Page images

X. Halieuticon Liber. A multilated fragment, in Hexameter verse, of a Natural History of Fishes. One hundred and thirty-two lines only have been preserved.

XI. Medicamina Faciei. Another fragment, in Elegiac verse, of a didactic poem on the composition and use of cosmetics. Of this one hundred lines remain.

Two other pieces are frequently found in MSS. of Ovid, but the best critics are of opinion that both must be attributed to some other author or authors. The first of these, ‘Consolatio ad Liviam Augustam,' is a sort of dirge on the death of Drusus, who perished in Germany, 9 B.C. It is in Elegiac verse, and extends to four hundred and seventy-four lines. The other, also in Elegiac verse, and containing one hundred and eighty-two lines, is entitled 'Nux,' and is a lamentation poured forth by a walnut-tree on account of the indignities offered to it by travellers and passers-by, followed up by a declamation against the avarice and profligacy of the age in general.

Ovid in early life cultivated dramatic literature, and, it would seem, with marked success, for his tragedy “Medea' is highly extolled by Quinctilian. To his exertions in this department he occasionally alludes, not without some degree of pride, thus Amor. 2. 18. 12


'Sceptra tamen sumpsi: curaque Tragoedia nostra

Crevit; et huic operi quamlibet aptus eram
Risit Amor, pallamque meam, pictosque cothurnos,

Sceptraque privata tam bene sumpta manu.
Hinc quoque me dominae numen deduxit iniquae:

Deque cothurnato vate triumphat Amor.'

And again Trist. 2. 553

« Et dedimus tragicis scriptum regale cothurnis,

Quaeque gravis debet verba cothurnus habet.'



A vast number of MSS. of Ovid, some comprehending the complete collection of his works, others confined to particular portions, are scattered over the public and private libraries of Europe. No one, however, has accomplished the herculean task of examining, comparing, and classifying the whole of these, in such a manner as to determine the age, accuracy, and authority of each.

The scholar who first established the text of Ovid upon a satisfactory basis was N. Heinsius, who published two editions at Amsterdam, printed by the Elzevirs in 1625 and 1658–61, in preparing which he made use of the readings of upwards of one hundred and fifty MSS. It must be observed, however, that Heinsius is extremely vague and indistinct in describing his codices. Few of them were closely and accurately collated; the greater number appear to have been carelessly turned over, and many to have been merely referred to from time to time. He seems, moreover, to have been guided by no fixed principles in selecting the readings, yielding sometimes to the weight of numbers, sometimes adhering to a few which he considered most trustworthy, not unfrequently following the dictates of caprice, and too often introducing his own conjectural emendations. The editions of Heinsius were followed by that of Burmann, in four volumes, quarto, printed at Amsterdam in 1727, which contains the most important notes of preceding commentators, the whole of the remarks of Heinsius with his last editions, and the collation of some fresh MSS. This, although far from being perfect, is still considered the standard; it can hardly be said to have been superseded by the edition of Jahn, commenced in 1828, and of which only a portion has appeared, containing the Heroides, Ars Amatoria, Amores, Remedia Amoris, Med. Fac., and the Metamorphoses. The handsome and valuable Oxford edition of 1826, giving Burmann's text, inedited notes by Bentley, as well as select notes of the different commentators, is out of print.

The best editions of the works of Ovid (published separately)

for the use of the Student are the following:


1. Vitus LOERS: Cologne, 1829.

2. A very useful collection of notes on the Epistles of Ovid, by Ruhnken, published under the title Dav. Ruhnkenii dictata ad Ovidii Heroidas et Albinovani elegiam.' Leipsic, 1831.


1. G. E. GIERIG: Leipsic, 1812.

2. Index rerum et verborum in Ovidii Fastis occurrentium ad editionem Gierigii accommodatus. Published anonymously. Leipsic, 1814. It contains much useful information.

3. I. P. KREBS: Weisbaden, 1826. Chiefly valuable as a critical edition.

4. MERKEL: Berlin, 1841.
5. F. A. PALEY, WHITTAKER & Co., 1854.


WERNSDORF: ed. sec. Helmstadt, 1804.

METAMORPHOSES. 1. G. E. GIERIG: ed. tert. curante JAHN: Leipsic, 1821-23. 2. LOERS: Leipsic, 1843.

TRISTIA. 1. F. T. PLATZ: Hanover, 1825.

2. MERKELIUS: Berlin, 1828, and 1841. Chiefly valuable as a critical edition.

3. LOERS: 1839.

There is no good edition of the EPISTOLAE EX Ponto, published separately. The complete works of Ovid, in five volumes, 8vo., were printed at Oxford in 1825, cum notis variorum.' The text of Burmann has been followed.

[ocr errors]


B denotes the reading in the edition of Burmann, 1727.

Loers, 1829.

Krebs, 1826. M.

Merkelius, 1828. H stands for Heinsius.


The statements with regard to the number of MSS. in favour of particular readings, are taken in general from the edition of Burmann, who, in most cases, follows Heinsius.

The text followed is that of Burmann, except where the contrary is specified.

It is to be understood that all the various readings are derived from MSS., except those which are distinctly stated to be conjectural emendations.

« PreviousContinue »