Sextus Propertius: The Augustan Elegist

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...

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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 patronised 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: 9780521117708
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/30/2009
  • Edition description: Bilingual
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.40 (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; Abbreviations; 1. The Propertii; 2. The Volcacii Tulli and others; 3. 'Gallus'; 4. Gallan elegies, themes and motifs; 5. Gallan metrics I; 6. Gallan metrics II; 7. Propertius 1.20, Gallus, and Parthenius of Nicaea; 8. Maecenas; 9. The circle of Maecenas in Propertius 2.34; 10. Augustus; 11. A lighter shade of praise? Propertius 3.17 and 3.14; 12. Three Propemptika for 'Caesar'; Works cited; Indexes.

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