Happy Birthday, Ovid: with print-your-own-page edition

In honor of Ovid’s 2062nd birthday, I have uploaded a text of the birthday poem he wrote for himself in exile, Tristia III.13 (link). It’s a suitably depressing text for a time of plague and isolation, and may provide a bit of comfort even to those in quarantine far from home: unlike Ovid, you will almost certainly get back home in a few weeks or months, rather than never.

Please note: This is not a PDF but a Microsoft Word .doc file, so readers may edit it as needed for themselves or their students, though the usual copyright rules apply. Don’t put your name on it and republish it as your own unless you’ve put in enough changes to make it your own. Mine is in fact quite similar to J. B. Hall’s Teubner text, though I have selected different variants in one or two places, changed the orthography in a couple more, and made quite a few changes in the apparatus criticus. I hope that’s enough. If not, I’m sure De Gruyter will let me know.

Some changes you can make need no excuse. 1. The file includes a macro called ‘Demacronize’: running it will remove the macrons from all the vowels, if that is how you would rather read it, or have your students read it. 2. Anyone with Word who prefers a black-and-white text to save printing costs can easily remove the colors, though I’m not sure about Mac owners, whether they can even open it. (Can someone let me know in the comments?) 3. It uses what I would call the Student standard for orthography, distinguish vowels and consonants with Uu and Vv, but using Ii for both (no J or j). It is easy enough to change it to the modern ‘grown-up’ standard, with V for majuscule, and u for minuscule, both vowels and consonants. Just select the text column and do a search-and-replace (ctrl-H in Word) with ‘Match case’ checked (important!), and turn U into V and v into u. (I tried to make a macro for this, but, so far as I can tell, macros can only be applied to the whole file, and I wouldn’t want to turn (e.g.) Livingstone to Liuingstone or Umpfenbach to Vmpfenbach in an apparatus.) 4. I’ve tried printing it on A4 paper, and it doesn’t look bad: the headers and footers are no longer centered, but the text and apparatus look fine. However, since A4 is longer the long way and narrower the short way than 8.5 x 11 inch paper, this 28-line poem does extend to a second, blank, page. If you want a printed copy that is metric as well as metrical, and don’t want to waste paper, you need to make sure to print only ‘Page 1’.

Comments on the format or the poem itself are welcome. I’m thinking of making more ‘print-your-own-page’ editions of individual poems, as well as ‘print-your-own-pamphlet’ editions of longer poems, that could be folded and stapled into little ‘zine-like pamphlets. Four to six pages of text with facing apparatus would be just the right size for a lot of odes of Pindar, satires of Horace, or Heroides of Ovid. I hope to have a sample or two up in the next few days. All will be far less derivative in text and apparatus than this one: for me at least, it’s hard to disagree with Hall on the text of the Tristia.

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