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Phoebus volentem proelia me loqui       1
Victas et urbes increpuit lyra
Ne parva Tyrrhenum per aequor
Vela darem. Tua, Caesar, aetas

Fruges et agris rettulit uberes             2
Et signa nostro restituit Jovi
Derepta Parthorum superbis
Postibus et vacuum duellis

Janum Quirini clausit et ordinem          3
Rectum
evaganti frena licentiae
Injecit emovitque culpas
Et veteres revocavit artes

Per quas Latinum nomen et Italae         4
Crevere vires famaque et imperi
Porrecta majestas ad ortus
Solis ab Hesperio cubili.

Custode rerum Caesare non furor         5
Civilis aut vis exiget otium,
Non ira quae procudit enses
Et miseras inimicat urbes.

Non qui profundum Danubium bibunt      6
Edicta rumpent Julia, non Getae,
Non Seres infidive Persae,
Non Tanain prope flumen orti.

Nosque et profestis lucibus et sacris  7
Inter jocosi munera Liberi
Cum prole matronisque nostris
Rite deos prius adprecati,

Virtute functos more patrum duces   8
Lydis remixto carmine tibiis
Trojamque et Anchisen et almae
Progeniem Veneris canemus.


Horace, Odes, Liber Quartus, XV.
Published by Nisard, Paris, 1845

 
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In this activity, you must think starting from the lexicon. A Latin/English dictionary is not necessary. Call upon your knowledge !

A- In stanzas 2 and 3, study the words in blue : what is the prefix of the different verbs ? What is the meaning of veteres revocavit artes ? What is the subject of these different verbs ? Which aspect of Augustus' exploits is underlined here ?

B- Which field of action is mentioned first in the first verse of stanza 2 : Fruges et agris rettulit uberes ?

C- In the third stanza, to which lexical field do the words in green belong ? Which domain does Augustus' action refer to here ?

D- Which geographical areas are mentioned in stanzas 4 and 5 ? Now specify how Augustus contributed to each area, referring to the words in red.

E- Here is a translation of stanza 6 : "Nobody breaks the Julian laws, neither those who drink the deep waters of the Danube, nor the Getes, nor the Seres, nor the treacherous Persians, nor those born by the river Tanaïs." The people were encouraged to be submissive to the Roman power by the virtue of peace. Find the verses in the text which mention the re-establishment of peace.

F- Translate the last two stanzas. Lexicon of the text.
- Who are the participants in the religious ceremony ? Can you explain, based on what you know of Augustus' politics, why Horace gives this order ?
- Why is it important that the ceremony takes place "rite" ?
- To what lexical field do the words in purple belong ?
- Which elements are mentioned in the carmen ? Explain why they are mentioned.

G- Examine the arrangement of the poem :
- What is mentioned by Horace in stanzas 2 - 6 (summarize the answers from questions A to E).
- Why does he end his poem with two stanzas mentioning a religious ceremony ? In other words, what link you can establish between stanzas 2 - 6 and stanzas 7 and 8 ?