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Censorship Uncovered: Ovid Banished
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Sex, love and grotesquerie: Ovid revisited | The Independent
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The introduction and dedication, which caution the departing volume against the dangers of its destination, were probably written last. The second volume takes the form of a plea to Augustus to end the unhappy exile brought about by the famous carmen et error —the nature of the mistake is never made clear, although some speculate it may have had something to do with Ovid's overhearing or rather discovery of the adulterous nature of Augustus' daughter, Julia. He defends his work and his life with equal vigor, appealing to the many poets who had written on the same themes as he—among them Anacreon , Sappho , Catullus and even Homer.
The plea was unsuccessful; Ovid would live out the remainder of his years in exile among the Thracian Getae. The last three books of the Tristia grow grimmer as their author ages, heavy with the knowledge that he will never return to his home. At one point he even composes his epitaph :.
The last part of the book addresses Ovid's wife, praising her loyalty throughout his years of exile and wishing that she be remembered for as long as his books are read. Peter Green wrote in a translation of Ovid's exile poems that the Tristia "[has] not, on the whole, had a good press from posterity.
Hexter wrote in that literary critics were then "beginning to give the exile elegies a fresh look. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Tristia disambiguation.