“We can challenge the Greeks in Elegy, too. Tibullus seems to me the most neat and elegant author in that genre; but there are those who prefer Propertius. Ovid is raunchier than either one, just as Gallus is more stern.”
elegia quoque Graecos provocamus, cuius mihi tersus atque elegans maxime videtur auctor Tibullus. sunt qui Propertium malint. Ovidius utroque lascivior, sicut durior Gallus.
(Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria 10.1.93)
7 thoughts on “Tibullus vs. Propertius”
What a great passage. If my taste is supported by Quintilian, it can’t be all bad.
Didn’t you one day let out a load groan of disapprobation when I just mentioned Quintillian’s name?
I am often wrong and contradictory.
I lied. I always lie. Quintilian is a superb judge of poetry and art–as long as he agrees with me.
Remember the Lycophron scholiast’s comment on Euripides? τὸ δὲ μεῖζον
ὅτι καὶ ἐναντία πολλάκις ἑαυτῷ λέγει. Naughty naughty!
In any event, the lie is an eminently Odyssean tool, and therefore completely accordant with all proper standards of taste and decency!