Date of Award

Summer 8-19-2021

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Master of Arts (AM/MA)

Degree Type

Thesis DLA


Propertius gives prominence to Cynthia’s role as a musician in a number of poems. Yet, how that role contributes to Propertius’ metapoetry, which is concerned with his self-construction as a lover and how his elegy works, has not been sufficiently evaluated. In this thesis, I examine how Propertius exploits and relies on Cynthia’s role as a musician to advance his metapoetry in three elegies: 1.2, 2.3, and 2.34. In Elegy 1.2, Propertius introduces Cynthia as a musician and crowns the poem’s metapoetic message about himself as a self-constructed lover and poet. In Elegy 2.3, Propertius manipulates the divine quality directly associated with Cynthia’s musicianship to transform Cynthia into a symbol of beauty. By elevating his elegiac symbol, Propertius elevates his elegy and pits it against other poetic traditions, especially epic. In Elegy 2.34, Propertius takes advantage of Cynthia’s musicianship to solidify her link with Apollo, who is emphatically portrayed as a musician, and deepens elegy’s connection to the musical god.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Rebecca Sears, Thesis Examination Committee

Committee Members

Cathy Keane, Timothy Moore

Available for download on Sunday, December 04, 2061