Rusticitas Versus Urbanitas in the Literary Programmes of Tibullus and Persius

in Mnemosyne
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Abstract

Tibullus and Persius are characteristic examples of poets who in their programmatic poems take a stance as to the literary juxtaposition of rusticitas and urbanitas and side with the first. Thus, they express their opposition to the mores of urban society and support the rustic way of life, which points to moral probity, simplicity, frugality, an unaffected style, Roman thematology, an indifference towards praise and heroic action. Persius' views could be associated with Propertius' latent attack against Tibullus' rusticitas and can be interpreted as disagreement with Propertius' urbanitas. It is possible that in this way Persius expresses his disappointment in the replacement of some elegiac motifs of the past with elegidia and of the frugal, 'poor' Tibullus with the crudi proceres, who are praised in the aula Neroniana. Therefore, the fact that Persius is siding with Tibullus in his dispute with Propertius could suggest a poetic model more similar to his own.

Rusticitas Versus Urbanitas in the Literary Programmes of Tibullus and Persius

in Mnemosyne

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