OVID AND ELEGY

Modern and ancient definitions of Elegy

Precursors to Roman Elegy  I hate and I love.  Why do I do that, you are perhaps asking?
   I don't know, but I feel it happening and I am in torment.
         (Cat. 85)

  My woman says that she would prefer to marry nobody else
   but me, not even if Jupiter himself asked her.
  She says this: but what a woman says to her ardent lover
   one ought to write on the the wind and the fast running water.
         (Cat. 70)

  Lesbia, my mind has been led down this road by your misdeeds
   and so has wrecked itself by its own sense of duty,
so that by now it could not wish good for you, even if you became a model           person
 nor could it stop loving you, no matter what you did.
       (Cat. 75)

Roman Elegists

Gallus - c.70-26

Tibullus - c. 50-19 Propertius - c. 50-5 Ovid Themes / Characteristics of Elegy (the elegiac "discourse")   My first line rose well, noble and lofty in measure,
   But the one you brought next surely corrupted the text.
  What can I do in light verse?  I have no boy I can sing of,
   No nice long-haired girl making a theme for my lays.
         (Ovid, Amores 1.1.17-20)   She was beautiful, so, lovely as Atalanta,
   Hunting Maenalian game, armed with the quiver and dart.
  So must another have seemed, Ariadne, lonely on Naxos,
   Weeping for Theseus, false, borne on winds from the south.
         (Amores 1.7.13-16)   Possibly now, while you sleep, your girl is lying beside you:
   So much the better for you; so much the worse for me.
  I could accept the chains, given that other condition.
         (Amores 1.6.45-47)


Ovid, 43-17 A.D.,

Works Exiled to Tomi by Augustus in 8 A.D. for "a poem and a mistake"

Tristia & Epistulae ex Ponto - poems written in exile - attempts
to vindicate himself and his poetry and win recall from exile

Is elegy in general, and Ovid in particular, Anti-Augustan?

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