This indispensable volume provides a complete course on Latin erotic elegy, allowing students to trace a coherent narrative of the genre's rise and fall, and to understand its relationship to the changes that marked the collapse of the Roman republic, and the founding of the empire.
The book begins with a detailed and wide-ranging introduction, looking at major figures, the evolution of the form, and the Roman context, with particular focus on the changing relations between the sexes. The texts that follow range from the earliest manifestations of erotic elegy, in Catullus, through Tibullus, Sulpicia (Rome's only female elegist), Propertius and Ovid.
An accessible commentary explores the historical background, issues of language and style, and the relation of each piece to its author's larger body of work. The volume closes with an anthology of critical essays representative of the main trends in scholarship; these both illuminate the genre's most salient features and help the student understand its modern reception.