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This selection is intended as an introduction to the reading of Latin poetry. It is the opinion of experienced teachers (and it is at the request of such that this volume has been prepared) that the poetry of Ovid is better fitted for the uses of beginners than that of Vergil. It is in accordance with such an opinion that, in the course of Latin study pursued in the schools of Europe, and especially of England and Germany, the reading of Ovid precedes the reading of Vergil. It is desirable that the student become familiar in Ovid, both by theory and practice, with the structure of the Latin hexameter, and with the peculiarities of poetic Latin, before he comes to the statelier numbers and the loftier diction of Vergil. And, certainly, in respect to the subjects treated by the two poets, it seems fitting that those immortal stories from the Greek and Roman mythology, which, largely through Ovid's charming versions, have entered as an enduring possession into the literature of modern times, should have an earlier place in a course of Latin study than Vergil's great national epic, which traces, in finished heroic verse, the grand fortunes of Rome, its destined

universal dominion, and all that was noblest and best in its life-political, moral, and religious.

Some selections from the “ Amores,” the “Fasti," and the “ Tristia” have been added to those made from the “Metamorphoses," not only on account of the interesting themes of which they treat, but also for the sake of giving the student an opportunity of becoming acquainted with Latin elegiac verse, of which, in Latin poetry, Ovid is the acknowledged master.

If this volume should be found to contain more than can be conveniently read in an introductory course of Latin poetry, perhaps the following pieces may be preferred, from their superior interest, and from the superior illustrations they present of Ovid's genius and style : From the “Metamorphoses,” The Golden Age, Deucalion and Pyrrha, Phaethon, Pyramus and Thisbe, Arachne or the Spider's Web, Latona's Revenge, The Golden Fleece, Philemon and Baucis, Atalanta's Race, Alcyone, and the Epilogue; and from the remaining selections, the three from the “ Amores," and especially the three from the “Tristia."

The text of the selections is that of Merkel (1873), with an occasional variation, in the “Metamorphoses," adopted from Siebelis, or from Haupt. In preparing the Notes, the editor has been indebted to the edition of Siebelis, Leipsic, 1873, edited by Dr. Fr. Polle; of Moritz Haupt, Berlin, 1876, edited by Dr. Otto Korn; and of William Ramsay, 1868, edited by Prof. George G. Ramsay.

A Vocabulary for these selections is in preparation, and will shortly be published, which may be had either separate from this volume, or bound up with it.

The grammatical references (H. or Gr.) are to the Latin Grammar of Professor Albert Harkness, revised edition of 1881.


August 22, 1882.


The poetry of Ovid, like that of his predecessor, Horace, contains many incidental notices of his own life and fortunes. One of his elegiac poems, indeed (Tristia, iv. 10), which is included in this collection, is a brief autobiography in verse. We may thus gather from the poets works all that is needful for the knowledge of his life.

PUBLIUS OVIDIUS Naso was born on the 20th of March, in the year 43 B. C. The day he has himself marked * as the second of the festival of the Quinquatria, and the year † as the one made memorable by the death of both the consuls, Hirtius and Pansa. His native place was Sulmo, now Sulmone, a town among the moist hills of the Peligni, about ninety miles from Rome. I He belonged to a family which for many generations had held equestrian rank, a fact which the poet has repeatedly recorded in verse.

His father lived to the advanced age of ninety; and Ovid, while mentioning this fact,|| as well as the death of his mother, and the grief he felt for their loss, yet counted himself happy that they did not live to know the calamity which afterward befell himself.) The poet had a brother, born just twelve months before him, but who died at the age of twenty, when he was giving



* Tristia, iv, 10, 14.

+ Ib. 6.

# Ib. 3, 4. Amores, iii. 15, 5; Tristia, iv. 10, 7 and 8; Ex Ponto, iv. 8, 17. | Tristia, iv. 10, 77 and 78.

V Ib. 81 and 82.

A Ib. 80.

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