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Ovid: Ars Amatoria

1. How successful is the Ars Amatoria as a didactic poem?

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About this Lecture

Lecture

In this lecture, we think about the Ars Amatoria as a didactic poem, focusing in particular on: (i) the meaning of term ‘didactic’, some of the key characteristics of the genre, as outlined in Toohey 2013, and the extent to which the Ars Amatoria exemplifies these characteristics; (ii) Ellen Wright’s argument that the Ars Amatoria is too light-hearted to count as a genuinely didactic poem; (iii) Lindsay Watson’s argument that Ovid constructs himself as an incompetent and ineffectual teacher who regularly exposes his own ineptitude, e.g. not adhering to his own advice, contradicting himself, general tactlessness, etc.; (iv) Katharina Volk’s argument that Ovid is a successful teacher for his students; (v) a reference to the Ars Amatoria in another of Ovid’s poems, the Metamorphoses (13.764-69), and what it might tell us about its effectiveness as a didactic poem.

Reading list:
– P. Toohey, Epic Lessons: An Introduction to Ancient Didactic Poetry (2013)
– K. Volk, The Poetics of Latin Didactic: Lucretius, Vergil, Ovid, Manilius (2002)
– L. Watson, ‘The Bogus Teacher and his Relevance for Ovid’s Ars Amatoria’, Rheinisches Museum Für Philologie 150 (2007), pp. 337-74
– E. Wright, ‘Profanum sunt Genus: The Poets of the Ars Amatoria’, Philological Quarterly 63.1 (1984), pp. 1-15

Course

In this course, Dr Sharon Marshall (University of Exeter) explores Ovid’s Ars Amatoria. The course is structured around five critical questions, and in each case Dr Marshall provides a summary of recent scholarship pertaining to the question, as well as a few additional thoughts of her own. The questions are as follows: (1) How successful is the Ars Amatoria as a didactic poem?; (2) Is the Ars Amatoria a pro- or anti-Augustan poem?; (3) Should Book 3 of the Ars Amatoria come as a surprise?; (4) What is the purpose of the mythological exempla in the Ars Amatoria?; and (5) Is the Ars Amatoria sympathetic to women?. Each lecture comes with a short reading list for those that are interested in looking at the scholarship in more detail.

Lecturer

Dr Sharon Marshall is Senior Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Exeter, specialising in Roman epic, love elegy and the Roman novel.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Marshall, S. (2022, July 15). Ovid: Ars Amatoria - How successful is the Ars Amatoria as a didactic poem? [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/ovid-ars-amatoria/how-successful-is-the-ars-amatoria-as-a-didactic-poem

MLA style

Marshall, S. "Ovid: Ars Amatoria – How successful is the Ars Amatoria as a didactic poem?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Jul 2022, https://massolit.io/courses/ovid-ars-amatoria/how-successful-is-the-ars-amatoria-as-a-didactic-poem

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