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Et veniam pro laude peto: laudatus abunde,
Non fastiditus si tibi, Lector, ero.

Again in Trist. I. i. 117,

Sunt quoque mutatæ ter quinque volumina formæ
Nuper ab exsequiis carmina rapta meis.

See also Trist. II. 63, 555.; III. xiv. 19.

VI. Fastorum Libri VI. An exposition in Elegiac verse of the numerous festivals in the Roman Calendar, containing a detailed description of the various ceremonies, together with historical and antiquarian investigations regarding their origin. The holy-days are enumerated, in succession, from the beginning of the year,—a book being devoted to each month. Of these, six are extant, commencing with January, and ending with June. This was one of the compositions which was unfinished at the time of Ovid's banishment; he intended to have carried it on through the whole year, although there is no reason to believe that he ever completed his design. Opposite conclusions, however, upon this point have been deduced from Trist. II. 549,

Sex ego Fastorum scripsi totidemque libellos
Cumque suo finem mense volumen habet :
Idque tuo nuper scriptum sub nomine, Cæsar,
Et tibi sacratum sors mea rupit opus.

his original plan is clearly indicated, Fast. III. 57,

Vester honos veniet, cum Larentalia dicam
Acceptus Geniis illa December habet.

VII. VIII. Tristium Libri V. Epistolarum ex Ponto, Lirbi IV. The former a collection of fifty elegies, in five books; the latter of forty-six elegies, in four books. The whole of these were produced at Tomi, with the exception of those forming the first book of the Tristia, which appear to have been written on the journey thither. They are entirely occupied with the lamentations of the poet over his sad destiny, a description of the sufferings he endured, and supplications for a remission of his sentence. The Epistolæ ex Ponto are addressed to different individuals, for the most part persons residing at Rome, and connected with the court, who are implored to use their good offices with the emperor and the different members of the royal family.

We can, from internal evidence, ascertain with tolerable precision, the period at which the different books of the series were composed, although the pieces are not in every case arranged in chronological order, as indeed we are told in Epist. ex Pont. III. ix.51.

Nec liber ut fieret, sed uti sua cuique daretur
Litera, propositum curaque nostra fuit.
Postmodo collectas utcumque sine ordine iunxi,
Hoc opus electum ne mihi forte putes.

IX. Ibis. Six hundred and forty-six lines in Elegiac verse, consisting of a series of maledictions poured forth against an enemy whose name is concealed, written immediately after the banishment of the poet, as we learn from the commencement,

Tempus ad hoc, lustris iam bis mihi quinque peractis,
Omne fuit Musæ carmen inerme meæ.

It is an imitation of a lost poem by Callimachus, directed against Apollonius of Rhodes, and bearing the same title. The origin of the appellation is unknown.

X. Halieuticon Liber. A mutilated fragment, in Hexameter verse, of a Natural History of Fishes. One hundred and thirty-two lines only have been preserved.

XI. Medicamina Faciei. Another fragment, in Elegiac verse, of a didactic poem on the composition and use of cosmetics. Of this one hundred lines remain.

Two other pieces are frequently found in MSS. of Ovid, but the best critics are of opinion that both must be attributed to some other author or authors. The first of these, Consolatio ad Liviam Augustam, is a sort of dirge on the death of Drusus, who perished in Germany, B.C. 9. It is in Elegiac verse, and extends to four hundred and seventy-four lines. The other, also in Elegiac verse, and containing one hundred and eighty-two lines, is entitled Nux, and is a lamentation poured forth by a walnut tree on account of the indignities offered to it by travellers and passers-by, followed up by a declamation against the avarice and profligacy of the age in general.

Ovid, in early life, cultivated dramatic literature, and, it would seem, with marked success, for his tragedy, Medea, is highly extolled by Quinctilian. To his exertions in this department he occasionally alludes, not without some degree of pride, thus Amor. II. xviii. 12,

Sceptra tamen sumsi: curaque Tragoedia nostra

Crevit; et huic operi quamlibet aptus eram.
Risit Amor, pallamque meam, pictosque cothurnos,
Sceptraque privata tam bene sumta manu.
Hinc quoque me dominæ numen deduxit iniquæ:
Deque cothurnato vate triumphat Amor.

And again Trist. II. 553,

Et dedimus tragicis scriptum regale cothurnis,
Quæque gravis debet verba cothurnus habet.



A VAST number of MSS. of Ovid, some comprehending the complete collection of his works, others confined to particular portions, are scattered over the public and private libraries of Europe. No one, however, has accomplished the herculean task of examining, comparing, and classifying the whole of these, in such a manner as to determine the age, accuracy, and authority of each.

The scholar who first established the text of Ovid upon a satisfactory basis was N. Heinsius, who published two editions at Amsterdam, printed by the Elzevirs in 1625 and 1658-61, in preparing which he made use of the readings of upwards of one hundred and fifty MSS. It must be observed, however, that Heinsius is extremely vague and indistinct in describing his codices. Few of them were closely and accurately collated; the greater number appear to have been carelessly turned over, and many to have been merely referred to from time to time. He seems, moreover, to have been guided by no fixed principles in selecting the readings, yielding sometimes to the weight of numbers, sometimes adhering to a few which he considered most trustworthy, not unfrequently following the dictates of caprice, and too often introducing his own conjectural emendations. The editions of Heinsius were followed by that of Burmann, in four volumes, quarto, printed at Amsterdam in 1727, which contains the most important notes of preceding commentators, the whole of the remarks of Heinsius with his last additions, and the collation of some fresh MSS. This, although far from being perfect, is still considered the standard; it may perhaps be superseded by the edition of Jahn, commenced in 1828, of which three volumes have appeared, containing the Heriodes, Amatoria, and Metamorphoses, but it will be impossible to pronounce a judgment upon this work, until the whole is completed.



1. VITUS LOERS: Cologne, 1829.

2. A very useful collection of notes on the Epistles of Ovid, by Ruhnken, published under the title "Dav. Ruhnkenii dictata ad Ovidii Heroidas et Albinovani elegiam." Leipsic, 1831.


1. G. E. GIERIG: Leipsic, 1812.

2. Index rerum et verborum in Ovidii Fastis occurrentium ad editionem Gierigii accommodatus. Published anonymously. Leipsic, 1814. It contains much useful information.

3. I. P. KREBS: Weisbaden, 1826. Chiefly valuable as a critical edition.


WERNSDORF: ed. sec. Helmstadt, 1804.


G. E. GIERIG: ed. tert. curante JAHN: Leipsic, 1821-1823.


1. F. T. PLATZ: Hanover, 1825.

2. MERKELIUS: Berlin, 1828. Chiefly valuable as a critical edition.

There is no good edition of the Epistolæ ex Ponto, published separately. The complete works of Ovid, in five volumes, 8vo. were printed at Oxford in 1825, cum notis variorum. The text of Burmann has been followed.

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