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TRISTIA BOOK I

OWEN

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AND FORMERLY OPEN EXHIBITIONER OF BALLIOL COLLEGE, OXFORD.

Oxford
AT THE CLARENDON PRESS

1885

[ All rights reserved]

S. Class, foi.94

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: PREFACE.

The present little book is an instalment of a larger commentary on the complete Tristia, which is in preparation, This work of Ovid is perhaps, excepting the Fasti, the best suited of all his writings for school purposes. It is free from indelicacy. It does not, like the much read Heroides, deal with the passion of love, which, more particularly from the female point of view, is a subject rather remote from the interests of the ordinary school-boy. It is terse and vigorous in style; and an admirable model of elegiac composition. And in my opinion it is not uninteresting. But that interest is mainly autobiographical: and the fact that this feature has not received systematic treatment from any editor, is sufficient explanation of the neglect into which it has fallen.

This want it has been my endeavour to supply; and it is hoped that the matter collected in the introduction, by bringing out clearly the personality of the poet and his friends, will tend to throw light upon and kindle an interest in not only this but others of Ovid's writings. If the notes seem somewhat lengthy I must plead in excuse (1) that a short dogmatic note, which rules without giving a reason, is in my opinion a bad instrument of education; (2) that the Tristia, like much of Ovid, is almost virgin soil, and that many things that an editor of Vergil might take for granted as having been already stated in countless editions, an editor of Ovid has to point out for the first time; (3) that parallel passages-except from the Tristia itself, of which it is assumed that a complete text will be used for reference!,-have in most cases been

i I should recommend that of Ehwald, Ovidii Tristia, ex iterata R. Merkeliï recognitione. Teubner, 1884.

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