Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Römische Elegien [Roman Elegies]

(2479 words)

Goethe’s Roman Elegies, originally titled Erotica Romana, were composed during the period between the autumn of 1788 and April 1790, following his two-year sojourn in Italy. Except for the “Thirteenth Elegy” (No. XIV in the manuscript), which had appeared separately in the Deutsche Monatsschrift, July 1791, the poems initially circulated only among friends and were first published in 1795 in Friedrich Schiller’s journal Die Horen [The Horae, goddesses of the seasons], which title, quipped Johann Gottfried Herder, deserved thereafter to be spelled with a “u” (“Huren” = whores).

After ten years of service to the Duke and Duchy o…

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Dye, Ellis. "Römische Elegien ". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 August 2007
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]