The composition of didactic, lyrical and elegiac poetry also was the accomplishment and pastime of an educated dilettante class, the only extant specimens of any interest being some of the Silvae of Statius.
The forms of poetical composition chiefly cultivated by the Alexandrians were epic and lyric, or elegiac. Great epics are wanting; but in their place, as might almost have been expected, are found the historical and the didactic or expository epics.
Catulus in the preceding generation, was a kind of dilettante poet and a precursor of the poetry of pleasure, which attained such prominence in the elegiac poets of the Augustan age.
The earliest of the elegiac poets was Philetas, the sweet singer of Cos.
The poems of Propertius, as they have come down to us, consist of four books containing 4046 lines of elegiac verse.