Title page for ETD etd-10092010-125947

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Steenkamp, Johan Jacobus
Email johan.j.steenkamp@gmail.com
URN etd-10092010-125947
Document Title The two faces of Apollo : Propertius and the poetry of politics
Degree DLitt
Department Ancient Languages
Advisor Name Title
Dr M E R Martin Supervisor
  • Propertius
  • Apollo
Date 2010-09-03
Availability unrestricted
In the Ancient World the god Apollo has traditionally been associated with poets and their art and in the Augustan age, the Golden Age of Roman literature, use of the image of Apollo is important for the understanding of the poetry. For Propertius the image of Apollo was, to a large extent, associated with two important aspects of his world: As god of poetry Apollo was associated with a refined and polished style of poetry following the tenets laid down by the Alexandrian poet Callimachus. Apollo was also associated with Octavian, who regarded the god as his patron deity.

Examining Propertiusí poetry by looking at how he employed these two aspects of the god gives fresh insights into both Augustan literature and Roman culture of the period. The use of the image of Apollo by Propertius increases as the poetís voice develops through his career and he gives more social commentary. The poet frequently defines his poetic position through the image of the Callimachean Apollo and through the comparison of his Callimachean Apollo with that of Vergil. Propertiusí social commentary on the horrors of civil war is expressed through a description of the Temple of Apollo on the Palatine and the artworks in it that display Apolloís warlike aspects. The rejection of Vergilís warlike Actian Apollo in 2.34 and embrace of the Callimachean Apollo in 3.1-5, allows him to comment on the warmongering culture among the ruling elite in Rome and define himself in opposition to them. Finally, the two faces of Apollo serve in poem 4.6 as an image through which Propertius can reconcile the worlds of the Roman general and the poet.

© 2010 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Steenkamp, JJ 2010, The two faces of Apollo : Propertius and the poetry of politics , DLitt thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10092010-125947/ >


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