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lessness, vagueness, looseness, sometimes its intricacy, and often its obscurity. No better instance can be cited than his omnibus use of the Ablative, which, however, only exaggerates in characteristic manner a tendency long dormant in the language. With the inconsistency of a lover, brevity wrestles with a fondness for periphrasis; e.g. in infinitive expressions. What Postgate 3 acutely calls the “polarization of an idea " so as to treat it immediately from another standpoint, may be compared with his “ love of symmetry and correspondence" in arrangement.* If his metaphors are often far-fetched, they are nevertheless telling. In short, the poetry of Propertius is the work of a brilliant young man, hardly more than a boy, unrestrained, unpruned, full of the marks of genius, and overcrowded with much as yet unassimilated learning. His "faculty of evoking a dim consciousness of awe in lines which present an indefinable stimulus to the imagination "5 is doubtless partly due to what Sellar calls his “desperate sincerity,” and partly to an imagination that in its sweep leaves most Latin poets out of the race.
36. The history of Propertian text criticism has been, and still is, a stormy one ; and probably no important Latin author still labors under so much uncertainty as to what he actually wrote, or is so overburdened with the learned attempts of scholars in many lands to suggest what they surmise he may have written. The areas of arid wastes abandoned to Propertius text conjectures in the various periodicals in the field of classical philology are growing with alarming rapidity, and it will not be long, apparently, before an attempt to enumerate the suggested changes in a page of the text will occupy more space than the text itself.
Lachmann correctly decided that the Codex Neapolitanus (N), written about 1200 A.D. in the vicinity of Metz, now at Wolfenbüttel, was the most nearly correct and trustworthy of all the Propertius Mss. known in his day, although he overestimated sadly another Ms., now generally considered as of little worth (Groninganus, fifteenth century). After a half century of controversy over the relative merits of N, Baehrens in 1880 preferred to base his edition chiefly on four other Mss. belonging to two different families. These were the Vossianus (A) of Leyden, probably written in France in the latter part of the thirteenth or early part of the fourteenth century; the Laurentianus (F), a Milan Ms. of the fourteenth century, evidently of the same family and even believed by Ullman' to be “a granddaughter of A," the Ottobonianus Vaticanus 1514 (V), written in the fourteenth or fifteenth century; and the Daventriensis (D), of the same family as the last, written in the fifteenth century. More recent scholarship has rejected Baehrens's judgment and confirmed Lachmann's view that N is far the best of known Propertius Mss. Propertian criticism, however, is apparently ever increasingly active. The history of the Mss. already mentioned, and their relation to each other and to many others, mostly apparently inferior Mss., are the subject of vigorous discussion. New Mss. have been discovered, like the Codex Holkhamicus (L), written in Italy in 1421, and belonging to the same general class as the preferred Mss. of Baehrens, and several other Italian Mss., including the Codex Lusaticus (L), written in 1469 at Padua, which Paul Köhler? attempted to exalt to an important place beside N. But Postgate 3 has argued convincingly to show this last to have little independent value. O. L. Richmond' has in connection with a review of the known Mss. of Propertius compared five fifteenth century Mss. that appear to come from a common origin, which he denominates C, and thinks may have been written by an Irish scholar, and that it presented a “corrupt, but ancient tradition " of much importance, and was probably written earlier than any other of our Mss. This view, however, is not shared by B. L. Ullman,' who in discussing the Mss. of Propertius finds after examining as many as a hundred Mss. that none are earlier than the fifteenth century except N, A, and F, and gives an interesting chain of evidence to show that all our Mss. come from A and N, that a famous lost Ms. of Petrarch was copied from A, and that this lost Ms. was the archetype of F. Among the most prolific inventors of emendations to the text has been A. E. Housman.?
1Cf. Wagner, De Syntaxi Propertiana, Passau, 1888; Hoerle, De Casuum usu Propertiano, Halle, 1887; Postgate, Prop., Intr., pp. Ivii sqq.; the Index Grammaticus in Hosius; and the recent comprehensive study of Uhlmann.
2 Cf. Postgate, Prop., p. xlii ; Uhlmann, p. 94.
5 Duff, p. 578.
1 Class. Phil., Vol. 6 (1911), p. 288. 2 Philologus, Vol. 64 (1905), pp. 414-437. 8 Class. Rev., Vol. 20 (1906), pp. 349-352. 4 Jour. of Phil., Vol. 31 (1908-1910), pp. 162–196.
37. The first edition of Lachmann in 1816, with introduction and critical notes, was followed in 1829 by his text edition, in which he receded from his positions in many instances, but gave no explanation of the changes. Hertzberg's edition of 1843–1845 contains a wealth of material in the introductory Quaestiones and the elaborate commentary. Baehrens's text in 1880 was characteristically marred by the liberties he took with its traditional form. In 1898 Rothstein produced a masterly commentary, with up-to-date introduction and various happy textual emendations. Butler's edition with English commentary (1905) is somewhat disputatious and perhaps reactionary, but offers many valuable suggestions. The latest text editions are the Oxford text of Phillimore (1901) and the Teubner text of Hosius (1911) Postgate's Select Elegies has a very useful introduction and analysis of Propertius's style, and a commentary rich in its illustrative material and its literary appreciation. Besides the Haupt-Vahlen text with Catullus and Tibullus, the elegiac selections of Ramsay, Schulze, Jacoby, and Carter should be noted (cf. $ 19). Cranstoun's metrical translation in 1876 has been followed by Phillimore's prose version, after thirty years. Still more recent is Butler's, in the Loeb library.
1 Class. Phil., Vol. 6 (1911), pp. 282-301.
2 Cf. Heydenreich in Bursian's JB., Vol. 55 (1888), pp. 144-152. A good detailed description of the most important Mss. is found in Ramsay's introduction, pp. l-lvii; cf. Plessis, pp. 1-45; Housman in Class. Rev., Vol. 9 (1895), pp. 19–29.
8 Cf. Foster in AJP., Vol. 33 (1912), pp. 330-342.
38. The wealth of material left us in the works of Ovid makes it possible to write his biography and estimate the value of his literary product with more ease and greater completeness than is the case with either of the other elegiac writers, his Tristia in particular furnishing us detailed information about his life.
Publius Ovidius Naso was born at Sulmo (Solmona) on March 20, 43 B.C.,' the second son of a noble equestrian father. He repeatedly refers to his native place and evidently appreciated the natural beauties and advantages of the well-watered valley. As his family was in comfortable circumstances, all the educational advantages of the day were given him, including extensive privileges of travel, according to the growing tendency under the empire. With various embellishments we have essentially in Ovid a repetition of the early years of the other elegiac poets, so far as we know them, only with more detailed knowledge. He enjoyed the companionship and tutelage of the best rhetoricians of his day, especially Arellius Fuscus and Porcius Latro. He studied in Athens and extended his travels to the East and to Sicily. He, too, was intended for a lawyer and the public career open to an equestrian. He, too, was of an easygoing disposition and preferred poetry to official humdrum. He, too, liked gay society and knew the town as other young men with well-lined purses knew it. He filled one or two minor offices, and cared little for such duties. But his native poetic ability was even more remarkable than that of any of his predecessors. He must indeed have “lisped in numbers." We cannot imagine that Ovid ever had to labor to write poetry. Such genius could not fail of recognition ; and even as a young man he began to know and associate with Propertius, Horace, Ponticus, Bassus, Macer, and other less known poets, and was
1 Trist. 4, 10, 5-6.
even in a fair way to have an intimate acquaintance with Vergil and Tibullus, had not too early death removed them from the brilliant literary set that graced the court of Augustus.
Welcomed thus in young manhood as a brilliant and companionable acquisition to the best society of Rome, he lived till past fifty as its idol, and produced a large body of verse especially adapted to the temper of the writer and to the time and manners of which he was so prominent a part. Twice married and divorced in young manhood, he was happily married later to a lady of the Fabian family, and had a daughter. Suddenly and without warning, probably in the year 8 A.D., while Ovid was away from Rome at Elba, an imperial decree of relegatio required him to take up his residence at Tomi on the Black Sea. Speculation has never been able to arrive at a certain solution of the riddle of this banishment. Ovid himself mentions carmen et errorl as explanations. We are certain that the Ars Amatoria was the poem'; but that alone, and years after its composition, could hardly have been a sufficient reason. What mistake’ Ovid made we shall never know. He was not a political intriguer, nor, at this time in his life at least, can we believe him to have been a party of the first part in any scandal. His family acquaintance with the two Julias, the daughter and the granddaughter of the emperor, has led to various guesses, one of the least unlikely of which is that Ovid knew about the younger Julia's adulterous relation with Silanus. What it meant for this favorite ornament of metropolitan society to be com-pelled thus to hurry home, take leave of his devoted family, and hasten to the provincial and bleak northwestern frontier of the empire can hardly be imagined. No wonder that he spent most of his time during the next ten years in writing mournful elegies to persuade Augustus to take pity on him by a recall, and that he died a broken-hearted man in the year 18.
39. The literary activity of Ovid began probably with the Amores, mostly erotic elegies dealing with the love relations 1 Trist. 2, 207.
2 Cf. Schanz, § 291.