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III.

WORKS OF OVID.

THE following list contains all the works usually attributed to Ovid now extant, arranged in the order in which they were composed, in so far as this can be ascertained. Doubts have been entaintained with regard to the three last of the series, numbered IX, X, XI, but they are generally received as authentic :

I. Heroides. A collection of twenty-one letters in Elegiac verse, feigned to have been written by ladies or chiefs in the Heroic age to the absent objects of their love. Doubts have been entertained by some critics, but without good reason, of the genuineness of the last six of these; others confine their suspicions to the seventeeth, nineteenth, and twenty-first; while a third party object to the fifteenth alone. The pieces rejected are attributed to Aulus Sabinus, a contemporary poet, the author of several epistles in answer to those composed by Ovid, three of which have been preserved, and are frequently appended to complete editions of the works of the latter. We find an allusion to both in Amor. 2. 18, 19

Quod licet, aut Artes teneri profitemur Amoris,

(Hei mihi! praeceptis urgeor ipse meis,)
Aut, quod Penelopes verbis reddatur Vlyxi,

Scribimus ; aut lacrimas, Phylli relicta, tuas;
Quod Paris, et Macareus, et quod male gratus läson,

Hippolytique parens, Hippolytusque legant:
Quodque tenens strictum Dido miserabilis ensem

Dicat, et Aeoliae Lesbis amica lyrae.
Quam celer e toto rediit meus orbe Sabinus,

Scriptaque diversis rettulit ille locis !
Candida Penelope signum cognovit Vlixis :

Legit ab Hippolyto scripta noverca suo.

Iam pius Aeneas miserae rescripsit Elissae :

Quodque legat Phyllis, si modo vivit, habet.
Tristis ad Hypsipylen ab läsone litera venit:

Det votam Phoebo Lesbis amata lyram.' II. Amores, v. Libri Amorum. Forty-nine elegies, chiefly upon amatory subjects, originally divided by the poet into five books, but subsequently reduced by himself to three, as he informs us in the Prologue to Book i

'Qui modo Nasonis fueramus quinque libelli

Tres sumus : hoc illi praetulit Auctor opus,' unless we suppose that, instead of a corrected edition, the poet here refers to some separate collection of juvenile poems, published at an earlier period, of which, however, we find no trace.

III. Ars Amatoria. A didactic poem in Elegiac verse, divided into three books, embodying.precepts for the selection of a mistress, for winning and for retaining her affections. It was completed after the publication of the second edition of the Amores, since it contains a specific reference to that work,

* Deve tribus libris, titulus quos signat Amorum,

Elige, quod docili molliter ore legas’ A. A. 3. 343. while, on the other hand, it appears that when he wrote the eighteenth elegy of the second Book of the Amores, quoted above, he was occupied with the Ars Amatoria,—the Epistolae Heroidum having already been given to the world. The date of the Ars Amatoria itself is accurately fixed by two historical allusions.

In 1. 171, the great Naumachia exhibited by Augustus, 2 B.C., is mentioned as a recent eventQuid modo, cum belli navalis imagine Caesar

Persidas induxit Cecropidasque rates ?
Nempe ab utroque mari iuvenes, ab utroque puellae

Venere; atque ingens orbis in Urbe fuit.'
Again, in 1. 177, the expedition of Caius Caesar into the
East is spoken of as in preparation-

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“Ecce parat Caesar domito quod defuit orbi

Addere. Nunc, Oriens ultime, noster eris
Auspiciis annisque patris puer arma movebis,

Et vinces annis auspiciisque patris.' But Caius was actually in Asia in 1 B.C., therefore the middle or end of 2 B.C. may be assigned as the date of this poem.

IV. Remedia Amoris. A didactic poem in Elegiac verse, pointing out to the unhappy lover the means by which his sorrows may be best assuaged. It was written i B.C. or A.D. 1, for in v. 155 he speaks of the campaigns of Caius Caesar as actually in progress,

'Ecce fugax Parthus, magni nova causa triumphi,

Iam videt in campis Caesaris arma suis.' In the exordium he refers to the Ars Amatoria as a work already known.

V. Metamorphoseon Libri XV. An extensive collection, in fifteen books, of the most remarkable fables of ancient mythology, which involved a transformation of shape, extending in a continuous series from Chaos down to the death of Julius Caesar. The metre employed is the Dactylic Hexameter. This work had not received its last polish when its author was driven into exile. In the bitterness of his heart he committed this and several other compositions to the flames, but copies had fortunately been already circulated among his friends, and their destruction was thus prevented. We have the authority of the poet himself for this statement, for in Trist. 1. 7, 11, we find him addressing a friend, who had preserved a likeness of him in a ring, in the following terms:

‘Grata tua est pietas: sed carmina maior imago

Sunt mea; quae mando qualiacumque legas:
Carmina mutatas hominum dicentia formas,

Infelix domini quod fuga rupit opus.

Haec ego discedens, sicut bene multa meorum

Ipse mea posui maestus in igne manu.
Vtque cremasse suum fertur sub stipite natum

Thestias, et melior matre fuisse soror;
Sic ego non meritos mecum peritura libellos

Imposui rapidis viscera nostra rogis;
Vel quod eram Musas, ut crimina nostra, perosus,

Vel quod adhuc crescens et rude carmen erat.
Quae quoniam non sunt penitus sublata, sed exstant,

Pluribus exemplis scripta fuisse reor.
Nunc precor ut vivant, et non ignava legentum

Otia delectent, admoneantque mei.
Nec tamen illa legi poterunt patienter ab ullo,

Nesciet his summam si quis abesse manum.
Ablatum mediis opus est incudibus illud :

Defuit et scriptis ultima lima meis.
Et veniam pro laude peto: laudatus abunde,

Non fastiditus si tibi, Lector, ero.' Again in Trist. 1, 1, 117 “Sunt quoque mutatae ter quinque volumina formae,

Nuper ab exsequiis carmina rapta meis.' See also Trist. 2. 63, 555; 3. 14, 19.

VI. Fastorum Libri VI. An exposition in Elegiac verse of the numerous festivals in the Roman Calendar, containing a detailed description of the various ceremonies, together with historical and antiquarian investigations regarding their origin. The holy-days are enumerated, in succession, from the beginning of the year, a book being devoted to each month. Of these, six are extant, commencing with January and ending with June. This was one of the compositions which was unfinished at the time of Ovid's banishment; he intended to have carried it on through the whole year, although there is no reason to believe that he ever completed his design. Opposite conclusions, however, upon this point have been deduced from Trist. 2. 549

Sex ego Fastorum scripsi totidemque libellos,

Cumque suo finem mense volumen habet:
Idque tuo nuper scriptum sub nomine, Caesar,

Ēt tibi sacratum sors mea rupit opus.'

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His original plan is clearly indicated, Fast 3. 57

"Vester honos veniet, cum Larentalia dicam

Acceptus Geniis illa December habet.' VII. VIII. Tristium Libri V. Epistolarum ex Ponto, Libri IV. The former a collection of fifty elegies, in five books; the latter of forty-six elegies, in four books. The whole of these were produced at Tomi, with the exception of those forming the first book of the Tristia, which appear to have been written on the journey thither. They are entirely occupied with the lamentations of the poet over his sad destiny, a description of the sufferings he endured, and supplications for a remission of his sentence. The Epistolae ex Ponto are addressed to different individuals, for the most part persons residing at Rome, and connected with the court, who are implored to use their good offices with the emperor and the different members of the royal family.

We can, from internal evidence, ascertain with tolerable precision the period at which the different books of the series were composed, although the pieces are not in every case arranged in chronological order, as indeed we are told in Epist. ex. Pont. 3. 9, 51

' Nec liber ut fieret, sed uti sua cuique daretur

Litera, propositum curaque nostra fuit.
Postmodo collectas utcumque sine ordine iunxi,

Hoc opus electum ne mihi forte putes.' IX. Ibis. Six hundred and forty-six lines in Elegiac verse, consisting of a series of maledictions poured forth against an enemy whose name is concealed, written immediately after the banishment of the poet, as we learn from the commencement,

'Tempus ad hoc, lustris iam bis mihi quinque peractis,

Omne fuit Musae carmen inerme meae.' It is an imitation of a lost poem by Callimachus, directed against Apollonius of Rhodes, and bearing the same title. The origin of the appellation is unknown.

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