Carpe Diem: In Search of Horace in Venosa

Jan 24, 2019 547

BY: Gary Singh

Shards of rain and near-freezing temperatures in the middle of December did not prevent me from making a desperate pact with Horace. As a financially hopeless traveling boy, I often asked dead authors for help. I showed up at their graves and pleaded, “I’ll keep writing, you just show me how to pay the bills. Show me how to make a living.” That’s what I said, or some variation thereof.

Otherwise known in Italy as Quintus Horatius Flaccus, the legendary Roman lyric poet Horace was born in 65 B.C., in Venosa — these days about halfway between Naples and Bari, more or less in the middle of nowhere. Horace left a serious legacy. “Carpe Diem” was his signature phrase, long before Robin Williams popularized it again. Seize the day while you still have time.

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