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Welcome to Week Ten, our first unit on “erotic pursuit” in ancient Rome, in which we are becoming familiar with the love elegy. Our representative texts are Book One of Ovid’s Amores (Loves) and three letters from Ovid’s Heroides (Heroines). What is the dynamic of the relationship between Ovid and his mistress (Corinna)? Is it possible to know that we are getting an objective, detached viewpoint of the love affair, or is it all just from Ovid’s view? How does Ovid succeed or not succeed at getting inside of Corinna’s head and knowing her thoughts? Does the affair seem like ideal love? Is there jealousy? Violence? Neurotic behavior? If so, how is such behavior justified, or is it? Corinna never once seems to speak in the Amores, but is it possible to know her thoughts indirectly? If you are a heterosexual man, does Corinna seem like someone you would want to love? Does Ovid seem like a man you would want to be? If you’re a heterosexual woman, does Ovid seem like someone you would want to love? Does Corinna seem like someone you would want to be? Or is there enough evidence to know any of this with certainty? You don’t need to answer all of these questions; they are just meant to get you thinking.

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