Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65 - 8 B.C.), otherwise known as Horace, was the son of a freed slave but received an education in the private academies of Rome and became a soldier, a goverment clerk, and ultimately a poet and satirist under the patronage of Maecenas. His famous Ars Poetica is a letter of advice regarding the composition of poetry. We still use some of his proverbs and catch phrases in English, such as "purple patches" in prose, or "the mountains labor, giving birth to a ridiculous mouse" to suggest any pretentious action. Because it is written as a letter, it does not seem to be organized in any systemic way, as Horace races through a variety of exciting ideas.