This chapter examines the Pisones, the persons to whom the Ars Poetica is addressed. It argues that Horace subjects the Pisones to a far less gentle handling than has been generally acknowledged, and one in line with his aggressive treatment at times of addressees and other figures in his Satires and Epistles. In dedicating his poem to a unit consisting of a father and two sons, Horace is able to make the father–son relationship a central narrative strand of the Ars Poetica and, with it, the theme of teaching. Ultimately, the chapter sees Horace presenting a studied evolution of his poetic persona from student-son in the Satires, written at the beginning of his career, in which one witnesses him receiving teachings from his own father, to teacher-father in the Ars Poetica, written at his career's end. From behind his masks of senex and pater, Horace instructs and helps to shape the Piso boys (and the general reader), as his own father had done for the poet's youthful persona in Satires.
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