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Horace Odes

1.20

Read and translated by George Sharpley

Recordings © the LATIN QVARTER, 2016

Maecenas is Horace's patron and friend, one of the very few whom Augustus trusted implicitly throughout his rise to power. Consequently Maecenas is

now hugely influential, yet apparently content to be a mere 'equestrian' and not a senator. Having recovered from an illness, Maecenas was greeted in the

theatre with applause (where he would have sat behind the senators along with other equestrians). In the poem Horace invites Maecenas to come and share

some of his local wine which he bottled on the same day.

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Vile potabis modicis Sabinum
cantharis, Graeca quod ego ipse testa
conditum levi, datus in theatro
      cum tibi plausus,

care Maecenas eques, ut paterni
fluminis ripae simul et iocosa
redderet laudes tibi Vaticani
      montis imago.

Caecubum et prelo domitam Caleno
tu bibes uvam: mea nec Falernae
temperant vites neque Formiani
      pocula colles.

You will knock back cheap Sabine from ordinary tankards, which I myself bottled and sealed in a Greek jar, on the day when applause was given to you in the theatre,

 

my dear Maecenas Eques, such that the banks of your ancestral river rippled with your praises and so too the playful echo of the Vatican Hill.

 

You will again drink Caecuban and the grape crushed by the press in Cales: but neither Falernian vines nor those on the hillsides of Formiae flavour my cups.

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