Biography of Publio Ovidio Nasón (43 a.C-18 d.C)

Latin poet, author of the following works: Amores, letters of heroines, art of love, love remedies, cosmetics for female face, metamorphoses, Fasti, Tristes, letters from Pontus and Ibis.


Ovid was born on March 20, the year 43 BC in Sulmona, an Italian city in the current region of Abruzzo, located to the East of Rome and her one hundred and thirty miles distant. Most of their biographical data is scattered throughout his work, but stands out above all the end of book IV of los Tristes, where the author, already old and exiled, versifica his life honestly.

The year of his birth coincided with a traumatic period for the future of Rome: ending the civil war between the Republicans and the caesarean, prone to the monarchical dictatorship. Just a year earlier, in the 44 BC, Julio César had been murdered and during the same 43 BC was formed the second triumvirate, formed by Marco Antonio, Gaius Octavian and Marco Emilio Lepidus; Cicero, staunch defender of Republican values, was killed by the henchmen of Antonio, and Hirtio and Pansa consuls perished in the siege of Modena. When Ovid was 12 years, that is, in 31 b.c., the internecine war would end with the battle of Actium, defeating Octavio to Antonio, obtaining, in this way, usurp the Roman Empire under his command.

These events would exhausted dodgy five centuries of Republican government and alumbrarían a new political system: the Principality. While Ovid suffered the ravages of war in their childhood, that tragedy not stigmatized his poetry. The poet Virgil, on the other hand, older than 27 years, suffered much more closely that civil conflict and sporadically in their pastoral lamented the misfortunes of those years. His life is considered example of peace augustea that followed the Bates and his work illustrates well the new tide of Latin literature, heavily influenced by the Hellenistic poetry championed by Callimachus (ca. 310 - 240 BC).

Ovid was the second son of a well-to-do family belonging to the equestrian class. As it was the custom in these families wealthy and established in the Italian provinces, his father decided to send it, surely in the 31 BC, in the company of his brother, one year older than him, to Rome so he/she completed his academic training at the school of grammar and rhetoric of two prestigious teachers Arellius fuscus and Porcio Latro. The early and intense poetic vocation of Ovid thwarted parental aspirations, because his father hoped to gain him a promising future as a lawyer and did not want his son to pass the known economic troubles of the poets. However, Ovid took solid speaking training to more flights to his muse and, despite his eagerness to please him, ignored the advice of his father. Poetic inclination was so deep that, as he/she wrote a couple of famous verses of sad IV 10, 25-6:

"Spontaneously, the poem was in line with ideal rhythm / and how much I wanted to say was verse."

A sharp, ironic and subtle psychological penetration talent, but also a prolific pen was joined by his own inspiration. Seneca the elder, an experienced rhetor, praised his skills as a speaker at the school, but criticized his youth compositions, because Ovid, far from lamenting the own defects, was to love them (disputes II 9-12). Young toured with his friend Emilio Macro, also poet, the eastern part of the Mediterranean world, thus enjoying another common practice in wealthy families, who encouraged these stays abroad to complement the studies of their children. He/She would tell then about 18 years.

Visited Asia minor; He/She stayed a long time in Athens, where surely was nurtured, first-hand, of Greek philosophy; Finally, is arrested in Sicily. That cultural and touristic journey lasted two years until in the winter of 22 or 23 a. C. returned to Rome. These were years of indecision for the poet: dedicated, very reluctantly, to the career of forensic, following the precepts of parental. He/She served as inspector of prisons and undertook the traditional cursus honorum ("career of public office"). But neither law nor policy managed to dissuade him from his genuine commitment: poetry.

After having decided to devote himself body and soul to his poetic vocation, he/she entered the literary circle sponsored by Messala Corvinus, guard then other poets including Tibullus and Sulpicia. This intellectual club advertised a poetry, to some extent, dissident of the favoured by the imperial policy of Augusto, represented in the circle of patrons by authors such as Virgil and Horacio. These illustrious poets, under the auspices of the Emperor, disseminated morality and conservative ideas of politics augustea, determined to make art a means of regeneration of the old Roman, closely linked with the Stoic virtus values. However, friendly relations between the members of one and another circle were assiduous, apart from their ideological concerns, almost always imposed by the respective employers, exchanged their literary tastes and shared many stylistic features.

Ovid, already embedded in its natural MicroWorld, must feel like a fish in water. He/She frequented the poetry reading of fashion, such as Horacio, Tibullus, Propertius and Gallic authors, and others less enshrined as Pontic and base; everyone felt idolatry (sad IV 10, 41-2). Meanwhile, Messala, apparently family friend, learned to push that innate genius of the young Ovid, encouraging him to write more and recitase his poems more often. Ovid belonged to a generation after the constellation of the great poets augusteos: Virgil (70 - 19 b.c.), Horacio (65 - 8 b.c.), Tibullus (ca. 55 - 19 b.c.) and Propertius (ca. 50 BC - ca. 2 d. C.); but during his beginnings as a writer, he/she tried to cultivate the friendship of all of them. It got to be a friend of Propertius; with Tibullus began a friendship that would then truncate his untimely death; Horace he/she appreciated its lyric harmony, at the time he/she also remembered the proclamations of Virgilio, who unfortunately did not try too much. In this environment so conducive, where literature was not a secondary activity, fruit of the political entertainment, but a trade art, refined, of a style of life civilized and cultured, Ovid was growing as a writer until becoming the only great poet of that period still alive in Rome.

He recited his first poems when he/she was 18, before entering the Messalla circle and, perhaps, before you mentioned travel. Around the year 25 BC had already written his first version of love in five books, erotic poems, where the poet prospects themes, topics and motives of erotic elegy, inaugurated by Cornelio Galo (69 - 26 b.c.) and enriched, especially by Tibullus and Propertius. With this opera prima Ovid came to be known among the public Roman with great success, as revived due in the reader a close loving universe with a language rich in rhetorical resources and scholarship; In addition, his poems appeared seasoned in a pleasant mood.

Ovid married three times. His first wife did not belong to their social class and, on the other hand, was never to your liking; Therefore, it soon divorce her. His second marriage was not happy and it lasted little time, despite being his wife an exemplary woman and give her a daughter. It was its third commitment that would last until his death. He/She was a young widow of the Fabios family and mother of a daughter conceived with her former husband. With her he/she had another daughter who gave him two grandchildren, but died in the poet's life.

Despite the first reserves of his father, who feared the future economic precariousness of his son, Ovid reached thanks to his art a life full of joy, to see filled with his love poetry, and also full of amenities. He/She alternated social intercourse in an attractive Rome with his poetic creation in a villa on the outskirts of Rome, where he/she established their place of work, surrounded by an orchard and located between routes Clodia and Flaminia (letters from the Ponto I 8, 43-4). That there be peaceful, typical of a poet of the time, talent and already with a reputation, suddenly ended during the autumn of the 9 d. C., when Ovid was visiting the island of Elba and was 52 years old. There same poet received the news that by an edict of the Emperor Augusto is expelled him from Rome to the hidden city of Tomis (today Constanza, Romania), sita in the barbarian country of the getas, next to the Euxine (Black Sea). A relegatio, was, as a lesser evil, allowing him to retain their property and their citizenship. A deportatio, more frequent in these exiles, would have meant the loss of citizenship and of private property.

The causes of that exile today still to be unveiled. Ovid never explained the exact reasons why the Emperor decided away from Rome, and the clearest expression over the reasons for his apartment is still dark: carmen et error, "a poem and a mistake" (Tristes II 207). Del carmen, as the first fault, alludes, undoubtedly his work Shyamalan and irreverent Augusto marriage policy: art of loving. The Emperor had enacted towards the 18 a. C. The Julias laws in order to encourage traditional marriage and eradicate the adulteries. In this work Ovidio everywhere undermined the will of Octavio's sanitized Roman morality, as his verses were a faithful reflection of a city given over to luxury, to the molicie and prone to promiscuity. Error, concerning the second crime, is less explicit, by will of the own Ovid. And, therefore, it has attracted an anthology of explanations, some very Pilgrim. Surely, the most unlikely is that argues that this ovidiano slip was due to his involvement in a session of divination starring a neopitagorica sect, that unsignificant against Augusto. Without reaching a satisfactory elucidation of this mystery, among the most plausible proposals excels that defends that Ovid was involved, actively or passively, in a sex scandal related to the imperial family.

That banishment to the borders of the Empire has undermined the jovial and cheerful mood of the Sulmona poet. Rome was still in his mind, if well in the distance, and again remembered with nostalgia. His literary career underwent a drastic turned to grief and supplication to the Emperor, who never lifted the exile. In the works of this last stage, Tristes and letters from Pontus, Ovidio applied his talent, in full maturity, these tonic, the complaint and the adulation, putting their hopes in the leniency of Augusto. The Emperor died (14 d. C.) and his successor Tiberius also disavowed the augustea order. Ovid ended his days 17 d. C., according to news of San Jerónimo, in the barbara Tomis without having returned to see Rome.

Chose the erotica in Ovid

Latina erotic poetry bears fruit in the augustea time and describes solely the love life of poets who rub shoulders with a Roman aristocracy, delivered most of his time to leisure in the framework of a beautiful and flourishing city. The sources of this genus is derived from Greek elegiac poetry, known from the 7th century BC and written in disticos elegists (union of dactilicos a hexametro and a pentameter). Many issues already addressed by the Greek elegy were adapted by the Romans to their peculiar environment, for example: the duality death and love, or enjoyment and suffering life.

Also the Latin poets learned Greeks to use the loving stories of Mythology as objective correlative of the personal feelings of the poet. However, Roman Elegy is not a gregarious imitation of Greek, as much as the erotic experience had a remarkable place in the Hellenistic Epigram, as its distinctive feature lies in the subjective treatment of the erotic relationship, omnipresent peculiarity in Roman Elegy and only traces in the Greek. In another sense, the erotic Latin Elegy brings together not only elements of the Greek erotic Epigram, but also features related to the bucolic genre, the epilio or the Elegy of convivial, patriotic or philosophical theme.

The history of this fleeting genre (has full force for 50 years) has been picked up briefly by the own Ovid in Tristes IV 10, 51-54:

"and Tibullus the fates / greedy did not being my friend occasion." / This was your successor, Galo; Propertius "/ fourth behind them, with the passage of time, it was me" (translation of Antonio Alvar Ezquerra).

However, prior to these poets (Gallo, considered the inventor, along with Tibullus, Propertius and Ovid), the first glimpses of the genre in Rome are glimpsed around the second half of the 2nd century BC from the circle of fifth Lutatius Catulus, Valerio Edituo, Porcio Lícino and the same Lutatius; later, the poetry calimaquea of Gaius Valerius Catullus (ca. 84-54 b.c.) was taking shape even more Latin Elegy.

Other characters of this poetry are, as well as the couplet, love and subjectivism, the preponderance of the relationship exclusive and straight, devoted to a lover who takes refuge, usually under a poetic pseudonym: Delia in the poems of Tibullus, Cynthia of Propertius and Corina in the case of Ovid; the use of a delicate language, urban, lacking taste of the bombast of epic as befits one minor genre; hurtful subordination of the poet in love with his capricious and beloved beloved, whose cruel indifference leads to the amalgam of usual clichés: the exclusus amator (the poet round the gates of the lover), servitium amoris, the militia amoris, the navigium amoris (love as navigation) or magister amoris (is the poet who trains about love); to them, we must add also autobiographical verisimilitude, and, finally, the fact that these erotic adventures take place in or near Rome.


Ovid began his literary career very young, to go publishing love poems according to erotic Latin Elegy poetic parameters. Around 23 BC the sulmonense compiled these love poems and brought to light the first edition with the title of Corina, in five books. But it was his second edition, entitled love, in three books, which managed to get up to our days. Ovid, probably in an exercise in self-criticism, chose only the best Elegies in its second version, published prior to the 1 or 2 BC. For the author, that Riddle, as explained in the introductory epigram of this reissue, made easier reading. In total, total 50 poems: 15 in books I and III, and 20 in the second.

Ovidio led to this Latin genre to exhaustion, it is, thus, the last great elegiac poet. The elegiac couplet, metro of the genre, is perfected with his hand and leaves no reason or topic to exploit until exhaustion; Maximian in the 6th century only takes gender imitating the Obsidian, writing technique, because as a melancholy old 6 Elegies that deal with the last to enjoy his youth. The versatility of style and abundance of ovidiano genius printed erotic Elegy a new freshness, opening new perspectives in a poetic field already happily beaten by Tibullus and Propertius. He/She then dazzled throughout Roman society, who knew only too well the intricacies of worldly love. Love poems reconstructed with vividness that social scene where the protagonists, Ovid and Corina, are not, as in the case of Delia or Cintia and Tibullus, Propertius, two in love in real life; However, despite the fiction, they seem to be. Ovid, still speaking in the first person, breaks, thus autobiographical line that vertebra the poems of his predecessors and introduced pure imagination to argue their unrealistic love affairs. Both Ovid and Corina are thus two archetypal characters, which mimic the love life of time augustea and represented, with their vices and virtues, the modus vivendi of the men and women of Rome.

The first book of love begins with a programmatic elegy, following the path of literary of Callimachus, where under the topic of the recusatio prefer erotic poetry to epic poetry, higher flights. This resource extends to each book, which opens and closes with a poem where Ovid defends his literary criteria. In the Middle, the poet addresses her love story with Corina among competitors of love, procuresses, witchcraft, greed and other hazards. The most famous poems include two, a single-minded couple about the first time he/she made love with Corina (Amores I 5 and II. 11). Here are the verses 9-16 of the first poem according to one interpretation in triplets made by Diego Hurtado de Mendoza ("did heat and in a midday"):

"It came then, Corina desceñido / your body, so one shirt, / shoulder desparcido hair, / such go Semiramis you I can see / to their soft to relax, thalamus / or Lais, whose love had such haste." / Pulled his shirt, although removed / not needed for being thin, / he/she more porfiaba by cover. "/ And porfiando as who do not like / beat / expired was my contention / and, while pesare le, stripped".

Some constants in the style of Ovid are already running in this inaugural work: tendency to reality through the crucible of humor to trivialize it; mastery in the use of the couplet and models; assimilation of the previous tradition, but also break with it; pursuit of novelty; exhausting and multifaceted treatment of topics, and ease in undressing the feminine soul.

Letters of heroines or the Heroides

Publication of this singular epistolary not be dated accurately. Ovid, possessed by a feverish activity writer, must write it at the same time that touched his second edition of poems elegists (loves). Therefore, approximate dates include a chronological arc between years 15 to 1 a. C. In the Ovid Heroides transports the reader to the mythological world, but from a singular point of view: the most legendary love write poetic Epistles to their absent husbands, except on three occasions where they take the initiative husbands. This is the Gallery of cards: Penelope to Ulysses (1), Phillies to Demophon (2), Briseis Achilles (3), Fedra Hippolytus (4), Oenone to Paris (5), Hypsipyle Jason (6), Dido Aeneas (7), Hermione Orestes (8), Deyanira Hercules (9), Ariadna Theseus (10), Canace to Macar (11), Medea Jason (12), Laodamia to Protesilaus (13), Hipermestra to Linceo (14).Sappho to Phaon (15), Paris to Helena (16), Helena to Paris (17), Leandro Hero (18), Hero to Leandro (19), Acontius to Cydippe (20) and Acontius to Cydippe (21).

This sort of mythological correspondence does not faithfully follow the narrow road in erotic elegy, but not abandon it: metro is still the elegiac couplet, and the love theme, now focused on the female sensitivity, continues to give sense to the storyline. The sulmonense dyes this mythical world of amorous experiences common to his social environment, as well as fake in love. Ovid not confess firsthand their erotic experiences between teasing and really, but it masks after heroines or their husbands to further exploit the elegiac repertoire. And so, for example, the discourse of the heroines often lead to complaint and longing for the beloved man, affecting from the female position in a recurrent genre axis: the sadness by the absence of the beloved person.

Ovid boasted of having invented this original mode of poetizing about love (art of love III 346). But Propertius had already introduced a love letter, in which Aretusa, a contemporary wife, wrote to her husband, Licotas, absent in his elegy IV 6. It was perhaps this epistle, which suggested the drafting of this epistolary collection as a "subgenre" within the amatory world of Latin Elegy the poet. To combine the tradition mythological character, so heterogeneous, and the uniform theme of love, sense from the feminine personality, Ovidio took a very complex work from which he/she gracefully, as in the apparent monotony of the subject managed to baste a succession of brilliant stories and loving views, accommodated the respective mythical characters different. The Epistles are the reader in medias res, in a climatic moment of the relationship, and from this point thrive. Thus, Ovidio animates in the reader, connoisseur of the myth, evocations of the legendary past of the couple, concerns by the uncertain future of this and leaves that the same guess at the end, since cards ends when the action is not finished yet.

Art of loving, love remedies and cosmetics for female face

These works close a stage devoted to love poet. The versatile Ovidio tries to again open another poetic path where trying to love differently. It has approximately 40 years when he/she wrote these works. This time it uses didactic poetry to deal again with the love theme. Thus, culminates an ascending line that started writing erotic poetry from your personal, always distorted experience, with love, from the psychology of women in letters of heroines and now from the perspective of a praeceptor amoris or "master of love". This poetry parodies a serious genre that had a solid tradition and a subway since the works and days of Hesiod: the hexametro. Ovid forged a hybrid poetry. On the one hand these poems transpire the usual seriousness of didactic poetry and another, show the vision more carefree and burlesque Latin erotic poetry. Employed by the sulmonense meter is elegiac couplet, while the canon require the hexametro.

Latin didactic poetry had lighting already then some outstanding works. Just remember, for example, the Epicurean Treaty of De rerum natura of Lucretius or the Virgilio Georgica. These manuals circulated with huge dissemination in coetaneous Rome of Ovid, dealing with the most diverse materials: pottery, table games or rules of good behavior. But monographs erotodidacticas that China to newbies on loving strategies were also. The satirical martial and the historian Suetonius, for example, allude to a writer of this subgenus, Elefantide.

Art of loving

This exquisite Treaty of love was published not before 1 a. C. It is divided into three books: the first two lecture to man on how to seduce a woman and keep their relationship alive. The third is aimed at women to indoctrinate them, as to men, on tactics to dazzle the opposite sex. The wise teaching of Ovid, intimate knowledge of this gallant universe, illuminates the three books, at the time that transports the reader to the same streets of Rome. It thus paints a superb portrait of the daily life of the time. Theatres, temples, baths, parties or public entertainment are the stage where the teachings of Ovid as master of love run. The Mythology or the natural scenes are constantly used to illustrate their advice (exempla mythologica or naturae) enliven and enrich the reading.

Art of love cause you years later a disastrous consequence, because the lust of its pages was a powerful pretext for Augusto relegase it to Tomis. However, he/she defended this indictment in Tristes II 353-4 arguing "that her life was chaste, though his frivolous Muse".

Remedies of love

With this poetic solutions for lovesickness Cookbook the sulmonense bids farewell to the elegiac poetry. The precise date of publication is not known, but we know that it must have come to light shortly after art of loving, between the spring of 1 b.c. and 1 d. C. remedies of love is considered the back theme of art of loving, so his Studio, normally rushes together. It is also written in elegists disticos and consists of a single book. The work already does not teach the tricks for success in love; on the contrary, it teaches the way to escape from it, since the lover is a patient that needs some "medicinal remedies" for the soul. His writing is, in a sense, to the literary will of Ovid for approaching the issues from antagonistic, but complementary visions well by varying the sexes (love is analyzed in his work from male and female intimacy) either looking for opposite purposes (to succeed in love or get rid of its claws); However, the poet might feel forced to write it to calm the ire of the most recalcitrant sectors of octaviana morality, who saw with bad eyes the self-confidence of the art of loving.

In the didactic genre there were pairs of treaties, which could well emulate Ovid, where the same author dealt with a matter from different budgets. The most illustrious and close literary model is Nicander of Colophon, Hellenistic poet who is a treatise on poisons and a treatise on antidotes. In fact, the Latin poet Emilio Macro, our poet friend, imitated in latin these works.

The argument sequence describes a reverse order the art of loving. If this Ovid undertakes his loving teachings from the absolute absence of friend to culminate with the seduction, love remedies will backpedal on the steps taken to reach the safe harbor of the falling out of love. Mythology has a role as plot device in the art of loving, but language is neat in metaphors, similes of medicine and winks to the reader.

Female face cosmetics

This title is known an also didactic obrilla, bequeathed in fragmentary form in 100 verses. Its primary purpose is to ensure the ideal feminine dressing and body care. Although it has hesitated about their authenticity, the own Ovid refers to her in art of love III 205-8. So pray this pair of elegists disticos:

"I have written a treatise in which I detail on cosmetics to your beautification, book brief but works of great value for the dedication with which I did it." "He can also find remedy for the damage of beauty: my art of your affairs are not disregards" (translation of Cristóbal Vicente López).

This poem was composed between 1 b.c. and the 2 d. C. 100 verses consist of two parts: a first occupies the first 50 verses, where the poet argues in favor of the concern by the body; and a second, more narrative tone, composed of a bunch of five recipes.

The metamorphoses

It is the most universally known work of Ovid and which attempted you more poetic glory. His writing was a turning point in the career of the poet toward the trial of new poetic genres, after having grown with tremendous success, and even exhausted erotic Latin Elegy. Begins the drafting of metamorphosis in 2 d. C. and concludes his fifteen books in 8 d. C, articulating inside 11.991 hexametros dealing with a total of 250 myths and legends. Metamorphoses, in animals, plants, rocks or stars, mythological characters constitute the narrative ball that weaves the entire plot, following a chronological succession since the creation of the world until the contemporary period. This book became the mythological manual par excellence since medieval times and was thereafter inexhaustible source of inspiration for the Visual Arts.

Poetry written in hexametros mythographic enjoyed a splendid literary tradition from the Theogony of Hesiod. In terms of the transformations of mythic figures, already the Homeric poems contained prodigious mutations as Proteus and Circe. Closer to the Obsidian anthology sources date back to the 3rd century b.c. with Boio, author of Ornitogonia; in it, is tell the metamorphoses of men in birds. The scientist Eratosthenes (275 - 194 b.c.) also collected various transformations of people in constellations in his poem Catasterismos. Other works of identical plot and perhaps handiest were the Partenio metamorphoses of Nicaea (ca. S. I a. C) and the lost Ornitogonia of his fellow traveller Emilio Macro.

The genre of the ovidian metamorphosis has been widely debated. The proem of the work, where Ovid expresses the aspirations placed in it, is already openly contentious, insofar as it is associated with two mutually exclusive canonical concepts: the perpetuum carmen ("continuous singing"), evocative monotonous the exploits of a hero or town, and the deductum carmen ("light song"), a poetic precept of Callimachus, who loathed long and thematically uninterrupted poem. Ovid used genuine meter of epic, the hexametro. Faint, delicate vocabulary of love poetry not constantly flourishes in these verses, but will cede his post to other more familiar to the epic and sublime. Also Ovid speckled often mythological anecdotes with the topical trappings of epic poetry: catalogues of heroes (III 206-24), painting of battles (V 1-249), naturalistic similes (I 533-8) or digressions on works of art (VI 70-128). But the differences with the epic genre abound: the theme is not unitary, since they are different issues that are strung; In addition the tone nor is balanced, because it adapts to the various genres that contaminate the work: the epilio, the bucolismo, tragedy or poetry. Thus, Ovidio funnels in their metamorphosis a motley cast of Greek and Latin genres under the epic look of the hexametro.

The structure of the metamorphoses is mounted on a progressive chronological axis, since the beginning of the world until the augustea, and through the recurrent theme of the mythological transformations. Try to cover all the ramifications of a poem as coral and polished is an impossible enterprise. A proposal of organization may be this: Prologue (I) 1-4; Introduction (I) 5-451; gods I 452-VI 420; Heroes and heroines saw 421 - XI 193, 194-XV XI historical characters 870 and 871-9 XV epilogue.

The detailed content of the ovidian metamorphosis is as follows according to a scheme of the latinist Antonio Ramírez de Verger:

Book I: Prologue (verses 1-4), the creation (5-88), the ages of man (89-150), the battle of the Giants (151-62), first Assembly of the gods (163-208), Lycaon (209-43), second Assembly of the gods (244-52), the flood (253-312), Decaulion and Pyrrha (313-415), spontaneous generation (416-33), Apollo and the serpent Python (434-51), Apollo and Daphne (452-567), Jupiter and Io (568-688), Pan and Syrinx (689-712)Jupiter and Io (713-49) and Phaeton (750-79).

Book II: Phaeton (1-332), the Heliades (333-400), Jupiter and Callisto (401-532), Apollo and Coronis (533-49), Nictimene (549-95), Apollo and Coronis (596-632), Ocyrhoe (633-75), Bato (676-707), decades, mercury and Herse (708-832) and Jupiter and Europe (833-75).

Book III: Cadmus (1-137), Actaeon (138-252), Jupiter and Semele (253-315), Tiresias (316-38), narcissus and echo (339-510), Penteo (511-81), tirrenos sailors (582-691) and Pentheus (692-733).

Book IV: the daughters of Minias (1-54), Pyramus and Thisbe (55-166), the loves of the Sun: Mars and Venus-Leucotoe-Clitie (167-270), the daughters of Minias (271-84), Salmacis and Hermaphroditus (285-388), the daughters of Minias (389-415), Ino and Melicertes (416-542), companions of Ino (543-62), Cadmus and Harmonia (563-603), Perseus Atlas (604-62), Perseus and Andromeda (663-771) and Medusa (772-803).

Book V: combat Perseus with Phineas (1-235), events subsequent to Perseus (236-49), Pegasus (250-68), Pyrenees (269-93), the Pierides (294-317), metamorphosis of gods (318-31), the rape of Proserpina (332-571), Aretusa (572-641), Triptolemus (642-61) and the Pierides (662-78).

Book VI: Arachne (1-145), Niobe (146-312), the Lycian peasants (313-81), Marsyas (382-400), Pelops (401-11), Tereo, Procne and Filomela (412-674) and Boreas and Orithyia (675-721).

Book VII: Jason and Medea (1-158), Eson (159-296), Pelias (297-351), escape from Medea of Greece (351-93), Theseus (394-452), Minos and Cefalo (453-516), the plague of Aegina (517-660), Cefalo (661-86), Cephalus and Procris (687-756), the dog and the fiera (757-93), death of Procris (794-862) and Cefalo (863-65).

Book VIII: Cefalo (1-5), Scylla, the daughter of Niso (6-154), the labyrinth and Ariadna (155-82), Daedalus and Icarus (183-235), Partridge (236-59), the hunting of the boar Calydonian (260-444), death of Meleager (445-525), sisters of Meleager (526-46), Theseus in Acheloos (547-73), the Equinades-Perimele (573-610), Philemon and Baucis (611-724) and beauteous and her daughter (725-884).

Book IX: Teseo in Acheloos (1-3), Achelous and Hercules (4-88), Theseus at Acheloos (89-97), Neso (98-133), death of Hercules (134-272), Galantide (273-323), Dryops (324-393), rejuvenation (394-449), Biblis (450-665) and Ifis (666-797).

Book X: Orfeo and Euridice (1-85), Arboles-cipariso catalog (86-147) and song of Orpheus (148-739: retrieves the myths of Ganymede, Jacinto, the Cerastes and the Propetides, Pygmalion, myrrh, Adonis and Hippomenes and Atalanta).

Book XI: death of Orpheus (1-84), Midas (85-145), Phoebus and Pan (146-93), sire (194-220), Peleus and Thetis (221-65), Daedalion and Chione (266-345), the Wolf of Peleus (346-409), Ceyx and Alcione (410-748) and Aesacus (748-795).

Book XII: the Greeks in Aulide (1-38), fame (39-63), Cigno (64-167), Caeneus (168-209), the battle of Centaurs and Lapiths (210-458, Caeneus () 459-535, Periclymenus (536-79) and death of Achilles (580-628).

Book XIII: the arms of Aquiles-muerte of AJAX (1-398), Hecuba and his sons (399-575, Memnon () 576-622, departure of Aeneas of Troy (623-42), the daughter of anions (643-74), crowns (675-704), the journey of Aeneas to Sicily (705-29), Scylla (730-39), Galatea (740-897) and Scylla and Glaucus (898-968).

Book XIV: Scylla: Glaucus and Circe (1-74), journey of Aeneas to Italy (75-90), the Cercopes (91-100), Aeneas and the Sibyl (101-153), Aquemenides (154-222), Adventures of Ulysses (223-307), Pico (308-415), Circe (416-440), Aeneas arrives to the Lazio (441-457), Diomedes (458-511), Wild olive (512-26), the ships of Aeneas (527-65), Ardea (566-80), apotheosis of Aeneas (581-608), Latin Kings (609-21), Vertumnus and Pomona (622-97), Ifis and Anaxarete (698-764)Vertumnus and Pomona (765-71) and apotheosis of Romulus and Hersilia (772-851).

Book XV: Miscelo (1-59), speaking of Pythagoras (60-478), Hippolytus (479-546), Tages - Lance Romulo-cipo (547-621), Aesculapius in Rome (622-744), César Augusto (745-870) and epilogue of the poet (871-79).

The style of the metamorphoses is lush and ductile, because the poet was able to diversify their language to suit the natural tone of which I manage multiple poetic subgenres. Ovid discusses the mythical material with different narrative techniques. Thus, for example, sometimes own involved characters have mythological stories apart from hers; Sometimes, on the other hand, some legends lead, like Chinese boxes, other Fables. This modus operandi fascinates the reader, surprises him with frequent contrasts, at the same time that the transit of some topics to others is soft; and often these are failure in the air to then return to the storyline. From the point of view of metric, the sulmonense respects the dactilico rhythm of the hexametro virgiliano mode.


This work written in elegists disticos is closely linked to the metamorphosis, as the two are the result of the intimate commitment ovidiano expand their estrus by other major poetic spaces, and, on the other hand, because they were published on the same year: the 8 d. C. Fasti means in latin "Annals" and "calendar". Therefore, this "literary Almanac" was planned for poetizing with etiologic zeal the Roman traditional holidays which were distributed throughout the twelve months of the year. The same poet expresses it briefly at the beginning of the first book. It says (Annals I 1 - 2):

"I sing with their causes holidays arranged throughout the year and the stars who glide and born under the Earth."

Ovid was intended to dedicate a book to each month; However, he/she withdrew his project when he/she had made just six, corresponding to the months of January to June. Among the reasons that could weigh on Ovid to abandon its final wording, it should be suggest that perhaps the sulmonense felt restricted by a theme of his limited. All books are opened with a proem (I Germanicus, II Augustus, III invocation Mars IV invocation to Venus, V introduction of a consultation to the muses and VI apology of poetic inspiration) and then usually placed an etymological explanation of the corresponding month. Occasionally, Ovidio collects several explanatory possibilities both for the nomenclature of the month parties developed in them. The subjects are heterogeneous, as it pleases the poet: history, religion, mythology and folklore. However, Ovid gets tune so multiform matter, winning the set in homogeneity and erudition.

Model the Aitia (in Greek causes) of Callimachus are clearest in the ovidianos Annals. In them, this Alexandrian poet explained in almost 5,000 verses the reason for existing cultural institutions of antiquity, the origin of temples or the background of sports games, among others. Arato phenomena (ca. 310-240 BC) and some experimental poems, which combined erotic Elegy and etiology, of the 4th book of Propertius complete the immediate predecessors of Ovid calendar.

Narrative progress is channeled for the chronological linearity and develops from two points of view: one describes the feast and other delves into its causes. Holidays are eslabonan with each other through astrological references, sometimes with little connection among themselves. The annals are therefore a very important documentary poem, even more when their sources of inspiration have not survived. They provide valuable data about anthropology, religion and festivals of the Roman year.

The Elegies of exile: Tristes, letters from Pontus and Ibis

9 d. C. Ovidio is relegated to Tomis (Constanta) by an edict of the Emperor Augustus, when it enjoyed great popularity and literary prestige. This dramatic episode will mark a new direction in the course of his poetry. Again, the poet took refuge in the elegiac repertoire not to encourage the loving universe of Rome, but to regret in his exile nostalgia for his Roman life. Three poems are fruit of this last literary period of Ovid: Tristes, letters from Pontus and Ibis. Some critics consider them unjustly of a stage of literary decadence in Ovid.


This work consists of five books written in elegists disticos and began to compose from the first day of the exile. Published the 12 d. C. contains a wide range of topics, all conjugated around the sadness experienced by the poet by his forced departure. It describes, for example, last night happened in Rome, the hazards of your trip to Tomis, the hardness of the banishment or inhospitable country of the getas, where was expelled; but it also speaks from sadness by unstable fortune, his premature old age, or the nostalgia of their friendships. In whole poems is present the appeal to the Emperor so you condone him worthwhile.

Letters from Pontus

They are written in elegists disticos and are divided into four books. It was completed two years before the poet's death: in 15 b.c. repeated many themes already discussed in Tristes. This reiteration, as recognized by the poet himself, becomes bored and to cause nuisance in his friends and his wife - what hurts him most. The cards always have by issuer to Ovid and a real recipient in Rome: many of his friends. In this manner, the poet gives free rein to his grief and he/she intended to move her friends to intercede for him with the César. Issues take a more reflective air and, thus, the passage of time, the evocation of the death, loneliness, or the memory of his wife take great interest. These Epistles present the remarkable structure of usual set in Ovid.


It is a poem of 642 verses made during the early years of his tenure at Tomis and published about the 11 d. C. The Ibis is part of the minor insults genre. The primary model was an expletive of Callimachus against Apollonius of Rhodes also entitled Ibis. Ovid directed his tirade to a unknown enemy wishing you a destination that is as terrifying as the experienced by a number of historical and mythical characters.

Lost Ovid's works

The tragedy Medea is undoubtedly the most outstanding missing work. It must be written in his first term (25 - 15 BC). Ovid believed along with the metamorphosis and the annals as another great milestone in his poetic production. The work was carried out according to the parameters of the elevated genre of tragedy and had the vital adventures of the heroine Medea. It has just survived her a handful of verses and already in the antiquity was praised by the rhetor Quintiliano (ca. 30-95 d. C.) and the historian Tacitus (c. 55-120 d. C.). Another lost work is the Gigantomachy, apparently a serious attempt of the sulmonense to recreate the epic, which recounted the mythical struggle of the Giants. It belonged to the first stage. An abridged translation of Arato phenomena has not been bequeathed by the manuscript tradition. Finally, a didactic treatise on fishing is considered spurious marina (Halieutica), even though Plinio the elder (23/24 - 79 d. C.) believed in its authenticity.

The style of Ovid

Obsidian pen is fertilisima in rhetorical resources well exercised since her teens with the school Festival, and dominates until minimum details earlier poetic tradition, mythology and topics related to each topic. His phrase is short, asyndetic, fresh and striking. The formal and thematic Parallels, the mythological examples, the antithesis, or metaphor make pleasant reading of his poems. The playful spirit of the poet spread everywhere humorous and cartoony winks for the reader. Ovid describes with equal talent the pathos of a cruel battle to the perfection of a female body. Its underground springs with cleaning and rhythm delicate setting wanted ambiguity, irony, or verbal games. It is, ultimately, a copious, emanating style of a prodigious and prolific mind.


Horace, Virgil and Ovid are the Latino poets that permeated most Western literature. All reached the status of "classic writer" literary merit since the middle ages. Thanks to this privileged rank, his works served as school books in the cathedral schools and universities from all over Europe, so were imitated luengamente. The same Ovidio predicted their future presence in history and letters rear. It says so at the end of its metamorphosis (871-9 XV):

"I have already completed a work that may not destroy / the anger of Jupiter the fire nor iron or ravenous time." / That this day has no more than my body right, / runs out when you want to with the future uncertain of my life; "/ that I, in my most noble part, Ascend immortal over / high stars and my name will never die, and where / the might of Rome people extends over the fusion ORB / I will recite my verses, and thanks to the fame, if any truth there / in omens of the poets, live by the centuries of centuries" (translation of Antonio Ramírez de Verger).

Since his death, Ovid was above all poet metamorphoses. His early influence is perceived in poets like Ligdamo (contemporary of Ovid), Manilius (died after the 22 d. C.) and poems priapeia. The influx in the tragedy of Seneca the philosopher, the Pharsalia of Lucan or the works of Estació is indisputable. In ancient times however, his work suffers moral condemnation received by Augustus for his erotic poetry. Quintilian criticized your excessive Baroque, considering it "bombastic and fawning too much of their own ingenuity" and Christian authors called it's "Pagan poet" par excellence. Despite these suspicions, Ovid can be traced in many of his works.

During the middle ages, Ovid was considered as a philosopher and an encyclopedist. The Carolingian period admired the metamorphoses, the poems of exile, as many writers suffered in their flesh the experience of exile; and the Heroides, by offering an epistolary model for the absent from court poets. The centuries XI, XII and XIII saw flourish what the critic Ludwig Traube called aetas Ovidiana ("the Obsidian age"). During these centuries, the erotic poetry of Ovid (Amores, art of love, love remedies and cosmetics) for female face Gets a cultural preeminence, after being silenced for so long. Love became popular in schools and art of loving and love remedies returned to be manual of flirting and love comfort, paradoxically in a society that is more strict, thus contributing to the development of "courtly love" so present in the middle ages.

Alain of Lille, Chaucer, Héloïse, John of Salisbury, William of Saint-Thierry, Marie de France, Chretien de Troyes, Gottfrried of Strassborg or Brunetto Latini emulated Obsidian Elegy. In terms of his work Summit, metamorphoses, Albrecht von Halberstadt translated it into German in 1210 and maximum Planudes poured into Greek not only this work, but also the letters of heroines around 1300. The work, given the innate Paganism of his stories, was Christianized through the extensive work Ovidio moralizado, undertaken by Philip de Vitri and Pierre Bersuire in the France of the 14th century, which interpreted the Greco-Roman myths in allegorical key. This compendium of Exegetical proliferated immediately by Spain, Germany and Italy and reported ovidianos tales. Medieval admirers of metamorphoses include Bishop Theodulf of Orleans, the philosopher and theologian Pedro Abelardo poet, the Archpriest of Hita, Alfonso X the wise and Alfonso V of Aragon the magnanimous.

During the Renaissance it became the most widely read author after Cicero, perhaps to the same level as Seneca. Petrarca, like Quintilian, criticized his impudence (on the solitary life II 7, 2), but used it frequently in his book family matters and recommended the reading of the metamorphoses. Boccaccio feels true fascination for the art of loving: calls it "the Holy Book of Ovid". The sulmonense remains first and foremost the author of metamorphosis, but simultaneously his elegiac work is appreciated. Translations, multiplied in this period, approach your poetry to the public. For Shakespeare, Ovid was his favorite classical author, but is a very broad list of distinguished writers who emulated to Ovid: Dante Alighieri, Bernardo Tasso, Miguel de Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Calderón de la Barca, Luis de Camoens and many others. Also musicians and painters were inspired much or more commonly by ovidiano genius. For example, Handel composed the cantata Apollo and Dafne based Obsidian narration (I 452-567) and Velázquez painted las Hilanderas reinterpreting the fable of Ariadne (VIII 155-82).

The modern age had to Ovidio perfectly assimilated from the Renaissance in almost all artistic facets. The English poet John Dryden translated the first book of art of loving and his compatriot Alexander Pope poured into English the letter from Sappho to Phaon, the fifteenth of the Heroides, and this online wrote an epistle of love directed by Eloisa to Abelardo. Lord Byron used on many occasions the metamorphosis, in the same way as Charles de Montesquieu, Voltaire or Rousseau, who wrote a work entitled Pygmalion, a myth recreated by Ovid.

The 20th century has known eminent writers follower of Ovidio. James Joyce put in scene a typically ovidiano character, Stephen Daedalus, as the protagonist of his portrait of a teenage artist work. Thomas Stearns Eliot take hold of the blind TEIRESIAS in his poem wasteland. Finally, it is necessary to remember the novel the metamorphosis of Franz Kafka (1915) and the poem "Metamorphosis" (1968) of C. H. Sisson.


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Ángel Jacinto Traver Vera