Odes I.20

Latin English



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.

Come, drink with me -- cheap Sabine, to be
sure, and out of common tankards, yet wine
that I with my own hand put up and sealed in
a Grecian jar, on the day,

dear Knight Maecenas, when such applause was
paid thee in the Theatre that with one accord
the banks of thy native stream and the sportive
echo of Mount Vatican returned thy praises.

Then thou shalt drink Caecuban and the juice
of grapes crushed by Cales' presses; my cups
are flavoured neither with the product of
Falernum's vines nor of the Formian hills.

In Odes I.20 Horace invites his friend, the wealthy and powerful Maecenas, to drink wine with him. Since the wine is Sabine, the poem is sometimes understood as a poem of invitation, in which Horace asks Maecenas to visit his villa. Gaius Cilnius Maecenas descended from one of the leading families of the Etruscan city of Arretium. He was born in ca. 70 B.C. and died in 8 B.C. A supporter of the triumvirs, he fought at Philippi in 42 and became a confidante and political ally of Octavian. Horace was buried next to him on the grounds of Maecenas' villa on the Esquiline in Rome. The relief on the left is from the Ara Pacis. The man portrayed is sometimes identified as Maecenas.

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Epistles: 1.7 | 1.10 | 1.14 | 1.16 | 1.18
Epode: 2
Odes: 1.17 | 1.20 | 1.22 | 2.13 | 2.17 | 2.18 | 3.1 | 3.4 | 3.8 | 3.13 | 3.18 | 3.22 | 3.23 | 3.29
Satires: 2.3 | 2.6 | 2.7
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