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Introductory poems in Propertius: 1.1 and 2.121

  • R. O. A. M. Lyne (a1)


I wish to argue primarily that Propertius 2.12 introduced the poet's original third book, ‘Book 2b’, (Section III). On the way I examine Propertius' use of his various addressees (Section I), and I discuss strategies in his indisputably introductory poem 1.1 (Section II). Similarities of strategy discernible in 2.12 head my argument that 2.12 was like 1.1 an introductory poem. The question of addressees in introductory poems raises the topic of Propertius' social status and his relations to great men, and this is briefly surveyed.



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2 Lachmann (in his edition of 1816) first made the suggestion, not universally accepted, that our ‘Book 2’ is a product of two ancient books. I have surveyed the evidence in an article forthcoming in JRS (‘Propertius 2.10 and 2.11 and the Structure of Books “2a” and “2b”’), arguing in favour of Lachmann; and so I shall content myself here with a bibliographical summary. Skutsch, O., ‘The second book of Propertius’, HSCP 79 (1975), 229–33 offers a succinct defence of Lachmann's thesis; Heyworth, S. J., ‘Propertius: division, transmission, and the editor's task’, PLLS 8 (1995) 165–85, argues for Lachmann's basic thesis in convincing and minute detail. Cf. too the terse statement of facts by Hubbard, M. in Propertius (1974) 41–2 and the cautious survey in the commentary of H. E. Butler and E. A. Barber (1933) xxviii–xxxv. Opponents have been (e.g.) Williams, G., Tradition and originality in Roman poetry (1968) 481 (sufficiently rebutted by Hubbard and Skutsch), Camps, W. A. in his edition, Propertius Elegies Book II (1967) 1, and, quite recently, though implicitly rather than explicitly, Wyke, M., ‘Written women: Propertius' scripta puella’, JRS 77 (1987) 4761, esp. 48, 61, an article to which I attend in my own JRS paper. Lachmann presented 2.10 as the opening poem of Book 2b. Heyworth puts the case persuasively for believing (a) that 2.10 was closural in Book 2a (following a point made by Hutchinson, G. O., JRS 74 (1984) 100, who does not however believe in the division of ‘Book 2’), and (b), following Richmond, O. L. (Sexti Properti opera (1928)), that 2.13 was inceptive in Book 2b; cf. too Heyworth, in Mnemosyne 45 (1992) 45–9 on 2.13. discussing its unity, opening status, and so on. Heyworth thinks 2.13 was actually the first poem in Book 2b, and here is where we differ. I accept its inceptive function, but think that 2.12 actually opened the book. Birt, T., Das antike Buchwesen in seinem Verhältniss zur Litteratur (1882), 419–20 accepted Lachmann's suggestion that 2.10 opened Book 2b, but also pointed out that both 2.12 and 2.13 belong in the front of a book; by RhM 64 (1909) 398–9 and RhM 70 (1915) 266 he is suggesting, in summary form, that 2.10 and the ‘epigram’ 2.11 closed Book 2a, and at RhM 64 (1909) 399–400 he suggests in similar summary form that 2.12 and 13a opened Book 2b; at RhM 70 (1915) 266 he assumes that 2.12 to 13.1 –16 is all one poem – and opened Book 2b. But on none of these occasions does he offer any substantive argument for his theses. My JRS article argues that 2.10/11 (all one poem) closed Book 2a.

3 Line 27 plays between ideas of medical cure (surgery, cautery) and, paradoxically, servile punishments: cf. Lyne, R. O. A. M., CQ 29 (1979), 129. (Cairns, F., CQ 24 (1974) 106, citing Celsus, sees a reference to cures for madness.) Contactum in line 2 already suggests disease: cf. Camps, W. A, Propertius Elegies Book I (1961) ad loc. and below n. 48. For the degradation involved in the absence of libertas loquendi, see below Section II. 1.iii.

4 Ovid Trist. 4.10.47–8: Bassus the iambist is coupled as a friend of Ovid's with Ponticus the epic poet, addressee of Prop. 1.7 and 9.

5 Rosati, G.'s article, ‘L'elegia al femminile: le Heroides di Ovidio (e altre heroides)', …MD 29 (1992) 7194 is heading in a different direction, but has very important things to say in this area.

6 See Lyne, R. O. A. M., The Latin love poets (1980, reprinted with new introduction and updated bibliography 1996) 104–9.

7 Tullus', L. Volcacius consulship in 33 B.C. is recorded in the Fasti Venusini, Degrassi Inscriptiones Italiae XIII 1 text pp. 254 and 255, commentary p. 251. For his proconsulship in Asia, see Ehrenberg, and Jones, , Documents illustrating the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius (2nd ed., 1955) no. 98 (this proconsulship and its date are discussed in my paper ‘Propertius and Tibullus: early exchanges’, forthcoming in CQ). For the well-documented institution of young equestrians serving in the entourage of a provincial governor, see Gelzer, M., The Roman nobility (translated by Seager, R., 1975) 101 f.; Cic, . Q.F. 1.1.1112 (a key text, though Gelzer and Shackleton Bailey's commentary differ slightly in interpretation of detail); the racy but informative poems of Catullus (10, 28, 46); Hor. Epist. 1.3; the amusing letters of Cicero to Trebatius Testa, Adfam. 7.6, 17, 18; and Cic., Cael. 73 on M. Caelius' service as contubernalis to Q. Pompeius Rufus proconsul of Africa in 61 B.C. (another key text) cum autem paulum iam roboris accessisset aetati, in Africam profectus est Q. Pompeio pro consule contubernalis …. usus quidam prouincialis non sine causa a maioribus hitic aetati tributus.

8 Prop. 3.22 suggests with some irony and Schadenfreude that Tullus discovered idleness and pleasure while in the East; cf. Griffin, J., Latin poets and Roman life (1985) 56.

9 Cf. esp. Cic., Cael. 28 and 42. Cicero has to be indulgent of love affairs in this public speech, since he is defending the amorous Caelius, but his way of presenting and defending love is precisely as a mere ludus. quite tolerable if – and only if – important limiting rules are observed; cf. Lyne (1980) 1–2. (Cicero talks in fairly general terms, but his eye is clearly on the pleasures of amor.) From Cael. 28: datur enim concessu omnium huic aliqui ludus aetati (i.e. youth), et ipsa natura profundit adulescentiae cupiditates. quae si ita erumpunt ut nullius uitam labefactent, nullius domum euertant, faciles et tolerabiles haberi solent. From Cael. 42: detur aliqui ludus aetati … postremo cum paruerit uoluptatibus, dederit aliquid temporis ad ludum aetatis atque ad inanis hasce adulescentiae cupiditates, reuocet se aliquando ad curam rei domesticae, rei forensis. reique publicae … The limiting rules are clear. Condemnation when they are transgressed is crushing. A meretrix Chelidon played a dominant role in Verres' life. Damningly, Cicero so presents him as if she wielded the power when he was praetor (Ver. 1.104, 135–40 praefuit, dominata est, eius mulieris arbitratu gessise praeturam, 5.34 nutu atque arbitrio Chelidonis meretriculae gubernari,538 non modo a domo tua Chelidonem in praetura excludere noluisti, sed in Chelidonis domum praeturam totam detulisti). Cf. also (on Antony's behaviour with Cytheris) Att. 10.10.5 hie tamen Cytherida secum lectica aperta portat, alteram uxorem (note the emphasis: treating a mere lover as a spouse), Phil. 2.20 a mima uxore, Cic. Phil. 2.58, Att. 10.16.5, and others. And cf. the denunciation of passionate love (which Cicero unwillingly calls amor) in Tusc. 4.68–76: dominant words are flagitium, leuitas, insania, and terms indicative of disease and contempt (sic igitur adfecto huec adhibenda curatio est, ut et illud quod eupiat ostendatur quam leue, quam contemnendum, quam nihili sit omnino), and furor, Cicero concludes by saying that passionate love is against nature: etenim si naturalis amor esset, et amarent omnes et semper amarent et idem amarent, neque alium pudor, alium cogitatio, alium satietas deterreret. Interestingly, Catullus uses comparable condemnatory terms when seeking finally to be quit of love (poem 76). Lucretius uses such condemnatory terms generally when he talks of ‘love’ (4.1073ff.); tolerant of sex, he is scornful of passion in ways remarkably similar to Cicero and Cato (see next note): Epicurean philosophy, Lucretius' version at least, here overlaps with conventional wisdom; Cicero, , Tusc. 70 can spare some grudging words of praise for Epicurus in this regard. Note Lucretius' uses of sanus (1075), rabies (1083), furor (1117), and adde quod alterius sub nutu degitur aetas (1122; cf. that with e.g. Cic. Ver. 5.34 above); note too 1124 languent officia atque aegrotat fama uacillans, fears that were clearly in Cicero's mind in the above Caet. quotations. (Many of the terms of condemnation are traditional: e.g. for love as sickness see Pease on Vevg. Aen. 4.1, and Barrett on Eur. Hipp. 476–7).

10 Horace refers to the famous anecdote indicative of Catonian attitudes at Serm. 1.2.31–5. The whole anecdote is summarised by Horace's commentators on line 31. It catches, among other things, Roman apprehension lest ‘love’ should preoccupy, as well as the wish to see Roman freeborn women spared amorous attentions.

11 Allen, A. W., ‘Elegy and the classical attitude toward love: Propertius 1.1’, YCS 11 (1950) 255–77 at 262f. with n. 26 observes the interesting and close parallels between Phaedria's slave's description of Phaedria at Ter., Eunuchus 5663 and Propertius' self-description in 1.1; with Prop. 1.1.6 nullo uiuere consilio, for example, he compares Eun. 57–8 quae res in se neque consilium neque modum | habet ullum, eam consilio regere non potes.

12 Allen (n. 11) is still stimulating and important; he sees that Propertius uses ‘conventional’ depreciatory language of love, but cites parallels from ‘philosophy’ (Cicero, Lucretius) and comedy. He neglects the fact that these condemnatory views are also, and most importantly, views that public Romans publicly espouse. For other views and emphases see Hubbard (1974) 14ff., Cairns, F., ‘Some observations on Propertius 1.1’, CQ 24 (1974) 94110. Ross, D. O.Backgrounds to Augustan poetry. Gallus. elegy and Rome (1975) 5970, La Penna, A., L 'integrazione difficile. Un profilo di Properzio (1977) 32ff., 228–9. Williams, G., Figures of thought in Roman poetry (1980) 3440 (some very challenging ideas here, especially on points of detail), Stahl, H-P., Propertius: ‘Love’ and ‘War’ (1985) 2247 with extensive notes.

13 Hellegouarc'h, J., Le Vocabulaire latin des relations et des partis politiques sous la République (1963) 254–6.

14 Cf. further TLL IV 455.61ff. Very illuminating are the iuxta posita cited under consilium at TLL IV 456.69ff. (457.12f. ‘persaepe coniunguntur sapientia, prudentia, ratio, ingenium, animus, virtus, gravitas. constantia, gratia, mens, cogitatio, iudicium al.’)

15 Fedeli, P.'s note, Sesto Properzio. Il primo libro delle elegie (1980), on line 6 traces epithets of Amor like improbus and saeuus to and in Apollonius, appropriately enough, but the path I suggest must also be followed.

16 Cic., Sest. 97omnes optimates sunt qui neque nocentes sunt nec natura improbi nec furiosi nec malis domesticis impediti; 139 cum multis audacibus, improbis, non nunquam etiam potentibus dimicandum. Cf. Hellegouarc'h (1963) 528–30 ‘Il faut d'ailleurs remarquer que, dans le domaine politique, le contraire de bonus n'est pas le plus souvent malus, comme dans le vocabulaire moral, mais improbus … improbus qualifie surtout ceux qui agissent contre les lois ou les règies d'ordre imposées par l'État…’, with shoals of examples.

17 Cf. Cic., Sest. 97 quoted n. 16, also 99 qui propter insitum quendam animi furorem discordiis ciuium ac seditione pascantur, Cic. Cat. 1.1. Cf. further TLL VI. 1630.80ff. This political use of the word should not be forgotten when assessing the importance of pietas / furor in the Aeneid: indeed a political charge is given to furor (and pietas) by the most prominent first use in the Aeneid, in the Statesman simile, Aen. 1.150.

18 Cf. Cic., Rab. Perd. 22improbitas et furor L. Saturnini. Cf. too Cic., Sest. 97 quoted n. 16.

19 Fedeli (1980) ad loc. documents the following interpretations: (i) castae puellae refer to the Muses; (ii) castas odisse puellas alludes to a current partiality on Propertius' part for tarts (the uiles referred to in 2.23 and 24); (iii) castae puellae are ‘women of good family’, the sort whom a Roman of good social position would choose to marry, women unlike Cynthia (cf. Fontenrose, J., University of California Publications in Classical Philology 13 (1949), 378, followed by Enk, P. J.Sex. Propertii Elegiarum. Liber I (Monobiblos). Pars altera (1956) ad loc, and others, most recently Holzberg, N., Die römische Liebeselegie: eine Einführung (1990), 30); with some qualification this is the path I follow; (iv) castae puellae are women like Cynthia (at the moment) and Milanion's Atalanta who resist men's advances. Option (iv) is Fedeli's, and Allen's ((1950) 266f.), choice; Fedeli cites inter al. Prop. 3.12.37 which might rather support option (iii). Allen puts it thus: ‘castae puellae are girls who, like Cynthia, coldly reject a lover … Propertius makes the bitter complaint that Love has taught him to hate the woman he loves.’ Castas is also discussed e.g. by Stahl (1985) 36ff.; he too favours something like option (iv); cf. too Bailey, D. R. Shaekleton, Propertiana (1956) 1f.

20 Sullivan, J. P.. Propertius. A critical introduction (1976) 102–5.

21 Line 108 in the Loeb Minor Latin Poets (Duff, J. W. and Duff, A. M. (1961)).

22 Treggiari, S., Roman marriage, Iusti coniuges from the time of Cicero to the time of Ulpian (1991), 231, 232–3.

23 It is a major strategy of Cicero's to portray Clodia as a self-elected, de facto, meretrix (cf. esp. Cael. 38. 48–50): in this way Caelius' connections with her are explained and excused. Cicero's picture is not devoid of plausibility, nor indeed, one surmises, of truth. For other Roman ladies displaying an absence of castitas, see Lyne (1980) 13–17 (‘the amateurs’). By contrast, observe the picture of a matronly casta Delia, who is in declared fact no matrona (1.6.67–8), which is imagined or wished for by Tibullus at 1.3.83ff. (spinning in domestic surroundings).

24 There is of course no reason why Propertius should not imply that Cynthia is not casta in one poem (1.1) with one (public) context, and preach to her about the proper decorations of a casta domus in another poem (2.6) and another context. I am not however persuaded of the integrity of 2.6, and doubt in particular whether the casta domus of 28 relates in any immediate way to Cynthia. In 1ff. Propertius complains that Cynthia's (presumably Cynthia's) house is thronged like the dwellings of famous women of pleasure (Lais, Thais, Phryne); in 28ff. he denounces the deviser of obscene decorations in chaste houses. It is hard to see how these remarks on pictures improper for a casta domus (28ff.) can bear upon Cynthia's domus, which has been compared in effect to a brothel; it is hard to see how they can coexist in the same poem. In addition, pictures are mentioned in 1ff. but they are quite different ones from the obscene decorations of 28ff. Propertius moans that he is prey to reasonable and unreasonable jealousy, and mentions (innocuous) pictures of young men, imagined as rivals (9). And anyway, do 15ff. follow on from 1–14? In sum, I find it hard to suppose that we have one single poem here. As often in ‘Book 2’, I have the impression of excerpts, associatively or randomly joined.

25 Cf. Lyne (1980) 78–81 with bibliography, also Seruitium amoris’, CQ 29 (1979) 117–30.

26 Ch. Wirszubski, , Libertas as a political idea at Rome during the late Republic and early Principate (1950) 1819 with n. 2; Wirszubski 13ff. is particularly interesting and relevant here.

27 CQ 29 (1979) 124f.

28 What exactly is Propertius implying here? Is he saying that he has not even managed to have sexual relations with Cynthia during the year of furor? One detects this question behind euphemistic discussions like Allen's ((1950) 255–7) referring to Lachmann, and Butler and Barber. And it is an important one for critics who would like – not unreasonably – to find a story behind these poems, fictional or real. If Propertius hasn't yet made love to Cynthia, when was the poem written or – a more realistic question – at what stage in the affair are we to suppose that the poem was written? And how then does it relate to, say, 1.2? I think actually that Propertius' emphasis here is on the full reverberations of domuisse. Milanion–Gallus managed not just to sleep with, but to subdue, to master the woman. As Propertius stresses in this poem, and will stress time and again (seruitium amoris), it is Cynthia, who, though she grants sexual favours, masters: 1.1.28, 1.4.2 (Cynthia is the domina; non domuit Propertius), 1.5.12, etc. Miserable subjection is Propertius' lot: it is control and free access – mastery – that Amor has forgotten how to contrive for him. So, miserably subject though he be, there is no reason to suppose that Propertius has not already had sexual relations with Cynthia – at her, not his, convenience and pleasure – and this is what we would naturally infer from the book as a whole.

29 For Gallus' identification with (rather than contrast with) Milanion, cf. Lyne (1980) 95 (and preceding) with n. 16; this insight stems from Skutsch, F., Aus Vergils Frühzeit (1901) 1516. via Ross (1975) 89–91. A crucial fact is that this version of the Milanion–Atalanta story, which is unknown to us before Propertius, is well-known to Ovid: Ars 2.185–96. And it is well-known to Ovid as a story that exemplifies the success that accrues to obsequium in love; for Ovid it is an applicable and valid story. For Propertius it is painfully inapplicable. We infer therefore that someone publicised the myth as an applicable and valid exemplum of obsequium, and was the source and authority for Ovid – but this same someone provided Propertius with an example from which to dissociate himself, i.e. provided him with yet another chance in this opening poem of showing his isolated position. Cornelius Gallus is the obvious candidate. The fact that Vergil includes the Propertian gloss Parthenius (Prop. 1.1.11) for ‘Arcadian' in Gallus’ speech in Ecl. 10 (line 57) – a speech which Servius (on Eel. 10.46) suggests contains multiple echoes of Gallus himself – supports the thesis that Propertius' Milanion–Atalanta alludes to a famous Gallus exemplum.

30 Goold, G. P., Propertius Elegies (1990) 152–5.

31 Shackleton Bailey (1956) 85f. unnecessarily complicates this passage.

32 Cf. Lucr. 1.88 (infula) ex utraque pari malarum parte profusast, Verg. Aen. 6.685 palmas utrasque tetendit, and uses of gemini: geminas aures is transmitted at Catull. 63.75, aures geminae may be the right reading at Catull. 51.11 (Schrader), and then see TLL VI 2.1742.46ff. But in some of these the sense ‘both’ is arguably more welcome than in our line.

33 Shackleton Bailey (1956) 87 appears to grasp the point (‘Since the portrait is confessedly allegorical…’), but it needs to be made explicitly and positively. Cf. e.g. Butler and Barber ad loc. as well as Camps.

34 It is supported by Shackleton Bailey (1956) 88, but he also reads tua for puer.

35 Solebant praeceptores mei neque inutili et nobis etiam iucundo genere exercitationis praeparare nos coniecturalibus causis cum quaerere atque exequi iuberent ‘cur armata apud Lacedaemonios Venus’ et ‘quid ita crederetur Cupido puer atque uolucer et sagittis ac face armatus’ et similia …

36 Hunter in his note on Eubulus below remarks: ‘The most striking feature of this passage is, however, its similarity to Propertius 2.12 … Propertius derived this theme from Hellenistic epigram and the rhetorical schools: Quintilian 2.4.26 …’.

37 We should not however read in me in 1.1.33. I am persuaded by Heyworth, S. J., CQ 34 (1984) 394–7, that we should read nam me, with me as object of exercet (‘harass’, cf. e.g. Verg. Aen. 6.739 which the unwary might take to support the paradosis), and noctes amaras as accusative of duration. Heyworth well explains the function of nam and nostra. (Housman had proposed me nan nostra.)

38 Cf. Meleager Gow–Page X.5–6 = AP 5.212.5–6 ‘O winged Loves, do you know how to fly to us, but have not the strength to fly away?’. Cf. too e.g. Meleager Gow–Page XXXVII = AP 5.177, and Moschus I. But these, all accepting the wings of Cupid as inalienable, lack the idea which Eubulus and Propertius exploit (and they lack the motif of the painting of Cupid).

39 Shackleton Bailey (1956) 84 ‘Here it <sine sensu> is a stronger variant of sine consilio …’. He cites most relevantly Val. Max. 1.6. Ext. 1 (of Xerxes' folly in the face of a prodigium) si quod uestigium in uecordi pectore sensus fuisset. Cf. too Cic. Cat. 3.2 sine sensu nascimur, and see further OLD s.v. sensus 6.

40 Goold (1990), hedging slightly and perhaps justifiably, translates ‘great blessings’; Rothstein, M., Propertius Sextus Elegien erster Teil (1920, reprinted 1966)) ad loc. interprets the phrase to mean ‘brilliant talents’.

41 Cf. n. 9 above. See too Brown ad loc., esp. on 4.1123 (Brown, R. D., Lucretius on love and sex (1987) 254); Brown also well supports (252f.) the transposition of 1123 and 1124 (Lambinus, who found this order in a manuscript now unknown).

42 Camps (1967) has a good note on this line.

43 Cf. note 2 above for the thesis (in origin, Lachmann's) that our ‘Book 2’ contains remnants of two ancient books, and for the various views on which poem concluded Book 2a and which opened Book 2b.

44 Cf. for example 1.7: being a lover involves and occasions love poetry; cf. 1.11.8: a rival may have carried off Cynthia out of Propertius' … poems.

45 The modern editor is forced either to capitalise Cupidinibus (Rothstein (1920)) or to write cupidinibus (Barber, Oxford Classical Text 2 (1960)). The ancient poet could enjoy the ambiguity.

46 Cf. Allen (1950) 265f.

47 The conceit is not wholly ‘given up’ as Allen loc. cit. says.

48 Contingo of missiles: Livy 37.40.12 (gladiis), Verg. Aen. 5.509 ipsam … auem contingere ferro | non ualuit. OLD s.v. 3a, and cf. Propertius' use of tango at 2.34.60 (of Cupid) quem tetigit iactu certus ad ossa deus; of disease, Lucr. 2.660 religione, Verg. Georg. 3.566 contactos artus sacer ignis edebat, OLD s.v. 6.

49 I have discussed Prop. 2.2 and 3 in ‘Propertius and Tibullus: early exchanges’, forthcoming in CQ.

50 Cf. Shackleton Bailey ad loc. ((1956) 89) who collects interesting passages on attractiveness of female gait.

51 Cf. Wyke, M., JRS 77 (1987) 56.

52 So e.g. Camps, W. A., Propertius Elegies Book III (1966) and Fedeli, P.Properzio. Il libro terzo delle Elegie (1985), ad loc.

53 Thus Kiessling, A.Heinze, R.Quintus Horatius Flaccus, Satiren (1886) ad loc.

54 Unremarked, oddly, by Kiessling, A.Heinze, R.Quintus Horatius Flaccus, Briefe (1889) or Brink, C. O.Horace on poetry. The ‘Ars poetica’ (1971) ad loc, but noted by Rudd, N., Horace. The Epistles Book II and Epistle to the Pisones (‘Ars poetica’) (1989), ad loc.

55 Cf. Stroh, W., Die römische Liebeselegie als werbende Dichtung (1971), 19; cf. too 3.23.5, recalling the conciliatory function of Propertian elegy; contrast, however, Fedeli (1980) on 1.7.19. But when all this has been said, we must admit that a seminal text for the elegiac use of mollis must be Hermesianax fr. 7.35f. , ‘Mimnermus … discovered the breath of the soft pentameter.’

56 See further Lyne's note ad loc. Skutsch, F., Gallus und Vergil (1906) 20 thinks that the poet of the Ciris, like Hermesianax (quoted n. 55), is referring in line 20 to a pentameter (so that the reference is to elegy and pes means ‘foot’). But the poet is referring to his own wish occasionally to revert from philosophy to light verse, and there is no sign that the poet of the Ciris is an elegist. More likely therefore that line 20 refers generally to light verse (like the Ciris); and for such a use of mollis there are ample parallels, which the note on Ciris 20 provides. Another example of mollis of ‘soft’ poetry other than elegy: Catullus 16.4. Provocatively, Catullus is prepared to see his love-poems (it must surely be poem 7 in particular), as opposed to himself, termed molliculi: for Catullus mollis. at least in social contexts, was not a term that had good connotations (25.1 cinaede Thalle, mollior…).

57 Cf. Griffin (1985) 29 with n. 243, Lyne (1980) 62, 147f., Hubbard (1974) 99, Syme, R., History in Ovid (1978) 183.

58 For discussion of Propertius' social status and position regarding patronage, cf., as well as the preceding note, Griffin (1985) 56–7. Hubbard (1974) 98ff., White, P., Promised verse. Poets in the society of Augustan Rome (1993) 12f., Syme (1978) 182f. Zetzel, J. E. G. in Gold, B. K. (ed.) Literary and artistic patronage in ancient Rome (1982) 86102, esp. 89 and 97–9 generally downplays the influence from outside of patrons on Augustan poetry, to my mind excessively.

59 Camps (1967) has a succinct and useful note on non ita (in fact a correction of the manuscripts, but a certain one).

60 There is no convincing sign that Ovid enjoyed the special protection or advantages of the house of Messalla during the main part of his career. If he had done so, surely there would be some acknowledgement in his poetry of the time. But there is none. There are repeated references in letters from exile to Messalla's sons (Trist. 4.4.27f., Pont. 1.7.27f., 2.2.97, 2.3.69ff.) concerning Messalla's supposed interest in and protection of him, but I think it is likely that Ovid retrospectively magnifies Messallan interest in order to exert pressure on these sons; Syme (1978) 76, 117 takes the suggestions of these exile letters too literally, I think.

61 For Asinius Pollio and the recitatio see Sen., Contr. 4praef. 2 primus enim omnium Romanorum aduocatis hominibus scripta sua recitauit; Higham, T. F.'s treatment of the institution is still useful, in Ovidiana. Recherches sur Ovide (1958), ed. Herescu, N. I., 45f.; cf. too Quinn, K., ‘The poet and his audience in the Augustan age’, ANRW II 30.76180, esp. 158–65, Woodman, T. and Powell, J. (eds.), Author and audience in Latin literature (1992) 204–6 (pages in the editors' own epilogue). One should note that the reference in Seneca is to the recitation of Pollio's own writings, but he or others must swiftly if not immediately have provided opportunity for other writers to publicise their work in this way. Such invitations (aduocatis hominibus) must have been more general, and the recitations more public and open, than, say, Sestius' in Catullus 44 (we should read fecit in line 21 with Baehrens) or those envisaged by Hor. Ars 419ff. (for more examples of such private recitals see Higham 46); and this public nature of them was what was important. The importance of the more public recitatio as a medium, the publicity it conferred, is shown by Ovid, Pont. 1.5.57f. gloria uos acuat, uos, ut recitata probentur | carmina, Pieriis inuigilate choris, and Pont. 4.2.33–8. Ovid seems to have heard Propertius and Horace, among others, giving recitations (Trist. 4.10.45f., 49f.), and to have made his own initial impact that way (4.10.57f.). Horace does not seem to have enjoyed reciting, but already knows the institution in Serm. 1.4.73 nee recito cuiquam nisi amicis idque coactus | non ubiuis coramue quibuslibet…; and the institution of recitatio is presumably behind the mocking lines Epist. 2.2.90ff. (on which cf. Horsfall, N., BICS 23 (1976), 83ff., Brink, C. O., Horace on poetry: Epistles Book II (1982), 315f., 322).

62 Cf. Syme (1978) 184.

63 Particularly in iusta. But the exact interpretation of the lines is not easy. Camps (1967) ad loc. is helpful.

64 This is my view (in particular, I believe, as I say below, that Maecenas loses influence because of indiscreet behaviour in the wake of the conspiracy of 23 B.C.), but the position is still controversial: cf. Lyne, R. O. A. M., Horace: behind the public poetry (1995), 189–92, 194–5, 136–8.

65 I give some thought to the structure and contents of Books 2a and 2b in my JRS article (see n. 2) section VI. 1.

1 My thanks are due to the editors of PCPS, Dr P. R. Hardie and Dr S. P. Oakley, and to their scrupulous anonymous reader.

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Introductory poems in Propertius: 1.1 and 2.121

  • R. O. A. M. Lyne (a1)


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