The Epodes are a collection of short Latin poems in various lyric metres. They were written in the thirties B.C. [The Teubner source text lists 30 B.C.E. as the year the collection was published. -- Webmaster.] The Epodes, which Horace referred to as iambi, 'iambics', were professed imitations of Archilochus [the inventor of this lyric metre, according to Lewis & Short Dictionary. -- Webmaster.]. They consist of seventeen poems, eleven in iambic metre, and six in a combination of iambics and dactyls. Their name denotes the form of the metres: an epode is, metrically speaking, the second, shorter, line of a couplet, and thence is applied to short poems written in this way. Horace tells us himself (Epistulae I. 19. 23) that he followed the metres and spirit of Archilochus but not the latter's subject matter or words. Some of the Epodes are on political themes (notably 16, a lament over the fate of Rome, now apparently about to be destroyed by civil strife), some are lampoons on personal enemies, some of love and miscellaneous subjects. Epodes 1 and 9 are notable poems expressing the poet's feelings at the time of the battle of Actium (31 B.C.), when Octavian defeated Antony and Cleopatra. Epode 13 is a fine poem on a theme--drink as a remedy against bad weather, with symbolic undertones--that was to become familiar with the Odes.
-- "Odes and Epodes", The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature, ed. M. C. Howatson, Oxford UP: Oxford, 1989.
NOTE: For those of you knowledgable in Latin and wondering why the title seems like a weird Latin construction, the word for Epodes is Greek, obviously taken by the Romans and Latinized. The Greek word is epoidos (pronounced ay-POI-dohs), and Epodon (pronounced ay-poh-DOHN) is the Latinized Greek Genitive plural.
|Epodon Liber:||Latin Text||The source of the Latin text is Horatius Carmina, editio minor, ed. Fr. Vollmer, Teubner: Leipzig, 1917.|
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