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Carmen Saeculāre

An ode written by Horace at the request of the emperor Augustus, to be sung at the celebration of the Ludi Saeculares, B.C. 17. (See Ludi.) It is composed in nineteen stanzas (seventy-six lines), in the Sapphic and Adonic metre, which were divided between two choruses, one composed of boys and the other of girls, who sang now responsively and now in chorus. The arrangement of the stauzas between the two bands has been a subject of dispute among various editors; but all are agreed upon this much: that the first two stanzas were sung by the joint chorus, the second by the girls, the third by the boys, the ninth half by boys and half by girls, while the last stanza was again sung by the united bands.

Like most verses written to order, the Carmen Saeculare has little poetical merit, though rhetorically excellent. See Horatius.

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