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Sharon James has demonstrated that the puella of Latin elegy is an avatar of the high-priced Greek courtesan familiar from new comedy and Hellenistic epigram (James 2003), both literally and literarily available to the Roman elites as a result of the expansion of their military empire into Greece. The elegiac mistress herself must thus be counted another luxury import from the eastern Mediterranean, like the silks, gems and perfumes in which she conventionally dresses (Bowditch 2006, Keith 2008). This paper sets the material evidence for the presence of these women in first-century bce Italy against the textual evidence for the nomenclature of the various elegiac puellae who appear in extant elegy to explore the overlap between the names of Latin elegiac puellae and the inscriptional evidence we have for Greek slave- and freedwomen with those names in republican and Augustan Italy.

Ovid assures his readers in Ars 1 that Rome provides an abundance of foreign women from whom to choose a mistress (Ars 1.171-6) and his boast is borne out by the inscriptional evidence of the sexual availability of slavewomen and libertae in Italy with the Greek names ascribed by the Roman elegists to their mistresses. Heikki Solin, in his indispensable three-volume compilation of Greek personal names in Rome (2003), collects the inscriptional evidence for women bearing the names of celebrated hetairae: Thais (2003.272-3), Lais (2003.274), Lycoris (2003.275), and Phryne (2003.276). Especially noteworthy is the evidence for slave- and freedwomen by the name of Lycoris (CIL 6.8888, 6.8764, 6.25748). Independent textual evidence attests to the name Lycoris for the puella celebrated in Gallus' amatory verse (Gallus fr. 145 Hollis, Verg. Buc. 10, Prop. 2.34.91, Ov. Am. 1.15.30; cf. Ov. Ars 3.537). Servius records the information (ad Verg. Buc. 10.1, 6) that the woman who inspired Gallus' 'Lycoris' was the mime-dancer Volumnia Cytheris (RE IX A, 883 #17), the freedwoman of P. Volumnius Eutrapelus (Cic. Att. 15.22), and there is ample attestation of the name Cytheris among slave- and freedwomen in the early principate; especially notable are CIL 6.25617, 6.7802, CIL 6.7802, and AE 1980, 84, all of Julio-Claudian date.

The names borne by the elegiac mistresses commemorated by Propertius and Tibullus are also attested in our period. Nemesis is the most frequently found, and again primarily for slave- and freedwomen; particularly noteworthy are Iulia Nemesis saltatrix (CIL 6.10143) and Nemesis Nicenis Tauri l. ancilla (CIL 6.6490). Delia also occurs as a name for freedwomen in our period: notable instances are Delidi Domitiai lib. (CIL 6.6198), and Dellia Nebris v. a. XIIX (ILS 7917b). Cynthia is the least frequently attested, though a fragmentary reference to ?uttidia Cynthia (CIL 6.33672) is suggestive. The name of the puella celebrated in Ovid's Amores, Corinna, also occurs in our period, borne by a libraria, presumably either a wool-worker or a female copyist (CIL 6.3979), as well as by a freedwoman (CIL 6.17588). Even the name Propertius ascribes to a lena, Acanthis, is recorded on an inscription as belonging to a freedwoman (Appuleia LL. l. Acantis, CIL 6.34494).

My study aims to document the contemporary currency of the Greek names of the elegists' puellae in Augustan Rome, where their names are resonant of Roman imperial conquest, and to argue that Roman elegy is intimately correlated with Roman imperialism in its celebration of the (sexual) spoils of military conquest. The contrast between the native Italian names of the Roman elegists (including Sulpicia) and the exotic Greek names of their beloveds (including the pueri delicati, Marathus [Tib. 1.4, 8-9] and Cerinthus [{Tib.} 3.9-11, 13-18]) encoded in their verse documents the Latin elegists' participation in the larger Roman imperial projects that is otherwise occluded in an ostensibly un- or anti-political presentation of elegiac themes (contra Sullivan).

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