The poet Ovid (43 B.C.-A.D. 17/18) was enormously popular during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and had already gone through several editions by the time of the Aldine. In a field with many competitors, the set's preface touts the convenient new octavo format, and the work includes detailed indexes of the Latin and Greek names used by Ovid. The pages are not numbered, but before the index the user is given instructions to number the pages himself so that the index will be usable. This stems back to the practice with handwritten manuscripts, where the reader was expected to add his own foliation.
Included in the publication is Aldus's privilege, or copyright, from the doge of Venice, dated November 1502. This privilege takes note of the many contributions Aldus has made to the city of Venice, mentioning in particular his designs of greek and italic typefaces, which the doge forbids anyone in the realm to use or imitate. A fine for violation is prescribed, the proceeds of which are to go in part to the feeding of the city's orphans.