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Durham e-Theses
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A Commentary on Select Poems of Propertius 2.1-12

DONNELLY, PETER,WILLIAM (2022) A Commentary on Select Poems of Propertius 2.1-12. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis is a study of Propertius 2.1-12; I focus on specific elegies and contribute to the debate on whether the transmitted Book 2 of Propertius contains two originally separate books. I combine some literary critics’ poststructural approaches with some textual critics’ scepticism of particular aspects of the manuscript tradition to produce a text with accompanying commentaries and introductions to poems 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 2.6, 2.8, 2.9, 2.11 and 2.12, in addition to a main introduction. The notes and poem introductions explore how the text intersects with contemporary politics and philosophy, as well as contemporary and historical poetry and visual culture, to produce literature which is rich in potential meanings. As a result, the thesis contributes to our understanding of Propertius’ poems as pieces of art produced in the early 20s BCE. In accordance with modern commentary theory, the notes are interpretative, and the poem introductions counteract the atomisation inherent in lemmatisation.
As well as analysing the poems individually, I argue that poems 2.1-12 form a cycle that can be interpreted independently of 2.13-34, although, on current evidence, the form(s) in which these poems circulated in the ancient world is unclear. Following the resurgence in narratological interpretations of elegy, and inspired by the recent use of Hellenistic ethics to examine the corpus, I trace a unifying romantic narrative that reflects on the dangers of νόσοι, and the resulting ἀκράτεια, across 2.1-12.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Propertius; Textual Criticism; Love Elegy; Commentary; Augustan Poetry
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Classics and Ancient History, Department of
Thesis Date:2022
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:20 Apr 2022 14:04

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