The influence of the Roman poet Horace on Ben Jonson has often been acknowledged, but never fully explored. Discussing Jonson's Horatianism in detail, this study also places Jonson's densely intertextual relationship with Horace's Latin text within the broader context of his complex negotiations with a range of other 'rivals' to the Horatian model including Pindar, Seneca, Juvenal and Martial. The new reading of Jonson's classicism that emerges is one founded not upon static imitation, but rather a lively dialogue between competing models - an allusive mode that extends into the seventeenth-century reception of Jonson himself as a latter-day 'Horace'. In the course of this analysis, the book provides fresh readings of many of Jonson's best-known poems - including 'Inviting a Friend to Dinner' and 'To Penshurst' - as well as a new perspective on many lesser-known pieces, and a range of unpublished manuscript material.
Victoria Moul is a lecturer in Latin language and literature at King's College London. She works on various aspects of the interpretation of classical poetry in both ancient and more modern literature.
Introduction: imitation, allusion, translation: reading Jonson's Horace; 1. Jonson's Odes: Horatian lyric presence and the dialogue with Pindar; 2. Horatian libertas in Jonson's epigrams and epistles; 3. Competing voices in Jonson's verse satires: Horace and Juvenal; 4. Poetaster: classical translation and cultural authority; 5. Translating Horace, translating Jonson; Conclusion: More Remov'd Mysteries: Jonson's textual 'occasions'; Appendix: Manuscript transcriptions.