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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1875, by
J. H. ALLEN AND J. B. GREENOUGH, in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
This Selection follows generally the text of Merkel (1866), the reading of Siebelis being preferred in one or two instances. We have endeavored to exhibit as far as possible within our limits the variety of Ovid's style and genius, and especially to preserve the more interesting biographical hints of the Amores and the Tristia. The greater portion of the book is however made up, necessarily, from the Metamorphoses, of which we have taken about a third. By help of the Argument, which is given in full, we aim not merely to show the connection of the tales and the ingenuity of the transitions, — necessary to comprehend the poem as a whole, - but to put before the reader something like a complete picture of the Greek mythology; at least of those narratives which have held their permanent place in the modern mind and have entered more or less into every modern literature.
The grammatical references are to Allen and Greenough's and Gildersleeve's Latin Grammars.
CAMBRIDGE, January 15, 1875
THE LIFE OF OVID.
PUBLIUS OVIDIUS Naso was a fashionable poet at Rome in the reign of the Emperor Augustus, perhaps the most fashionable after the death of Virgil (B. C. 19) and Horace (B. C. 8).
All that is worth knowing about his life is told by himself in a pleasing poem (Trist. iv. 10), which is given the last in the present collection. Like most of the literary men of Rome, he was not a native of that city,* being born at Sulmo, in the country of the Peligni, about go miles from Rome. The year of his birth, B. C. 43, was that of Cicero's death. His father, a man of respectable fortune, removed to Rome to give his two boys a city education. Here the young poet was trained in the usual course of rhetoric and oratory, which he practised with fair success, going so far as to hold some subordinate political offices. His father was quite earnest to check his desire for a literary career. But the death of his elder brother left him with fortune enough for independence, and following his own strong bent Ovid became soon one of the favorite court poets of the brilliant era of Augustus. After a career of great prosperity, he was suddenly, at the age of 51, banished to Tomi, a town on the shore of the Black Sea, in the present Bulgaria. The cause of his banishment can only be guessed from his allusions to the anger of
* Virgil was a native of Mantua, Horace of Venusia, Catullus of Verona, Propertius of Umbria, Ovid of Sulmo, Cicero of Arpinum, Sallust of Amiternum, Livy of Patavium. Of eminent writers of this age, only Cæsar, Lucretius, and Tibullus were born in Rome. But then Rome, socially as well as politically, comprised the whole of Italy.