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Observations on The ‘Cornelia’ Elegy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 February 2009

J. R. Hamilton
Affiliation:
Universtiy of Otago

Extract

The text of lines 39–40 is open to three main objections: stimulantem pectu Achilli cannot be construed in its context; to refer tuas to Persen would involvi difficult, though not unexampled, change of person; and thirdly, and most serious, it is scarcely possible to believe that Cornelia could appeal to a king of Macedon to testify to the soundness of her morals.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Classical Association 1957

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References

1 I am deeply indebted to Professor G. P. Goold of the University of Cape Town for his searching criticism and for several valuable suggestions. He is not responsible for what remains.

2 Unless we are to regard Achilli, as Postgate suggests (Select Elegies, p. 235), as an extreme instance of a ‘Propertian’ genitive— ‘goading his breast to an Achilles' courage’.

3 Simulate appears always to mean ‘pretend to something’, or ‘lay claim to something one does not possess’

1 Five instances are collected by Butler and Barber on 2. g. 15–16. It is true that in four of the cases the second person pronoun is used, not the adjective, a construction which seems to me somewhat easier. The remaining instance occurs in the notoriously difficult ‘Paetus’ poem (3. 7) and there tuaossa (v. 11) is followed in the next line by tibi.

2 Santen’s te, Perseu, in v. 39 provides a vocative, but the reference to Perseus is very abrupt, and Cornelia is still said to appeal to Perseus.

3 Schuster (Philologus, Ixxxi [1926], 478) does not meet this objection. Postgate (Select Elegies, p. 236) writes: ‘it is quite in keeping with Propertius’ manner to appeal to the conquered as witnesses to the con queror's glory’. This is true, but irrelevant here.

4 Journal of Philology, vi. 53 ff.

5 This is the reading of v and, if proavos is nominative, of μ also; in all probability, therefore, it stood in the text of N, which is lacking for vv. 17–76 of this elegy.

1 Housman characteristically called it ‘incoherent’. I cannot see that Claudian, , Lous Serenae, w. 42–43Google Scholar, affords any support for the emendation Afra: claram Scipiadum taccat Cornelia gentem | segue minus iactet Libycis dotata tropaeis may refer equally well to w. 38 and 43.

2 Journal of Philology, xxii. 108.Google Scholar

3 Sexti Properti quae supersunt omnia (1928), Adn. 16, p. 394. ‘pentameter praecedens ad caesuram habuit litteras—ros urgea-t; itaque post -nos facile potuit scribi urgea, illud postea n regno mutari.’

4 This view is supported by the reference to titulis in w. 32 and 38. I cannot accept Paimer's original view that aera nostra means ‘family coins’, although the surrender of Perseus to Aemilius Paullus is depicted on a denarius of Paullus Lepidus (Sydenham, The Coinage of the Roman Republic, No. 926).

5 This is true also if we accept Hoppe's conjecture atra which Schuster prints in die Peubner edition.

1 I know of Koppiers's arguments only from Butler and Barber (ad loc).

2 Sexti Properti Opera Omnia (1905), p. 398.Google Scholar

3 See Platnauer, M., Latin Elegiac Verse, P. 33 ff.Google Scholar

1 e.g. 1. II. 28–29 litora discidium | litora …; 1. 10. 16–17 possum aperire fores | et possum

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