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ANCIENT CLASSICS

FOR

ENGLISH READEKS

EDITED BY THE

KEY. W. LUCAS COLLLNS, M.A.



OVID

By rev. ALFRED 'CHURCH, M.A.

CATULLUS, TIBULLUS, AND PEOPERTIUS

By REV. JA:SIES DA VIES. M.A.



AVILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS
EDINBURGH AND LONDON



The subjects in this Series may be had separately, in cloth, price
2S. 6d. ; or two volumes bound in one, in leather back and marbled
sides and edges, arranged as follows : —



THE ILIAD AND •
ODYSSEY.

HERODOTUS.
XENOPHON.

EURIPIDES.
ARISTOPHANES.

PLATO.
LUCIAN.

^SCHYLUS.
SOPHOCLES.

HESIOD, AND THEOGNIS.
GREEK ANTHOLOGY.

VIRGIL.
HORACE.



JUVENAL.

PLAUTUS, AND TERENCE.

C^SAR.
TACITUS.

CICERO.
PLINY.

THUCYDIDES.
LIVY.

OVID.

CATULLUS. TIBULLUS,
AND PROPERTIUS.

ARISTOTLE.
DEMOSTHENES.

LUCRETIUS.
PINDAR.



OVID



BY THE



REV. ALFRED CHURCH, M.A.

HEAD-MASTER OF KING EDWARD VI.'s SCHOOL.
EAST RETFORO



WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS

EDINBURGH AND LONDON

MDCCCLXXVI



'PA

CH73a
1 2-7^



The extracts from the ' Metamorphoses ' are, with one
exception (marked "C"), taken from Mr Henry King's
admirable version of that poem (Blackwood & Sons,
1871). The translations in Chapter II. marked "D.,"
are from a volume to which Dry den and others con-
tributed. A passage from the Epistle of Laodamia to
Protesilaus, and also the Elegy on the death of Tibul-
lus, both in the same chapter, are taken — the former,
from a little collection of Translations and Poems by
Miss E. Garland (Liverpool, 18 4:2); the latter (a
translation by Professor I^ichol) from Mr James
Cranstoun's 'Elegies of Tibullus.' For the other
translations, except where an obligation is specially
acknowledged, I am myself responsible.

As regards the banishment of the Poet, I have to
express my obligations to an article by Dr Dyer, pub-
lished in the 'Classical Museum.'

A. C.






CONTENTS.



I. EARLY LIFE — THE AUGUSTAN AGE OF ROMAN

LOVE-POETRY, 1

II. THE LOVE-POEMS, 20

III. DOMESTIC LIFE — BANISHMENT, ... 41

IV. THE METAMORPHOSES, OR TKANSFOKMA-

TIONS, 53

V. THE FASTI, OR ROMAN CALENDAR, . . 82

VI. DEPARTURE FROM ROME — THE PLACE OF

EXILE, 102

VII. THE POE.MS OF EXILE : THE TRISTIA, OR

THE 'SORROWS,' 113

VIII. THE POEMS OF EXILE: THE LETTERS FROM

THE PONTUS. — DEATH OF OVID, . .129
IX. FRAGMENTS— LO.ST POEMS — GENERAL OBSER-
VATIONS, 147



OVID.



CHAPTEE I.

EARLY LIFE THE AUGUSTAN AGE OF ROMAN

LOVE-POETRY.

Ovid, like Horace, is Ms ovra biographer. In some
respects he is even more communicative than his
fellow-poet. Horace, for instance, is reticent, as a
rule, about his own compositions. The writer of the
Odes might, for all we know, be a different man from
the author of the Satires or the author of the Epistles.
Ovid, on the contrary, takes good care that his readers
should be well acquainted with the list of his works.
Then, again, there is something very shadoivy and
unreal about the beauties to whom Horace pours forth
his passion or his reproaches. Lydia, Chloe, Barine,
Lalage, Glycera — there is scarcely one of them all
whom we may venture to pronounce anything more
than a creation of the poet's fancy. But Ovid's
Corinna, the one mistress to whom he dedicates his
song, is only too real. Who she was, of what rank
A.C.S.S., voL ii. A



2 VID.

and character, the learned have disputed; but that
she was a real personage no one doubts. And then
he gives us the most copious and exact information
about his birthplace, his family, his education, his
marriage, his fortunes in general. Yet, for all this,
the personality of the man himself seems to elude us.
Some one has said that we should recognise Horace
were Ave to meet him in the street. Short and corpu-
lent, the sunny and cheerful youthfulness of his face
belying his white hair, liis gay figure seems familiar
to us. We are acquainted with all his tastes and
habits ; he confesses his faults ; his virtues show
themselves. Ovid does not give us such confidences.
The most exact statement that he ever makes about
his own character — that though his verse was loose
his life was pure — we must be permitted to disbelieve.
The real Ovid is almost as unknown to us as is the
real Virgil. N^evertheless, there is more to be said of
him than can be contained witWn the limits of this
volume. And here it may be said, once for all, that
much will have to be omitted, not only for want of
space, but for yet more imperative reasons of morality
and good taste.

PuBLius OviDius JS'aso was born at Sulmo, a town
in Peligni, a district of Northern Italy which took its
name from one of the Samnite tribes. The Samnites,
Eome's stoutest antagonist in her early struggles for
the supremacy of Italy, nearly overthrew her empire
when it had been extended over all the shores of the
Mediterranean. It was with the Marsi, the neigh-
bours of the Peligni on the west, that the war of the



EARLY LIFE. 3

Italian allies against Eome, commonly called by his-
torians the Social War, began. Ovid recounts, with
a pride which may seem strange in a loyal Roman,
the part which his own countrymen had taken in
the struggle —

" Whom freedom's voice to noble warfare led,
When their own allies were the Romans' dread."

Eut in. truth the poet was not venturing on any
dangerous ground in thus writing. The cause of the
aUies had been closely connected with the cause of the
democracy. And the Eoman empire, like another
empire of our own times, had inherited the democratic
traditions. " Their cause," says Yelleius Paterculus,
a younger contemporary of Ovid, and conspicuous
for his flattery of Augustus and Tiberius, " was as
righteous as their fate was terrible, for they sought
to be citizens of the state whose sway they defended
with their swords." The emperors would find no
offence in sympathy with the opponents of that aris-
tocracy on the ruins of whose power their own throne
was founded. The poet speaks more than once of
the fertility and healthfulness of his native district.
These blessings it chiefly owed to its copious and un-
failing streams. Its pastures never dried up, even
under the scorching suns of an Italian summer. Its
water-meadows are specially mentioned. It produced
wheat in abundance ; and its light fine soil was even
better adapted for the vine and the olive. The town
of Sulmo boasted a high antiquity. A fanciful etymo-
logy found in the word the name of a companion of



4 VID.

^neas, sprung from the Phrygian Solymi,* to whom
that chieftain had given one of his daughters in mar-
riage. It took the side of tlie vanquished party in
the struggle between ISIarius and Sulla, and sufiFered
cruelly in consequence. ]\Iore fortunate in the next
civil war, it opened its gates to Julius Caesar. Ovid
(he always called himself Naso t) belonged to one of
the oldest families in this town. It was of equestrian
or knightly rank, and had possessed this distinction
for many generations. "In my family," he says,
" you will find knights up through an endless line of
ancestry ; " and he looks down, just as among ourselves
a baronet looks down on a knight, on men who had
won that honour for themselves.

" I never cUmbed, not I, from step to step."

And he complains loudly to the faithless Corinna —

" Some knight, with wealth by wounds but newly earned,
Pull-fed on slaughter, is preferred to me! "

The poet was born on March the 20th, 43 b.c. He
marks the year by speaking of it as that

" In which both consuls met an equal fate."

These consuls Avere Hirtius and Pansa, both of whom
perished at the siege of Mutina, fighting against Mark
Antony. The Roman Republic virtually perished with

* The same origin was assigned, on equally good grounds, to
Jerusalem. " Hierosolyma " was, of course, the sacred (hieros)
city of the Solymi !

+ Most of the writers who mention him follow the same
practice, but Tacitus and the Younger Seneca speak of him as
Ovidius.



EARLY LIFE. 5

them, though we may be sure that had they lived they
could not have prolonged its existence. Ovid's birth
coincides appropriately enough with the beginning
of the imperial system. The day is noted as being
the second of the five days' festival to Minerva
(March 19-23). Minerva was the patroness of learn-
ing ; and Juvenal tells us that ambitious young schol-
ars were wont at this time to address to images of
the goddess which cost them a penny of their pocket-
money their prayers for success and fame. He had a
brother who was his elder by exactly a year —

•"A double birthday-offering kept the day."

The brothers were carefully educated, and were sent
at an early age to the best teachers in Eome. Their
father intended that both should follow the profession
of an advocate. The intention suited the inchnations
of the elder ; the heart of the youngest was otherwise
inclined. He wrote verses " by stealth," just as
Frank Osbaldistone wrote them in the counting-house
at Bordeaux. And Ovid's father was just as con-
temptuous as the elder Osbaldistone of the unprofit-
able pursuit. The poet says that he was moved \)j
the paternal admonitions, — admonitions which indeed
there were obvious ways of enforcing. He applied
himself seriously to the business of learning his pro-
fession. The best known of those who have been
mentioned as his teachers were Porcius Latro, by
birth a Spaniard, who had migrated to Eome under
the patronage of Augustus, and Arellius Fuscus, a
rival professor of the rhetorical art. It was Latro's



6 VI D.

practice to teach his pupils by declaiming before
them ; Fiiscus, with what Ave may conjecture to have
been a more effective method, made the youths them-
selves declaim. The Elder Seneca * speaks of having
heard Ovid perform such an exercise before Fuscus.
'' His speech/' he says, " covld not then be called
anything else than poetry out of metre." But he adds
that the poet had while a student a high reputation
as a declaimer ; and he speaks strongly in praise of
the particular discourse which he had himself hap-
pened to hear, describing it as one of marked ability,
though somewhat wanting in order. The poetical
character of the young student's oratory — a character
quite out of keeping, it should be remarked, with the
genius of Latin eloquence — exactly suits what Ovid
says of himseK —

" Whate'er I sought to say was still in verse ; "

which may be paraphrased by Pope's famous line —

" I lisped in numbers, for the numbers came."

Seneca further tells us that he had a special fondness
for dealing with moral themes, and he gives some in-
teresting instances of expressions in the poems which
were borrowed from the declamations of his master,
Latro. The brothers assumed, in due time, the toga,
or distinguishing dress of manhood. t This robe, as
sons of a knight of ancient family, and aspirants, it was

* He was the father of the Younger Seneca, Nero's tutor,
and of Gallic, the proconsul of Achaia (Acts xviii. ), and grand-
father of the poet Lucan.

+ This was commonly done on completing the sixteenth year.



EARLY LIFE. 7

presumed, to public life, they were permitted to wear
■with the broad edge of purple which distinguished the
senator. The elder brother died immediately after
completing his twentieth year, and this event removed
the objection which the father had made to the indul-
gence of Ovid's poetical tastes. The family property,
which was not of more than moderate extent, would
not have to be divided, and there was no longer any
necessity why the only son should follow a lucrative
profession.

About this time we may place Ovid's visit to Athens.
A single line contains all the mention that he makes of
it, but this informs us that he went there for purposes
of study. What particular study he followed we do
not know. It could scarcely have been moral philoso-
phy, which Horace tells us had been his own favourite
subject there ; rhetoric he had probably, by this time,
resolved to abandon. But Athens, which may be de-
scribed as the university of the Roman world, doubt-
less contained professors of the belles lettres, as well as
of severer studies ; and we may feel sure that the poet
took this opportunity of perfecting his knowledge of
the Greek literature and language. Possibly his stay
at Athens was followed or interrupted by a tour which
he made in company with the poet Macer, the younger
of that name, whose friendship he retained until the
end of his life. This tour included the famous Greek
cities of western Asia IMinor. As Macer found the sub-
ject of his verse in the Trojan war, the friends proba-
bly visited the site of the famous city. Ovid, we know,
was once there ; and, in these days of Trojan dis-



8 VI D.

coveries, it may be interesting to remember that lie
speaks of himself as having seen the temple of Pallas.
From Asia Minor they passed to Sicily, where they
spent the greater part of a year ; — a happy time, to
•which Ovid, addressing his old companions, in one of
the letters of his exile, turns with pathetic regret.

Returning to the capital, he did not at once give up
the prospect of a public career. On the contrary, he
sought some of the minor offices in which the aspirant
for promotion commonly began his course. We find
him filling a post which seems singularly incongruous
with his tastes and pursuits. He was made one of the
Triumviri Capitales, officials who combined, to a certain
degree, the duties of our police magistrates and under-
sheriffs. They took the preliminary examination in
cases of serious crimes, exercised a summary jurisdic-
tion, both civil and criminal, in causes where slaves, or
other persons not citizens, were concerned, inspected
prisons, and superintended the execution of criminals.
There were other Triumviri, however, who had duties
connected with the coining of money, and Ovid's words
are so vague as to leave it uncertain which of the two
offices he filled. He also afterwards became a mem-
ber of the " Court of the Hundred," which had an ex-
tensive and important jurisdiction in both civil and
criminal matters. In this he was promoted to be one
of the ten superintendents (decemviri) who formed the
council of the presiding judge. He seems also to have
occasionally acted as an arbitrator or referee. The pro-
fession of an advocate he never followed. An expres-
sion that has been sometimes taken to mean that he did



EARLY LIFE. 9

SO, really refers to his position in the Court of the
Hundred. " The fate of men accused," he says, seek-
ing to prove to Augustus that he had been a man of
integrity, " was intrusted to me without damage," He
Avas now one of the " Twenty " who were regarded as
candidates for the higher offices in the state, and for
seats in the senate,* and who enjoyed the distinction
of sitting among senators in the orchestra seats of the
circus and the amphitheatre. The time soon came
when he had definitely to choose whether he would fol-
low public life, or rather that shadow of it which was left
to Eoman citizens under the Empire. Members of the
" Twenty," on attaining their twenty-fourth year, be-
came ehgible for the qusestorship, an office connected
with the revenue — the lowest in grade of the magis-
tracies, properly so called, but giving a seat in the
senate. Ovid declined to become a candidate for the
office. He exchanged the broad purple stripe which
he had worn as a possible senator, for the narrower
stripe which belonged to his hereditary rank as a
knight. We must now regard him as a private gentle-
man of Rome, well-born, and of respectable but not
ample means. His parents were still living, and he
hints in one place that he had to content himself
with a moderate allowance.

Very early in life, when, as he says himself, he was
" almost a boy," Ovid was married to a wife probably

* Tlie " Twenty " were made up in this way : three Commis-
sioners of Police (the Triumviri Capitales, mentioned before),
three Commissioners of the Mint, four Commissioners of Koads,
and ten Superintendents of the Court of the Hundred.



10 OVID.

chosen for him by his father. The match, he gives us
to understand, brought him neither lionour nor profit.
Probably her conduct was not without reproach, and
her fortune did not answer his expectations. She was
speedily divorced. Another wife was soon found by
him or for him. All that we know of her is, that she
was a native of the Etrurian town of Falisci. He con-
fesses that he had no fault to find with her ; but the
second marriage was, nevertheless, of as short duration
as the first. It is easy to gather the cause from the
poet's own confessions about himself.

The literary society of which the young poet now
found himself a recognised member, was perhaps the
most brilliant which has ever been collected in one
place. The Athens of Pericles in one point surpassed
it in the magnitude of individual genius. But in ex-
tent, in variety of literary power, the Eome of Augustus
stands pre-eminent in the history of letterd. That
pre-eminence, indeed, has been recorded in the name
which it has bequeathed to following times.

" Augustan " is the epithet that has been applied in
more than one instance to the age in which a national
literature has attained its greatest development. In our
own history it signifies the period of Avhich Pope was
in poetry the most brilliant representative. Used of
Eoman literature, it may be taken to denote, speaking
somewhat loosely, the former half of the reign of Au-
gustus. "Virgil, Livy, Horace, SaUust, the greatest of
the names which adorned it, had grown to manhood
while the Eepublic still stood ; Ovid, who may be said
to close the period, was, as we have seen, born on the



AUGUSTAN AGE OF LOVE-POETRY. 11

last day of Eoman freedom. But, indeed, tlie best
days of the Augustan age had almost passed when
Ovid became a member of the literary society of the
capital. The man who was, in one sense, its ruling
spirit, no longer possessed the power which he had
used so generously and -wisely for the encouragement
of genius. For in this case, as in so many others, the
ruler has usurped the honour which belongs to the
minister. It was Maecenas, not Augustus, who made
the imperial court the abode of letters. The emperor
deserves only the credit of possessing culture sufficient
to appreciate the genius which his minister had discov-
ered. But the power of Maecenas did not last beyond
the first ten years of Augustus's reign. Though not
ostensibly disgraced, he no longer shared, or indeed
could have desired to share — so bitter was the wrong
which he had suffered from his master — the emperor's
friendship. Though stiU nominally a Councillor of
State, he had actually retired into jDrivate life. Ee-
taining, if we may judge from what we know of
Horace, the private friendship of those whom he had
assisted, he no longer bestowed his patronage on rising
genius. We find, accordingly, that Ovid never men-
tions his name. Nor was the young poet ever admit-
ted to the intimacy of Augustus, whose court probably
somewhat changed its tone after the retirement of the
great literary minister.

For the older poets, whom he was privileged to see
or know, Ovid describes himself as having felt an
unbounded veneration : —

" In every bard I saw a form divine."



12 OVID.

" Virgil I did but see " (a phrase which has become
almost proverbial*), he says, in liis interesting account
of his poetical acquaintances and friends. Virgil cer-
tainly visited Eome some time between the years B.C.
23, when MarceUus died,+ and B.C. 20, the date of his
own death, for he recited before the imperial family
the magnificent eulogy on the young prince which
adorns the sixth book of the iEneid. Very likely it
was on this occasion that Ovid saw him. His habits
—for he loved the country as truly as did Horace —
and the feebleness of his health, seem to have made
him a stranger at Eome during the latter years of his
life.

Another great contemporary Ovid mentions in these
words —

" The tuneful Horace held our ears enchained."

"Tuneful," indeed, is a word which but feebly ex-
presses the original epithet {mimerosus). " That mas-
ter of melody " is a more adequate rendering, and it is
fit praise for one who had no predecessor or successor
among his countrjTuen in his power of versification.
There is nothing to indicate the existence of any friend-
ship between the two poets. Horace was by more
than twenty years the elder, and was beginning to
weary of the life of pleasure upon which the younger
man was just entering.

!Not a single line has been preserved of three other

* " Virgilium tantum vidi."

t MarceUus was the nephew of Augustus.



AUGUSTAN AGE OF LOVE-POETRY. 13

of the poets whom Ovid regarded with such reverence.

PONTICUS —

" For epic song renowned " —

wrote a poem in heroic — i.e., hexameter — yei'se on the
war of the " Seven against Thebes." Time has been pe-
culiarly cruel to the world in not suffering it to survive,
if we are to trust Propertius, who affirms, " as he hopes
to be happy," that Ponticus was a match for Homer
himself. Of Bassus we absolutely know nothing but
what Ovid tells us, that he was famous for his dramatic
verse, ^milius Macer, of Yerona, a fellow-countryman,
and, as Ovid expressly mentions that he was much his
own junior, probably a contemporary of Catullus, wrote
poems, doubtless modelled after Greek originals, on
bu'ds, and noxious serpents, and the healing qualities
of herbs. Another Macer, who has been mentioned
already as Ovid's companion in travel, wrote about the
Trojan war. Of Domitius Marsus, an elegiac poet,
time has spared a beautiful epigram commemorat-
ing the death of Tibullus. It would be easy to pro-
long the list. In the last of his " Letters from the
Pontus," Ovid names, each with a phrase descriptive
of his genius or his work, the poets contemporary with
himself. There are about thirty of them. Of some
we do not know even the names, the poet having
thought it sufficient to mention or allude to their prin-
cipal works. ]\Iany of these who are named we do not
find mentioned elsewhere, and Ovid's brief phrase is all
that is left of them. The works of all have either per-
ished altogether or survive in insignificant fragments.*
* The reader vrill be glad to see a noble utterance that has



14 VII).

Burmanii, the most learned of Ovid's editors, says
of Maximus Cotta, the last on the list, — " Him and
Capella and others oblivion has overwhelmed "with
inexorable night. "Would that these poets, or, at
least, the best part of them, had come down to us, and
other foolish and useless books had remained sunk in
eternal darkness ! "

Happily for us, a kinder fate has spared the works of
two out of the three poets whom Ovid has named as
his predecessors and teachers in his own peculiar art of
amatory verse. " He," says the poet, speaking of the
untimely death of Tibullus, " was thy successor, Gallus";
Propertius was his; I was myself the fourth in the
order of time." The same collocation of names is re-
peated more than once, and never without expressions
that indicate the pride which Ovid felt in being asso-
ciated with men of such genius. This judgment has
been ratified by modern taste. Some critics have not
hesitated to prefer the happiest efforts of Tibullus and
Propertius (the poems of Gallus have been entirely lost)
to anything of the same kind that came from the pen of
Ovid. The plan of this series includes, for obvious
reasons of convenience, the works of Tibullus and Pro-
pertius in the volume which will give an account of
Catullus. They may be dismissed, for the present,
with the briefest notice. Fate, says Ovid of TibuUus,
refused the time which might have made us friends.
The very elegant memorial which he dedicated to his

been preserved of one of their number: "All that I once have
given still is mine " {Hoc hahco quodcunque dcdi).



AUGUST AX AGE OF LOVE-POETP.Y. 15

memory * is scarcely expressive of a personal sorrow.
With Propertius he was on terms of intimacy : —

" To me by terms of closest friendship bound."

" Friendship " indeed hardly expresses the term
(social iiium) which the poet uses, and which imphes
a certain formal tie, Eeaders will remember that in
the ancient world, where there was seldom anything
ennobling in the relation of the sexes, friendship as-
sumed a dignity and importance which it scarcely pos-
sesses in the social or moral systems of modem life.
Of Gallus, the founder of the school, a longer account
may be given.

Caius Cornelius Gallus, born at Forum lulii (now


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