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Ovid: Ars Amatoria

3. Should Book 3 of the Ars Amatoria come as a surprise?

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About this Lecture

Lecture

In this lecture, we consider the question ‘Should Book 3 of the Ars Amatoria come as a surprise?’, focusing in particular on: (i) the conundrum presented by Ovid’s potted summary of the Ars Amatoria at 1.35-38, which provides an outline the material that will appear in Books 1 and 2, but makes no mention of the material that will appear in Book 3; (ii) the view of some scholars that Book 3 was a later addition to the text; (iii) Alison Sharrock’s argument that the three books of the Ars Amatoria – as well as Ovid’s later poem, the Remedia Amoris – should be understood as a single four-book unit, playfully mimicking the four-book structure of Virgil’s Georgics; (iii) John Henderson’s argument that Book 3 should not come as a surprise on the grounds that Ovid has asserted throughout Books 1 and 2 the need for parity between the sexes, a parity that will be provided by Book 3; (iv) Niklas Holzberg’s argument that Book 3 should come as a surprise, but that that is entirely in keeping with the wider didactic strategies of the text as a whole; and (v) the importance of Ovid’s earlier collections in showing him as a praeceptor amoris (‘teacher of love’) to both men and women.

Reading list:
– J. Henderson, ‘In Ovid with Bed (Ars 2 and 3)’ in S. Green (ed.), The Art of Love: Bimillennial Essays on Ovid's Ars Amatoria and Remedia Amoris (2006), pp. 77-95
– N. Holzberg, ‘Staging the reader response: Ovid and his ‘contemporary audience’ in Ars and Remedia’ S. Green (ed.), The Art of Love: Bimillennial Essays on Ovid's Ars Amatoria and Remedia Amoris (2006), pp. 40-53
– A. Sharrock, Seduction and Repetition in Ovid’s Ars Amatoria II (1994)

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 - Should Book 3 of the Ars Amatoria come as a surprise? [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/ovid-ars-amatoria/should-book-3-of-the-ars-amatoria-come-as-a-surprise

MLA style

Marshall, S. "Ovid: Ars Amatoria – Should Book 3 of the Ars Amatoria come as a surprise?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Jul 2022, https://massolit.io/courses/ovid-ars-amatoria/should-book-3-of-the-ars-amatoria-come-as-a-surprise

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