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Ovid on February 9th

I really like what Ovid has to say about Februry 9th in his Fasti1: so much, in fact, that I am going to share it with you here. The reference at the beginning relates to the last entry: he didn't write about every single day of the year, just the important ones.

"When, five days later, the Morning Star has lifted up its radiance bright from out the ocean waves, then is the time that spring begins. But yet be not deceived, cold days are still in store for thee, indeed they are: departing winter leaves behind great tokens of himself."
(Fasti 2.149-52, Loeb translation by Sir J.G. Frazer - also of Golden Bough fame).

It seems to fit nicely with today being the Chinese New Year: a fresh beginning is upon us, although winter ain't over yet.

Meanwhile, here in Belfast, I am starting to see crocuses in the University's flower beds (purple ones, no less), and blackbirds are singing.

Now, I return to writing about gigantic and unwieldy early Roman coins (with pigs and elephants on them - yay!) for tomorrow's first-year lecture.

1. A poem about the Roman year which describes all the festivals and astronomical developments which occur day by day... up until the end of June, that is, after which either the text is lost, Ovid never intended to write any more anyway, or he was sent into exile while the poem was still unfinished (most scholars today prefer option b).


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 9th, 2005 04:31 pm (UTC)
I really liked that! More on future notable days please!
Feb. 9th, 2005 04:38 pm (UTC)
I'll see what I can do!

The problem tends to be that when days are really notable, Ovid bangs on and on about them for pages and pages, and it can all, frankly, get a bit much. I found myself wondering what an LJ-feed of the Fasti would be like this morning when I was typing up this one, but realised it wouldn't actually be much fun due to the length of most of the entries.

Still, if I can catch him being short, charming and pertinent to the day in hand again, I'll post it up!
Feb. 9th, 2005 05:33 pm (UTC)
Short and pertinent is good! I keep wanting to call him Ovoid (because I like the sound, not because I'm stupid).
Feb. 9th, 2005 05:52 pm (UTC)
He probably wouldn't have minded in the least - his full name was Publius Ovidius Naso, and that last bit, which is what all his friends would have called him, means 'The Nose'. Who knows, maybe he even had an ovoid nose?
Feb. 10th, 2005 01:44 pm (UTC)
I know someone with one of those. I rarely question why people haven't had cosmetic surgery done (in fact, this may even be a first for me), but with this person, I wonder every day. They look like they have a boiled egg with nostrils.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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