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Gendering Time in Augustan Love Elegy$
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Hunter H. Gardner

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199652396

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199652396.001.0001

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Two Senes: Delia and Messalla

Two Senes: Delia and Messalla

(p.84) (p.85) 4 Two Senes: Delia and Messalla
Gendering Time in Augustan Love Elegy

Hunter H. Gardner

Oxford University Press

This chapter continues to explore how each elegist adopts a pose of arrested development by focusing on the amator of Tibullus’ first poetry book. It examines the sequence of Delia poems in book one (1.1-1.6) and argues that predictions of the beloved as a poor senex (“old woman”) and his patron Messalla as a venerable senex (“old man”)-progenitor undermine the speaker’s initial posture of erotic inertia and suggest his commitment to timely maturation. While the book opens with the poet-lover’s championing a sedentary life at Delia’s threshold, in contrast to Messalla’s military exploits on land and sea, poem 1.7, the first after Delia’s final appearance in the collection, bridges the distance between patron and poet. The speaker’s expression of his support in poem 1.7 for Messalla’s triumph and military success is, in turn, reflected and modified by the idealized portrait of the rustic senex that concludes the book.

Keywords:   Tibullus, Delia, Messalla, inertia, triumph, senex

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