This introductory chapter discusses the theme of this volume which is about the Horace's poem Carmen Saeculare, which is one of the neglected masterpieces of the literature of Augustan Rome. This volume explores the poem's politics based on its commissioning by the Roman emperor, the circumstances of its creation, and its specific contents. It establishes an intellectual background within Horace's previous lyric oeuvre against which to test Carmen Saeculare and analyzes the ode's ritual connection with secular renewal and how patterns of repetition stand as metaphor for the religious recurrences of which it tells.
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