Sextus Propertius

Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

Propertius, Sextus

(sĕk`stəs prōpûr`shəs), c.50 B.C.–c.16 B.C., Roman elegiac poet, b. Umbria. He was a member of the circle of MaecenasMaecenas
(Caius Maecenas) , d. 8 B.C., Roman statesman and patron of letters. He was born (between 74 B.C. and 64 B.C.) into a wealthy family and was a trusted adviser of Octavian (Augustus), who employed Maecenas as his personal representative for various political missions.
..... Click the link for more information.
. A master of the Latin elegy, he wrote with vigor, passion, and sincerity.


See translations by C. Carrier (1963) and J. Warden (1972); studies by M. Platnauer (1951) and D. R. S. Bailey (1956).

Propertius, Sextus


Born circa 50 B.C., in Asisium, now Assisi; died circa 15 B.C., in Rome. Roman poet.

The basic theme of Propertius’ love elegies (there are 92, in four books) is an anguished, sorrowful passion for the beloved. The later concepts of the elegy and of what was elegiac developed under Propertius’ influence. The theme of love in his works was eventually replaced by mythological subjects and by idealization of a traditional way of life and of the valor of the ancient Romans. In addition, the theme of conjugal love and fidelity appeared in his love elegies.

Propertius’ style is marked by sharp shifts of thought and mood, deliberate ambiguity of expression, and an abundance of mythological details and allusions. His works influenced Ovid and many other Roman poets of the first century A.D. In the Middle Ages he was forgotten, and interest in him revived only in the age of Petrarch. In Russia, the poets K. N. Batiushkov, A. N. Maikov, and A. A. Fet were influenced by Propertius.


Sexti Propertii elegiarum, vols. 1–4. Edited by M. Schuster. Leipzig, 1954.
In Russian translation:
In the collection Valerii Katull, Al’bii Tibull, Sekst Propertsii. Moscow, 1963.


Istoriia rimskoi literatury, vol. 1. Edited by S. I. Sobolevskii [et al.]. Moscow, 1959.
Tronskii, I. M. Istoriia antichnoi literatury, 3rd ed. Leningrad, 1957.
Boucher, J. P. Etudes sur Properce: Problèmes d’inspiration et d’art. Paris, 1965.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Pound had always thought of Homage to Sextus Propertius and Hugh Selwyn Mauberly as a diptych, two facing panels that reflect the plight of the poet in a culture shaped by the First World War and the consequences of the Peace.
The early, formative volumes, including A Lume Spento, A Quinzaine for this Yule, Personae of Ezra Pound, Exultations, Canzoni and Ripostes, which are usually underrepresented in research, are covered by a roughly equally measured six to eight pages, while more acclaimed works like Lustra, Homage to Sextus Propertius, the Ur-Cantos and Hugh Selwyn Mauberley are treated slightly more extensively.
Michelangelo and Melvil Dewey Antonio Panizzi and Sextus Propertius, George Orwell and Caliph Omar I all make appearances.
The abuse heaped on Pound for his Homage to Sextus Propertius makes for lively reading (the translation was "an insult both to poetry and to scholarship, and to common sense," thundered a contemporary classicist [14]).
Kar exists in a memory maze with such figures as Sextus Propertius, Goethe, Joseph Conrad, Italo Svevo, Osip Mandelshtam, and Anna Karenina, who meet and interact at their exclusive Society of International Vanity.
He suggests that critics have been slow to admit the importance of modernist translation, or content with passing judgment on individual translations (the prime example usually being Pound's Homage to Sextus Propertius [1919]).
We can gauge how very far Pound had come by, say, 1919 when "Homage to Sextus Propertius" appeared.
But "Pages: From a Book of Years" is different: here we are more likely to encounter Robert McNamara than Sextus Propertius, more likely to meet Scientologists than the Gnostics or the followers of obscure medieval heresies.
Another of her book's epistolary poems is addressed to a "Sextus Propertius" and has as its epigraph a Swedish translation of the opening distich of Elegies 4:7, the elegy in which a dream or nightmare of the late Cynthia appears to the poet: "Sunt aliquid Manes: letum non omnia finit, / luridaque evictos effugit umbra rogos." The myth of the loyal Procris (Ovid's "fida conjunx"), unintentionally slain by her husband Cephalus, also turns up in two poems, but other losses are also at hand and need no explanation: the fate of the space dog Laika ("The dogs in your films remind me of Laika"), the black kitten that has run away, the failing summer.
Sullivan, in discussing Ezra Pound's Homage to Sextus Propertius, claimed that Pound's `versions' of Propertius showed an appreciation of a modernity that conventional scholars had missed.(10)