Medicamina Faciei Femineae

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Medicamina Faciei Femineae ('Cosmetics for the Female Face', also known as The Art of Beauty) is a didactic poem written in elegiac couplets by the Roman poet Ovid. In the hundred extant verses, Ovid defends the use of cosmetics by Roman women and provides five recipes for facial treatments. Other writers at the time condemned women's usage of cosmetics.


J. H. Mozley, tr. Ovid: The Art of Love and Other Poems, LCL 232 (1929), pp. 2–9
  • Prima sit in vobis morum tutela, puellae.
      Ingenio facies conciliante placet.
    Certus amor morum est: formam populabitur aetas,
      Et placitus rugis vultus aratus erit.
    Tempus erit, quo vos speculum vidisse pigebit,
      Et veniet rugis altera causa dolor.
    • Think first, ye women, to look to your behaviour. The face pleases when character commends. Love of character is lasting: beauty will be ravaged by age, and the face that charmed will be ploughed by wrinkles.
    • vv. 43–46 (tr. J. H. Mozley)
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