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Love and Romance in Greece and Rome

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Study Guide for Propertius, Elegies


From the readings and discussions, know the following nams and terms:

Cynthia
Love/Amor
Tullus
Gallus
Ponticus
Caesar Augustus
Antony
Callimachus and Philetas
Manes
Monobiblos(Book 1)
programmatic poem
addressee
servitium amoris(slavery of love)
praeceptor amoris(teacher of love)
militia amoris(soldiering for love)
paraclausithyron(by the closed door)
epitaph
recusatio(refusal)

Consider the following questions:
1. How does Propertius describe his relationship with Cynthia in the first poem? Why does he mention Milanion? Witches? Friends? Why does he give other lovers advice at the end of the poem?

2. How does Propertius structure his first book? By theme? By pairs of poems? By addressee? Chronologically? Concentrically? Why does he end the first book with two short poems that seem to have nothing to do with love or Cynthia?


3. Consider the programmatic poem in each of the four books. Do they characterize/sum up the content of each book? Are the four poems themselves interrelated or allude to each other?

4. In examining each book can you see a progression in theme or in the chronology of the affair from book to book? Or from poem to poem within each book?

5. How does Cynthia compare with Catullus' Lesbia? The persona Propertius with Catullus' persona?

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