Works of Catullus, Tibullus and Propertius

Catullus, Tibullus et Propertius, 1680 (Googlebooks)

On 4 January 1663/4, Lister noted that he read ‘Catulli, Tibulli et Propertiis, etc’. He referred to the works of Gaius Valerius Catullus (ca. 84 BC-ca. 54 BC), the Latin poet; Albius Tibullus (55 BC-19 BC), the Latin poet and writer of elegies; and Sextus Propertius (50-45 BC-15 BC), the Latin elegiac poet.

Catullus, particularly in his poetry to his lovers, often shocked readers, as his writing was frank and explicit.  Tibullus also wrote love poetry both to men and women, and his style was clear, finished, and unaffected, with a natural grace and tenderness.  Propertius wrote four books of poetry, the first dedicated to his lover Cynthia, and his works were all written in elegiac couplets.   Perhaps Lister was experiencing some love pangs himself during his travels, or he was seeking models for his own poetic attempts.

Lister later donated to Oxford a copy of the 1680 edition of the poets’ work.

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