I have just armed the Greeks against the Amazons; now, Penthesilea, it remains for me to arm thee against the Greeks, thee and thy valiant troop.
– Ovid, Ars Amatoria Book 3.
No matter what your opinion is on Ovid’s Art of Love, you’ve got to admit that this is such a fantastic introduction to the book. What powerful imagery! What clever allusions! I’ve always been partial to it.
It’s particularly telling that women are posed as being on the defensive in love. One might think we are made to anticipate that they too should expect to be stabbed by a hero’s spear. Oh, Ovid.