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The Amores of Ovid are a collection of 49 poems , originally probably in the year 16 BC. Edited in five books, later at the turn of the century and by Ovid himself in three books. The Amores are a major work of the Roman love strategy , the founder of which is Lucius Cornelius Gallus , but whose work has not been passed down. In addition to Ovid, authors such as Properz and Tibullus also used this form.

In Amores, a first-person narrator describes his eventful love affair with a girl named Corinna. He seems to be identical to the author Ovid, since his name was “Publius Ovidius Naso” and the noun gentile “Ovidius” does not fit into the meter of the Amores, the elegiac distich . Ovid's Amores, however, are not an autobiographical, but rather a playful programmatic work on the Roman art of love as a whole. His poetics correspond entirely to the Alexandria school and its demand for the refined small form, which is preferable to the great epic. The word of Callimachus is well known that a thick book is always a great evil. Ovid, however, turns out to be poeta doctus in his short poems and in retrospect calls himself a playful author of tender love poems: "tenerorum lusor amorum".

The opening poem of the Amores begins with Ovid having the first-person narrator say: "Arma gravi numero violentaque bella parabam" ('I wanted to publish arms and cruel wars in hexameters') ... but suddenly Cupid came to him in the next Verse to rob an elevation, and the new form immediately calls for a different subject. According to ancient theory, pairs of unequal meters required lamentations. And because Naso was not in love and therefore had no reason to complain, the god shot an arrow at him so that the young poet would immediately rave about a girl named Corinna. The form alone determines the content here.

The Amores also include a poem to Aurora , the goddess of the dawn, in which the lover attacks her: The day breaks far too early and the night of love comes to an end. In it he insults the goddess so badly that she actually blushes, and it meets. Towards the end of the work there is a lament in which the author mourns the premature death of Tibullus and at the same time bids farewell to the elegy, once again naming his role models: Catullus and Calvus, Gallus and Tibullus.

Editions, translations and commentaries

  • Paul Brandt : P. Ovidi Nasonis Amorum libri tres . Text and comment. Dieterich'sche Verlagbuchhandlung, Leipzig 1911.
  • JC McKeown: Ovid Amores, Text, Prolegomena and Commentary in four volumes, Volume II: A Commentary on Book One . Francis Cairns, Leeds 1989.
  • Ovid: The Love Poems . Translated by AD Melville, With an Introduction and Notes by EJ Kenney. Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford 1990. [English translation with annotations]
  • Ovid: The second book of Amores . Edited with Translation and commentary by Joan Booth. Aris & Phillips, Warminster 1991.
  • Edward J. Kenney : P. Ovidi Nasonis Amores. Medicamini faciei femineae. Ars amatoria. Remedia amoris . Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford 1995 ( Oxford Classical Texts ). [Critical text edition]
  • JC McKeown: Ovid: Amores, Text, Prolegomena and Commentary in four volumes, Volume III: A Commentary on Book Two . Francis Cairns, Leeds 1998.
  • Publius Ovidius Naso: love poems. Latin-German. Edited and translated by Niklas Holzberg . Artemis & Winkler, Düsseldorf 1999 ( Tusculum Collection ), ISBN 3-7608-1715-7 .
  • Antonio Ramírez de Verger: P. Ovidius Naso, Carmina amatoria: Amores, Medicamina faciei femineae, Ars amatoria, Remedia amoris . KG Saur Verlag, Munich and Leipzig 2003 ( Bibliotheca Teubneriana ). [Critical text edition]
  • Publius Ovidius Naso: Amores / love poems. Latin / German. Translated and edited. by Michael von Albrecht . Reclam, Stuttgart 1997 and 2010 (bibliographically supplemented edition), ISBN 978-3-15-001361-8 .
  • Maureen B. Ryan: Ovid's Amores, Book one. A commentary . University of Oklahoma Press, Norman 2011.


  • Jan-Wilhelm Beck : Hoc illi praetulit auctor opus. Ovids Amores and the development of his further work . Olms, Hildesheim 2014.
  • Gerlinde Bretzigheimer : Ovid's "Amores". Poetics in eroticism . Narr, Tübingen 2001.
  • Bardo Gauly : Love Experiences. On the role of the elegiac ego in Ovid's Amores . Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1990.
  • Meike Keul: Love in conflict. Interpretations of Ovid's Amores and their literary background . Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1989.
  • Gesine Lörcher: The structure of the three books by Ovids Amores . Gruener, Amsterdam 1975.
  • Ellen Oliensis: The paratext of 'Amores' 1: gaming the system. In: The Roman Paratext. Frame, texts, readers. Edited by Laura Jansen. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2014, ISBN 978-1-107-02436-6 , pp. 207-223.
  • Werner Schubert: The mythology in the non-mythological poems of Ovids . Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1992.
  • Barbara Weinlich: Ovids Amores. Poem sequence and plot. Teubner, Stuttgart / Leipzig 1999 (=  contributions to antiquity 128), ISBN 3-519-07677-2 (Diss. Frankfurt am Main 1998).

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