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The Art of Love by Ovid

The Art of Love

by Ovid

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,335279,659 (3.76)16
It may have been written in the days of chariot races, gladiators, and emperors, but this new translation of the best teacher in history on the subject of love contains enduringly useful and entertaining advice Are you a sought-after dreamboat forever turning down invitations from attractive admirers? Is your life filled with passionate escapades and fashionable parties? Do you look and feel fantastic all the time? If not, then perhaps there is something you can learn from Ovid. Including both the Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love) and the Remedia Amoris (The Cure for Love), this book contains all men need to know about the best places to pick up girls, how to handle illicit affairs, how to look after a girlfriend when she has a cold, how to dress suavely, and how to make women jealous. It also has plenty of tips for women ranging from how to create a beguiling hairstyle to how to seduce men at parties and show off your best attributes while frolicking in bed. This delightfully witty handbook was found so shocking on its first publication that poor Ovid was sent into exile in disgrace. Since the Emperor Augustus had it taken off the shelves of Rome's libraries in 8 AD it has also been banned by the Vatican and the United States Customs Office at various points in its illustrious career.… (more)



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English (20)  Spanish (4)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (27)
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
Hilarious and scandalous. I particularly liked this translation's approach of translating the poem into couplets, that seem to translate well the playfulness of the original. Ovid was exiled for writing this poem. Turns out that the Emperor did not take kindly to Ovid's suggestions for married couples to have affairs and picking up dates at the Empress's temple, at a time the Emperor was passing laws about martial faithfulness.

The poem essentially reads like a pick up guide. Parts are hilarious, because they're both inherently funny and because it echos modern dating life. Ovid parodies the Aeneid, stating in epic terms that the most important quest is to get someone to sleep with you without giving them anything. The poem suggests going to chariot games asking women for their favorite team and then regardless of their answer, agreeing to it. Ovid complains about how a girlfriend's birthday is the worst day, because she expects gifts, and every beggar seems to crawl out of the woodwork seeking to sell their wares. Finally, Ovid suggests using flattery and empty promises to woo one's target. Parts of the book are downright dirty, and unethical. I leave a positive review clearly not because I endorse his methods but because reading Ovid is both entertaining for its raunchiness and as a window into a time that was different, but not too different from our own. ( )
  vhl219 | Jun 1, 2019 |
This book is amazing: it is nearly 2000 years old and yet, it reads as if it were written yesterday. Ovid expresses views that any young lad has held throughout history. They are not all politically correct, or indeed, acceptable but, they have an immediacy that few writings from the past can offer.

I only have the ability to read the Art of Love in translation, but it is a window into the mind of a man who lived before the date had three, never mind four, digits. It is light, amusing and full of interesting sections that remind us that we sophisticated twenty-first century people are not so enlightened in comparison.

I recently heard Ovid described as the Bob Dylan of his age: I am not sure as to which should be more flattered by the link. Both are great poets, both are worth reading and, perhaps, both are great enough to stand in their own right.

A must read book. ( )
1 vote the.ken.petersen | Sep 28, 2018 |
Who knew Ovid's the Machiavelli of love "advice." But don't worry--it's equal opportunity! Both men and women should deceive each other. ( )
  reganrule | Oct 24, 2017 |
Advice to would-be lovers and more. Some of it is quite funny. ( )
  unclebob53703 | Feb 21, 2016 |
I recommend James Michie's clever and funny English translation, which has the original Latin on the facing pages. As for Ovid's text, it has a great deal of the cleverness and charm of the Metamorphoses, and mixed in with the sometimes hilarious observations on seduction are Metamorphoses-like retellings of great myths, like the fall of Icarus, which those of us who took Latin courses in college will remember translating. However, it is a very misogynistic text, and Book One includes a substantial section justifying rape that one hopes was intended as a satire of Roman rape culture. ( )
  middlemarchhare | Nov 25, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (274 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ovidprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bornecque, HenriTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fraser, EricIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gleichen-Rußwurm, Alexander vonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Griggs, M. J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jarvis, MartinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lammers, F.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meihuizen, J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Michie, JamesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riley, Henry T.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tannhaeuser, G.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tannhaeuser, G.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wright, F. A.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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If there be anyone among you who is ignorant of the art of loving, let him read this poem and, having read it and acquired the knowledge it contains, let him address himself to Love.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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