After travelling with Aeneas through Hades, following Virgil at his most epic, it is time for a change. Horace Ode 3.21 sees Horace at his most gential, celebrating wine, friendship and other good things in life.

The illustration is a fresco from Herculaneum, destroyed like Pompeii by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79CE.

Listen in Latin and follow in English here.

As Aeneas continues his underworld journey, his father Anchises shows him the future Marcellus, tragic nephew and adopted son and heir of the Emperor Augustus, whose great promise will be cut short by death at the age of nineteen. The poetry rises to much more affecting heights than the tremendous hymn of praises to Augustus himself, from which it follows on. The illustration reflects the tradition that Marcellus’s mother, Octavia, was so moved at hearing Virgil recite this passage that she fainted dead away. Hear the extract in Latin and follow in English here.