When the first edition of the Metamorphoses appeared in the bookshops of Rome, Ovid had already made a name for himself in the literary circles of the city. His literary début, the Amoves, immediately established his reputation as a poetic Lothario, as it lured his tickled readers into a typically Ovidian world of free-wheeling elegiac love, light-hearted hedonism, and (more or less) adept adultery. Connoisseurs of elegiac poetry could then enjoy his Heroides, vicariously sharing stirring emotional turmoil with various heroines of history and mythology, who were here given a literary forum for voicing bitter feelings of loss and deprivation and expressing their strong hostility towards the epic way of life. Of more practical application for the Roman lady of the world were his verses on toiletry, the Medicamina Faciei, and once Ovid had discovered his talent for didactic exposition à la mode Ovidienne, he blithely continued in that vein. In perusing the urbane and sophisticated lessons on love which the self-proclaimed erotodidaskalos presented in his Ars Amatoria, his (male and female) audience could hone their own amatory skills, while at the same time experiencing true Barthian jouissance in the act of reading a work, which is, as a recent critic put it, ‘a poem about poetry, and sex, and poetry as sex’. And after these extensive sessions in poetic philandering, his readers, having become hopeless and desperate eros-addicts, surely welcomed the thoughtful antidote Ovid offered in the form of the therapeutic Remedia Amoris, a poem written with the expressed purpose of freeing the wretched lover from the baneful shackles of Cupid.