« ZurückWeiter »
getting to plead for gentleness towards the fair ones who might suffer rudeness from such a lover (1, 10, 51 sqq.). And while the course of his own love fails to run smoothly, he can express a generous wish for better luck to his more fortunate friends (2, 2).
More than this, Tibullus prefers the quiet and gentle life and loves the peaceful world of nature best. “No other poet, with the exception of Vergil, is so possessed by the spirit of Italy, the love of the country and of the labor of the fields, and the piety associated with that sentiment.” It is natural, therefore, for him to express these primitive sentiments of love of home and friends and native land, of reverence for his gods and devotion to the scenes where these rustic divinities especially held sway, with a simplicity and directness that are worthy of his themes. That he was master of his art, to be sure, has come to be generally recognized; and this was the same art that had produced the Alexandrian elegy. But no poet has succeeded better in exemplifying the dictum that the highest art consists in the concealment of art. He never obtrudes his learning upon the reader, as Propertius did, and in spite of many attempts to show a highly artificial structure in his elegies, the most patent fact about them is their utterly natural flow of a perfectly simple thought, oft-repeated, after the manner of one absorbed in the genuineness of his feeling? The deliberate estimate of the master Quintilian (10, 1, 93), mihi tersus atque elegans maxime videtur auctor Tibullus, is confirmed by the sober judgment of the present day. The relative merit of good poets is like that of oysters, a matter of taste. If one is bent on a fat capon, nothing else suits him. Within his field it is rash to assert that Tibullus is a second-rate poet, who just missed greatness. His wonderfully pure Latinity, in the Augustan age, his perfection in handling the elegiac distich, and his success in
1 Sellar, p. 239. For Tibullus as a poet of nature cf. K. P. H. in PAPA., Vol. 31 (1900), pp. xxxiv-xxxix; Geikie, pp. 85-86, et passim.
2 Cf. PAPA., Vol. 26 (1895), pp. v-viii. 3 Cf. Kirby F. Smith in Johns Hopkins Univ. Circular No. 6 (1910), pp. 26-31. 1 Cf. Beil. p. 293; P. W., Vol. 5, pp. 2291 sqq.; Bubendey, Die Symmetrie der riten Eegre.
touching the human heart with a gentle sympathy place him among the masters of his art.
28. The means by which Tibullus achieved this result seem to have been relatively simple and direct; but no poet has been more successful in clearing away the rubbish of his workshop, so that we cannot be sure that we are entirely acquainted with his methods. That he had studied the earlier Greek, as well as the Alexandrian, models we cannot doubt. While we are not warranted in pressing too far our zeal to discover traces of elaborate symmetry in the composition of the elegies, traces of such symmetry appear. Though it is impossible to discover all of the intimate connections with the Greek comedy, the earlier elegy, the pastoral of Theocritus, the leading Alexandrian elegists, and the lost elegies of Gallus, the debt of Tibullus to these predecessors was certainly a heavy one. Neither is it possible to estimate accurately the mutual indebtedness of the practically contemporary poets, Tibullus, Propertius, and Ovid.? But whatever the sources of Tibullus may have been, he used them so as to manifest a simple diction, a syntax essentially without individuality, a modest use of figurative language, and in the choice of expressions a taste that almost uniformly attains the elegant. His tendency to repeat words and expressions, to postpone an epithet and to postpone -que, his scrupulous preference for the forms at, seu, neu, nei, for sic rather than ita, nam rather than enim, his care in the forms of declension, his avoidance of forms belonging properly to the sermo cottidianus, his slight use of diminutives, and his skill in placing words are among the palpable qualities of his style. Such poems as 2, 5 illustrate the
4. Hier in R4 Vus, Vol. 60 (1905), pp. 38-105; Skutsch, Aus Vergils Fru ezeit, passim; Cartault, Chap. IV; Jacoby in BPII., Vol. 29 (1909), Sp. 1464; Richani Burger in Bursuan's 'B., Vol. 153 (1911), pp. 135-144.
3 Inder rar in Hier.
+ CL Postgate, Si, pp. z, sqq.; Hansen, De Bruyn et muris ad Titucione; Seur. pp. 245 $99.; Richard Burger, Beitrige su Ecurta Timis, in Xapetes
“national and historical tendency" of literature in the Augustan age. Especially noticeable is the great advance in the technical refinement of the handling of the elegiac verse seen in Tibullus ; for some details cf. § 42.
29. The best Tibullus Mss. known to us are the Ambrosianus (A), written in 1374, discovered by Baehrens in the Ambrosian library at Milan in 1876, comparatively free from interpolations ; and the Vaticanus (V), discovered in the Vatican library by Gustav Loewe at the suggestion of Baehrens, a Ms. agreeing remarkably with A, and thus having less independent value, written probably at the end of the fourteenth, or the beginning of the fifteenth century. These two Mss. coming from a common archetype, their consensus furnishes the most reliable authority. A third Ms., the Guelferbytanus (G), found by Baehrens in the ducal library at Wolfenbüttel, was probably overestimated by him when he believed it to be derived from a different archetype. It is apparently somewhat interpolated. Its date, according to Baehrens, is about 1425 A.D. Lachmann had also, in the preparation of his edition of 1829, knowledge of the Parisinus (B), written in 1423, somewhat interpolated, and of little independent value ; Eboracensis (Y), now lost, and used only in part and at second hand; and the consensus of three younger and inferior Mss. (C), viz., the Wittianus (c), the Datanus (d), and the Askewianus (e). All the Mss. thus far mentioned are believed to come from a common archetype. Besides these complete Mss. the Fragmentum Cuiacianum (F) was an important, older Ms., which began with 3, 4, 65, known by Scaliger, and collated by him on the margin of a Plantinian edition of 1569. This collation, which was known to Lachmann only at second hand, was long lost, but is now in the University library at Leyden ; F itself has been lost for centuries. There are also two series of excerpts which contain Tibullus passages. The Excerpta 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
F. Leo ... dargebracht, pp. 371-394 ; Linke, Tibullus quantum in poesi elegiaca profecerit comparato Catullo, 1877.
1 Cf. Burn, RL and RA., p. 79.
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 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.
1Cf. 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.
31. Our information concerning the life of Propertius must be drawn almost entirely from his own elegies, especially 1, 22, and 4, 1. 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 same source. 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, 38.3
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. 2 Cf. Ibid., Vol. 29 (1909), Sp. 1460, for a detailed statement of its weaknesses.
3 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.