This entire poem is one sentence, longer than is usual in elegiac poetry. More often, each couplet is self-contained.

mea lux: As a term of affection, this expression is fairly frequent in elegy, going back to Catullus (68.132, 68.160). At around the same time, Cicero uses it once in a letter to his wife, Fam. 14.2. Propertius has the phrase three times (2.14.29, 2.28.59, 2.29.1). Ovid uses it several times: Amores 1.4.25, 1.8.23, 2.17.23; Ars 3.523; Tristia 3.3.52. Later, Martial has it at 5.29.3. The phrase occurs one other time in the Tibullan corpus, at 3.9.15, in one of the poems of the "Garland of Sulpicia," poems about Sulpicia and Cerinthus written by someone else, conceivably Tibullus or Cerinthus himself (though there is no good evidence for either hypothesis). Because 3.9 is written from Sulpicia's point of view, perhaps this expression was a favorite of hers.

aequeac: “tamut”, but with indicative rather than subjunctive.

[3] tota iuventa: Ablative of time. Because Sulpicia is still young, this means the same as “per totam vitam”. Note carefully the case of stulta.

All the bicipitia in this line are contracted (except for the fifth, of course). The heavy meter gives the impression that Sulpicia is speaking slowly and deliberately, trying hard to convince Cerinthus.

[4] cuius: Antecedent is “quicquam”; depends on “paenituisse”.

[5] quam: With “magis”.

quod: Here the conjunction, not the relative pronoun.

Another very heavy line, like line 3. The poem can be paraphrased simply as follows: “Si aliquid peius umquam feci quam quod te reliqui (volens nihil dicere de amore), utinam tu me non ames.” Just as in poem 1, she insists that this love is not to be hidden. What happened the night before? Were there particular people present with whom she did not want to discuss the relationship? (Compare Catullus 83, perhaps?) Or was she simply playing hard to get?

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (9 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (9):
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 14.2
    • Catullus, Poems, 68
    • Catullus, Poems, 83
    • Ovid, Ars Amatoria, 3
    • Sulpicia, Poems, 1
    • Ovid, Amores, 1.4
    • Ovid, Amores, 1.8
    • Ovid, Amores, 2.17
    • Ovid, Tristia, 3.3
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: