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Document Details :
Title: On the Fifth Stanza of the Carmen Saeculare
Author(s): VOZAR, Thomas
Volume: 78 Issue: 1 Date: 2019
Readers have often judged the fifth stanza of the Carmen Saeculare, with its prayer for the success of Augustan marital legislation, to be unworthy of Horace, a clumsy glorification of the program of the ruling regime. Like other parts of the poem, however, it may be better appreciated when we take into account the context of its performance at the Ludi Saeculares of 17 B.C. This paper reads the stanza in relation to the nature of the poem as a public carmen believed to have effective magical power, like that Livius Andronicus. Considered in this light, the stanza does not merely flatter the princeps, but notionally effects nothing less than the continuation and salvation of the gens Romana.