Ovid said, “Make Him Believe He Is Loved,” thus suggesting women learn the art of love in a relationship with a man. Here is step 1.
Many scholars of love are familiar with the works of Ovid, the ancient Roman poet. The series of three books titled “Ars Amatoria” (The Art of Love) brought him fame. The books contained poems that offered men and women advice on how to make love.
Ars Amatoria depicted the hedonistic and sophisticated lives of the Roman aristocracy at the time in a fascinating way. The books taught men the art of love: how to find, win, and seduce women, as well as how to sustain their interpersonal encounters. The books also taught women the art of love—how to attract, be lovable, and keep men in love affairs.
Is Ovid’s Poetic Advice on “The Art of Love” Still Relevant These Days?
I believe Ovid’s advice can still be useful for modern people. This is why his poems have been translated and published several times in the last couple of centuries.
In 1885, the translation and publication of Ovid’s works by Henry T. Riley (reprinted on December 16, 2014) presented only a literal English translation in prose.
However, Anthony Kline did the poetic translation of the original poetic form and published it in 2001. (Kline, 2001, Translation of Ovid’s Ars Amatoria: The Art of Love).
We should admit that the Romans lived in a different cultural era and way of life than we do. However, the art of love can still endure through the centuries. Ovid’s poetry can teach educated men and women about love in an interesting and useful way. As a result, I’ve included excerpts from his books on this website for those who want to learn more about how ancient Romans lived and loved. Even though some of Ovid’s love advice and recommendations can sound cynical, ironical, and manipulative, others can reveal for us the kernels of true wisdom.
His poetry collection “Ars Amatoria” contains useful advice for modern men and women on how to find, attract, and keep a love partner. On the one hand, Ovid instructs men in his first two books of poetry on how to approach, court, and seduce women in a relationship. The third book, on the other hand, instructs women on how to be attractive and tempting in order to entice men to fall in love with them and keep those relationships going.
Here Are Some Previously Posted Blog Articles about the Art of Roman Love
In past blog posts, I talked about how Ovid’s poetry can help men find love. These beautiful poems are about a wide range of things, such as “how to find her,“ how to look for love “around the dinner-table and on the beach,” “while at the theatre,” “at the races or circus,” and “what is his task.“ In addition, Ovid educates Roman men that “triumphs are good to attract a woman.” He offers men guidance “how to captivate a woman,” “how to win her”, “how toseduce her,” “how to know her,” “how to be attentive to her,”“how to make promises and deceive,” and Ovid illustrates “how tears, kisses, and taking the lead help in love affairs.”
Also, the blog posts on this website have advice from Ovid about how women should act in their love relationships with men. Specifically, Ovid teaches women “how to appear,” “how to use makeup,” “how to keep taste and elegance in hair and dress,” “How to be modestly expressive,” “how to hide defects in appearance,” “how to beware of false lovers, how to ”avoid vices and favor poets,” how “try young and older lovers,” “how to use jealousy and fear in love affairs”, and ”how to play the game of love with “cloak and dagger.”
Here’s another poem for girls and women from Book III of Ovid’s “Ars Amatoria.” Ovid explains how to make him believe he is loved.
As I noted in my first blog post about Ovid’s “The Art of Love,” his educational books of poems speak about what love is and how to make love with the art of manipulation, seduction, and intrigue. The verse on how to “Make Him Believe He’s Loved” which is quoted here, may sound cynical and manipulative, yet it contains the seeds of truth.
This Is What Ovid Advises Women to Do: “Make Him Believe He’s Loved”
“What am I talking of, madman? Why show a naked front
to the enemy, and betray myself on my own evidence?
The bird doesn’t show the hunter where to find it,
the stag doesn’t teach the savage hounds to run.
Let others seek advantage: faithful to how I started, I’ll go on:
I’ll give the Lemnian girls swords to kill me.
Make us believe (it’s so easy) that we’re loved:
faith comes easily to the loving in their prayers.
let a woman look longingly at her young man, sigh deeply,
and ask him why he comes so late:
add tears, and feigned grief over a rival,
and tear at his cheeks with her nails:
he’ll straight away be convinced: and she’ll be pitied,
and he’ll say: ‘She’s seized by love of me.’
Especially if he’s cultured, pleased with his mirror,
he’ll believe he could touch the goddesses with love.
But you, whatever wrong occurs, be lightly troubled,
nor in poor spirits if you hear of a rival.
Don’t believe too quickly: how quick belief can wound,
Procris should be an example to you.
There’s a sacred fountain, and sweet green-turfed ground,
near to the bright slopes of flowered Hymettus:
the low woods form a grove: strawberry-trees touch the grass,
it smells of rosemary, bay and black myrtle:
there’s no lack of foliage, dense box and fragile tamarisk,
nor fine clover, and cultivated pine.”Kline, A. S. (2001). Translation of Ovid’s Ars Amatoria: The Art of Love.