Tibullus is considered one of the finest exponents of Latin lyric in the golden age of Rome, during the Emperor Augustus’s reign, and his poetry retains its enduring beauty and appeal. Together these works provide an important document for anyone who seeks to understand Roman culture and sexuality and the origins of Western poetry.
• The new translation by Rodney Dennis and Michael Putnam conveys to students the elegance and wit of the original poems.
• Ideal for courses on classical literature, classical civilization, Roman history, comparative literature, and the classical tradition and reception.
• The Latin verses will be printed side-by-side with the English text.
• Explanatory notes and a glossary elucidate context and describe key names, places, and events.
• An introduction by Julia Haig Gaisser provides the necessary historical and social background to the poet’s life and works.
• Includes the poems of Sulpicia and Lygdamus, transmitted with the text of Tibullus and formerly ascribed to him.
The Complete Poems of Tibullus An En Face Bilingual Edition
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Tibullus has left us just sixteen elegies. Their subjects are various: love (of the fickle girls Delia and Nemesis and of the equally fickle boy Marathus), hatred of war, praise of his friend and patron, Messalla Corvinus, the pleasures of rural simplicity, a celebration of Rome. His poems glide easily, some would say dreamily, from theme to theme, moving almost like a slide show through apparently random images and musings. The ancient critic Quintilian considered Tibullus "the most polished and elegant" of the Roman elegists. He is also the most artful. His randomness and dreaminess are carefully created illusions; the elegance and polish so admired by Quintilian are achieved with intention and consummate skill. Tibullus's artistry is more subtle than that of the other elegists-we could almost call it clandestine. Propertius, notoriously difficult, displays his learning and emotional complexity with allusions to Callimachus, jumps in thought, and elaborate mythological exempla. Ovid is smooth and ostentatiously clever-a witty master of language who is self-consciously playful both in and out of season. Tibullus, by contrast, never advertises. He is as learned and witty as either of his fellow elegists, and with emotional depths of his own, but his is the art that conceals, rather than rev