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Elegiac Eyes

Vision in Roman Love Elegy


Stacie Raucci

Elegiac Eyes is an in-depth examination of vision and spectacle in Roman love elegy. It approaches vision from the perspective of Roman cultural modes of viewing and locates its analysis in close textual readings of Tibullus, Propertius, and Ovid. The paradoxical nature of the Roman eyes, which according to contemporary optical theories were able to penetrate and be penetrated, as well as the complex role of vision in society, provided the elegists with a productive canvas for their poems. By locating the elegists’ visual games within their contemporary context, Elegiac Eyes demonstrates how the elegists were manipulating notions that were specifically Roman and familiar to their readership.


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Acknowledgments ix


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ∢ My first encounter with Roman elegy came as an undergraduate student. I vividly recall sitting outside on Wellesley’s gorgeous campus, reading Propertius 4.7 in Latin for the first time, on a sunny spring day. I have been hooked on elegy ever since. I start then my long list of gratitude owed with the faculty mem- ber who first introduced me to the genre, Nigel Nicholson. I further thank the many people who have helped in tangible and intangible ways to bring this book to publication: Randall Colaizzi, Carol Dougherty, Mario Erasmo, Katherine A. Geffcken, Mary Lefkowitz, and Raymond J. Starr, for the earliest nurturing of my intellectual curiosities and guidance into the field during my time as an under- graduate; the department of Classics at the University of Chicago, in particular the members of my dissertation committee Shadi Bartsch, David Wray, and D. Nicholas Rudall; my cohort of steadfast friends in Classics, Fanny Dolansky, Janet Downie, Alex Gottesman, Sheila Kurian, and Lisa Marie Mignone; my wonderful colleagues in Classics at Union College with whom I have had the honor of working, Peter Bedford, Randall Childree, Rebecca Edwards, Tommaso Gazzari, Kristen Gentile, Rebecca Futo Kennedy, Hans-Friedrich Mueller, Jeannette Sargent, Marianne Snowden, Mark Toher, and Tarik Wareh; all who read early versions of various pieces of the manuscript and offered advice, including Shadi Bartsch, Judith P. Hallett, and Gian- carlo Annese; Daniel Garrison, the editor of the Lang Classical Studies ELEGIAC EYES x series for his careful eye and generous advice;...

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