Ovid's Art of Love (Ars Amatoria) and its sequel Remedies for Love (Remedia Amoris) are among the most notorious poems of the ancient world. In AD 8, the emperor Augustus exiled Ovid to the shores of the Black Sea for "a poem and a mistake." Whatever the mistake may have been, the poem was certainly the Ars Amatoria, which the emperor found a bit too immoral.
In exile, Ovid composed Sad Things (Tristia), which included a defense of his life and work as brilliant and cheeky as his controversial love manuals. In a poem addressed to Augustus (Tristia 2), he argues, "Since all of life and literature is one long, steamy sex story, why single poor Ovid out?" While seemingly groveling at the emperor's feet, he creates an image of Augustus as capricious tyrant and himself as suffering artist that wins over every reader (except the one to whom it was addressed).
Bringing together translations of the Ars Amatoria, Remedia Amoris, and Tristia 2, Julia Dyson Hejduk's The Offense of Love is the first book to include both the offense and the defense of Ovid's amatory work in a single volume. Hejduk's elegant and accurate translations, helpful notes, and comprehensive introduction will guide readers through Ovid's wickedly witty poetic tour of the literature, mythology, topography, religion, politics, and (of course) sexuality of ancient Rome.
Finalist, National Translation Award, American Literary Translators Association
A Choice Outstanding Academic Book