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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
JUPITER, from a bust in the Vatican Museum at Rome.
CUPID AND Bow, from a painting by Franceschini (1648–1729) in the
33 MELPOMENE, MUSE OF TRAGEDY, from a statue in the Vatican Museum at Rome.
42 TRAGIC AND Comic Masks, from a mosaic in the Capitoline Museum at Rome.
45 A VESTAL VIRGIN, from a statue of a Vestalis Maxima found in the House of the Vestals at Rome
62 THE CREATION OF MAN, from a sarcophagus in the National Museum
at Naples MERCURY, from a bronze statue in the National Museum at Naples
Facing Juno, from a statue in the National Museum at Naples . Facing 117 MINERVA, from a statue in the National Museum at Naples Facing 133 THE DESTRUCTION OF THE CHILDREN OF NIOBE, from a sarcophagus in the Vatican Museum at Rome
136 THE GODDESS BONA COPIA, from a statue in the Vatican Museum at Rome
Facing 161 A PROCESSION OF BACCHANALS, from a sarcophagus in the National Museum at Naples :
170 A BATTLE WITH THE AMAZONS, from a sarcophagus in the Vatican Museum at Rome
177 AESCULAPIUS, from a statue in the Vatican Museum at Rome Facing 206 THE CALYDONIAN HUNT, from a sarcophagus in the Capitoline Museum
THE LIFE OF OVID
[Probably no Roman writer has revealed himself more frankly in his works than has Publius Ovidius Naso. Indeed, the greater part of our knowledge of him is gained from his writings. References to his parentage, his early education, his friends, his work, his manner of life, his reverses, - all lie scattered freely through his pages. And, not content with this, he has taken care to leave to posterity a somewhat extended and formal account of his life, an example which we cannot but wish that all our favorite Roman authors had followed. This account, which he wrote during his period of exile (Tristia, IV. 10), is here given, that thus our poet may tell to his readers his own story,
a story which is made all the more enjoyable since we find ourselves personally addressed in the opening lines : )
Ille ego qui fuerim, tenerorum lusor amorum,
Quem legis, ut noris, accipe posteritas. (We next are told the place and time of the poet's birth, his social rank, and something of his family.]
Sulmo mihi patria est, gelidis uberrimus undis,
Milia qui novies distat ab Urbe decem.
Cum cecidit fato, consul uterque pari.
Non modo fortunae munere factus eques.
Qui tribus ante quater mensibus ortus erat.
Una celebrata est per duo liba dies :
Quae fieri pugna prima cruenta solet.
[His early bent was towards poetry; but this was opposed by his practical father, who desired that both his sons should prepare for the profession of the law.]
15 Protinus excolimur teneri, curaque parentis
Imus ad insignes Urbis ab arte viros.
Fortia verbosi natus ad arma fori;
Inque suum furtim Musa trahebat opus.
Maeonides nullas ipse reliquit opes.'
Scribere temptabam verba soluta modis.
Et quod temptabam scribere, versus erat.
[The two brothers came to the age of manhood, and shortly thereafter the elder died. Our poet now assumed the garb and duties of a Roman citizen.]
Interea tacito passu labentibus annis
Liberior fratri sumpta mihique toga est,
Et studium nobis quod fuit ante, manet.
Cum perit, et coepi parte carere mei.
Eque viris quondam pars tribus una fui.
[But, to a man of Ovid's tastes and temperament, the life of a statesman was utterly distasteful; and, now that he was his own master, he gave loose rein to his poetic fancy.]
35 Curia restabat. Clavi mensura coacta est :
Maius erat nostris viribus illud onus.
Nec patiens corpus, nec mens fuit apta labori,
Sollicitaeque fugax ambitionis eram,
Otia, iudicio semper amata meo. [He soon gained admission to the choice circle of the poets of his day, paying unlimited devotion to the masters of his art, and quickly becoming himself the object of no small admiration on the part of younger poets.)
Temporis illius colui fovique poëtas,
Quotque aderant vates, rebar adesse deos.
Quaeque nocet serpens, quae iuvat herba, Macer. 45 Saepe suos solitus recitare Propertius ignes,
Iure sodalicio qui mihi iunctus erat.
Dulcia convictus membra fuere mei ;
Dum ferit Ausonia carmina culta lyra.
Tempus amicitiae fata dedere meae.
Quartus ab his serie temporis ipse fui.
Notaque non tarde facta Thalia mea est. [His youthful poems soon gained fame among the people also, and his love songs became the popular lyrics of the street.]
Carmina cum primum populo iuvenilia legi,
Barba resecta mibi bisve semelve fuit.
Nomine non vero dicta Corinna mihi.
Emendaturis ignibus ipse dedi.