Ovid's Ars Amatoria has met with astonishingly varied fortunes down the centuries.
Ten years after publication the book became a reason, or more probably a pretext, for the author's banishment from Rome.
It was removed from public libraries, and more recently the poem suffered a virtual embargo in schools and universities. This is the first detailed English commentary on any part of the poem.
Examined afresh, it emerges as the wittiest of Ovid's love poems, turning upside down the attitudes and conventions of orthodox love elegy.
The work is full of psychological insight and is richly embroidered with details of contemporary Roman social and political life.
This new paperback edition intends to bring out the spirit of provocative frivolity which was undeniably meant to irritate Roman traditionalists.
The text ofKenney's Oxford Classical Text is reproduced and supplemented with a full introduction to the style and historical background the poem, as well as with a full commentary and appendices.