Ovid: Ars Amatoria Book 3

This is the first full-scale commentary devoted to the third book of Ovid’s Ars amatoria. It includes an Introduction, a revision of E. J. Kenney’s Oxford text of the book, and detailed line-by-line and section-by-section commentary on the language and ideas of the text. Combining traditional philological scholarship with some of the concerns of more recent critics, both Introduction and commentary place particular emphasis on: the language of the text; the relationship of the book to the didactic, ‘erotodidactic’ and elegiac traditions; Ovid’s usurpation of the lena’s traditional role of erotic instructor of women; the poet’s handling of the controversial subjects of cosmetics and personal adornment; and the literary and political significances of Ovid’s unexpected emphasis in the text of Ars 3 on restraint and ‘moderation’. The book will be of interest to all postgraduates and scholars working on Augustan poetry.

• First full-scale commentary of the work • The commentary provides a sustained and cohesive literary interpretation of the Ars Amatoria • Makes an original contribution to recent work on the interpretation of didactic poetry and the treatment of women by the Latin elegiac poets


Introduction; Text and critical apparatus; Method of the commentary; Commentary.


\'A detailed commentary on the third book of the Ars amatoria has long been a desideratum. Roy K. Gibson\'s impressive work fills the gap and does an admirable job at elucidating a poem that for all its obvious entertainment value is not always easy to interpret. … the commentary is a masterwork of learning … a treasure trove … pleasantly undogmatic. … Well aware of the complexity of Ovid\'s text, Gibson judiciously refrains from simplifying it - an honest and reasonable attitude that provides a welcome corrective to the all-too-ofen one-sided and ideology-driven interpretations found in recent Ovidian scholarship.\'

– Katharina Volk, Columbia University, New York