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The Greek elegiac couplets had an unusually long history, first appearing in the eighth century before Christ and still vital in the tenth century after Christ. Although the word “elegy” is now associated in our minds with mournful or funereal songs, the earliest known elegiac pieces are either military or convivial. In practice, the elegiac couplets seem to have been a song sung to the accompaniment of a flute, just as lyric poetry was sung to the lyre. In this volume. Professor Bowra gives a sketch of the elegy and of its uses in its early days, and brings out some of its chief characteristics in a period when it was the vehicle not only for passing emotions but for considered ideas. As a contribution to classical study, the volume is of unusual importance.