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Leland Stanford, Jr.



This book is designed primarily to serve as an introduction to Latin poetry, for which Ovid seems to be peculiarly well adapted because his style is comparatively easy and his subject matter interesting

The text of the Metamorphoses is in the main that of Magnus (1896). The Heroides were printed from the critical edition of Sedlmayer (1886). In certain cases I have not hesitated to deviate from these editions in favor of a reading that seemed to be better. Where it seemed desirable to explain these changes more fully, I have done so in the Commentary or in the Critical Notes at the end of the Commentary.

In the Commentary I have endeavored to give all the information necessary to an intelligent reading of the text, without the addition of extraneous matter unsuitable for those students for whom the book is intended. At the same time, remembering that the place of Ovid in College curricula is not yet fixed and that many read him in more advanced classes, I have tried to prepare an edition which might be profitably used by that class of students also.

The Proverbs and Short Selections at the close of the text have been added, not only for their own intrinsic merit but also to afford material for sight translation where the teacher may find it desirable.

The Commentary on the second part has been made as full as that on the first part, so that teachers who feel so disposed may begin with the Heroides instead of the Metamorphoses.

All the most important editions have been consulted in the preparation of this edition. For the Metamorphoses, the editions of Magnus (1896), Harder (1897), Meuser-Egen (1896), Siebelis-Polle (1888), and Haupt were found most useful. For the Heroides, I have drawn most from Palmer (2d ed., 1898), Schuckburgh (1879), and Loers (1829). For the Vocabulary, I am under especial obligations to Siebelis-Polle (1893) and Peters (1894).

Acknowledgments are due to Professors Gildersleeve and Lodge, the editors-in-chief of this series, for their assistance in reading the proof and for various suggestions in the Commentary.




I. Ovid's Life and Works..

PUBLIUS OVIDIUS Naso was born at Sulmo, now Sulmona, a small town ninety Roman miles east of Rome in the well-watered, hilly district of the Paeligni.

The date of his birth is March 20, 43 B.C. He had a brother of great promise, exactly a year older than himself, but he died in his twenty-first year.

Ovid's father belonged to an ancient equestrian family, and was possessed of considerable property. Though economical and money-loving, he was ambitious for his sons, and decided to give them the best education that the world afforded. To this end he moved to Rome while they were quite young, and put them under the best masters there.

Education in those days was largely rhetorical and legal, preparatory to civil preferment. Ovid's father wished to make a lawyer out of him ; but the boy, unlike his brother, developed no especial fondness for his intended calling, although he showed talent in the schools and his writings show strong traces of rhetorical training.

To please his father, Ovid continued these distasteful studies for some time. He afterwards studied in Athens, as was the fashion in those days, travelled in Asia Minor, and spent some time in Sicily, visiting famous scenes and laying up information which was to be useful to him in future years. He returned to Rome, and held several minor judicial positions before he gave up the career to which his father destined him.

From his earliest youth he had been strongly attracted by

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