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Masculinity and Monuments in Propertius 4.9

Tara S. Welch
The American Journal of Philology
Vol. 125, No. 1 (Spring, 2004), pp. 61-90
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1562210
Page Count: 30
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Masculinity and Monuments in Propertius 4.9
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Abstract

In elegy 4.9, Propertius connects the story of Hercules' transvestism to some of Rome's most ancient and venerable sites: the Ara Maxima, the subject of the poem's aition, and the sanctuary of the Bona Dea, where the poem's action takes place. These locations resonate with Rome's traditional gender roles and with the Augustan urban renovation. This essay argues that Propertius' use of monuments in 4.9 responds to and challenges the Princeps' use of Roman places as a means to solidify his position in the new Rome, thereby establishing the poet as the Princeps' rival in creating urban meaning.

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