How to Pick up Women: Advice from Ovid’s Ars Amatoria

Yesterday I shared on Twitter a pick up strategy from Ovid that Pound alludes to in the Cantos.  I’ve had a request to translate a few more.  Here are some of my favorites:


From I.139-142.   A great place to pick up a pretty girl is at the Circus:

Sit as close as possible to your lady, nothing is forbidden in the Circus.

Press your leg as close to her leg as possible at all times.

With those close seats there are no boundaries, even if it annoys you,

So you pretty much have to touch your lady when you’re in the Circus.


From I.153-156.  And if she has a wardrobe malfunction make sure you help her:

If the hems of her skirt are dragging on the ground,

then gather them up and lift them from the dirt, and immediately,

as a reward for your attentiveness—if she allows it, of course—

your eyes will get a good look at her bare legs.


From 1.455-458. A little love note is always a good thing:

Go ahead and send her a letter with flattering sentiments,

and use this to explore her feelings and to test the road first.


From 1.505-506 and 509-510. Look presentable but not too metro:

Don’t curl your hair with the curling iron,

and don’t pluck all the hair from your legs.

A man is more handsome when he is not so fussy

about his appearance; Theseus, for example,

carried off Ariadne without spending any time

on his looks.


Filed under Classics, Poetry, Uncategorized

11 responses to “How to Pick up Women: Advice from Ovid’s Ars Amatoria

  1. LOL! Not sure I trust those Latin guys….. ;D

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha ha ha! A bit slimey, methinks… Well, clearly he was a little too successful for the Emperor’s taste, isn’t that why he was sent into exile?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, we like boys more with hair on their legs and if they don’t use our hair styling tools 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Up-skirting, nice! These are really funny: good post!


  5. I had a lot of fun when I read Ars Amatoria (in French) a few years ago. (there’s a billet on my blog)
    Thanks for reminding me how modern it sounds.
    PS: I’m currently reading The Life of the Twelve Ceasars. (in French) I’m struggling a bit, I’ll see how it goes.

    Liked by 1 person

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