Characters in this Blog

The Roman love elegists, writing at the end of the Roman Republic wrote beautiful poems about their experiences in love, creating the persona or changing the name of a real person on whom to center their poetry. The only extant female poet calls herself Sulpicia, daughter of Servius and constructs her poems around her lover, Cerninthus. In order to write freely, I have taken up her name, and the names of her characters, to refer to people in my own life.

These are the characters in my life, endowed with names that classically reference their personalities or relationships to me. Most of the characters can be found in blog tags.

Sulpicia-- Sulpicia (III), my name, is taken from the love poet, Sulpicia (I) of the late Roman Republic. See Sulpicia I.

Servia & Servius-- Sulpicia (I) refers to her father as Servius, so I chose that name for my father as well. Servia I picked for my mother. I know, in proper Roman society, the Servius and Servia would have been names of siblings rather than a married couple, but it was the easiest method for coming up with quick reference names. Servia is also my photographer (when the pictures are decent-- if they're not, the photos are usually mine).

Cerinthus-- Cerinthus is the pseudonym that Sulpicia uses for her (real or imaginary) lover in her extant poetic cycle (see notes on Cerinthus in Sulpicia I). Cerinthus is the name of a friend whom I was dating when I started this blog.

Ponticus-- Ponticus is a name that does not come from Sulpicia's poetic cycle. Instead, it comes from the poetic cycle of Propertius, another late-Republican Latin Love Elegist, with whom Sulpicia must have been familiar. Ponticus was an epic poet in Propertius' circle. Propertius mentions Ponticus in poem VII. Ponticus is the ultimate rival against love (see Ponticus in Industrial Apple Machine). In my world, Ponticus is an engineer and a historian, who believes everything in the world can be understood if we think hard enough. He is one of my best friends.

Propertius II-- Propertius I is a late-Republican Latin Love Elegist who wrote four books. The first and most famous of these is the Monobiblos from which I take my portrait of Propertius II. Propertius II, like his namesake, is an brilliant mind full of obscure mythological references with which he tests his audience. He runs in a group of friends who are the young literati of various genres. His work demonstrates a person with a vibrant intellect with streaks of both arrogant and self-deprecating. My favorite descriptor fits both the Propertius of love elegy and my Propertius II is that he likes his scholarship like he likes his women: stark raving mad. He is featured primarily on Platonic Psychology. Properitus II is distinguished in this manner unlike Cerinthus or Cynthia because I believe I will be reading more of Propertius (I) and posting about it and I am trying to prevent confusion.

Cynthia-- Cynthia is Propertius' lover from the Monobiblos and the two successive poetic cycles (although I believe not in Book IV-- and my Cynthia and Propertius II have never had any romantic entanglements). She is characterized by a philandering heart, a wild temper, beauty, flightiness, spontaneity, intellectual prowess, and controlling strength. My former roommate, whom I love dearly nonetheless, fits this description very well. See Sulpicia vs. Conference vs. Sourdough Starter.

Ovid II: I was originally hesitant to use the name Ovid, because I find some of Ovid's poetry beautiful and fascinating and some of it extremely disturbing. To me, reading his poetry, his entire character changes from poem to poem in a significantly more expansive and frightening way then any of the other Love Elegists. Ovid II is similarly genius and complex, but does not possess the frightening sardonic laughter or the mysogenistic tendencies of which I catch glimpses in Ovid. Ovid II, like his namesake, has a talent for parody and pushing ideas to their breaking points and has a flair for drama. For ease of use, I will refer to his girlfriend as Corinna, although in doing so I draw no parallels between their relationship and that of the Corinna and Ovid in Ovid's poetry.

Herodotus II-- As her predecessor Herodotus I, Herotodus II spent a few years in Turkey (Ancient Ionia) and is embracing the rich history with energy. I have been reading Μήδεια with her, but she is now off to the wonders of grad school.

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