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333 ib.

334 ib.






339 340 342 ib.



1. Julian Year 2. Months 3. Calends, Nones, and Ides 4. Roman method of computing Dates 5. Annus Bissextus 6. Nundinae 7. Dies Fasti, Nefasti, Intercisi, Festi, Profesti, &c. 8. Feriae 9. Dies Atri 10. Fasti Kalendares 11. Fasti Historici 12. Year of Romulus 13. Year of Numa 14. Original signification of Calends, Nones, and Ides 15. Intercalations in general 16. Intercalations of the Greeks 17. Intercalations of the Romans before the Julian

Reform 18. Distribution of days in the year of 355 days 19. Intercalations before the Julian Reform, continued 20. Confusion caused by the mismanagement of Ponti

fices 21. Annus Confusionis ultimus 22. Gregorian year 23. Roman Lustrum 24. Roman Saeculum 25. The rising and setting of the fixed stars according to

Ovid and others.

345 347 ib.


350 ib.

351 352





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The personal history of Ovid is better known to us than that of any other Roman poet, except Horace. We are indebted for our information to various incidental notices scattered over his works, but principally to a short autobiography in Elegiac verse (Trist. 4. 10), which will be found in the present collection.

PUBLIUS OVIDIUS Naso was born on the 20th of March, (the second day of the 'Quinquatria') 43 B.C., the year in which the battles fought against Antony under the walls of Modena proved fatal to Hirtius and Pansa, in which the second triumvirate was formed, and in which Cicero perished. The place of his nativity was Sulmo (Sulmone,) a town in the cold moist hills of the Peligni, one of the Sabine clans, situated at a short distance to the S.E. of Corfinium, about ninety miles from Rome. His father was of an ancient equestrian family, and Publius was the second son, his elder brother being exactly twelve months his senior. They were both brought up at Rome, their education was superintended by the most distinguished masters, and at the usual period each assumed the manly gown. The elder, a youth of great promise, devoted himself with zeal to the study of eloquence, but his career was short, for he died in his twenty-first year.

Publius repaired to Athens for the purpose of finishing his studies; at this or some subsequent period he visited, in the



train of Macer, the gorgeous cities of Asia, and on his return home passed nearly a year in Sicilyl. From a very early period he had displayed a decided taste for poetical composition. He soon manifested a rooted aversion to the jarring contentions of the forum, and, notwithstanding the remonstrances of his father, gradually abandoned public life, and devoted himself exclusively to the cultivation of the When a very young man he exercised the functions of triumvir, decemvir ?, centumvir 3, and judicial arbiter, but never attempted to rise to any of the higher offices of state, which would have entitled him to the rank and privileges of a senator.

He was married three times. His first wife, whom he wedded while still almost a boy, he describes as unworthy of his affection; his second was of blameless character, but from her also he was soon divorced. One of these two ladies, we know not which, belonged to the Etrurian tribe, whose chief town was Falerii 4 (Santa Maria di Faleri). His third


• Nec peto, quas petii quondam studiosus Athenas,

Oppida non Asiae, non loca visa prius' Trist. 1. 2, 77.
Again in E. ex. P. 2. 10, addressed to Macer, at line 21
• Te duce, magnificas Asiae perspeximus urbes :

Trinacris est oculis, te duce, nota meis.
Vidimus Aetnaea caelum splendescere flamma;

Suppositus monti quam vomit ore Gigas:
Hennaeosque lacus et olentia stagna Palici,

Quaque suis Cyanen miscet Anapus aquis.
Nec procul hinc Nymphen, quae, dum fugit Elidis amnem,

Tecta sub aequorea nunc quoque currit aqua.
Hic mihi labentis pars anni magna peracta est.

Eheu, quam dispar est locus ille Getis !'
See also Fast. 6. 423.

2 • Inter bis quinos usus honore viros’ Fast. 4. 384.
3 Nec male commissa est nobis fortuna reorum,

Lisque decem decies inspicienda viris.
Res quoque privatas statui sine crimine iudex :

Deque mea fassa est pars quoque victa fide' Trist. 2. 93. 4 ‘Cum mihi pomiferis coniux foret orta Faliscis

Moenia contigimus victa, Camille, tibi’ Amor. 3. 13, I.


wife was of the noble Fabian family. To her he was deeply attached, and she remained fond and true to the last, supporting him by her faithful affection during the misfortunes which darkened the close of his life. His daughter, Perilla, was married twice, and was the mother of two children, one by each husband. His father died at the advanced age of ninety, and the poet was soon after called upon to pay the last rites to his mother likewise.

For a long period fortune had smiled steadily upon Ovid. He was now upwards of fifty years old; the greater part of this time he had spent at Rome, in ease, tranquility, and happiness. His time was completely at his own disposal, and he could devote what portion of it he pleased to his favourite pursuits: his works were universally popular; he was the companion and friend of all the great political and literary characters of that brilliant epoch; he enjoyed the favour and patronage of the emperor himself. But he was not destined to end his days in peace. Towards the end of A. D. 8 an order was suddenly conveyed to him from Augustus, commanding that he should instantly quit the metropolis, and fix his residence


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1 In E. ex. P. 1. 2, 138, addressed to Fabius Maximus, he says,

Ille ego, de vestra cui data nupta domo,' from E. ex. P. 2. II, 13, we learn that the Rufus to whom it is addressed was her maternal uncle

'Sponte quidem, per seque mea est laudabilis uxor ;

Admonitu melior fit tamen illa tuo.
Namque quod Hermiones Castor fuit, Hector Iuli,

Hoc ego te laetor coniugis esse meae.' and from E. ex. P. 2. 10, 10, that she was somehow connected with Macer, to whom he writes,

• Vel mea quod coniux non aliena tibi.' She was a widow at the time of her union with Ovid, and her daughter by her first husband married Suillius, the intimate friend of Germanicus Caesar. In a letter to this Suillius, E. ex. P. 4. 8, 9, we find the expressions,

* Ius aliquod faciunt affinia vincula nobis,

Quae semper maneant illabefacta precor.
Nam tibi quae coniux, eadem mihi filia paene est :

Et quae te generum, me vocat illa virum.'

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