Ovid and His Influence

Ovid and His Influence

Ovid and His Influence

Ovid and His Influence

Excerpt

Our debt to Ovid! What, save the warning of an awful example, does our age owe to a professed roué, the author of a monument so dangerously typical of his degenerate society that the ruler of Rome banished him to a frozen land and excluded his book from the libraries? It would seem as if Ovid's influence ended and ought to have ended then and there. Somehow it has survived. In certain momentous periods of human history, Ovid's name has shone brightly among the immortals. Part of his fame, of course, is due to other works besides the Art of Love. It may be, further, that Augustus and the Puritans of his time, and the Puritans of other times, did not quite understand the qualities of that poem or the character of its author. Ovid is nothing if not subtle, nor had he any desire to present his apologies to those who could not see what he was about. Moralists have put him on their black list again and again. His art, too, has seemed to many steeped . . .

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