Horace’s Well-Trained Reader explores the dynamic between Horace’s poetic personae in the first three books of the
Odes and the various audiences of those poems. Each chapter studies a selection of poems that are especially dense in programmatic content: the opening series and the closing pair of each book. The personae of these texts show an awareness of both internal and external audiences (for example, addressee and reader respectively). These lyric speakers and their expectations of us develop in a linear fashion over the three books. We are gradually trained to be fully involved audiences and to acknowledge that Horace’s ego is an ethical leader at Rome by virtue of being a lyric poet who looks to both archaic and Hellenistic Greek models.