What is the importance of oratory in relation to poetry in Horace's Art of Poetry?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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For Horace, oratory and poetry served different but complementary functions and the training and techniques of each had some benefit for the other although not when used to excess. In Horace’s period, students studied poetry under the grammarians as part of the their secondary education and rhetoric as an optional form of tertiary education. Style was treated in both rhetorical and grammatical education, but poetry used slightly different figures of speech (though both avoided the grotesque – Horace’s poetics could be considered anti-Asianist). Oratorical style may be too bombastic for poetry but poetic license is exclusive to poets and inappropriate to oratory. Knowledge of oratory is useful for poets.


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