Sextus Propertius: The Augustan Elegist

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Overview

In 30-15 BC Sextus Propertius composed at Rome four books of elegies which range from erotic to learned to political, and exhibit an unparalleled richness of themes, concepts and language. This book investigates their sources and motives, examining Propertius' family background in Umbrian Asisium and tracing his career as he sought through poetry to restore his family's fortunes after the Civil Wars. Propertius' progress within the Roman poetic establishment depended on his patrons ' Tullus, 'Gallus', Maecenas and Augustus. Initially his poetry was influenced radically by his elegiac predecessor C. Cornelius Gallus, arguably also the 'Gallus' who jointly patronized Propertius' first book. New heuristic techniques help to recover the impact on Propertius of Cornelius Gallus' (mainly lost) elegies. Propertius' subsequent move into Maecenas', and then Augustus', patronage had an equally powerful, ideological, impact; in his latter books he became (alongside Virgil and Horace) a major and committed Augustan voice.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Review of the hardback: '... there is an enormous amount of useful material here ... he (Cairns) offers useful stimuli to thought and argument.' Times Literary Supplement
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521864572
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2006
  • Pages: 508
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Francis Cairns is Professor of Classical Languages at the Florida State University. He is the author of Generic Composition in Greek and Roman Poetry (1972), Tibullus: A Hellenistic Poet at Rome (1979) and Virgil's Augustan Epic (1989), as well as numerous articles on Greek and Latin poetry.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Abbreviations xv

1 The Propertii 1

2 The Volcacii Tulli and Others 35

3 'Gallus' 70

4 Gallan Elegies, Themes and Motifs 104

Deformazione 104

Gallan Presence in Book 1 110

Poetic Initiation 120

Caves, Glades, and Groves 131

'Wild Surroundings' 136

Hunting 140

5 Gallan Metrics I. Polysyllabic Pentameter Endings 146

6 Gallan Metrics II 184

Trisyllabic Pentameter Endings 184

Positioning and Clustering 194

7 Propertius 1.20, Gallus and Parthenius of Nicaea 219

Gallan Features in 1.20 222

The Hylas Myth 235

8 Maecenas 250

9 The Circle of Maecenas in Propertius 2.34 295

10 Augustus 320

11 A Lighter Shade of Praise? Propertius 3.17 and 3.14 362

12 Three Propemptika for 'Caesar' 404

Works Cited 445

Indexes

I Index Locorum 473

II Index of Gallan Words and Concepts 483

III General Index 488

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