Propertius. A Critical Introduction.
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (...), 1976. 1st ed. XII,174p. Cloth with dust wrps. ‘This work on Propertius aims to satisfy the need for a ‘standard introduction in English to which one may with confidence refer the neophyte classicist or even an non-classical colleague’ (p.IX). Sullivan is thus necessarily selective in the material he covers; he does not deal with transmission and emendation of the text, nor attempt to analyze every poem. The first chapter, ‘Propertius’ Life and Literary Fortunes’, is certainly appropriate for a work directed at the nonspecialist. S. rehearses what scant biographical information the poems offer, and draws the usual conclusions concerning the poet’s life. The problems of chronology and form of publication receive clear and sensible (…) treatment. S.’s appraisal of the literary climate in Rome is considerably less traditional, governed as it is by his belief in ill feeling between Propertius and Horace and in Propertius’ dissatisfaction with Augustan rule and the strictures of Maecenas’ patronage. (…) A similar bias is prevalent in the second chapter, ‘The Politics of Elegy’, where S. accepts Horace’s dislike for Propertius as evidence of Propertius’ hatred of Augustus and his bloody rise to power (pp.54 ff.). (…) As an introduction to Propertius, the work is so deeply permeated by the author’s prejudices that I would recommend it to a beginning classicist with great reservation.’ (ZANE UDRIS in Classical Philology, 1978, pp.361-64).