The Complete Poems of Tibullus and Sulpicia

Tibullus, Albius (c.55 BC–19 BC), translated by Kline, A. S. (contact-email)

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This edition presents new translations of the poems of Albius Tibullus, and the poems of, and about, Sulpicia from the Messalla collection.

Albius Tibullus (c. 55–19 BC) was a Roman elegiac poet. His work is characterised by a personal and emotional reflection on love and the pastoral life. His surviving corpus is small, consisting mainly of two books of elegies. Tibullus’s chief friend and patron was Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus, himself an orator and poet as well as a statesman and a commander. Messalla, like Gaius Maecenas, was at the centre of a literary circle in Rome. Tibullus died prematurely, probably in 19 BC, around the time of the death of Virgil. His passing had a profound impact on Roman society, as is clear from the elegy in which Ovid enshrined his memory.

Sulpicia, a lesser-known contemporary of Tibullus, is generally accepted to be the author of six epigrams, appearing in the corpus attributed to Tibullus - the Corpus Tibullianum. As such, she is the only female poet from ancient Rome whose work is extant. Sulpicia is thought to have hailed from a prosperous household with imperial ties.

The Messalla collection comprises a variety of poems originating from the household or archives associated with Messalla. The works were crafted by several authors, none of whom are believed to be Tibullus.

Author Details

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Kline, A. S.

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