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Publius Ovidus Naso was born March 20, 43 BC, in Sulmo (Sulmona), an Apennine valley east

of Rome, his family were an important equestrian family. He was educated in Rome under the

teachers Arellius Fuscus and Porcius Latro with a brother who excelled at oratory. His father

would have like for him to study rhetoric toward the practice of law. Ovid tended to the

emotional not the argumentative pole of rhetoric. His brother died at the age of 20. Ovid

renounced law and began travelling to Athens, Asia Minor and Sicily. He held minor public

posts, but resigned to pursue poetry around 29-25 BC at the age of eighteen.


Ovid, was a Roman poet with three major collections of erotic poetry, Heroides, Amores, and

Ars Amatoria. He is also well known for the Metamorphoses, a mythological poem, Fasti, this

was about the Roman calendar, and Tristia and Epistular ex Ponto two poems written in exile on

the Black Sea. He is considered a master of the elegiac couplet, and is traditionally ranked

alongside Virgil and Horace as one of the three canonic poets of Latin literature. He talks more

about his own life than other Roman poets.        His biography is primarily from his poetry,

especially Tristia 4.10, that gave a long autobiographical account of his life. Ovid was very

popular in the time of his early works, but was exiled by Augustus in 8 AD. He married three

times and divorced twice by the age of thirty. He had only one daughter who gave him

grandchildren. His last wife was part of influential gens Sulpicia and helped him during his exile

in Tomis.


Ovid's exile to Tomis which is on the Black Sea was by Emperor Augustus for no special

intervention without the participation of the Senate or any Roman judge. This event shaped all

of the following poetry. Ovid wrote the reason for his exile was "a poem and a mistake",
claiming that his crime was worse than murder. The Emperor banished his grandchildren alone

with Lucius Aemilius Paullus who was put to death for conspiracy against the Emperor

Augustus, with Ovid knowledge of the conspiracy. In exile Ovid wrote two poetry titled Tristia

and Epistulae ex Ponto showing his sadness and desolation. He had to access to libraries being

so far from Rome. In the Tristia the poet's expressed despair in the exile and advocating his

return to Rome. In the Epistulae ex Ponto was a series of letters to friends in Rome asking them

to effect his return. Ovid expressed loneliness and hope to return from banishment or exile.


Ovid died at Tomis after ten years of exile. He was buried a few kilometers away in a nearby

town. In 1930 the town was rename Ovidiu in his honor. Romanian nationalists have adopted

Ovid as "The First Romanian Poet" and placed him in the pantheon of Romanian national heroes.


Tristia consist of five books composed while in exile in Tomis which was about sorrows. Book

1 contains 11 poems. Ovid told about his voyage to Tomis, the betrayal of a friend, loyalty of his

friends and wife, and his apologize for the quality and tone of his book. Book 2 was one long

poem were he defends himself and his poetry, used precedents to justify his work, and begs the

emperor for forgiveness. Book 3 focuses on his life in Tomis. Book 4 was addressed to friends.

Book 5 was focused on his wife and friends and apologies to his readers for the quality of his

poetry.


Epistulae ex Ponto is a collection of four books about the exile. Each was addressed to different

friends and focused more on securing his recall from exile. It deals with request for friends to

speak on his behalf to members of the imperial family. In these books he describes his state of

health, his hopes, memories and yearning for Rome, and his needs in exile. This poem is

consisted the "Letters from the Black Sea".
The synopsis of the Metamorphoses or "Transformation". This was Ovid's most ambitious and

popular work, containing 15 books. Each myth is set outdoors where mortals are vulnerable to

external influences. There are about 250 different myths mentioned in the books with animals,

trees, removal of body parts.


This best interpretations is as followed as in the first book talk about the world, the ages of man,

the flood, story of Daphne's rape by Apollo and Io's by Jupiter. The second talks about Jupiter's

love with Callisto and Europa. The third focuses on mythology of Thebes with stories of

Cadmus, Actaeon and Pentheus. The fourth talks of three lovers which are Pyramus and Thisbe,

Salmacis and Hermaphroditus, and Perseus and Andromeda. The fifth is about a song of the

Muses which describes the rape of Proserpina. The sixth are stories of rivalry between goods

and mortals. The seventh is about Medea, Cephalus and Procris. The eighth is where Daedalus

flight, Calydonian boar hunt and the wicked Erysichton.          The ninth is Heracles and the

incestuous Byblis. The tenth are stories of doomed love. The eleventh compares the marriage of

Peleus and Thetis with the love of Ceyx and Alcyone. The twelfth leaves myth to history of

Achilles and the battle of the Trojan. The thirteenth is about the contest over Achilles arms and

Polyphemus. The fourteenth is now in Italy describing about a journey. The final book opens

with a lecture by Pythagoras and Caesar with the end praising Augustus and expressing Ovid's

and his immortality. This is one poem that keeps you in suspense of what would happen next to

the characters he chose to write about.

				
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