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[96] The iambic has not been popular with Roman poets as a separate form of composition, but is found mixed up with other forms of verse.1 It may be found in all its bitterness in Catullus, Bibaculus2 and Horace, although in the last-named the iambic is interrupted by the epode.3 Of our lyric writers Horace is almost the sole poet worth reading: for he rises at times to a lofty grandeur and is full of sprightliness and charm, while there is great variety in his figures, and his boldness in the choice of words is only equalled by his felicity. If any other lyric poet is to be mentioned, it will be Caesius Bassus, who has but [p. 57] lately passed from us. But he is far surpassed in talent by poets still living.

1 The meaning is not clear. The words may mean (i that these writers did not confine themselves to the iambus, or (iii that the iambus alternates with other metres, cp. epodos below.

2 M. Furius Bibaculus, contemporary of Catullus, and writer of similar invective against the Caesareans.

3 i. e. the short iambic line interposed between the trimeters.

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