Ovid

Poet

Born: 20 March 43 B.C.
Died: c. 17 A.D.
Birthplace: Sulmo (now Sulmona), Italy
Best known as: Roman author of Metamorphoses

Name at birth: Publius Ovidius Naso

Ovid was one of the greatest poets of antiquity and the author of Metamorphoses, a masterpiece on Greek and Roman myths. What Virgil was to epic poetry, Ovid was to elegiac poetry, and his love poems and instructional works have firmly established him as one of the greatest influences on Western literature. His other works include Amores (3 volumes of love poems), Heroides (fictional letters from a woman to her lovers) and Ars Amatoria (an instructional poem on the art of love). Ovid was prolific and popular in his lifetime and highly regarded by the emperor Augustus, until he was banished from Rome under mysterious circumstances in 8 A.D. Despite public and private entreaties, Augustus (and later, Tiberius) refused to forgive Ovid, who finished out his days in Tobis.

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