PROPERTIUS AND TIBULLUS: EARLY EXCHANGES(1).
1. The lowest date in Propertius, Book 1
We look for a hard fact. What is the latest date we can find, before which the book cannot have been published?
The most useful has to be extracted from Prop. 1.6. Propertius' addressee Tullus proposes travelling to the East; Asia is given prominent mention (14); his uncle will deploy `axes' (19f.), emblems of a magistracy. This uncle must be L. Volcacius Tullus, consul in 33 B.C.: his consulship is recorded in the Fasti Venusini, Degrassi Inscriptiones Italiae XIII.1: text pp. 254 and 255, commentary p. 251. Another inscription then testifies without ambiguity to the fact that L. Volcacius Tullus was proconsul of Asia: see Ehrenberg and Jones, Documents Illustrating the Reigns of Augustus and Tiberius (2nd edn, Oxford, 1955), no. 98.(3)
Prop. 1.6.19-20 read:
tu patrui meritas conare anteire securis, et uetera oblitis iura refer sociis.
Goold(4) translates: `You must attempt to surpass your uncle's merited axes and to restore the old laws to forgetful allies.' When line 14 (Asiae) is included, we cannot but see here a reference to L. Volcacius Tullus' proconsulship in Asia. Secures preceded a proconsul as well as a consul (or praetor, dictator): cf. Cic. Ver. 4.8 mercatorem in prouinciam cum imperio ac securibus misimus...., 5.39 secuta prouincia est.... fascis ac securis et tantam imperi uim.(5) The situation behind the poem is, I think, clear. The young Tullus is to be part of the governor's personally chosen entourage of well-to-do subordinates, his cohors of amici,(6) and has suggested that Propertius participate too. Goold's `surpass' is a legitimate translation (cf. Propertius' other use of anteire, 2.3.41), though there is probably some play on a literal sense of `precede' (for which see Camps ad loc.). But with `surpass' Propertius indulges in chaffing hyperbole. It is surely wrong--dangerously over-literal--to infer from the suggestion of competition some independent command of the young Tullus: Tullus is a young man, he is the friend of a poet, he has a powerful uncle with a proconsular command, there is the institution of the governor's cohort, there are the close parallels of, for example, Catullus and Memmius, Propertius seems to have the option of participating: it is irresistible to conclude that Tullus is to act as an amicus on L. Volcacius Tullus' proconsular staff, and that it is to this that Propertius refers.(7)
But when was this proconsulship? The Ehrenberg and Jones inscription, itself a later document (probably 9 B.C., say E. and J.), does not date Volcacius Tullus' proconsulship. A decree that `no one, neither an ex-praetor nor an ex-consul, should assume a command abroad before five years had elapsed' had been proposed ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) by the consuls Cn. Domitius Calvinus and M. Valerius Messalla in late 53 B.C., and confirmed by Pompey ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) in 52 B.C. (Cassius Dio 40.46.2 and 40.56.1). Presumably therefore a lex Pompeia, determining a five-year gap between consul/praetorship and provincial governorship. But scholars doubt, surely correctly, that it was still applied in our period.(8) So, we are left with the hard date of Volcacius Tullus' consulship (33 B.C.), the hard fact of his proconsulship, the reference to it in Prop. 1.6.19f. (and 14)--and the implications of Prop. 1.6.20: disaffection in the provinces (for the use of socius see OLD s.v. 4b). This line can surely only refer to a period immediately after Actium. We may infer a proconsulship in 30/29 B.C.--as many of course have done (e.g. Enk on 1.6.19). But it is as well to set out the evidence clearly.
The book cannot have been published earlier than 30 B.C.. Another suggestion: it is perhaps unlikely that Propertius would issue Book 1 when the events of 1.6, relating directly to his addressee, were stale. Rather, when they were still topical.
2 The lowest date in Tibullus Book 1
The Fasti triumphales Capitolini (Degrassi XIII.1, p. 87) record Messalla's triumph pro consule ex Gallia on 25 September 27 B.C. Tibullus refers to this triumph in 1.7.3-8. It is a certain date, and it is the latest certain date we have in his first book.(9) The book cannot have been published before this.
One wonders whether Tibullus would issue his book when feats performed by his addressee were stale. But this kind of thought has less force, perhaps, in Tibullus' and Messalla's case, than in Propertius' and Tullus'. Prop. 1.6 is, or poses as, a topical poem; Tibullus 1.7 celebrates the birthday of one of Rome's illustrious statesmen, and the accomplishment of a triumph is hardly something to go out of fashion.
3. Propertius `Book 2' and relative dating
Hard dates therefore suggest, or at least concur with the inference, that Tibullus Book 1 follows Propertius 1--as most, but not all, scholars have assumed.(10) Now we look for dates in Propertius Books 2a and 2b. If we see 2.10 as closural in 2a (and not as opening a Book 2b), then we have useful material for that book.(11) Auguste (2.10.15) post-dates 16 January 27 B.C. (the calendars cited by Ehrenberg and Jones, Documents, p. 45 give the exactest date; then Res Gestae 34, etc.); the book could not have been published before then. The reference in 2.10.15 to the submission of India points to 26-25 B.C.; it is to this time that, if we pursue references in Res Gestae, Orosius, Dio, and Suetonius, we can date one of the embassies from India. The reference to fear in an Arabia yet intacta in the next line suggests the same time: an expedition is impending but has not yet happened. The best date for the ill-starred Arabian expedition which actually ensued (that of Aelius Gallus) is to be inferred from Dio 53.29.3-8, and is 25-24 B.C.. Arabia could not have been termed intacta after the commencement of the campaign. We therefore have a publication date for 2a not later than 25 B.C., and close to that time (embassy from India, Arabian expedition impending).(12) Looking at the rest of `Book 2' we find one other fairly hard piece of dating: 2.34.91-2 refer to the death of the poet Cornelius Gallus, assigned by Jerome, Chronicle p. 164H to 27 B.C., and by Dio 53.23.5 to 26 B.C..(13) Book 2(b) must post-date this event.
We would be interested in any topical references which might suggest publication of any part of `Book 2' before Tibullus Book 1. Poems which invite dating but which tease are: 2.7 referring to abolished legislation, and 2.31 referring to the opening of the portico attached to the Temple of Apollo. In the former, although we can perhaps date the abrogation with some plausibility (28 B.C.), it is not necessarily in close temporal proximity to the poem.(14) As for the latter, the dedication of the Temple itself can of course be dated: to 9 October 28 B.C. (again the exact date is given by calendars, Ehrenberg and Jones, p. 53; then Cassius Dio 53.1.3, etc.), but Propertius seems to me to suggest the separation rather than the contemporaneity of the portico-opening and the dedication of the Temple. In short I see no topical reference anywhere in `Book 2' that forces a date before Tibullus 1 for any of `Book 2'.
Given the terminus post quem and other dates mentioned above, I would suggest the following order of publication (with approximate dates in brackets): Prop. 1 (28 B.C.), Tib. 1 (27 B.C.), Prop. 2a (26 B.C.), Prop. 2b (24 B.C.).(15) This squares with dateable facts and makes most sense of the literature, as--from one vantage point--I shall proceed to show. But the suggestion in 2.3.3 (however hyperbolic) that Propertius' second book came hard on the heels of his first may need further pondering. And the possibility, perhaps probability, of pre-publication influence by one poet on the other, via, for example, the medium of recitation, must always be borne in mind (cf. n. 10). (Then following the publication of Horace Odes 1-3 came Propertius 3;(16) Tibullus Book 2, according to Reeve's persuasive argument, is unfinished,(17) and was issued posthumously after Tibullus' death in, it seems, 19 B.C.;(18) Propertius 4 post-dates 16 B.C.(19))
II. TIBULLUS RESPONDS TO PROPERTIUS, BOOK 1(20)
1. The `life of love':(21) until death. Introduction
In his first book of elegies, Tibullus makes declarations concerning love and life which obviously overlap with those of Propertius. The two poets shared views and a tradition; but there were differences of substance and emphasis. There was motive for Tibullus to expose such differences. Coming so soon after Propertius (and after Gallus, and Catullus) he would wish to show novelty as well as contiguity. And so he does: he adds, trumps, and responds, amusingly smug (for example) instead of riven by Angst. Compared with Propertius, Book 1, Tibullus can strike one as really quite funny--on topics on which many readers, perhaps not altogether rightly, have detected no Propertian humour or self-irony at all. Tibullan wit is something to emphasize.
Tibullus' opening poem argues a life of leisure in contrast to service in the entourage of a soldier and statesman (militia);(22) he disdains the wealth and honour that such service might bring (Tib. 1.1.1-6, 41ff., 49-58). This is much the same message as that delivered by Propertius in 1.6 and 14.(23) Not, however, until Tib. 1.1.46, and then esp. 55f., do we hear of love as a constituent of this life of leisure, not until then do we hear that love gets in the way of Tibullus' honourable and profitable militia. And not until 57 is Delia named. These delays tease the reader; this is a calculatedly different introduction from Propertius' self-presentation.(24) Meantime Tibullus asserts a major un-Propertian and idiosyncratic point: the life which, with greater insolence than Propertius, he has called iners, `indolent' (5), is to be rustic (7ff.). There is additional provocation as well as difference here. Initially Tibullus makes his desired rustic life sound strenuous and moral: so it would seem to most readers, to readers of the Georgics, for example (ipse seram, and so forth). In fact the life he actually envisages, far from that of a Georgics farmer, is the life of the leisured gentleman proprietor, the life which, say, Horace exhibits in Serm. 2.6 or Epist. 1.14. He will merely toy with the work; those strenuously active verbs are just play with the world and language of the Georgics.(25)
This rustic situation of Tibullus' dream of love and leisure provides a source of romantic woe unavailable to Propertius--though Propertius found plenty of others. Love in the country can only be a dream beyond realization, given that the habitat of girls like Delia is the city (1.1.55f.).(26) Tibullus' country estate exists, of course (e.g. 1.1.19ff.), but to imagine the urban Delia domiciled there is the purest fantasy.(27) Tibullus structures his first book in two halves,(28) and the last poem of the first half of Tibullus' book (1.5) elaborately exposes the fact that his dream is and must stay a mere fantasy (cf. too 1.2.71-6). Delia as the country spouse is pictured at length (1.5.21-34), but prefaced and concluded with words confessing the fanciful invention: fingebarn demens (20) ... haec mihi fingebarn (35). It is because his life of love and leisure can only be a wish that we find wishful subjunctives predominating in Tibullus' first poem: e.g. hoc mihi contingat (1.1.49).(29) From hoc mihi contingat to fingebam demens: we can see a ring-composition here.
Compared with Cynthia, Delia has a carefully delayed entry. But, like Cynthia, it is she who prevents the poet-lover's participation in militia. Here are Tibullus' lines, 1.1.55f., `But the fetters of a beautiful girl hold me back in bonds, and I sit in front of her harsh doors, her door-keeper':
me retinent uinctum formosae uincla puellae, et sedeo duras ianitor ante fores.
These recall and surely allude to parallel lines in Propertius, 1.6.5f., `But the words of my girl embracing me hold me back, and her frequent grievous entreaties, her changing complexions':
sed me complexae remorantur uerba puellae, mutatoque graues saepe colore preces.
Propertius focuses on affective constraints, pressurizing words, and so on; this emotional self-presentation is quite plausible. In Tibullus, bonds that could have been expressively metaphorical are given a concrete possibility. He toys with the picture of himself as a slavishly fettered ianitor.(30) In comparison with Propertius, there are elements of farce here, even of parody. With this humorously concrete self-depiction and humorously concrete allusion to seruitium amoris, cf. Tibullus' treatment of militia amoris (Section 11.4).
Tibullus then declares his `life of love' for Delia, 1.1.57-60, `I do not care about glory, Delia. Provided that I am with you, I court the name lazy and inactive. May I gaze upon you when my last hour comes; may I hold you as I die in my failing grasp':
non ego laudari curo, mea Delia; tecum dum modo sim, quaeso segnis inersque uocer. te spectem suprema mihi cum uenerit hora; te teneam moriens deficiente manu.
The first couplet quoted is Tibullus' more insolently assertive version of Propertius' resigned and conquered 1.6.25ff. me sine, quem semper uoluit fortuna iacere ... non ego sum laudi, non natus idoneus armis ... (`allow me, whom fortune always wished to be prostrate ... I was not born suited for glory and arms ...'). Tibullus has then noticed that Propertius' characteristic emphasis in his proclamation of the `life of love'(31) is: love until death (1.6.25-8, which catches the ideas both of loving until death and dying for love, 1.14.14).(32) Indeed in 1.19 Propertius pushes the idea even further.
He will love Cynthia in death, and after death, will he not?(33) Accordingly Tibullus also phrases his commitment to a `life of love' morbidly: love until death, 59f. te spectem suprema mihi ...
2. A concern: funerals(34)
In 1.19 Propertius raises another issue. Here are some key lines. 1-4:
Non ego nunc tristis uereor, mea Cynthia, Manis, nec moror extremo debita rata rogo; sed ne forte tuo careat mihi funus amore, hie timor est ipsis durior exsequiis.
I have no fear now of the gloomy Spirits, Cynthia, nor do I mind about the destiny that is owed to the final pyre. But that perchance my funeral may lack your love--this fear I find harsher than the rites of death themselves.
quam uereor, ne te contempto, Cynthia, busto abstrahat a nostro puluere iniquus Amor, cogat et inuitam lacrimas siccare cadentis! flectitur assiduis certa puella minis.
How I fear that, my pyre <or tomb> despised, unfriendly Love may drag you away from my dust and compel you against your will to dry your falling tears. A loyal girl is swayed by constant threats.
Propertius himself will love up to, even beyond, death, but betrays agonized anxiety lest Cynthia's devotion be so slight that she neglect his funeral and tomb: not bother with his obsequies, exhibit dry eyes, and so on.
A similar anxiety obtrudes in 1.17. The setting: Propertius pictures himself marooned by a storm; he has sailed abroad to escape Cynthia's harshness (15-18), and has been cast up en route on a thankless, deserted shore. He imputes not only the undertaking of the voyage to Cynthia, but also his present marooned and dangerous predicament: for he sees the hostile winds that trap him as expressions of Cynthia's pursuing hostility (5f., 9). (The poem hints at old motifs: love as seafaring (storms, etc.), woman as the (stormy) sea.(35))
From this situation comes the anxiety. If his present predicament can be imputed to Cynthia, and if, as seems likely, it may lead to his lonely and unregarded death, this again raises the thought that Cynthia does not care about what happens to his dead body. Lines 5-12:
quin etiam absenti prosunt tibi, Cynthia, uenti: aspice, quam saeuas increpat aura minas. nullane placatae ueniet fortuna procellae? haecine parua meum funus harena teget? tu tamen in melius saeuas conuerte querelas: sat tibi sit poenae nox et iniqua uada. an poteris siccis mea fata reponere(36) ocellis, ossaque nulla tuo nostra tenere sinu?
Furthermore, Cynthia, the winds benefit you in your absence: see with what savage threats the blast resounds. Will the good luck of an appeased storm not come? Will this scanty sand cover my dead body? Do you rather give your complaints a kindlier turn: let the night and hostile shoals be sufficient punishment for you. Or will you be able to put away my fate with dry eyes and to clasp no bones of mine in your bosom?
Cynthia's temper is these winds that threaten him with an untended death (5, 9), and if she will not abate her temper, it suggests she can think with equanimity of his dying without her loving attention: no clasping of his bones, dry eyes (again).
So Prop,ertius should, he concludes, have stayed in Rome and endured her hard treatment. For then, in the event of his death, she would--he hopes, he imagines--have paid all due and tender respect. Lines 19-24:
illic si qua meum sepelissent fata dolorem, ultimus et posito staret amore lapis, ilia meo caros donasset funere crinis, molliter et tenera poneret ossa rosa; ilia meum extremo clamasset puluere nomen, ut mihi non ullo pondere terra foret.
There, if any fate had buried my pain, and the final stone stood on my interred love, she would have offered her dear hair at my funeral, and would gently place my bones in tender roses; she would at my last dust have called my name, that the earth might be weightless on me.
So, in two poems, we observe a matter of acute concern to Propertius. Cynthia should exhibit love at his funeral, weep, embrace his bones, offer a lock of her hair, make ritual prayer ... As Griffin notes, part of the power here derives from the fact that Propertius wants the lover, and only the lover, to fulfil the obligations and rituals which a dead Roman's family would normally and dutifully perform.(37) Another part of the power stems from his clear and acute anxiety lest Cynthia may in fact be loveless and negligent at his death.
Tibullus professed his `life of love', love until death, in terms reminiscent of Propertius' (Tib. 1.1.55-60, see above). Then (61-8):
flebis et arsuro positum me, Delia, lecto, tristibus et lacrimis oscula mixta dabis. flebis: non tua sunt duro praecordia ferro uincta, neque in tenero stat tibi corde silex. illo non iuuenis poterit de funere quisquam lumina, non uirgo, sicca referre domum. tu Manes ne laede meos, sed parce solutis crinibus et teneris, Delia, parce genis.
You will weep for me, Delia, laid on the bier that will burn, and you will give me kisses mixed with sorrowing tears. You will weep: your heart is not bound with iron, nor is there flint in your tender breast. From that funeral there will be no young man, there will be no girl who will be able to return home dry-eyed. But you, Delia, do not injure my Spirits; rather, spare your loosened hair and spare your tender cheeks.
Love-until-death suggests thoughts of death, and funerals: Propertius' anxious concern. But Tibullus washes away Propertian Angst on a tide of tears, confidence, and security. The devotion of Delia at Tibullus' funeral is not in the slightest doubt. There is an emphasis to be found in Tibullus' second-person singulars, fiebis, dabis, and, especially, the repeated fiebis and tua, tibi: `you will weep, your heart is not bound in iron, no flint in your tender breast'. With amusing smugness Tibullus draws an implicit contrast between Delia and the Cynthia of Propertius' anxieties. As for dry eyes (siccus), feared twice in Cynthia's case, not only Delia but no one will leave Tibullus' funeral dry-eyed. And as for the offering of the lock of hair, a cause of anxiety to Propertius: Tibullus is so secure in his conviction of Delia's devoted mourning, that he imagines his departed spirit may actually be pained by this particular exhibition,(38) and, magnanimously, he asks her to spare her hair, not rend or cut it: parce solutis crinibus.(39)
Acute Propertian anxieties are replaced by smug Tibullan confidences: this is surely funny.(40)
3. ... until death Meanwhile ... ?
Propertius protests love until death (1.6.25-8, etc.). His nineteenth poem, as well as agonizing over funerals, pushes this idea further: can Love conquer Death? Death's power to reduce to ash and bones delivers an answer which is ultimately negative. For this and other reasons Propertius concludes as follows (1.19.25-6):
quare, dum licet, inter nos laetemur amantes: non satis est ullo tempore longus amor.
Wherefore, while it is possible, let us love and be glad together: love is not long enough in any extent of time.
This is his version of Catullus 5 (and 7); cf. too, for example, Asclepiades II Gow-Page = AP 5.85, Hor. Ode 1.11. The basic message is, of course, commonplace. But in Propertius it strikes one, after the dense and romantic dialectic of the poem (can Love conquer Death?), as a compromise full of pathos and tension, an arresting end.(41)
Tibullus 1.1.59f. protests love until death (cf. Prop. 1.6, etc.). Then, cued by Prop. 1.19 (and 17), he imagines Delia's unhesitating devotion at his funeral; no Angst or problematics for him. And he concludes (1.1.69-70), in obvious recollection of Prop. 1.19.25-6, and indeed of Catullus 5:
interea, dum fata sinunt, iungamus amores: iam ueniet tenebris mors adoperta caput ...
Meanwhile, while the fates allow, let us join our love. Tomorrow death will come, head shrouded in darkness ...
Propertius arrives at his conclusion regretfully, after morbid, internal debate; the sentiment strikes one in consequence, in context, as far from banal. Tibullus coasts with smooth and contented melancholy to the same conclusion. But I would not call the conclusion in Tibullus banal;(42) rather I would argue that his unruffled, unruffling progress towards it, and his consequent ease of inference (interea ...), trumps for a certain taste his predecessor. Where Propertius found an agonized terminus, Tibullus finds in the same sentiment an unforced and placid resolution. The comparison should amuse. It may not have amused Propertius to see his text so tamed and accommodated.
Propertius ends 1.19 with non satis est ullo tempore longus amor, amplifying dum licet. This is a summary and suggestive version of Catullus 7, a romantic claim that love can never be satisfied. In the Tibullan couplet just quoted satisfaction already seems, I think, far from unrealizable. But of course Tibullus does not end here. He has more to say in riposte to his romantic, insatiable colleague. After mors adoperta caput he continues (71-4):
iam subrepet iners aetas, nec amare decebit, dicere nec cano blanditias capite. nunc leuis est tractanda Venus dum frangere postes non pudet et rixas inseruisse iuuat.
Tomorrow indolent age will creep up, and it will not be seemly to love, nor to talk sweet nothings with white hair. Light Venus must be carried on now, while there is no disgrace in breaking doors, and brawling is pleasurable.
Propertius broadened out to proclaim insatiability. Far from broadening out, Tibullus limits and adjusts something which he has apparently granted. These lines adjust his own dum fata sinunt: love, he now says, is for youth. It is an adjustment that is most unexpected. Given the poems which Tibullus recalls, we would have expected him to mean by dum fata sinunt simply `for life'--the sense of Catullus' uiuamus atque amemus and the sense of Propertius' dum licet. The adjustment is unexpected from another and general point of view: we do not expect a love poet in the orbit of Catullus and Propertius to concern himself with the impropriety of amorous conduct in old age. Such a view belongs to conventional Roman society, to Cicero for example, and to Horace too.(43) The romantic generally disregarded bothersome details like ageing: tota ... uita, aeternum ... foedus (Catull. 109.5f.), Cynthia prima fuit, Cynthia finis erit (Prop. 1.12.20), dum me fata perire uolent (Prop. 1.14.14), te spectem suprema mihi cum uenerit hora; te teneam moriens (Tib. 1.1.59f.).(44) Most unexpectedly therefore, in sober or Horatian mode, Tibullus adjusts his own dum fata sinunt. In so doing he adjusts and, as it were, corrects Propertius 1.19.25-6 quare dura licet ... Propertius 1.19.25-6 offered a particularly tempting target, proclaiming not just love-for-life (dum licet) but insatiability: `love is not long enough in any extent of time'. Tibullus' sudden insistence on youth, adjusting his own dum fata sinunt and `correcting' Propertius' dum licet, is even more devastating in its implications for Propertius' insatiably romantic last line. So: unexpected limitation and `correction', based on an unpredictable intrusion of Ciceronian or Horatian ethics. The effect will have been amusing (surely) to some.
But what of Tibullus' own te spectem suprema mihi cum uenerit hora and so on: love is for life? We could fudge here, and find consistency, and say that Tibullus envisages a domesticated and proper love for his old age. Far more probably: Tibullus writes in a post-Propertian world, to respond, to guy, even to parody. To score points and to amuse. And of course to add and construct on his part. But I stress: to score points. Consistency is not, I think, a huge issue. His Horatian qualification iam subrepet iners aetas simply sits inconsistently, better to say unexpectedly, with the romanticism of te spectem ... Guying the romantic lover, he passes to a surprising adjustment. Adjusting his own persona, `correcting' Propertius.
Observe how he concludes the introductory poem of the second half of Book 1. A woman who has been faithful to no lover is condemned to a dismal old age. By contrast, 1.6.85f. `You and I, Delia, must be a paradigm of love when we are both white-haired',
nos, Delia, amoris exemplum cana simus uterque coma.
That breaks Catullan-Propertian taboo (`Don't Mention Decrepitude')--and flouts his own injunctions in 1.1, unless we excogitate high-minded distinctions in the senses of amare and amor. I prefer to think of spirited and amusing inconsistency.(45)
4. The `life of love': in particular, the issues of militia, diuitiae
The last lines of Tibullus' first poem are as follows (1.1.75-8); they pick up the couplet on leuis Venus, door-breaking, and brawls, quoted above:
hic ego dux milesque bonus: uos, signa tubaeque, ite procul, cupidis uulnera ferte uiris, ferte et opes: ego composito securus aceruo dites despiciam despiciamque famem.(46)
Here I am good general and soldier. You standards and trumpets hence far away! Take wounds to greedy men, take wealth too. Let me, free from care, with my store laid up, despise the rich and despise hunger.
Tibullus reverts to his dissociation from active life, from honourable and profitable militia (section II. 1), exploiting the figure of militia amoris. He gives more literal, and novel, expression to the figure than Propertius, his immediate model, had done. In 1.6.29f. Propertius phrased his dissociation expressively, with (even) an appearance of dignity, in the abstract noun: non ego sum laudi, non natus idoneus armis: hanc me militiam fata subire uolunt, `I was not born suited for glory and arms: the fates want me to undergo this military service (i.e. love)'. Tibullus sees things more concretely, puts it more funnily. Brawls occur in love, doors are broken in. Tibullus is good at this sort of spicy violence, here he can `soldier' and be a good `general'; but not in real wars that actually kill people. There is considerable anticipation here of the humorously literal treatment of militia amoris that we will find in Ovid; in intended contrast to Propertius, Tibullus is comic and innovative.(47) It is worth reflecting too that Tibullus' use of dux milesque bonus shows disrespect to a potentially august title.(48)
Tibullus' disdain of riches in these lines picks up 1.1.1-6, 41-44, 49-52. We should note that paupertas in line 5 is subsequently qualified by, for example, line 43: a small sufficiency, not (of course) actual poverty, parua seges satis est, `a small crop is enough'; he may not yearn for the diuitiae patrum (41), but this is after all a Roman Knight talking. The Roman Knight is then careful to define his disdain for rich people in the last couplet of the poem: `let me despise the rich and despise hunger, let me despise the rich with a store laid up'. His disdain of diuitiae is cautiously gauged, he deploys that verb despicere with prudence.
Contrast the grand, romantic statements that it is possible to find in Propertius 1.14. This is the poem that particularly attends to Tullus' Roman esteem for wealth, showing Propertian scorn for diuitiae compared with love.(49) Line 8, `Love does not know how to yield to great wealth':
nescit Amor magnis cedere diuitiis.
And the conclusion (23f.), `I shall fear to despise no kingdoms nor gifts of Alcinous':
non ulla uerebor regna uel Alcinoi munera despicere.
The attentive reader of 1.14 notices, of course, that Propertius' opening, unconditional, and absolute scorn for wealth compared with love (which lasts down to line 14 and contains nescit Amor magnis cedere diuitiis) undergoes a complication. Love must be favourable to see off wealth. Line 15 reads nam quis diuitiis aduerso gaudet Amore?, `for who rejoices in wealth when Love is hostile?', rather than, say, `for who rejoices in wealth without or as opposed to Love?' And that last, splendidly delivered despicere is actually prefaced by a qualification: quae mihi dum placata erit, `so long as Venus attends me appeased'. Nevertheless it is Propertius who provides us with the huge romantic scorn of nescit Amor magnis cedere diuitiis and non ulla uerebor regna uel Alcinoi munera despicere--into which he characteristically intrudes anxious presentiments. And to this romanticism Tibullus responds with plump, complacent, almost bourgeois, and certainly funny prudence: ego composito securus aceruo / dites despiciam despiciamque famem.(50)
III. PROPERTIUS COUNTERS ...
1. militia amoris, and violence
Tibullus, the boisterous soldier, brawling and breaking doors in 1.1, defines and develops a picture of what seems acceptable violence in the militia of love in 1.10.51 ff.:
rusticus e luco reuehit, male sobrius ille, uxorem plaustro progeniemque domum. sed Veneris tune bella calent, scissosque capillos femina perfractas conqueriturque fores; flet teneras obtusa genas, sed uictor et ipse flet sibi dementes tam ualuisse manus. at lasciuus Amor rixae mala uerba ministrat, inter et iratum lentus utrumque sedet. a lapis est ferrumque, suam quicumque puellam uerberat: e caelo deripit ille deos. sit satis e membris tenuem rescindere uestem, sit saris ornatus dissoluisse comae, sit lacrimas mouisse satis, quater ille beatus cui tenera irato flere puella potest. sed manibus qui saeuus erit, scutumque sudemque is gerat et miti sit procul a Venere.
Home from a sacred grove the rustic, far from sober himself, carries wife and children in the wagon. But then Venus' wars blaze up, and the woman laments her torn hair and broken door. She weeps for the bruises to her soft cheeks, but the victor, he too weeps that his mad hands were so strong. But petulant Love supplies abuse for the brawl, and sits immovable between the angry pair. Ah stone is he and iron who beats his girl: he drags down gods from heaven. Let it be enough to tear off the fine dress, let it be enough to disarrange the hair's coiffure, let it be enough to move her tears. Four times blessed is he at whose anger a tender woman can weep. But he who will be savage with his hands, let him carry shield and stake <i.e. real military soldiers' kit>, and be far away from gentle Venus.
Solmsen(51) has noted that Propertius replies to this manifesto, delivering a splendid put-down; I develop the point slightly. Prop. 2.5.21ff.:
nec tibi periuro scindam de corpore uestis, mec mea praeclusas fregerit ira fores, nec tibi conexos iratus carpere crinis, nec duris ausim laedere pollicibus: rusticus haec aliquis tam turpia proelia quaerat, cuius non hederae circuiere caput. scribam igitur, quod non umquam tua deleat aetas: `Cynthia, forma potens: Cynthia uerba leuis.'
But I shall not tear the clothes from your perjured body, nor shall my anger break down barred doors;(52) I should not dare in my wrath to injure you with harsh thumbs, or tear at your plaited hair: let some rustic or other seek battles so base, a man whose head the ivy has not wreathed.(53) So I shall write, something which your lifetime can never blot out: `Cynthia, a powerful beauty: Cynthia, fickle in words.'
The riposte matches detail for detail. The violence that Tibullus seems to accept, tearing girls' clothes, mussing their hair, even breaking in doors (cf. too 1.1.73): that's bumpkin behaviour, says Propertius, it belongs to a rusticus, not a poet. A poet retaliates to his mistress's provocation, not with crude violence, but artistically, with verse, a devastating epigram, a cutting one-liner. Solmsen observes that Tibullus is actually talking about a generalized rusticus in 1.10, not himself. But (as Solmsen also sees) this is no obstacle to Propertius, who clearly identifies Tibullus with this rustic behaviour: this riposte has Tibullus himself in view, it is Tibullus who is being attacked through Propertius' rusticus. And not wholly unreasonably. After all Tibullus himself finds the actions in 1.10.61ff. acceptable, i.e. most of Propertius' items. And did not his own programmatic self-presentation in 1.1 rely upon, precisely, the adjective rusticus (1.1.8)? We remember, too, how in the opening poems of the two halves of the book (1.1.73-5, 1.6.73-4) violence--breaking in doors, brawls, beating--was canvassed and in the major part advocated. So, to assume an identity between rustic Tibullus and the rusticus and violence in Tib. 1.10 was pretty irresistible--and not wholly unreasonable. And, in the word rusticus itself, it was witty. A complimentary word to some (Cicero in some contexts, Vergil, Varro, Tibullus),(54) rusticus was a pejorative word to others (Cicero in other contexts,(55) Catullus, and clearly Propertius).(56) Propertius turns Tibullus' favoured epithet on its head. So: Tibullus is the crude and violent bumpkin. Meantime Propertius will act as the ivy-wreathed poet acts, as Tibullus should act but does not. The joke is not absolutely fair, but it is a good one. Most unfair perhaps is the mention of injury with thumbs (referring to tightness of grip?); in 1.10 no such action is mentioned, and actual blows at least are excluded.
We should observe, while we are talking about fairness and fun in good part, that Propertius is amusing at his own expense too. One cannot imagine Cynthia quaking with fear at the threat of Propertius' devastating one-liner. It is hardly a major deterrent. And, showing his hand, revealing what is in his armoury, actually quoting the unterrifying one-liner, Propertius must be aware of, and want us to see, the impotence of the poet's retaliation. He mocks Tibullus' coarse violence; but he exposes the limpness of the aesthete's alternative. Goold's suspicions of the text of Cynthia forma potens, Cynthia uerba leuis are probably misplaced. Propertius' retaliation is seen to lack punch in every sense.(57)
Prop. 2.5.21ff. is a Propertian retort, in presumably Book 2a. But it is a retort to a retort. Tibullus writes (1.10.63f.): `four times blessed is he at whose anger a tender woman can weep':
quater ille beatus quo tenera irato flare puella potest.
That was in response to Propertius 1.12.15f.:
felix qui potuit praesenti flere puellae; non nihil aspersus gaudet Amor lacrimis.
Fortunate is he who has been able to weep to his present sweetheart. Love takes some considerable pleasure in being sprinkled with tears.
We may find pathos in the Propertius who, sundered from Cynthia, would wish to weep in Cynthia's presence, and is moved to utter: `fortunate is he ...'. Our sometimes passive-seeming Tibullus writes a robust retort: `four times blessed he who makes a woman cry'.
Propertius constructs an aesthete's response to Tibullus' presentation of amorous violence. Consider now the funeral that Propertius imagines for himself in 2.13,(58) and compare it with Tib. 1.1.61-8. Part of Propertius' inspiration in 2.13 is again a desire to respond to Tibullus, and with comparable superior aestheticism. Tibullus' smug confidence had pictured Delia's tears and homely devotions; Propertius now imagines wild demonstrations of grief beyond tears, gestures of disturbing eroticism, and funeral honours befitting the poet. Stung by Tibullus' trumping of his early funeral anxieties, he constructs these magnificent obsequies, sensual and artistic, something to supersede mere sentimental devotion, a melange of lover-poet's aestheticism. Prop. 2.13.25-38:
sat mea sit magna est, si tres sint pompa libelli, quos ego Persephonae maxima dona feram. tu uero nudum pectus lacerata sequeris, nec fueris nomen lassa uocare meum, osculaque in gelidis pones suprema labellis, cum dabitur Syrio munere plenus onyx. deinde, ubi suppositus cinerem me fecerit ardor, accipiat Manis paruula testa meos, et sit in exiguo laurus super addita busto, quae tegat exstincti funeris umbra locum, et duo sint uersus: `qui nunc iacet horrida puluis, unius hic quondam seruus amoris erat.' nec minus haec nostri notescet fama sepulcri, quam fuerant Pthii busta cruenta uiri.
My procession would be sufficiently costly, if my three books of poetry should comprise it; these books I should bear as most great gifts to Persephone. But you will follow with your breast naked and torn, nor will you be wearied to call my name. You will place last kisses on my cold lips, when the jar full of Syrian offering is given me. Then when fire has been put under me and made me ash, let a little earthen jar receive my Spirits, and let a bay tree be added at my meagre tomb, its shade to cover the site of my extinguished pyre. And let there be two verses: `he who now lies here unkempt dust, was once upon a time the slave of a single love.' Nor will this fame of my tomb become less known than the bloody mound of the Pthian hero.
Here we have been better served by the critics (who do not, however, generally see Tibullan response and Propertian counter-response),(59) and I shall comment selectively. Note first Cynthia's lacerated, naked breast. Here is a spectacular trumping of Tibullus,(60) a riposte to the torn cheeks which Tibullus could magnanimously excuse Delia (1.1.68). Even to tear the cheeks was theoretically unRoman. Propertius not only admits, he leapfrogs such demonstration. Tearing the breast, predicted and/or prescribed for Cynthia, introduces the huge and uninhibited grief of the epic and captive Briseis.(61) Next, Papanghelis observes the inescapable sexuality, the gruesome touches of love-in-death provided by the kisses on the cold but erotically worded lips, labella (the tone of this word is impossible to convey in translation).(62) Compare and contrast Propertius' line 29 with the sentimental and unsexual devotion of Tib. 1.1.62 tristibus et lacrimis oscula mixta dabis. And we should note that Propertius now has no time or wish for the tears which once upon a time (to Tibullus' delight) had caused him such anxiety (1.17.11, 19.23). With the spectacular and unorthodox devotions that he now envisages, it is no wonder, indeed it is significant, that he finds no room for this most conventional of offerings;(63) and anyway (it might appear) the funeral text of Tibullus became so tediously awash with tears (flebis, lacrimis, fiebis, lumina non sicca) that Propertius now scorns them. But he will have the attentions that a poet warrants: a procession provided by his own three books of poetry, and a bay tree--the tree sacred to Apollo (Tib. 2.5.5, etc.)--to shade his tomb (33). We observe that in mundane respects his imagined funeral will be modest and his tomb exiguous (19ff., 32, 33); but this sits well with Propertius' self-presentation as a Callimachean poet (cf. esp. 3.9.21-44, 4.1.59), though it reflects a tendentious and self-serving view of Callimachus, rather than a true one. Cf. 3.16.21ff.: Propertius imagines his tomb and devotions even more in accordance with this self-view as Propertius' kind of Callimachus--a most amusing piece.(64)
More funeral recognition in 2.13 befitting the poet: a verse epitaph (35f.) recording his status as lover and poet: unius seruus amoris suggests both of course.(65) In high and funny contrast with the sort of epitaph a conventional equestrian might construct for himself,(66) Propertius' epitaph glances too at the epitaph Tibullus imagines for himself in 1.3.55f. (hic iacet immiti consumptus morte Tibullus,/ Messallam terra dura sequiturque mari, `here lies Tibullus consumed by savage death, while he followed Messalla by land and sea'); Propertius' total commitment to love and poetry exposes Tibullus' worldly collaboration.(67) And then: his, a lover-poet's, tomb will be as famous as the tomb of the great Pthian hero, Achilles. The miles amoris will be as famous in death as the miles of violence, though Propertius does nothing so obvious as to call himself miles as Tibullus (above Section II.4) had done; other suggestions may be found in this expressive detail.(68)
Here we have a funeral and tomb of class. Wild, unorthodox, sexual, above all a poet's. Something to trump the plump, sentimental self-confidence of Tibullus, who had trumped the vulnerable anxieties of Prop. 1.17 and 19.
In the last poem of the first half of Book 1 (discidium), Tibullus reveals his dream of Delia.(69) In this important poem we find Tibullus' most detailed and devoted exposition of his first female beloved. The dream is that she will be the country wife, the guardian of the grain, and so on (21ff.).
It is worth pausing on the name Delia. It will have been chosen, surely, because `like Propertius' Cynthia, ... it suggested the sister of Apollo, god of poetry';(70) Gallus had also chosen a pseudonym (Lycoris) evocative of Apollo.(71) Propertius' Cynthia had displayed the talents her name might seem to require: e.g. Prop. 1.2.27-8 (`especially since Apollo bestows on you his songs, and Calliope willingly her Aonian lyre ...'). From a Propertian point of view, Delia emphatically does not display such talents, not even, indeed especially, in the 1.5 dream vision, where she will guard the grain, count the sheep, and so on: hardly poetic. It is, I think, partly to show the difference--the superiority--of his taste in women that Propertius so assertively shows Cynthia's affiliations with art in his programmatic 2.1.(72) His girl is the inspiration of his poetry, a Muse, the equal to or superior of Calliope and Apollo (2.1.1ff.).(73)
But Tibullus 1.5 also contains a fascinating and unequalled exposure of Delia's physical charms and powers.(74) In context Tibullus is describing his attempts to diversify with other girls, given Delia's desertion of him. When he cannot satisfactorily complete the act of love, the substitute girl goes off, saying that Delia has used the black arts and bewitched him. Tibullus responds (1.5.43-4), `no, she doesn't do this with magic herbs, she bewitches me with her face, soft arms, and fair hair':
non facit hoc herbis,(75) facie tenerisque lacertis deuouet et flauis nostra puella comis.
An amazing moment: we catch Tibullus defining Delia's magic. But lest she seem so limitable, Tibullus adds, uniquely,(76) an expansive romantic myth (45-6), `like the blue-eyed(77) Nereid Thetis who once upon a time rode a bridled dolphin to Haemonian Peleus':
talis ad Haemonium Nereis Pelea quondam uecta est frenato caerula pisce Thetis.
The described, defined Delia is enlarged by this comparison to (another) goddess who came to a mortal.
Tibullus essays to convey the magical beauty of his girl. Propertius pounces. In 2.2 he explains his succumbing to love again, and the poem picks up and outdoes Tib. 1.5.43-6.(78) So does poem 2.3, another explanation of Propertius' second book. First, Prop. 2.2.1-8, 13-14:
liber eram et uacuo meditabar uiuere lecto; at me composita pace fefellit Amor. cur haec in terris facies humana moratur? Iuppiter, ignosco pristina furta tua. fulua coma est longaeque manus, et maxima toto corpore, et incedit uel Ioue digna soror, aut cum Dulichias(79) Pallas spatiatur ad aras, Gorgonis anguiferae pectus operta comis ... ... cedite iam, diuae,(80) quas pastor uiderat olim Idaeis tunicas ponere uerticibus!
I was free, and I intended to live and sleep alone; but Love deceived me when peace was made. Why does this mortal face dally on earth? Jupiter, I pardon your stolen loves in olden times. Her hair is golden, her fingers long, her whole size majestic, and she moves even worthy of Jupiter himself, his sister, or when Pallas Athene strides to Dulichian altars, her breast covered with the snake-locks of the Gorgon.... Yield now, goddesses, whom once upon a time the shepherd (Paris) saw set aside your clothes on the summits of Ida.
Propertius goes straight for the facies, as Tibullus had done, but instantly suggests the superiority of Cynthia's face to other girls' faces: it would tempt Jupiter, how is it still among mortals?(81) Long hands (fingers)(82) replace the Tibullan soft arms. And, very notably, Delia's standard-glamorous fair hair becomes more exquisitely and rarely gold-coloured, as flauae comae is trumped by fulua coma. The choice of adjective is all-important here: by contrast with Tibullus, Propertius finds a most distinctive epithet to dignify his blonde.(83) Propertius then specifies that his is a big girl, a splendidly heroic taste; it should be stressed that he is not talking merely about tallness.(84) And then, as in Tibullus, we find myth, but in Propertius more than one myth; and we find (initially) actual equation rather than comparison.(85)
Propertius' myths are cued by the quality of Cynthia's gait: incedit, spatiatur ...(86) This is not only an observant, it is an aggrandizing addition to Tibullus. Everybody knows that girls should have pretty feet, and Tibullus gives us such a detail later in 1.5 for Delia (line 66).(87) But the discerning prescribe more exactly: women should walk with grace.(88) There is a yet more significant factor. It could seem to some that a god revealed divinity by sheer impressiveness of movement. We will think straight away of Venus at Verg. Aen. 1.405 et uera incessu patuit dea, but there is interesting precedent for such an idea.(89) This is Propertius' main reason for focusing on the detail. Not just graceful movement but the divine movement that can so distinctively impress is being attributed to Cynthia: she shares the verb incedit with Juno, and her divine progress is then confirmed in Athena's matching and illustrating spatiatur. Here we have a deft and potent trumping of Tibullus and Delia. We heard nothing of Delia's gait, and her divine counterpart travelled fancifully, dolphin-born, in Hellenistic manner,(90) suggesting nothing useful.
And if we move to Tibullus' elevating, enlarging myth as a whole (blue-eyed Thetis on her dolphin) and compare it to Propertius' myths (Juno and so on), it might to some tastes, Propertius' for example, seem merely winsome, a little rococo, prettily Hellenistic:(91) not in fact very enlarging. But no one could so disdain Propertius' aggrandizing equation of the striding Cynthia with Juno, no one could so disdain the comparison of her to the fearsome and ferocious Athena, and, implicitly or explicitly, to Venus.(92) These myths surely outstrip Tibullus' blue-eyed Thetis.
In 2.3 Propertius responds to an interlocutor who has said, in gist (1-4): `You said you were girl-proof now, but barely a month goes by, et turpis de te iam liber alter erit, and now there will be a second disgraceful book about you. How come?' Propertius: `I was trying to attempt the impossible; no love is ever removed.' And then he explains the irresistible attractions, lines 9ff. These lines build on and in a sense trump his own poem 2.2; and again they glance at and trump that other irresistible attraction, Tibullus' Delia:
nec me tam facies, quamuis sit candida, cepit (lilia non domina sint magis alba mea; ut Maeotica nix minio si certet Hibero, utque rosae puro lacte natant folia),(93) nec de more comae per leuia colla fluentes, non oculi, geminae, sidera nostra, faces, nec si qua Arabio lucet bombyce puella (non sum de nihilo blandus amator ego): quantum quod posito formose saltat Iaccho, egit ut euhantis dux Ariadna choros, et quantum, Aeolio cum temptat carmina plectro, par Aganippaeae ludere docta lyrae; et sua cum antiquae committit scripta Corinnae, carminaque Erinnae(94) non putat aequa suis. non tibi nascenti primis, mea uita, diebus candidus argutum sternuit omen Amor? haec tibi contulerunt caelestia munera diui, haec tibi ne matrem forte dedisse putes ...
It is not so much her face, although it is fair, that has captured me--lilies are not whiter than my mistress; as if Scythian snow should vie with Iberian red-lead, and as rose petals float on milk; it is not so much her hair flowing in order over her smooth neck, nor her eyes, two torches, my stars; nor if a girl shines in Arabian silk (I am no lover who flatters for no reason);(95) <not so much these things> as the fact that she dances beautifully when the wine is put out, even as Ariadne led the troupe of Dionysus; as when she essays songs with Aeolian plectrum, skilled to play, a match(96) for the Aganippean(97) lyre; and as when she pits her writings against ancient Corinna's, and reckons the songs of Erinna unequal to hers. Surely, my life, a fair and favourable Love sneezed a clear omen in those first days, when you were born. The gods bestowed these heavenly gifts upon you, lest perchance you think your mother gave them to you ...
Tibullus in 1.5.43f. was bewitched by Delia's facies, arms, and hair. In 2.2 Propertius trumped that presentation. Now, challenged again in 2.3 to find explanation for his infatuated behaviour, he picks up his trumping 2.2 and carries it further. It is not so much Cynthia's facies, although he can find four more lines for it in amplification of 2.2;(98) nor is it so much those comae, for which he had found a choice and distinguishing epithet in 2.2; nor is it her eyes, which have not been mentioned by the poet in these opening poems of Book 2, but deserve mention and praise by the poet who opened his first work miserum me cepit ocellis; nor is it any fancy dress a girl might wear--of this kind of attraction he is very dismissive.(99) The heart of Cynthia's attraction and irresistibility lies in her accomplishments and art: her dancing, song, lyre-playing, and poetry. We are back--with more detail--in the same area of inspired artistic endowment which distinguished the Cynthia of 2.1 from the Delia of Tibullus, Book 1. The cycle of trumping is complete.
Or nearly so. We may see Propertius' scorn at any contribution by Cynthia's mother as partly stimulated by Tibullus' glowing, sentimental tribute to Delia's mother in the opening poem of the second half of Book 1 (1.6.57ff.). More interestingly, in the lines that follow, Propertius reverts to the topic of a facies. Cynthia will be Jupiter's first Roman girlfriend, she is a second Helen; she would have been a fairer cause of Troy's destruction; now Propertius can at least understand why the Trojan war was fought (29-38). Then (39-40), `her face is worthy indeed even for Achilles to die for it; it had been judged a worthy reason for war even by Priam':
digna quidem facies, pro qua uel obiret Achilles; uel Priamo belli causa probanda fuit.
So, from talk of Cynthia's divine gifts (25-9), the poem has worked back to praise of Cynthia's facies; I think it is clear that the face in 39 is (in the first place) Cynthia's.(100) Achilles might have died for it, Priam would have approved it as a cause of war. More trumping of the original card played by Tibullus. And something more. Lines 41-4:
si quis uult fama tabulas anteire uetustas, hic dominam exemplo ponat in arte meam: siue illam Hesperiis, siue illam ostendet Eois, uret et Eoos, uret et Hesperios.
If anyone wants to surpass the Old Masters' pictures, let him set my mistress before him as his model when he works: if he displays her to the people of the Occident, if he displays her to the people of the Orient, he will inflame the people of the Orient, inflame the Occidentals.
From the Aldine edition of 1502 down to Goold, these climactically closural couplets have been seen--from time to time, and correctly I think--as the end of the poem. The key to this final flourish is Gallus.
If, says Propertius, a painter should want to outdo the Old Masters, let him take Cynthia as his model for a portrait, and then he will set the world afire from East to West. The last couplet stresses two Grecisms (Hesperius, Eous), which Neoteric poets had affected.(101) Ovid celebrates Gallus at Am. 1.15.29f. in a couplet Gallus et Hesperiis et Gallus notus Eois/ et sua cum Gallo nota Lycoris erit, also containing those Grecisms, `where the context makes it probable that a line of Gallus' elegies is being echoed'.(102) Much makes sense if we suppose that Gallus had celebrated his beloved in a line which was dominated by those neoteric Grecisms for East and West, which Ovid then echoed, and which Propertius echoes too.(103) Ovid, praising Gallus' poetry, echoes Gallus' own praise for Lycoris, indicating a salient feature of Gallus' poetry. For Propertius, if a painter merely has Cynthia as a sitter, his picture will have an impact like Gallus' Lycoris. Without Gallus' text, we can of course only guess at Propertius' precise point, but we may feel sure that he works round to facies again not just to outdo Tibullus once more, but to trump that other great Elegist. What the face of Lycoris could achieve, a mere likeness of the face of Cynthia could match.
(1) Parallels between the two poets have of course been extensively noted: as well as the bibliography cited from time to time below (especially F. Jacoby, `Tibulls erste Elegie', RhM 64 , 601-22 and 65 , 22-87 = KlphS II. 122-205; references below will be to the pages of the KlphS), see, for example, P. Murgatroyd's edition of Tibullus, Book 1 (Pietermaritzburg, 1980), pp. 13-15, 50-1; the apparatus of F. W. Lenz and G. C. Galinsky Albii Tibulli Aliorumque Carminum Libri Tres (3rd edn, Leiden, 1971); P. J. Enk, Sex. Propertii Elegiarum Liber Secundus vol. I (Leiden, 1962), pp. 34-45; A. La Penna, `Properzio e i poeti latini dell' eta aurea', Maia 3 (1950), 209-36, 4 (1951), 43-69, esp. (1950) 233-6, discussion of Propertius-Tibullus, and (1951), 56-9, an appendix listing some Propertius-Tibullus parallels. But scholars underestimate or miss entirely the fact that the two poets are in amusing dialogue, delivering ripostes: e.g. Enk on p. 44: `Si quis rogat, num Propertius e lectis elegiis Tibulli fructum ceperit, cum librum secundum scriberet, respondendum est cum viro docto D'Elia ... "Si puo concludere, che gli incontri, certo interessanti, sono puramente superficiali"'; cf. the summary of La Penna (1950), pp. 235-6 and (1951), p. 55. There are exceptions to this kind of misappreciation. F. Solmsen, `Propertius in his literary relations with Tibullus and Vergil', Philologus 105 (1961), 273ff. = Kleine Schriften II.299ff. is a very notable one; M. Hubbard, Propertius (London, 1974), pp. 61ff. has interesting material, discussing, for example, Prop. 2.16 which she sees as challenging comparison with Tib. 1.9 and, in lines 43ff., not only echoing 1.9.1lf., but amusingly inverting Tib. 1.4.21ff.; F. Cairns, Tibullus: A Hellenistic Poet at Rome (Cambridge, 1979), pp. 53-4 argues that Tibullus' Elysium in 1.3 supplies Pro p. 4.7.59ff.; J. Griffin, Latin Poets and Roman Life (London, 1985), pp. 151-2 sees a relation between the heroines in the Underworld of Prop. 1.19.13-16 and Tib. 1.3.57ff., reckoning that `influence between the two, in either direction, is a possibility' (a Tibullan relation to Prop. 1.19 is discussed below); further important information and acute comment in Griffin, pp. 144ff. There are, of course, many links between the two poets which I shall not be discussing in this paper, even between Tibullus Book 1 and Propertius `Book 2', the books to which this paper attends.
(2) I put the primary evidence on view; in literary commentaries and books it can be hard to come by. In, for example, P. J. Enk, Sex. Propertii Elegiarum Liber I (Monobiblos) Pars Prior (Leiden, 1946), pp. 16-19, Murgatroyd (n. 1), pp. 11ff., Hubbard (n. 1), pp. 42-4, P. Fedeli, Sesto Properzio, Il Primo Libro delle Elegie (Florence, 1980), pp. 10 and 168, the illumination is limited. As for Propertius Book 2a and Book 2b, I accept the basic thesis of Lachmann that the transmitted Book 2 of Propertius contains the remains of two original books, For a succinct argument in favour of Lachmann's view, see O. Skutsch, `The second book of Propertius', HSCPh 79 (1975), 229-33. But see further S. J. Heyworth, `Propertius: division, transmission, and the editor's task', PLLS 8 (1995), 165-85. I agree with Heyworth that 2.10 is not a likely candidate for the introductory poem of Book 2b (Lachmann); Heyworth puts the case persuasively for believing (i) that 2.10 was closural in Book 2a (following a point made by Hutchinson, JRS 74 , 100, who does not, however, believe in the division of `Book 2'), and (ii), following Richmond, that 2.13 was inceptive in Book 2b; cf. too Heyworth in Mnemosyne 45 (1992), 45-9 on 2.13, discussing its unity, opening status, etc. I have some reason to question whether 2.13 was actually and precisely the first poem in Book 2b: see PCPS44 (1998), 158-81; JRS 88 (1998), 21-36.
(3) A supplementary fragment from Apamea clinched the fact of L. Volcacius Tullus' Asian proconsulship: see A. H. M. Jones, `L. Volcacius Tullus, Proconsul of Asia', CR 69 (1955), 244f.; but the 2nd edn of Ehrenberg and Jones incorporates it.
(4) In the Loeb edition (Propertius Elegies [Cambridge, MA, 1990]); Goold provides a challengingly independent text and useful notes and introduction, as well as translation.
(5) Secures (`axes') belong with the fasces (`bundles of rods'). The two are sometimes mentioned specifically and separately as a couple (cf. e.g. Lucr. 3.996 as well as the Cicero quoted in the text), but often secures are--in prescribed circumstances--a physical but unspecified component of the `bundles of rods', i.e. of the emblems, indeed instruments, of imperium, which lictors bore in front of magistrates (consuls, praetors, proconsuls, and others; fasces were originally inherited by the consuls from the kings [Livy 2.1.7f.]). The word fasces is therefore slightly ambiguous: it depended on where the magistrate was operating whether the fasces `bundles of rods' contained secures `axes' or not, and fasces could apply both to rods with axes and rods without axes. Secures, instruments of execution (see below), were present in the fasces of magistrates only outside the city. Cic. Rep. 2.55 tells us that (in 509 B.C.) Valerius Publicola lege illa de prouocatione perlata statim secures de fascibus demi iussit; Dionysius of Halicarnassus 5.19.3 makes it more explicit: Valerius Publicola `desiring to give the plebeians a definite pledge of their liberty, took the axes from the rods (GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and established it as the custom for his successors in the consulship--which has lasted down until my day--that, whenever they are outside the city, they make use of the axes, but, within the city, they are distinguished by the rods ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], i.e. the fasces in the narrower sense) only'. (Some modern scholars think this association of the removal of the axes with the law de prouocatione is false: they think that from the start secures were included in the fasces only militiae and not doral: this is discussed by E. S. Stavely, Historia 12 , 464-5; but all agree that in, say, Propertius' time secures were included in the fasces of magistrates only outside the city.) The secures signified the power to execute, sometimes directly: Livy 9.16.17f., 28.29.11. Reference is made to proconsuls' lictors ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in Dio's account of Augustus' adjustments to senatorial provincial governors (53.13.4); for specific mention of secures preceding a proconsul, cf. the passages quoted in the text, and for a proconsul employing the securis in execution, see Cicero's account of Dolabella in Verr. 1.75-6.
(6) This institution is important and well-documented: cf. M. Gelzer, The Roman Nobility (trans. R. Seager, Oxford, 1975), pp. 101 f.; Cic. Q.F. 1.1.11-12 (a key text, though Gelzer and Shackleton Bailey's commentary differ slightly in interpretation of detail); the racy but informative poems of Catullus (10, 28, 46); Hot. Epist. 1.3; the amusing letters of Cicero to Trebatius Testa, Faro. 7.6, 17, 18; and Cic. Cael. 73 on M. Caelius' service as contubernalis to Q. Pompeius Rufus proconsul of Africa in 61 B.C. is another key text: cum autem paulum iam roboris accessisset aetati, in Africam profectus est Q. Pompeio pro consule contubernalis.... usus quidam prouincialis non sine causa a maioribus huic aetati tributus. And Cicero, like Propertius, refers to such service as militia. See n. 22 below.
(7) An over-literal view is recorded by Enk ad loc. More thoughtfully, but still unconvincingly to me, F. Cairns, AJP 95 (1974), 161-2 works with the possibility of etymological play between anteire and praeire/praetor to suggest that the young Tullus had a position as praetor or propraetor or legatus/quaestor pro praetore.
(8) Richardson, [CAH.sup.2] IX 575 thinks it lapsed in 49 B.C. Hubbard (n. 1), pp. 42f. is certainly right to question whether it could be applied in our period, when many consulars were compromised as ex-Antonians. For further discussion of the law--how it was established and applied, its motives, and so on--see A. J. Marshall ANRW I.1 (1972), 887-921, esp. pp. 891-3.
(9) R. Syme, The Augustan Aristocracy (Oxford, 1986), ch. XV attempts a chronology of Messalla's career, seeking inter alia to place the other events mentioned in Tib. 1.7; for the journey lying behind 1.3 he suggests a date in the spring of 30 B.C. (pp. 209f.).
(10) La Penna ([n. 1], 1950), 234-6; A. La Penna, L'Integrazione Difficile. Un Profilo di Properzio (Turin, 1977), p. 17; Cairns (n. 1), p. 228. It should not be forgotten that Ov. Trist. 4.10.51-3 names Propertius as the successor to Tibullus, and Trist. 2.447ff. lists Tibullus before Propertius; but an operative factor here may be that Tibullus died years before Propertius (for Tibullus' death in 19 B.C. see below; Propertius was alive at least long enough to compose a poem referring to the year 16 B.C.: see n. 19). Cairns and La Penna mention the possibility of pre-publication influence, via recitations, which is indeed something we should keep in mind (cf. Griffin [n. 1]). It is quite possible in fact that there was a degree of two-way influence between the two poets during their respective first books: the periods of composition must have overlapped. I simply argue that the publication of Tibullus 1 post-dates Propertius 1, and that the main one to deliver ripostes in this case is Tibullus. (If I wanted to argue for a Propertian response to Tibullus in Book 1, I would choose Prop. 1.16. Plaut. Curc. 145ff. assumes an animate, addressable door. Catull. 67 gives the door a voice. Prop. 1.16 uses the door's voice to mimic (?mock) excluded lovers' songs: cf. Tib. 1.2.7ff. But if Propertius is mocking such songs, there are other poets to canvass as his butts.)
(11) But further problems get in the way of any confidence we may feel. Not only is there insufficient text in 2.1-10 to amount to a plausible book, so that we have to assume lacunae: confusions in the order of poems caused in the process of transmission may be complicating assignment of poems to 2a or 2b. For the closural status of 2.10 and for these further problems, see Heyworth's PLLS article (n. 2).
(12) Indian embassy in 26-5 B.C.: Res Gestae 31 records embassies from India; Orosius 6.21.19 tells us that legati Indorum met Augustus at Tarraco in Spain; Dio 53.22.5 tells us that Augustus left Rome in 27 B.C., `lingered in Gaul', then proceeded to Spain; Suet. Aug. 26.3 tells us that Augustus began his eighth and ninth consulships (26 and 25 B.C.) at Tarraco; another datable embassy from India falls in 20 B.C. (Dio 54.9.8), clearly too late for our poem. Arabian expedition: the best evidence for this (probably 25-24 B.C.) comes from Dio 53.29.3-8, but it needs careful interpreting. This it gets from G. Hardy, The Monumentum Ancyranum (Oxford, 1923), p. 123 (Augustus himself refers to the expedition at RG 5.26); the essential points made by Hardy are quoted by Enk, Sex. Propertii Elegiarum Liber Secundus vol. II (Leiden, 1962), p. 152. Cf. too Rich's note on Dio 53.29.3-8, and La Penna (n. 10), L'Integrazione Difficile, p. 48, n. 1.
(13) Cf. R. Syme, The Roman Revolution (Oxford, 1939), p. 309 favouring 27 B.C..
(14) For the relevant legislation and its abrogation, see E. Badian, `A phantom marriage law', Philologus 129 (1985), 82-98. In sum: (i) The (lex) de maritandis ordinibus which Augustus prae tumultu recusantium perferre non potuit (Suet. Aug. 34.1) must, pace influential Propertian commentators, be the Lex Papia Poppaea of A.D. 9; the Suetonian passage has nothing to do with Prop. 2.7 (note the dating implications of Suet. Aug. 34.2 accitos Germanici liberos). (ii) Propertius' phrase sublatam legem must refer to a law actually enacted and then repealed; compromise interpretations which talk of `proposals' for legislation cannot be accommodated. (iii) It is inconceivable that Augustus should have enacted a marriage law and then repealed it in, say, 28-27 B.C., without this having an impact upon our historical sources. But there is no evidence at all of such legislation and repeal in the historical sources. (iii) So what lex does Propertius refer to? A solution (Badian's) is that in the Triumviral years, the cash-hungry Octavian imposed--among many other taxes--a tax on caelibes (no new device in fact), which, together with all outstanding debts incurred under it, was then cancelled in 28 B.C.: Dio 53.2.3 records that in that year Augustus `burnt the old records of debts owed to the treasury', debts incurred in the Triumviral years. Propertius in 2.7.1 refers to the cancellation of the tax on caelibes, but sees it from his own point of view: as the cancellation of a law that was threatening to impose marriage and the sundering of lovers. Badian suspects a date of 27 B.C. for the composition of Prop. 2.7. Possibly. But we should note that the poem suggests no especial immediacy. On the contrary, the tense even of the lovers' reactions to the abrogation is past, and the first couplet is a cue for more general if provocative reflections (at magnus Caesar. sed magnus Caesar in armis ...). Nor am I convinced by the emendation of est to es in 2.7.1; Postgate's note ad loc. is pertinent. And the third person (`at all events, at least, Cynthia was happy at ...') suggests I think even less sense of immediacy. (I am certainly not convinced incidentally by the division that places 2.6.41--2 at the beginning of 2.7.)
(15) I differ thus in one important respect from Hubbard (n.1), pp. 42-4 who puts Tibullus 1 between Propertius 2a and 2b `on the most probable hypothesis' (note that she sees 2.10 with its dateable suggestions as opening 2b rather than closing 2a). For Enk's views see (n. 1), pp. 34-5.
(16) For succinct and true comment on the dating of Book 3 see Hubbard (n. 1), p. 44.
(17) M. D. Reeve, `Tibullus 2.6', Phoenix 38 (1984), 235-9.
(18) An epigram of Domitius Marsus (7 Courtney), despite efforts to interpret it in different ways, ties Tibullus' death closely in time to Vergil's (September 19 B.C.). The epigram is correctly interpreted by Courtney and by Murgatroyd (n. 1), pp. 5-6.
(19) Prop. 4.11.66 refers to the consulship of P. Cornelius Scipio in 16 B.C.. Prop. 4.6.77 refers to the submission of the Sygambri, who caused a much exaggerated difficulty in 17 B.C.: R. Syme, `Some notes on the legions under Augustus', JRS 23 (1933), 17-18.
(20) I am most concerned in this section with Tibullus 1.1. A seminal article is Jacoby (n. 1). Jacoby documents debts of Tibullus in 1.1 to Propertius (to poems 1.6, 17, 19, but not 14) and to others (e.g. to Horace). But (i) he has no high opinion of Tibullus' resulting poem (note e.g. II.170), (ii) he has no sense of Tibullus responding to, trumping, having fun with, Propertius; what he maps is a Tibullan piecing-together of source material (his `Arbeitsweise'). Nevertheless, this is still a most important work. Important too is W. Wimmel, Tibull und Delia. Erster Teil. Tibulls Elegie 1.1 (Hermes Einzelschriften 37; Wiesbaden, 1976), pp. 93-111, discussing the relation of Tibullus to Prop. 1.6, 17 and 19.
(21) For amplification of this phrase, should it be wanted, see R. O. A. M. Lyne, The Latin Love Poets (Oxford, 1980; repr. with new introduction and bibliography, 1996), pp. 66-81.
(22) For service in the entourage of a provincial governor, see n. 6. Cicero (Faro. 7.18.1, twice) as well as Propertius (1.6.30) uses the actual word militia of such service.
(23) Cf. Jacoby (n. 1), pp. 149ff; but he misses Tibullus' relation to Propertius 1.14 here. Wimmel (n. 20), pp. 95ff., discussing Tibullus' relation to Prop. 1.6, also brings Tibullus 1.3 into play.
(24) From Propertius' self-presentation in 1.6 and 14 themselves; and these poems are of course preceded by Prop. 1.1ff. with their love and Cynthia emphases.
(25) Cf. further Lyne (n. 21), pp. 149ff. The tease in Tibullus' rustic vision (initially he makes this life of leisure sound moral and hardy) is missed by many of his commentators: e.g. Jacoby (n. 1), pp. 138, 148; Murgatroyd (n. 1), pp. 55 and 298. Tibullus includes echoes of the bogus Alfius' vision of country life (Hor. Epod. 2) in his vision, documented by Jacoby (n. 1), p. 136 and Wimmel (n. 20), pp. 108, 111-13. But these scholars rather misappreciate the effect. Hearing echoes of the fraud Alfius, we should be alerted to the fact that Tibullus' is not, ultimately, a Georgics moral-rustic vision.
(26) In fact, of course, two considerations prevent Tibullus simply upping and going full-time to the country estate: the urban-domiciled Delia, but also the demands of Messalla--more potent in Tibullus' case, than Tullus' in Propertius' case: see Tib. 1.3 and 1.7.9ff., cf. also 1.10.13f., 25; but, in 1.1 and 5 Tibullus chooses not to stress this. (It may be that 1.1.41ff. are Tibullus' discreet reply, negative at this point, to a specific suggestion by Messalla that if Tibullus serves with him, he may restore the family economic fortunes: diuitiae may be acquired. Lines 53-4 then take up the topic yet more discreetly, viewing such service from Messalla's point of view: the honour of exuuiae; on this cf. Jacoby [n. 1], p. 134.)
(27) The point is developed Lyne (loc. cit.), but there are new emphases in the above summary.
(28) 1.5 is closural: discidium, this was the dream (haec mihi fingebam), heu canimus frustra. 1.6 is inceptive: semper, ut inducar, blandos offers mihi uultus.... Amor. quid tibi saeuitiae mecum est?, etc. (saeuitiae is the MS text, which some doubt); cf. e.g. Hor. Ode 4.1. Some too might see the strange intrusion of the priestess of Bellona in 1.6.43ff. as having meta-literary implications: war, and love and war play a larger part in the second half of the book: 1.7 and 10. For further comment on the structure of Tibullus, Book 1 see below n. 69.
(29) Wishful subjunctives: `Oh, may I sow the vine, a countryman ... may I be able to live content with a little ...', 7ff., etc. I translate the subjunctives of 7ff. as optative subjunctives; sooner or later (e.g. 29), a hypothetical subjunctive seems more appropriate (`but I would not be ashamed sometimes ...'). Commentators hedge and differ as to which if any of these subjunctives are optative. Perhaps justifiably, reflecting an ambiguity: modern scholars feel bound to parse seram, etc.; Tibullus writes simply a non-fact, a non-indicative.
Are 15-18 subjunctive as transmitted (sit ... ponatur) or indicative as some emend? Tibullus' talk of country-life shifts between the estate which exists and his practices on it when he is there (indicatives, e.g. 19-24, 35-6) and his dreams of passing his whole life there (subjunctives, e.g. 7ff., 25-32). The transmitted subjunctives of 15-18 intrude a not impossible but perhaps unwelcome interruption of indicative descriptions of the estate and Tibullus' country habits: 11-14 (his customary religious habits which justify 9-10 nec Spes destituat...) and 19-24 (more religious observances). If emendation is wanted, the renaissance fit in 15 serves, but ornatur in 17 is perhaps better than the donatur which several scholars have excogitated: cf. 2.1.54. Thus emended, all lines 11-24 then describe Tibullus' present religious scrupulousness, which justifies his hope (9-10) for a successful full-time life spent on the country estate. (Others find so much to trouble them in Tibullus' text hereabouts that they transpose: cfi e.g. Murgatroyd's critical appendix [n. 1], pp. 298-9; one thing that troubles Murgatroyd--`the work in 7f.... seems odd and abrupt so soon after the wish for inertia in 5'--is a non-problem if the tease mentioned above is appreciated.)
(30) The prosaic word and figure Janitor occurs in Propertius only at 4.5.47, a revealing context: the lena talks. He will reappear, relocated, in Ovid's exclusus amator poem, Am. 1.6.
(31) Already implied in Catullus, e.g. 5 and 109. It is phrased in relatively simple form too by Propertius at 1.12.19-20. Cf. n. 21.
(32) Cf. Gallus in Verg. Ecl. 10.33f., 43, Damagetus X Gow-Page (= AP 7.735).5-6 where the dying Theano addresses her absent husband thus: [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], `oh that I had been able to die taking your dear hand in mine'.
(33) More on 1.19 below, section II.3. The theme of love in and after death is pursued by Propertius in `Book 2'. T. D. Papanghelis, Propertius: A Hellenistic Poet on Love and Death (Cambridge, 1987) discusses these poems splendidly; readers will not agree with everything in his book, but they will hardly fail to be inspired. Jacoby (n. 1), p. 165 suggestively raises the question of what `death fantasies' there may have been in Gallus, The emphasis love until death there surely was: cf. previous note. But perhaps more. Prop. 2.34.91 f. seem to me, in spite of the tortuous note of Camps, to imply that Gallus died of love. Is Propertius mixing history with a fantasy of Gallus? The couplet recalls a fragment of Euphorion on Adonis (fr. 43 Powell = 47 van Groningen), and a common source in the `Euphorionic' (Ecl. 10.50) Gallus himself is therefore a strong possibility. Cf. Rothstein on 2.34.91, Papanghelis (n. 33), p. 68, n.46.
(34) On Propertian and Tibullan funerals, cf. Jacoby (n. 1), esp. pp. 162ff., Wimmel (n. 20), pp. 93ff., esp. pp. 99-106 (usefully, he brings Tib. 1.3 into play); but they have little or no sense of dialogue and riposte. Papanghelis ([n. 33], pp. 14, n. 14, 100), excellent on the general topic of Propertian funerals, largely avoids the question of the relation between Propertian and Tibullan funerals; such a relation is superficially glanced at by Murgatroyd ([n. 1], pp. 14, 50-1, also in his nn. on Tib. 1.1.61-8).
(35) For love as seafaring, the storms of love, and so on, cf. Gow-Page, Hellenistic Epigrams anonymous XXII = AP 12.156, Meleager LXIV Gow-Page = AP 5.190, CXIX Gow-Page = AP 12.157; for woman as the sea (calm, stormy, changeable, and so on), Semonides 7.27-42.
(36) I keep the MSS reponere; Goold prints Baehrens' reposcere. The phrase fata reponere seems to me to contain suggestive and plausible ambiguities: note, for example, OLD s.v. repono 9 `store away', 10b `to lay (a body) to rest'.
(37) Griffin (n. 1), pp. 144, 148. Documentation on gestures of mourning (weeping, locks of hair, and so on) is provided in nn. 39, 61, 63.
(38) For the idea that mourning can cause distress to the dead (as well as being profitless, a burden to the mourner, etc.), see Nisbet and Hubbard's note on Hor. Carm. 2.9.9, Murgatroyd on Tib. 1.1.66-8. The secure and proper Propertian Cornelia will say (4.11.1) desine, Paulle, meum lacrimis urgere sepulcrum.
(39) The rending or offering of hair was, like weeping, a gesture of mourning embedded in Graeco-Roman tradition: cf. Hom. Od 4.197-8 [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], `this is the only honour we pay to miserable men <at death>, to cut the hair and let the tear fall from the cheek', and see Murgatroyd on 1.1.67-8. For further on tears at funerals see n. 63. As for teneris ... parce genis (Tib. 1.1.68), this may be a memory of Prop. 1.6.16 insanis ora notet manibus, imagined passion on Cynthia's part on a different occasion. For the rending of cheeks at a funeral, and for Propertius' reply to this detail, see below pp. 536f. with n. 61.
(40) Further consideration might be given to Tibullus' thoughts of funeral when stranded in `Phaeacia' in 1.3.5-9: he exhibits a more bourgeois and sentimental concern than expressed by Propertius (mater, soror, Delia), and the poem holds out every prospect of a happy outcome (89ff., a happy and bourgeois version of an Odyssean return). We can see here further amusingly complacent glances at Propertius' funeral agonizing in 1.17 and 19--and, also, at his tougher stranded condition in 1.17. Wimmel (n. 20), pp. 99-103 discusses the relation between these poems to considerable effect, but without finding any humour. Papanghelis (n. 33), p. 100 on the relation of Tib. 1.3 and these Propertian poems is uncharacteristically disappointing.
(41) Propertius' reasoning that leads to this conclusion is discussed by Lyne (n. 21), pp. 101f.; cf. too section II of my recent article, `Love and death: Laodamia and Protesilaus in Catullus, Propertius and others', CQ 48 (1998), 200-12. Other reasons why Propertius concludes thus exist, and are focused on by Jacoby (n. 1), p. 163. But the fact of death and the end that it brings is by far the most important of them.
(42) Contrast Jacoby (n. 1), pp. 163, 168-9. He argues that Propertius' argument in 1.19 gives the conclusion (25-6) special significance (clearly correct), but that Tibullus' version (1.1.69-70), in his unproblematic context, is merely banal. This is to misappreciate humour, above all to misappreciate the dialogue that Tibullus is essaying.
(43) Cf. Hor. Epodes 8, 12, Carm. 1.25, 3.15, 4.13, Cic. Cael. 42.
(44) Cf. Lyne (n. 21), p. 66; I here pick up an embryonic suggestion from p. 67 (with n. 4). Some apparent exceptions to the statement in the present text (`The romantic generally disregarded bothersome detail like ageing') are discussed in The Latin Love Poets, loc. cit.
(45) Other passages in Tibullus suggest Ciceronian-Horatian belief that love is for youth, and distaste at love in old age: 1.2.89-98, 1.8.47-8, 2.1.73-4. Cf. too Priapus at 1.4.27ff.
(46) I do not understand why some editors (Luck's Teubner, Murgatroyd, defending his decision [n. 1], p. 301) prefer to lose this neat chiasmus, following a minority of the manuscript tradition (despiciam dites...).
(47) Indeed Tibullus, finding his concrete figures of dux and miles of love, is innovative and comic even compared with the comic poets, as Murgatroyd in his note on 1.1.75-6 recognizes. M. can find (only) Plaut. As. 656 amorisque imperator as direct precedent, and Pers. 24 saucius factus sum in Veneris proelio is more typical of the (not very frequent) usage in Roman comedy: cf. G. E. Duckworth, The Nature of Roman Comedy (Princeton, 1952), p. 337; E. Fantham, Comparative Studies in Republican Latin Imagery (Toronto and Buffalo, 1972), pp. 26ff. On militia amoris and its use in Propertius and Tibullus, see Lyne (n. 21), pp. 71-8; for Ovid's use, see esp. Am. 1.9, and Lyne (n. 21), pp. 251-2. Tibullus now seems to me to be funnier--more Ovidian--than he did in 1980.
(48) bonus, as Murgatroyd ad loc. sees, relates to dux as well as miles. Horace's address to Augustus as dux bone in Ode 4.5.5 is built on a dignified and well-paralleled collocation: cf. e.g. Cic. Off. 3.100, Sall. Hist. fr. 1.77 (= oratio Philippi in senatu).21, Liv. 7.40.15.
(49) A contributor to Tibullus 1.1 curiously neglected by Jacoby (n. 1), and barely glanced at by Wimmel (n. 20), p. 106. It also stimulates 1.2.75-8, as Murgatroyd on Tib. 1.2.75-6 observes.
(50) To Pholoe, by contrast--when he has a ease to make, when he has the interests of his favoured boy at heart--he can counsel grand `Propertian' romanticism, 1.8.33f. huic tu candentes umero suppone lacertos,| et regum magnae despiciantur opes.
(51) Solmsen (n. 1).
(52) I take scribam and fregerit as future and future perfect indicative like, for example, Camps and Rothstein, and, I infer, Goold; in Guy Lee's translation (Propertius [Oxford, 1994]) they are taken as subjunctive (cf. ausim), which is thought-provoking.
(53) The point, as Solmsen brings out (if it needs to be brought out), is not that a country fellow is no poet, but that a poet will not sink to this low level of bumpkin behaviour.
(54) Cic. Rosc. Amer. 75 praetereo illud ... in rusticis moribus ... istius modi maleficia gigni non solere ... uita autem haec rustica quam tu agrestem uocas [he acknowleges a hostile point of view] parsimoniae, diligentiae, iustitiae magistra est; Varr. Rust. 3.1.4; Verg. Georg. 1.168 diuini gloria ruris.
(55) Cic. de Orat. 2.25 where rusticus is equivalent to indoctissimus, 3.44 rusticam asperitatem, 45 non aspere ..., non uaste, non rustice, non hiulce.
(56) Cf. e.g. Catullus 22.14 idem inficeto est inficetior rure, 36.19f pleni ruris et inficetiarum/ annales Volusi, cacata carta. Rusticus only elsewhere in Prop. at 4.1.12.
(57) Goold (n. 4), p. 134 `The inconcinnity spoils what the poet intended as a devastating line and raises a doubt about the accuracy of the manuscript tradition.' The objection is to the syntactical disharmony: Cynthia in apposition to a noun, Cynthia leuis as to a noun in the accusative of respect. Aspiring to concinnity Scaliger suggested formipotens and Richards lingua (for uerba); alii alia. But (we could argue) a weakness in the epigrammatic construction reinforces Propertius' humour at his own expense: as I say, his weapon of retaliation lacks punch in every way.
We might note that in what is probably another book (2b) Propertius is provoked to threaten Tibullan violence--and more: torn clothes and bruised arms, 2.15.17-20.
(58) If Richmond and Heyworth are right, this poem is initial in Book 2b. See Heyworth's PLLS paper (n. 2); cf. too his Mnemosyne paper (also n. 2) for convincing arguments for the unity of 2.13 as well as its inceptive status, and for general literary exposition. Fine discussion too in Papanghelis (n. 33), ch. 4 (and elswhere).
(59) But an unexpected and productive glance at interplay between Prop. 2.13 and Tibullus 1.1 in Jacoby (n. 1), p. 163, n. 75.
(60) Griffin (n. 1), p. 148, talking of Cynthia's lacerated breast, observes that `the gentler spirit of Tibullus ... shrank from this ... detail'.
(61) The Twelve Tables forbade Roman women even to scratch their cheeks at funerals: for this fact and for other facts and conjectures about actual practice at Roman funerals, see S. Treggiari, Roman Marriage (Oxford, 1991), pp. 489-90. But back in the Iliad Briseis [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ... , `tore at her breasts with her hands, and her soft throat, and her beautiful face' (Il. 19.284f.), over the body of Patroclus; we should note that the gesture is extravagant even in that epic world; elsewhere in Homer, `heroic mourners do not go farther than tearing their hair' (Leaf ad loc.). Huge and special heroic despair--rather than eroticism--is provided by nudum pectus lacerata. Papanghelis (n. 33), p. 64 sees (I infer) an erotic colour in the detail; there is certainly eroticism in the vicinity, as (following R) I remark in the text.
(62) Papanghelis (n. 33), p. 64. Propertius does not elsewhere use this diminutive. Catullus was fond of it: cf. most pertinently Catull. 8.18 quem basiabis? cui labella mordebis? Cf. too Papanghelis, pp. 78-9.
(63) A conventional offering: this hardly needs documenting, but cf. at one end of history, in the grand heroic world, Hem. Il. 24.712-14, 746, 760, 776, 786 (tears for Hector), Od. 4.198 quoted above n. 39, at the other end, in the aristocratic Roman world, Paullus' tears for Cornelia in Propertius himself: 4.11.1. See further Treggiari (n. 61) loc. cit. Interestingly, Propertius eschews tears in his other arty burial scene, 3.16.21ff. (mentioned below)--but not, be it noted, the grand Maecenas' at 2.1.76. We may note too that the offering of a lock of hair is now no longer of importance to Propertius: contrast 1.17.21 and above p. 528.
(64) Solmsen (n. 1), 277ff. = II.303ff. pursues a relation between 3.16.11-20 and Tib. 1.2.25ff., an interesting one, but Solmsen misses the humour in it.
(65) The assumption that the two activities are identical is a common motif in Propertius, with which he makes much play. In a simple form we find it in 1.7.5ff.
(66) Cf. Griffin (n. 1), p. 149 with n. 26, quoting the real life epitaph of Q. Varius Geminus.
(67) Cf. how Propertius' triumphant dedication to Venus in 2.14.27-8 (an initial poem in Book 2b) may trump the wearied resignation of Tibullus' in 1.9.83-4 (closural in Tibullus: see n. 69).
(68) For example, the parity of Elegy with Epic as a commemorative medium. Two elegiac verses (lines 35-6) or, if one chooses to see it another way, this elegy itself, commemorate Propertius' tomb (and funeral); the hugely spectacular--but, arguably, in Propertius' view no more effective--Od. 24.43-94 commemorate Achilles' funeral and tomb. Another interesting idea is to be found in Heyworth's Mnemosyne paper (n. 2), 55: he suggests some allusive play with Cynthia/Polyxena. Propertius' inclusion of cruenta certainly encourages such a line of thinking (cf. Enk ad loc.).
(69) Cf. above p. 525 on the structure of Tibullus Book 1. Some more detail on Tibullan structure and on Delia's appearances. Delia was programmatically presented in 1.1, as discussed above, but without development. Her exclusion of the lover-poet precipitates the laments, reflections, and other characters of 1.2. She plays a quite large part in 1.3, but no part in 1.4, a poem concerned with homosexual love, at the end of which the name Marathus surfaces. Then come the revelations of the closural 1.5. 1.6, the introductory poem of the second half of the book, leads with Delia, and exploits her in that poem, but mainly as a vehicle for other characters, novel ideas, and situations. And then, surprisingly, she appears no more. 1.6, if read programmatically (cf. above n. 28), tricks one; novelty is in store. 1.7 is devoted to Messalla; the boy whose name surfaced at the end of 1.4 dominates 1.8 and 1.9; 1.9 is then closural, but of this homosexual love affair (haec ego dicebam 29, canebam 47ff., the concluding dedication to Venus resolutus amore Tibullus, Murgatroyd [n. 1], p. 256 on 1.9 and `end of affair' poems); and 1.10 is phrased generally.
(70) Murgatroy (n. 1), p. 7. Cf. Wimmel (n. 20), p. 107.
(71) E. Courtney, The Fragmentary Latin Poets (Oxford, 1993), p. 262.
(72) It is an interesting fact that Propertius does not name, does not feel the need to name, Cynthia in the three opening programmatic poems (2.1-3), if these were the three opening poems of Book 2a (which seems plausible). Her first naming in the transmitted Book 2 is in 2.5.1. Her fame speaks for itself? We should infer Cynthia from her Cynthian attributes in 2.1?
(73) Propertius here trumps Tibullus' Delian girl, and at the same time asserts contact with, but a witty difference from Callimachus, whom Apollo set on the right road, and to whom Calliope and the other Muses revealed the first two books of the Aetia (fr. 1.22f., 7.22ff., cf. A. Cameron, Callimachus and his Critics [Princeton, 1995], pp. 107-8).
(74) From other passages we gain the guarded information that she is formosa (1.1.55), and has long hair (1.3.91); and besides 1.5.43-6, the passage to which I attend here, there is line 66 mentioned below referring to a niueus pes. Of course we do not expect the romantic love poets often to attempt to describe the indescribable (Lyne [n. 21], pp. 262-4); but when they do attempt it, we expect them to do so with extreme care; and other love poets, aware of the difficulties, will read with professional and challenged interest.
(75) This reading, printed by Luck, is arguably superior to the uerbis of the main manuscript tradition, not least because (an interesting fact) Delia is not much given to words in any context--very unlike Cynthia. In his apparatus Luck compares 1.8.17, Prop. 3.6.25.
(76) Cf. Murgatroyd ad loc.
(77) Lee translates caerula `blue-eyed'; Murgatroyd has a useful note on the adjective.
(78) La Penna ([n. 1], 1950), 234, observes interestingly that Prop. 2.2.1 echoes (but he would not say alludes to) Tib. 1.5.1f.: 2.2.1f. Liber eram et ... / at, 1.5.1f. Asper cram et ... /at. An opening poem in Propertius 2a alludes to a closural poem in Tibullus 1 (first half).
(79) Dulichias is suspect. Why should Athene stride to altars in Dulichium? Dulichium is one of the distinct group of four islands in the Odyssey which include Ithaca: Ithaca, Dulichium, Same, and Zacynthos: Od. 1.246f., 9.24, 16.123f., etc. Dulichium is where the suitor Amphinomus came from in Homer. At 2.14.4 Prop. seems to identify the litora Dulichiae with Ithaca, and this is perhaps sufficient to justify the reading in 2.2.7 (Athene had, of course, a special affection for Odysseus). Goold adopts Heinsius' Munychias, which would signify `Athenian': cf. Ov. Met. 2.709 where Mercury flies over Munychios ... agros gratamque Mineruae ... humum. The transmitted cum is replaced with ceu by Baehrens, followed by Goold; I think that Camps' note (quoted in part below, n. 85) is here useful, and I would retain cum.
(80) The reference is, of course, to the Judgement of Paris. Either we infer a reference to Venus, to complete the trio Juno (6), Athena (7f.), and Venus, or we assume that a Venus couplet has dropped out--and radically but attractively we can also transpose the mythical but mortal comparisons transmitted in lines 9-12 to follow 2.29.28 (surely some myths have indeed dropped out from 2.29, as comparison with 1.3 shows). This whole package is Housman's solution, followed by Goold. It would, I suppose, be a possible option to supply a Venus couplet and retain the mortal comparisons 9-12.
(81) Propertius unexpectedly reverts to Cynthia's facies in the last couplet of 2.2 (cf. Lyne [n. 21], pp. 97-8).
(82) Contrast the disfavoured girl of Catullus 43.3 nec longis digitis.
(83) Since fair hair was not actually common among Greeks or Romans, but was on the other hand quite conventionally heroic (the [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] of Achilles Il. 1.197, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Il. 3.284, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Il. 11.740, etc. Pease on Verg. Aen. 4.590), it was admired by Romans and Greeks, and occurrences were multiplied with the aid of imagination and other artifices. Murgatroyd in his note on Tib. 1.5.43-4, commenting on Delia's flauae comae, remarks on the popularity of fair hair among the Elegists' mistresses. But he includes here, without further comment, Prop. 2.2.5. This misses an important nuance. Latin colour terms are of course notoriously difficult to pin down, but I would hazard the following. There is not, I think, on the one hand, very much denotative difference between flauus and fuluus: note among the passages cited below how chrysolite, aureo fulgore tralucentes for Plin. N.H. 37.126, is flauus for Prop. and gold is fuluus for Tib.; cf. further Aul. Gell. 2.26.8, 11-12, and J. Andre, Etude sur les termes de couleur dans la langue Latine (Paris, 1949), pp. 128-32 on flauus and cognates, pp. 132-35 on fuluus. But, on the other hand, there is a difference between the two in habits of usage, a difference therefore of connotation. (i) Flauus and cognates are common of the admired and imagined fair hair: see the passages quoted by Murgatroyd on Tib. 1.5.43-4, and TLL VI.1.888.48-72 flauus `de crinibus sim.', and 72ff. of people, but with reference to their hair, 886.32-41 flaueo similarly; note, for example, Catull. 66.62 of Berenice's hair; Verg. Georg. 4.352 of Arethusa's caput; Aen. 4.590, 698 of Dido; Horace, Carm. 1.5.4 of Pyrrha; and Or. Am. 2.4.43 seu flauent (capilh), where Ovid uses the common term as, significantly, he expresses his indifference to hair colour. By contrast (ii) fuluus is not commonly used of hair: TLL VI. 1.1535.44-50: Prop. 2.2.5 is the first of the few cited; the slightly eccentric note of J. B. Carter (Boston, 1900) cited by Goold (n. 4) ad loc. is in this respect on target. Propertius puts a wedge between Cynthia's and Delia's hair, if only in diction. He selects a choice, not a common word, for fair hair in Cynthia's case. This is Propertius' only use of flauus in any of his books, a significant and interesting fact: for him the word itself is choice. Meanwhile Tibullus uses flauus four more times in Books 1 and 2, at 2.1.48 of the comae of crops. Tibullus' epithet is not a choice word, not even for him. Propertius uses flauus at 2.16.44 of chrysolite, and at 4.4.20 of Tatius's horse's mane. The only thing that is fuluus in Tibullus, Book 1 is gold in his opening line; I suspect that this is relevant to Propertius' use; fuluus also in Tib. 2.1.88 of sidera. (It will be remembered that there is talk of Cynthia's dyeing her hair in 2.18.27-8; but since I am not persuaded of the integrity of the piece of text that is marked 2.18c in Barber and Camps, and 2.18d in Goold, I cannot pronounce on what colour is involved.)
(84) Cf. Hom. Od. 5.217 and the passages collected by Heubeck-West-Hainsworth (Oxford, 1988), ad loc., but it is wrong to restrict the sense of [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], `magnitude', to height; Standford's note (London, 1961) on Od. 6.107-8 is here most useful. Heroically beautiful women were generously built, big ladies. Bacchylides' Hercules (5.168) asks the shade of Meleager in the Underworld if there is a sister of his whom he could marry [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], `like you in stature' (and there is of course: Deianeira); Hercules' taste would clearly not favour the Kate Moss type. This is not merely heroic taste: note the appearance of [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in Dicaearchus' list of favourable attributes among Theban women, below n. 88, but note too Muller's erroneous translation. Enk (n. 12) in his note on Prop. 2.2.5 similarly misunderstands what Propertius is saying (`Antiqui admirabantur longas feminas ...').
(85) The comparison is so compressed that Propertius effectively expresses identity between Cynthia and Juno, as my translation brings out; cf. Goold `and she walks worthy even of Jove, as his sister'. Shackleton Bailey, Propertiana (Cambridge, 1956), p. 64 has misplaced suspicion of the genuineness of the text, though ultimately he retains it. So much does Propertius suggest identity that Vergil can echo the line in a speech by Juno herself: Aen. 1.46-7 ast ego, quae divum incedo regina Iouisquel et soror et coniunx. Camps underestimates the implication of identity, but unpacks the line well, and his comment on the syntax is useful (`the word digna [especially] compensates the absence of a comparative conjunction; in the following line 7 the syntax continues as if such a conjunction were felt to have been already introduced').
(86) When Housman composed a Venus couplet exempli gratia (printed in Goold's text), he built it round ponit uestigia.
(87) Contrast the disfavoured girl of Catullus 43.2 nec bello pede; Tibullus in 1.5.66 implies or states Delia's pes to be niueus.
(88) Interesting passages on attractiveness of female gait are collected by Shackleton Bailey (n. 85), p. 89 in his note on 2.12.24. Note too Dicaearchus of Messana praising Theban women (text in C. Muller, Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum, vol. II [Paris, 1848], p. 259 or Geographi Graeci Minores vol. I [Paris, 1855], p. 103): [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] `their women, in magnitude, gait, and concinnity, are the most graceful and comely of women in Greece.' Muller's translation of the key nouns is proceritate, incessu, corporis concinnitate. The first of these is wrong (see n. 84 above), the second and third interesting and probably right. The way a woman walked (incessus) could be not just attractive, but inappropriately tarty: Cic. Cael. 49 on Clodia, Sen. Contr. 2.7.4 (2.7.3-4 give an interesting if tendentious view of how a modest matrona should conduct herself in public.)
(89) Cf. too the phrasing of Juno in Aen. 1.46-7 quoted above n. 85, also 5.649. At Hom. Il. 13.71-2 Ajax, son of Oileus, says that he recognized Poseidon thus: [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], `I recognized easily from behind as he went away the <?> of his feet and legs.' As Leaf, says [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] can hardly here have its normal sense of footprints; `movement' would make good sense--such good sense that a variant reading [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] arose. It may be that Vergil read [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] or interpreted [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] as movement; likewise Propertius, and perhaps a host of intervening writers.
(90) For Thetis' dolphin transport, Murgatroyd compares Ov. Met. 11.236f. and Val. Flacc. 1.131ff. and conjectures a Hellenistic source. This is surely right. Strong corroboration comes from Moschus, Europa 117f. where we find the Nereids riding on the backs of unspecified sea-creatures in the company of a specified dolphin: [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].
(91) Cf. Moschus cited in the previous note, Catullus 64.1 ff., Verg. Georg. 4.388-9.
(92) See n. 80 above.
(93) Transposition of 11-12 to follow 16, proposed by Housman and accepted by Goold, is wrong. The red-lead and snow, roses and milk comparisons are more naturally prompted by reference to Cynthia's complexion, even if in the narrative only one colour (candida) in her complexion is specifically mentioned, than by a reference to a girl in a silk garment. For girls' complexions giving rise to red and white similes, cf. Catull. 61.187 with Fordyce ad loc.; cf. too esp. Prop. 3.24.7-8 where Cynthia's false candor prompted Propertius to comparisons with rosy dawn; and Verg. Aen. 12.68-9 seems to me a clear echo and confirmation of our transmitted text. Transposition also spoils Propertius' rhetoric, especially his rhetorical interchange with Tibullus. It is the facies of Cynthia that is important, that is an attraction--a better facies than Delia's though it is not now for Propertius (in 2.3) the main attraction; so it merits much stylistic attention. The bombyx dress, by contrast, is emphatically unimportant, dismissed in the line non sum de nihilo blandus amator ego and by the non-specific attribution si qua: it hardly merits a couple of similes. (It will also be seen that I am happy with the text si qua Arabio, replaced with si quando Arabo [Pucci and Garrod] by Goold; cf. further below.)
(94) I adopt this attractive conjecture (Butrica following Beroaldus), but without conviction of its certainty.
(95) The translation of the parenthesis is Goold's, who has taken blandus with de nihilo, as Rothstein advises. I remain uncertain about this.
(96) I have taken par to be nominative; Goold and others take it as an accusative object of ludere.
(97) For Aganippe, one of the springs of inspiration on Callimachus' Mt. Helicon, see Aetia fr. 2A.16 with Pfeiffer ad loc. and on line 30, comparing Cat. 61.28ff. and Verg. Ecl. 10.12; note too Pfeiffer on fr. 696.
(98) On the text, see n. 93 above.
(99) He does not now, if the transmitted text is right (cf. n. 93), even tie this particular attraction to Cynthia (si qua); and it merits a line of outright disdain, non sum de nihilo ... In the past in Cynthia's case, finery of dress, though not bombyx itself, was disapproved in 1.2, admired in 2.1. Such finery does not explicitly characterize Delia anywhere, so it does not look as if she is the butt here. I suspect Propertius glances here at another poet-lover, who had a taste for sensuously dressed women. Perhaps, in view of what is said about 43-4, Cornelius Gallus.
(100) So Camps and Enk; oddly Rothstein takes digna facies as a predicate and supplies Cynthia as subject. I infer from Goold's translation that he takes facies as belonging to Helen. The text admits some (profitable) ambiguity. It is certainly possible to take the couplet as referring to Helen; but then we refer it to the second Helen. For the `actualizing indicative' involved in referring fuit to Cynthia's face, see Hor. Carm. 2.17.28 with Nisbet and Hubbard ad loc.
(101) Cinna fr. 6 Courtney, Cat. 62.35, and see Ciris 352 with Lyne ad loc.
(102) Camps on Prop. 2.3.43.
(103) Cf. J.-P. Boucher, Caius Cornelius Gallus (Paris, 1966), p. 98 and D. O. Ross, Backgrounds to Augustan Poetry (Cambridge, 1975), p. 118 who (surely rightly) see Gallus echoed not only in Ov. Am. 1.15.29f. and Prop. 2.3.43f., but in Ov. Ars 3.537 Vesper et Eoae nouere Lycorida terrae (reference misprinted as 527 in Boucher).
R. O. A. M. LYNE
email@example.com Balliol College, Oxford
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|Author:||LYNE, R. O. A. M.|
|Publication:||The Classical Quarterly|
|Date:||Jul 1, 1998|
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