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Queen's University
 

Student Theses - 2006

Pattern I

Old age, ageing and death in Horace's Odes : a study of the interpretation and meaning of old age and death in the Odes of Quintus Horatius Flaccus

MacAuley, Aara E.

This thesis explores Horace's representation and interpretation of old age, ageing and death in his four books of Odes. It attempts to disprove the presentation of Horace either as a pessimist or a careless hedonist, and instead explores the positive and meaningful messages to be found within his poetry.

The thesis begins with an introductory survey of the history and literature of old age in Greek and Roman times as well as a brief biography of Horace, and a survey of the relevant literature on the topics of both Horace and old age in the ancient world. This introduction is followed by three further chapters, which group Horace's odes on old age into three broad categories: seasonal poems (in which old age is associated with winter and youth with spring), moralising poems (in which Horace attempts to guide his friends towards a proper way of living before it is too late), and love poetry (in which Horace plays with the convention that old age is a time of free sexual activities and desires).

Each chapter will begin with a brief introduction to the major topic being addressed, and will follow with individual analyses of the relevant poems. The goal of this thesis is to reveal the positive message that Horace offers to his readers, and to argue that Horace's view of old age, far from being one of hopeless decline, loneliness or careless hedonism, is of a peaceful, contemplative and ultimately welcome time of life worthy of celebration and enjoyment.

The exordia of Cicero in select murder and extortion trials : a study of style, structure and correspondence

Sirman, William G.

This thesis is a study of the exordia of four judicial speeches of Cicero, In Verrem actio prima, Pro Fonteio, Pro Cluentio and Pro Caelio. The purpose is to assess their correspondence with the precepts of oratory that Cicero advanced in his own writings on the subject of exordia and to determine whether any departures from those dictates may be related to the applicable strategy for the conduct of the trial.

The introductory chapter contains a brief chronology of the speeches followed by a review of current literature on the practice of assessing the correspondence of exordia. There is a detailed section on Cicero's writings on the exordium with the emphasis on the De Inventione and a section that describes the particular crimes and courts involved in each trial. Literary concerns are then addressed with a review of the Attic-Asiatic controversy as well as the issue of publication versus authenticity. This writer opines that the latter debate is insignificant in the case of exordia, since the beginnings of speeches were written out prior to delivery.

In the ensuing chapters, the speeches are placed individually in their respective historical context, and thereafter, their style, structure and diction are analyzed and conclusions drawn with respect to correspondence. Particular focus is placed in the analysis on whether the diametrically different rhetorical features known as Attic or Asiatic are present and their contribution to the discerned strategic approach.

In the overall summary, this writer concludes that in the exordia which have been examined, departures from Cicero's own tenets on how one should craft an exordium to achieve its desired ends can be explained with reference to forensic strategy and that the exordia exhibit a stylistic variety which consists of both Attic and Asiatic elements.

Pattern II

The lion and the mouse: fables in the satires and the epistles of Horace

Jordan, Cara T.

Horace was well versed in the use of metaphors and exempla, and thus he takes advantage of the metaphorical use of fables for clever criticism in the Satires, or, conversely, in the Epistlesfor admonition with tact and gentle persuasion. Fables are particularly suited to Horace, as he does not acknowledge adherence to any philosophical school (Epistle 1.1.13-15: nullius addictus iurare in verba magistri), but rather draws his exempla from many quarters. He acquired his ideas not only through study but also through experience and contemplation. In his use of fables there is certainly a reflection of his common subject of daily life and country life, and of the masses who had little to do with Stoicism or Epicureanism, but whose philosophy was "vigorous common sense, and was learned from living, not from conning books."1 We get the sense that simple country wisdom is still the best. In examining each of these fables in regards to its form, context, purpose and source, it is possible to gain a deeper understanding of Horace's use of fables and their larger significance within the Satires and the Epistles.

1Showerman 1922: 35.

Department of Classics, 505 Watson Hall
Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6.
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