Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Re-reading Propertius’ Arethusa

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Mnemosyne

Abstract This article argues that in poem 4.3, Propertius depicts Arethusa not as a citizen wife, but as a concubine or an elegiac courtesan under exclusive contract to Lycotas. The Roman lexicon of marriage was frequently used to describe relationships other than iustum coniugium, especially in love elegy. That is the situation presented in Propertius 4.3. Arethusa’s anxieties are primarily sexual, and thus identify her as something new in elegy: not a wife but a faithful puella. This poem gives us the poetic voice of a loving, loyal, contracted courtesan.

Affiliations: 1: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Classics Campus Box 3145, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3145 USA


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Adams J.N. "Words for ‘Prostitute’ in Latin" RhM 1983 Vol 126 321 358
2. Braund S.M. , Mayer R. Amor: Roma. Love & Latin Literature 1999 Cambridge
3. Barrett A.A. Livia: First Lady of Imperial Rome 2004 New Haven
4. Brown L. The Dancing Girls of Lahore: Selling Love and Saving Dreams in Pakistan’s Ancient Pleasure District 2005 New York
5. Burman P. Sex. Aurelii Propertii elegiarum libri IV 1780 Utrecht
6. Butler H.E. , Barber E.A. The Elegies of Propertius 1933 Vol 1964 Oxford repr. Hildesheim 1964
7. Camps W.A. Propertius, Elegies, Book III 1966 Cambridge
8. Davidson J. Courtesans and Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions of Classical Athens 1997 New York
9. DeBrohun J.B. Roman Propertius and the Reinvention of Elegy 2003 Ann Arbor
10. Dee J.L. "Arethusa to Lycotas: Propertius 4.3" TAPhA 1974 Vol 104 81 96
11. Fedeli P. Sexti Propertii elegiarum libri IV 1984 Stuttgart
12. Green P. "Review of Braund & Mayer 1999" 2000 Scholia Reviews n.s. 9,
13. Herter H. "Die Soziologie der antiken Prostitution im Lichte des heidnischen und christlichen Schrifttums" JbAC 1960 Vol 3 70 111
14. Heyworth S.J. Braund S.M. , Mayer R. "Textual Notes on Propertius 4.3, 4.4, 4.5" Amor: Roma. Love & Latin Literature 1999 Cambridge 71 93
15. Heyworth S.J. Sexti Properti elegos 2007a Oxford
16. Heyworth S.J. Cynthia: A Companion to the Text of Propertius 2007b Oxford
17. Hutchinson G. Propertius, Elegies Book IV 2006 Cambridge
18. James S.L Learned Girls and Male Persuasion: Gender and Reading in Roman Love Elegy, 2003 Berkeley
19. James S.L Faraone C.A. , McClure L. "A Courtesan’s Choreography: Female Liberty and Male Anxiety at the Roman Dinner Party" Prostitutes and Courtesans in the Ancient World 2006 Madison 224 251
20. Janan M. The Politics of Desire: Propertius Book 4 2001 Berkeley
21. Knox P. Ovid, Heroides. Select Epistles 1995 Cambridge
22. Konstan D. "Love in Terence’s Eunuch: The Origins of Erotic Subjectivity" AJP 1986 Vol 107 369 393
23. Konstan D. Sexual Symmetry: Love in the Ancient Novel and Related Genres 1994 Princeton
24. Lyne R.O.A.M. The Latin Love Poets: From Catullus to Horace 1980 Oxford
25. Maltby R. "Love and Marriage in Propertius 4.3" Papers of the Liverpool Latin Seminar 1981 Vol 3 243 247
26. Maltby R. Tibullus, Elegies 2002 Cambridge
27. McGinn T. "Concubinage and the Lex Iulia on Adultery" TAPhA 1991 Vol 121 335 375
28. Passerat J. Commentarii in C. Val. Catullum, A. Tibullum et Sex. Aur. Propertium 1608 Paris
29. Phang S.E. The Marriage of Roman Soldiers (13 B.C.-A.D. 235): Law and Family in the Imperial Army 2001 Leiden
30. Poliakoff M. "The Weapons of Love and War: A Note on Propertius IV.3" ICS 1987 Vol 12 93 96
31. Putnam M. Tibullus: A Commentary 1973 Norman
32. Rawson B. "Roman Concubinage and Other de facto Marriages" TAPhA 1974 Vol 104 279 305
33. Richardson L. Jr. Propertius Elegies I-IV 1977 Norman
34. Rosati G. "Il modello di Aretusa (Prop. IV 3): tracce elegiache nell’epica del I sec. d. C" Maia 1996 Vol 48 139 155
35. Saller R. "Slavery and the Roman Family" Slavery and Abolition 1987 Vol 8 71 93
36. Starr C. The Roman Imperial Navy, 31 B.C.-A.D. 324 1960 2nd. ed. New York
37. Treggiari S. "Concubinae" PBSR 1981 Vol 49 59 81
38. Watson G.R. The Roman Soldier 1969 Ithaca
39. White P. "Postumus, Curtius Postumus, and Rabirius Postumus" CP 1995 Vol 90 151 161
40. Williams C. Roman Homosexuality: Ideologies of Masculinity in Classical Antiquity 1999 Oxford
41. Wyke M. The Roman Mistress 2002 Oxford
42. Zagagi N. Tradition and Originality in Plautus: Studies of the Amatory Motifs in Plautine Comedy 1980 Göttingen

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Mnemosyne — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation