Ovids Early Life

Ovid Tristia 4.10.3-26 (with omissions)

My native place is Sulmo, very rich in cold waters, which is ninety (lit., nine times ten) miles from the city. I was born here, and indeed, so that you may know the time, when both consuls fell by the same fate. And I was not the first offspring; I was born after the birth of [my] brother (lit., [my] brother having been born), who had come into the world twelve (lit., four times three) months before. The same Morning Star was present at the birthdays of both; one day was celebrated with two cakes.

From the start, at a tender age, our education began (lit., we were educated), and through the care of [our] father we went to men in the city noted for their ability. From a young age, [my] brother was inclined to oratory, born for the strong weapons of the wordy Forum. But [when] still a boy, divine rites used to delight me, and the Muse used to draw [me] secredy to her work. Often [my] father said, "Why do you attempt a useless pursuit? Homer himself left no wealth." I was influenced by [his] words and, abandoning the whole of Helicon, I attempted to write prose (lit., words freed from meter). Of its own accord, poetry came in suitable rhythms, and what I was trying to write was verse.

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