Women Should Beware of False Lovers

The article contains practical quotations from Ovid’s “Ars Amatoria” advising women to avoid false lovers.

Ovid was a well-known Roman poet who lived from 43 BCE to 17 CE. His poetry trilogy “Ars Amatoria” (The Art of Love) has been popular among educated and noble individuals for centuries. Numerous contemporary humanities experts have read and praised Ovid’s “The Art of Love.” In his poems, Ovid imparted to Roman men and women his love advice. He instructs them on how to attract, entice, and maintain a romantic relationship. He also instructs them on how to apply the art of love to their romantic relationships.

The Romans lived in a different time than we do and had a different way of life. But I think that Ovid’s poetry collections can teach educated men and women something interesting and useful about love today. This is why I put excerpts from these books on this website for people who want to learn more about how people lived and loved in ancient Rome.

The poetry collection “Ars Amatoria” provides contemporary men and women with practical advice on how to find, attract, and maintain a romantic partner. The first two books of this collection of poetry by Ovid contain advice for men on how to approach, court, and entice women. The third book teaches women how to be attractive, lovable, and maintain loving relationships with men through the use of poetic wisdom.

I’ve previously shared some of Ovid’s poetry-based advice for men in previous blog posts. Among the topics covered in these lovely verses are the following: how to find her“, “search for love while walking“, “triumphs that are good to attract a woman“, “how to win her“, “how to be attentive to her“, and “how to make promises and deceive.

Besides, this blog’s articles include Ovid’s wisdom of love for women on “how to appear,” “how to keep taste and elegance in hair and dress,” “how to use makeup,” “how to hide defects in appearance,” and “how to be modestly expressive.”

Here are some new poetic quotes from Book III of Ovid’s “Ars Amatoria,” addressed to girls and women. Ovid teaches them to be modest in their laughter and movements and to be moderately expressive women.

Ovid Advises Women to Beware of False Lovers

“Avoid those men who profess to looks and culture,

who keep their hair carefully in place.

What they tell you they’ve told a thousand girls:

their love wanders and lingers in no one place.

Woman, what can you do with a man more delicate than you,

and one perhaps who has more lovers too?

You’ll scarcely credit it, but credit this: Troy would remain,

if Cassandra’s warnings had been heeded.

Some will attack you with a lying pretence of love,

and through that opening seek a shameful gain.

But don’t be tricked by hair gleaming with liquid nard,

or short tongues pressed into their creases:

don’t be ensnared by a toga of finest threads,

or that there’s a ring on every finger.

Perhaps the best dressed among them all’s a thief,

and burns with love of your finery.

‘Give it me back!’ the girl who’s robbed will often cry,

‘Give it me back!’ at the top of her voice in the cattle-market.

Venus, from your temple, all glittering with gold,

you calmly watch the quarrel, and you, Appian nymphs.

There are names known for a certain sort of reputation too,

they’re guilty of deceiving many lovers.

Learn from other’s grief to fear your own:

don’t let the door be opened to lying men.

Athenian girls, beware of trusting Theseus’s oaths:

those gods he calls to witness, he’s called on before.

And you, Demophoon, heir to Theseus’s crimes,

no honour remains to you, with Phyllis left behind.

If they promise truly, promise in as many words:

and if they give, you give the joys that were agreed.

She might as well put out the sleepless Vestal’s fire,

and snatch the holy relics from your Temple, Ino,

and give her man hemlock and monkshood crushed together, as deny him sex if she’s received his gifts.”

Kline, A. S. (2001). Translation of Ovid’s Ars Amatoria: The Art of Love.