Saturday, May 8, 2021

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends: Ovid, Ex Ponto II.iii.41-49

While in exile, the poet Ovid reaches out for help: 

 Cerne quid Aeacides post mortem praestet amico:

     instar et hanc uitam mortis habere puta.

Pirithoum Theseus Stygias comitauit ad undas:

     a Stygia quantum mors mea distat aqua?

Adfuit insano iuuenis Phoceus Orestae: 

     et mea non minimum culpa furoris habet.

Tu quoque magnorum laudes admitte uirorum,

     ut facis, et lapso quam potes adfer opem.

--Ovid, Ex Ponto II.3.41-49

Consider how Achilles honored his “friend” Patroclus when he died, 

and remember that this life of mine is a living death!

Theseus accompanied Pirithous to the Underworld:

How far off is my death from the Stygian waves?

Pylades supported Orestes through his mental crisis,

My troubles have given me no less a crisis.

Maximus, accept the same praise that these heroes received,

And keep doing what you are doing,

helping me however you can while my life is in ruins.



Name: Publius Ovidius Naso  

Date:  43 BCE – 18 CE

Works:  Ars Amatoria


              Tristia, etc.



Region 1: Peninsular Italy; Region 2: Western Europe; Region 3: Western Coast of Africa; Region 4: Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean; Region 5: Greece and the Balkans



Ovid was one of the most famous love poets of Rome’s Golden Age. His most famous work, the Metamorphoses, provides a history of the world through a series of interwoven myths. Most of his poetry is erotic in nature; for this reason, he fell into trouble during the conservative social reforms under the reign of the emperor Augustus. In 8 CE he was banished to Bithynia, where he spent the remainder of his life pining for his native homeland.


Early Roman Lit: through 2nd c BCE: Republican Rome: through 1st c. BCE; Golden Age: 70 BCE to 18 CE; Silver Age: 18 CE to 150 CE; Age of Conflict: 150 CE - 410 CE; Byzantine and Late Latin: after 410 CE


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