The University of Wisconsin Press

Classical Studies / Literature & Criticism / Poetry


A Symposion of Praise
Horace Returns to Lyric in Odes IV
Timothy Johnson

Wisconsin Studies in Classics
William Aylward, Nicholas D. Cahill, and Patricia A. Rosenmeyer, Series Editors

Outstanding academic title, Choice magazine

Horace’s later lyric poetry, Odes IV, which focuses on praising Augustus, the imperial family, and other political insiders, has often been treated more as propaganda than art. But in A Symposion of Praise, Timothy Johnson examines the richly textured ambiguities of Odes IV that engage the audience in the communal or “sympotic” formulation of Horace’s praise. Through this wider lens of Horatian lyric, Johnson provides a critical reassessment of the nature of public and private in ancient Rome. A Symposion of Praise will be of interest to historians of the Augustan period and its literature, and to scholars interested in the dynamics between personal expression and political power.

Timothy Johnson is associate professor of classics at the University of Florida.


“The reading of these odes as inviting a ‘communal’ response is well-sustained and of interest; the discussions of each individual poem are thoughtful and carefully integrated with each other, and the book as a whole is very readable . . . it deserves to be read and referred to by scholars and students working on Horace’s last book.”
Bryn Mawr Classical Review

“A wonderfully complex and nuanced picture of Horace's poetry.”
—Patricia A. Rosenmeyer, University of Wisconsin–Madison

“A distinctive and original contribution to Horatian studies. It achieves a striking new theoretical conceptualization of traditional issues and is imbued with a sense of subtlety and humor appropriately Horatian in spirit.”
—Eleanor Leach, Indiana University

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

cover has ornate capital A and a illustration of Greek pottery

January 2007

LC: 2004025227 PA
344 pp.   6 x 9

Book icon
Paper $29.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-20744-1
Shopping cart ADD TO CART
  Review cart contents
Secure checkout


Home | Books | Journals | Events | Textbooks | Authors | Related | Search | Order | Contact

If you have trouble accessing any page in this web site, contact our Web manager.

Updated 4/23/2014

© 2010, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System