Tibulli Et Propertii Opera

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by Tibullus and Propertius

This work contains the poems of the Roman elegiac poets Tibullus and Propertius. It was published by two well-known and regarded Scottish publishers. Robert and Andrew Foulis (ne Faulls) were brothers who opened their own publishing company and printing press in 18th century Glasgow.[1] Robert was a barber before enrolling in University of Glasgow courses, while Andrew “received a more regular education…[as] a student of Humanity” who taught Greek, Latin and French for a time after he graduated.[2] The brothers began as booksellers and then transitioned to publishing and printing books, with Robert initiating each endeavor before later being joined by Andrew.[3] In 1740-42, Robert had other printers print what he chose to publish, but began printing his own books in 1742 which continued until his and his brother’s deaths in 1775 and 1776, respectively, when Andrew’s son Andrew took over The Foulis Press.[4] The Foulis Press primarily produced text books and other “works of learning…and of general literature,” as it was the printer to the University of Glasgow.[5] The press is unique for the plethora of variant issues and editions of published books on special paper, in special font, or even on copper plates.[6]

Tibullus was born between 55 and 48BCE and died in 19BCE.[7] He was an equestrian who socialized with the poetical circle around Messala, with whom he traveled to the East sometime around 30BCE. Their trip was cut short due to illness, after which Tibullus may have served under Messala in Gaul. There are three extant books of love-poems connected to Tibullus, though only the first two are actually his work – the third being the works of other poets of Messala’s circle.[8]

Propertius was born in Assissi around 50BCE and died between 16 and 2 BCE.[9] He received a Roman education in law, but instead pursued poetry, with four extant books of elegies. Propertius belonged to the small group of poets including Ovid, and his first book’s success allowed him entrance into the larger group of Maecenas, as well. He is best known as a love-poet, though his books do contain a variety of themes and subjects. Unfortunately, his works are made more difficult to interpret due to corruptions of the original text, compounded by his “intense visual imagination” which forces readers to understand the implications of a poem’s setting before being able to decipher Propertius’s passionate train of thought.[10]

Both Tibullus and Propertius expressed the belief that love is the true goal and occupation of life.[11] Similarly, they both represented themselves as enslaved by their lovers, though Tibullus is more specific regarding his “enslavement” than Propertius. One key difference between the two poets is that Tibullus rarely uses mythology, while Propertius makes heavy use of it.[12] Also, one of Tibullus’ favorite themes concerns the pleasure of country life, as opposed to Propertius’ urban settings.[13]

Tibulli Et Propertii Opera

Title page from Tibulli Et Propertii Opera, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author Tibullus and Propertius
Editor {{{editor}}}
Translator {{{trans}}}
Published Glasguae: Excudebant Robertus & Andreas Foulis
Date 1753
Edition Ex Editione J. Broukhusii Fideliter Expressa
Language Latin
Volumes {{{set}}} volume set
Pages 198
Desc. {{{desc}}}
Location [[Shelf {{{shelf}}}]]
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Octavo bound in contemporary calf. Purchased from G.W. Stuart, Jr. Emeritus Member, ABAA.

External Links

Google Books


  1. David Murray, Robert & Andrew Foulis and the Glasgow Press with some account of The Glasgow Academy of the Fine Arts (Glasgow: James Maclehose and Sons, Publishers to the University), 8.
  2. Ibid at 3.
  3. Ibid 6-10.
  4. Philip Gaskell, A Bibliography of the Foulis Press, 2nd ed. (Winchester, Hampshire, England: St Paul's Bibliographies, 1986), 190.
  5. Ibid 17-18.
  6. Ibid 18-19.
  7. " Tibu'llus, A'lbius” in The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature, ed. by M.C. Howatson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).
  8. Ibid.
  9. "Prope'rtius, Sextus” in The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature, ed. by M.C. Howatson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).
  10. Ibid.
  11. "Tibullus, Albius" in Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World, ed. by John Roberts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).
  12. Ibid.
  13. " Tibu'llus, A'lbius”