Ovid, Amores (Book 1)

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William Turpin, Vassar College

Pub Date: 2016

ISBN 13: 978-1-7837416-4-9

Publisher: Open Book Publishers

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Table of Contents


1. The Life of Ovid
2. The Amores
3. The Manuscript Tradition of Ovid’s Amores by Bart Huelsenbeck, with the assistance of Dan Plekhov
4. Select Bibliography
5. Scansion
    The elegiac couplet
    Reading aloud

6. Epigram: preface from the author
    Notes on the Epigram

7. Amores 1.1: Ovid finds his muse
    Suggested reading

8. Amores 1.2: Conquered by Cupid
    Suggested reading
    Amores 1.2

9. Amores 1.3: Just give me a chance
    Suggested reading
    Amores 1.3

10. Amores 1.4: Secret signs
     Appendix: the vir
     Suggested reading
     Amores 1.4

11. Amores 1.5: The siesta
     Suggested reading
     Amores 1.5

12. Amores 1.6: On the doorstep
     Suggested reading
     Amores 1.6

13. Amores 1.7: Violence and love
     Suggested reading
     Amores 1.7

14. Amores 1.8: The bad influence
     Suggested reading
     Amores 1.8

15. Amores 1.9: Love and war
     Suggested reading
     Amores 1.9

16. Amores 1.10: Love for sale
     Suggested reading
     Amores 1.10

17. Amores 1.11: Sending a message
     Suggested reading
     Amores 1.11

18. Amores 1.12: Shooting messengers
     Amores 1.12

19. Amores 1.13: Oh how I hate to get up in the morning
     Suggested reading
     Amores 1.13

20. Amores 1.14: Bad hair
     Suggested reading
     Amores 1.14

21. Amores 1.15: Poetic immortality
     Suggested reading
     Amores 1.15

Full vocabulary for Ovid’s Amores, Book 1

About the Book

From Catullus to Horace, the tradition of Latin erotic poetry produced works of literature which are still read throughout the world. Ovid’s Amores, written in the first century BC, is arguably the best-known and most popular collection in this tradition.

Born in 43 BC, Ovid was educated in Rome in preparation for a career in public services before finding his calling as a poet. He may have begun writing his Amores as early as 25 BC. Although influenced by poets such as Catullus, Ovid demonstrates a much greater awareness of the funny side of love than any of his predecessors. The Amores is a collection of romantic poems centered on the poet’s own complicated love life: he is involved with a woman, Corinna, who is sometimes unobtainable, sometimes compliant, and often difficult and domineering. Whether as a literary trope, or perhaps merely as a human response to the problems of love in the real world, the principal focus of these poems is the poet himself, and his failures, foolishness, and delusions.

By the time he was in his forties, Ovid was Rome’s most important living poet; his Metamorphoses, a kaleidoscopic epic poem about love and hatred among the gods and mortals, is one of the most admired and influential books of all time. In AD 8, Ovid was exiled by Augustus to Romania, for reasons that remain obscure. He died there in AD 17.

The Amores were originally published in five books, but reissued around 1 AD in their current three-book form. This edition of the first book of the collection contains the complete Latin text of Book 1, along with commentary, notes and full vocabulary. Both entertaining and thought-provoking, this book will provide an invaluable aid to students of Latin and general readers alike.

This book contains embedded audio files of the original text read aloud by Aleksandra Szypowska.

About the Contributors


William Turpin studied at Vassar College and took degrees in Classics and Ancient History from St. Andrews, Toronto, and Cambridge. Since 1982 he has been a member of the Classics department of Swarthmore College, teaching courses in Greek, Latin, and Ancient History. Most of his publications are articles on the history of Roman Law, but he has also written on Tacitus, Horace, and Ovid's Amores 1.1. He has written a commentary for students on Apuleius, Metamorphoses III (Bryn Mawr Classical Commentaries) and is working on more commentaries for students, on Horace, Satires I, Tacitus' Agricola, and a number of Medieval Latin texts. In the summer he teaches online reading courses in Medieval Latin (free and open to all), intended for students at the early intermediate level and above; information is posted on the website for the Swarthmore College Department of Classics.