Presentation on theme: "Contents: Life Work Exile Quotations Life The Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso, shortened to Ovid, was born in Sulmo, near Rome on March 20, 43 BC. He."— Presentation transcript:
Life The Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso, shortened to Ovid, was born in Sulmo, near Rome on March 20, 43 BC. He stemmed from rural Italian nobility and grew up in wealthy circumstances, being taught rhetoric by the most respected teachers. Following his father's wishes, Ovid initially entered a career in public service, which he interrupted to turn to poetry. At that time he was unable to earn a living from poetry and found a benefactor in his patron Messalla Corvinus. In poetry circles Ovid met Sextu Propertius, they became friends and he published his first poems. In the foreground of his work was the topic of love and he wrote numerous pieces including "Amores", "Ars amatoria" and "Remedia amoris'.
Ovid furthermore became famous for his stories of metamorphoses in the mythological world ("Metamorphoses") and fictitious letters of mythological heroines ("Heroides"). In 8 AD Ovid was banned to Tomis, today's Constanta on the Black Sea by an imperial edict without any court process. There are still only speculations regarding the reasons behind the ban. In his seclusion he produced dirges, poetry of yearning for Rome. Ovid sang about the northern winter and the charm of the Barbarians. His song of praise about Augustus and Tiberius was not rewarded with the desired pardon. Ovid is thought to have died in or after 17 AD in exile in Tomis.
Work The poems of Ovid fall into three groupserotic poems, mythological poems, and poems of exile. His verse, with the exception of the Metamorphoses and a fragment (Halieutica), is in elegiacs, which are of unmatched perfection. The love poems include Amores [loves], 49 short poems, many of which extol the charms of the poet's mistress Corinna, probably a synthesis of several women; Epistulae heroidum [letters from heroines], an imaginary series written by ancient heroines to their absent lovers; Ars amatoria [art of love], didactic, in three books, with complete instructions on how to acquire and keep a lover.
In the mythological category is the Metamorphoses, a masterpiece and perhaps Ovid's greatest work. Written in hexameters, it is a collection of myths concerned with miraculous transformations linked together with such consummate skill that the whole is artistically harmonious. The Fasti, also a mythological poem, contains six books on the days of the year from January to June, giving the myths, legends, and notable events called to mind on each day. As a source for religious antiquities, it is especially valuable.
The poems of exile include Tristia [sorrows], five books of short poems, conveying the poet's despair in his first five years of exile and his supplications for mercy, and the Epistulae ex Ponto [letters from the Black Sea], in four books, addressed to friends in Rome, showing somewhat abated poetic power. Ovid wrote poetry to give pleasure; no other Latin poet wrote so naturally in verse or with such sustained wit. Unsurpassed as a storyteller, he also related the complexities of romantic involvements with verve and deft characterization. A major influence in European literature, Ovid was also a primary source of inspiration for the artists of the Renaissance and the baroque. The Metamorphoses was translated during this period by A. Golding (1567), George Sandys (1632), and John Dryden.
Exile Tomis is known as the exile place of the Latin poet Publius Ovidius Naso, exiled from the Roman court by Octavian Augustus emperor. (between 9 - 17 AC) The city has kept a nice memory of this poet, highly adulated in Rome some time ago. The reasons behind Ovid's exile have been the subject of much speculation. He himself tells us that the reason was "a poem and a mistake." The poem was clearly his Art of Love. With this work, its companion piece, The Remedies for Love, on how to get over an unsuccessful love affair, and its predecessor, On Cosmetics, Ovid had invented a new kind of poetry, didactic and amatory. The Art of Love consists of three books which parody conventional love poetry and didactic verse while offering vivid portrayals of contemporary Roman society.
The witty sophistication of this work made it an immediate and overwhelming success in fashionable society and infuriated the emperor Augustus, who was attempting to force a moral reformation on this same society. To the Emperor, this work must have seemed, in the strictest sense, subversive, and he excluded it, along with Ovid's other works, from the public libraries of Rome. What the "mistake" may have been, we do not know. It was, Ovid says, the result of his having eyes, and the most widely accepted suggestion is that he had somehow become aware of the licentious behavior of the Emperor's daughter Julia (who was banished in the same year as he) without his informing Augustus about her.
Ovid's exile was not so unbearable as his letters indicate. He learned the native languages, and his unconquerable geniality and amiability made him a beloved and revered figure to the local citizens, who exempted him from taxes and treated him as well, he said, as he could have expected even in his native Sulmo. He wrote a panegyric to Augustus in the Getic language, the loss of which is a source of regret for philologists; a bitter attack on an unnamed and perhaps imaginary enemy, the Ibis; and a work on the fish of the Black Sea, the Halieutica; he resumed work on the Fasti before his death, which is given by St. Jerome as occurring in A.D. 17, but probably occurred early in the next year.
Quotations Three times the Danubes frozen with the cold, three times the Black Seas waves have hardened, since Ive been in Pontus. Yet I seem to have been absent from my country already for as long as the ten years Troy knew the Greek host. Youd think time stood still, it moves so slowly, and with lagging steps the year completes its course. For me the summer solstice hardly lessens the nights, and winter cant make the days any shorter. Tristia Book TV.X:1-53 Harsh Exile In Tomis
I, who, though admittedly deserving of a heavier punishment, can scarcely experience a heavier one. I live among enemies, surrounded with dangers, as if peace was taken from me with my native land: they double the chance of death from a cruel wound, by smearing every arrow-head with vipers gall. Ex Ponto, Book EI.II:1-52 To Paullus Fabius Maximus: His Life In Exile
As the island of Delos was dear to Latona, offering her the only place of safety in her wanderings, so Tomis is dear to me, and remains true and hospitable to one whos exiled from his native land. If only the gods had made it so it might know hope of sweet peace, and was further from the frozen pole. Ex Ponto, Book EIV.XIV:1-62 To Tuticanus: Being Nice To Tomis
Now the decline of life is on me, whitening my hair, now the wrinkles of age are furrowing my face: Now strength and vigour ebb in my weakened body, the games of youth that pleased, no longer delight. If you suddenly saw me, you wouldnt know me, such is the ruin thats been made of my life. I admit the years have done it, but theres another cause, my anguish of spirit and my continual suffering. Ex Ponto, Book EI.IV:1-58 To His Wife: Time Passing
Like fragile ice anger passes away in time. Bear patiently with a rival. Nothing is swifter than our years. This also -- that I live, I consider a gift of God.
The time will come when it will disgust you to look in the mirror. Luck affects everything. Let your hook always be cast; in the stream where you least expect it there will be a fish. What is without periods of rest will not endure. I attempt an arduous task; but there is no worth in that which is not a difficult achievement.