Since so many have asked me about my mail signature here
is some kind of explanation:
According to Charles Singer ( A Short History of Scientific Ideas to 1900, 1959 Oxford Press - highly recommended ) the inscription on the coat of arms of the Royal Society - "Nullius in verba" - dating back to 1664(?) and most probably inspired by Horatuis words reminds us that quoting an authority is of no value unless the observation can be verified.
The quote is also used by the Dalton Gang.
Epistulae by Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horace)
The Epistles belong, as well as the Satires, to Horace's Musa pedestris. They are, like them, conversational moral or literary essays (Sermones; cf. II.1.250), of which the topics are suggested by current events or occasional moods and relations. They were not, however, called Sermones by the ancients, nor do they have they title in the manuscripts, but have always been called Epistulae. They differ from the Satires in being connected in some manner with some particular person to whom each is addressed. They are not, to be sure, letters like those of Cicero and Pliny, originally intended for private reading and afterwards collected and published. They were from the first intended for the public. But it must be remembered that publication in ancient times was a different matter from what it is nowadays. The author sent his manuscript to be read and copied, and it would be put on sale if it was found to be popular. The only difference between these letters and other compositions was probably that these were first sent to the person addressed and afterwards copied by his permission. They were written after Horace's fame became established, so that any person was honored by being associated with one of his compositions. But the association is not merely one of dedication. Each one seems to have been suggested by some condition of mind, trait of character, or temporary situation of the person addressed. So that there is something personal and intimate in the tone and matter of each of them. The date of their composition is not exactly fixed except in a few cases, but they belong to the latter part of the poet's life (see I.3; I.20), about B.C. 20-12, later than any other of his works, except some occasional Odes and the Carmen Saeculare. They consequently have a less acrid tone, giving evidence of a mellower and more philosophical way of thinking, and dwell particularly upon ethical subjects, treating them more in the style of common-places and with less personal attack than in the Satires.
The second book is entirely devoted to the discussion of literary topics, and is probably the last of the poet's works. It seems to have been begun at the request of Augustus, and lacks something of the spontaneity of the other works. It is chiefly interesting as giving Horace's personal views on poetic composition, and has always been looked upon as containing the ultimate canons of poetic art.
Introduction from The Satires and Epistles of Horace,