Pūblius Ovidius Nāsō (; 20 March 43 BC – 17/18 AD), known in English as Ovid ( ), was a Roman poet
who lived during the reign of Augustus
. He was a contemporary of the older Virgil
, with whom he is often ranked as one of the three canonical
poets of Latin literature
. The Imperial
considered him the last of the Latin love elegists
[Quint. ''Inst.'' 10.1.93]
Although Ovid enjoyed enormous popularity during his lifetime, the emperor Augustus banished him to a remote province on the Black Sea
, where he remained until his death. Ovid himself attributes his exile
to ''carmen et error'', "a poem and a mistake", but his discretion in discussing the causes has resulted in much speculation among scholars.
The first major Roman poet to begin his career during the reign of Augustus, Ovid is today best known for the ''Metamorphoses
'', a 15-book continuous mythological narrative written in the meter of epic
, and for works in elegiac couplet
s such as ''Ars Amatoria
'' ("The Art of Love") and ''Fasti
''. His poetry was much imitated during Late Antiquity
and the Middle Ages
, and greatly influenced Western art
. The ''Metamorphoses'' remains one of the most important sources of classical mythology
He was the first major Roman poet to begin his career during Augustus' reign. Ovid was a contemporary of the older poets Virgil
. Collectively, they are considered the three canonical
poets of Latin literature
. The Imperial
described Ovid as the last of the Latin love elegists
[Quint. ''Inst.'' 10.1.93]
He enjoyed enormous popularity during his lifetime. Regardless, the emperor Augustus banished him to a remote province on the Black Sea
, where he remained until his death. Ovid himself attributes his exile
to ''carmen et error'' ("a poem and a mistake"). His reluctance to disclose specifics has resulted in much speculation among scholars.
Today, Ovid is most famous for the ''Metamorphoses
'', a continuous mythological narrative in fifteen books written in the meter of epic
. He is also known for works in elegiac couplet
s such as ''Ars Amatoria
'' ("The Art of Love") and ''Fasti
''. His poetry was much imitated during Late Antiquity
and the Middle Ages
, and greatly influenced Western art
. The ''Metamorphoses'' remains one of the most important sources of classical mythology
Ovid 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 lengthy autobiographical account of his life. Other sources include Seneca the Elder
Birth, early life, and marriage
in the Piazza XX Settembre, Sulmona
Ovid was born in the Paeligni
an town of Sulmo
, in the province of L'Aquila
), in an Apennine
valley east of Rome
, to an important equestrian
family, the ''gens Ovidia''
, on 20 March 43 BC. That was a significant year in Roman politics. Along with his brother, who excelled at oratory, Ovid was educated in rhetoric in Rome under the teachers Arellius Fuscus
and Porcius Latro
His father wanted him to study rhetoric
, so that he might practice law. According to Seneca the Elder, Ovid tended to the emotional, not the argumentative pole of rhetoric. Following the death of his brother at 20 years of age, Ovid renounced law and travelled to Athens
, Asia Minor
, and Sicily
. He held minor public posts, as one of the ''tresviri capitales
'', as a member of the Centumviral court
and as one of the ''decemviri litibus iudicandis
'', but resigned to pursue poetry probably around 29–25 BC, a decision of which his father apparently disapproved.
Ovid's first recitation has been dated to around 25 BC, when he was eighteen. He was part of the circle centred on the esteemed patron Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus
, and likewise seems to have been a friend of poets in the circle of Maecenas
. In ''Trist.'' 4.10.41–54, Ovid mentions friendships with Macer
, Ponticus and Bassus. (He only barely met Virgil and Tibullus, a fellow member of Messalla's circle, whose elegies he admired greatly).
He married three times and had divorced twice by the time he was thirty. He had one daughter, who would bear him grandchildren.
His last wife was connected in some way to the influential ''gens Fabia
'' and would help him during his exile in Tomis (now Constanța
Ovid spent the first 25 years of his literary career primarily writing poetry in elegiac meter
with erotic themes. The chronology of these early works is not secure; tentative dates, however, have been established by scholars. His earliest extant work is thought to be the ''Heroides'', letters of mythological heroines to their absent lovers, which may have been published in 19 BC, although the date is uncertain as it depends on a notice in ''Am.'' 2.18.19–26 that seems to describe the collection as an early published work.
The authenticity of some of these poems has been challenged, but this first edition probably contained the first 14 poems of the collection. The first five-book collection of the ''Amores
'', a series of erotic poems addressed to a lover, Corinna, is thought to have been published in 16–15 BC; the surviving version, redacted to three books according to an epigram prefixed to the first book, is thought to have been published c. 8–3 BC. Between the publications of the two editions of the ''Amores'' can be dated the premiere of his tragedy ''Medea'', which was admired in antiquity but is no longer extant.
Ovid's next poem, the ''Medicamina Faciei'', a fragmentary work on women's beauty treatments, preceded the ''Ars Amatoria
'', the ''Art of Love'', a parody of didactic poetry
and a three-book manual about seduction and intrigue, which has been dated to AD 2 (Books 1–2 would go back to 1 BC). 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 whom he saw himself as the fourth member.
By 8 AD, Ovid had completed ''Metamorphoses
'', his most ambitious work, a hexameter epic poem
in 15 books. Here he catalogued encyclopaedically transformations in Greek and Roman mythology, from the emergence of the cosmos to the apotheosis
of Julius Caesar
. The stories follow each other in the telling of human beings transformed to new bodies: trees, rocks, animals, flowers, constellation
s etc. Simultaneously, he worked on the ''Fasti
'', a six-book poem in elegiac couplets on the theme of the calendar of Roman festivals
and astronomy. 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 probably in this period that the double letters (16–21) in the ''Heroides'' were composed, although there is some contention over their authorship.
Exile to Tomis
In AD 8, 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
. This event shaped all 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, Julia the Younger
and Agrippa Postumus
(the latter adopted by him), were also banished around the same time. Julia's husband, Lucius Aemilius Paullus
, was put to death for a conspiracy
, a conspiracy of which Ovid potentially knew.
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
. He may have been banished for these works, which appeared subversive to the emperor's moral legislation. However, in view of the long time that elapsed between the publication of this work (1 BC) and the exile (AD 8), some authors suggest that Augustus
used the poem as a mere justification for something more personal.
[José González Vázquez (trans.), Ov. ''Tristes e Pónticas'' (Editorial Gredos, Madrid, 1992), p. 10 and Rafael Herrera Montero (trans.), Ov. ''Tristes; Cartas del Ponto'' (Alianza Editorial, Madrid, 2002). The scholars also add that it was no more indecent than many publications by Propertius, Tibullus and Horace that circulated freely in that time.]
In exile, Ovid wrote two poetry collections, ''Tristia
'' and ''Epistulae ex Ponto
'', which illustrated his sadness and desolation. Being far from Rome, he had no access to libraries, and thus might have been forced to abandon his ''Fasti
'', a 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 AD 9–12. 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 AD 13 and the fourth book between AD 14 and 16. 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).
Yet he pined for Rome – and for his third wife, addressing many poems 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. The medieval texts that mention the exile offer no credible explanations: 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. Hartman proposed a theory that is little considered among scholars of Latin civilization today: that Ovid was never exiled from Rome 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
In 1985, a research paper by Fitton Brown advanced new arguments in support of Hartman's theory. Brown's article was followed by a series of supports and refutations in the short space of five years. Among the supporting reasons Brown presents are: Ovid's exile is only mentioned 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; and that information on the geography of Tomis was already known by Virgil
, by Herodotus
and by Ovid himself in his ''Metamorphoses
Orthodox scholars, however, oppose these hypotheses. One of the main arguments of these scholars is that Ovid would not let his ''Fasti'' remain unfinished, mainly because this poem meant his consecration as an imperial poet.
Ovid died at Tomis in 17 or 18 AD. It is thought that the ''Fasti'', which he spent time revising, were published posthumously.
''Heroides'' ("The Heroines")
in a fresco from Herculaneum
The ''Heroides'' ("Heroines") or ''Epistulae Heroidum'' are a collection of twenty-one 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 fourteen letters are thought to comprise the first published collection and are written by the heroines Penelope
, 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
, Hero and Leander
, 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 ''suasoria
e'', 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. They also contribute significantly to conversations on how gender and identity were constructed in Augustan Rome.
A popular quote from the Heroides anticipates Machiavelli's "the end justifies the means". Ovid had written "Exitus acta probat" - the result justifies the means.
''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
. Elegy originates with Propertius and Tibullus; however, Ovid is an innovator in the genre. Ovid changes the leader of his elegies from the poet, to Amor (Love or Cupid). This switch in focus from the triumphs of the poet, to the triumphs of love over people is the first of its kind for this genre of poetry. This Ovidian innovation can be summarized as the use of love as a metaphor for poetry. The books describe the many aspects of love and focus on the poet's relationship with a mistress called Corinna. Within the various poems, several describe events in the relationship, thus presenting the reader with some vignettes and a loose narrative.
Book 1 contains 15 poems. The first 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 that 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. Poem 14 discusses Corinna's disastrous experiment in dyeing 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
. Poems 2 and 3 are entreaties to a guardian to let the poet see Corinna, poem 6 is a lament for Corinna's dead parrot; poems 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. Poem 13 is 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. Poem 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 as 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
''Ars Amatoria'' ("The Art of Love")
Si quis in hoc artem populo non novit amandi,
hoc legat et lecto carmine doctus amet.
The ''Ars Amatoria'' is a Lehrgedicht
, a didactic elegiac poem in three books that sets out to teach the arts of seduction and love. The first book addresses men and teaches them how to seduce women, the second, also to men, teaches how to keep a lover. The third addresses 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 he thoroughly describes, 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 is 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
, and Ariadne
. Book 2 invokes Apollo and begins with a telling of the story of Icarus
. Ovid advises men to avoid giving too many gifts, keep up their appearance, hide affairs, compliment their lovers, 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 Procris
. The book ends with his wish that women will follow his advice and spread his fame saying ''Naso magister erat,'' "Ovid was our teacher". (Ovid was known as "Naso" to his contemporaries.)
''Remedia Amoris'' ("The Cure for Love")
This elegiac poem proposes a cure for the love 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.
The ''Metamorphoses'', Ovid's most ambitious and well-known work, consists of a 15-book catalogue written in dactylic hexameter
about transformations in Greek and Roman mythology set within a loose mytho-historical framework. The word "metamorphoses" is of Greek origin and means "transformations". Appropriately, the characters in this work undergo many different transformations. Within an extent of nearly 12,000 verses, almost 250 different myths are mentioned. Each myth is set outdoors where the mortals are often vulnerable to external influences. The poem stands in the tradition of mythological and aetiological catalogue poetry such as Hesiod
's ''Catalogue of Women
's ''Heteroeumena'', and Parthenius
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 pairs of lovers: Pyramus
, 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 Hyacinthus
, 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 sort of gallery of these various literary genres". In this spirit, Ovid engages creatively with his predecessors, alluding 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.
A concept drawn from the Metamorphoses is the idea of the white lie or pious fraud: "pia mendacia fraude".
''Fasti'' ("The Festivals")
Six books in elegiacs survive of this second ambitious poem that Ovid was working on when 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 his work was interrupted after six books. 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 befall his enemy. The poem ends with a prayer that the gods make his curse effective.
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. Poem 3 describes his final night in Rome, poems 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, and 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; while 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
, 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 halfhearted 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."
One loss, which Ovid himself described, 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.
A line from a work entitled ''Epigrammata'' is cited by Priscian
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 (''Epithalamium
'', dirge, even a rendering in Getic
) 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 Nero Claudius Drusus
. The poem opens by advising Livia not to try to 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.
[Knox, P. "Lost and Spurious Works" in Knox, P. (2009) p. 214]
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 is described. The poem goes on to list the best places for fishing, and which types of fish to catch. 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 related to Aesop's fable
of "The Walnut Tree
" that was the subject of human ingratitude. In a monologue asking boys not pelt it with stones to get its fruit, the tree contrasts the formerly fruitful golden age
with the present barren time, in which its fruit is violently ripped off and its branches broken. In the course of this, the tree compares itself to several mythological characters, praises the peace that 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 with Ovid.
''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.
Ovid 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 that some scholars link to the relative stability provided by the Augustan settlement. However, although Catullus
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 that 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 that 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" viewpoint. 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 of 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'' (1919) delineated the distinction between Ovid's styles by comparing the ''Fasti'' and ''Metamorphoses
'' versions of the same legends, such as the treatment of the 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".
[Brooks Otis, ''Ovid as an epic poet'', p. 264.]
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
poetry (the classic example for us is, of course, Catullus 66
Otis also states that Phaedra
(also present in the poem) "are clever re-touchings of Euripides
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
200px|A 1484 figure from ''Ovide Moralisé'', edition by Colard Mansion.
Ovid'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 with 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
[See chapters II and IV in P. Gatti, Ovid in Antike und Mittelalter. Geschichte der philologischen Rezeption, Stuttgart 2014, ; Peter Green (trad.), ''The poems of exile: Tristia and the Black Sea letters'' (University of California Press, 2005), p. xiii. ]
Writers in 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 inspiration for the Renaissance idea of humanism
, and more specifically, for many Renaissance painters and writers.
Likewise, Arthur Golding
moralized his own translation of the full 15 books, and published it in 1567. This version was the same version used as a supplement to the original Latin in the Tudor-era grammar schools that influenced such major Renaissance authors as Christopher Marlowe
and William Shakespeare
. Many non-English authors were heavily influenced by Ovid's works as well. Montaigne
, for example, alluded to Ovid several times in his ''Essais
'', specifically in his comments on ''Education of Children'' when he says:
Miguel de Cervantes
also used the ''Metamorphoses'' as a platform of inspiration for his prodigious novel ''Don Quixote
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. The 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 grammar
In Spain, Ovid is both praised and criticized by Cervantes in his ''Don Quixote'', where he warns against satires that can exile poets, as 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
composed a famous translation of the ''Metamorphoses'' into stopped rhyming couplets during the 17th 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
and Edgar Degas
. Baudelaire took the opportunity to write a long essay
about the life of an exiled poet like Ovid. This shows that the exile of Ovid had some influence in 19th century Romanticism
since it makes connections with its key concepts such as wildness
and the misunderstood genius
The exile poems were once viewed unfavorably in Ovid's oeuvre. They have enjoyed a resurgence of scholarly interest in recent years, though critical opinion remains divided on several qualities of the poems, such as their intended audience and whether Ovid was sincere in the "recantation of all that he stood for before".
The 20th Century British poet laureate, the late Ted Hughes, follows in the tradition of portraying a wild, immoral and violent Ovid in his free verse modern translation of the Metamorphosis and Ovid's portrayal of the fickle and immoral nature of the Gods.
Literary and artistic
* (c. 800–810) Moduin
, a poet in the court circle of Charlemagne
, adopts the pen name Naso.
* (12th century) The troubadour
s and the medieval courtoise literature
. In particular, the passage describing the Holy Grail in the Conte du Graal by Chrétien de Troyes
contains elements from the ''Metamorphoses
[Peron, Goulven. L'influence des Metamorphoses d'Ovide sur la visite de Perceval au chateau du Roi Pecheur, Journal of the International Arthurian Society, Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2016, pp. 113–34.]
* (13th century) The ''Roman de la Rose
'', Dante Alighieri
* (14th century) Petrarch
, Geoffrey Chaucer
, Juan Ruiz
* (15th century) Sandro Botticelli
* (16th century–17th century) Luís de Camões
, Christopher Marlowe
, William Shakespeare
, John Marston
, Thomas Edwards
* (17th century) John Milton
, Gian Lorenzo Bernini
, Miguel de Cervantes
's ''Don Quixote
'', 1605 and 1615, Luis de Góngora
's ''La Fábula de Polifemo y Galatea
'', 1613, Landscape with Pyramus and Thisbe by Nicolas Poussin
, 1651, Stormy Landscape with Philemon and Baucis by Peter Paul Rubens
, c. 1620, "Divine Narcissus" by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
* (1820s) During his Odessa
exile, Alexander Pushkin
compared himself to Ovid; memorably versified in the epistle
''To Ovid'' (1821). The exiled Ovid also features in his long poem ''Gypsies
'', set in Moldavia
(1824), and in Canto VIII of ''Eugene Onegin
* (1916) James Joyce
's ''A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
'' has a quotation from Book 8 of ''Metamorphoses'' and introduces Stephen Dedalus
. The Ovidian reference to "Daedalus" was in ''Stephen Hero
'', but then metamorphosed to "Dedalus" in ''A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man'' and in ''Ulysses
* (1920s) The title of the second poetry collection by Osip Mandelstam
, ''Tristia'' (Berlin, 1922), refers to Ovid's book. Mandelstam's collection is about his hungry, violent years immediately after the October Revolution
* (1951) ''Six Metamorphoses after Ovid
'' by Benjamin Britten
, for solo oboe
, evokes images of Ovid's characters from ''Metamorphoses''.
* (1960) ''God Was Born in Exile
'', the novel by the Romanian writer Vintila Horia
about Ovid's stay in exile (the novel received the Prix Goncourt
* (1960s–2010s) Bob Dylan
has made repeated use of Ovid's wording, imagery, and themes.
** (2006) His album ''Modern Times
'' 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".
* (1978) Australian author David Malouf
's novel ''An Imaginary Life
'' is about Ovid's exile in Tomis
* (1998) In ''Pandora'', by Anne Rice
, Pandora cites Ovid as a favorite poet and author of the time, quoting him to her lover Marius de Romanus
* (2000) ''The Art of Love'' by Robin Brooks
, a comedy, emphasizing Ovid's role as lover. Broadcast 23 May on BBC Radio 4, with Bill Nighy
and Anne-Marie Duff
(not to be confused with the 2004 radio play by the same title on Radio 3).
* (2004) ''The Art of Love'' by Andrew Rissik
, a drama, part of a trilogy, which speculates on the crime that sent Ovid into exile. Broadcast 11 April on BBC Radio 4, with Stephen Dillane
and Juliet Aubrey
(not to be confused with the 2000 radio play by the same title on Radio 4).
* (2007) Russian author Alexander Zorich
's novel ''Roman Star
'' is about the last years of Ovid's life.
* (2007) the play "The Land of Oblivion " by Russian-American dramatist Mikhail Berman-Tsikinovsky was published in Russian by Vagrius Plus (Moscow).The play was based on author's new hypothesis unrevealing the mystery of Ovid's exile to Tomi by Augustus.
* (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, 18 and 19 December 2008.
* (2012) ''The House Of Rumour'', a novel by British author Jake Arnott
, opens with a passage from ''Metamorphoses'' 12.39–63, and the author muses on Ovid's prediction of the internet in that passage.
* (2013) Mikhail Berman-Tsikinovsky's "To Ovid, 2000 years later, (A Road Tale)" describes the author's visits to the places of Ovid's birth and death.
* (2015) In ''The Walking Dead
'' season 5, episode 5 ("Now"), Deanna begins making a long-term plan to make her besieged community sustainable and writes on her blueprint a Latin phrase attributed to Ovid: "''Dolor hic tibi proderit olim''". The phrase is an excerpt from the longer phrase, "''Perfer et obdura, dolor hic tibi proderit olim''" (English translation: Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you").
* (2017) Canadian composer Marc Sabat
and German poet Uljana Wolf
collaborated on a free homophonic translation of the first 88 lines of Ovid's ''Metamorphoseon'' to create the cantata ''Seeds of skies, alibis'' premiered by the vocal ensemble Ekmeles in New York on 22 February 2018.
twice mentions him in:
* ''De vulgari eloquentia
'', along with Lucan
as one of the four ''regulati poetae'' (ii, vi, 7)
'' as ranking alongside Homer
(''Inferno'', IV, 88)
Retellings, adaptations, and translations of Ovidian works
* (1609) ''The Wisdom of the Ancients
'', a retelling and interpretation of Ovidian fables by Francis Bacon
* (1767) ''Apollo et Hyacinthus
'', an early opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
* (1938) ''Daphne
'', an opera by Richard Strauss
* (1949) ''Orphée
'', a film by Jean Cocteau
, retelling of the Orpheus
myth from the ''Metamorphoses''
* (1978) ''Ovid's Metamorphoses (Translation in Blank Verse)'', by Brookes More
* (1978) ''Ovid's Metamorphoses in European Culture (Commentary)'', by Wilmon Brewer
* (1991) ''The Last World
'' by Christoph Ransmayr
* (1997) ''Polaroid Stories
'' by Naomi Iizuka
, a retelling of ''Metamorphoses'', with urchins and drug addicts as the gods.
* (1994) ''After Ovid: New Metamorphoses
'' edited by Michael Hofmann
and James Lasdun
is an anthology of contemporary poetry envisioning Ovid's ''Metamorphoses''
* (1997) ''Tales from Ovid
'' by Ted Hughes
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 fable
* (2002) An adaptation of ''Metamorphoses'' of the same name
by Mary Zimmerman
was performed at the Circle in the Square Theatre
* (2006) Patricia Barber
's song cycle, ''Mythologies
* (2008) Tristes Pontiques, translated from Latin by Marie Darrieussecq
* (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
* (2012) "The Song of Phaethon", a post-rock
song written and performed by Ian Crause (former leader of Disco Inferno
) in Greek epic style, based on a ''Metamorphoses'' tale (as recounted in Hughes' ''Tales from Ovid
'') and drawing parallels between mythology and current affairs
* (2013) Clare Pollard
, ''Ovid's Heroines'' (''Bloodaxe''), new poetic version of ''Heroides
Image:Publius Ovidius Naso.jpg|Ovid by Anton von Werner.
Image:Orvieto105.jpg|Ovid by Luca Signorelli.
Image:Scythians at the Tomb of Ovid c. 1640.jpg|''Scythians at the Tomb of Ovid'' (c.1640), by Johann Heinrich Schönfeld.
Image:Ovid by an anonymous sculptor.jpg|Bust of Ovid by anonymous sculptor, Uffizi gallery Florence
* Cultural influence of ''Metamorphoses''
* List of characters in ''Metamorphoses''
* ''Metamorphoses'' (2014 film)
* Ovid Prize
* Prosody (Latin)
* Sabinus (Ovid)
* Sexuality in ancient Rome
* a. The cognomen
''Naso'' means "the one with the nose
" (i.e. "Bignose"). Ovid habitually refers to himself by his nickname in his poetry because the Latin name ''Ovidius'' does not fit into elegiac metre
* b. It was a pivotal year in the history of Rome
. A year before Ovid's birth, the murder of Julius Caesar
took place, an event that precipitated the end of the republican
regime. After Caesar's death, a series of civil wars and alliances followed (See Roman civil wars
), until the victory of Caesar's nephew, Octavius (later called Augustus
) over Mark Antony
(leading supporter of Caesar), from which arose a new political order.
* c. ''Fasti'' is, in fact, unfinished. ''Metamorphoses'' was already completed in the year of exile, missing only the final revision. In exile, Ovid said he never gave a final review on the poem.
[''Tristia'' 1, 7, 14.]
* d. Ovid cites Scythia
in I 64, II 224, V 649, VII 407, VIII 788, XV 285, 359, 460, and others.
* McKeown, J. (ed), ''Ovid: Amores. Text, Prolegomena and Commentary in four volumes'', Vol. I–III (Liverpool, 1987–1998) (ARCA, 20, 22, 36).
* Ryan, M. B.; Perkins, C. A. (ed.), ''Ovid's Amores, Book One: A Commentary'' (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2011) (Oklahoma Series in Classical Culture, 41).
* Tarrant, R. J. (ed.), ''P. Ovidi Nasonis Metamorphoses'' (Oxford: OUP, 2004) (Oxford Classical Texts).
* Anderson, W. S., ''Ovid's Metamorphoses, Books 1–5'' (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1996).
* Anderson, W. S., ''Ovid's Metamorphoses, Books 6–10'' (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1972).
* Kenney, E. J. (ed.), ''P. Ovidi Nasonis Amores, Medicamina Faciei Femineae, Ars Amatoria, Remedia Amoris'' (Oxford: OUP, 19942
) (Oxford Classical Texts).
* Myers, K. Sara ''Ovid Metamorphoses 14''. Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics. (Cambridge University Press, 2009).
* Ramírez de Verger, A. (ed.), ''Ovidius, Carmina Amatoria. Amores. Medicamina faciei femineae. Ars amatoria. Remedia amoris.'' (München & Leipzig: Saur, 20062
) (Bibliotheca Teubneriana).
* Dörrie, H. (ed.), ''Epistulae Heroidum / P. Ovidius Naso'' (Berlin & New York: de Gruyter, 1971) (Texte und Kommentare ; Bd. 6).
* Fornaro, P. (ed.), ''Publio Ovidio Nasone, Heroides'' (Alessandria: Edizioni del'Orso, 1999)
* Alton, E.H.; Wormell, D.E.W.; Courtney, E. (eds.), ''P. Ovidi Nasonis Fastorum libri sex'' (Stuttgart & Leipzig: Teubner, 19974
) (Bibliotheca Teubneriana).
* Fantham, Elaine. ''Fasti. Book IV.'' Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics. (Cambridge University Press, 1998).
* Wiseman, Anne and Peter Wiseman ''Ovid: Fasti''. (Oxford University Press, 2013).
* Goold, G.P., ''et alii'' (eds.), ''Ovid, Heroides, Amores; Art of Love, Cosmetics, Remedies for Love, Ibis, Walnut-tree, Sea Fishing, Consolation; Metamorphoses; Fasti; Tristia, Ex Ponto'', Vol. I-VI, (Cambridge, Massachusetts/London: HUP, 1977–1989, revised ed.) (Loeb Classical Library)
* Hall, J.B. (ed.), ''P. Ovidi Nasonis Tristia'' (Stuttgart & Leipzig: Teubner 1995) (Bibliotheca Teubneriana).
* Ingleheart, Jennifer
''Tristia Book 2. (''Oxford University Press, 2010).
* Richmond, J. A. (ed.), ''P. Ovidi Nasonis Ex Ponto libri quattuor'' (Stuttgart & Leipzig: Teubner 1990) (Bibliotheca Teubneriana).
* A free textbook for download.
* 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 Ages
'', 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 Publishers
, 1997. pp. xi, 288.
* R. A. Smith. ''Poetic Allusion and Poetic Embrace in Ovid and Virgil''. Ann Arbor; The University of Michigan Press
, 1997. pp. ix, 226.
* Michael Simpson, ''The Metamorphoses of Ovid''. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press
, 2001. pp. 498.
* Philip Hardie (ed.), ''The Cambridge Companion to Ovid''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
, 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 Press
, 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. p. 302.
* Montuschi, Claudia, Il tempo in Ovidio. Funzioni, meccanismi, strutture. Accademia la colombaria studi, 226. Firenze: Leo S. Olschki, 2005. p. 463.
* Pasco-Pranger, Molly, ''Founding the Year: Ovid's Fasti and the Poetics of the Roman Calendar''. Mnemosyne Suppl., 276. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2006. p. 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. p. 183.
* Lee Fratantuono, ''Madness Transformed: A Reading of Ovid's Metamorphoses''. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2011.
* Peter E. Knox (ed.), ''Oxford Readings in Ovid''. Oxford: Oxford University Press
, 2006. p. 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.
* Johnson, Patricia J. ''Ovid before Exile: Art and Punishment in the Metamorphoses''. (Wisconsin Studies in Classics). Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press
, 2008. pp. x, 184.
* Massimo Colella, «Ti trasformasti in Dafne»: mythos ovidiano e metamorfosi nella poesia di Eugenio Montale, in «Italica», 96, 1, 2019, pp. 21–53.
University of Virginia, "Ovid Illustrated: The Renaissance Reception of Ovid in Image and Text"
Nihon University, "Ovid Metamorphoses: Paris 1651 (1619)Dickinson College Commentaries: ''Amores Book 1''Ovid’s “Metamorphoses”: A Common Core Exemplar
Updated list of 29 digitized medieval manuscripts and 207 early printed editions on the internet.
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; DjVu layered PDF
Original Latin only
''Amores'', ''Ars Amatoria'', ''Epistulae ex Ponto'', ''Fasti'', ''Heroides'', ''Ibis'', ''Metamorphoses'', ''Remedia Amoris'', ''Tristia''.
Works by Ovid
English translation only
by A. S. Kline
''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 CorelisPerseus/Tufts: Commentary on the ''Heroides'' of Ovid
Category:43 BC births
Category:1st-century Roman poets
Category:1st-century BC Romans
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Category:1st-century BC poets
Category:Ancient Roman equites
Category:Ancient Roman exiles
Category:Golden Age Latin writers
Category:People from Sulmona