Propertius: The Elegies - Index P-Z


A river in northern Lydia, a tributary of the River Hermus.

The site of the royal capital of Lydia was at Sardis nearby, and both are near Mount Tmolus. Its waters became a gold-bearing stream at the touch of Midas. See Ovid’s Metamorphoses Bk XI:85

Book I.6:1-36. It dyes the fields golden with its streams.

Book I.14:1-24. Its golden waters.

Book III.18:1-34. Croesus derived wealth from its streams.


A city of Lucania in Italy. The site is near modern Agropoli on the Bay of Salerno, a ruin in a wilderness, with Doric temples that surpassed those ofAthens. Originally called Poseidonia, the city of Neptune, it was founded by Greeks from Sybaris in the 6th c. BC. It became Paestum when it passed into the hands of the Lucanians in the 4th century. It was taken by the Romans in 273BC. In antiquity it was famous for its roses, which flowered twice a year, and its violets. Malaria eventually drove away its population. Modern Pesto.

Book IV.5:1-78. Famous for its climate favourable to rose-growing.


A friend of Propertius.

Book III.7:1-72. His death by drowning.

Pagasa, Pagasae

Pagasae, a seaport of Thessaly, on the Pagasaean Gulf, where the Argo was built.

Book I:20:1-52. The Argo sailed from there.

Palatium, Palatinus, Palatine Hill

One of the Seven Hills of Rome. The temple of Apollo there was dedicated in 28BC. The prestigious location where Augustus built his palace, the Palatia.

Book III.9:1-60. Grazed by the sacred bulls.

Book IV.1:1-70. Grazed by Evander’s herds.

Book IV.6:1-86. Site of the Temple of Apollo.

Book IV.6:1-86. Romulus’s hill of augury.

Book IV.9:1-74. Hercules and the Sacred Grove there.

Pallas, Athene, Minerva

Minerva is the Roman name for Athene the goddess of the mind and women’s arts (also a goddess of war and the goddess of boundaries – see the Stele of Athena, bas-relief, Athens, Acropolis Museum). Her city is Athens. Ulysses was her special favourite.

Book II.2:1-16. She wears a Gorgon breastplate.

Book II.28:1-46. Athene described as grey-eyed in Homer’s Odyssey.

Book III.9:1-60. Advised Ulysses on the making of the Wooden Horse.

Book III.20:1-30. Goddess of the chaste arts of women.

Book IV.4:1-94. Identified with Vesta?

Book IV.9:1-74. She blinded Tiresias but gave him prophetic powers when he caught sight of her bathing.


The god of woods and shepherds. He wears a wreath of pine needles. He pursued the nymph Syrinx and she was changed into marsh reeds. He made the syrinx or pan-pipes from the reeds. He is represented by the constellation Capricorn, the sea-goat, a goat with a fish’s tail.

Book I.18:1-32. The Arcadian god.

Book III.3:1-52. His reed-pipes.

Book III.13:1-66. The God of shepherds.

Book III.17:1-42. Goat-footed satyrs.

Pandionius, see Orithyia


A pseudonym for a lover of Cynthia.

Book II.21:1-20. He has got married.


Book IV.11:1-102. The Fates.


The ancient feast of Pales, goddess of the flocks and herds. It was observed on April 21st, the day of the founding of Rome. The herds were purified using blood from a docked horse, and men leapt over piles of burning hay, in a ritual dance.

Book IV.1:1-70. Book IV.4:1-94. The festival. The horse known as the October equus was sacrificed to Mars on October 15th. Its tail was docked and the blood dropped onto the hearth of the regia, the ancient palace of Numa near the temple of Vesta. The blood was preserved and was part of a fumigatory powder, a suffimen, at the Parilia.


Prince of Troy, son of Priam and Hecuba, brother of Hector. His theft of Menelaüs’s wife Helen provoked the Trojan War.

Book II.2:1-16. Asked to choose the most beautiful among the three naked goddesses, Juno, Minerva and Venus, he chose Venus and the gift of Love rather than wealth or wisdom.

Book II.3:1-54. He delayed in replying to Menelaus’s demand for the return of Helen.

Book II.15:1-54. His desire for Helen.

Book II.32:1-62. He was loved by the Naiad, Oenone, daughter of the river Oeneus. He abandoned her for Helen, but she offered to heal him if he were ever wounded, having been taught medicine by Phoebus.

Book II.34:1-94. Abused Menelaus’s hospitality.

Book III.1:1-38. Fought in bed more than in battle! A famous name.

Book III.8:1-34. Helen’s lover.

Book III.13:1-66. Identified by Cassandra as the cause of Troy’s doom.


A mountain in Phocis sacred to Apollo and the Muses. Delphi is at its foot where the oracle of Apollo and his temple were situated. Themis held the oracle in ancient times. Site of the oracle of Themis. Haunt of the Muses. (See Raphael’s fresco ‘Parnassus’ in the Vatican, Stanza della Segnatura.)

Book II.31:1-16. The mountain is mentioned.

Book III.13:1-66. An earthquake occurred there when Brennus attacked Delphi.


The painter of Ephesus who flourished at the end of the fifth century BC. He worked with the engraver Mys. See Pausanias Book I Attica.

Book III.9:1-60. A miniaturist.


Book IV.7:1-96. Cynthia’s nurse, a slave.

Parthenius, Parthenium

A mountain near Calydon, or in Arcadia depending on variants of the Atalanta myth.

Book I.1:1-38. It is mentioned.

Parthus, Parthia

The Parthian Empire to the south-west of the Caspian Sea was Rome’s enemy in the East. Its mounted archers were particularly effective.

Book II.10:1-26. Its army defeated Crassus.

Book II.14:1-32. Book III.12:1-38. Its conquest a desired objective in Augustus’s reign.

Book II.27:1-16. The enemy in the East.

Book III.4:1-22. Parthian trophies of war (by innuendo Persian catamites).

Book III.9:1-60. Parthian shafts.

Book IV.3:1-72. The Pathians fought mainly from horseback.

Book IV.5:1-78. Parthian murra cups. Murra was an unknown material out of which prized cups were made, possibly Chinese porcelain. Pliny says it was a natural product, others say it may have been fluorspar.

Book IV.6:1-86. Agreed to a truce.


The daughter of the Sun and the nymph Crete (Perseis). She was the wife of King Minos of Crete and mother of Phaedra and Ariadne.

She was inspired, by Neptune-Poseidon, with a mad passion for a white bull from the sea, and Daedalus built for her a wooden frame in the form of a cow, to entice it. From the union she produced the Minotaur, Asterion, with a bull’s head and a man’s body.

Book II.28A:47-62. Beautiful though sinful.

Book II.32:1-62. Book III.19:1-28. Mounted by the bull.


Achilles’s beloved friend whose death causes him to re-enter the fight against the Trojans. He was the son of Menoetius. He pushed the Trojans back from the Greek ships, dressed in Achilles’s armour.

Book II.1:1-78.His friendship with Achilles is mentioned.

Book II.8A:1-40. His death at the hands of Hector.

Paullus (L. Aemilius)

Lucius Aemilius Paullus Lepidus, consul in 34BC and censor in 22BC. His late wife is Cornelia.

Book IV.11:1-102. Cornelia’s speech to him from beyond the grave.

Paullus (son of L. Aemilius Paullus)

Book IV.11:1-102. The son of Lucius Paullus.

Pegae, Pege

A Mysian sacred spring.

Book I:20:1-52. Hylas was seized by the Nymphs there.

Pegasides, The Muses

Pegasus was the winged horse, sprung from the head of Medusa when Perseus decapitated her. At the same time his brother Chrysaor the warrior was created. He is represented in the sky by the constellation Pegasus. The sacred fountain of Hippocrene on Mount Helicon, haunt of the Muses, springs from under his hoof. The Muses are therefore called Pegasides. Pegasus was equally created by Neptune’s union with Medusa.

Book II.30:1-40. The winged horse.


An ancient Greek people (Pelasgi) and their king Pelasgus, son of Phoroneus the brother of Io. He is the brother of Agenor and Iasus. Used of Greece as a whole.

Book II.28:1-46. Juno is Pelasgian.


The son of Aeacus, king of Aegina, brother of Telamon and Phocus He comes to meet Minos. As the son of Aeacus, called Aeacides. The husband of Thetis and father by her of Achilles. ( See Joachim Wttewael’s – The Wedding of Peleus and Thetis - Alte Pinakothek, Munich: see W.B Yeats poem ‘News for the Delphic Oracle, verse III)

Book II.9:1-52. The father of Achilles.


A mountain in Thessaly in Northern Greece.

Book II.1:1-78. The giants Otus and Ephialtes wanted to place Pelion on Ossa to storm the gods in heaven. Propertius adds Olympus to these.

Book III.22:1-42. The timbers of the Argo were cut there.


Book IV.6:1-86.Agamemnon, son of Pelops.


The son of Tantalus, king of Paphlagonia. He ruled the Lydians and Phrygians from Enete on the Black Sea, but retired to Lydian Mount Sipylus his ancestral seat. Displaced by Ilus king of Troy he crossed the Aegean to found the Peloponnesioan dynasty.

Hippodamia was the daughter of Oenomaus, the Arcadian ruler of Elis and Pisa. He prevented her marriage by challenging suitors to a chariot race, on a course from Pisa near the river Alpheus at Olympia to the altar of Neptune on the Isthmus of Corinth. The losers forfeited their life. Pelops raced for her. In love with him, she bribed Myrtilus, Oenomaus’s charioteer to remove the lynch-pins from the axles, and the king was killed in the race. Myrtilus was later killed by Pelops but was set in the heavens by Mercury as the constellation of the Charioteer, Auriga. (The constellation is equally linked with Erichthonius, legendary king of Athens). Auriga contains the star Capella the sixth brightest in the sky.

Book I.2:1-32. He is mentioned.

Book III.19:1-28. Mycenae his citadel.


A fortress on the Pelusiac branch of the Nile captured by Augustus.

Book III.9:1-60. Mentioned.


The wife of Ulysses, and daughter of Icarius and the Naiad Periboa.

(See J R Spencer Stanhope’s painting- Penelope – The De Morgan Foundation). She was pestered by many suitors (a hundred and eight, in Homer), while she waited faithfully for Ulysses to return from Troy.

Book II.6:1-42. Book III.12:1-38. Book IV.5:1-78. Her loyalty.

Book II.9:1-52. She wove and unwove her tapestry to delay the suitors.

Book III.13:1-66. Disdainful of the suitors’ gifts. A type of loyalty.


The Queen of the Amazons, who aided the Trojans at Troy. She was killed by Achilles who fell in love with her, when her helmet was removed and he saw her face as she lay dead.

Book III.11:1-72. The power of her beauty.


The son of Echion and Agave, the grandson of Cadmus through his mother. King of Thebes, Tiresias foretold his fate at the hands of the Maenads. He rejected the worship of Bacchus-Dionysus and ordered the capture of the god. He was torn to pieces by the Bacchantes. See Ovid’s Metamorphoses Book III 528 et seq.

Book III.17:1-42. Book III.22:1-42. Torn apart by the Maenads.

Pergama, see Troy

Book II.3:1-54. Book III.9:1-60. The citadel of Troy.


Book III.13:1-66. Book IV.1:1-70. Of Troy.


He made the bronze bull, in which men could be roasted alive, and offered it to Phalaris Tyrant of Agrigentum, who made Perillus its first victim.

Book II.25:1-48. A savage fate.

Perimedeus, Perimede

A legendary sorceress.

Book II.4:1-22. Her magic herbs mentioned.


Book II.10:1-26. A river in Boeotia sacred to Apollo and the Muses.

Pero, see Melampus

Melampus the son of Amythaon, undertook to steal the cattle of Iphiclus for Neleus, so that Bias his brother or he himself could win Pero, Neleus’s daughter. He was captured and chained but escaped and succeeded in marrying her.

Book II.3:1-54. She is mentioned.

Perrhaebus. The Perrhaebi

A people of Epirus living on the slopes of Mount Pindus.

Book III.5:1-48. Pindus.

Persa, Persia

The Persian Empire.

Book III.11:1-72. Babylon a city of Persia.


Proserpina, Proserpine, the daughter of Jupiter and Ceres-Demeter.

Ceres searched for her after she was abducted and raped by Dis the god of the underworld while she picked flowers on the plain of Enna in Sicily.

Book II.13A:1-58. The co-ruler of the Underworld with Dis.

Book II.28A:47-62. Her aid sought in illness.


Book IV.11:1-102. King of Macedonia, defeated by Aemilius Paullus, ancestor of Cornelia’s husband at Pydna in 168BC. He claimed descent from Achilles and Hercules.


The son of Jupiter and Danaë, grandson of Acrisius, King of Argos. He was conceived as a result of Jupiter’s rape of Danaë, in the form of a shower of gold. He is represented by the constellation Perseus near Cassiopeia. He is depicted holding the head of the Medusa, whose evil eye is the winking star Algol. It contains the radiant of the Perseid meteor shower. His epithets are Abantiades, Acrisioniades. Agenorides, Danaëius, Inachides, Lyncides.

(See Burne-Jones’s oil paintings and gouaches in the Perseus series particularly The Arming of Perseus, The Escape of Perseus, The Rock of Doom, Perseus slaying the Sea Serpent, and The Baleful Head.)(See Benvenuto Cellini’s bronze Perseus - the Loggia, Florence)

Book II.28:1-46. He rescued and married Andromeda.

Book II.30:1-40. He wore winged sandals.

Book III.22:1-42. He severed Medusa’s head.

Perusinus, Perusia (Perugia)

Perusia (modern Perugia) was in Etruria, where Octavian (later Augustus Caesar) defeated Lucius Antonius in the Civil Wars in 41BC with much bloodshed.

Book I.21:1-10. Gallus dies there.

Book I.22:1-10. Propertius came from nearby.


Book IV.7:1-96. One of Cynthia’s slaves.

Phaeacus, Phaeacia

The realm of king Alcinous (Corfu?) who gave gifts to Ulysses.

Book III.2:1-26. Alcinous’s orchard described in Homer’s Odyssey.


The daughter of King Minos of Crete and Pasiphaë, and the sister of Ariadne. She loved Hippolytus her stepson, and brought him to his death. (See Racine’s play – Phaedra). She was wife to Theseus.

Book II.1:1-78. Propertius suggests she tried to poison Hippolytus.

Pharius, The Pharos

Book II.1:1-78. The lighthouse at Alexandria, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Book III.7:1-72.The scene of Paetus’s death.


A river and region in Colchis, in Asia, east of the Black Sea, reached by the Argonauts.

Book I:20:1-52. Book III.22:1-42. Mentioned.

Phidiacus, Phidias

The Greek sculptor, a pupil of Ageladas of Argos. Most influential of all Athenian sculptors, whose work defines the classical mode. He made the great chryselephantine statue of Zeus-Jupiter in the temple at Olympia, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. There are numerous mentions of his works in Pausanias.

Book III.9:1-60. The statue of Jupiter.


The most famous poet of Cos after Callimachus. One of the Greek poets of the Alexandrian School. Propertius modelled his poetry on theirs.

Book II.34:1-94. A poet to imitate when in love.

Book III.1:1-38. An invocation to his spirit. Calliope anoints Propertius with Philetas’s waters (!) in his dream.

Book III.9:1-60. Propertius is glad to have imitated his style.

Book IV.6:1-86. Crowned with ivy.

Philippeus, Philip of Macedonia

Philip II of Macedonia was the ancestor of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt, of which Cleopatra was a member.

Book III.11:1-72. Cleopatra descended from him.


A city in Macedonia where, during the Triumvirate in 42 BC, Octavian (later Augustus Caesar) and Antony defeated Brutus and Cassius after the assassination of Julius Caesar.

Book II.1:1-78. Mentioned as an example of an episode of Civil War.


Chiron as the son of Phillyra, the daughter of Oceanus, who lay with Saturn disguised as a horse. She became a lime tree. Her island was Philyra, in the Black Sea.

Book II.1:1-78. Mother of Chiron the Centaur.


The son of Poeas. He lights Hercules’s funeral pyre and receives from him the bow, quiver and arrows that will enable the Greeks to finally win at Troy, and that had been with Hercules when he rescued Hesione there. Bitten by a snake on Lemnos, he is abandoned there on Ulysses advice. Ulysses accepts that Philoctetes and his weapons are essential for the defeat of Troy. Ulysses brings Philoctetes and the weapons to Troy. See Book XIII of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

Book II.1:1-78. He is healed by the physician Machaon.


King of Bithynia. He blinded his children, was blinded himself in punishment and tormented by the Harpies, birds with women’s faces who constantly fouled his food making it inedible.

Book III.5:1-48. Tortured by hunger.

Phlegraeus, The Phlegrean Plain

A volcanic district north of Naples where the Giants fought the Gods in their mythical war, and were defeated by Jupiter.

Book II.1:1-78. Book III.9:1-60. It is mentioned.

Book III.11:1-72. Pompey fell ill at Naples nearby.


Phoebe, a priestess of Athene-Minerva, and Hilaira a priestess of Diana-Artemis, daughters of Leucippus, the Messenian co-king were abducted and raped by Castor and Pollux (Polydeuces) known as the Dioscuri, the sons of Jupiter by Leda. The two sisters had been betrothed to Lynceus and Idas the sons of Aphareus king in Messene. Idas later married Marpessa, the daughter of Evenus by Alcippe, after winning her in a chariot race using a winged chariot lent by his true father Neptune-Poseidon.

Book I.2:1-32. She is mentioned as a woman who relied on her natural charms.

Phoebus, Apollo

The son of Jupiter and Latona (Leto), brother of Diana (Artemis), born on Delos. (See the Apollo Belvedere, sculpted by Leochares?, Vatican: the Piombino Apollo, Paris Louvre: the Tiber Apollo, Rome, National Museum of the Terme: the fountain sculpture by Tuby at Versailles – The Chariot of Apollo: and the sculpture by Girardon and Regnaudin at Versailles – Apollo Tended by the Nymphs – derived from the Apollo Belvedere, and once part of the now demolished Grotto of Thetis )

Book I.2:1-32. He fought with Idas over Marpessa. He is the god of the Arts, and grants the gift of song.

Book I.8A:27-46. His arts help lovers.

Book II.1:1-78. Book III.2:1-26. God of song.

Book II.10:1-26. The River Permessus sacred to him.

Book II.28A:47-62. His country conquered, and humbled.

Book II.31:1-16. The new temple to him.

Book II.32:1-62. God of medicine and drugs.

Book II.34:1-94. Book III.11:1-72. His shrine overlooked Actium’s bay.

Book III.1:1-38. God of epic and lyric song. Accepts poet’s prayers.

Book III.3:1-52. His sacred grove, Castalian, from the spring Castalia, is on Mount Parnassus. Propertius moves it in dream to Helicon.

Book III.9:1-60. He built the walls of Troy with Neptune for Priam’s father Laomedon.

Book III.12:1-38. His daughter Lampetie guarded his cattle.

Book III.13:1-66. His curling locks of hair never cut, hence his epithet is the Unshorn.

Book III.15:1-46. Paean was a name for Apollo the Healer.

The Paean was a religious hymn in his honour, of praise or joy in victory. Sung by Amphion over the dead Dirce.

Book III.20:1-30. The Sun.

Book III.22:1-42. Fled an Ausonian banquet.

Book IV.1:1-70. His temple on the Palatine Hill, as God of Ships.

Book IV.2:1-64. The lyre his attribute.

Book IV.6:1-86. Born on Delos, once a floating island, now fixed. His help for Augustus at Actium.


The tutor of Achilles, blinded by his father, but healed by Chiron who also taught Achilles. He became King of the Dolopes

Book II.1:1-78. Healed by Chiron.

Phoenician, Phoenices

The Phoenician sea-peoples of the Lebanon who traded through the Mediterranean and founded Carthage and Cadiz (Gades).

Book II.27:1-16. Their astrological arts.


Book III.22:1-42. The father of Medusa, the Gorgon.


A region in Asia Minor, containing Dardania and Troy (Ilium), and Mysia and Pergamum (note the name Pergamum is also used for the citadel of Troy). Ovid uses the term for the whole of Asia Minor bordering the Aegean.

Book I.2:1-32. Pelops comes from there.

Book II.1:1-78. The Romans traced their lineage back through Aeneas to Phrygian ancestors.

Book II.22:1-42. The Phrygian followers of Cybele mutilated and castrated themselves with knives in frenzied rituals.

Book II.22:1-42. Book III.13:1-66. Trojan.

Book II.30:1-40. Cynthia off to the Caspian Sea.

Book II.34:1-94. The Maeander river flows there.

Book IV.1:1-70. Trojan, used of Aeneas.

Phrygius, See Phrygia


A famous courtesan.

Book II.6:1-42. Her wealth.

Phthius, Phthia

Achilles birthplace in Thessaly.

Book II.13A:1-58. His tomb.

Phylacides, Protesilaus

The son of Phylacus and husband of Laodamia (Polydora). He joined the expedition against Troy, and was the first Greek to be killed there. She prayed to have his shade restored to her for three hours. This was granted and he called on her not to delay in following him: she then killed herself and joined him in Hades.

Book I.19:1-26. His loyalty is mentioned.

Phyllis (1)

Book II.24A:17-52. Demophoon, son of Theseus who loved Phyllis, daughter of Sithon king of Thrace, deserted her. She killed herself but was turned into an almond tree, which flowered when he returned, remorsefully, to find her. (See Burne-Jones’s marvellous painting: The Tree of Forgiveness, Lady Lever Art Gallery: Merseyside, England)

Phyllis (2)

Book IV.8:1-88. A courtesan.


Pierus was King of Emathia. His nine daughters were the Emathides, or the Pierides, in fact the Muses, from the earliest place of their worship, in Pieria, in northern Greece (Macedonia)

Book II.10:1-26. The Muses.


Book II.13:1-16. Of Mount Pierus in Thessaly, sacred to the Muses.

Pindaricus, Pindar

The Greek lyric poet (518-438BC) famous for his odes celebrating Olympic victors. His birth was associated with the Dircean spring at Thebes.

Book III.17:1-42. A master of the elevated poetic style.


A mountain in Thessaly. The Centaurs took refuge there after their battle with the Lapiths.

Book III.5:1-48. Subject to earthquake.


Book III.21:1-34. The port of Athens.


King of the Lapithae, an ancient people of south western Thessaly. The marriage of Pirithoüs and Hippodamia (Ischomache) was disrupted by Eurytus one of the centaurs invited to the feast, leading to the battle between the Lapiths and Centaurs. (See the sculpture from the west pediment of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia – e.g. the detail, Lapith Woman and Centaur)

Book II.1:1-78. He is mentioned as a friend of Theseus.

Book II.6:1-42. He fought with the Centaurs.


The constellation of the Fishes, the twelfth sign of the Zodiac. An ancient constellation depicting two fishes with their tails tied together. It represents Venus and Cupid escaping from the monster Typhon. It contains the spring equinox, formerly in Aries. The vernal equinox has moved into Pisces since ancient times due to the effects of precession (the ‘wobble’ of the earth on its polar axis). The last sign of the solar year, preceding the spring equinox in ancient times. A water sign.

Book IV.1A:71-150. The zodiacal sign of the Fishes.


The Greek Philosopher (c429-347BC). A pupil of Socrates, he expounded and extended his philosophy in his twenty-five

dialogues. His School was called the Academy.

Book III.21:1-34. A source of profound knowledge.

Pleias, Pleiades

The Seven Sisters, the daughters, with the Hyades and the Hesperides, of Atlas the Titan. Their mother was Pleione the naiad. They were chased by Orion rousing the anger of Artemis to whom they were dedicated and changed to stars by the gods. The Pleiades are the star cluster M45 in the constellation Taurus. Their names were Maia, the mother of Mercury by Jupiter, Taÿgeta, Electra, Merope, Asterope, Alcyone (the brightest star of the cluster), and Celaeno. They are autumn stars associated with storms and rain.

Book II.16:1-56. Storm bringers.

Book III.5:1-48. A notable star cluster.


Phoebe, a priestess of Athene-Minerva, and Hilaira a priestess of Diana-Artemis, daughters of Leucippus, the Messenian co-king were abducted and raped by Castor and Pollux (Polydeuces) known as the Dioscuri, the sons of Jupiter by Leda. The two sisters had been betrothed to Lynceus and Idas the sons of Aphareus king in Messene. Idas later married Marpessa, the daughter of Evenus by Alcippe, after winning her in a chariot race using a winged chariot lent by his true father Neptune-Poseidon.

Book I.2:1-32. He is mentioned.

Book III.14:1-34. Famous for his horsemanship.

Book III.22:1-42. His Thessalian charger was a gift from Mercury. Propertius suggests it drank from a healing spring in Italy.


The son of Priam and Hecuba, sent by his father to the court of Polymestor king of Thrace who had married Priam’s sister Ilione, and murdered there by Polymestor for the sake of the treasure sent with him. His body was thrown up on the beach where Hecuba was mourning Polyxena, and the event precipitated her madness.

Book III.13:1-66. Murdered through greed.


King of Thrace, husband of Ilione daughter of Priam. He murdered his young foster child Polydorus, sent to him by Priam, for the sake of his wealth. Hecuba in turn murdered him, and tore out his eyes.

Book III.13:1-66. Ruined by greed.


One of the Cyclopes, sons of Neptune, one-eyed giants living in Sicily. Made drunk by Ulysses, and blinded.

Book II.33A:23-44. Drunk on wine from Ciconian Ismarus.

Book III.2:1-26. Tried to woo Galatea with his singing.

Book III.12:1-38. Blinded by Ulysses.

Pompeia Porticus

A colonnade built in 55BC near Pompey’s Theatre on the Campus Martius.

Book II.32:1-62. A harmless place to go.

Book IV.8:1-88. A place to be seen, possibly for dubious purposes.

Pompeius, Pompey

Cnaeus Pompeius Magnus (106-48BC) put down a slave rebellion, cleared the Mediterranean of pirates, and conquered Mithridates. He married Julia, the daughter of Julius Caesar, but quarrelled with the father and was defeated at Pharsalus in 48BC. He fled to Egypt and was murdered there.

Book III.11:1-72. He fell ill at Naples in 50BC. Propertius suggests it would have been better if he had died there.

Book III.11:1-72. He defeated Mithridates.


A friend of Propertius. A minor epic poet.

Book I.7:1-26. Author of verses about the War of the Seven against Thebes.

Book I.9:1-34. In love.


A friend or relative of Propertius, perhaps Gaius Propertius Postumus, a senator and proconsul.

Book III.12:1-38. He is addressed.


Twenty miles east of Rome, the modern Palestrina famous for its oracle of Fortuna Primigenia.

Book II.32:1-62. Cynthia visiting the oracle.


The great Athenian sculptor of the mid-fourth century BC. He carved a famous statue of Hermes-Mercury at Olympia carrying the baby –Bacchus-Dionysus. See Pausanias Book V for the statue.

Book III.9:1-60. He used marble from Cnidos.

Priamus, Priam

The King of Troy at the time of the Trojan War, the son of Laomedon, husband of Hecuba, by whom he had many children.

Book II.3:1-54. He accepted the Greek cause as valid.

Book II.28A:47-62. Book IV.1:1-70. Last king of Troy.


The son of Iapetus by the nymph Cleomene, and father of Deucalion. Sometimes included among the seven Titans, he was the wisest of his race and gave human beings the useful arts and sciences. Jupiter first withheld fire and Prometheus stole it from the chariot of the Sun. Jupiter had Prometheus chained to the frozen rock in the Caucasus where a vulture tore at his liver night and day for eternity. (See Aeschylus’s ‘Prometheus Bound’, and Shelley’s ‘Prometheus Unbound’)

Book I.12:1-20. The Caucasian Mountains.

Book II.1:1-78. He is mentioned.

Book III.5:1-48. Created the human race out of clay. See Ovid’s Metamorphoses Book I:82.


Sextus Propertius, the author of the Elegies, born in Assisi between 54 and 43BC (Ovid: Tristia IV x 51-54, where the order of the poets is Gallus, Tibullus, Propertius, Ovid by date of birth). He was of equestrian rank and destined for the law but left it for poetry. Book IV was not published before 16BC as it refers to events of that year. He died before 2AD. (Ovid, Remedium Amoris 764-5, speaks of him as if dead). He is referred to by Horace and Quintilian. He was one of the school of Moderns, neoterici, or new poets, novi poetae, who took Greek Alexandrianism as a model. He is the greatest love poet of Classical Rome, exploiting the Greek elegiac couplet to express a deep sexuality, emotional sensitivity, irony and wit which John Donne in Elizabethan England mirrors. His poetic allegiance, his anti-war stance, his subversive attitude to Empire, all indicate a complexity of character not visible in the poets who ‘served’ the Imperial regime. He is the first great love poet of ‘the City’, and Baudelaire provides a later point of reference.

Book II.8A:1-40. He addresses himself.

Book II.24A:17-52. His ashes are addressed.

Book II.34:1-94. He anticipates his own fame.

Book III.3:1-52. Destined to be a lyric poet.

Book III.10:1-32. Charmed by Cynthia.

Book IV.1A:71-150. He is addressed by the fictitious Horos.

Book IV.7:1-96. Addressed by the dead Cynthia

Propontiacus, Propontus

Book III.22:1-42. The gateway to the Black Sea. The modern Sea of Marmara.

Ptolemaeeus, Ptolemy

The dynastic name of the Macedonian kings of Egypt. Ptolemy II (308-246BC) built the lighthouse, the Pharos, at Alexandria, and its museum and great library.

Book II.1:1-78. Alexandria’s capture is mentioned.

Pudicitia, Chastity

There were two temples to the Goddess Chastity at Rome, those of Pudicitia patricia and plebeia.

Book II.6:1-42. Her temples.


A Trojan warrior who fought against the Greeks.

Book III.1:1-38. A famous name.

Pyramidis, The Pyramids

The Egyptian tombs at Gizeh in Egypt near the Nile, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Book III.2:1-26. Subject to time.


King of Epirus, invaded Italy. His army was decimated at Asculum in 279BC, though the victory was nominally his, hence the expression a ‘pyrrhic’ victory.

Book III.11:1-72. The spoils from his ultimate defeat.


Python was the huge serpent created by earth after the Flood, destroyed by Apollo, giving its name to the Pythian games.

Book II.31:1-16. Book III.13:1-66. An epithet of Phoebus-Apollo.


The huge serpent created by earth after the Flood, destroyed by Apollo, giving its name to the Pythian games.

Book IV.6:1-86. Killed by Apollo.


Book II.34:1-94. The mistress of Calvus the poet.


Book IV.10:1-48. The name for the deified Romulus.


The inhabitants of Cures: citizens of Rome.

Book IV.1:1-70. The first citizens of Rome.


The followers of Romulus who united with the Titienses, the people of Titus Tatius, and the Luceres, the followers of Lygmon. (Lucumo).

Book IV.1:1-70. Early Romans.


The twin brother of Romulus, first king of Rome, who killed Remus in a quarrel over seniority. Remus is often used to indicate Romulus’s reign, for metrical purposes.

Book II.1:1-78. Book III.9:1-60. The first kingdom of Rome.

Book IV.1:1-70. The casa Romuli preserved on the Palatine was meant to be Romulus’s house at the top of the stairway, the Scala Cacia, leading from the Circus Maximus to the Palatine Hill.

Book IV.1:1-70. Told to purify the fields by the Sybil.

Book IV.6:1-86. =Roman.

Rhenus, The River Rhine

The River Rhine that flows through Germany.

Book III.3:1-52. Crossed by the Suevi in 29BC.

Book IV.10:1-48. Crossed by the Belgians in 222BC.


A mythical range of mountains on the northern border of Scythia, north of the Black Sea region.

Book I.6:1-36. They are mentioned.

Roma, Rome

The capital of the Empire, on the Tiber in west-central Italy.

Book I.7:1-26. The centre of Latin poetry.

Book I.8A:27-46. Cynthia remains there.

Book I.12:1-20. He addresses his circle there.

Book I.22:1-10. Tormented by Civil War.

Book II.10:1-26. Roman.

Book II.15:1-54. Racked by civil disputes.

Book II.16:1-56. Conspicuous wealth is present.

Book II.18B:23-38. Roman women painted their faces.

Book II.19:1-32. Cynthia leaves the city.

Book II.32:1-62. Immoral place for single girls.

Book II.33:1-22. Imported to the cult of Isis.

Book III.1:1-38. Poets will sing of Rome. Rome will praise Propertius when he’s dead.

Book III.3:1-52. Hannibal reached the gates of Rome in 211BC (‘Hannibal ante portas’)

Book III.3:1-52. Rome fought the Germans on the northern frontier.

Book III.11:1-72. Came under Cleopatra’s sway.

Book III.11:1-72. Should celebrate a triumph for the death of Cleopatra.

Book III.12:1-38. An immoral city.

Book III.13:1-66. A city being corrupted and destroyed by wealth.

Book III.14:1-34. Might follow Spartan rules.

Book IV.1:1-70. Derives from Aeneas’s landing in Italy.

Book IV.9:1-74. The Roman Forum.


Of Rome.

Book II.3:1-54. Book II.28A:47-62. Book II.32:1-62. Roman girls.

Book II.34:1-94. Roman authors.

Book III.4:1-22. Roman history.

Book III.9:1-60. Roman office, bulls and swords.

Book III.11:1-72. Roman trumpets.

Book III.21:1-34. The towers of Rome.

Book III.22:1-42. Roman heartlands.

Book IV.1:1-70. Modern Romans. Propertius the Roman Callimachus.

Book IV.3:1-72. The Roman camps not open to virtuous women.

Book IV.4:1-94. The Roman Forum.

Book IV.6:1-86. Roman triumphal and wreaths.


The son of Mars and Ilia, hence Iliades, the father of the Roman people (genitor). The first King of Rome. He reinstated Numitor, and made peace with the Sabines, sharing the rule of Rome with Tatius the Sabine king. He was deified, as Quirinus.

Book II.6:1-42. Nurtured with his brother Remus by a she-wolf.

Book III.11:1-72. Roman power derived from him.

Book IV.4:1-94. His battles with Tatius.

Book IV.6:1-86. He founded the walls of Rome.

Book IV.10:1-48. His defeat of Acron.

Rubrum mare

The Red Sea between Africa and Arabia.

Book I.14:1-24. A source of corals.

Book III.13:1-66. A source of nautilus shells.

Sabinus, Sabines

The Sabines, a people of Central Italy who merged with the people of Romulus. ( See Giambologna’s sculpture – The Rape of the Sabines – Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence)

Book II.6:1-42. The rape of the Sabine women mentioned.

Book II.32:1-62.Morally strict.

Book IV.2:1-64. Ruled by Tatius.

Book IV.3:1-72. The ‘Sabine herb’ used as incense, possibly marjoram.

Book IV.4:1-94. Attacked early Rome. Their women raped by the Romans.

Sacra Via

The Sacred Way, the street in the Roman Forum leading to the Capitol. Triumphal processions took its route.

Book II.1:1-78. Scene of the triumph after Actium.

Book II.23:1-24. The haunt of prostitutes (and a source of double entendre!)

Book II.24:1-16. Source of cheap gifts from the shops there.

Book III.4:1-22. Scene of Imperial triumphs.

Salmonis, Tyro

The daughter of Salmoneus King of Elis, and his wife Alcidice.

Neptune disguised himself as the river-god Enipeus, and raped Tyro in a dark wave of the river at its confluence with the Alpheius.

Book I.13:1-36. She is mentioned.

Book III.19:1-28. Salmoneus her father.

Sanctus, see Hercules

Saturnus, Saturn

Son of Earth and Heaven (Uranus) and ruler of the universe in the Golden Age. He castrated and usurped his father and was in turn deposed by his three sons Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto (Dis) who ruled Heaven, Ocean and the Underworld respectively. He was banished to Tartarus. He was the father also of Juno, Ceres and Vesta by Ops.

Book II.32:1-62. Associated with the Golden Age. See Ovid’s Metamorphoses Book I.

Book IV.1A:71-150. The planet Saturn associated astrologically with duty, sobriety, gravity.

Scaeae, The Scaean Gate

The Gate of Troy in front of which Achilles was killed.

Book III.9:1-60. The Wooden Horse entered the city through it.


The Xanthus, with the Simois one of the great rivers of the Trojan plain.

Book III.1:1-38. Achilles fought the river-god.

Scipiades, Scipiones, Scipio

A famous Roman family. Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus Major (236-184BC) was the hero of the Second Punic War defeating Hannibal at Zama in 202BC. Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus Africanus Numantinus (184-129BC) defeated Carthage in the Third Punic War and went on to destroy Numantia in Spain.

Book III.11:1-72. Naval power.

Book IV.11:1-102. Publius Cornelius Scipio brother of Cornelia, consul in 16BC.


A famous robber on the coast between Megaris and Attica who threw his victims into the sea. Theseus did the same to him, and his bones eventually became the sea cliffs near the Molurian Rocks.

Book III.16:1-30. A threat to travellers, but not lovers.


Book IV.11:1-102. The mother of Cornelia. Scribonia Libo later married Augustus.


(1). The daughter of Phorcys and the nymph Crataeis, remarkable for her beauty. Circe or Amphitrite, jealous of Neptune’s love for her changed her into a dog-like sea monster, ‘the Render’, with six heads and twelve feet. Each head had three rows of close-set teeth. Her cry was a muted yelping. She seized sailors and cracked their bones before slowly swallowing them.

(Her rock projects from the Calabrian coast near the village of Scilla, opposite Cape Peloro on Sicily. See Ernle Bradford ‘Ulysses Found’ Ch.20)

Book II.26A:21-58. Book III.12:1-38. The sea monster.

(2). The daughter of Nisus of Megara, who loved Minos. She decided to betray the city to him. She cut off the purple lock of Nisus’s hair that guaranteed the safety of his kingdom and his life. Minos rejected her and she was changed into the rock dove, columba livia, with its purple breast and red legs, while her father was changed into the sea eagle, haliaeetus albicilla. Her name Ciris, from κείρω, ‘I cut’, reflects her shearing of Nisus’s hair, as does the purple breast of the bird. But she is also an embodiment of the Cretan Great Goddess, Car, Ker or Q’re, to whom doves were sacred. Pausanias I xxxix says that Kar founded Megara, Nisus’s city and was king there. The acropolis was named Karia, and Kar built a great hall to Demeter (Ceres) there, Pausanias I xxxx. His tumulus was decorated with shell-stone sacred to the goddess at the command of an oracle, Pausanias I xxxxiii. The rock dove no doubt nested on the rocks of the citadel and coastline. Pausanias II xxxiv says that Cape Skyllaion (Skyli) was named after Scylla. Hair cutting reflects ancient ritual and the Curetes were the ‘young men with shaved hair’ the devotees of the moon-goddess Cer, whose weapon clashing drove off evil spirits at eclipses and during the rites.

Book III.19:1-28. An example of female passion and betrayal.

Book IV.4:1-94. Propertius identifies the two Scylla’s with one another.

Scyrius, Scyros

Book II.9:1-52. Of Deidamia, daughter of Lycomedes, king of Scyros.


The country of the Scythians of northern Europe and Asia, to the north of the Black Sea. Noted for the Sarmatian people, their warrior princesses, and burial mounds in the steppe (kurgans). They were initially horse-riding nomads. See (Herodotus, The Histories).

Book III.16:1-30. Hostile territory.

Book IV.3:1-72. The icy regions of the North.

Semela, Semele

The daughter of Cadmus, loved by Jupiter. The mother of Bacchus (Dionysus). (See the painting by Gustave Moreau – Jupiter and Semele – in theGustave Moreau Museum, Paris) She was struck by Jupiter’s fire having been deceived by Juno. Her unborn child Bacchus was rescued.

Book II.28:1-46. Changes of fortune.

Book II.30:1-40. Loved by Jupiter.

Book III.17:1-42. Struck by Jupiter’s lightning bolt. Bacchus was rescued from her body.


The daughter of Dercetis or Atargatis, the Syrian goddess. She was said to have been cast out at birth and tended by doves. Doves were sacred to her, as they were to Dercetis. Historically she is Sammuramat, Queen of Babylon, and wife of Shamshi-Adad V (Ninus). She reigned after him as regent from 810-805 BC.

Book III.11:1-72. In myth she founded Babylon.

Sibylla, The Sibyl

The priestess of Apollo in the temple at Cumae built by Daedalus. She prophesied perched on or over a tripod. She was offered immortality by Phoebus, but forgot to ask also for lasting youth, dooming her to wither away until she was merely a voice.

Book II.24A:17-52. Her extended lifetime.

Book IV.1:1-70. She prophesied to Remus on the Aventine Hill.

Sicanus, Sicily

The Mediterranean island, west of Italy.

Book I.16:1-48. Noted for its hard stone.

Book II.1:1-78. The second son of Pompey the Great was conquered in the sea battles, off Sicily, between Mylae and Naulochus, by Agrippa, Augustus’s admiral, in 36BC.

Siculus, See Sicily

Sidonius, Sidon

The city of the Phoenicians in the Lebanon. Home of Europa.

Book II.16:1-56. Book II.29:1-22. Book IV.9:1-74. Source of dyed cloths.


Silenus and his sons the Satyrs were originally primitive mountaineers of northern Greece who became stock comic characters in Attic drama. He was called an autochthon, or son of Pan by one of the nymphs. He was Bacchus’s tutor, portrayed usually as a drunken old man with an old pack-ass, who is unable to tell truth from lies.( See the copy of the sculpture attributed to Lysippus, ‘Silenus holding the infant Bacchus’ in the Vatican)

Book II.32:1-62. Saw Paris and Oenone.

Book III.3:1-52. His statue.


Book IV.4:1-94. The woodland god.


With the Scamander (Xanthus) one of the two great rivers of Troy.

Book II.9:1-52. Achilles body washed there.

Book III.1:1-38. Achilles fought the river-god.


An Isthmian robber, the son of Polypemon, who killed his victims by tying them to pine trees bent with ropes, and releasing the ropes. Theseus served him in the same way.

Book III.22:1-42. Mentioned as living on the Isthmus.

Sipylus, Mount Sipylus

A mountain in Lydia, overlooking the valley of the Hermus, where Niobe weeps as a stone feature. See the entry for Niobe for more detail.

Book II.20:1-36. Niobe’s statue weeps there.

Sirenes, The Sirens

The daughters of Acheloüs, the Acheloïdes, companions of Proserpina, turned to woman-headed birds, or women with the legs of birds, and luring the sailors of passing ships with their sweet song. They searched for Proserpine on land, and were turned to birds so that they could search for her by sea. (There are various lists of their names, but Ernle Bradford suggests two triplets: Thelxinoë, the Enchantress; Aglaope, She of the Beautiful Face, and Peisinoë, the Seductress: and his preferred triplet Parthenope, the Virgin Face; Ligeia, the Bright Voice; and Leucosia, the White One – see ‘Ulysses Found’ Ch.17. Robert Graves in the index to the ‘The Greek Myths’ adds Aglaophonos, Molpe, Raidne, Teles, and Thelxepeia.)

(See Draper’s painting – Ulysses and the Sirens – Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, England, and Gustave Moreau’s watercolour in the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard)

In Ovid’s Metamorphoses Book XIV, Aeneas passes their island, between the Aeolian Islands and Cumae. (This was traditionally Capri, or more likely one of the five Galli islets, the Sirenusae, at the entrance to the Gulf of Salerno)

Book III.12:1-38. Ulysses encounters them.

Sisyphius, Sisyphus

King of Corinth. He was condemned to continually roll a huge stone up a hill in Hades, from which it rolled to the bottom again,

Book II.20:1-36. Book IV.11:1-102. An unpleasant punishment.

Socraticus, Socratic

Of Socrates, the Greek philosopher (469-399BC), made immortal by Plato’s works.

Book II.34:1-94. Wisdom no help in love.


Lygmon’s town near Lanuvium.

Book IV.1:1-70. Town of the Luceres.

Spartanus, Sparte, Sparta

The chief city of Laconia on the River Eurotas, and also called Lacadaemon.

Book I.4:1-28. The city of Hermione.

Book II.15:1-54. Of Sparta.

Book III.14:1-34. Men and women exercised naked.


Book IV.4:1-94. Thracian. The River Strymon in Thrace. Here an Amazon, a woman of Thrace.

Stygius, Styx

A river of the underworld, with its lakes and pools, used to mean the underworld or the state of death itself.

Book II.9:1-52. Cynthia at risk of dying.

Book II.27:1-16. A marshy, reedy region.

Book II.34:1-94. Book III.18:1-34.The gate of death.

Book IV.3:1-72. Symbolically to be ‘sprinkled with its waters’ is to anticipate misfortune.

Book IV.9:1-74. Hercules crossed the Styx to bring back Cerberus in the twelfth and final labour.


Book IV.7:1-96. A Rome street of ill-repute.

Suevus, Suevi

The Suevi, a Germanic tribe, crossed the Rhine in 29BC and were defeated by Gaius Carinas.

Book III.3:1-52. A subject for others’ poetry.


Book IV.6:1-86. The Germanic tribe. They defeated Marcus Lollius in 16BC but negotiated a peace at the threat of Augustus’s arrival.


King of Libya. He aligned himself with Carthage in the Second Punic war and was defeated by Scipio Africanus Major. He was brought to Rome as a prisoner in 201BC.

Book III.11:1-72. The trophies won from him.

Syrius, Syrian, Syria

The country in Asia Minor.

Book II.13A:1-58. A source of nard (aromatic balsam).


The Gulfs of Cabes and Sidra off the North African coast, notorious for shoals and shifting undercurrents. Also the inland desert.

Book II.9:1-52. Book III.19:1-28. Book III.24:1-20.Dangerous waters.

Taenarius, Neptune

Poseidon, God of the sea, brother of Pluto (Dis) and Jupiter. The trident is his emblem. He raped Tyro daughter of Salmoneus.

Book I.13:1-36. Taenarius an epithet for him.

Book III.2:1-26. A reference to black marble quarried at Taenarum in the south of the Peloponnese.

Tanais, Don

The River Don.

Book II.30:1-40. Cynthia’s possible destination.


Niobe, the daughter of Tantalus.

Book II.31:1-16. Depicted on the temple doors.

Tantaleus, Tantalus

The king of Phrygia, son of Jupiter, father of Pelops and Niobe.

He served his son Pelops to the gods at a banquet and was punished by eternal hunger and thirst in Hades.

Book II.1:1-78. Book IV.11:1-102. He is mentioned.

Tarpeius, Tarpeia

Tarpeia was a Roman girl who treacherously opened the citadel to the Sabines, and was killed beneath the weight of the weapons, which were thrown on her. The Tarpeian citadel was the Capitoline Hill with its temple of Jupiter.

Book I.16:1-48. Her fatal treachery and reverse alluded to.

Book III.11:1-72. Cleopatra spread her mosquito nets there i.e. over Jupiter-Caesar’s bed.

Book IV.1:1-70. Tarpeian Jupiter.

Book IV.4:1-94. The story of her fate.

Book IV.8:1-88. Teia lives on the Capitoline.

Tarquinius, Tarquin

Tarquinius Superbus (‘The Proud’) the last king of Rome. His death in 510BC preceded the Republic.

Book III.11:1-72. The Proud.

Tatius, The Tatii

Titus Tatius king of the Sabines fought with Romulus but afterwards made peace and ruled jointly with him. His people were the Titienses.

Book II.32:1-62. His race was honourable and strict.

Book IV.1:1-70’ His wealth was in sheep.

Book IV.2:1-64. King of the Sabines.

Book IV.4:1-94. His assault on the Capitoline Hill.

Book IV.9:1-74. Of Tatius, Sabine.


A range of mountains near Sparta, in Laconica.

Book III.14:1-34. A hunting region.

Tegeaeus, Tegea

The ancient town in Arcadia where Pan was worshipped.

Book III.3:1-52. Pan’s homeland.


Book IV.8:1-88. A courtesan.


The legendary founder of Tusculum in Latium. He was the son of Ulysses and Circe.

Book II.32:1-62. Cynthia goes to Tusculum.


A location near Baiae.

Book I.11:1-30. Cynthia stays nearby.

Teutonicus, Teutones, Teutons

Northern Germanic tribes.

Book III.3:1-52. Defeated by Marius.


A famous Greek courtesan. She appeared in Menander’s plays and is a character in Terence’s Eunuchus.

Book II.6:1-42. Her popularity.

Book IV.5:1-78. Her intelligence.

Thamyras, Thamyris

A mythical Thracian bard, the first man to love another of his own sex. Phoebus heard him boast that he could surpass the Muses, and reported it to them so that they robbed Thamyris of his sight, his voice, and his memory

Book II.22:1-42. Blinded.

Thebae, Thebanus, Thebes

The city in Boeotia founded by Cadmus. Phoebus instructs him how to find the site by following a heifer.

Book I.7:1-26. Scene of the War of the Seven against Thebes, where Polyneices and his brother Eteocles, the sons of Oedipus, mortally wounded each other. See Aeschylus The Seven Against Thebes.

Book I.9:1-34. The citadel mentioned.

Book II.1:1-78. The city mentioned.

Book II.6:1-42. Its ruins.

Book II.8:1-12. Past greatness.

Book II.8A:1-40. Antigone’s city.

Book III.2:1-26. Its walls magically built. See Antiope.

Book III.17:1-42. Book III.18:1-34. Bacchus was worshipped there.

Book IV.5:1-78. Thebes, the city in Egypt, hence palmy.

Theiodamanteus, Theiodamas

King of the Dryopians, killed by Hercules.

Book I:20:1-52. The father of Hylas.


A river of Cappadocia, frequented by the Amazon women.

Book III.14:1-34. They bathed bare-breasted there.

Book IV.4:1-94. The river.


King of Athens, son of Aegeus, hence Aegides. His mother was Aethra, daughter of Pittheus king of Troezen. Aegeus had lain with her in the temple. His father had hidden a sword, and a pair of sandals, under a stone (The Rock of Theseus) as a trial, which he lifted, and he made his way to Athens, cleansing the Isthmus of robbers along the way. Medea attempted to poison Theseus but Aegeus recognised his sword, and his son, and prevented her.

Escaping the attempt by Medea to poison him, his deeds were celebrated by the Athenians: the killing of the Minotaur, and the wild sow of Cromyon, the defeat of Periphetes, Procrustes, Cercyon, Sinis, and Sciron. He killed the Minotaur in the Cretan labyrinth, and abandoned Ariadne on Dia (Naxos). (See Canova’s sculpture – Theseus and the Dead Minotaur – Victoria and Albert Museum, London).

Book I.3:1-46. He is mentioned.

Book II.1:1-78. His friendship with Pirithous is mentioned.

Book II.14:1-32. Aided by Ariadne in threading the Labyrinth.

Book II.24A:17-52. He quickly abandoned Ariadne.

Book III.21:1-34. His road from Piraeus to the Acropolis of Athens.


King of Epirus, but also associated with the Italian coast near Cumae and Baiae.

Book I.11:1-30. Cynthia stays nearby.

Thessalia, Thessaly

The region in northern Greece. Its old name was Haemonia, hence Haemonius, meaning Thessalian. It contains the Vale of Tempe, the river valley of the Peneus between Olympus and Ossa.

Book I.5:1-32. Noted for its poisons and magic herbs. Medea obtained herbs from a valley there.

Book I.19:1-26. Protesilaus came from there.

Book II.22:1-42. The Greeks at Troy.

Book III.19:1-28. Enipeus a river and river-god there.

Book III.24:1-20. Thessalian witches.


A sea goddess, daughter of Nereus and Doris. The wife of Peleus and mother by him of Achilles.

Book II.9:1-52. The mother of Achilles.

Book III.7:1-72. She begged armour for Achilles from the gods, incensed by his ill-treatment.


Thrace, the country bordering on the entrance to the Black Sea and its northern shores.

Book III.13:1-66. Polymestor was its king.



Book III.2:1-26. Orpheus the poet was born there.

Thynias, Bythinia

The Thyni were a Thracian people who emigrated to Bythinia at the gates of the Hellespont.

Book I:20:1-52. The area and Nymphs of Thynia.


A Virgilian shepherd.

Book II.34:1-94. See Virgil’s Georgics.


Book I.14:1-24. Of the Tiber.

Book IV.2:1-64. The Tiber once ran where the Vicus Tuscus stood.

Tiberis, The Tiber

The River of Rome, named after King Tiberinus who drowned there, in mythology.

Book I.14:1-24. Mentioned.

Book II.33:1-22. The river of Rome.

Book III.4:1-22. Book IV.1:1-70.The river of Rome.

Book III.11:1-72. Opposed by the Nile, in analogy.

Book IV.10:1-48. A natural boundary of the first Rome.


A small town on the Anio, in the Sabine hills, twenty miles northeast of Rome, the modern Tivoli.

Book II.32:1-62. Cynthia goes there.

Book III.16:1-30. Cynthia is there.

Book III.22:1-42. On the river Anio.

Book IV.7:1-96. Cynthia buried there.


The Theban sage.

Book IV.9:1-74. Callimachus has him blinded by Pallas-Minerva for seeing her bathing, and given prophetic powers in recompense.


One of the Furies.

Book III.5:1-48. In the underworld.

Titanes, the Titans

Uranus fathered the Titans on Gaea (Mother Earth). They were gods or demi-gods.

Book II.1:1-78. They are mentioned.


The son of Laomedon, husband of Aurora, and father of Memnon.

Aurora, having obtained eternal life for him wished she could obtain eternal youth for him also.

Book II.18A:5-22. Loved by Aurora, though old.

Book II.25:1-48. Lived to extreme old age.


The Titienses, the people of Titus Tatius, who united with the Ramnes and Luceres, the followers of Romulus and Lygmon (Lucumo).

Book IV.1:1-70. Early Romans.


A Virgilian shepherd.

Book II.34:1-94. See Virgil’s Eclogue I.


One of the Giants, condemned to be eaten by vultures in the Underworld.

Book II.20:1-36. An unpleasant punishment.

Book III.5:1-48. Stretched out in the underworld.


Book IV.10:1-48. Lars Tolumnius, an Etruscan king of Veii. Livy says he was killed at Fidenae, not Veii.


The founder of Cnidos in Caria.

Book III.9:1-60. Cnidos was famous for its marble.


The sea and river god, son of Neptune and Amphitrite the Nereid. He is depicted as half man and half fish and the sound of his conch-shell calms the waves. (See Wordsworth’s sonnet ‘The world is too much with us; late and soon,’)

Book II.32:1-62. The sink of the stream from Maro’s statue in Rome.

Book IV.6:1-86. A sea-god, trumpeting Augustus’s victory.


Diana, as goddess of crossroads. Goddess of chastity.

Book II.32:1-62. Cynthia carries out her rituals. Irony here concerning both crossroads and the chastity.


Troy in Dardania, the famous city of the Troad in Asia Minor near the northern Aegean Sea and the entrance to the Hellespont. Scene of the War between the Greeks and Trojans described in Homer’s Iliad.

Book II.1:1-78. Pergama the citadel of Troy is mentioned.

Book II.3:1-54. Perished because of Helen’s beauty.

Book II.6:1-42. Destroyed because of jealousy.

Book II.8:1-12. Past greatness.

Book II.14:1-32. Conquered by the Greeks under Agamemnon.

Book II.28A:47-62. City with beautiful women.

Book II.30:1-40. Founded by King Tros. Jupiter snatched his son Ganymede.

Book II.34:1-94. Aeneas the Trojan.

Book III.1:1-38. The city breached by the Wooden Horse in which the Greeks concealed themselves.

Book III.18:1-34. Misenus the Trojan.

Book IV.1:1-70. The city addressed.

Book IV.1A:71-150. The city destroyed, but fated to rise again in Rome.


A friend of Propertius. He was the nephew of Lucius Volcacius Tullus consul in 33BC and pro-consul of Asia 30-29BC.

Book I.1:1-38.He is addressed.

Book I.6:1-36. He was a military man.

Book I.14:1-24. He is addressed.

Book I.22:1-10. He asks after Propertius’s origins.

Book III.22:1-42. He is encouraged to return from the Black Sea region.


From Tuscany, Tuscan.

Book IV.2:1-64. Vertumnus, a Tuscan god.


The twins, Castor and Pollux, the Dioscuri, the sons of Leda by the Spartan king Tyndareus (or by Jupiter). They became immortals. They are represented by the zodiacal constellation Gemini, the Twins, and protected seafarers.

Book I.17:1-28. Navigational stars in summer.

Book III.8:1-34. Tyndaridi, Helen the daughter of Tyndareus.

Tyndaris, see Clytemnestra


The daughter of Salmoneus King of Elis, and his wife Alcidice.

Neptune disguised himself as the river-god Enipeus and raped Tyro in a dark wave of the river at its confluence with the Alpheius.

Book I.13:1-36. She is mentioned.

Book II.28A:47-62. A beauty.

Book III.19:1-28. Lusted for Enipeus.


The city of the Phoenicians in the Lebanon. Famed for its purple dyes used on clothing, obtained from the murex shell-fish.

Book II.16:1-56. A source of dyes and other imported goods.

Book III.13:1-66. Book IV.5:1-78. A source of purple murex dyes.

Book III.14:1-34. Book IV.3:1-72. A source of dyed cloths.

Tyrrhenus, Tyrrhenia

The eastern seabord of central Italy. The Tyrrhenians were the inhabitants of Maeonia in Lydia. The Tyrrhenians migrated into Italy from Lydia (Tyrrha on the River Cayster) to form the rootstock of the Etrurians (Etruscans).

Book I.8:1-26. The Italian coast.

Book III.17:1-42. The Tuscans sailors involved with Bacchus, whom he turned into dolphins. See Ovid’s Metamorphoses Book III.


Publius Terentius Varro Atacinus (b. 82BC) an Alexandrian School poet who wrote works now lost including a translation of Apollonius Rhodius’s Argonautica, and elegies to his mistress Leucadia. (Not the more famous scholar Marcus Terrentius Varro)

Book II.34:1-94. Well-known love poet.


Book IV.10:1-48. An Etruscan city nine miles from Rome captured by Camillus in 396BC.


Book IV.9:1-74. The marshy land between the Capitoline and Palatine Hills of Rome, between the Vicus Tuscus and the Forum Boarium beneath the Aventine. Flooding in early times it rendered the Aventine an island approached only by boat.


Book I.12:1-20. The Venetian mouth of the River Po.


The Goddess of Love. The daughter of Jupiter and Dione. She is Aphrodite, born from the waves, an incarnation of Astarte, Goddess of the Phoenicians. The mother of Cupid by Mars.

(See Botticelli’s painting – Venus and Mars – National Gallery, London)

Book I.1:1-38. She torments lovers.

Book I.2:1-32. She loves the arts, and brings grace and charm.

Book I.14:1-24. Lovers depend on her kindness.

Book II.13A:1-58. Mourned for Adonis.

Book II.15:1-54. Book IV.8:1-88. The act of sexual intercourse.

Book II.16:1-56. Book II.21:1-20. She helps lovers.

Book II.19:1-32. The recipient of lovers’ vows.

Book II.22:1-42. Book III.5:1-48. Sexual intercourse.

Book II.28:1-46. Resented girls who boasted of their beauty.

Book II.32:1-62. Made love with Mars.

Book III.3:1-52. Book IV.5:1-78. Doves sacred to her.

Book III.4:1-22. Propertius asks her to protect the soldiers’ (illegitimate!) offspring.

Book III.6:1-42. Lovers’ performance affected if the goddess sleeps.

Book III.16:1-30. A friend to Propertius.

Book III.8:1-34. Women in love are subject to her.

Book III.9:1-60. Painted by Apelles.

Book III.10:1-32. Goddess of nocturnal love.

Book III.13:1-66. Paid sex.

Book III.17:1-42. The anger of the goddess of love.

Book III.20:1-30. The goddess who urges lovers to make love.

Book III.24:1-20. Love is cruel.

Book IV.1:1-70. Mother of Aeneas, gave the Caesar’s their arms.

Book IV.1A:71-150. Love’s struggles are her wars.

Book IV.6:1-86. She asked for and obtained Julius Caesar’s deification, and created the comet of his godhead in the heavens.

Book IV.8:1-88. The highest throw at dice, the lowest being the Dogs (canes).

Vergiliae. The Pleiades

The Seven Sisters, the daughters, with the Hyades and the Hesperides, of Atlas the Titan. Their mother was Pleione the naiad. They were chased by Orion rousing the anger of Diana-Artemis to whom they were dedicated and changed to stars by the gods. The Pleiades are the star cluster M45 in the constellation Taurus. Their names were Maia, the mother of Mercury by Jupiter, Taÿgeta, Electra, Merope, Asterope, Alcyone (the brightest star of the cluster), and Celaeno.

Book I.8:1-26. They are directional stars for sailors in winter.

Vergilius, Virgil

The Roman poet (70-19BC) who wrote the Aeneid, the stroy of Aeneas’s wanderings and battles.

Book II.34:1-94. His Aeneid.


An ancient Italian god, of the seasons and their produce. His image stood in the Vicus Tuscus, leading from the Velabrum to the Forum Romanum. He was a god of cyclical change.

Book IV.2:1-64. His origins and the reason for his name.


The daughter of Saturn. The goddess of fire. The ‘shining one’. Every hearth had its Vesta, and she presided over the preparation of meals and was offered first food and drink. Her priestesses were the Vestal Virgins. Her chief festival was the Vestalia in June. The Virgins took a strict vow of chastity and served for thirty years. They enjoyed enormous prestige, and were preceded by a lictor when in public. Breaking of their vow resulted in whipping and death. There were twenty recorded instances in eleven centuries. Vesta was a name for the Tauric Diana at Nemi. She ‘married’ her high priest the ‘king of Rome’, e.g. Julius Caesar. See Fraser’s ‘The Golden Bough’ Ch.1 et seq. She was worshipped with her brother Phoebus, and set among Caesar’s ancestral gods. Virbius was the name for the deified Hippolytus in Italy. He was the King of the Wood (Rex Nemorensis) at Nemi, near Aricia, and was Diana’s consort, and a minor deity with Egeria.

Book III.4:1-22. Her sacred fires were those of Roman destiny.

Book IV.1:1-70. The feast of Vesta, the Vestalia, took place on June 9th. There was a procession with donkeys garlanded with loaves of bread.

Book IV.4:1-94. Tarpeia dedicated to her, and her sacred fire, the embers from Troy. Attended by virgin priestesses. The Vestal Virgins.

Book IV.11:1-102. Aemilia, a Vestal Virgin.

Vicus Tuscus, see Vertumnus

Book IV.2:1-64. The street ran from the Velabrum to the Forum.


Book IV.10:1-48. King of the Belgic Insubres, killed by Marcus Claudius Marcellus in 222BC after crossing the Rhine.

Vlixes, Ulysses, Odysseus

The Greek hero, son of Laërtes. See Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey.

(See Francesco Primaticcio’s painting – Ulysses and Penelope – The Toledo Museum of Art). He fought at Troy, is the hero of the Odyssey. His wife was Penelope.

Book II.6:1-42. Her loyalty.

Book II.9:1-52. She waited for his return.

Book II.14:1-32. His return home to Ithaca (Dulichium).

Book II.21:1-20. He escaped from Calypso.

Book II.26A:21-58. Driven by adverse winds.

Book III.7:1-72. Wept for his comrades lost at sea.

Book III.12:1-38. His adventures recounted briefly. His faithful wife Penelope.

Vmbria, Umbria

Central Italy.

Book I:20:1-52. The local region.

Book I.22:1-10. Book IV.1:1-70. Book IV.1A:71-150. Propertius born there at Assisi.

Book III.22:1-42. The Clitumnus rises there.


A Tuscan town, in Etruria, the modern Bolsena.

Book IV.2:1-64. Vertumnus originated there.

Vulcan, Mulciber

Son of Juno. The blacksmith of the gods, father of Erichthonius. His home is on Lemnos. He catches his adulterous wife Venus in a net, woven of bronze. She and Mars are trapped and incur the laughter of the gods. Creator of the bronze-footed bulls of King Aeetes. Periphetes the cripple was his son by Anticleia. He owned a huge bronze club with which he killed passers by. Theseus defeated him.

He is also the god of fire. Hercules on his funeral pyre is subject to it only in his mortal part, owed to his mother Alcmene. He made for Thetis, the armour of Achilles, and his fire is the flame of Achilles’s funeral pyre.

Book III.8A:34-40. Vulcan is not given in the text but I have added it to avoid the point of the reference being lost.


The King of Persia (485-465BC), son of Darius. He crossed the Hellespont on a bridge of boats to invade Greece and avenge Darius’s defeat at Marathon. Thermopylae, Salamis and Plataea saw the defeat of the Spartan contingent under Leonidas (‘Go tell the Spartans, thou that passest by, that here, obedient to their laws, we lie’), the defeat of the Persian fleet and the final turning back of the Persian army respectively. Xerxes retreated.

Book II.1:1-78. The bridge of boats mentioned.


The West Wind. Eurus is the East Wind, Auster is the South Wind, and Boreas is the North Wind.

Book I.18:1-32. Mentioned.


One of the winged sons of Boreas and Orithyia. One of the Argonauts.

Book I:20:1-52. He pursues Hylas.


Antiope was the daughter of Nycteus of Thebes, famed for her beauty and loved by Jupiter in satyr form. She bore twin sons Amphion and Zethus. Her father exposed them on Mt Cithaeron, but they were found and raised by a shepherd. Later they built the walls of Thebes, Amphion, the husband of Niobe, using the magical music of his lyre (See Ovid’s Metamorphoses VI 176, XV 427). Antiope fled her father but was imprisoned by Lycus and his wife Dirce who tormented her. Her sons avenged her by killing Dirce.

Book III.15:1-46. Avenged his mother.