-speaking world, was a Roman
poet who is best known as the author of the three major collections of erotic poetry: Heroides
, Amores, and Ars Amatoria
. He is also well known for the Metamorphoses, a mythological hexameter
poem; the Fasti
, about the Roman calendar; and the Tristia
and Epistulae ex Ponto
, two collections of poems written in exile on the Black Sea.
Sic ego nec sine te nec tecum vivere possum.
Exitus acta probat.
Resist beginnings; the prescription comes too late when the disease has gained strength by long delays.
Qui finem quaeris amoris/Cedit amor rebus; res age, tutus eris.
Poetry comes fine-spun from a mind at peace.
So long as you are secure you will count many friends; if your life becomes clouded you will be alone.
Cura quid expediat prius est quam quid sit honestum
Note too that a faithful study of the liberal arts humanizes character and permits it not to be cruel.
The mind, conscious of rectitude, laughed to scorn the falsehood of report.
They come to see; they come that they themselves may be seen.
-speaking world, was a Roman
poet who is best known as the author of the three major collections of erotic poetry: Heroides
, Amores, and Ars Amatoria
. He is also well known for the Metamorphoses, a mythological hexameter
poem; the Fasti
, about the Roman calendar; and the Tristia
and Epistulae ex Ponto
, two collections of poems written in exile on the Black Sea. Ovid was also the author of several smaller pieces, the Remedia Amoris
, the Medicamina Faciei Femineae
, and the long curse-poem Ibis (Ovid)
. He also authored a lost tragedy, Medea
. He is considered a master of the elegiac couplet
, and is traditionally ranked alongside Virgil
as one of the three canonic
poets of Latin literature
. The scholar Quintilian
considered him the last of the canonical Latin love elegists. His poetry, much imitated during Late Antiquity
and the Middle Ages
, decisively influenced Europe
and remains as one of the most important sources of classical mythology
LifeOvid talks more about his own life than most other Roman poets. Information about his biography is drawn primarily from his poetry, especially Tristia 4.10, which gives a long autobiographical account of his life. Other sources include Seneca
Birth, early life and marriageOvid was born in Sulmo (Sulmona), in an Apennine
valley east of Rome
, to an important equestrian
family, on March 20, 43 BC. That was a significant year in Roman politics. He was educated in Rome in rhetoric under the teachers Arellius Fuscus
and Porcius Latro with his brother who excelled at oratory. His father wished him to study rhetoric
toward the practice of law. According to Seneca the Elder
, Ovid tended to the emotional, not the argumentative pole of rhetoric. After the death of his brother at 20 years of age, Ovid renounced law and began travelling to Athens, Asia Minor
, and Sicily
. He held minor public posts, as one of the tresviri capitales and as one of the decemviri stlitibus iudicandis, but resigned to pursue poetry probably around 29–25 BC, a decision of which his father apparently disapproved. His first recitation has been dated to around 25 BC, when Ovid was eighteen. He was part of the circle centered upon the patron Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus
, but seems to have been friends with poets in the circle of Maecenas
. In Trist. 4.10.41–54, Ovid mentions friendships with Macer, Propertius
, and Bassus (he only barely met Virgil and Tibullus, a fellow member of Messalla's circle whose elegies he admired greatly). Ovid was very popular at the time of his early works, but was later exiled by Augustus in AD 8. He married three times and divorced twice by the time he was thirty years old. However, he only had one daughter who eventually bore him grandchildren. His last wife was connected in some way to the influential gens Fabia and would help him during his exile in Tomis.
, the Art of Love, a parody of didactic poetry and a three-book manual about seduction and intrigue, which has been dated to 2 AD. Ovid may identify this work in his exile poetry as the carmen, or song, which was one cause of his banishment. The Ars Amatoria was followed by the Remedia Amoris in the same year. This corpus of elegiac, erotic poetry earned Ovid a place among the chief Roman elegists Gallus, Tibullus, and Propertius, of which he saw himself as the fourth member.
By 8 AD, he had completed his most ambitious work, the Metamorphoses, a hexameter epic poem in 15 books which encyclopedically catalogues transformations in Greek and Roman mythology from the emergence of the cosmos to the deification
of Julius Caesar
. The stories follow each other in the telling of human beings transformed to new bodies — trees, rocks, animals, flowers, constellation
s et cetera. At the same time, he was working on the Fasti
, a six-book poem in elegiac couplets which took the Roman festivals
calendar and astronomy as its theme. The composition of this poem was interrupted by Ovid's exile, and it is thought that Ovid abandoned work on the piece in Tomis. It is likely in this period, if they are indeed by Ovid, that the double letters (16–21) in the Heroides were composed.
Exile to TomisIn 8 AD, Ovid was banished to Tomis, on the Black Sea
, by the exclusive intervention of the Emperor Augustus
, without any participation of the Senate
or of any Roman judge
, an event which would shape all of his following poetry. Ovid wrote that the reason for his exile was carmen et error — "a poem and a mistake", claiming that his crime was worse than murder
, more harmful than poetry. The Emperor's grandchildren, Agrippa Postumus
and Julia the Younger
, were banished around the time of his banishment; Julia's husband, Lucius Aemilius Paullus, was put to death for conspiracy
against Augustus, a conspiracy about which Ovid might have known. The Julian Marriage Laws of 18 BC, which promoted monogamous
marriage to increase the population's birth rate, were fresh in the Roman mind. Ovid's writing in the Ars Amatoria concerned the serious crime of adultery
, and he may have been banished for these works which appeared subversive to the emperor's moral legislation. However, because of the long distance of time between the publication of this work (1 BC) and the exile (8 AD), some authors suggest that Augustus used the poem as a mere justification for something more personal.
In exile, Ovid wrote two poetry collections titled Tristia
and Epistulae ex Ponto
, illustrating his sadness and desolation. Being far from Rome, he had no access to libraries, and thus might have been forced to abandon the Fasti
poem about the Roman calendar, of which only the first six books exist — January through June. The five books of the elegiac Tristia, a series of poems expressing the poet's despair in exile and advocating his return to Rome, are dated to 9–12 AD. The Ibis, an elegiac curse poem attacking an adversary at home may also be dated to this period. The Epistulae ex Ponto
, a series of letters to friends in Rome asking them to effect his return, are thought to be his last compositions, with the first three books published in 13 AD and the fourth book between 14 and 16 AD. The exile poetry is particularly emotive and personal. In the Epistulae he claims friendship with the natives of Tomis (in the Tristia
they are frightening barbarians) and to have written a poem in their language (Ex P. 4.13.19–20). And yet he pined for Rome and for his third wife, as many of the poems are to her. Some are also to the Emperor Augustus
, yet others are to himself, to friends in Rome, and sometimes to the poems themselves, expressing loneliness and hope of recall from banishment or exile.
The obscure causes of Ovid's exile have given rise to endless explanations from scholars studying antiquity. In fact, the medieval texts that mention the exile offer no credible explanations as their statements seem incorrect interpretations drawn from the works of Ovid. Ovid himself wrote many references to his offense giving obscure or contradictory clues. In 1923, scholar J. J. Hartmann proposed a theory that is little considered among scholars of Latin civilization today — that Ovid never left Rome to the exile and that all of his exile works are the result of his fertile imagination. This theory was supported and rejected in the 1930s, especially by Dutch
authors. In 1985 a new research paper by Fitton Brown advanced new arguments in support of the theory; the article was followed by a series of supports and refutations in the short space of five years. Among the reasons argued by Brown is: that Ovid's exile is only informed by his own work, except in "dubious" passages by Pliny the Elder
, but no other author until the 4th century; that the author of Heroides
was able to separate the poetic "I" of his own and real life; that information on the geography of Tomis were already known by Virgil
and by Ovid himself in his Metamorphoses. Orthodox scholars, however, are opposed to these hypotheses. One of the main arguments of these scholars is that Ovid wouldn't let his Fasti
remain unfinished, mainly because this poem meant his consecration as imperial poet.
DeathOvid died at Tomis in AD 17. It is thought that the Fasti, which he spent time revising, were published posthumously. He was allegedly buried a few kilometers away in a nearby town. In 1930 that town was renamed Ovidiu
in his honor. As Ovid spent the last years of his life and literary work in what is now Romania
, Romanian nationalists have adopted him as "The First Romanian Poet" and placed him in the pantheon of Romanian national heroes. Ovidiu
is a common male first name in Romania. Also, a statue commemorates him in the Romania
n city of Tomis (contemporary Constanța
). The statue's Latin inscription reads (Tristia 3.3.73–76):
- Hic ego qui iaceo tenerorum lusor amorum
- Ingenio perii, Naso poeta, meo.
- At tibi qui transis, ne sit grave, quisquis amasti,
- Dicere: Nasonis molliter ossa cubent.
- Here I lie, who played with tender loves,
- Naso the poet, killed by my own talent.
- O passerby, if you've ever been in love, let it not be too much for you
- to say: May the bones of Naso lie gently.
Heroides ("The Heroines")The Heroides ("Heroines") or Epistulae Heroidum are a collection of 21 poems in elegiac couplets. The Heroides take the form of letters addressed by famous mythological characters to their partners expressing their emotions at being separated from them, pleas for their return, and allusions to their future actions within their own mythology. The authenticity of the collection, partially or as a whole, has been questioned, although most scholars would consider the letters mentioned specifically in Ovid's description of the work at Am. 2.18.19–26 as safe from objection. The collection comprises a new type of generic composition without parallel in earlier literature. The first 14 letters are thought to comprise the first published collection and are written by the heroines Penelope
, Dido, Hermione
, Deianeira, Ariadne
, and Hypermestra to their absent male lovers. Letter 15, from the historical Sappho
, seems spurious (although referred to in Am. 2.18) because of its length, its lack of integration in the mythological theme, and its absence from Medieval manuscripts. The final letters (16–21) are paired compositions comprising a letter to a lover and a reply. Paris
and Helen, Hero
, and Acontius
are the addressees of the paired letters. These are considered a later addition to the corpus because they are never mentioned by Ovid and may or may not be spurious. The Heroides markedly reveal the influence of rhetorical declamation and may derive from Ovid's interest in rhetorical suasoriae, persuasive speeches, and ethopoeia, the practice of speaking in another character. They also play with generic conventions; most of the letters seem to refer to works in which these characters were significant, such as the Aeneid
in the case of Dido and Catullus
64 for Ariadne and transfer characters from the genres of epic and tragedy to the elegiac genre of the Heroides. The letters have been admired for their deep psychological portrayals of mythical characters, their rhetoric, and their unique attitude to the classical tradition of mythology.
Amores ("The Loves")The Amores is a collection in three books of love poetry in elegiac meter, following the conventions of the elegiac genre developed by Tibullus
and Propertius. The books describe the many aspects of love and focus on the poet's relationship with a mistress called Corinna
. Within the various poems are several which describe events in the relationship, thus presenting the reader with some vignettes and a loose narrative. Book 1 contains 15 poems; the first poem tells of Ovid's intention to write epic poetry which is thwarted when Cupid steals a metrical foot from him, changing his work into love elegy. Poem 4 is didactic and describes principles which Ovid would develop in the Ars Amatoria
. The fifth poem, describing a noon tryst, introduces Corinna by name. Poems 8 and 9 deal with Corinna selling her love for gifts, while 11 and 12 describe the poet's failed attempt to arrange a meeting. 14 discusses Corinna's disastrous experiment in dying her hair and 15 stresses the immortality of Ovid and love poets.
The second book has 19 pieces; the opening poem tells of Ovid's abandonment of a Gigantomachy
in favor of elegy
. 2 and 3 are entreaties to a guardian to let the poet see Corinna, poem 6 is a lament for Corinna's dead parrot, 7 and 8 deal with Ovid's affair with Corinna's servant and her discovery of it, and 11 and 12 try to prevent Corinna from going on vacation. 13 a prayer to Isis
for Corinna's illness, 14 a poem against abortion, and 19 a warning to unwary husbands. Book 3 has 15 poems. The opening piece depicts personified Tragedy and Elegy fighting over Ovid. 2 describes a visit to the races, 3 and 8 focus on Corinna's interest in other men, 10 is a complaint to Ceres
because of her festival that requires abstinence, 13 is a poem on a festival of Juno
, and 9 a lament for Tibullus
. In poem 11 Ovid decides not to love Corinna any longer and regrets the poems he has written about her. The final poem is Ovid's farewell to the erotic muse. Critics have seen the poems a highly self conscious and extremely playful specimens of the elegiac genre.
Medicamina Faciei Femineae ("Women's Facial Cosmetics")About a hundred elegiac lines survive from this poem on beauty treatments for women's faces, which seems to parody serious didactic poetry. The poem says that women should concern themselves first with manners and then prescribes several compounds for facial treatments before breaking off. The style is not unlike the shorter Hellenistic didactic works of Nicander and Aratus
Ars Amatoria ("The Art of Love")The Ars Amatoria is a didactic elegiac poem in three books which sets out to teach the arts of seduction and love. The first book is addressed to men and teaches them how to seduce women, the second, also to men, teaches one how to keep a lover. The third is addressed to women and teaches seduction techniques. The first book opens with an invocation to Venus in which Ovid establishes himself as a praeceptor amoris (1.17) a teacher of love. Ovid describes the places one can go to find a lover, like the theater, a triumph, which is thoroughly described, or arena, and ways to get the girl to take notice, including seducing her covertly at a banquet. Choosing the right time is significant as are getting into her associates' confidence. Ovid emphasizes care of the body for the lover. Mythological digressions include a piece on the Rape of the Sabine women, Pasiphae, and Ariadne. Book 2 invokes Apollo and begins with a telling of the story of Icarus. Ovid advises lovers to avoid giving too many gifts, keep up their appearance, hide affairs, complement her, and ingratiate themselves with slaves to stay on their lover's good side. The care of Venus for procreation is described as is Apollo's aid in keeping a lover; Ovid then digresses on the story of Vulcan's trap for Venus and Mars. The book ends with Ovid asking his "students" to spread his fame. Book 3, opens with a vindication of women's abilities and Ovid's resolution to arm women against his teaching in the first two books. Ovid gives women detailed instructions on appearance telling them to avoid too many adornments. He advises women to read elegiac poetry, learn to play games, sleep with people of different ages, flirt, and dissemble. Throughout the book, Ovid playfully interjects, criticizing himself for undoing all his didactic work to men and mythologically digresses on the story of Procis and Cephalus. The book ends with his wish that women will follow his advice and spread his fame saying Naso magister erat, Ovid was our teacher.
Remedia Amoris ("The Cure for Love")This elegiac poem proposes a cure for the love which Ovid teaches in the Ars Amatoria and is primarily addressed to men. The poem criticizes suicide as a means for escaping love and, invoking Apollo, goes on to tell lovers not to procrastinate and be lazy in dealing with love. Lovers are taught to avoid their partners, not perform magic, see their lover unprepared, take other lovers, and never be jealous. Old letters should be burned and the lover's family avoided. The poem throughout presents Ovid as a doctor and utilizes medical imagery. Some have interpreted this poem as the close of Ovid's didactic cycle of love poetry and the end of his erotic elegiac project.
's Catalogue of Women
' Aetia, Nicander
's Heteroeumena, and Parthenius
' Metamorphoses. The first book describes the formation of the world, the ages of man, the flood, the story of Daphne
's rape by Apollo and Io's by Jupiter. The second book opens with Phaethon and continues describing the love of Jupiter with Callisto
. The third book focuses on the mythology of Thebes
with the stories of Cadmus
, and Pentheus
. The fourth book focuses on three lovers: Pyramus and Thisbe, Salmacis
, and Perseus
. The fifth book focuses on the song of the Muses, which describes the rape of Proserpina
. The sixth book is a collection of stories about the rivalry between gods and mortals, beginning with Arachne
and ending with Philomela
. The seventh book focuses on Medea
, as well as Cephalus
. The eighth book focuses on Daedalus
' flight, the Calydonian boar hunt, and the contrast between pious Baucis and Philemon
and the wicked Erysichthon
. The ninth book focuses on Heracles
and the incestuous Byblis
. The tenth book focuses on stories of doomed love, such as Orpheus
, who sings about Hyacinth
us, as well as Pygmalion
, and Adonis
. The eleventh book compares the marriage of Peleus
with the love of Ceyx
. The twelfth book moves from myth to history describing the exploits of Achilles
, the battle of the centaurs, and Iphigeneia
. The thirteenth book discusses the contest over Achilles' arms, and Polyphemus
. The fourteenth moves to Italy, describing the journey of Aeneas
, and Romulus
. The final book opens with a philosophical lecture by Pythagoras
and the deification of Caesar
. The end of the poem praises Augustus and expresses Ovid's belief that his poem has earned him immortality.
In analyzing the Metamorphoses, scholars have focused on Ovid's organization of his vast body of material. The ways that stories are linked by geography, themes, or contrasts creates interesting effects and constantly forces the reader to evaluate the connections. Ovid also varies his tone and material from different literary genres; G. B. Conte
has called the poem a "a sort of gallery of these various literary genres." In this spirit, Ovid engages creatively with his predecessors, alluding creatively to the full spectrum of classical poetry. Ovid's use of Alexandrian epic, or elegiac couplets, shows his fusion of erotic and psychological style with traditional forms of epic.
Fasti ("The Festivals")Six books in elegiacs survive of this second ambitious poem on which Ovid was working at the time he was exiled. The six books cover the first semester of the year, with each book dedicated to a different month of the Roman calendar
(January to June). The project seems unprecedented in Roman literature. It seems that Ovid planned to cover the whole year, but was unable to finish because of his exile, although he did revise sections of the work at Tomis, and he claims at Trist. 2.549–52 that all twelve books were finished. Like the Metamorphoses, the Fasti was to be a long poem and emulated aetiological poetry by writers like Callimachus and, more recently, Propertius and his fourth book. The poem goes through the Roman calendar, explaining the origins and customs of important Roman festivals, digressing on mythical stories, and giving astronomical and agricultural information appropriate to the season. The poem was probably dedicated to Augustus initially, but perhaps the death of the emperor prompted Ovid to change the dedication to honor Germanicus
. Ovid uses direct inquiry of gods and scholarly research to talk about the calendar and regularly calls himself a vates
, a priest. He also seems to emphasize unsavory, popular traditions of the festivals, imbuing the poem with a popular, plebeian flavor, which some have interpreted as subversive to the Augustan moral legislation. While this poem has always been invaluable to students of Roman religion and culture for the wealth of antiquarian material it preserves, it recently has been seen as one of Ovid's finest literary works and a unique contribution to Roman elegiac poetry.
Ibis ("The Ibis")The Ibis is an elegiac poem in 644 lines, in which Ovid uses a dazzling array of mythic stories to curse and attack an enemy who is harming him in exile. At the beginning of the poem, Ovid claims that his poetry up to that point had been harmless, but now he is going to use his abilities to hurt his enemy. He cites Callimachus' Ibis as his inspiration and calls all the gods to make his curse effective. Ovid uses mythical exempla to condemn his enemy in the afterlife, cites evil prodigies that attended his birth, and then in the next 300 lines wishes that the torments of mythological characters happen to his enemy. The poem ends with a prayer that the gods make his curse effective.
Tristia ("Sorrows")The Tristia consist of five books of elegiac poetry composed by Ovid in exile in Tomis. Book 1 contains 11 poems; the first piece is an address by Ovid to his book about how it should act when it arrives in Rome. 3 describes his final night in Rome, 2 and 10 Ovid's voyage to Tomis, 8 the betrayal of a friend, and 5 and 6 the loyalty of his friends and wife. In the final poem Ovid apologizes for the quality and tone of his book, a sentiment echoed throughout the collection. Book 2 consists of one long poem in which Ovid defends himself and his poetry, uses precedents to justify his work, and begs the emperor for forgiveness. Book 3 in 14 poems focuses on Ovid's life in Tomis. The opening poem describes his book's arrival in Rome to find Ovid's works banned. Poems 10, 12, and 13 focus on the seasons spent in Tomis, 9 on the origins of the place, 2,3, and 11 his emotional distress and longing for home. The final poem is again an apology for his work. The fourth book has ten poems addressed mostly to friends. Poem 1 expresses his love of poetry and the solace it brings; 2 describes a triumph of Tiberius. Poems 3–5 are to friends, 7 a request for correspondence, and 10 an autobiography. The final book of the Tristia with 14 poems focuses on his wife and friends. Poems 4, 5, 11, and 14 are addressed to his wife, 2 and 3 are prayers to Augustus and Bacchus, 4 and 6 are to friends, 8 to an enemy. Poem 13 asks for letters, while 1 and 12 are apologies to his readers for the quality of his poetry.
Epistulae ex Ponto ("Letters from the Black Sea")The Epistulae ex Ponto is a collection in four books of further poetry from exile. The Epistulae are each addressed to a different friend and focus more desperately than the Tristia on securing his recall from exile. The poems mainly deal with requests for friends to speak on his behalf to members of the imperial family, discussions of writing with friends, and descriptions of life in exile. The first book has ten pieces in which Ovid describes the state of his health (10), his hopes, memories, and yearning for Rome (3,6,8), and his needs in exile (3). Book 2 contains impassioned requests to Germanicus (1 and 5) and various friends to speak on his behalf at Rome while he describes his despair and life in exile. Book 3 has nine poems in which Ovid addresses his wife (1) and various friends. It includes a telling of the story of Iphigenia in Tauris (2), a poem against criticism (9), and a dream of Cupid (3). Book 4, the final work of Ovid, in 16 poems talks to friends and describes his life as an exile further. Poems 10 and 13 describe Winter and Spring at Tomis, poem 14 is half-hearted praise for Tomis, 7 describes its geography and climate, and 4 and 9 are congratulations on friends for their consulships and requests for help. Poem 12 is addressed to a Tuticanus, whose name, Ovid complains, does not fit into meter. The final poem is addressed to an enemy whom Ovid implores to leave him alone. The last elegiac couplet is translated: "Where’s the joy in stabbing your steel into my dead flesh?/ There’s no place left where I can be dealt fresh wounds."
Lost WorksOne loss which Ovid himself informs us of is the first five-book edition of the Amores from which nothing has come down to us. The greatest loss is Ovid's only tragedy, Medea, from which only a few lines are preserved. Quintilian admired the work a great deal and considered it a prime example of Ovid's poetic talent. Lactantius quotes from a lost translation by Ovid of Aratus' Phaenomena, although the poem's ascription to Ovid is insecure because it is never mentioned in Ovid's other works. Even though it is unlikely, if the last six books of the Fasti ever existed, they constitute a great loss. Ovid also mentions some occasional poetry which does not survive. Also lost is the final portion of the Medicamina.
Consolatio ad Liviam ("Consolation to Livia")The Consolatio is a long elegiac poem of consolation to Augustus' wife Livia
on the death of her son Drusus
. The poem opens by advising Livia not to try and hide her sad emotions and contrasts Drusus' military virtue with his death. Drusus' funeral and the tributes of the imperial family are described as are his final moments and Livia's lament over the body, which is compared to birds. The laments of the city of Rome as it greets his funeral procession and the gods are mentioned, and Mars from his temple dissuades the Tiber river from quenching the pyre out of grief. Grief is expressed for his lost military honors, his wife, and his mother. The poet asks Livia to look for consolation in Tiberius. The poem ends with an address by Drusus to Livia assuring him of his fate in Elysium. Although this poem was connected to the Elegiae in Maecenatem, it is now thought that they are unconnected. The date of the piece is unknown, but a date in the reign of Tiberius has been suggested because of that emperor's prominence in the poem.
Halieutica ("On Fishing")The Halieutica is a fragmentary didactic poem in 134 poorly preserved hexameter lines and is considered spurious. The poem begins by describing how every animal possesses the ability to protect itself and how fish use ars to help themselves. The ability of dogs and land creatures to protect themselves are described. The poem goes on to list the places which are best for fishing and which types of fish should be caught. Although Pliny the Elder mentions a Halieutica by Ovid, which was composed at Tomis near the end of Ovid's life, modern scholars believe Pliny was mistaken in his attribution and that the poem is not genuine.
Nux ("The Walnut Tree")This short poem in 91 elegiac couplets is a monologue spoken by a walnut tree asking that boys not pelt her with stones to get her fruit. The tree contrasts the formerly fruitful golden age with the its own barren time in which fruit is violently ripped off and its branches broken. The tree compares itself to several mythological characters, praises the peace the emperor provides, and prays to be destroyed rather than suffer. The poem is considered spurious because it incorporates allusions to Ovid's works in an uncharacteristic way, although the piece is thought to be contemporary or by a poet of the same period.
Somnium ("The Dream")This poem, traditionally placed at Amores 3.5 is considered spurious. The poet describes a dream to an interpreter, saying that he sees while escaping from the heat of noon a white heifer near a bull; when the heifer is pecked by a crow, it leaves the bull for a meadow with other bulls. The interpreter interprets the dream as a love allegory; the bull represents the poet, the heifer a girl, and the crow an old woman. The old woman spurs the girl to leave her lover and find someone else. The poem is known to have circulated independently and its lack of engagement with Tibullan or Propertian elegy argue in favor of its spuriousness, however, the poem does seem to be datable to the early empire.
StyleOvid is traditionally considered the final significant love elegist in the evolution of the genre and one of the most versatile in his handling of the genre's conventions. Like the other canonical elegiac poets Ovid takes on a persona in his works that emphasizes subjectivity and personal emotion over traditional militaristic and public goals, a convention which has been linked by some scholars with the relative stability provided by the Augustan settlement. However, although Catullus
and Propertius may have been inspired in part by personal experience (the validity of "biographical" readings of these poets' works is a serious point of scholarly contention) Ovid has been seen as taking on a persona in his poetry which is far more emotionally detached from his mistress and less involved in crafting a unique emotional realism within the text than the other elegists. This attitude, coupled with the lack of testimony which identifies Ovid's Corinna with a real person has led scholars to conclude that Corinna was never a real person and that Ovid's relationship with her is an invention for his elegiac project. Some scholars have even interpreted Corinna as a metapoetic symbol for the elegiac genre itself.
Ovid has been considered a highly inventive love elegist who plays with traditional elegiac conventions and elaborates the themes of the genre; Quintilian even calls him a "sportive" elegist. In some poems, he uses traditional conventions in new ways, such as the paraklausithyron of Am. 1.6, while other poems seem to have no elegiac precedents and appear to be Ovid's own generic innovations, such as the poem on Corinna's ruined hair (Am. 1.14). Ovid has been traditionally seen as far more sexually explicit in his poetry than the other elegists. His erotic elegy covers a wide spectrum of themes and viewpoints; the Amores focus on Ovid's relationship with Corinna, the love of mythical characters is the subject of the Heroides, and the Ars Amatoria
and the other didactic love poems provide a handbook for relationships and seduction from a (mock-)"scientific" point of view. In his treatment of elegy, scholars have traced the influence of rhetorical education in his enumeration
, in his effects of surprise, and in his transitional devices. Some commentators have also noted the influence Ovid's interest in love elegy in his other works, such as the Fasti and have distinguished his "elegiac" style from his "epic" style. Richard Heinze in his famous Ovids elegische Erzählung delineated the distinction between Ovid's styles by comparing the Fasti
and Metamorphoses versions of the same legends such as the treatment of Ceres
story in both poems. Heinze demonstrated that, "whereas in the elegiac poems a sentimental and tender tone prevails, the hexameter narrative is characterized by an emphasis on solemnity and awe..." His general line of argument has been accepted by Brooks Otis
, who wrote:
Otis wrote that in the Ovidian poems of love, he "was burlesquing
an old theme rather than inventing a new one." Otis states that the Heroides are more serious and, though some of them are "quite different from anything Ovid had done before [...] he is here also treading a very well-worn path" to relate that the motif of females abandoned by or separated from their men was a "stock motif of Hellenistic and neoteric
poetry (the classic example for us is, of course, Catullus 66)." Otis also states that Phaedra
, Dido and Hermione
(also present in the poem) "are clever re-touchings of Euripides
and Vergil." Some scholars, such as Kenney and Clausen, have compared Ovid with Virgil. According to them, Virgil was ambiguous and ambivalent while Ovid was defined and, while Ovid wrote only what he could express Virgil wrote for the use of language
CriticismOvid's works have been interpreted in various ways over the centuries with attitudes that depended on the social, religious and literary contexts of different times. It is known that since his own lifetime, he was already famous and criticized. In the Remedia Amoris
, Ovid reports criticism from people who considered his books insolent. Ovid responded to this criticism by writing the following: "Gluttonous Envy, burst: my name’s well known already:/it will be more so, if only my feet travel the road they’ve started./But you’re in too much of a hurry: if I live you’ll be more than sorry:/many poems, in fact, are forming in my mind." After such criticism subsided, Ovid became one of the best known and most loved Roman poets during the Middle Ages
and the Renaissance
. The authors of the Middle Ages used his work as a way to read and write about sex
without orthodox "scrutiny routinely given to commentaries on the Bible
". In the Middle Ages the voluminous Ovide Moralisé, a French work that moralizes 15 books of the Metamorphoses was composed. This work then influenced Chaucer. Ovid's poetry provided insipration for the Renaissance idea of humanism, and more specifically, for many Renaissance painters and writers. Montaigne, for example, alluded to Ovid several times in his Essais, specifically in his comments on Education of Children when he says:
In the 16th century, some Jesuit schools of Portugal
cut several passages from Ovid's Metamorphoses. While the Jesuits saw his poems as elegant compositions worthy of being presented to students for educational purposes, they also felt his works as a whole might corrupt students. Jesuits took much of their knowledge of Ovid to the Portuguese colonies. According to Serafim Leite (1949), the ratio studiorum
was in effect in Colonial Brazil
during the early 17th century, and in this period Brazilian students read works like the Epistulae ex Ponto
to learn Latin
. In Spain Ovid is both praised and criticized by Cervantes in his Don Quixote where he warns against satires that can exile poets as it happened to Ovid. In the 16th century, Ovid's works were criticized in England. The Archbishop of Canterbury
and the Bishop of London
ordered that a contemporary translation of Ovid's love poems be publicly burned in 1599. The Puritan
s of the following century viewed Ovid as pagan, thus as an immoral influence. John Dryden
composed a famous translation of the Metamorphoses into stopped rhyming couples during the 18th century, when Ovid was "refashioned [...] in its own image, one kind of Augustanism making over another." The Romantic movement of the 19th century, in contrast, considered Ovid and his poems "stuffy, dull, over-formalized and lacking in genuine passion." Romantics might have preferred his poetry of exile. The picture Ovid among the Scythians
, painted by Delacroix
, portrays the last years of the poet in exile in Scythia
, and was seen by Baudelaire, Gautier
and Edgar Degas
. Baudelaire took the opportunity to write a long essay
about the life of an exiled poet like Ovid. These informations show that the exile of Ovid had some influence in 19th century Romanticism
since it makes connections with its key concepts such as the wildness
and the misunderstood genius
Literary and ArtisticSee the website "Ovid illustrated: the Renaissance reception of Ovid in image and Text" for many more Renaissance examples.
- (c.800–810) ModuinModuinModuin, Modoin, or Mautwin was a Frankish churchman and Latin poet of the Carolingian Renaissance. He was a close friend of Theodulf of Orléans, a contemporary and courtier of the emperors Charlemagne and Louis the Pious, and a member of the Palatine Academy. In signing his own poems he used the...
, a poet in the court circle of CharlemagneCharlemagneCharlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...
, adopts the pen name Naso.
- (12th century) The troubadourTroubadourA troubadour was a composer and performer of Old Occitan lyric poetry during the High Middle Ages . Since the word "troubadour" is etymologically masculine, a female troubadour is usually called a trobairitz....
s and the medieval courtoise literature
- (13th century) The Roman de la RoseRoman de la RoseThe Roman de la rose, , is a medieval French poem styled as an allegorical dream vision. It is a notable instance of courtly literature. The work's stated purpose is to both entertain and to teach others about the Art of Love. At various times in the poem, the "Rose" of the title is seen as the...
, Dante AlighieriDante AlighieriDurante degli Alighieri, mononymously referred to as Dante , was an Italian poet, prose writer, literary theorist, moral philosopher, and political thinker. He is best known for the monumental epic poem La commedia, later named La divina commedia ...
- (14th century) PetrarchPetrarchFrancesco Petrarca , known in English as Petrarch, was an Italian scholar, poet and one of the earliest humanists. Petrarch is often called the "Father of Humanism"...
, Geoffrey ChaucerGeoffrey ChaucerGeoffrey Chaucer , known as the Father of English literature, is widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages and was the first poet to have been buried in Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey...
, Juan RuizJuan RuizJuan Ruiz , known as the Archpriest of Hita , was a medieval Spanish poet. He is best known for his ribald, earthy poem, Libro de buen amor .-Origins:...
- (15th century) Sandro BotticelliSandro BotticelliAlessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance...
- (16th century–17th century) Christopher MarloweChristopher MarloweChristopher Marlowe was an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. As the foremost Elizabethan tragedian, next to William Shakespeare, he is known for his blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his mysterious death.A warrant was issued for Marlowe's arrest on 18 May...
, William ShakespeareWilliam ShakespeareWilliam Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...
, John MarstonJohn MarstonJohn Marston was an English poet, playwright and satirist during the late Elizabethan and Jacobean periods...
, Cephalus and Procris; Narcissus
- (17th century) John MiltonJohn MiltonJohn Milton was an English poet, polemicist, a scholarly man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell...
, Gian Lorenzo BerniniGian Lorenzo BerniniGian Lorenzo Bernini was an Italian artist who worked principally in Rome. He was the leading sculptor of his age and also a prominent architect...
, Miguel de CervantesMiguel de CervantesMiguel de Cervantes Saavedra was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. His magnum opus, Don Quixote, considered the first modern novel, is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written...
's Don Quixote, 1605 and 1615, Luis de GóngoraLuis de GóngoraLuis de Góngora y Argote was a Spanish Baroque lyric poet. Góngora and his lifelong rival, Francisco de Quevedo, are widely considered to be the most prominent Spanish poets of their age. His style is characterized by what was called culteranismo, also known as Gongorism...
's La Fábula de Polifemo y GalateaLa Fábula de Polifemo y GalateaLa Fábula de Polifemo y Galatea , or simply the Polifemo, is a literary work written by Spanish poet Luis de Góngora y Argote. The poem, though borrowing heavily from prior literary sources of Greek and Roman Antiquity, attempts to go beyond the established versions of the myth by reconfiguring...
, 1613, Landscape with Pyramus and Thisbe by Nicolas PoussinNicolas PoussinNicolas Poussin was a French painter in the classical style. His work predominantly features clarity, logic, and order, and favors line over color. His work serves as an alternative to the dominant Baroque style of the 17th century...
, 1651, Stormy Landscape with Philemon and Baucis by Peter Paul Rubens, c.1620
- (1820s) During his OdessaOdessaOdessa or Odesa is the administrative center of the Odessa Oblast located in southern Ukraine. The city is a major seaport located on the northwest shore of the Black Sea and the fourth largest city in Ukraine with a population of 1,029,000 .The predecessor of Odessa, a small Tatar settlement,...
exile, Alexander Pushkin compared himself to Ovid; memorably versified in the epistleEpistleAn epistle is a writing directed or sent to a person or group of people, usually an elegant and formal didactic letter. The epistle genre of letter-writing was common in ancient Egypt as part of the scribal-school writing curriculum. The letters in the New Testament from Apostles to Christians...
To Ovid (1821). The exiled Ovid also features in his long poem GypsiesThe Gypsies (poem)The Gypsies is a narrative poem by Aleksandr Pushkin, originally written in Russian in 1824 and first published in 1827. The last of Pushkin's four 'Southern Poems' written during his exile in the south of the Russian Empire, The Gypsies is also considered to be the most mature of these Southern...
, set in MoldaviaMoldaviaMoldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...
(1824), and in Canto VIII of Eugene OneginEugene OneginEugene Onegin is a novel in verse written by Alexander Pushkin.It is a classic of Russian literature, and its eponymous protagonist has served as the model for a number of Russian literary heroes . It was published in serial form between 1825 and 1832...
- (1916) James JoyceJames JoyceJames Augustine Aloysius Joyce was an Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century...
's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young ManA Portrait of the Artist as a Young ManA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a semi-autobiographical novel by James Joyce, first serialised in the magazine The Egoist from 1914 to 1915, and published first in book format in 1916 by B. W. Huebsch, New York. The first English edition was published by the Egoist Press in February 1917...
has a quotation from Book 8 of Metamorphoses and introduces Stephen DedalusStephen DedalusStephen Dedalus is James Joyce's literary alter ego, appearing as the protagonist and antihero of his first, semi-autobiographical novel of artistic existence A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and an important character in Joyce's Ulysses...
. The Ovidian reference to "Daedalus" was in Stephen HeroStephen HeroStephen Hero is a posthumously-published autobiographical novel by Irish author James Joyce. Its published form reflects only a portion of an original manuscript, part of which was lost. Many of its ideas were used in composing A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.-External links:*...
, but then metamorphosed to "Dedalus" in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and in UlyssesUlysses (novel)Ulysses is a novel by the Irish author James Joyce. It was first serialised in parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920, and then published in its entirety by Sylvia Beach on 2 February 1922, in Paris. One of the most important works of Modernist literature,...
- (1920s) The title of the second poetry collection by Osip MandelstamOsip MandelstamOsip Emilyevich Mandelstam was a Russian poet and essayist who lived in Russia during and after its revolution and the rise of the Soviet Union. He was one of the foremost members of the Acmeist school of poets...
, Tristia (Berlin, 1922), refers to Ovid's book. Mandelstam's collection is about his hungry, violent years immediately after the October RevolutionOctober RevolutionThe October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...
- (1951) Six Metamorphoses after OvidSix Metamorphoses after OvidEnglish composer Benjamin Britten composed the program music Six Metamorphoses after Ovid for solo Oboe in 1951. Intended to evoke images of the Roman poet Ovid's Metamorphoses, the piece is dedicated to oboist Joy Boughton who gave the first performance at the Aldeburgh Festival on 14 June 1951...
by Benjamin BrittenBenjamin BrittenEdward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten, OM CH was an English composer, conductor, and pianist. He showed talent from an early age, and first came to public attention with the a cappella choral work A Boy Was Born in 1934. With the premiere of his opera Peter Grimes in 1945, he leapt to...
, for solo oboeOboeThe oboe is a double reed musical instrument of the woodwind family. In English, prior to 1770, the instrument was called "hautbois" , "hoboy", or "French hoboy". The spelling "oboe" was adopted into English ca...
, evokes images of Ovid's characters from Metamorphoses.
- (1960) God Was Born in Exile, the novel by the Romanian writer Vintila HoriaVintila HoriaVintilă Horia was a Romanian writer.-Biography:Born in Segarcea, he graduated from the Saint Sava National College, then studied Law, and then Letters, including terms at universities in Italy and Austria...
about Ovid's stay in exile (the novel received the Prix GoncourtPrix GoncourtThe Prix Goncourt is a prize in French literature, given by the académie Goncourt to the author of "the best and most imaginative prose work of the year"...
- (1960s–2010s) Bob DylanBob DylanBob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...
has made repeated use of Ovid's wording, imagery, and themes.
- (1978) Australian author David MaloufDavid MaloufDavid George Joseph Malouf is an acclaimed Australian writer. He was awarded the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 2000, his 1993 novel Remembering Babylon won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 1996, he won the inaugural Australia-Asia Literary Award in 2008, and he was...
's novel An Imaginary LifeAn Imaginary LifeAn Imaginary Life is a 1978 novella written by David Malouf.It tells the story of the Roman poet Ovid, during his exile in Tomis.Whilst there, Ovid lives with the natives, although he doesn't understand their language, and forms a bond with a wild boy who is found after having been brought up by...
is about Ovid's exile in Tomis.
- (1998) In Pandora, by Anne RiceAnne RiceAnne Rice is a best-selling Southern American author of metaphysical gothic fiction, Christian literature and erotica from New Orleans, Louisiana. Her books have sold nearly 100 million copies, making her one of the most widely read authors in modern history...
, Pandora cites Ovid as a favorite poet and author of the time, quoting him to her lover MariusMariusMarius may refer to:* Marius , a male given name, a Roman family name, and a modern surname** Gaius Marius, Roman general and statesman.* Marius , on the Moon* Marius Hills, on the Moon* Marius , written by Marcel Pagnol...
- (2000) The Art of LoveThe Art of LoveThe Art of Love is a 1965 comedy film starring James Garner, Dick Van Dyke, Elke Sommer, and Angie Dickinson. The film involves an American artist in Paris who fakes his own death in order to increase the worth of his paintings...
by Robin BrooksRobin Brooks-Adaptations:* 2000 - The Art of Love, a comedy, emphasizing Ovid's role as lover, with Bill Nighy and Anne-Marie Duff* 2004 - Mort by Terry Pratchett* 2006 - Small Gods by Terry Pratchett* 2008 - An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson...
, a comedy, emphasizing Ovid's role as lover. Broadcast May 23 on BBC Radio 4, with Bill NighyBill NighyWilliam Francis "Bill" Nighy is an English actor and comedian. He worked in theatre and television before his first cinema role in 1981, and made his name in television with The Men's Room in 1991, in which he played the womanizer Prof...
and Anne-Marie DuffAnne-Marie DuffAnne-Marie Duff is an English actress best known for playing Fiona Gallagher in Shameless, and Elizabeth I in The Virgin Queen.-Early life:...
(not to be confused with the 2004 radio play by the same title on Radio 3).
- (2004) The Art of LoveThe Art of LoveThe Art of Love is a 1965 comedy film starring James Garner, Dick Van Dyke, Elke Sommer, and Angie Dickinson. The film involves an American artist in Paris who fakes his own death in order to increase the worth of his paintings...
by Andrew Rissik, a drama, part of a trilogy, which speculates on the crime which sent Ovid into exile. Broadcast April 11 on BBC Radio 4, with Stephen DillaneStephen DillaneStephen J. Dillane is an English actor. He won a Tony Award for his lead performance in Tom Stoppard's play The Real Thing.-Early life:...
and Juliet AubreyJuliet AubreyJuliet Aubrey is a British actress, best known for her role as Helen Cutter on Primeval .-Career:Aubrey attended to King's College London, where she studied Classics and Archaeology...
(not to be confused with the 2000 radio play by the same title on Radio 4).
- (2006) American musician Bob Dylan's album Modern TimesModern Times (Bob Dylan album)Modern Times is singer-songwriter Bob Dylan's 32nd studio album, released by Columbia Records in August 2006. The album was Dylan's third straight to be met with nearly universal praise from fans and critics...
contains songs with borrowed lines from Ovid's Poems of Exile, from Peter Green's translation. The songs are "Workingman's Blues #2", "Ain't Talkin'", "The Levee's Gonna Break", and "Spirit on the Water".
- (2007) Russian author Alexander ZorichAlexander ZorichAlexander Zorich is the collective pen name of two Russian writers; Yana Botsman and Dmitry Gordevsky. The two write in Russian, in genres such as science fiction, fantasy and alternate history, as well as PC game scenarios.- Yana Botsman :...
's novel Roman Star is about the last years of Ovid's life.
- (2008) “The Love Song of Ovid”, a two-hour radio documentary by Damiano Pietropaolo, recorded on location in Rome (the recently restored house of Augustus on the Roman forum), Sulmona (Ovid’s birthplace) and Constanta (modern day Tomis, in Romania). Broadcast on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation,CBC Radio One, Dec. 18 and 19, 2008.
twice mentions him in:
- De vulgari eloquentiaDe vulgari eloquentiaDe vulgari eloquentia is the title of an essay by Dante Alighieri, written in Latin and initially meant to consist of four books, but abandoned in the middle of the second. It was probably composed shortly after Dante went into exile; internal evidence points to a date between 1302 and 1305...
, along with LucanMarcus Annaeus LucanusMarcus Annaeus Lucanus , better known in English as Lucan, was a Roman poet, born in Corduba , in the Hispania Baetica. Despite his short life, he is regarded as one of the outstanding figures of the Imperial Latin period...
, VirgilVirgilPublius Vergilius Maro, usually called Virgil or Vergil in English , was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He is known for three major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues , the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid...
, and StatiusStatiusPublius Papinius Statius was a Roman poet of the 1st century CE . Besides his poetry in Latin, which include an epic poem, the Thebaid, a collection of occasional poetry, the Silvae, and the unfinished epic, the Achilleid, he is best known for his appearance as a major character in the Purgatory...
as one of the four regulati poetae (ii, vi, 7)
- Inferno ranks him with HomerHomerIn the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...
, HoraceHoraceQuintus Horatius Flaccus , known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus.-Life:...
, LucanMarcus Annaeus LucanusMarcus Annaeus Lucanus , better known in English as Lucan, was a Roman poet, born in Corduba , in the Hispania Baetica. Despite his short life, he is regarded as one of the outstanding figures of the Imperial Latin period...
, and VirgilVirgilPublius Vergilius Maro, usually called Virgil or Vergil in English , was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He is known for three major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues , the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid...
Retellings, adaptations, and translations of Ovidian works
- (1767) Apollo et HyacinthusApollo et HyacinthusApollo et Hyacinthus is an opera, K. 38, written in 1767 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who was 11 years old at the time. It is Mozart's first true opera . It is in three acts...
, an early opera by Wolfgang Amadeus MozartWolfgang Amadeus MozartWolfgang Amadeus Mozart , baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart , was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music...
- (1938) DaphneDaphne (opera)Daphne is an opera in one act by Richard Strauss, his 13th opera, subtitled "A Bucolic Tragedy in One Act". The German libretto was by Joseph Gregor. The opera is based loosely on a myth from Ovid's Metamorphoses, and also includes elements taken from The Bacchae by Euripides...
, an opera by Richard StraussRichard StraussRichard Georg Strauss was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier and Salome; his Lieder, especially his Four Last Songs; and his tone poems and orchestral works, such as Death and Transfiguration, Till...
- (1949) OrphéeOrphéeOrpheus is a 1950 French film directed by Jean Cocteau and starring Jean Marais. This film is the central part of Cocteau's Orphic Trilogy, which consists of The Blood of a Poet , Orpheus and Testament of Orpheus...
A film by Jean CocteauJean CocteauJean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau was a French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, playwright, artist and filmmaker. His circle of associates, friends and lovers included Kenneth Anger, Pablo Picasso, Jean Hugo, Jean Marais, Henri Bernstein, Marlene Dietrich, Coco Chanel, Erik Satie, María...
, retelling of the OrpheusOrpheusOrpheus was a legendary musician, poet, and prophet in ancient Greek religion and myth. The major stories about him are centered on his ability to charm all living things and even stones with his music; his attempt to retrieve his wife from the underworld; and his death at the hands of those who...
myth from the MetamorphosesMetamorphoses (poem)Metamorphoses is a Latin narrative poem in fifteen books by the Roman poet Ovid describing the history of the world from its creation to the deification of Julius Caesar within a loose mythico-historical framework. Completed in AD 8, it is recognized as a masterpiece of Golden Age Latin literature...
- (1978) Ovid's Metamorphoses (Translation in Blank Verse), by Brookes More
- (1978) Ovid's Metamorphoses in European Culture (Commentary), by Wilmon BrewerWilmon Brewer-Early life:Brewer was born in Hingham, Massachusetts, and lived there for most of his life on his family's estate, Great Hill. When he was a young man, the family of his future wife, Katharine Hay More, purchased the property from Brewer's parents. During this time period, he and More fell in love...
- (1991) The Last World by Christoph RansmayrChristoph RansmayrChristoph Ransmayr is an Austrian writer.- Life :Born in Wels, Upper Austria Ransmayr grew up in Roitham near Gmunden and the Traunsee. From 1972 to 1978 he studied philosophy and ethnology in Vienna...
- (1997) Polaroid Stories by Naomi IizukaNaomi IizukaNaomi Iizuka is a playwright. Iizuka's works often have a non-linear storyline and are influenced by her multicultural background.Iizuka's mother is an American Latina and her father is a Japanese banker. Born in Tokyo, Iizuka grew up in Japan, Indonesia, Holland, and Washington, D.C., United...
, a retelling of Metamorphoses, with urchins and drug addicts as the gods.
- (1994) After Ovid: New MetamorphosesAfter Ovid: New MetamorphosesAfter Ovid: New Metamorphoses is a collection of poems inspired by Ovid's Metamorphoses.Michael Hofmann and James Lasdun, the two editors of After Ovid: New Metamorphoses, commissioned 42 poets from America, Australia, Great Britain, Ireland, and New Zealand to "translate, reinterpret, reflect on,...
edited by Michael HofmannMichael HofmannMichael Hofmann is a German-born poet who writes in English and a translator of texts from German.-Biography:...
and James LasdunJames LasdunJames Lasdun is an English author, poet and academic. Lasdun was one of the judges for the 2008 Griffin Poetry Prize.-Career:...
is an anthology of contemporary poetry envisioning Ovid's Metamorphoses
- (1997) Tales from OvidTales from OvidTales from Ovid is a poetical work written by the English poet Ted Hughes. Published in 1997 by Faber and Faber, it is a retelling of twenty-four tales from Ovid's Metamorphoses. It won the Whitbread Book Of The Year Award for 1997 and has been translated into several languages. It was one of his...
by Ted HughesTed HughesEdward James Hughes OM , more commonly known as Ted Hughes, was an English poet and children's writer. Critics routinely rank him as one of the best poets of his generation. Hughes was British Poet Laureate from 1984 until his death.Hughes was married to American poet Sylvia Plath, from 1956 until...
is a modern poetic translation of twenty four passages from Metamorphoses
- (2000) Ovid Metamorphosed edited by Phil Terry, a short story collection retelling several of Ovid's fableFableA fable is a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse, that features animals, mythical creatures, plants, inanimate objects or forces of nature which are anthropomorphized , and that illustrates a moral lesson , which may at the end be expressed explicitly in a pithy maxim.A fable differs from...
- (2002) An adaptation of Metamorphoses by Mary ZimmermanMary ZimmermanMary Zimmerman is an American theatre director and playwright, born in Lincoln, Nebraska.-Career:Zimmerman is a member of the Lookingglass Theatre Company and is an Artistic Associate of the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. She received her BS, MA and PhD from Northwestern University, where...
, entitled the same nameMetamorphoses (play)Metamorphoses is a play by American playwright Mary Zimmerman adapted from the classic Ovid poem, Metamorphoses. The play premiered in 1996 as Six Myths at Northwestern University and later the Lookingglass Theatre Company in Chicago...
, was performed at the Circle in the Square TheatreCircle in the Square TheatreThe Circle in the Square Theatre is a legitimate Broadway theatre in midtown Manhattan on 50th Street in the Paramount Plaza building.The original Circle in the Square was founded by Paul Libin, Theodore Mann and Jose Quintero in 1951 and was located at 5 Sheridan Square in Greenwich Village...
- (2006) Patricia BarberPatricia Barber-Discography:* Split Premonition Records * Distortion of Love Antilles * Cafe Blue Blue Note, Premonition Records * Modern Cool Blue Note, Premonition Records...
's song cycle, MythologiesMythologiesMythologies is a book by Roland Barthes, published in 1957. It is a collection of essays taken from Les Lettres nouvelles, examining the tendency of contemporary social value systems to create modern myths...
- (2011) A stage adaptation of Metamorphoses by Peter Bramley, entitled "Ovid's Metamorphoses" was performed by Pants on Fire, presented by the Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation at the Flea Theater in New York City and toured the United Kingdom
- Ars amatoriaArs AmatoriaThe Ars amatoria is an instructional love elegy in three books by the Roman poet Ovid, penned around 2 CE. It claims to provide teaching in three areas of general preoccupation: how and where to find women in Rome, how to seduce them, and how to prevent others from stealing them.-Background:After...
- MetamorphosesMetamorphoses (poem)Metamorphoses is a Latin narrative poem in fifteen books by the Roman poet Ovid describing the history of the world from its creation to the deification of Julius Caesar within a loose mythico-historical framework. Completed in AD 8, it is recognized as a masterpiece of Golden Age Latin literature...
- Latin literatureLatin literatureLatin literature includes the essays, histories, poems, plays, and other writings of the ancient Romans. In many ways, it seems to be a continuation of Greek literature, using many of the same forms...
- Prosody (Latin)Prosody (Latin)Latin prosody deals with the science of Latin versification and its laws of meter. This article provides an overview of those laws as practised by Latin poets in the late Roman republic and early Roman empire, with verses by Catullus, Horace and Virgil as models...
- McKeown, J. (еd), Ovid: Amores. Text, Prolegomena and Commentary in four volumes, Vol. I-III (Liverpool, 1987-1998) (ARCA, 20, 22, 36).
- Maureen B. Ryan, Caroline A. Perkins (ed.), Ovid's Amores, Book One: A Commentary (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2011) (Oklahoma Series in Classical Culture, 41).
- Brewer, Wilmon, Ovid's Metamorphoses in European Culture (Commentary), Marshall Jones Company, Francestown, NH, Revised Edition 1978
- More, Brookes, Ovid's Metamorphoses (Translation in Blank Verse), Marshall Jones Company, Francestown, NH, Revised Edition 1978
- Ovid Renewed: Ovidian Influences on Literature and Art from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century. Ed. Charles Martindale. Cambridge, 1988.
- Richard A. Dwyer "Ovid in the Middle Ages" in Dictionary of the Middle AgesDictionary of the Middle AgesThe Dictionary of the Middle Ages is a 13-volume encyclopedia of the Middle Ages published by the American Council of Learned Societies between 1982 and 1989. It was first conceived and started in 1975 with American medieval historian Joseph Strayer of Princeton University as editor-in-chief...
, 1989, pp. 312–14
- Federica Bessone. P. Ovidii Nasonis Heroidum Epistula XII: Medea Iasoni. Florence: Felice Le Monnier, 1997. Pp. 324.
- Theodor Heinze. P. Ovidius Naso. Der XII. Heroidenbrief: Medea an Jason. Mit einer Beilage: Die Fragmente der Tragödie Medea. Einleitung, Text & Kommentar. Mnemosyne Supplement 170 Leiden: Brill PublishersBrill PublishersBrill is an international academic publisher founded in 1683 in Leiden, the Netherlands. With offices in Leiden and Boston, Brill today publishes more than 134 journals and around 600 new books and reference works each year...
, 1997. Pp. xi + 288.
- R. A. Smith. Poetic Allusion and Poetic Embrace in Ovid and Virgil. Ann Arbor; The University of Michigan PressUniversity of Michigan PressThe University of Michigan Press is part of the University of Michigan Library and serves as a primary publishing unit of the University of Michigan, with special responsibility for the creation and promotion of scholarly, educational, and regional books and other materials in digital and print...
, 1997. Pp.ix+ 226.
- Michael Simpson, The Metamorphoses of Ovid. Amherst: University of Massachusetts PressUniversity of Massachusetts PressThe University of Massachusetts Press is a university press that is part of the University of Massachusetts. The press was founded in 1963, publishing scholarly books and non-fiction. The press imprint is overseen by an interdisciplinary faculty committee....
, 2001. Pp. 498.
- Philip Hardie (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Ovid. Cambridge: Cambridge University PressCambridge University PressCambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge. Granted letters patent by Henry VIII in 1534, it is the world's oldest publishing house, and the second largest university press in the world...
, 2002. Pp. xvi, 408.
- Ovid's Fasti: Historical Readings at its Bimillennium. Edited by Geraldine Herbert-Brown. Oxford, OUP, 2002, 327 pp.
- Susanne Gippert, Joseph Addison's Ovid: An Adaptation of the Metamorphoses in the Augustan Age of English Literature. Die Antike und ihr Weiterleben, Band 5. Remscheid: Gardez! Verlag, 2003. Pp. 304.
- Heather van Tress, Poetic Memory. Allusion in the Poetry of Callimachus and the Metamorphoses of Ovid. Mnemosyne, Supplementa 258. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2004. Pp. ix, 215.
- Ziolkowski, Theodore, Ovid and the Moderns. Ithaca: Cornell University PressCornell University PressThe Cornell University Press, established in 1869 but inactive from 1884 to 1930, was the first university publishing enterprise in the United States.A division of Cornell University, it is housed in Sage House, the former residence of Henry William Sage....
, 2005. Pp. 262.
- Desmond, Marilynn, Ovid's Art and the Wife of Bath: The Ethics of Erotic Violence. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2006. Pp. 232.
- Rimell, Victoria, Ovid's Lovers: Desire, Difference, and the Poetic Imagination. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. Pp. 235.
- Pugh, Syrithe, Spenser and Ovid. Burlington: Ashgate, 2005. Pp. 302.
- Montuschi, Claudia, Il tempo in Ovidio. Funzioni, meccanismi, strutture. Accademia la colombaria studi, 226. Firenze: Leo S. Olschki, 2005. Pp. 463.
- Pasco-Pranger, Molly, Founding the Year: Ovid's Fasti and the Poetics of the Roman Calendar. Mnemosyne Suppl., 276. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2006. Pp. 326.
- Martin Amann, Komik in den Tristien Ovids. (Schweizerische Beiträge zur Altertumswissenschaft, 31). Basel: Schwabe Verlag, 2006. Pp. 296.
- P. J. Davis, Ovid & Augustus: A political reading of Ovid's erotic poems. London: Duckworth, 2006. Pp. 183.
- Peter E. Knox (ed.), Oxford Readings in Ovid. Oxford: Oxford University PressOxford University PressOxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...
, 2006. Pp. 541.
- Andreas N. Michalopoulos, Ovid Heroides 16 and 17. Introduction, text and commentary. (ARCA: Classical and Medieval Texts, Papers and Monographs, 47). Cambridge: Francis Cairns, 2006. Pp. x, 409.
- R. Gibson, S. Green, S. Sharrock, The Art of Love: Bimillennial Essays on Ovid's Ars Amatoria and Remedia Amoris. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. Pp. 375.
- Desmond, Marilynn. Ovid's Art and the Wife of Bath: The Ethics of Erotic Violence. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2006. Pp. xiii, 206.
- Johnson, Patricia J. Ovid before Exile: Art and Punishment in the Metamorphoses. (Wisconsin Studies in Classics). Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin PressUniversity of Wisconsin PressThe University of Wisconsin Press is a non-profit university press publishing peer-reviewed books and journals. It primarily publishes work by scholars from the global academic community but also serves the citizens of Wisconsin by publishing important books about Wisconsin, the Upper Midwest, and...
, 2008. Pp. x, 184.
- University of Virginia, "Ovid Illustrated: The Renaissance Reception of Ovid in Image and Text"
- Nihon University, "Ovid Metamorphoses: Paris 1651(1619)
- Multilingual Translation
- Latin and English translation
- Perseus/Tufts: P. Ovidius Naso Amores, Ars Amatoria, Heroides (on this site called Epistulae), Metamorphoses, Remedia Amoris. Enhanced brower. Not downloadable.
- Sacred Texts Archive: Ovid Amores, Ars Amatoria, Medicamina Faciei Femineae, Metamorphoses, Remedia Amoris.
- The Metamorphoses of Publius Ovidius Naso; elucidated by an analysis and explanation of the fables, together with English notes, historical, mythological and critical, and illustrated by pictorial embellishments: with a dictionary, giving the meaning of all the words with critical exactness. By Nathan Covington Brooks. Publisher: New York, A. S. Barnes & co.; Cincinnati, H. W. Derby & co., 1857 (a searchable facsimile at the University of Georgia Libraries; DjVuDjVuDjVu is a computer file format designed primarily to store scanned documents, especially those containing a combination of text, line drawings, and photographs. It uses technologies such as image layer separation of text and background/images, progressive loading, arithmetic coding, and lossy...
& layered PDF format)
- Original Latin only
- English translation only
- New translations by A. S. KlineA. S. KlineA. S. Kline, known as Tony Kline is a British poet and translator, living in England.He graduated with a degree in Mathematics from the University of Manchester, and was Chief Information Officer of a large UK Company before dedicating himself to his literary work and interests...
Amores, Ars Amatoria, Epistulae ex Ponto, Fasti, Heroides, Ibis, Medicamina Faciei Femineae, Metamorphoses, Remedia Amoris, Tristia with enhanced browsing facility, downloadable in HTML, PDF, or MS Word DOC formats. Site also includes wide selection of works by other authors.
- Two translations from Ovid's Amores by Jon Corelis.
- English translations of Ovid's Amores with introductory essay and notes by Jon Corelis
- Perseus/Tufts: Commentary on the Heroides of Ovid
- New translations by A. S. Kline
- SORGLL: Ovid, Metamorphoses VIII, 183-235, (Daedalus & Icarus); read by Stephen Daitz