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MARCH 17, 1927





W. P. 13


Ovid is an author far less difficult than Vergil, and more interesting than either Vergil or most of the prose writers generally read in schools; hence he deserves a place in our courses of study. In many courses, if not most of them, the aim is to crowd as much of the bare essentials of Latin as possible into the smallest amount of time; thus a literature at best impoverished is bereft of one of the most charming and interesting of the few authors available for school use. The agile pupil is made to vault from his condensed beginner's book into Caesar, from Caesar either into Cicero by way of Vergil, or into Vergil by way of Cicero. But a few weeks spent on the Metamorphoses of Ovid need not be considered an unnecessary digression from the straight path to the desired goal, or in any sense a waste of time, for besides the great literary gain of reading the tales of Greek and Roman mythology told in a most delightful way, there is a distinct value in using Ovid as a stepping-stone from the level (though — in Caesar, at least — rough) roadbed of prose to the more difficult and to many pupils dangerous heights of Vergil. A glance at the vocabulary of the present volume will perhaps make this plain. The extracts from the Metamorphoses were selected without reference to choice of words, or to their ease or difficulty in translation, but solely from a literary point of view, for the beauty and interest of the stories themselves. Yet when compared with the first book of the Aeneid, which logically follows in a wellrounded school course, the similarity is seen to be striking. The vocabulary to the first book of the Aeneid contains about 1460 words; of these all but 300 (exclusive of proper names) are contained in the present volume. So that the pupil is not only reading the legends of gods and heroes written in a most entertaining style, but is lessening the greatest gap in a continuous Latin course by becoming familiar with the vocabulary of Vergil in easier verse.

The present volume is designed to fit the needs of several classes of schools. For those which have not hitherto included Ovid in their curricula it offers a short and convenient book of representative selections. For courses which take up Ovid before Vergil it forms an intermediate step between prose and verse by the adoption, to a limited extent, of features which the editor has found useful in previous books.

The volume contains about 1420 lines, with full notes and vocabulary. The first hundred lines are divided into feet for scansion, with accents and caesuras. The division of the second and third hundred lines is marked in a different way. The ordinary Latin prose order is given for the first three selections, or until the student may be supposed to be familiar with the general differences of structure in prose and poetry. In the prose version the quantities are marked, and also the common synonyms of the more unusual words or words with special poetic uses are given. The notes contain a short introductory sketch and summary of each chapter, tables of genealogy of the principal persons, and references to the more available

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books of reference and to other literary helps. Words also found in the first book of the Aeneid are marked in the vocabulary with an asterisk.

The text used is in most cases that of Merkel (1875). With a few exceptions the hidden quantities of vowels in the vocabulary and synonyms are marked according to Lewis's Elementary Latin Dictionary.



The stories of Ceres and Proserpina and Jason and Medea have been added in response to a number of requests for additional material for sight reading.


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