The Roman Poetry of Love
The Roman Poetry of Love by Efrossini Spentzou (£12.99)
The Roman Poetry of Love explores the formation of a key literary genre in a troubled historical and political setting. The short-lived genre of Latin love elegy produced spectacular, multi-faceted and often difficult poetry. Its proponents Catullus, Tibullus, Propertius and Ovid remain to this day some of the most influential poetic voices of Western civilisation. This accessible introduction combines aesthetic analysis with socio-political context to provide a concise but comprehensive portrait of the Roman elegy, its main participants and its cultural and political milieu. Focusing on a series of specific poems, the title portrays the development of the genre in the context of the Emperor Augustus’ ascent to power, following recognizable threads through the texts to build an understanding of the relationship between this poetry and the increasingly totalising regime. Highlighting and examining the intense affectation of love in these poems, The Roman Poetry of Love explores the works not simply as an expression of a troubled male psychology, but also as a reflection of the overwhelming changes that swept through Rome and Italy in the transition from the late Republic to the Augustan Age.