Thursday, April 19, 2018

A few versions of Ars Amatoria online and in print

Update: Thanks to Jean, we now have an addition to our list of translations of the Ars: J.D. Hejduk's The Offense of Love - see below among the print selections.

Ars Amatoria is sure to be a distinct pivot away from Dante's Paradiso, where the Sarasota classics group has been lingering, or loitering, for the past two and a half years.

Ovid's poem, completed around 2 A.D., was a sort of instructional manual to the realm of relations between the sexes.
the word ars in the title is not to be translated coldly as 'technique', or as 'art' in the sense of civilized refinement, but as "textbook", the literal and antique definition of the word. (Ars Amatoria)
The text is available in various formats online and in print -- see below. If anyone knows of another that should be added to the list, please let me know, or leave the info in a comment.

Ars Amatoria Online

A.S. Kline

Sacred Texts

J. Lewis May (Wikisource)

Riley - prose translation with notes (Gutenberg)

Perseus - Dual Language
Hyperlinked Latin, English, and notes


Applebaum - Dover edition, English only, no notes

J.D. Hejduk's The Offense of Love looks to be a smart translation of the Ars, the Remedia Amoris, and Tristia. Amazon offers no access to the Ars translations, but offers the texts in print and Kindle formats. However, Google Books presents English text and well done notes:

James Mitchie Dual language, no notes

Rolfe Humphries - English prose, notes

Saturday, April 7, 2018


Crewman of Odysseus turning into a beast

A new tale of Circe, told from the point of view of the daughter of Helios, is just out. It's by Madeline Miller, author of The Song of Achilles.

The scope of the tale as told by Miller reckons with the reality of status as an immortal. Odysseus's visit to her isle, while memorable, is but a blip:
"In Ms. Miller’s version, Circe’s encounter with Odysseus is only a slice of her story, which unfolds over thousands of years and begins in the palace of her father, the sun god Helios. Her family members, who treat her with cruelty or indifference, become infamous in their own right: Her sister Pasiphae marries King Minos and gives birth to the Minotaur, a bullheaded, man-eating monster; while her brother Aeetes grows up to rule Colchis, the land of the Golden Fleece, and fathers Medea, who later murders her children." NYT
Myths as the ancients told them were galaxies filled with tales, stretching through generations, with cities and kings rising and falling. Miller seems alive  to that scale of things. Her blog, enriched by her Greek and Latin, is titled "Myths."

And, as noted in reading the Metamorphoses, Ovid's wit is urbane and literary. In his telling, the myths are changed, at points with parodic effect. Understandably, Miller doesn't draw upon his version of the enchantress.
deliberately omitting a scene from Ovid’s Metamorphoses where Circe punishes a king who spurns her advances by turning him into a woodpecker. 

Madeline Miller