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out as foremost, at least in the esteem.of posterity, among the Alexandrians are Callimachus and Philetas. It is clear, however, that several other representatives of the Alexandrian school had a direct and important influence upon Roman elegy.
8. It was Philetas of Cos, the renowned teacher of Ptolemy II, as well as of Theocritus and Zenodotus, of whom it was told that in his devotion to study he became so thin that he was obliged to wear lead in his shoes to prevent the wind from blowing him away! Yet he found time to compose merry erotic elegies (Talyvia) and thus to immortalize the name of his wife, or mistress, Bittis.? Hermesianax of Colophon, pupil and friend of Philetas, wrote three books of elegies, chiefly about his darling Leontion. Phanocles handled the theme of love for beautiful boys, illustrating from the legends of gods and heroes. Euphorion, born in Euboean Chalcis (c. 275 B.c.), and after living long at Athens transplanted to Alexandria to care for the famous library, although a peculiarly ugly personality in character as well as in figure, wrote voluminously in elegy as well as in other fields of poetry. It was he whose elegies Gallus translated into Latin.
9. Callimachus (c. 310–240 B.C.), the most celebrated name in the Alexandrian group, came from the Dorian colony of Cyrene, and after studying at Athens and teaching grammar at Eleusis, a suburb of Alexandria, was put in charge of the great library of the Ptolemies. He is said to have left behind him eight hundred books to testify of his learning and his poetic skill.' His elegies are the most famous of the poetical works, and the most noted of them was the Aitia, in four books, dealing with the origins of cities, games, religious forms, and other phenomena. The extant fragments of his works include some
1 Or Philitas; cf. Crönert in Hermes, 37 (1902), p. 212; Bechtel in Genethliakon C. Robert Ueberreicht, p. 73; Wilamowitz in Sitzungsberichte d. Kgl. Pr. Akad. d. Wiss. 1912, p. 110. Cf. Quint. 10, 1, 58: cuius [elegiae] princeps habetur Callimachus, secundas confessione plurimorum Philetas occupavit; Prop. 3, I, 1; Ovid, A.A. 3, 329: sit tibi Callimachi, sit Coi nota poetae, etc.
2 Ovid, Trist, 1, 6, 1: nec tantum Clario Lyde dilecta poetae, nec tantum Coo Bittis amata suo est ; Ex P. 3, 1, 57: non inferius Coa Bittide nomen habes.
excellent epigrams and hymns. The character of the satirical poem Ibis is revealed in Ovid's imitation ; and the Berenice's Hair is known to us through the translation of Catullus (No. 66). The Aitia furnished the model for the aetiological elegies of Propertius, who was otherwise deeply indebted to him, and often refers to him as his direct pattern. As a fine example of the doctus poeta, Callimachus was duly appreciated even by his Roman imitators.2
10. Among the many other Alexandrian elegists may be mentioned Alexander the Aetolian, Poseidippus, and numerous epigrammatists, including Theocritus, some of whose epigrams have survived to our day. Of peculiar interest is Parthenius of Nicaea, brought to Rome in B.C. 73 as a prisoner taken in the war with Mithridates. That he had been a close student of the Alexandrian poets is evidenced by his frequent references to them as his authorities. For his friend the promising elegist Cornelius Gallus he collected Έρωτικά Παθήματα (The Misfortunes of Love) in prose. This tendency towards the tragic thus appearing even in erotic literature is seen also in the threnetic elegy which he seems especially to have affected.
In Naples he was the teacher of Vergil, and the pseudo-Vergilian Moretum was an imitation of his MUTTwtós, as the Ciris was of one of his Metamorphoses.
11. Incalculable as is the debt of Roman elegy to Greek elegy, especially that of the Alexandrian school, as well as to Greek comedy and other forms of Greek literature, it must not be supposed that the Roman elegists were merely slavish imitators, lacking individual genius and invention. Rather must it be acknowledged by candid critics that Roman elegy developed into an independent product, covering its own field in its own way, and becoming one of the most successful and justly ap
1 E.g. 3, 1, 1; 9, 43; 4, 1, 64: Umbria Romani patria Callimachi.
preciated varieties of Roman literature. That this was not as well appreciated by contemporary Romans themselves as by posterity is not a unique literary phenomenon. We must beware of accepting as the sober judgment of to-day the derogatory remarks of the Romans about their own literature, or the scoffs that authors then threw at their rivals. Cicero may, indeed, when it happens to suit his argument, say, doctrina Graecia nos et omni litterarum genere superabat.! Vergil may in his great epic conciliate all literary parties by giving them severally their meed of praise. Horace may sneer at the Roman disregard of poetic form and charge his own generation with prefering money to culture. But similar pessimism is familiar in every day. What poets and novelists have been rightly valued in their own time? Who recognized Shakespeare as the dramatist of the world while Shakespeare was still treading the boards? Who, when Milton was alive, believed Paradise Lost to be our great English epic? How many of the contemporaries of Dante supposed that his name would be that around which would circle the whole idea of Italian literature? Who listened to Edmund Burke's speeches ? Circumstances were unfavorable to the normal development of originality in Roman literature; but in satire, in the epistle, in didactic poetry, and in other branches of literature the Romans worked out matchless types of their own. In elegy, too, theirs was a master product, which surpassed its pattern and achieved a style and beauty all its own. The subjectivity of genuine personal feeling is ultimately happily wedded to the objective learning of Alexandria, and the Roman atmosphere pervades the whole. As Wilamowitz' says: 'The Roman poets of the brief golden age . . . sucked the finest education of taste from the greatest variety of flowers; but what they produced was a honey of their own. So Propertius and Tibullus became creators of a new elegy.' By the end of the first Christian century this began to be realized even at
1 Tusc. Disp. I, I, I.
2 Aen. 6, 847 sqq.
Rome, as is tersely stated by the foremost critic of the age, Quintilian : Elegia quoque Graecos provocamus."
12. It is more than probable that Ennius, whose place as the father of Roman poetry has not been disputed for two millenniums, was responsible for the introduction into Latin of the elegiac distich as well as the heroic hexameter. The three well-known epigrams included among the fragments of his poetry, however, are the only indications left to us of his activity in the field of elegy; and it may be assumed that with elegy of the Alexandrian type he did not concern himself. Lucilius used the elegiac distich in some of his satires. There are also traces of the growth in popularity of the erotic epigram of Alexandrian form, with which such well-known men as Valerius Aedituus, Porcius Licinus, and Q. Lutatius Catulus amused themselves. Had we, further, the erotic poems of Quinctius Atta, Laevius, Valerius Cato, and Ticidas, we might discover in them a very considerable body of relatively early attempts in elegiac form, whereas at present we know little of the metrical form in which their merry trifling was cast. How pervasive was the tradition that serious minds might well relax in this manner is curiously shown by Pliny the younger in his apology for his own course, where he quotes as his examples many eminent names from Cicero to Verginius Rufus and the Caesars. And though Catullus is the oldest Roman elegiac writer whose works have survived, there was a very interesting group of poets of his own generation who tried their hand at this literary novelty, the loss of whose elegies we must deeply regret as depriving us of important evidence with regard to the rise and development of this type of poetry at Rome. Varro Atacinus (82–37 B.C.), whose tastes seem to have been well fitted for his
1 Inst. Or. 1o, I, 93.
2 Gell. 19, 9, 10 : versus cecinit Valeri Aeditui veteris poetae, item Porcii Licini et Q. Catuli quibus mundius, venustius, limatius, tersius, Graecum Latinumve nihil quicquam reperiri puto.
tasks, adapted a number of the learned epic and didactic poems of the Alexandrian school, and also elegies of the erotic type.
C. Licinius Macer Calvus (82-47 B.c.), the intimate friend of Catullus, excelled as orator and poet, and the playful rivalry of the two boon companions in composing light poetry has been celebrated by Catullus himself (No. 50). Yet through the pranks of fortune his verses have been reduced practically to the vanishing point. For the fragments see Plessis, Calvus. Like Catullus, he wrote erotic elegies, epigrams, and at least one famous lament, on the death of his wife, or mistress, Quintilia.? C.. Valgius Rufus (consul suffectus, 12 B.C.), the friend of Horace, bewailed, presumably in elegiac form, the death of his favorite slave boy Mystes.
More important than all of these was C. Cornelius Gallus (69-26 B.C.), recognized by the other elegists and by other literary critics as properly belonging to the small group of leading writers in this field. Born in Gallia Narbonensis, at Forum Iulii (Frejus), he achieved at a comparatively early age an enviable position in the military and social life of Rome
1 Quint. 1o, 1, 87: Atacinus Varro in iis per quae nomen est assecutus interpres operis alieni non spernendus quidem; Ovid, Trist. 2, 439 : is quoque Phasiacas Argon qui duxit in undas, non potuit Veneris furta tacere suae; Prop. 2, 34, 85: haec quoque perfecto ludebat lasone Varro.
2 Ovid, Trist. 2, 431 : par fuit exigui similisque licentia Calvi, detexit variis qui sua furta modis; Prop. 2, 34, 89: haec etiam docti confessa est pagina Calvi, cum caneret miserae funera Quintiliae ; 2, 25, 3: ista meis fiet notissima forma libellis, Calve tua venia, pace Catullus tua; Suet. Iulius Caesar, 73; Cat. 96; 14.
3 Hor. Car. 2, 9, 9: tu semper urges flebilibus modis Mysten ademptum ; cf. Tib. 4, I, 179: est tibi, qui possit magnis se accingere rebus, Valgius : aeterno propior non alter Homero; Serv, on Verg. Ec. 7, 22: ut Valgius in elegiis suis refert.
4 Ovid, Trist. 4, 10, 53 : successor fuit hic tibi, Galle, Propertius illi ; quartus ab his serie temporis ipse fui; 5, I, 17: aptior huic Gallus blandique Propertius oris aptior, ingenium mite, Tibullus erit; A. A. 3, 333: et teneri possis carmen legisse Properti, sive aliquid Galli, sive, Tibulle, tuum; Am. 3, 9, 63; Quint. 10, 1, 93: Elegia quoque Graecos provocamus,cuius mihi tersus atque elegans maxime videtur auctor Tibullus ; sunt qui Propertium malint. Ovidius utroque lascivior, sicut durior Gallus. That this epithet must refer to verse construction rather than lack of sentiment is clear from Ovid, Rem. Am.765 : quis poterit lecto durus discedere Gallo?