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OVID (AH-vid)

Roman poet; author of Metamorphoses

Common clues: Roman love poet; "Metamorphoses" poet; “Tristia" poet; “Ars Amatoria” poet; Exiled Roman poet

Crossword puzzle frequency: once a year

Frequency in English language: 46751 / 86800

Video: Ovid's Metamorphoses by Gregory Zorzos

Publius Ovidius Naso, (March 20, 43 BC – AD 17) Roman poet known to the English-speaking world as Ovid, wrote on topics of love, abandoned women, and mythological transformations.

R. J. Tarrant offers the following assessment for the importance of Ovid:

From his own time until the end of Antiquity Ovid was among the most widely read and imitated of Latin poets; his greatest work, the Metamorphoses, also seems to have enjoyed the largest popularity. What place Ovid may have had in the curriculum of ancient schools is hard to determine: no body of antique scholia survives for any of his works, but it seems likely that the elegance of his style and his command of rhetorical technique would have commended him as a school author, perhaps at the elementary level.

Ovid wrote in elegiac couplets, with the exception of his great Metamorphoses, which he wrote in dactylic hexameter in imitation of Vergil's Aeneid and Homer's epics. Ovid does not offer an epic narrative like his predecessors but promises a chronological account of the cosmos from creation to his own day, incorporating many myths and legends from the Greek and Roman traditions.

Augustus banished Ovid in AD 8 to Tomis on the Black Sea for reasons that remain mysterious (Ovid himself wrote that it was because of an error and a carmen – a mistake and a poem). He may have had an affair with a female relative of Augustus, and the carmen mentioned by Ovid may be his supposedly immoral Ars Amatoria, which had been in circulation for several years.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ovid".