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Soviet illustration by Ignatiy Nivinskiy, 1933

The Roman Elegies (originally published under the title Erotica Romana in Germany, later Römische Elegien) is a cycle of twenty-four poems by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. They reflect his Italian Journey 1786-88 and celebrate the sensuality and vigour of Italian and Classical culture. Written mainly after his return to Weimar, they contain poems on many sexual themes, and four of them were suppressed from publication during Goethe's lifetime due to fears of censorship; they were only published in 1914, together with a large body of the Venetian Epigrams, written during his second, shorter travel to Italy in 1790. The elegies are also a loving tribute to Goethe's companion, Christiane Vulpius, whom he met in 1788 on his return from Italy.[1]


  1. ^ Rainer Hillenbrand: Goethes Römische Elegien als fiktionales Kunstwerk. Frankfurt a.M. 2003. ISBN 3-631-51248-1

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5 news items

OUPblog (blog)

OUPblog (blog)
Thu, 19 Jan 2012 00:34:11 -0800

Tibullus was one of a group of poets known as the Latin elegists, whose number included Ovid and Propertius. Living in the age of Augustus, his poems reflect Augustan ideals, but they are above all notable for their emphasis on the personal, and for ...

OUPblog (blog)

OUPblog (blog)
Tue, 28 Aug 2012 01:30:40 -0700

His rebirths, his extraordinary shifts into new poetry, all have a new love at their heart: the Sturm und Drang lyrics, the Roman Elegies, the West-Eastern Divan, the “Trilogy of Passion” — all very different, all written by the same poet, in new ...

Huffington Post

Huffington Post
Tue, 29 May 2012 09:07:30 -0700

“The egg of the philosophers, the ovum philosophorum refers to the vessel in which the creation process takes place. Many creation myths begin with an egg that divides and constructs the world, for example, part of the shell becoming the sky ... the ...

Tablet Magazine

Tablet Magazine
Tue, 04 Jan 2011 04:09:21 -0800

Its key ingredients were the Russian language, European art and literature, and classical history: “Roman Elegies,” “To Urania,” “Venetian Stanzas,” and “Twenty Sonnets to Mary Queen of Scots” are typical Brodsky titles. He seems to belong to the noble ...

El País.com (España)

El País.com (España)
Sun, 12 May 2013 17:01:29 -0700

Son auténticas joyas bibliográficas llenas de grabados y litografías impactantes: El pa a la barca de Joan Brossa (1963), La nuit grandissante de Jacques Dupin (1968), Air de André du Bouchet (1971) y Roman Elegies de Joseph Brodsky (1993), son ...

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