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editor. The latter's computation proceeds on very strained inferences, which we have not space to discuss ; but it may possibly be sufficient to state that one of his results is to place the tenth elegy of the second book, in which Propertius talks about his extrema aetas (v. 6) in b. c. 25, when, according to Hertzberg, he was one-and-twenty! For several reasons, too long to be here adduced, it might be shown that the year assigned by Mr. Clinton, namely, b.c. 51, is a much more probable one, and agrees better with the relative ages of Propertius and Ovid. We know that the latter was born in b. c. 43, so that he would have been eight years younger than Propertius: a difference which would entitle him to call Propertius his predecessor, whilst at the same time it would not prevent the two poets from being sodales (Ov. TnstAv. TO. 45).
Propertius was not descended from a family of any distinction (ii. 24. 37), nor can the inference that it was equestrian be sustained from the mention of the aurea bulla (iv. 1. 131), which was the common ornament of all children who were ingenui. ( Cio. in Verr. ii. 1, 58, with the note of Asconius; Macrob. i. 6.) The paternal estate, however, seems to have been sufficiently ample (Nam tua versarent cum multi rura juvenci, iv. 1. 129) ; but of this he was deprived by an agrarian division, probably that in b. c. 36, after the Sicilian war, and thus thrown into comparative poverty (in tenues cogeris ipse Lares, Ib. 128). At the time of this misfortune he had not yet assumed the toga viriliS) and was therefore under sixteen years of age. He had already lost his father, who, it has been conjectured, was one of the victims sacrificed after the taking of Perusia ; but this notion does not rest on any satisfactory grounds. The elegy on which it is founded (i. 21) refers to a kinsman named Gallus. We have no account of Pro-pertius's education ; but from the elegy before quoted (iv. 1) it would seem that he was destined to be an advocate, but abandoned the profession for that of poetry. That he was carefully instructed appears from the learning displayed in his writings, and which was probably acquired altogether at Rome ; the smallness of his means having prevented him from finishing his education at Athens, as was then commonly done by the wealthier Romans. At all events it is plain from the sixth elegy of the first book, written after his connection with Cynthia had begun, that he had not then visited Greece. In the twenty-first elegy of the third book he meditates a journey thither, probably at the time when he had quarrelled with his mistress ; but whether he ever carried the design into execution we have no means of knowing.
The history of Propertius's life, so far as it is known to us, is the history of his amours, nor can it be said how much of these is fiction. He was, what has been called in modern times " a man of wit and pleasure about town ;" nor in the few particulars of his life which he communicates in the first elegy of the fourth book, does he drop the slightest hint of his ever having been engaged in any serious or useful employment. He began to write poetry at a very early age, and the merit of his productions soon attracted the attention and patronage of Maecenas. This was most probably shortly after the final discomfiture and death of Antony in b. c. 30, when, according to the corn-
putation adopted in this notice, Propertius was about one-and-twenty. This inference is drawn from the opening elegy of the second book (v. 17, &c.), from which it appears that Maecenas had requested him to describe the military achievements of Octavianus. At that important epoch it formed part of that minister's policy to engage the most celebrated wits of Rome in singing Caesar's praises; his object being to invest his master's successes with all those charms of popularity which would necessarily prove so conducive to the great object which lay nearest to his heart — the establishment of Caesar's absolute empire. This is also evident from the works of Horace. That poet was a republican ; yet, after the battle of Actium, Maecenas succeeded in inducing him to magnify Caesar, with whom there was nobody left to contest the world. These considerations, by the way, lead us also to the conclusion that there must have been at least a difference of eight years, as stated above, in the ages of Ovid and Propertius. The latter poet was already known to fame when it suited the political views, as well as the natural taste, of Maecenas to patronise him. Ovid, on the contrary, was then a mere boy ; and his reputation would have been just bursting forth, when the faithful minister of Augustus was dismissed by his ungrateful master. An earlier, and perhaps more disinterested, patron of Propertius was Tullus, the nephew, probably, of L. Volcatius Tullus, the fellow-consul of Octavianus, in b. c. 33. Tullus, however, seems to have been much of the same age as Propertius, as may be inferred from the conclusion of iii. 22 ; and they may, therefore, be in some degree looked upon as sodales.
It was probably in b. c. 32 or 31, that Propertius first became acquainted with his Cynthia. He had previously had an amour with a certain Ly-cinna, and to which we must assign the space of a year or two. This connection, however, was a merely sensual one, and was not, therefore, of a nature to draw out his poetical powers. In Cynthia, though by no means an obdurate beauty, he found incitement enough, as well as sufficient obstacles to the gratification of his passion, to lend it refinement, and to develope the genius of his muse. The biographers of Propertius make him a successful lover at once. They neither allow time for courtship, nor assign any of his elegies to that period. It is plain, however, from several passages, that his suit must have been for a length of time an unsuccessful one (see especially ii. 14. 15), and several of his pieces were probably written during its progress ; as the first of the first book (which Lachmann refers to the time of his quarrel with his mistress), the fifth of the fourth book, and others. Cynthia was a native of Tibur (iv. 7. 85), and her real name was Hostia. (Appuleius, Apolog. ; Schol. in Juven. vi. 7.) As Propertius (iii. 20. 8) alludes to her doctus avus, it is probable that she was a grand-daughter of Hostius, who wrote a poem on the Histric war. [hostius.] She seems to have inherited a considerable portion of the family talent, and was herself a poetess, besides being skilled in music, dancing, and needlework (i. 2. 27, i. 3. 41, ii. 1.9,ii. 3.17, &c,). From these accomplishments Paldamus, in the Ep. Ded. to his edition of Propertius, inferred that she was a woman of rank ; and some have even absurdly derived her genealogy from Hostus Hostilius. But