Horace's Odes are among the most popular, and the most misunderstood, of ancient writings. The present work is written in the belief that they are learned poems, which demand some knowledge of conventional forms and topics. Each ode is provided with an introduction which sets it against itsGreek and Roman literary background. This edition may be used in conjunction with the Oxford Classical Text edited by E. C. Wickham. The commentary includes a large number of parallel passages, chosen to show how Horace plays new variations on old themes; it is hoped that these may prove useful tocommentators on other ancient poets. The book also contains sections on chronology and metre, and a select bibliography is attached to each ode.