Saturday, June 5, 2021

M/M: Love in these Trying Times, Ovid, Tristia I.ix.23-36

sed tamen in duris remanentem rebus amicum

     quamlibet inviso Caesar in hoste probat,

nec solet irasci—neque enim moderatior alter—

     cum quis in adversis, siquid amavit, amat.

de comite Argolici postquam cognovit Orestae,

     narratur Pyladen ipse probasse Thoas.

quae fuit Actoridae cum magno semper Achille,

     laudari solita est Hectoris ore fides.

quod pius ad Manes Theseus comes iret amico,

     Tartareum dicunt indoluisse deum.

Euryali Nisique fide tibi, Turne, relata

     credibile est lacrimis inmaduisse genas.

est etiam in miseris pietas, et in hoste probatur.

     ei mihi, quam paucos haec mea dicta movent! 

--Ovid, Tristia I.ix.23-36

Caesar doesn’t mind a person staying true to their friend in troubled times, even if you’re a friend to his enemy. He won’t even get mad—his self-control is beyond compare—at someone in trying times who loves whatever it is he loved before.

Thoas himself is said to have approved of Pylades after he heard the story of Orestes’ companion.

From Hector’s mouth came praises of the loyalty of Patroclus for his great Achilles.  

When “pious” Theseus went with his friend Pirithous to the Underworld, they say that the god of the Tartarus himself grieved for him.

One can believe that when the tale of Nisus’ & Euryalus’ faith were told to you, Turnus, your cheeks were wet with tears.

There is piety among the wretched, and it is valued even among the enemy.

But oh my, how few men are moved by my words!



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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