Publius Ovidius Naso

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Ovid

The Roman poet Ovid from an engraving.
Born March 20, 43 BC
Sulmo
Died 17 AD
Tomis
Occupation Poet


Publius Ovidius Naso. better known as Ovid in the English-speaking world, was an Ancient Roman poet. He was born on March 20, 43 BC in Sulmona, then called Sulmo. People today do not know when he died. It was probably either 17 AD or 18 AD.[1] He died in Tomis, which is modern-day Constanţa in Romania.

With Virgil and Horace he is considered among the three great poets of Latin literature. Ovid usually wrote in verses. Ovid was the most widely read classical author in medieval times and the Renaissance.[2]

Works[change | edit source]

Engraved frontispiece of George Sandys' 1632 London edition of Ovids Metamorphoses Englished.

Works by Ovid (with approximate dates of publication)[change | edit source]

  • Amores ("The Loves"), five books, published 10 BC and revised into three books ca. 1 AD.
  • Metamorphoses, ("Transformations"), 15 books. Published ca. AD 8.
  • Medicamina Faciei Feminae ("Women's Facial Cosmetics"), also known as The Art of Beauty, 100 lines surviving. Published ca. 5 BC.
  • Remedia Amoris ("The Cure for Love"), 1 book. Published 5 BC.
  • Heroides ("The Heroines"), also known as Epistulae Heroidum ("Letters of Heroines"), 21 letters. Letters 1–5 published 5 BC; letters 16–21 were composed ca. AD 4–8.
  • Ars Amatoria ("The Art of Love"), three books. First two books published 2 BC, the third somewhat later.
  • Fasti ("The Festivals"), 6 books extant which cover the first 6 months of the year, providing unique information on the Roman calendar. Finished by AD 8, possibly published in AD 15.
  • Ibis, a single poem. Written ca. 9 AD.
  • Tristia ("Sorrows"), five books. Published 10 AD.
  • Epistulae ex Ponto ("Letters from the Black Sea"), four books. Published 10 AD.

Lost works, or works by other poets[change | edit source]

  • Consolatio ad Liviam ("Consolation to Livia")
  • Halieutica ("On Fishing") — generally considered spurious, a poem that some have identified with the otherwise lost poem of the same name written by Ovid.
  • Medea, a lost tragedy about Medea
  • Nux ("The Walnut Tree")
  • A volume of poems in Getic, the language of Dacia where Ovid lived in exile, not extant (and possibly fictional).

Other websites[change | edit source]

References[change | edit source]

  1. Hieronimus notes for the year 18 AD: Ovidius poeta in exilio diem obiit et iuxta oppidum Tomos sepelitur (Ovid the poet died in exile and is buried next to the (fortification/castle) Tomis). Some editions of his work also have 16 or 17 noted instead of 18.
  2. March, Jennifer (2009). The Penguin Book of Classical Myths. Penguin Books. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-141-02077-8.