Ovid’s Abeunt Studia in Mores
Practices into habits, habits into character
The Latin phrase abeunt studia in mores is ascribed to Publius Ovidius Naso aka Ovid. A master of rhetoric, the art of public speaking, Ovid is known for Metamorphoses (a mythological narrative in epic meter), Amores (The Loves), Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love) among others.
Abeunt studia in mores means practices passionately pursued become habits, or studies become habits or pass on into one’s character.
Ars amatoria was a sensational work. It guided men, how to seduce women; guided women, how to coax jealousy in a lover. Amores and Ars amatoria reflect Roman sexual norms during the reign of Emperor Augustus. They brought Ovid, fame, and exile. His epitaph pleads: ‘You who pass by … may you trouble yourself to say that Naso’s bones may rest softly’.