Chapter Five. The Epodes: Genre, Themes, and Arrangement*

  1. Gregson Davis
  1. David Mankin PhD Associate Professor

Published Online: 8 FEB 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444319187.ch5

A Companion to Horace

A Companion to Horace

How to Cite

Mankin, D. (2010) The Epodes: Genre, Themes, and Arrangement*, in A Companion to Horace (ed G. Davis), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444319187.ch5

Editor Information

  1. Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Professor, Department of Classical Studies, Duke University, USA

Author Information

  1. Cornell University, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 8 FEB 2010
  2. Published Print: 12 MAR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405155403

Online ISBN: 9781444319187



  • Horatian lyric - literary contexts;
  • Epodes - genre, themes and arrangement*;
  • Epode collection, Horace's book of poems, Epodes or Iambi - poems of diverse length;
  • declaration of friendship for Maecenas - in times of crisis;
  • Parian Iambi - diversity of poems in the Epode collection;
  • Horace, referring to his poems as iambi - indicating they belong to a single literary genre;
  • third passage, containing Horace's fullest account - of what he had in mind with the Epodes;
  • Horace's main concern - vindicating himself and his poetry;
  • Horace's use of term “Parian iambi ” - for justifying his claim of “primacy”;
  • Annus horribilis - exploring possibilities of generic and thematic unity


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • The Epode collection

  • Parian Iambi

  • Res et agentia uerba

  • Annus horribilis

  • Criminosis…modum pones iambis (Odes 1.16.2–3)