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In a series of books intended for schools, it requires no apology that Ovid is presented only in extracts. However little this method may recommend itself in general, it was unavoidable in the present case, and the utmost that could be attempted was to introduce, as far as possible, lengthened and connected pieces. The collection is divided into two parts: the first and larger, consisting of hexameters taken from the Metamorphoses, and the second, of elegiac verses from most of the remaining works. The extracts are given in the order in which they stand in the books, and the original numbering of the lines has been preserved. I imagined that by this means a tolerable idea of the whole might be more easily conveyed to the student, while at the same time the teacher who may be disposed to follow a different order, as that according to the historical or mythological connection of the fables, can have no difficulty in doing so.
In the text I have followed the edition of Jahn (Leipzig, 1828– 1832, two parts in 3 vols. Svo) as far as it extends : it presents the advantage of a text, in some measure authentic, which had, properly speaking, been lost since the otherwise valuable editions of Heinsius and Burmann. Merkel's edition of the Metamorphoses did not appear till the greater part of the manu
anuscript, so far as this poem is conce
cerned, was out of my hands. For the Fasti I have employed the edition of Merkel, and for the Tristia that of Loers. I have departed from these authorities only in a few passages, where the immediate design of the work seemed to require it.
HAMBURGH, July 1850.
in one of his later works (Trist. iv. 10), has himself furnished us with a minute account of his life and fortunes. Besides this, he frequently takes occasion to speak of himself and particular events of his career, so that there are few writers of antiquity with regard to whom we have more authentic information. Several biographies of him have also come down to us from a later period of antiquity, but these
contain few facts of importance which were not already to be found in the poems themselves.
P. Ovidius Naso was born at Sulmo, in the country of the Peligni, the year after the assassination of Caesar, B.C. 43. His father belonged to the equestrian order, and was possessed of a large fortune, as appears from the education which he bestowed on Ovid and his brother, who was only a year older than himself, as well as from the independence with which our poet, in later years, pursued his own inclinations, without devoting himself to any profession. The youths were brought to Rome at an early age, and there placed under the most distinguished teachers: among these we find particularly mentioned M. Porcius Latro, and Arellius Fuscus, who instructed their pupils in the grammatical and rhetorical studies of the day, introduced them to an acquaintance with literature, and directed them in the exercise of their own original powers. The practice of oratorydiscussions on prescribed themes constituted a main element in this education, which had for its ultimate object to form the future statesman, to fit him for administrative and judicial offices, that, at the close of his career, he might, as a senator, devote the political insight which he had acquired to the conduct of the government in the most comprehensive sense. But this sphere of activity had lost all its charms under the absolute rule of