Roman elegy is well known for its reversal of traditional Roman gender roles: women are presented in positions of power, chiefly but not exclusively erotic, that bear little or no relation to women's lived experience in the first century b.c.e. Yet the way elegy presents the beloved in a position of power over her lover, as Sharon James has observed, ‘retains standard Roman social and power structures, thus suggesting an inescapable inequity even within a private love affair: rather than sharing goals and desires, lover and beloved are placed in a gendered opposition … Hence resistant reading by the domina is an anticipated and integral part of the genre’. James's remark is indeed correct for each of the instances in which the domina, or female beloved, speaks directly. When she does so, as James also shows, she speaks at cross-purposes with her lover, following a script that is designed ‘to destabilize him’ in an attempt to keep his interest. Yet what has not been noticed is that when the beloved is instead male, the situation is quite different. Tibullus' Marathus in poem 1.8, our sole example of a male elegiac beloved-turned-speaker, is the exception that proves the fundamental rule of gender inequity. Marathus, that is, when given the opportunity to speak, does in fact share the aims of a male lover, albeit in pursuit of his own puella. When the gendered opposition so integral to elegy is erased, the beloved no longer protests against the strictures of the genre; when both are male, lover and beloved alike are entitled to speak as elegiac lovers.