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Ovid Posted by on Jul 31, 2011 in Latin Language

Amores is the Latin poet Ovid’s first completed work of poetry. His poems are typical to other Latin poets for its unrequited love, but it stands out from other poetry for its use of humor. We’ll get to see some of this humor later on, but first let’s find out who the object of his affection was:

In Book 1 Poem 5 he says, “Ecce, Corinna venit, tunica velata recincta,[…]”. Her name is Corinna. Unfortunately, Ovid mentions in Poem 4 that she is married: “Vir tuus est epulas nobis aditurus easdem

Apparently he has a temper because in Poem 7 he says, “Nam furor in dominam temeraria brachia movit;”

And in line 11 of Poem 7 he may have taken out bits of her hair in the process: “ergo ego digestos potui laniare capillos?”

He is remoseful in line 63 of Poem 7 “ter tamen ante pedes volui procumbere supplex

However he’s not really into being the bigger person because in lines 47-49 of Poem 7 he says what he should have done instead of hitting her…” nonne satis fuerat timidae inclamasse puellae nec nimium rigidas intonuisse minas aut tunicam a summa diducere turpiter ora

Let’s move away from this topic to his more playful verses. Ovid wrote an entire poem about his mistress’s hair in Book 1 Poem 14. This is where you can see some of his funnier lines: “dicebam ‘medicare tuos desiste capillos‘;”[…] “heu, male vexatae quanta tulere comae! quam se praebuerunt ferro patienter et igni, ut fieret torto nexilis orbe sinus!

English Translations:

Book 1 Poem 5: “Look Corinna comes veiled in an unbelted tunic”.

Book 1 Poem 4: “Your husband will attend the same banquet as us”

Book 1 Poem 7: “For my rage has moved my rash arms against my mistress”

Poem 7 line 11: “Therefore was I able to tear her well-arranged hair?”

Poem 7 line 63: “Nevertheless I prostrated myself before her feet thrice and begged”

Poem 7 line 47-49: “Surely it would have been enough to have shouted at the timid girl and to have thundered threats that were not very stern or to tear apart her tunic to degrade her- from the top edge”

Book 1 Poem 14: “I was telling you stop dyeing your hair”. […] “Alas, such sufferings and vexations they endured! How patiently they had been exposed to fire and steel, So that a woven together curve might become a tortured ball!”

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