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6: Epigram- preface from the author

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  • The three books of the Amores speak on behalf of their author, named as Naso (in full, Publius Ovidius Naso), explaining that they used to be five. They make a joke at their own expense, in a bit of captatio benevolentiae (bid for good will).

    Quī modo Nāsōnis fuerāmus quinque libellī,

    trēs sumus: hoc illī praetulit auctor opus.

    ut iam nulla tibī nōs sit lēgisse voluptās,

    at levior demptīs poena duōbus erit.

    Notes on the Epigram

    1–2: modo: “only recently, just now.” Hoc illī opus = auctor praetulit hoc opus illī (operī); praeferō can mean “prefer” (OLD 6 and 7), with accusative and dative.

    3–4: ut iam: “even if.” ut can be used, especially with tamen or iam, to introduce a concessive clause (AG §527a); the author is here indulging in some mock modesty. at: “nevertheless”; here after a concessive clause, see OLD 14. demptis … duobus: ablative absolute.

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