The representation and misrepresentation of Virgilian poetry in Propertius 2.34

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Abstract / Description of output

Scholarly comment on Propertius 2.34 stretches back to antiquity, but there is more to learn from its salient intertext, the growing corpus of Virgilian epos, about the elegy's difficult text and interpretation, and inversely about contemporary knowledge and opinion of that intertext. Propertius synopsises each of Virgil's works, including the inchoate Aeneid, accurately in terms of form but tendentiously in terms of content. Propertius' "optimistic" readings suggest that, with the "anxiety of influence," he recognised in Virgil the elegiac sensibility his synopsis emulously erases. Structural (including "stichometric") allusions militate against Ribbeck's transposition of lines 77-80 and recommend Barth's division at line 25 (without at the same time severing thematic continuities that also make a unitary reading of the elegy meaningful).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-497
Number of pages41
JournalAmerican Journal of Philology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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