Romance in the Latin Elegiac Poets

By Elizabeth Hazelton Haight | Go to book overview

VII
PUBLIUS OVIDIUS NASO

THE POET

Prisca iuvent alios, ego me nunc denique natum gratulor: haec aetas moribus apta meis.

[Ovid, A. A. III. 121-2]

Let early times please others. I rejoice
That I was born today and in an age
So aptly fitted to my character.

A FEW days ago a telegram from Bucharest announced the discovery at Tomis of the skull of Ovid.* Archaeologists have not yet before them the evidence for the identification of sarcophagus and bones with Ovid's burial, but Professor Braetescu's bare announcement of this result of his excavations starts mortuary musings on "this same skull." The friend of Ovid is thrown into Hamlet's mood:

Let me see, -- Alas, poor Ovid! -- I knew him, gentle Reader; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy -- Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your own grinning? quite chop-fallen? Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favor she must come; make her laugh at that.

Even Ovid himself, the Playboy of the Western World's young loves, might drop a tear at sight of his own skull

____________________
*
July 29, 1931, Daily Telegram, London.

-125-

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Romance in the Latin Elegiac Poets
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents xi
  • I - What is "Romance"? 1
  • II - Greek Elegiac Poetry Before Gallus 8
  • III - The Elegies of Catullus 16
  • IV - Gallus 26
  • VII - Publius Ovidius Naso 125
  • VIII - The Latin Novel and the End Of Romance 220
  • Bibliography 233
  • Index 239
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