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Adonis presents a special case of Romans' wide interest in Eastern religions during the Augustan age: he was brought to Rome by poets, and for this reason his ‘existence’ in Latin culture was exclusively literary. His worship never had the same importance as in Hellenistic Egypt, but the pathos of this figure, and his story of love and death aroused the interest of the elegiac poets, in particular, who used his exemplum to illustrate certain τόποι of their genre and to emphasize the originality of their poetry. Through the analysis of his treatment in Propertius and in Ovid a series of reflections on elegy's nature and sense can be reconstructed in an interesting dialogue between the two poets.

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