Butler’s edition of Propertius was one of the first volumes to appear in the Loeb Classical Library, and in its time it was the best. But what was an elegant translation in 1912 now wears a very old-fashioned look, and if after the research of the last seventy-seven years there still remain a number of uncertainties, many have been definitively laid to rest, while the literary scholarship of this period furnishes today’s editor with a much juster perception of the poet’s art. The present edition, then, is an entirely new volume and not a refurbished version of the old one.
In it I have sought above all to present Propertius to the largest possible audience both in a reliable Latin text and in a graceful and accurate English translation: to classical scholars and students, of course, but no less to lovers of literature generally. For the benefit of the latter I have expanded the index to give a good deal of explanatory material that must otherwise have been sought in reference books or given in overloaded footnotes.
Just as in establishing the text of Propertius I owe an enormous debt to the great scholars whose work is listed in the bibliography, from Lachmann in the 19th century to Shackleton Bailey in our own, so too I gratefully acknowledge my indebtedness to former translators, especially Phillimore and Butler, from whom I have taken many