VIPARELLI SANTANGELO, Valeria,
L'esametro di Properzio. Rapporti con Callimaco.
Societa editrice Napoletana, Napoli, 1986. 130p. Sewn. Pages a bit yellowed. A few decent pencil annotations and markings. Series: Studi e testi dell'Antichita, XVIII. (Rare). ‘Santangelo has made effective use of her computer to provide us with a lot of statistics about the Propertian distich. She takes her starting-point from the poet’s own claim to be the Roman successor of Callimachus and examines it not from the angle of subject-matter or style, but strictly and solely from that of metro. We might predict that the result would be a rather negative one, and so it proves. It is not less valuable for that reason. These detailed investigations shed light not so much on the relationship between fundamental differences between the Greek and Latin languages as vehicles of poetry and, more broadly, on what was once called the sensibility of those who used them. Properly used, the tables and figures will lead us to quite profound considerations. (…) The Romans continued Hellenistic principles and forms in a different cultural setting. Where else indeed were they to look? But their native language, soon to reveal its own vitality and genius in a range of great writers, was not Greek. Profound differences at various levels closed off attempts at a precise reconstruction, if that indeed were ever wanted. This was true when Greek metros were transferred to Latin. In many respects, the Roman poets had to find, and did, their own ways; not every ‘law’ and subtlety could be followed. (…) analysis of what was ignored as impossible or undesirable and what was modified is instructive. S.’s book, in so far as it aids and compels their process, is welcome. (…) This book is all the same more useful than much that has been recently published on apparently wider bases, at least in the English language. The straitness of the theme and the method of presentation force us to an effort of thought. We then realize that broader issues are involved, which is the reward that makes the effort worthwhile. (D.W.T. VESSEY in Gnomon, 1992, pp.441-43).