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Horace's "Carmen Saeculare" – Ritual Magic and the Poet`s Art - Yale Scholarship Online
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Horace's "Carmen Saeculare": Ritual Magic and the Poet`s Art

Michael C. J. Putnam


This is the first book devoted to Horace's Carmen Saeculare, a poem commissioned by Roman emperor Augustus in 17 bce for choral performance at the Ludi Saeculares, the Secular Games. The poem is the first fully preserved Latin hymn whose circumstances of presentation are known, and it is the only lyric of Horace we can be certain was first presented orally. The book offers a close and sensitive reading of this hymn, shedding new light on the richness and virtuosity of its poetry, on the many sources Horace drew on, and on the poem's power and significance as a public ritual. A rich and compell ... More

Keywords: Augustus, choral performance, Secular Games, Latin hymn, public ritual, lyric poet, poetry, sources, Rome

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2001 Print ISBN-13: 9780300083330
Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300083330.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Michael C. J. Putnam, author