Latin Elegy and Hellenistic Epigram: A Tale of Two Genres at Rome

Cambridge University Press

The relationship between the genres of elegy and epigram has been much debated and from a dizzying variety of angles. The contributors to this volume explore the impact of Hellenistic Greek epigram on Latin erotic elegy in the light of the recent discovery and publication of papyrus book-rolls, especially those containing Hellenistic Greek epigram collections. Individual chapters approach the interrelations of Greek epigram and Latin elegy through the theoretical frameworks of intermediality (the contamination of the two different media of stone inscription and book roll) and textual criticism (applying to the Latin elegist Propertius the editorial lessons learned from the papyrus collections of Greek epigrams). Some chapters focus on the reception of specific Greek epigrams, particularly those of Meleager and Philodemus, in particular elegies of Propertius and Ovid, while others take the Latin elegists as their focus and examine their appropriation of both the thematic motifs of Greek epigram and the organizational structures of Hellenistic epigram books. All bear witness to the importance of Hellenistic Greek epigram to the authors of Latin erotic elegy, consolidate our understanding of the formal relations between the two genres in the Hellenistic and Roman worlds, and deepen our appreciation of individual Greek epigrams and Latin elegies.


Publication Type