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A Commentary on Propertius, Book 3

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The most passionate, individual, and controversial of the Latin love elegists, Propertius in Book 3 covers a broad range of subject matter and a vast geographical reach. After books focused on his mistress Cynthia, he maintains his elegiac role but expands his range to provide a lover's commentary on life, discussing luxury, nudity, art, the empire, and the dangers of travel for profit and war. He responds to the contemporary poetry of Horace and Vergil. Love for Cynthia continues as a major theme: he celebrates her birthday in one poem, and her temper in others. Early on he seeks reconciliation after a row, but the closing poems move towards a sad and bitter farewell. This edition uses the text recently published in the Oxford Classical Texts series, and sets out to build on the richness of the material in the book by providing clear introductions to the genres the poems explore├╣the Greek elegy of Callimachus, epic, tragedy, hymn and epigram├╣and to topics such as patronage, philosophy, and the images of love as slavery and as warfare. This is an entertaining collection, with serious and poignant things to say; and it serves as a wonderful introduction to classical poetry.

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