The Benefits Of Leisure In Ode To Septimius Severus's Life

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This single verse provides evidence of how the country villa provides an essential space for the pursuit of his favourite leisure activity – his art. The therapeutic powers of being away from his hurly burly, patron/client lifestyle of the city is also clear. As a working farm the hierarchical structure of the Roman empire allowed Horace to engage staff. Thus, allowing time for writing, inspiration and relaxation. Horace’s joy at his move to his country villa also ties in with the opinion of Lafargue, Aristotle and Epicurus, as to the value of leisure, ‘It enables people to flourish as human beings’ (Pike et al., 2008, p.28). For the symposium to work performers needed books and for poetry to be published the artist needed a patron. The need…show more content…
The half Greek, Neapolitan poet Statius (50–95 CE) was unlike Horace as he was a professional poet. Nevertheless patronage remained essential. A modest man Statius wrote ornate, flattering poetry celebrating the villas of his patrons. However, it was in a celebration of his own villa in Alba, Piedmont where we gather further evidence of Otium, in an extract from his lyric poem ‘Silvae’. [Silvae, Book 4, poem 5, ‘Ode to Septimius Severus’, lines 1–7] ‘Richly blessed with my little farms rewards Where Alba tends old Trojan paths I greet forceful and fluent Serverus Without my lyre’s usual song Now savage winter has retreated…show more content…
A member of regional aristocracy from Como in Northern Italy, Pliny the Younger inherited property from his wealthy uncle, the author Pliny the Elder (23–79 CE). Pliny the Younger owned villa’s on Lake Como, Tuscany and at Laurentum near Ostia (James, 2008, p.72). Pliny the Younger illuminates the importance of the country retreat to the Roman elite under Domitian. In a reading from Pliny the Younger, Book 1, Letter 6 he delivers an amusing account of ‘taking his legal papers on a boar hunt’ (James, 2008,

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