The first three books of Horace's Odes were issued together, apparently in the latter part of 23 BC. The second book, however, has a coherence of its own in terms of subject matter, tone of voice, and arrangement. In particular there is a predominance of poems concerned with philosophy, withconduct, and with friendship. This commentary provides the reader with the background knowledge of conventional forms and topics needed to appreciate fully every aspect of the poems. In particular word-play, literary parallels, and stylistic nuances are highlighted and discussed. The commentary maybe used in conjunction with the Oxford Classical Text of Horace edited by E. C. Wickham.