Goal and methods
Ovid's goal was to provide, for men and women alike, advice on how to escape safely from an unhappy love affair - emotional bondage - without falling into the tragic ends of such legendary figures as Dido or Medea.
Among the techniques he suggested were: keeping busy; travelling; avoiding wine and love poetry (!); and concentrating on the beloved's defects rather than their strong points.
- Alexander Neckam in the Middle Ages thought that De Remedio Amoris was the most important book of Ovid's for scholars to read.
- Victorian views, seen for example in the work of Oskar Seyffert, generally adjudged The Cure for Love to be "as frivolous as it is original and elaborate...and no less offensive in substance and tone".
- The 20th Century generally took a more positive view, H J Rose calling Ovid's instructions both frank and ingenious; while from a different discipline Eric Berne commended their continuing (metropolitan) practicality.
- E J Kenny, Intro., Ovid: The Love Poems (OUP 2008) p. xxi-iii
- E J Kenny, Intro., Ovid: The Love Poems (OUP 2008) p. xxiii and p. 247
- E J Kenny, Intro., Ovid: The Love Poems (OUP 2008) p. 248-50 and p. 171-3
- H Waddell, The Wandering Scholars (Fontana 1968) p. 19
- O Seyffert, A Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (London 1891) p. 440
- H J Rose, A Handbook of Latin Literature (London 1966) p. 336
- E Berne, Sex in Human Loving (Penguin 1970) p. 226