The Latin poet Publius Ovidius Naso, desperate and sick, died in exile in 17 AD in Tomis, the present Constanza, in Romania, by the Black Sea, then called Pontus Euxinus, the Euxine Sea (favorable sea). He was born on March 20, 43 BC, the year after the assassination of Julius Caesar, in the city of Sulmona, in the center of Italy, east of Rome and about 130 km from the Urbe, the City, from an old and rich family; He was 60 years old when he died, much less than his father who died at 90 years old.
As it is fitting for the life of a forgotten exile, we do not know precisely the exact day of his death, which probably occurred in the winter. They have passed since the day he marched to Hades 2,000 years, according to the information that St. Jerome includes in his book “Chronicles of Eusebius”, in Chronicon 2033, which he makes it correspond with the year eighteenth year (18) of Christ, with the hundred and ninety-ninth Olympiad (199), with the fourth (4) of the reign of Herod and with the fourth (4) also of Tiberius.
Curiously the historian Titus Livius died also in the same year, but in his homeland Patavium, the Padua of today. Jerome says in Chronicon 2033, in accordance with http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/04z/z_0347-0420__Hieronymus__Chronicun__MLT.pdf.html
Ovid the poet died in exile, and is interred near the town of Tomi.
Ovidius poeta in exsilio perit, et iuxta oppidum Tomos sepelitur”
Ovid, together with Virgil and Horace, they are the three great poets of the time of Augustus who triumphed under cover of great protectors like Caius Clinius Maecenas, whose name has come to call all protector of the arts, and Marcus Valerius Messala Corvinus.
All three, although distinct, they are the highest figures of classical poetry and have played a decisive role in the configuration of Western culture. Perhaps the most read, imitated and influential in all the arts and not only in literature, is Ovid, although this is the least valued literarily.
Undoubtedly with excessive rigor and judging him with criteria of modern taste, J. Bayet says about Ovid in his Littérature Latine:
“Reading his poems in succession, they are found monotonous”
“a lire ses poemes de suite, on les trouve monotones” .
And Paladini and Castorina in his “Storia della letteratura latina”:
"Ovid, in short, appears as a great versifier but a mediocre poet, if we except some elegies of" Amores "and" Tristia "and some parts of the" Metamorphosis. "
(Ovidio, in definitiva, appare un gran verseggiatore e un mediocre poeta, ove si eccettuino alcune elegie degli "Amores" e dei "Tristia", più qualche parte delle "Metamorfosi").
With less severe criteria, his ease of versification and the abundance of formal resources, the poet's exhaustive knowledge of mythology, of literary tradition and its topics, his playful and ironic spirit, his sincere personal sentiment must be in some of his poems positively valued.
Well, we have scattered biographical data of Ovid in his works and above all an "autobiography", which without being complete and exhaustive, does offer us numerous data of interest that the poet wants to transcribe in his exile at the end of his life. I will reproduce it below entirety.
We have also two important Ovid’s anecdotes: one happy, which is the ease with which he composed verses, about which I wrote an article in this blog, to which I refer: http://en.antiquitatem.com/poetry-is-a-godsend-horace-ovid-virgil
The other one is more than an anecdote: in the year 8 of our era the Emperor Augustus, irritated we do not know exactly why, banished the poet without remission and forced him to leave the city, Rome, forever; accompanied by a soldier he undertook the journey before the end of the year to Tomis, at the Euxine Pontus, on the border of the Empire, on the border with barbarian peoples, and he died there sadly.
Infinite efforts have been devoted for centuries for find the concrete cause of the cruel decision of a dictator, who on the other hand seems to have had a good sense of humor. In another article I will deal with this question a little more extensively.
It will suffice on this occasion to say that from exile he sent to Rome, to his wife and to his friends, numerous letters that we keep under the title of Pontics or Epistulae ex Ponto, and wrote five books of elegies, some really exciting, tthe tradition gave them the name of "Tristia" (Sadness, sad things, sad poems, as you prefer to interpret them).
It is precisely in book IV that he includes the aforementioned autobiography which I will reproduce below in English and in Latin. But first I want to relate his works and make a small reference to his importance in the culture of the West.
The first, Amores (a set of 50 poems, written in "elegiac couplet" or set of two verses (δίστιχον , di-stichon, =two lines), a hexameter and a pentameter, was written and recited by Ovid at age 18. He sings the imagined loves, with his dear Corinna and they are a reflection about the social and loving life of the Romans in the time of Augustus.
(Art of loving) The poet proposes in the first two books of the Art of loving (Ars amandi or Ars amatoria) teach men to conquer loved women and in the third to teach women how to get their beloved. We would say today that it is a kind of "manual to flirt". It is also a portrait of Roman society. It seems that this work served Augustus as a pretext to condemn the poet to exile, although it was circulating for several years before Rome.
Remedia amoris pretends just the opposite of Ars amandi, that is, to liberate and heal the sick of love. Perhaps he wrote it to please those who were especially annoyed by the audacity of the previous felt.
"Women's Facial Cosmetics" (Medicamina faciei feminae) is a small rarity of which only 100 verses are preserved, dedicated to offering recipes and remedies to preserve the good, also spiritual, tone of women in love. It seems as if Ovid already suspected the extraordinary importance that the cosmetics industry would have later.
These works are those that gave him the unjust reputation of poet and dissolute man. It is true that when the poet speaks of "love," he does not refer to the Platonic and romantic, but to the physical and carnal; But his jocular, brash tone does not justify the moral judgment that Christianity, which later imposed itself, has dictated from him as an "obscene" poet, even though his influence in the "Christian" Middle Ages and Renaissance was enormous .
The Heroides are a collection of 21 love letters of women protagonists of the mythology
that the poet makes come out of his mouth, stylus or calamus. Ovid proclaims himself an inventor of this curious literary genre, from which, naturally, there was a precedent, such as the letter of Aretusa to her husband Lycotas, which Propertius offers in his Elegy IV, 6.
As a curiosity I will comment that one of the letters is of the poetess Sappho, unique non-mythological character and three are replies of the men loved. Many critics think that these letters are monotonous, despite the efforts of the poet's imagination.
Medea is a tragedy that is not preserved, highly valued by Ovid himself and by ancient authors such as Quintilianus or Tacitus. The tragic story of this woman, priestess, magician, madly in love with Jason, who once abandoned is capable of killing the fruit of that love, impressed Euripides, Seneca and countless authors ever since.
They have also been lost a Gigantomachy or epic poem about the struggle of the giants and an abbreviated translation of the Phaenomena of Aratus, that also had translated Cicero and later Germanicus.
The Metamorphoses (Metamorphoseis, from the Greek μεταμόρφωσις, 'transformation'), is undoubtedly his great creation and one of the masterpieces of Latin literature, whose reading can fascinate the reader. He versifies in 11.991 hexameters the transformations in stars, plants, animals of 250 Greco-Roman myths that follow a chronological order from the creation of the world until Augustus. He leaves in this work the love elegy and its characteristics and he mixes characteristics of the epic, other lyrics, bucolic or tragic. In this book, converted into a manual of mythology, painters like Velázquez, Tiziano and Rubens were inspired and current artists continue to be inspired.
The Fasti had to be written before the exile, although they were published about the year 12 AD. In the six books that he wrote, there are commented every day the festivities and myths of the first six months of the year, having planned to complete the year. The Latin word "fasti", in plural, designates lists of religious events or persons based on the chronological order of the calendar. Paulus Festus, 78.4-5 L, defines them when he says:
They are called books of Fasts to those in which a description of the whole year is made. The festive days are therefore the holidays
Fastorum libri appellantur, in quibus totius anni fit descriptio, fasti enim dies festi sunt
This first part was published in the year 8, the year of the exile and he did not feel strong enough or sufficient enough to complete the work, which is of exceptional historical and documentary interest. From a literary point of view he tries in some sense to emulate Virgil's Aeneid and to serve the greater glory and honor of the emperor Augustus, from whom in any case neither obtained the pardon nor permission to leave Tomis, nor did he succeed it from Tiberius.
The three book, that I comment below, correspond to his time in the exile:
Ibis is an invective or elegiac poem of 644 verses, written during exile, in which, using mythical stories, he curses and attacks an individual who is hurting him and whom he desires the terrible punishment of myths.
I have already referred to the poems “Tristia” and Letters from Pontus or Pontics (Epistulae ex Ponto) at the beginning of the article. They are works consisting of letters to his relatives and friends in which he asks that they intercede with the emperor to obtain the pardon and also describes his life between Scythians and Sarmatians and Getae, nomadic people related to the Dacians and Thracians.
The “Tristia”, the name is expressive enough, are five books that revolve around the sadness that produced the exile and the insistent request to the emperor to forgive him. Some of the passages, like that of the last night in Rome, are the best known and valued of the poet.
The Letters from Pontus (the Black Sea) are epistles to his wife and friends in Rome, in which the themes of the Tristia and the request for clemency are repeated. The poetic form of these letters and their own content is what keeps him alive in a hostile and dangerous land, harsh nature in which he lacks all the comforts that he loved, including any person to speak with in Latin or Greek.
There are also preserved a few works that were attributed to Ovid and are now considered spurious: Consolation to Livia (Consolatio ad Liviam),On fishing (Halieutica), The Walnut Tree (Nux), The Dream (Somnium).
I must advise the reading of this immense production that for two millennia has interested and influenced the whole western culture. He influenced Latin authors who followed him as Seneca, Lucan, Statius … although he weighed on him the moral judgment of his erotic works and he is the pagan poet par excellence for Christians. The Middle Ages, since the Carolingian era venerated Ovid, especially the Metamorphoses and their erotic books, until the twelfth century was called "Ovidian Aetas. At this time the poets considered him the great master of love to imitate, like the Chrétien de Troyes in about 1160. But also they use of Ovid to express the rejection to the sexuality, the amorous reprobation (reprobatio amoris), from his Remedia amoris.
He was, therefore, indispensable in the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance, although it was not only necessary to purge him of some elements but also to find clear references to the Christian religion. So the famous L ' Ovide moralisé, Christianized adaptation in French of the Metamorphoses in 72,000 octosyllabic verses was created in the beginning of the 14th century.
Boccaccio, Dante, Tasso, Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Calderón, Camoens were attracted by the works of Ovid, which have continued to remain present until our days.
Perhaps the poet himself foresaw the importance of his work and its perennial influence when he tells us at the end of the Metamorphoses, in book XV, 871-879:
And now, I have completed a great work, which not Jove's anger, and not fire nor steel, nor fast-consuming time can sweep away. Whenever it will, let the day come, which has dominion only over this mortal frame, and end for me the uncertain course of life. Yet in my better part I shall be borne immortal, far above the stars on high, and mine shall be a name indelible. Wherever Roman power extends her sway over the conquered lands, I shall be read by lips of men. If Poets' prophecies have any truth, through all the coming years of future ages, I shall live in fame.
(Ovid. Metamorphoses. Brookes More. Boston. Cornhill Publishing Co. 1922.)
Iamque opus exegi, quod nec Iovis ira nec ignis
nec poterit ferrum nec edax abolere vetustas.
Cum volet, illa dies, quae nil nisi corporis huius
ius habet, incerti spatium mihi finiat aevi :
parte tamen meliore mei super alta perennis
astra ferar, nomenque erit indelebile nosgtrum,
quaque patet domitis Romana potentia terris.
Ore legar populi perque omnia saecula fama,
siquid habent veri vatum presagia, vivam
Moreover the sadness and melancholy of his writings from Tomis have inspired many other authors who have also suffered exile, such as Cesare Pavese (1908-1950) with his Land of Exile (Terra d'esilio, 1936) from his residence in Brancaleone, in Calabria where he was confined by anti-fascist activities, and Ossip Mandelstam (1891-1938), deported by Stalin to Gulag, died in Vladivostock, who wrote precisely a work entitled "Tristia" in 1922.
The Elegy 10th of the book IV of the Tristia is an autobiography that in little more than 130 verses makes a journey from his childhood to his old age. It is, of course, the best source of data to know the life of the poet. This is a very peculiar work of Ovid, in elegiac couplet s (a hexameter plus a pentameter), similar in structure to a rhetorical piece, written from exile, almost at the end of his life, of which there is no precedent in history of Latin Literature.
In the first part he gives a description of his family: his parents, his brother, his wives, his daughter, his stepdaughter, his relatives, his literary friends, his political-administrative activity or "cursus honorum" that he soon abandoned. Then, until the end, he refers again and again to the committed "mistake", (error) that caused the exile and his stay in Tomis.
The excess of rhetorical elements, typical of Ovid's style, which sometimes make him somewhat obscure, his monotony and his general tone of worldly poet preoccupied only with a comfortable life and dock, have often earned him negative criticism, as I said at the beginning of this article; But he also has poems of a deep feeling and lyricism, like the third Elegy of the book I of the Tristia, that I will comment in a later article.
Tristia, IV, 10. The poet’s autobiogrphy.
That thou mayst know who I was, I that playful poet of tender love whom thou readest, hear my words, thou of the after time. Sulmo is my native place, a land rich in ice-cold streams, thrice thirty miles from the city. There first I saw the light, and if thou wouldst know the date, 'twas when both consuls fell under stress of like fate. I was heir to rank (if rank is aught) that came from forefathers of olden time-no knight fresh made by fortune's gift. I was not the first born, for my birth befell after that of a brother, thrice four months my senior. The same day-star beheld the birth of us both : one birthday was celebrated by the offering of our two cakes -that day among the five sacred to armed Minerva which is wont to be the first stained by the blood of combat. While still of tender age we began our training, and through our father's care we came to attend upon men of the city distinguished in the liberal arts. My brother's bent even in the green of years was oratory : he was born for the stout weapons of the wordy forum. But to me even as a boy service of the divine gave delight and stealthily the Muse was ever drawing me aside to do her work. Often my father said, " Why do you try a profitless pursuit ? Even the Maeonian left no wealth." I was influenced by what he said and wholly forsaking Helicon I tried to write words freed from rhythm, yet all unbidden song would come upon befitting numbers and whatever I tried to write was verse.
Meanwhile as the silent-pacing years slipped past we brothers assumed the toga of a freer life and our shoulders put on the broad stripe of purple while still our pursuits remained as before. And now my brother had seen but twice ten years of life when he passed away, and thenceforth I was bereft of half myself. I advanced so far as to receive the first office granted to tender youth, for in those days I was one third of the board of three. The senate house awaited me, but I narrowed my purple stripe: that was a burden too great for my powers. I had neither a body to endure the toil nor a mind suited to it ; by nature I shunned the worries of an ambitious life and the Aonian sisters were ever urging me to seek the security of a retirement I had ever chosen and loved.
The poets of that time I fondly reverenced : all bards I thought so many present gods. Ofttimes Macer, already advanced in years, read to me of the birds he loved, of noxious snakes and healing plants. Ofttimes Propertius would declaim his flaming verse by right of the comradeship that joined him to me. Ponticus famed in epic, Bassus also, famed in iambics, were pleasant members of that friendly circle. And Horace of the many rhythms held in thrall our ears while he attuned his fine-wrought songs to the Ausonian lyre. Vergil I only saw, and to Tibullus greedy fate gave no time for friendship with me. Tibullus was thy successor, Gallus, and Propertius his ; after them came I, fourth in order of time. And as I reverenced older poets so was I reverenced by the younger, for my Thalia was not slow to become renowned. When first I read my youthful songs in public, my beard had been cut but once or twice. My genius had been stirred by her who was sung throughout the city, whom I called, not by a real name, Corinna. Much did I write, but what I thought defective I gave in person to the flames for their revision. Even when I was setting forth into exile I burned certain verse that would have found favour, for I was angry with my calling and with my songs.
My heart was ever soft, no stronghold against Cupid's darts a heart moved by the slightest impulse. And yet, though such my nature, though I was set aflame by the littlest spark, no scandal became affixed to my name. When I was scarce more than a boy a wife unworthy and unprofitable became mine -mine for but a short space. Into her place came one, blameless, but not destined to remain my bride. And last is she who remained with me till the twilight of my declining years, who has endured to be the mate of an exile husband. My daughter, twice
fertile, but not of one husband, in her early youth made me grandsire. And already had my father completed his allotted span adding to nine lustra a second nine. For him I wept no otherwise tan he would have wept for me had I been taken. Next for my mother I made the offerings to death. Happy both ! and laid to rest in good season! since they passed away before the day of my punishment. Happy too am I that my misery falls not in their lifetime and that for me they felt no grief. Yet if for those whose light is quenched something besides a name abides, if a slender shade escapes the highheaped pyre, if, O spirits of my parents, report of me has reached you and the charges against me live in the Stygian court, know, I beg you -and you 'tis impious for me to deceive- that the cause of the exile decreed me is an error, and no crime. Be these my words to the shades. To you, fond hearts, that would know the events of my life, once more I turn.
Already had white hairs come upon me driving away my better years and mottling my ageing locks ; ten times since my birth had the victorious rider, garlanded with Pisan olive, borne away the prize, when the wrath of an injured prince ordered me to Tomis on the left of the Euxine sea. The cause of my ruin, but too well known to all, must not be revealed by evidence of mine. Why tell of the disloyalty of comrades, of the petted slaves who injured me ? Much did I bear not lighter than exile itself. Yet my soul,disdaining to give way to misfortune, proved itself unconquerable, relying on its own powers. Forgetting myself and a life passed in ease I seized with unaccustomed hand the arms that the time supplied : on sea and land I bore misfortunes as many as are the stars that lie between the hidden and the visible pole. Driven through long wanderings at length I reached the shore that unites the Sarmatians with the quiver-bearing Getae. Here, though close around me I hear the din of arms, I lighten my sad fate with what song I may ; though there be none to hear it, yet in this wise do I employ and beguile the day. So then this living of mine, this stand against the hardness of my sufferings, this bare will to view the daylight's woes, I owe, my Muse, to thee ! For thou dost lend me comfort, thou dost come as rest, as balm, to my sorrow. Thou art both guide and comrade : thou leadest me fur from Hister and grantest me a place in Helicon's midst ; thou hast given me while yet alive (how rare the boon !) a lofty name -the name which renown is wont to give only after death. Nor has jealousy,that detractor of the present, attacked with malignant tooth any work of mine. For although this age of ours has brought forth mighty poets, fame has not been grudging to my genius, and though I place many before myself, report calls me not their inferior and throughout the world I am most read of all. If then there be truth in poets' prophecies, even though I die forthwith, I shall not, O earth, be thine. But whether through favour or by very poetry I have gained this fame, 'tis right, kind reader, that I render thanks to thee. (Translated by Arthur Leslie Wheeler. The Loeb Classical Library. CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETPS. HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS. LONDON. WILLIAM HEINEMANN LTD. MCM XXXIX)
Tristia, IV, 10
Ille ego qui fuerim, tenerorum lusor amorum,
quem legis, ut noris, accipe posteritas.
Sulmo mihi patria est, gelidis uberrimus undis,
milia qui novies distat ab urbe decem.
editus hic ego sum, nec non, ut tempora noris,
cum cecidit fato consul uterque pari
si quid id est, usque a proavis vetus ordinis heres
non modo fortunae munere factus eques,
nec stirps prima fui; genito sum fratre creatus,
qui tribus ante quater mensibus ortus erat.
Lucifer amborum natalibus affuit idem:
una celebrata est per duo liba dies;
haec est armiferae festis de quinque Minervae,
quae fieri pugna prima cruenta solet.
protinus excolimur teneri curaque parentis
imus ad insignes urbis ab arte viros.
frater ad eloquium viridi tendebat ab aevo,
fortia verbosi natus ad arma fori,
at mihi iam puero caelestia sacra placebant,
inque suum furtim Musa trahebat opus.
saepe pater dixit ‘studium quid inutile temptas :
Maeonides nullas ipse reliquit opes.’
motus eram dictis, totoque Helicone relicto
scribere temptabam verba soluta modis.
sponte sua carmen numeros veniebat ad aptos,
et quod temptabam scribere versus erat.
interea tacito passu labentibus annis
liberior fratri sumpta mihique toga est,
induiturque umeris cum lato purpura clavo,
et studium nobis, quod fuit ante, manet.
iamque decem vitae frater geminaverat annos,
cum perit, et coepi parte carere mei.
cepimus et tenerae primos aetatis honores,
eque viris quondam pars tribus una fui.
curia restabat . clavi mensura coacta est,
maius erat nostris viribus illud onus.
nec patiens corpus, nec mens fuit apta labori,
sollicitaeque fugax ambitionis eram,
et petere Aoniae suadebant tuta sorores
otia, iudicio semper amata meo.
temporis illius colui fovique poëtas,
quotque aderant vates, rebar adesse deos.
saepe suas volucres legit mihi grandior aevo,
quaeque nocet serpens, quae iuvat herba. Macer.
saepe suos solitus recitare Propertius ignes,
iure sodalicii, quo mihi iunctus erat.
Ponticus heroo, Bassus quoque clarus iambis
dulcia convictus membra fuere mei.
et tenuit nostras numerosus Horatius aures;
dum ferit Ausonia carmina culta lyra.
Vergilium vidi tantum : nec avara Tibullo
tempus amicitiae fata dedere meae.
successor fuit hic tibi, Galle, Propertius illi;
quartus ab his sene temporis ipse fui.
utque ego maiores, sic me coluere minores,
notaque non tarde facta Thalia mea est.
carmina cum primum populo iuvenalia legi,
barba resecta mihi bisve semelve fuit.
moverat ingenium totam cantata per urbem
nomine non vero dicta Corinna mihi.
multa quidem scripsi, sed, quae vitiosa putavi,
emendaturis ignibus ipse dedi.
tunc quoque, cum fugerem, quaedam placitura cremavi,
iratus studio carminibusque meis.
molle Cupidineis nec inexpugnabile telis
cor mihi, quodque levis causa moveret, erat.
cum tamen hic essem minimoque accenderer igni,
nomine sub nostro fabula nulla fuit.
paene mihi puero nec digna nec utilis uxor
est data, quae tempus per breve nupta fuit.
illi successit, quamvis sine crimine coniunx,
non tamen in nostro firma futura toro.
ultima, quae mecum seros permansit in annos;
sustinuit coniunx exulis esse viri.
filia me mea bis prima fecunda iuventa,
sed non ex uno coniuge, fecit avum.
et iam complerat genitor sua fata novemque
addiderat lustris altera lustra novem.
non aliter flevi, quam me fleturus ademptum
ille fuit. Matri proxima busta tuli.
felices ambo tempestiveque sepulti,
ante diem poenae quod periere
meae! me quoque felicem, quod non viventibus illis
sum miser, et de me quod doluere nihil!
si tamen extinctis aliquid nisi nomina restat,
et gracilis structas effugit umbra rogos,
fama, parentales, si vos mea contigit, umbrae,
et sunt in Stygio crimina nostra foro,
scite, precor, causam (nec vos mihi fallere fas est)
errorem iussae, non scelus, esse fugae.
Manibus hoc satis est: ad vos, studiosa, revertor,
pectora, quae vitae quaeritis acta meae.
iam mihi canities pulsis melioribus annis
venerat, antiquas miscueratque comas,
postque meos ortus Pisaea vinctus oliva
abstulerat deciens praemia victor eques,
cum maris Euxini positos ad laeva Tomitas
quaerere me laesi principis ira iubet.
causa meae cunctis nimium quoque nota ruinae
indicio non est testificanda meo.
quid referam comitumque nefas famulosque nocentes?
Ipsa multa tuli non leviora fuga.
indignata malis mens est succumbere seque
praestitit invictam viribus usa suis;
oblitusque mei ductaeque per otia vitae
insolita cepi temporis arma manu;
totque tuli terra casus pelagoque quot inter
occultum stellae conspicuumque polum.
tacta mihi tandem longis erroribus acto
iuncta pharetratis Sarmatis ora Getis.
hic ego, finitimis quamvis circumsoner armis,
tristia, quo possum, carmine fata levo.
quod quamvis nemo est, cuius referatur ad aures,
sic tamen absumo decipioque diem.
ergo quod vivo duosque laboribus obsto,
nec me sollicitae taedia lucis habent,
gratia. Musa, tibi: nam tu solacia praebes,
tu curae requies, tu medicina venis.
tu dux et comes es, tu nos abducis ab Histro,
in medioque mihi das Helicone locum;
tu mihi, quod rarum est, vivo sublime dedisti
nomen, ab exequiis quod dare fama solet,
nec, qui detractat praesentia, Livor iniquo
ullum de nostris dente momordit opus.
nam tulerint magnos cum saecula nostra poetas,
non fuit ingenio fama maligna meo,
cumque ego praeponam multos mihi, non minor illis
dicor et in toto plurimus orbe legor.
si quid habent igitur vatum praesagia veri,
protinus ut moriar, non ero, terra, tuus.
sive favore tuli, sive hanc ego carmine famam,
iure tibi grates, candide lector, ago.