Horace’s Concept of Personal Cause and Effect

Horace was a famous Roman poet, who lived during the time of Augustus. His real name was Quintus Horatius Flaccus. Horace had a gift in my opinion with self-expression in his writing, at least from the little I’ve read of his writing, which has included some of Odes and Satires. Especially from his satires, I have noticed that he expresses his own personal view on a variety of areas, including ethics, which includes much stoicism(a belief that a smooth flow of life comes from “living in an agreement with nature”), which was a popular philosophical belief in Rome. This brings me to the question, what was Horace’s concept of personal cause and effect?

Horace had stoic beliefs which came from his education with the Epicureans, which is seen in his Satires, especially. For example, he states that one should not work very hard, but not be in poverty. His beliefs were tied to in-betweens. He saw that everything was tied together, that everything was in relation. The most major thing that happens in one’s life is death in his opinion which is because one cannot control it, and it happens to us all; which explained why he believed that working too hard obtaining riches was not worthwhile because you will die eventually anyway. Which shows his personal concept of cause and effect.

Something else that is interesting about Horace is his view on friendships, which somewhat states that if you treat your friends well your friends will treat you well in return, which is related to cause and effect. Also on the note of friendships, Horace stated that one shouldn’t judge people for their faults since they are far from being faultless. He discusses in his writing the material world. As people, we only value things that people told us to value. From his writing, one can see that he disapproves of the excess of Roman society, and how much it relies on materialism. Overall his view on personal cause and effect is straightforward and seemingly reasonable, compared to other poets’ views on the matter.

Horace’s concept of personal cause and effect was highly influenced by his education with the Epicureans, which encouraged the view of Stoicism, which is seen in his writing greatly. He saw things in relation to each other: if you treat your friends well you will be treated well by them. His personal views were also influenced by a stoic belief known as the “Golden Mean,” the belief of being in the middle of two extremes. Thus, this was Horace’s concept of personal cause and effect.

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