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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for the general reader but misleading for students, 7 Jan 2010
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Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Erotic Poems (Classics) (Paperback)
Ovid is one of my favourite poets but I do have misgivings about this translation. It's great if you're interested in reading Ovid's love poetry for pleasure, but if you're studying it at any level then it's quite far from the original text.

Green's translations are all a bit too jaunty and try-hard for me. For example, in 1.1.5 where the Latin is 'quis tibi, saeve puer, dedit hoc in carmina iuris?' Green translates this as ' "nasty young brat," I told him, "who made you Inspector of Metres?" '. A more literal translation would be 'who, cruel boy, gave you this right over poetry?', quite different in tone, I think, from Green.

Green has also written a substantial introduction which gives biographical details in some length and outlines his position in reading Ovid. Again, I disagree with his stance which seems to me to be a very literal one, that is he assumes Ovid is writing autobiographically and takes all his evidence from the poetry, a dubious position I think.

That aside, Ovid is a great poet and this is a very accessible volume for the general interested reader. However, for students I think this could be a barrier rather than a help and would stick to Loeb's Heroides and Amores (Loeb classical library).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone Should Love Ovid, 18 April 2005
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This review is from: The Erotic Poems (Classics) (Paperback)
Ok, I must admit my utter bias in writing this review, as I adore Ovid. This is a great collection of his poetry in translation for anyone with an interest in Ovid or in Latin love poetry. The poems probably make more sense if you are familiar with his predecessors (Catullus, Propertius and Tibullus) but why not let this lead you into a love affair with the love elegists? He is devilishly witty and loves to play around with the genre. Definitely for anyone with a wicked sense of humour.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My review for The Erotic Poems, 1 Mar 2009
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Elin Ravn Hagen "Raven1502" (Sandnes, Norway) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Erotic Poems (Classics) (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book. If you're interested in how people thought way before our own time, and you're interested in true poetry; this book is the right for you. It gave me a real insight in how Ovid thought about love, and I think it's a shame people don't think or write that way anymore. Either way, I loved the book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 3 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Erotic Poems (Classics) (Paperback)
I love this book, Ovid has such a wonderful sarcastic sense of humour. I needed this for my course, and it was well worth the money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ovid should be more widely read, 15 July 2013
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This review is from: The Erotic Poems (Classics) (Paperback)
Where has this poet been in my teenage years? First of all the poems are brilliantly translated with great accompanying notes and an intelligent introduction on Ovid's poetry and the poets life itself. A lot of academic research and a bit of logical deduction has gone into this.
As for the poems themselves and the advice they give they are as relevant for today's lovers of love and the opposite sex as they were 2,000 years ago. It is amazing to read this work of an Augustan poet living at the time of Christ's birth and to be able to relate to what he says when it comes to seducing women. This is advice that I could have done as a teenager. Ovid is funny, conversational and has a delightful turn of phrase especially when describing, as the Emperor Domitian would put it, 'Bed Wrestling.' There are numerous layers to his poetry - you can read it straight as poetic advice on love and dating, you can also read it as a satire on traditional mythology and even on Augustan morality. The numerous references to Greek and Roman mythology and history will leave first time readers to classical literature perhaps slightly baffled as to the specific meanings of some poems but all in all the poems do speak for themselves so a thorough knowledge of Greek & Roman history and mythology isn’t essential to the poems however if you do have this knowledge it does add a whole other layer of meaning to Ovid's works and makes his jokes and sly remarks all the more funnier. Luckily most of the footnotes explain these myths anyway for first time classics readers. Overall a great translation and a great writer - it is just a shame, yet again in Penguin Classics, that all his works aren't available as the translator and introduction for this book are very good and I would love to see other works by Ovid given the same treatment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 16 Jun 2012
This review is from: The Erotic Poems (Classics) (Paperback)
This is a great translation if you're looking for something spicy with modern language. It is not one the very literal translations that often seem dull and dry to the reader and that don't reflect the effect the original text had on its readers 2000 years ago.
I also recommend Venus in India that takes you on similar adventures at a different time.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I get it, 31 Jan 2010
This review is from: The Erotic Poems (Classics) (Paperback)
yeah! Ovidius, you're the man!! Some of the poems were a bit involved,some very witty and others are quite rude. I can see why he caused a few tuts, sighs and upsets. Nice one!
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The Erotic Poems (Classics)
The Erotic Poems (Classics) by Peter Green (Paperback - 25 Nov 1982)
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