkIEpXV:1-25 Horace seeks information about it.

Veline Tribe

One of the thirty-five tribes of Roman citizens.

BkIEpVI:49-68 A powerful citizen in a tribe in turn exerted influence beyond it.

Venafrum, Venafro

The northernmost town of Campania, now Venafro.

BkIISatIV:40-69 BkIISatVIII:42-78 Its prized olive oil.


Venuculan grapes, a variety of grape mentioned by Columella (III.2.2) and Pliny (Natural History XIV.4.34)

BkIISatIV:70-95 Suitable for preserving.


The Goddess of Love. The daughter of Jupiter and Dione. She is Aphrodite, born from the waves, an incarnation of Astarte, Goddess of the Phoenicians. The mother of Cupid by Mars. (See Botticelli’s painting – Venus and Mars – National Gallery, London )

BkIEpVI:28-48 Those with money receive love too (Horace is being ironic)


An old Samnite town in Apulia where Horace was born.

BkIISatI:24-46 Near the border with Lucania.

Vergil, Virgil

Publius Vergilius Maro (70-19BC), the poet. Born at Mantua . He died of fever after returning from a voyage to Greece and was buried at Naples . His Aeneid asserted the Trojan origins of ancient Rome. His Eclogues and Georgics covered pastoral and agricultural subjects.

BkISatV:34-70 He meets Horace and others at Sinuessa.

BkISatVI:45-64 He had originally introduced Horace to Maecenas.

BkISatX:31-49 His Eclogues set a new plain but graceful and tender style in Latin pastoral verse.

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

BkIIEpI:245-270 He was favoured by Augustus.

AP:38-72 An example of a great modern writer entitled to coin new words and phrases.


An ancient Italian god, of the seasons and their produce. He was the god of the changing seasons, able to alter his appearance and shape, and also the god of buying and selling. His statue stood at the end of the Vicus Tuscus where it entered the Forum.

BkIISatVII:1-20 His many faces.

BkIEpXX:1-28 The booksellers stalls near his statue in the Forum.


The daughter of Saturn, the Greek Hestia. The goddess of fire. The ‘shining one’. Every hearth had its Vesta, and she presided over the preparation of meals and was offered first food and drink. Her priestesses were the six Vestal Virgins. Her chief festival was the Vestalia in June. The Virgins took a strict vow of chastity and served for thirty years. They enjoyed enormous prestige, and were preceded by a lictor when in public. Breaking of their vow resulted in whipping and death. There were twenty recorded instances in eleven centuries.

BkISatIX:35-78 The Temple of Vesta.

BkIIEpII:87-125 Vesta’s sanctuary was the ultimate sacred space for the Romans, and referred back to the origins of Rome . It is therefore a place where Horace envisages obsolete words lingering, on the communal hearth, and round the sacred flame, until brought back to the light of day, the greater fire.

Via Sacra

The Sacred Way, the street in the Roman Forum leading to the Capitol. Triumphal processions took its route. The haunt of prostitutes and a source of cheap gifts from the shops there.

BkISatIX:1-34 Horace is strolling there.


A hanger-on to Maecenas.

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


Sextus Villius Annalis.

BkISatII:64-85 His adulterous relationship with Sulla’s daughter, Fausta, was so notorious it gained him the nickname of ‘Sulla’s son-in-law.’


Vinius Asina, or Asellus. There was a well-known strong man called Vinnius Valens, a centurion in Augustus’ Praetorian Guard and this might be a jest at his expense.

BkIEpXIII:1-19 He or his father has the cognomen Asina, allowing a pun on the load-bearing ass, asinus.


One of the two sons of the knight Vibius Viscus, a friend of Augustus.

BkISatIX:1-34 A friend of Horace.

BkISatX:72-92 Horace seeks his, and his brother’s, approval of his literary efforts.

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



BkISatI:92-121 His father-in-law represents one extreme of a polar opposite.


A parasite.

BkIISatVII:1-20 Gambling his main vice.


The blacksmith of the gods. Worshipped on Lemnos.

BkISatV:71-104 Manifested as fire.

Volteius Mena, see Mena


A thief.

BkISatVIII:23-50 Mentioned.


The Greek philosopher (396-314 BC) who defended the philosophy of Plato against the criticism of Aristotle. As head of the Academy in the fourth century, Xenocrates held forth the quasi-Pythagorean view that the Platonic Forms, including even the individual human soul, are all numbers.

BkIISatIII:247-280 He converted Polemon to his philosophy.


The huntsman, son of Jupiter and Antiope, and brother of Amphion 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.