Albius Tibullus, Germanized Tibullus (c. 55 BC; † 19/18 BC) was a Roman elegiac poets of the Augustan age.





Tibullus, Propertius and Ovid is next to one of the three surviving poets of the Augustan love elegy, of their " founder " of the genus in Rome, Gallus, only a few fragments have survived. A Delia in Propertius a Cynthia, in Ovid, a Corinna and Tibullus: In the Elegies of all three poets each a lover appears. While the love poetry of Propertius and Ovid are directed only at these women, a young lover named Marathus appear in Tibullus in some poems of the first book. With Delia the I - speaker breaks also at the end of the first book; a new mistress named Nemesis appears in the second book.

From Tibullus two books of poems have survived. The first consists of ten elegies, the second six; both were well published in his lifetime. In common Tibullus expenditures are still the books to find 3 and 4, however, the authenticity of which is doubtful; they are therefore often referred to as an appendix Tibulliana ( "Appendix to Tibullus "). The third book is by an imitator, who refers to himself by the name Lygdamus. The fourth book is dominated by a long, addressed to Messala elegy and a wreath of poetic love letters of a young girl called Sulpicia to her lover.

While at Propertius and Ovid has always been the rich variation of themes and the many trips were estimated in the world of mythology, Tibullus hardly ever dive into the world of the gods and myths. His subjects are the confusion of complicated love relationships, longing for the simple, peaceful life in the country and the commitment to the patron Messala, whose warlike habits of the speaker itself rejects as well as the pursuit of wealth and fame. Descriptions of a rural idyll in some poems do the work in the near Virgil's Eclogues.

Compared to the obvious ornate language and conceptual order of Propertius and Tibullus Ovid seems rather simple to write and associative. One word seems to be enough to bring him from one thought or topic to another. He avoids remote concepts and content with a limited vocabulary. This, together with its emphatic invocations, interjections and repetitions appear his depictions of love suffering as unsophisticated, spontaneous utterances and breakouts. On closer inspection, however, notice how artfully the verses are forged and in which, unlike the versification is the seemingly spontaneous utterance.


Tibullus topics and verses published and appear just in modern times many as too mundane and monotonous. In his time, however, the poet in Rome was highly valued. The scholar Quintilian, for example, writes about the Roman elegy: " Tibullus seems to me as their purest and most elegant representative. There are also people who prefer Propertius. Ovid 's Naughty, gallic rougher than these two. " In recent decades, are increasing in research voices that highlight how much art and humor in Tibullus verses inserted.

Known older German translations of the works of Tibullus by Johann Heinrich Voss (Heidelberg 1811), Lachmann (Berlin 1829), Dissen (Göttingen 1835, 2 vols ), main (5th edition, Leipzig 1885), Lucian Müller (ibid. 1870 ), Bährens (ibid. 1878), Hiller (ibid. 1885). More translations delivered Teuffel (Stuttgart 1853 and 1855), Binder (2nd edition, Berlin 1885), Eberz (Frankfurt 1865) and Christian Gottlob Heyne (1755 ).

Editions, translations and commentaries

  • Georg Luck ( ed.): Albii Tibulli aliorumque carmina, Stuttgart ² 1998. (Text Critical Edition )
  • Albius Tibullus: Elegiac poetry, Latin / German, trans. and ed. by Joachim Lily White, Arne Malmsheimer and Burkhard Mojsisch, Stuttgart 2001.
  • Albius Tibullus: Love Elegies, Latin - German, ed. and trans. Niklas Holzberg, Mannheim, 2011.
  • Michael Putnam (ed.): Tibullus. A Commentary, Norman ( Okla. ) 1973.