The elegies of Propertius


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Social Media. View Available File s. Abstract This dissertation, Poetic Voices and Hellenistic Antecedents in the Elegies of Propertius, explores some of the techniques with which Propertius crafts a unique poetic voice for his own persona, as well as the poetic voices of other characters in the elegies chiefly in the Monobiblos and in Book 4.

The Elegies of Propertius, translated by Jack Mitchell

I argue that these techniques are themselves Propertius' own modification and adaptation of techniques he found employed by the Hellenistic poets, on whom he so heavily drew. I demonstrate that, in order to construct arguments which will characterize his own poetic persona, Propertius sometimes draws upon actual epigram sequences in Meleager's Garland, so that the work of the editor's careful arrangement is manipulated and adapted to the needs of the Propertian speaker.

This edition is designed to serve two different kinds of readers.

For those who are not Latin specialists there is an elegant but literal translation alongside the Latin text, with a critical essay on each poem to lead the reader into the richness of the Latin. On the other hand Latinists will find here new light on the text itself.

Above all, the edition is dedicated to reading poetry as poetry. You can unsubscribe from newsletters at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in any newsletter.

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For information on how we process your data, read our Privacy Policy. Once you have successfully made your exam-copy request, you will receive a confirmation email explaining that your request is awaiting approval. Complete editions of all four books were also available.

Sextus Propertius: The Elegies

These included the poets Virgil whom Propertius admired and Horace whom he never mentions. It is often said that she was a courtesan, but elegy 16 in Book I seems to suggest that she belonged to a distinguished family. It is likely that she was married, though Propertius only mentions her other lovers, never her husband.

From the poems she emerges as beautiful, passionate, and uninhibited. Propertius makes it clear that, even when seeking pleasures apart from his mistress, he still loved her deeply, returning to her full of remorse, and happy when she reasserted her dominion over him. He was to look back on his liaison with her as a period of disgrace and humiliation.

A complete English translation with in-depth name index

In a most beautiful and moving elegy IV:7 , he conjures up her ghost and with it re-creates the whole glamour and shabbiness of the affair. While he makes no attempt to brush over the disagreeable side of her nature, he also makes it clear that he loves her beyond the grave. The poetry of Book II is far more ambitious in scope than that of Book I and shows a richer orchestration.

In his earliest elegies, love is not only his main theme but is almost his religion and philosophy. It is still the principal theme of Book II, but he now seems a little embarrassed by the popular success of Book I and is anxious not to be thought of simply as a gifted scoundrel who is constantly in love and can write of nothing else. In Book II he considers writing an epic, is preoccupied with the thought of death, and attacks in the manner of later satirists, such as Juvenal the coarse materialism of his time. He still loves to go to parties and feels perfectly at ease in the big city with its crowded streets, its temples, theatres, and porticoes, and its disreputable quarters.

In a way, he is a conservative snob, in general sympathy with Roman imperialism and Augustan rule; but he is open to the beauties of nature and is genuinely interested in works of art. Though he disapproves of ostentatious luxury, he also appreciates contemporary fashions.

The Complete Elegies of Sextus Propertius

Some of his contemporaries accused him of leading a life of idleness and complained that he contributed nothing to society. But Propertius felt it his duty to support the right of the artist to lead his own life, and he demanded that poetry, and art in general, should not be regarded simply as a civilized way of passing the time. In elegy 3 of Book III he gives deep meaning to the process of artistic creation and emphasizes the importance of the creative artist.

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