Classical Quarterly 45 (1):256-260 (1995)
AbstractThe fifth poem in Horace's first book of Epistles takes the form of an invitation to Torquatus to attend a dinner which the poet is preparing for that evening, the eveof the Emperor's birthday. The fare will be simple but Horace will see to it that the furnishings, napkins, vessels and plates will be clean and bright and that the company and the seating-plan will be to Torquatus’ taste. Horace will get Butra and Septicius to be there, and Sabinus, too, as long as he is not kept away by a prior dinner engagement or by a girl he'd rather spend the evening with. With Torquatus and Horace, that makes four or five diners, so that there is room for others before the triclinium is full, although there shouldn't be too many; or, as Horace puts it :locus est et pluribus umbris;sed nimis arta premunt olidae conuiuia caprae.
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