OVID, AMORES 15 BY W. S. M. NICOLL In his recent edition of Amores Bk. I 1) J. A. Barsby sees Am. 1 5 as "a sincere attempt to portray a genuine experience" and as "describing a straightforward act of love for its own sake". In this he echoes Wilkinson's comment-"a straightforward account of a successful act of love" 2). In view of the well known artificiality and numerous traditional motifs characteristic of much of Latin elegiac poetry a poem described as "sincere" and "straightforward" invites closer and perhaps somewhat sceptical attention. A rather different and, at first sight, more promising approach to the poem is that of Luck 3). He selects I 5 as an illustration of the characteristic qualities of Ovid's art which he sees as consisting largely "in the structure, in surprising transitions, in unexpected turns of the thought, in a brilliantly polished detail here and there". "The whole poem", he says, "is a little masterpiece". I would not perhaps wish to disagree too much with this statement as a general judgement on Ovid's art. I would, however, question whether Luck's discussion succeeds in demonstrating the presence of these artistic features in 15. He leads
Mnemosyne – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1977
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