« ZurückWeiter »
Parisina (P) were made by some unknown monk, perhaps about 1000 A.D., with an evident purpose to emphasize certain moral precepts or to cull passages of special beauty. The Codex Thuaneus copy of these excerpts contains 266 vv. from the Tibullus collection, about 100 of which differ materially from the form in which they appear in the complete Mss. The readings of P were copied by Scaliger, whose copy was copied by Heinsius. Lachmann used the copy of Heinsius. The Excerpta Frisingensia (M) were not seen by Lachmann till after his edition was completed. They are in a Ms. which goes back to the eleventh century and are apparently copied from a purer original than the archetype of the complete Mss. Moreover, the purposes in the mind of the excerptor were not apparently such as to lead him to make arbitrary alterations in the text. F and M therefore may be regarded as of considerable value in correcting the readings of A and V.1
30. Combined editions of Catullus, Tibullus, and Propertius have been common for centuries, such as the Aldine edition of 1562 with learned comments by Muretus; the Paris edition by Scaliger in 1577; the Bonn edition of 1680 edited by Graevius and containing notes by many famous scholars; and the HauptVahlen text edition (see § 19). The fourth edition of Heyne (improved by Wunderlich, 1817) contains much exegetical material. The first critical edition was that of Lachmann in 1829. This was followed by Dissen in 1835, with elaborate introduction and commentary. After the discovery of the Mss. A, V, and G, Baehrens brought out his text in 1878. E. Hiller produced a good text with index verborum in 1885. Belling's Untersuchung und Text appeared in 1897, Postgate's selections in 1903, and his Oxford text edition in 1905 (much more conservative than that of 1903). Némethy's edition of Tibullus and Sulpicia in 1905 was followed by a separate edition of
1 Cf. Rothstein, De Tibulli Codicibus, Berlin, 1880; Protzen, De Excerptis Tibullianis, Greifswald, 1869; Magnus in Bursian's JB., Vol. 51 (1887), pp. 311 sqq.; Postgate, Sel., pp. 200-208.
Lygdamus in 1906, the latter with an index verborum. Like Belling, he has attempted to rearrange the elegies in chronological order. After completing his important review of the work done on Tibullus during the last century (Cartault, Corp. Tib.), A. Cartault in 1909 published an edition of his author (or authors) with introduction and a conservative text. The edition by Kirby Flower Smith (1913) includes an introduction and full commentary on Books 1, 2, and
4, 2-14. For editions of selections by Jacoby and Schulze see $ 19. Cranstoun’s translation is perhaps the best. A more recent one by Williams omits most of Book 4. The latest is Postgate's, in the Loeb library.
31. Our information concerning the life of Propertius must be drawn almost entirely from his own elegies, especially 1, 22, and
Such knowledge is but limited, not including, e.g., even his full name.
Donatus in his life of Vergil calls him Sextus Propertius, and the use of the same praenomen in the Codex Salmasianus of the Latin Anthology is probably derived from the
Some of the Mss. have Aurelius Propertius Nauta, plainly the product of pedantry. “Aurelius ” may have been accepted from a confusion with the name of Prudentius; while “Nauta ” has been explained as derived from the Mss. reading navita of 2, 24, 38.8
From these passages, 1, 22,9-10; 4, 1,63–66 and 121–126, it is certain that Propertius was born in Umbria, but whether at Assisium, Hispellum, Mevania, or at some other neighboring place has been the subject of much discussion. The first of these, the Assisi of to-day, or at least its vicinity, is now generally accepted
1 Cf. Jacoby in BPW., Vol. 26 (1906), Sp. 141.
8 The inscription in honor of Sextus Aurelius Propertius, said to have been discovered at Hispellum (Spello), reproduced on p. 3 of Burmann's edition of Propertius, is clearly one of many similar forgeries.
as best entitled to the honor. His father died while the poet was still young, and his mother brought him up and intended him for a public career. He had no special ground for pride in his family, and whatever landed possessions he may have inherited suffered the common fate of large confiscations, as in the case of Vergil and Tibullus. The confiscation probably was in connection with the allotment of lands to the veterans of Octavian in 41 B.C., just before the Perusine war. At the time of this war, then, Propertius, who lost a relative at that time (cf. 1, 22, 7), was a boy whose father had recently died. If we compare the youth of the poet at this date with the statements of Ovid (Trist. 4, 10, 41-54 ; 2, 463-468) that Propertius was older than himself, though in some sense a successor of Tibullus, we find ground for conjecture that Propertius was born not before 48 B.C., perhaps a little later. As no reference to a date later than 16 B.C. can be discovered in the elegies, it is believed that he died not later than the year 15, perhaps after attending himself to the publication of the last book. Many hints in his poems would incline us to imagine him as having a rather frail constitution, and we can picture him as pale and thin, if we are to take seriously his expressions, meo palleat ore (1, 1, 22), si exiles videor tenuatus in artus (2, 22, 21), and pallorem totiens mirabere nostrum (1, 5, 21). But he was particular about his personal appearance.
32. It is easy to see that such a temperament did not promise much success in the prosaic profession of the law. Though well educated under his mother's direction, whose remaining fortune
1 Cf. 4, 1, 125; Sellar, pp. 268-276; Plin. Ep. 6, 15, 1, and the Assisi inscription in honor of C. Passennus Sergius Paulus Propertius Blaesus.
4, I, 127. 34, 1, 131 sqq.
4 Nullus et antiquo Marte triumphus avi (2, 34, 56); quamvis nec sanguine avito nobilis (2, 24, 37).
54, 1, 129-130; 2, 24, 38: quamvis haud ita dives eras ; 2, 34, 55: cui parva domi fortuna relictast.
6 Cf. 2, 4, 5: nequiquam perfusa meis unguenta capillis, ibat et expenso planta morata gradu.
was still ample, evidently, to provide for all the boy's needs, he early discovered his poetic gift, and turned his back on a Forum which seemed to him a madman's paradise (4, 1, 133–134). But he was no recluse. He loved good-fellowship, and was ambitious to rise into the highest literary circles. Among his best friends were Tullus, a nephew of the consul of 33 B.C.,' Ponticus (1, 7), and Bassus (1, 4). Lynceus (2, 34) may be a pseudonym for some tragic writer. Of the better known literary men, Ovid and Vergil were certainly included in his circle of friends. Tibullus and Propertius do not mention each other; but evidently they were well acquainted each with the work of the other. The relation of Propertius to Horace has been a subject for interesting discussions. There is no sign that they were friends, although belonging to the same literary circle, that of Maecenas. More than that, quite a case can be made out for thinking that Horace turned up his nose at the poetic aspirations as well as the personality of the ambitious young elegist. Postgate (Prop., p. 33) has an elaborate argument for identifying the passage in Horace's Epistles, 2, 2, 87 sqq., as a direct attack upon Propertius. It was probably the publication of Book 1 of the elegies that won recognition and friendship from Maecenas, and placed Propertius in the most coveted position in Rome. Elegies 2, 1, and 3, 9 are addressed to Maecenas.? The friendship of Maecenas implied more or less direct relations with Augustus. The emperor is duly praised in various places. Propertius seems to have lived a social life at Rome, seldom leaving it, and always anxious to return, when away. He was able to live on the Esquiline, and occasionally we find him at Tibur, or back in Umbria for a brief sojourn. 33
But as with Catullus, the career of Propertius, as well as 1 Cf. 1, 1; 1, 6; 1, 14; 1, 22; 3, 22.
2 For a fascinating fancy sketch of the poet's relations to this group of men of letters cf. Anne C. E. Allinson, “ A Poet's Toll,” Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 106 (1910), pp. 774-784.
8 3,4, 1; 11, 66; 4, 6, 14; 11, 63 43, 23, 24.
his failure to realize all his possibilities, is largely due to one woman. True, his ardent nature led him when but a slip of a boy into an attachment to one Lycinna.' Who she was we can hardly guess; but when he protested to his jealous mistress later (v. 43) that Lycinna had been but a passing fancy of two or three early years (vv. 7-10) and added, cuncta tuus sepelivit amor, we may believe that he spoke as near the truth as forgetful lovers ever can. For when Cynthia dawned upon his life he became for the time being essentially a man of one idea. Her real name was Hostia, the pseudonym suggesting not merely the qualities of an ordinary lover's “divinity,” but more especially her function as an inspirer of his poetry; for she was not only herself a docta puella, but came of literary ancestry, her grandfather Hostius having written, it is believed, a poem on the Illyrian war. Her fine literary tastes and elegant accomplishments were enhanced by all the feminine arts and graces and by a beauty which made the susceptible young poet her willing slave. Her birthplace was at Tibur, where she seems to have lived at times, while commonly maintaining a considerable establishment at Rome. It was she who made the first advances, partly, perhaps, because she admired the gifts of the young student of poetic promise. Indeed, she may have been more or less responsible for his forsaking the Forum and frequenting the salon. Immediately the Alexandrian impetus which is seen in his earliest work was concentrated on this absorbing affection and its object, and he tells the world of her golden hair, her ta per fingers, her sparkling black eyes, and her stately carriage.
But Cynthia was older than Propertius 5 and more artful. As a meretrix she could not contract a legal marriage; and there were other lovers to whom at times she gave more attention
13, 15, 3-6.
2 Cf. ” 13 8 Splendidaque a docto fama refulget avo (3, 20, 8). 4 2, 2, 5; 2, 3, 9 sqq.; 2, 12, 23-24. 5 Cf. 2, 18, 19.