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In the first century a.d., Ovid, author of the groundbreaking epic poem Metamorphoses, came under severe criticism for The Art of Love, which playfully instructed women in the art of seduction and men in the skills essential for mastering the art of romantic conquest. In this remarkable translation, James Michie breathes new life into the notorious Roman’s mock-didactic elegy. In lyrical, irreverent English, he reveals love’s timeless dilemmas and Ovid’s enduring brilliance as both poet and cultural critic.
“Every age probably regards itself as unique in its sexual sophistication, and if we take Ovid as a typical spokesman we should have to conclude that the keynote of his age was elegance. . . . Ovid could not possibly have taken himself, nor be taken for, an Ancient.”