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Elegies [Hardcover]

Propertius , G. P. Goold
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Jan. 31 1990 Loeb Classical Library (Book 18)

The passionate and dramatic elegies of Propertius gained him a reputation as one of Rome's finest love poets. Here he portrays the exciting, uneven course of his love affair with Cynthia and tells us much about his contemporaries and the society in which he lives, while in later poems he turns to mythological themes and the legends of early Rome. In this new edition of Propertius, G. P. Goold solves some longstanding questions of interpretation and gives us a faithful and stylish prose translation. His explanatory notes and glossary/index offer steady guidance and a wealth of information.

Born in Assisi about 50 BCE, Sextus Propertius moved as a young man to Rome, where he came into contact with a coterie of poets, including Virgil, Tibullus, Horace, and Ovid. Publication of his first book brought immediate recognition and the unwavering support of Maecenas, the influential patron of the Augustan poets. He died perhaps in his mid-thirties, leaving us four books of elegies that have attracted admirers throughout the ages.


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This translation is... lively, elegant, and scholarly... [Goold's] text is not only independent but enterprising, a refreshing change after Fedili's Teubner. (D. R. Shackleton Bailey Gnomon)

Book Description

Propertius, though his works are small in volume, is one of the foremost poets of the Augustan age and his writing has a certain appeal to modern tastes. Book II is especially suitable for the reader wanting a representative selection of Propertius' poetry. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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5.0 out of 5 stars the best current edition of propertius in english Oct. 13 2000
Format:Hardcover
This edition is the best, although I have it on good source that Oxford will be publishing a Propertius even better than this sometime in the next year. Propertius' poetry has the most modern feel of any Latin poet; read him and understand why Pound et al. loved him so.
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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best current edition of propertius in english Oct. 13 2000
By Al Kihano - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This edition is the best, although I have it on good source that Oxford will be publishing a Propertius even better than this sometime in the next year. Propertius' poetry has the most modern feel of any Latin poet; read him and understand why Pound et al. loved him so.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Golden Poetry from the Golden Age Aug. 26 2004
By Johannes Platonicus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The elegies of Propertius were written during the peaceful and progressive age of Augustus. This Golden Age was the hallmark of Latin literature; it was an age where poets enjoyed idyllic leisure and generous funding for their works. Propertius belonged to the elite class of poets who wrote at the behest, and under the patronage of, the magnanimous Maecenus. Propertius thrived in this company of poets which comprised of masters like Horace and Virgil. Others too of his time were Tibullus, Catallus, and Ovid. For this reason, he is not as well known today as he should; he will always linger in their shadows, but majestically and with the piercing light of respect. The Elegies of Propertius are divided into four books according to their subject matter. Throughout the work, Propertius is primarily occupied with love poetry--with his more than likely fictitious mistress, Cynthia. At times he moves to different themes but his muse invariably takes him back to the "service of Venus." It would be detrimental for anyone who enjoys Latin poetry to pass this gem-of-a-volume up. Even for the lover of contemporary poetry, the Elegies contain strikingly modern elements agreeable to modern tastes; and this updated edition is rid of the linguistic archaisms found in the earlier Loeb editions. This is a must have for all poetry lovers.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A horrible text and awful translation! May 17 2013
By Steven Farron - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
All extant manuscripts of Propertius derive from a lost manuscript that is labeled by the Greek letter omega.
Let the reader compare Goold's text with Barber's Oxford text and look at Goold's apparatus criticus, at the bottom of each page. He will see that Goold constantly differs from Barber by printing conjectures instead of the reading of omega. As far as I can tell, in every case, the reading provided by omega is intelligible, and in nearly every case appropriate.
Goold's basic criterion for emendation was plainly to make the meaning of the Latin simpler and more obvious. He thus reversed the most basic principle of textual criticism: lectio difficilior potior (the more difficult reading is better). The reason for this principle is clear: a scribe is more likely to change (whether consciously or unconsciously) a phrase that he finds difficult to understand into one that is easier to understand rather than vice versa. This principle is especially true of Propertius, whose style is compressed, elliptical, oblique, allusive, and saltatory. ("Saltatory" is an adjective coined by Propertian scholars, from the Latin noun saltus, which means a leap/jump.)
As for Goold's translation, it is often ludicrously wrong, even for the Latin text he prints (let alone for what Propertius probably wrote). To take one example, in I.3.44, his translation of externo in amore as "in unmarried love" is both blatantly inappropriate to its context and violates the entire ethos of the Cynthia cycle.
My recommendation to those who know any Latin is W. A. Camps' edition of each of Propertius' four books.
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I wrote the review above before I had access to Heyforth's 2007 revision of Barber's Oxford text. I had decided that if I found that Heyforth agreed with Goold, I would withdraw this review. Heyforth praises Goold in his Preface (page lxi) for "set[ting] a strong case for emendation and transposition" and says about his own edition (page lxv), "This may be thought a radical edition ... But I suspect that there are ... far more places where we need to deviate from the MS [manuscript] tradition than to return to it."
Nevertheless, Heyforth consistently agrees with Barber's MS-based text in preference to Goold's emendation-based text (e.g., I.1.16 (preces/fides); I.1.19 (fallacia/pellacia); I.3.45 (lapsam/lassam).
Goold is like the editor of Milton's Paradise Lost who changed "darkness visible" (I.63) to "darkness invisible" because darkness cannot be visible.
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