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QUINTUS HORATIUS FLACCUS was born at the little town of Venusia, on the borders of Apulia and Lucania, December 8, 65 B.C. His father was a freedman, who seems to have been a collector of taxes. In this business he saved some money, and, dissatisfied with the advantages offered by the school at Venusia, took the young Horace to Rome for his education. This plan evidently involved no little personal and financial sacrifice on the father's parta sacrifice appreciated to the full by Horace, if not at this time, at least in his later life. In a touching passage almost unique in ancient literature (Sat. i. 6, 72ff.) the poet tells us of the father's devotion at this period. Ambitious only for his son's mental and moral improvement, without a thought of the larger material prizes of life, he not only provided Horace with the best instruction the capital afforded, but watched with anxious care over the boy's moral training as well, even accompanying him to school and back again to his lodgings.
In his nineteenth year or thereabouts (i.e. about 46 B.c.) Horace went to Athens to add the finishing touches to his education by the study of philosophy. The Greek poets also largely occupied his attention at this time. Among his friends during this Athenian