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Falsa est ista tuae, mulier, fiducia formae,
olim oculis nimium facta superba meis. noster amor tales tribuit tibi, Cynthia, laudes :
versibus insignem te pudet esse meis. mixtam te varia laudavi saepe figura,
ut quod non esses esse putaret amor: et color est totiens roseo collatus Eoo,
3, 24 The harshness and bitterness with which, in this and the succeeding poem, Propertius renounces Cynthia differ from any thing in the other elegiac poets. Catullus still loves after he has learned to hate. The gentle Tibullus cannot bear to hurt the feelings even of one who has jilted him. Ovid is not to be taken seriously when he undertakes to break with his imaginary Corinna But Propertius, when he ceases to love, transforms his passion into a burning hatred. Cynthia is by name held up to scorn, and the angry poet can explain his former admiration and love as only pure insanity, while he gloats over the misery in which, he prophesies, she will end her days. This elegy should be carefully compared as a kind of palinode with the opening one of the collection. Cf. also Schiller's An Minna.
1-8: 'It was under a delusive fascination that I called you beau
tiful; 9-20: but what no power could compel me to do, I now do of my own will, acknowledge my madness, and pray for sanity henceforth.'
1. Falsa : ‘groundless.' -- mulier : the term, which is seldom used by the elegists as compared with femina and puella, and nowhere else in Propertius as an address, is significant of his changed attitude toward his mistress.
2. oculis : i.e. the admiration of the observer. — facta : vocative.
4. pudet: sc. me. For a similar thought cf. Tib. 1, 9, 47: attonita laudes tibi mente canebam, et me nunc nostri Pieridumque pudet.
5. mixtam . . . varia . . . figura : “as combining' various types of beauty, or • beautiful features,' especially in the early poems of the first two books.
6. By such repeated flattery Propertius had actually fooled himself into believing it true.
7. roseo ... E00: cf. Homer's «rosy-fingered morn.'
cum tibi quaesitus candor in ore foret. quod mihi non patrii poterant avertere amici,
eluere aut vasto Thessala saga mari. haec ego, non ferro non igne coactus, et ipsa
naufragus Aegaea verba fatebor aqua. correptus saevo Veneris torrebar aheno,
vinctus eram versas in mea terga manus. ecce coronatae portum tetigere carinae,
traiectae Syrtes, ancora iacta mihist.
24. 12. verba O vera Passerat.
8. quaesitus: ‘procured by artifice. The contrast suggested in the two verses could only arise in the case of one completely blinded by love.
9. quod: the infatuation described in the previous eight verses The various possible agencies for relief from it following here, — the persuasion of friends, witchcraft, steel, fire, travel over the seas, -are the same that are enumerated in I, I, 19-30.
10. saga mari: Medea, wife of the Thessalian Jason, was the typical witch. The sea is the great purifier in nature. Cf. Schoemann, Gr. Alt. 2, 374; De Jong, Antike Mysterienwesen, 136; Conybeare and Howson, St. Paul, 1, 294.
11. haec, although referring to some general idea, such as quod (v. 9), has its form determined by the verba in v. 12. --- non ... coactus: i.e. without being obliged to resort to the heroic treatment of 1, 1, 27, he is now free to tell
the simple truth about Cynthia, voluntarily.
12. Even if life were at stake in the journey he has already (3, 21) projected, he is confident he would still stick to the truth, viz. that all his previous raptures were
empty words ' (verba). Perhaps he also recalls i, 17, with its far different state of mind.
13. The poet's obsession is here illustrated from the picture of a victim dragged to the witches' caldron for torture. Cf. 1, 3, 13: duplici correptum ardore; 3, 6, 39: consimili in positum torquerier. - torrebar: ofa habitual condition.
14. Cf. Ovid, Ex P. 3, 2, 72: evincti geminas ad sua terga manus.
15. coronatae : cf. Verg. Georg. 1, 303: ceu pressae cum iam portum tetigere carinae puppibus et laeti nautae inposuere coronas.
16. Syrtes : among the most familiar and most dreaded perils of ancient navigators.
nunc demum vasto fessi resipiscimus aestu,
vulneraque ad sanum nunc coiere mea.
exciderant surdo tot mea vota Iovi.
et de me poterat quilibet esse loquax.
ungue meam morso saepe querere fidem.
17. resipiscimus: a word pe- 1-10: For years I was foolculiarly appropriate for recovery ishly faithful. You will recall it from amorous mal de mer, in view with regret, but no arts can win of the thought to which it leads me back. You are to blame. in v. 19.
Farewell. 11-18: As you grow 18. ad sanum . . . coiere : 1.2. old, may your lot be that of the • heal' (sanum = sanitatem); cf. ugly bag, and may you know Ovid, Trist. 4, 4, 41: neve re- yourself how it felt to be distractando nondum coeuntia rumpe dained! This is my curse.' vulnera.
1. Risus : laughing-stock.' For 19. A temple was indeed dedi- a similar use of this noun cf. cated to Mens on the Capitoline, Ovid, Fast. I, 438: omnibus ad in accordance with a vow of T. lunae lumina risus erat. ProperOtacilius made after the battle of tius uses iocus in the same way in Lake Trasimenus, and the fes- 2, 24, 16: me ... pudet esse iocum. tival of this personified quality - positis ... mensis : cf. Plaut. was held on June 8th. Mens Most. 308 : appone hic mensulam : Bona as such we do not hear of Verg. Aen. I, 216: exempta fames elsewhere.
epulis mensaeque remotae. Cf. also 20. exciderant: the poet had the expressions mensa prima, and wasted many prayers on Jove be- mensa secunda, which originally fore he successfully tried the had a literal signification. appeal to Mens Bona.
3. Cf. Intr. $ 33.
4. ungue ... morso: cf. 2, 4, - 3, 25
3: saepe in meritos corrumpas The dénouement. See 3, 24, dentibus ungues. - querere: "laIntr.
ment the loss of.'
5 nil moveor lacrimis : ista sum captus ab arte.
semper ab insidiis, Cynthia, flere soles. flebo ego discedens, sed fletum iniuria vincit:
tu bene conveniens non sinis ire iugum.
limina iam nostris valeant lacrimantia verbis, 10 nec tamen irata ianua fracta manu.
at te celatis aetas gravis urgeat annis,
et veniat formae ruga sinistra tuae. vellere tum cupias albos a stirpe capillos
ah speculo rugas increpitante tibi, 15 exclusa inque vicem fastus patiare superbos,
et quae fecisti facta queraris anus. has tibi fatalis cecinit mea pagina diras. eventum formae disce timere tuae.
25. 7. vincit 0 vincet w. 5. ab arte: cf. 2, 27, 11, n. nec mea praeclusas fregerit ira
6. ab insidiis : adverbial, like fores. Tib. I, 5, 4: adsueta versat ab 11. celatis : which you have arte puer.
tried to conceal.' — annis : to be 7. Cf. Cat. 76, 14; 85. Ego taken with gravis. is emphatic: 'I shall weep as well 13. Ovid, A. A. 2,117; tibi iam as you.'
venerit cani, formose, capilli, iam 8. tu: but it is you who.' - venient rugae, quae tibi corpus conveniens ... iugum : the well- arent. — stirpe: cf. Tib. 1, 8, 45: matched span’; cf. I, 5, 2; sine tollere tum cura est albos a stirpe nos cursu,quo sumus, ire pares. — capillos. ire: i.e. to trot in “ near-” matri 15. fastus : the shoe is to be monial harness.
on the other foot, as compared 9. lacrimantia : cf. 1, 16, 13, with 1, 18, 5. where the door represents itself 16. quae fecisti facta : i.e. comas driven to tears by the pitiful plain, when they are done to you, complaints of a lover: gravibus of the very things you have done cogor deflere querellis.
to others. 10. nec tamen : i.e. in spite of 17. fatalis : best taken with the fact that the hand was that of diras, which is here a substantive an angry man. This verse is a (as in Tib. 2, 6, 53) = “curses.' reminiscence probably of 2, 5, 22: pagina : used five times by Prop.
Hoc, quodcumque vides, hospes, qua maxima
1. i. qua Scioppius quam 0.
first half of this elegy, the poet 4, 1
starts to act as guide to a stranger Propertius had been often urged who wants to know Rome, and to give his attention to a more expresses aspiration to write what serious type of poetry, and had will serve a similar purpose for all several times (e.g. 2, 1; 3, 1; 3, 3) men; in the second half the pleaded his inability to do so, yet stranger reveals himself as a Chalwith various hints that he would daean astrologer, who, after mag. really like to try his hand on some- nifying his office and incidentally thing else. In this elegy he dal giving a history of the poet's life lies with the temptation longer thus far, prophesies that Propertius than usual, and thus practically will always be a slave to one womakes it a fitting introduction for man and fit only to write amatory this last book of his poems. For elegies. The date of this elegy the first part of the elegy dwells at seems thus to have been earlier length on the earlier history and than that of the other aetiological character of the city of Rome, and elegies of this book, before the Nos. 2, 4, 6, 9, and 10 in this book final break with Cynthia occurred. likewise deal with the origins of Cf. Dieterich in Rh. Jus. 55 legends or worships connected (1900), 191-221. with particular localities in Rome. 1-56: “Humble were the beIt is evident that Propertius was ginnings from which came all the ambitious to imitate the Aitia of wonders of Rome, the new Troy, his great model Callimachus, and according to prophecy. 57-70 : planned to treat in topographical It is of this Rome that I would manner the various noteworthy sing and thus win glory as the places in Rome, as Ovid in his Fasti Callimachus of Rome. 71-102 : afterwards explained in chrono- Hold! rash poet, the gods favor logical order the religious cus- not your project, say I, Babylotoms of the Roman year. In the nian Horos, an infallible seer,