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Old 02-11-2018, 08:34 AM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,280
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I find the "passion = better" argument silly, myself.

I'm also an amateur classicist arguing with a Ph.D. The fundamental weakness I have in the argument is one of "appeal to authority": you know the Latin deeper than I do. I think Ovid's couplets are better, but that will always carry a little less weight than you think Propertius' are. There's obviously more to Ovid's importance than the weight of the manuscript tradition, though his frequency in the manuscript tradition owes to his greater popularity, particularly among the educated class.

Some moments I quite enjoy (and I apologize that they are untranslated--I had to find them in my notes and then cut and paste them from Perseus.

Si tibi non opus est servata, stulte, puella,
.....At mihi fac serves, quo magis ipse velim!
Quod licet, ingratum est; quod non licet acrius urit.
.....Ferreus est, siquis, quod sinit alter, amat
Speremus pariter, pariter metuamus amantes,
.....Et faciat voto rara repulsa locum.
Quo mihi fortunam, quae numquam fallere curet?
.....Nil ego, quod nullo tempore laedat, amo!
*
Sic ego nec sine te nec tecum vivere possum,
.....Et videor voti nescius esse mei.

Or, the attitude that I admire a great deal, from Ars Amatoria:

Expedit esse deos, et, ut expedit, esse putemus;
.....Dentur in antiquos tura merumque focos;
Nec secura quies illos similisque sopori
.....Detinet; innocue vivite: numen adest;
Reddite depositum; pietas sua foedera servet:
.....Fraus absit; vacuas caedis habete manus.

and:

Est deus in nobis, et sunt commercia caeli:
.....Sedibus aetheriis spiritus ille venit.

Or:

Casus ubique valet; semper tibi pendeat hamus
.....Quo minime credas gurgite, piscis erit.
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