All About Ovid
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The poet known as Ovid was born March 20, 43 BCE in Sulmona within the Roman Empire; his full name was Publius Ovidius Naso. He died in 17 CE at the age of 74, leaving behind a body of work that still holds impressive influence today. During the early part of Ovid’s life he was educated on rhetoric as his father hoped that someday his son would pick up the practice of law. However, much to his father’s dismay, Ovid instead pursued his passion of poetry. Much of Ovid’s poetry exemplified a great focus on erogenous themes as it is most notably seen within his works Ars amatoria and Amores. His clear love of eroticism and sensuous poetry seemed to be externally present as he was married three times and divorced twice, upon which his last wife assisted him during his exile as she was thought to have some linking tie to the famous gens Fabia The PBS website calls Ovid the “Roman king of the flirts”. He earned this title easily; his writings are vivid and passionate.According to both Encyclopedia Britannica and the PBS websites, Ovid was immensely talented and popular, but his risqué writings found disfavor with Emperor Augustus; he was banished. Though the exact cause of his banishment is a mystery lost to the ages, Augustus was intolerant of indiscretion and even banished his own granddaughter, Julia, around the same time. The prevailing school of thought is that the two occurrences are related. Ovid was heartbroken over his exile and made many attempts to have it revoked, without success. Even though Ovid was not at all fond over his banishment, many scholars believe that it greatly influenced much of his post-exile work. However many theories cloud the idea of Ovid’s ostracism, particularly a theory by scholar J.J. Hartman which stated that Ovid never had to leave Rome and that his “exiled works” were not assisted by any sort of banishment but were merely fabricated by Ovid’s creative mind. However this theory by Mr. Hartman did not stand the test of time as many scholars and individuals renounced its idea. He died in exile around 17 CE in Tomis which many believe is close to his burial site. Although Ovid met his bereavement, he did however live beyond the grave as his legacy was felt by many famous authors such as Shakespeare and Chaucer.