Today's Featured Biography
Quintus Horatius Flaccus [Horace], Latin poet and satirist, was born near Venusia, in Southern Italy, on December 8, 65 B.C. His father was a manumitted slave, who as a collector of taxes or an auctioneer had saved enough money to buy a small estate, and thus belonged to the same class of small Italian freeholders as the parents of Virgil. Apparently Horace was an only child, and as such received an education almost beyond his father's means; who, instead of sending him to school at Venusia, took him to Rome, provided him with the dress and attendance customary among boys of the upper classes, and sent him to the best masters. At seventeen or eighteen he proceeded to Athens, then the chief school of philosophy, and one of the three great schools of oratory, to complete his education; and he was still there when the murder of Julius Caesar, March 15, 44 B.C., rekindled the flames of civil war.
In the autumn of this year, Brutus, then propraetor of Macedonia, visited Athens while levying troops. Horace joined his side; and such was the scarcity of Roman officers, that though barely twenty-one, and totally without military experience, he was at once given a high commission. He was present at the battle of Philippi, and joined in the general fight that followed the republican defeat; he found his way back to Italy, and apparently was not thought important enough for proscription by the triumvirate. His property, however, had been confiscated, and he found employment in the low...
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