ABOUT THIS BOOK
Roman Propertius and the Reinvention of Elegy presents an arresting new interpretation of the intricate and complex poetry of Propertius' final collection. Jeri Blair DeBrohun illuminates the manner in which the poet reinvents and revitalizes his elegy in Book 4 by broadening its lyrical promise and ideological horizons.
DeBrohun finds the most striking element of Book 4 to be the apparent polarity of the poems, whose themes are split between new, aetiological subjects of Roman national significance and amatory affairs that evoke the themes of Propertius' first three books. In her compelling reassessment of Propertius' aspirations in Book 4, DeBrohun identifies the conflict between his new ambitions to produce Roman aetiological elegy and his traditional, exclusive devotion to erotic concerns as the central dynamic of his collection. Roman Propertius and the Reinvention of Elegy reveals how the poet came to find in the subcodes of the elegiac genre a medium of interaction between the opposing values of the two themes.
Roman Propertius will interest not only scholars and students of Greek and Roman Poetry but also students of later traditions who are interested in the questions of genre and the relationship between poetry and wider cultural discourses.
Jeri Blair DeBrohun is Associate Professor of Classics, Brown University.