Grasping Urbanity: Propertius' Book 4 and Urban Religion of the Augustan Period
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Propertius' last book of elegies (publ. c. 16 BCE) has been read as a staged conflict between antiquarianism and love elegy. This article argues that the book as a whole is above all a reflection on the spatial and temporal boundaries of the city and the internal impact of the permanent crossing and breaking down of these boundaries. Then and now, imperial expedition and internal treason, permanent and temporary absence, burying outside and loving inside, admission to and exclusion from sacralised and gendered space and finally the vertical dimension of life's above and death's below explore these limits and transfers and constitute the urbanity of the city as well as the urbanity of religion.