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Dido Aeneae




Dido Aeneae (Sic ubi fata uocant, udis abiectus in herbis)

Name of the Portuguese translation

De johã rroīz de saa ao cõde de portalegre mandando lhe esta epístola de dido a éneas q(ue) treladou a seu rroguo (pt.007)


Publius Ovidius Naso

43 a.C – 17 d.C.




Poetic epistle addressed by Dido, queen of Carthage, to Aeneas, the Trojan hero with whom she falls in love.

Although Ovid started a career in politics and law, in his youth he abandoned these activities to devote himself entirely to poetry. His works are divided into three groups: early in his career as a writer, he composed the following works: Medea (a lost tragedy), Amores, Ars Amatoria, Remedia Amoris, Medicamina Faciei; on a more mature period, he writes Metamorphoses and Fasti; at the end of his career, already in exile, he composes letters with lamentations: Epistulae ex Ponto, Tristia, Ibis, Halieutica (Prieto, 2006: S.U. 'Ovid', 231). The Heroides belong to the first phase of the poet's career, although it is not possible to set a specific date for their production (Prieto, 2006: S.U. 'Ovid', 231).


The date of composition of the Heroides is unknown, although a passage of Amores (Am. 2.18.19-26) indicates that they were written before this last work. Thus, Knox (1995: 6) raises the possibility they were written between 25 and 16 BC.



Extant witnesses

In the National Library, in Portugal (Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal), there are several copies of the Heroides of Ovid (in the sectionReservados’). Some are from the end of the fifteenth century (INC. 832, INC 1432, INC 1551), others belong to the sixteenth century (RES. 5940//1 P., RES. 3194 V., L. 5306 A., L. 1300 V., L. 1301 V., L. 16555//4 P., L. 818 A. and L. 816 A.). It’s not clear whether any of the first copies mentioned was used as a source for the translation of the ovidian poems. However, we know that the incunabula 832 has handwritten notes in Portuguese and has some similarities with the translations of Cancioneiro Geral (Tarrío, 2001a: 165-181).

Tarrío (2001a: 165, 180, 1998: 264, 266) refers to the existence of other copies of the ovidian work in various libraries of the country.


Editions and comentaries:

DÖRRIE, H. (ed.) (1971) P. Ovidi Nasonis Epistulae Heroidum. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter.

JACOBSON, Howard. Ovid’s Heroides. New Jersey: Princeton University, 1974.

KENNEY, E. J. (ed.) (1996) Ovid Heroides XVI–XXI. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

KNOX, P. E. (ed.) (1995) Ovid: Heroides. Select Epistles. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

ISBELL, Harold (trad.) (1990) OVID, Heroides. London: Penguin Classics.

BORNECQUE, Henri e PRÉVOST, Marcel (1991). OVIDE, Héroïdes, Paris: Les Belles Lettres.

PÉREZ VEGA, Ana (trad.) (1994) OVÍDIO, Cartas de las Heroínas e Ibis. Madrid: Editorial Gredos.

ROEBUCK, L. T. (ed.) (1998) Heroides I. Springfield: Sacred Heart-Griffin High School.

SHOWERMAN, G. e GOOLD, G. P. (1986) Ovid, Heroides and Amores. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

SILVA, Dunia Marinho (trad.) (2007) OVÍDIO. Cartas de Amor: As Heróides. São Paulo: Landy Editora.



ANDERSON, W. S. (1973) "The Heroides", in BINNS, J. W. (ed.) Ovid. London and Boston: Routledge, 49–83.

ARENA, A. (1995) "Ovidio e l’ideologia augustea: I motivi delle Heroides ed il loro significato", Latomus 54.4: 822–41.

BECK, M. (1996) Die Epistulae Heroidum XVIII und XIX des Corpus Ovidianum. Paderborn: Schöningh.

COURTNEY, E. (1965) "Ovidian and Non-Ovidian Heroides", Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies of the University of London (BICS) 12, 63-66.

COURTNEY, E. (1998) "Echtheitskritik: Ovidian and Non-Ovidian Heroides Again", CJ 93, 157-166.

FARRELL, J. (1998) "Reading and Writing the Heroides", Harvard Studies in Classical Philology (HSCP) 98, 307-338.

FULKERSON (2002b) "(Un)Sympathetic Magic: A Study of Heroides 13", American Journal of Philology (AJPh) 123, 61–87.

FULKERSON, L. (2002a) "Writing Yourself to Death: Strategies of (Mis)reading in Heroides 2", Materiali e discussioni per l'analisi dei testi classici (MD) 48, 145-165.

FULKERSON. Laurel (2005) The Ovidian Heroine as Author: Reading, Writing, and Community in the Heroides. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

HEINZE, T. (1991–93) "The Authenticity of Ovid Heroides 12 Reconsidered", Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies of the University of London (BICS) 38, 94–98.

HINTERMEIER, C. M. (1993) Die Briefpaare in Ovids Heroides : Tradition und Innovation. (Palingenesia, 41.). Stuttgart: Steiner.

JACOBSON, H. (1974) Ovid's Heroides. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

JOLIVET, J.-C. (2001) Allusion et fiction epistolaire dans Les Heroïdes: Recherches sur l'intertextualité ovidienne. Paris/Rome: École Française de Rome.

KENNEDY, D. F. (1984) "The Epistolary Mode and the First of Ovid’s Heroides", Classical Quarterly (CQ) n.s. 34, 413-422.

KENNEDY, D. F. (2002) "Epistolarity: The Heroides", in HARDIE, P. R. (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Ovid. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 217-232.

KNOX, P. E. (1986) "Ovid's Medea and the Authenticity of Heroides 12", Harvard Studies in Classical Philology (HSCP) 90, 207-223.

KNOX, P. E. (2002) "The Heroides: Elegiac Voices", in B. W. Boyd (ed.) Brill's Companion to Ovid. Leiden: Brill, 117-139.

LACHMANN, K. (1876) Kleinere Schriften zur classischen Philologie, Bd. 2. Berlin: Reimer.

LINDHEIM, S. (2003) Mail and Female: Epistolary Narrative and Desire in Ovid's Heroides. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

LINGENBERG, W. (2003) Das erste Buch der Heroidenbriefe. Echtheitskritische Untersuchungen. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh.

MEDEIROS, Mariana Carrijo (2010) AMOR E MORTE: UMA ANÁLISE DAS HEROÍNAS OVIDIANAS. I Congresso Internacional do Curso de História da UFG/Jataí – GO – Gênero, Cultura e Poder. Universidade Federal de Goiás. In (acedido a 08-01-2013).

PALMER, A. (ed.) (1898) P. Ovidi Nasonis Heroides, with the Greek translation of Planudes. Oxford: The Clarendon Press.

PRIETO, Maria Helena Ureña (2006), Dicionário de Literatura Latina, Lisboa: Verbo.

RAHN, H. (1963) "Ovids elegische Epistel", Antike und Abendland (A&A) 7, 105-120.

REEVE, M. D. (1973) "Notes on Ovid’s Heroides", Classical Quarterly (CQ) 23, 324-338.

ROSATI, G. (1992) "L’elegia al femminile: le Heroides di Ovidio (e altre heroides)", Materiali e discussioni per l'analisi dei testi classici (MD) 29, 71-94.

ROSENMEYER, P. A. (1997) "Ovid’s Heroides and Tristia: Voices from Exile", Ramus 26.1, 29-56. [Reprinted in Knox (ed.) (2006), 217-237.]

SALVATORE, Armando. Motivi poetici nelle “Heroides” di Ovidio. In: Atti del convegno internazionale ovidiano. v. II. Roma: Istituto di Studi Romani Editore, 1959.

SILVA, Márcia Regina de Faria (2008). O Trágico nas Heroides de Ovídio. Tese de Doutoramento. Rio de Janeiro: Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

SMITH, R. A. (1994) "Fantasy, Myth, and Love Letters: Text and Tale in Ovid’s Heroides", Arethusa 27, 247-273.

SPENTZOU, E. (2003) Readers and Writers in Ovid’s Heroides: Transgressions of Genre and Gender Oxford: Oxford University Press.

SPENTZOU, Efrossini (2003) Readers and writers in Ovid's Heroides : transgressions of genre and gender. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

STEINMETZ, P. (1987) "Die literarische Form der Epistulae Heroidum Ovids", Gymnasium 94, 128-145.

STROH, W. (1991) "Heroides Ovidianae cur epistolas scribant", in Papponetti, G. (ed.) Ovidio poeta della memoria. Rome: Herder – Comitato celebrazioni ovidiane, 201–44.

TARRANT, R. J. (1981) "The Authenticity of the Letter of Sappho to Phaon", Harvard Studies in Classical Philology (HSCP) 85, 133-153.

VERDUCCI, F. (1985) Ovid’s Toyshop of the Heart. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

VESSEY, D. W. T. (1976) "Humor and Humanity in Ovid’s Heroides", Arethusa 9, 91-110.

VIARRE, S. (1987) "Des poèmes d’Homère aux Heroïdes d’Ovide: Le récit épique et son interpretation élégiaque", Bulletin de l’association Guillaume Budé Ser. 4, 3.