Propertius, Sextus Aurelius

, an ancient Roman poet, was born at Mevania, a town in Urnbria, as we learn from his own writings, and probably about the year of Rome 700. Some say, his father was a knight, and a man of considerable authority; who, becoming a partizan with Antony, on the capture of Perusia, was made prisoner, and killed by Augustus’s order, at the altar erected to Caesar when his estate was forfeited of course. This which happened when the poet was very young, he alludes to in one of his elegies, and laments the ruin of his family in that early season of his life. His wit and learning soon recommended him to the patronage of Maecenas and Gallus; and among the poets of his time, he was very intimate with Ovid and Tibullus. We have no particular account of his life, or the manner of his death; only he mentions his taking a journey to Athens, probably in company with his patron Maecenas, who attended Augustus in his progress through Greece. Those that make him live the longest carry his age no higher than forty-one. His death is usually placed B. C. 10. The great object of his imitation was Callimachus Mimnermus and Philetas were two others, whom he likewise admired and followed in his elegies. Quintilian tells us, that Propertius disputed the prize with Tibullus, among the critics of his time and the younger Pliny, speaking of Passienus, an eminent and learned elegiac poet of his acquaintance, says, that this talent was hereditary and natural for that he was a descendant and countryman of Propertius. Propertius however was inferior to Tibullus in tenderness, and to Ovid in variety of fancy, and facility of expression still it must be granted that he was equal in harmony of numbers, and certainly | gave the first specimen of the poetical epistle, which Ovid afterwards claimed as his invention.

The works of this poet are printed with almost all the editions of Tibullus and Catullus and separately by Brouckhusius at Amsterdam, in 1702, in 4to again in 1724, 4to; by Vulpius in 1755, with select notes from Brouckhusius andPasserat, and a learned commentary of his own, in 2 vols. 4to, and in a form to accompany his Catullus and Tibullus by Frid. Gottl. Barthius, at Leipsic, in 1777; by Burman (posthumous) 1780, 4to, by far the best edition and lastly by Kuinoelus, at Leipsic, 1805, 8vo. 1

1 Crusius’s Lives of the Roman Poets. Fabric. Bibl. Lat.