Horace was born in Venusia, a town in Apulia, on December 8, 65 b.c.e., a little more than a year before Cicero's famous consulship. He was five years younger than Vergil and two years older than Augustus. Horace lived through momentous events in the political life of Rome. From Cicero's consulship, when he was 1 year old, to Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon when he was 16 years old, the late Republic was an unstable entity, governed by violence, the threat of violence, and secret alliances between powerful men. Horace is perhaps the most difficult of the Roman poets to describe. His poetic output was diverse and impressive. By the time he was 30, he had written a collection of poems mainly in the tradition of Greek invective, the Epodes, and his first book of Satires.