An Ovidian Armitage Elegy

Ovid was an Roman poet par excellence.  Like most people, I first encountered him vis a vis his mythologically themed poem Metamorphoses, a tour through the various and sundry mythological stories of metamorphosis…Daphne, Narcissus, Tithonus et al.  Imagine my surprise when in an advanced class (they save all the good stuff for the advanced classes!)  I found that Ovid was also a very, VERY naughty poet of Latin love elegies.  Unlike Catullus, Tibullus, Propertius and a sole female poet, Sulpicia, whose verses often lean to the love lament, Ovid’s have a tendency to lean to the more sultry side of love elegy (sometimes falling right into raunchy! Let the reader beware of what lies beneath the line of hearts!!)  


In that vein, as a Valentine’s celebRAtion of the lurve and attraction along with the lust and longing inspired by a certain someone, I’ve taken the liberty of a slight reiteration from Ovid’s Amores Book I, Elegy V….

 When he stood before my eyes,

the clothing set aside,

there was never a flaw in all his body.


What shoulders, what arms, I saw and touched!

Chest formed as if it made for pressing!

How taut the belly beneath the slender waist!

What flanks, what form! What strapping thighs….

*Ahem*  I think I will leave it right there (if you’d like to see how it ends, you can find Ovid’s original here)

Happy Valentine’s Day Armitageworld

I’m back baby!!

23 comments on “An Ovidian Armitage Elegy

  1. angelicwit says:

    Heis a lovely specimen. Thank you for the poem. Very, er, illustrative. Picture optional, but appreciated.

  2. Guylty says:

    That Ovidian elegy, combined with Armitagean illustration, becomes quite the Ovarian “catastrophe” 😉 As always, thanks for the insight into the classics. It was really fun reading on in the Ovid oeuvre. Happy V-Day to you xx

  3. […] Obscura joins us from a little hiatus with a Valentine’s post on Ancient Armitage and goes al… […]

  4. Servetus says:

    What a great post! It started off and I was like, noooooo not the Metamorphoses, but yes. Flesh for pressing.

  5. jholland says:

    *fans self* … very stirring! And apt =)

  6. Kathy Jones says:

    Quite lovely, and the poem wasn’t bad either. 🙂

  7. Esther says:

    Ooooh, so fitting with the image you posted! 🙂

  8. sparkhouse1 says:

    “never a flaw in all his body”….I notice, looking at the picture, that you can draw a vertical straight line from the top of his shoulder, down along where the abdominal right side indents, straight down along the front of the thigh muscle to the knee cap and then straight down from there to the big toe. That’s what I see anyways!

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