The elegiac poet Propertius responds in his verse to the complex changes that Rome underwent in his period, taking on numerous topics including poetic and sexual rivalry, visual art, violence, inability to control the elusive mistress, imperialism, colonialism, civil war, the radical new shape of the Roman state under the new monarch Augustus, and more. These essays, by well-known scholars of Roman elegy, offer new ways of reading Propertius’ topics, attitudes, and poetics.
This book begins with two distinguished essays by the late Barbara Flaschenriem, whose work on Propertius remains influential. The other contributions, offered in honor of her, are by Diane Rayor, Andrew Feldherr, Ellen Greene, Lowell Bowditch, Alison Keith, and volume editor Sharon L. James. These essays explore topics including Propertian didacticism, dream interpretation, visual art and formalism, sex and violence, Roman imperialism and its connection to the elegiac puella, and Propertius’ engagement, in Book 4, with Vergil’s poetry.