The bicentenary in 2003 of Johann Gottfried Herder’s death occasioned lectures and studies at German universities. Herder (1744–1803), contemporary of Klopstock (1724–1803), Kant (1724–1804), Lessing (1729–1781), Hamann (1730–1788), Wieland (1733–1813), Goethe (1749–1832), was a lifelong devotee of Horace and above all of his lyric poetry. One of the great universal scholars and hommes de lettres of the 18th century, Herder, professionally a pastor, in his œuvre poet, translator, literary critic, philosopher of history and language, reflected again and again on poetry focussing on lyric poetry (regarded as quintessential poetry) and the ode (considered as the crown of lyric poetry). A year before his death he wrote an essay entitled “Briefe über das Lesen des Horaz, an einen jungen Freund” (Letters on how to read Horace, to a young friend). These letters, Herder’s legacy concerning Horace, offer a descriptive and hermeneutic theory of the Horatian ode. Each ode is an individual and presents a “geistige Situation” (mental/spiritual situation) which is set into motion; the poem as a mental process is a dance and a flight that guide the reader in a detour to a state of gracious benevolence. Herder gives the esthetic form of the Horatian ode a moral function; the movement of the poem is a means to promote humanity.