This study, first published in 1998, explores the subtle, many-faceted interplay of power in Tibullus' first book of elegies. A series of power relationships are created by the text (lover and beloved, poet and patron) and the processes through which power of various sorts can be exercised are brought to the foreground. Such power-play within the text of Tibullus I has ramifications well beyond the erotic sphere. Gender categories, rural life, religion, militia, patronage are among the areas subsumed within and determined by the operation of power dynamics in this consistently underrated Augustan text. As secure meaning becomes elusive, the reader is also drawn into this nexus of power-play. Taking a linear reading of Book One as its basis, this study uncovers the shifting, unstable ground of Tibullan elegy. The result is a picture of the poet and text of Book I far removed from the bland, safe and urbane 'Tibullus' of previous criticism.