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merely as a pretext. It would be vain to enumerate the various hypotheses which have been proposed, the greater number of which are palpably absurd. The most probable is that which supposes that he had become accidentally acquainted with some of the intrigues of Julia, the profligate grand-daughter of the emperor, whose well known sensibility in all matters affecting the honour of his family, rendered him unable to tolerate the presence of a man who had been an eyewitness to the infamy of one of its members. The following are the most important passages which bear upon this topic:
Trist. II. 541, addressed to Augustus,
Carminaque edideram, cum te delicta notantem
Scripta parum prudens, nunc nocuere seni.
Distat et a meriti tempore pœna sui.
E. ex P. II. x. 15, addressed to Macer,
Naso parum prudens, artem dum tradit amandi
E. ex P. IV. xiii. 41, addressed to Carus,
Carmina nil prosunt; nocuerunt carmina quondam:
See also Trist. II. 211, 239, 345, in all of which the Ars Amatoria is represented as the source of his misfortune. But in the following from E. ex. P. III. iii. 37, another and more serious offence is indicated. The poet is addressing Amor, in a vision,
Nec satis id fuerat, stultus quoque carmina feci,
Pro quibus exilium misero mihi reddita merces,
To which Amor replies—
Per, mea tela, faces, et per, mea tela, sagittas,
Tu licet erroris sub imagine crimen obumbres;
Again in E. ex P. II. ix. 73, addressed to the Thracian prince, Cotys,
Neve roges quid sit; stultam conscripsimus Artem;
and in Trist. II. 207,
Perdiderint cum me duo crimina carmen et error,
Nam non sum tanti ut renovem tua vulnera, Cæsar,
Altera pars superest; qua turpi crimine tactus
upon which he proceeds to argue that the nature and tendency of his poem were perfectly harmless. The quotations below declare the
crime to have consisted in witnessing some hidden deed;—thus Trist. II. 103,
Cur aliquid vidi? cur noxia lumina feci?
and Trist. III. v. 49,
Inscia quod crimen viderunt lumina, plector:
Compare also Trist. III. i. 49, vi. 25, to the same effect. Finally, in E. ex P. I. vi. 21, addressed to Græcinus, he speaks of his offence as a secret which it would be dangerous to disclose.
Nec leve, nec tutum, peccati quæ sit origo,
and yet, notwithstanding all this affectation of mystery, he tells us in Trist. IV. x. 99,
Causa meæ cunctis ninium quoque nota ruinæ
Ninety-six poems in Elegiac verse serve as a sad chronicle of the sufferings he endured during his journey, and while in exile. They exhibit a melancholy picture of the mental prostration of the gay, witty, voluptuous Roman, suddenly snatched from the midst of the most polished society of the age, from the exciting pleasures of the capital of the world, from the charms of a delicious climate, and abandoned to his own resources among a horde of rude soldier peasants, in a remote half-civilized frontier garrison, beneath a Scythian sky. Notwithstanding the exertions of many and powerful friends; notwithstanding the expostulations, entreaties, prayers, and servile abasement of the unfortunate victim, Augustus and his successor Tiberius, remained alike inexorable, and Ovid died of a broken heart in the sixtieth year of his age, and in the tenth of his banishment.
WORKS OF OVID.
THE following list contains all the works usually attributed to Ovid now extant, arranged in the order in which they were composed, in so far as this can be ascertained. Doubts have been entertained with regard to the three last of the series, numbered IX, X, XI, but they are generally received as authentic:
I. Heroides. A collection of twenty-one letters in Elegiac verse, feigned to have been written by ladies or chiefs in the Heroic age, to the absent objects of their love. Doubts have been entertained by some critics, but without good reason, of the authenticity of the last six of these; others confine their suspicions to the XVIIth, XIXth, and XXIst; while a third party object to the XVth alone. The pieces rejected are attributed to Aulus Sabinus, a contemporary poet, the author of several epistles in answer to those composed by Ovid, three of which have been preserved, and are frequently appended to complete editions of the works of the latter. We find an allusion to both in Amor. II. xviii. 19.
Quod licet, aut Artes teneri profitemur Amoris:
Aut, quod Penelopes verbis reddatur Vlyxi,
Scribimus; aut lacrimas, Phylli relicta, tuas:
Quodque tenens strictum Dido miserabilis ensem
Dicat, et Æoliæ Lesbis amica lyræ.
Quam celer e toto rediit meus orbe Sabinus,
Legit ab Hippolyto scripta noverca suo.
Quodque legat Phyllis, si modo vivit, habet.
II. Amores, v. Libri Amorum. Forty-nine elegies, chiefly upon amatory subjects, originally divided by the poet into five books, but subsequently reduced by himself to three, as he informs us in the Prologue to Bk. I.
Qui modo Nasonis fueramus quinque libelli
unless we suppose that instead of a corrected edition, the poet here refers to some separate collection of juvenile poems, published at an earlier period, of which, however, we find no trace.
III. Ars Amatoria. A didactic poem in Elegiac verse, divided into three books, embodying precepts for the selection of a mistress, for winning and for retaining her affections. It was completed after the publication of the second edition of the Amores, since it contains a specific reference to that work.
Deve tribus libris, titulus quos signat Amorum,
Elige, quod docili molliter ore legas.—A. A. III. 343.
while, on the other hand, it appears that when he wrote the 18th elegy of the second Book of the Amores, quoted above, he was occupied with the Ars Amatoria,—the Epistolæ Heroidum, having already been given to the world. The date of the Ars Amatoria itself is accurately fixed by two historical allusions.
In I. 171, the great Naumachia exhibited by Augustus, B.C. 2, is mentioned as a recent event.
Quid modo, cum belli navalis imagine Cæsar
Persidas induxit Cecropidasque rates?
Nempe ab utroque mari iuvenes, ab utroque puellæ
Again, in I. 177, the expedition of Caius Cæsar into the east is spoken of as in preparation.
Ecce parat Cæsar domito quod defuit orbi
Auspiciis annisque patris puer arma movebis
But Caius was actually in Asia in B.C. 1, therefore the middle or end of B.C. 2, may be assigned as the date of this poem.
IV. Remedia Amoris. A didactic poem in Elegiac verse, pointing out to the unhappy lover the means by which his sorrows may be best assuaged. It was written B.C. 1, or A.D. 1, r in v. 155, he speaks of the campaigns of Caius Cæsar as actually in progress.
Ecce fugax Parthus, magni nova caussa triumphi,
In the exordium he refers to the Ars Amatoria as a work already known.
V. Metamorphoseon Libri XV. An extensive collection, in fifteen books, of the most remarkable fables of ancient mythology, which involved a transformation of shape, extending in a continuous series from Chaos down to the death of Julius Cæsar. The metre employed is the Dactylic Hexameter. This work had not received its last polish when its author was driven into exile. In the bitterness of his heart he committed this and several other compositions to the flames, but copies had fortunately been already circulated among his friends, and their destruction was thus prevented. We have the authority of the poet himself for this statement, for in Trist. I. vii. 11, we find him addressing a friend, who had preserved a likeness of him in a ring, in the following terms:
Grata tua est pietas: sed carmina maior imago
Sunt mea; quæ mando qualiacumque legas: "Carmina mutatas hominum dicentia formas:
Infelix domini quod fuga rupit opus.
Imposui rapidis viscera nostra rogis;
Nunc precor ut vivant, et non ignava legentum
Nec tamen illa legi poterunt patienter ab ullo;
Defuit et scriptis ultima lima meis.