There was once a man who grew up in the big, dusty, congested capital city of the most powerful country in the world. As a young man he rebelled against the cookie-cutter life that society expected him to have and turned to other pursuits. Instead he began writing as a way to support himself and spent the rest of his time hunting for girls.

Some of his written works included playful criticisms of society, which did not go down well with certain people and earned him many haters. This man ended up moving to a city on the Black Sea coast, where he would continue on writing and chasing women.

You are probably thinking that you know this story already. Sounds like something very familiar, a very modern tale that you have encountered before. I bet, though, that you did not have the same person in mind as I did when you were reading the previous paragraph. For you see, this story is not something that is happening now, or something that happened recently. This story is in fact, two thousand years old!

Enter Ovid

The man I am talking about is Ovid, an Ancient Roman poet, who grew up in Rome and was exiled to Tomis. This city is now the modern Constanta in Romania, but at the time it was a small provincial town at the edge of the Roman world. Ovid created arguably the greatest manual on how to pick up and seduce women and his advice is as pertinent today as it was thousands of years ago. The themes he writes about and the tips he gives can tell us a lot about the nature of women and what a man should do to get them.

Ovid wrote the “Ars Amatoria,” a three book manual on how to pick up chicks. Well, actually only two of those books deal with picking up chicks, since the third one is meant as a way to give tips to chicks on how to pick up guys (although it can be argued that the third book is more of a parody than a real book on tips).

The “Ars Amatoria” proved so successful that he even had to write a sequel, the “Remedia Amoris,” or cure for love, meant to give tips to guys on how to get over their oneitis and fall out of love.

These books were a huge hit, but also made him many enemies, and were probably one of the reasons why Emperor Augustus banished him from Rome and sent him to live in Tomis, a desolate frontier town on the Black Sea coast.

Ovid’s Life

However, let’s go back a bit and talk more about the background of this man and what made him become one of the greatest characters of Roman history. Ovid was born in a town east of Rome in 43 BC. His family was very important and rich and so he got a classic education focused on rhetoric. He was destined to become a lawyer and a public official. However, as a young man, he rebelled against this life of boredom and turned to poetry instead.

Statuia_lui_Ovidiu

His works included the “Amores,” a series of poems on love, as well as the “Metamorphoses,” arguably his most remarkable and challenging work, one in which he described various Greek and Roman myths and legends.

Yet Ovid was also a player, and spent much of his days chasing after women of all ages and backgrounds, single or married. Before he turned 30, he managed to get married three times!

He wrote the “Ars Amatoria” at around 2 AD, when Emperor Augustus was at the helm of the Roman Empire and a few years after a set of conservative laws on family, monogamous marriage, and against adultery had been passed. The “Ars Amatoria,” written in a fun and playful way, could also be interpreted as a hidden critique of this conservative and uptight order. After all, a large part of the book is about adultery and how to sleep with girls outside of marriage, as well as how to seduce married women.

Ovid was banished to Tomis a few years after writing this book, his crime being “a poem and a mistake.” The poem was most likely the “Ars Amatoria” and the mistake might have been involvement in some sort of a conspiracy against Emperor Augustus, as several people were exiled at the same time.

Ovid would spend the rest of his life in Tomis, even learning the local languages, Getic and Scythian. He longed for a return to Rome, but a pardon was never granted. He died in 17 or 18 AD, a decade after he was sent into exile.

Practical Tips On How To Pick Up Girls

There are many tips and I suggest you read the books, but let’s give a small sampling. Not only does he give tips on attraction, comfort and seduction, but he also gives tips on how to AMOG other guys, grooming, spots where to hunt, as well as a very good description of the nature of women.

A very important part is the mindset. Ovid says that all women want to be won over. They all want some guy to come and sweep them off their feet. Why not you?

First of all, be quite sure that there isn’t a woman who cannot be won, and make up your mind that you will win her.

Another important tip on mindset is that you need to act in order to get women. You cannot sit on your ass and hope they will come to you:

She’s not going to be wafted down to you from heaven on the wings of the wind. You must use your own-eyes to discover the girl that suits you.

He wasn’t very big on moving abroad to chase women. Sure, there were plenty of hot girls everywhere, but you need to look around and see that there are plenty of hot girls where you live too:

You won’t have to put to sea in order to do that, or to undertake any distant journeys. Perseus may bring home his Andromeda from sun-scorched India, and the Phrygian swain may go to Greece to bear away his bride; Rome alone will give you a choice of such lovely women, and so many of them, that you will be forced to confess that she gathers within her own bosom all the treasures that the world can show.

Ovid was the king of the indirect approach and describes several of his sneaky openers. For example, this is what you should do, if you are at the stadium:

You must think of some means of starting the conversation. Begin by saying the sort of thing people generally do say on such occasions. Some horses are seen entering the stadium; ask her the name of their owner; and whoever she favors, you should follow suit. And when the solemn procession of the country’s gods and goddesses passes along, be sure and give a rousing cheer for Venus, your protectress. If, as not infrequently befalls, a speck of dust lights on your fair one’s breast, flick it off with an airy finger; and if there’s nothing there, flick it off just the same; anything is good enough to serve as a pretext for paying her attention.

He not only gives tips on how to seduce women, but also includes many observations on the female nature. Even back in the day, many women were goldiggers:

Even a barbarian, if only he is rich, is sure to find favor. This is the golden age for this very truth. Gold will buy the highest honors; and gold will purchase love. Homer himself, even if he came attended by the nine Muses, would promptly be shown the door if he brought no money to recommend him.“

Through the use of examples from myths and legends, Ovid also gives a few warnings. Actually false rape accusations were a big part of Greek and Roman mythology and Ovid mentions this and the need to be careful. One story is the story of Phaedra and Hippolytus, where Phaedra, while married to another man, wants to get it on with Hippolytus, and when he rejects her, she falsely accuses him of rape.

The “Ars Amatoria” is quite red pill. Ovid frequently mentions cases of female promiscuity and how many women are hypergamous. Female nature does not change according to the country or the age. Women of two thousand years ago and from very conservative cultures had the same vices that the women of today have.

However, his message on the nature of women is not all pessimistic. There is a small ray of light at the end of the tunnel. There are those rare women that do have honor and will stand by their man in good times and bad:

Now forbear to condemn the whole sex for the crimes of a few of its members; let every woman be judged on her own merits. If the young Alcides had reason to complain of Helen, if his elder brother could with justice accuse Clytemnestra, Helen’s sister; if, through the crime of Eriphyle, the daughter of Talaos, Amphiaraus went riding to the under-world on his living steeds, is it not also true that Penelope remained chaste when sundered from her husband who was kept for ten years fighting before Troy and who, when Troy had fallen, wandered over the seas for ten years more? Look at Laodamia, who, in order to join her husband in the grave, died long before her tale of years was told. And Alcestis, who, by sacrificing her own life, redeemed her husband, Admetus, from the tomb.

There is hope after all, but you do need to learn the tools of the trade, if you want to be successful. I recommend that you read Ovid’s manual for yourself and apply the lessons in your life. It is a true gem of ancient literature, filled with timeless wisdom.

Read more: Why You Should Learn Latin