Classical Quarterly 44 (01):146- (1994)

This satire has often been accounted a poor poem, repetitive, irrelevant and self-indulgent. Rather than recover one more cultured display of refinement as disguise, this essay explores instead the fall-out that radiates from a classic text's play with the ‘loose talk’ of plebeian gossip. The proposal here is that Horace and his intimates could, and can, easily share a view of the view of ‘their’ populace, but at the price of surrendering control over the import of their intervention. This claim turns on the figure ‘Brutus’, which noises a republican politics of resistance to tyranny through what linguists term nonphonation: as we shall find, Horace both tells a dummy tale about ‘przemilczenie’ and at the same time performs a dumbshow of his own
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DOI 10.1017/S0009838800017274
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