Latin 2—PAP A3
May 17, 2010
Publius Ovidus Naso, or more commonly known as Ovid, was born on March 20, 43 BC.
In Sulmo, (now Sulmona, Italy) which is 90 miles east of Rome. Publius Ovidus Naso was born
into an old and respected family. His family was a part of the equites family. Their family must
have been rich for his father was able to send his older brother and himself to study in Rome.
Publius Ovidus Naso showed true skills and qualities of an orator, but instead, he pursued a
career in writing, which he thought suited him better. Publius Ovidus Naso married three times
and had one daughter.
Being a part of the equites class, which is between the commoners and the Senate, Ovid’s
father has very high expectations of him. Ovid’s father wanted him to have an official career. But
before indulging himself into something he does not approve of, he travels to Athens, then on
Asia Minor and then to Sicily. When he was establishing his position, he decided that it didn’t
suit him, so he pursued his works in writing.
In AD 8, Publius Ovidus Naso was banished by Augustus, the emperor to Tomis (or
Tomi) on the Black Sea. His exiles main purpose was unknown. But it was said that his writing
influenced the behavior of Augustus’ daughter, Julia, which he disliked. During his banishment,
Augustus banned his books from libraries, but that is little affected by his popularity he has
He finally reached his place of exile in spring of AD 9, Tomis, where barbarian attacks
were held. Tomis wasn’t the best place for anyone to live in. They had no civilized society, and
little Latin was spoken. The Climate was bad and he became depressed.
Ovid died in Tomis, (now Constanta, Romania) in AD 17. He was buried there, he was
still not allowed to return back to his homeland, Rome.
Even if Publius Ovidus Naso, or more commonly known as Ovid died, he still lives
through his outstanding writings. Ovid liked to write about love and romance.
He was very successful in using the Greek dactylic measures to apply into the Latin
language, which was a very hard task to do. His poems were known to be very smooth, fluent
and balanced. Without his works, we wouldn’t have great writers, such as Shakespeare and
Chaucer, who used Ovid as an influence in their writings.
Ovid wrote because it seemed to come to him very naturally. He and his works were
always admired. He liked to write what he felt, hence he wrote a lot about love, after all, he was
married three times, he also wrote about the sadness and the suffering he went through because
of his being exiled.
All of Ovid’s poems were written in couplets, except for the Metamorphoses.
The Amores (The Loves) was his first poem. Consisting of five books, published in
intervals, beginning about 20 BC. This forms a series of short poems showing the phases of a
woman’s love affairs, Corinna.
The Heroides (Heroines) were a collection of letters that Greek and Roman mythology
heroines wrote to the man of their lives.
Medicamina facie feminae, a didactic poem. This was followed by a manual called Ars
Amatoria, which covers the art of seduction. Its first two books were the original works, but
through his popularity, a third one was made in response to women’s demands.
Fasti (Calendar) consists of one whole Roman year and its religious festivals. It consists
of 12 books, one per each month it was also a national poem, which contains a lot of flattery. His
work, Fasti made it easier for historians to take a look into Roman life.
Metamorphoses is a very long poem that consists in 15 books. It is written in a hexameter
verse, having about 12,000 lines. It tells about myths and legends in which metamorphosis
(transformation) takes place. It is told in chronological order. The poems theme is passion
The Trista (Ars—book ii of Trista)and Epistulae ex Ponto were written by him and sent to
Rome, about one book per year, when he was exiled. It was a five book poem. It held letters to
emperor and to his wife and friends telling how he feels, wanting to return to Rome. Here he says
that he didn’t do wrong to deserve to be exiled.
He wrote Ibis a poetic curse written for his anonymous enemy. He couldn’t write this
kind of verse, even if it made him famous because he lacks the encouragement he used to have.
Works Cited Page
Edward John, Kenney. "Ovid." Britannica Biographies (2010): 1. Middle Search Plus.
EBSCO. Web. 16 May 2010.
"Ovid (43 B.C.-)." Myths and Legends of the World. Ed. John M. Wickersham. New York: