Chapter

What Jealousy Is About

Ruth Rothaus Caston

in The Elegiac Passion

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199925902
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980475 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199925902.003.0006

Series: Emotions of the Past

What Jealousy Is About

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Chapter 6 considers the root concern behind all this interest in jealousy, and the way in which the Propertian narrator in particular sees it as a larger problem in society and not simply a feature of his individual love relationships. It examines the importance of fides, which is often translated as “trust” or “loyalty” but has a much broader and richer meaning. The use of the term reveals a complex network of reciprocal expectations and obligations, both personal and political, that are specific to the Roman context. The fear of broken obligations and the consequent lack of trust are relevant not only to the love affair that forms the subject of these poems but to many other relationships represented in elegy as well. In this way, the problematic experience of jealousy in Propertius reflects a more widespread breakdown of obligations in other social and political spheres.

Keywords: fides; trust; obligations; political; propertius

Chapter.  7964 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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