By Marguerite Johnson

The Medicamina Faciei Femineae is a didactic elegy that showcases an early instance of Ovid's trademark mixture of poetic guide and trivial material. Exploring girl good looks and cosmeceuticals, with specific emphasis at the suggestion of cultus, the poem offers 5 useful recipes for remedies for Roman ladies. protecting either didactic parody and pharmacological fact, this deceptively complicated poem possesses wit and vivacity and offers a huge perception into Roman social mores and day by day actions.

The first complete learn in English dedicated to this little-researched yet multi-faceted poem, Ovid on Cosmetics contains an advent that situates the poem inside of its literary historical past of didactic and elegiac poetry, its position in Ovid's oeuvre and its relevance to social values, own aesthetics and attitudes to girl good looks in Roman society. The Latin textual content is gifted on parallel pages along a brand new translation, and all Latin phrases and words are translated for the non-specialist reader. certain observation notes elucidate the textual content and person words nonetheless extra.

Ovid on Cosmetics offers and explicates this witty, subversive but major poem. Its awareness to the technicalities of cosmeceuticals and cosmetics, together with precise analyses of person constituents and the results of particular lotions and make-up, make this paintings an important contribution to the sweetness in antiquity.

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Mid-second century advert. eleven 12 Ovid on Cosmetics Fig. 2 Bronze cosmetics box. Fourth to 3rd century BC. with jewelry and different goods. Official pictures, ornamental frescoes, sculptures and cash supply proof for numerous hairdos, which Bartman (2001: 1) argues ‘reproduce genuine kinds which may be made with actual hair. ’ The extra difficult types of the Flavian period and later, resembling the increased brow crown of pin-curls decorating the Fonseca Bust, can be accomplished with hair items if there have been a dearth of one’s average hair. Wigs and hairpieces, pointed out in written resources, haven't fared in addition to different fabric artefacts, other than in Egypt the place discoveries express a markedly different hair aesthetic in comparison to Roman kinds. also, whereas we all know either men and women used dye, in contrast to the occasional deposits left in beauty jars, no similar lines of hair colourants are extant. advent Fig. three field containing toiletries, from Cumae, Campania. First century advert. thirteen 14 Ovid on Cosmetics Fig. four Gilded bronze reflect depicting the 3 Graces. moment century advert. Fig. five Roman double-sided ivory comb. First century BC to moment century advert. creation 15 Fig. 6 Stele of P. Ferrarius Hermes. First century BC to moment century advert. Ovid on cultus, munditia and ars 3 of the 4 texts less than research herein belong to the center interval of Ovid’s literary profession. As Toohey (2013: 157) comments: ‘Ovid’s didactic poems have been released in speedy succession’ and all 3 of the erotodidactic works – the Medicamina, Ars Amatoria and Remedia – stick with on heavily from the second one variation of the Amores. during this recognize, the Amores, released as overdue as three BC in its revised shape, should be considered as being at the cusp of the center interval, thereby offering a delicate segue to the erotodidactic assortment. certainly, Ovid references the Amores within the didactic works via 16 Ovid on Cosmetics the radical selection of the elegiac couplet, which defines them as either educational and erotic. A attribute of Ovid’s erotodidactic works is the tripartite approach of cultus-munditia-ars and it really is via this paradigm that he's capable of discover female beautification (usually) loose from opprobrium and show his philosophies on cultivation and easy attractiveness. cultus is ‘labour’ or ‘care’ and within the strategy of cultus, one renders whatever more advantageous, refined or, in effect, cultivated. it's hence aligned with growth and civilization in terms of land, preserve, society and the person. with regards to society, cultus marks a constructed city setting not like person who is rustic and missing within the subtle markers of cultural evolution. In a complicated society, the sophisticates perform the method of self-improvement, using the precepts of cultus to coach the brain, excellent etiquette and increase visual appeal. cultus thereby competes with nature since it alters it with a purpose to increase upon it. within the Ovidian schema of decoration, cultus is associated with munditia and ars.

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