Golden Cynthia

Essays on Propertius
Sharon L. James, Editor

New approaches to the poetry of Propertius


The elegiac poet Propertius responds in his verse to the complex changes that Rome underwent in his period, taking on numerous topics including poetic and sexual rivalry, visual art, violence, inability to control the elusive mistress, imperialism, colonialism, civil war, the radical new shape of the Roman state under the new monarch Augustus, and more. These essays, by well-known scholars of Roman elegy, offer new ways of reading Propertius’ topics, attitudes, and poetics.

This book begins with two distinguished essays by the late Barbara Flaschenriem, whose work on Propertius remains influential. The other contributions, offered in honor of her, are by Diane Rayor, Andrew Feldherr, Ellen Greene, Lowell Bowditch, Alison Keith, and volume editor Sharon L. James. These essays explore topics including Propertian didacticism, dream interpretation, visual art and formalism, sex and violence, Roman imperialism and its connection to the elegiac puella, and Propertius’ engagement, in Book 4, with Vergil’s poetry.

Sharon L. James is Professor of Classics at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Praise / Awards

  • “This is a collection that, while being wholly current, captures the distinctive feel of a generation of North American work on Augustan erotic elegy in which the honoree herself participated with distinction. The contributors, all broadly contemporary with one another, contribute essays that simultaneously show their own strengths and capture a sense of the milieu in which Barbara Flaschenriem’s work was designed to be read.”
    —Stephen Hinds, University of Washington
  • “This book elegantly—and not without some inner, yet productive tensions—throws new light on the elegies of Propertius and their most conspicuous character in addition to the poet himself: Cynthia.”
    —Thea Thorsen, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 222pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2022
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-13324-6

Add to Cart
  • $70.00 U.S.

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  • Propertius; Augustan poetry; Roman imperialism; Roman colonialism; Roman mapmaking; gender; sexual violence; dream interpretation; didacticism in Propertius; reader-response theory; Roman monuments; Augustan city-building; imperial luxuries; travel; civil engineering in Augustan Rome; Roman painting; politics of Augustan Rome; what Propertius teaches