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Ovid

Ovid
Carole E. Newlands

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Description

Virgil, Horace and Ovid are often cited as the three great canonical poets of classical Roman literature. And of the three, arguably it is Ovid (43 BCE-CE 17/18) who has the most enduring legacy. Carole Newlands introduces her subject as an ancient author with a vital place in the modern cultural canon: and also as the inspiration behind figures as diverse as Chaucer, Titian, Dryden and Ted Hughes. She views Ovid as a Latin writer who is uniquely suitable for times of change: he appeals to postmodern sensibilities because of his interest in psychology, his fascination with cultural hybridity and his challenge to the conventional divide between animal and human. This book explores the connection between the historical poet and the works he produced: love elegies, the Metamorphoses and the Fasti. It shows that unlike Virgil - who wrote early in Augustus' reign, anticipating a golden age of peace and prosperity - Ovid was a product of the late Augustan age: one of hardening autocracy and the greater influence of Tiberius behind the scenes. His elegies and erotic myths must therefore be understood as the result of complex, shifting political circumstances.

Author Info

Carole E. Newlands is a professor of Comparative Literature at University of California, Berkeley

Review

‘Lively and engrossing, Carole E Newlands’ Ovid offers a sure guide to the works of Rome’s most entertaining and influential poet. Here the reader will find compact, readable and reliable discussions of all Ovid’s writings, including the ever-popular love poetry and Metamorphoses, Ovid’s epic of transformation. Especially to be recommended are the chapters on the Heroides, imaginary letters in verse written by heroines of myth; and the Fasti, a poem on the Roman calendar that incorporates tales of great variety. Newlands’ book is unique among introductions to Ovid in that it draws on many later literary texts, from his time to ours, that are indebted to Ovid and offer genuine insight into his poetry. Ovidian reception appears not just in a concluding chapter, as in typical introductions to Ovid, but throughout the book. In introducing Ovid’s early love elegies, for instance, Newlands calls upon his last elegies, written in wretched exile on the Black Sea, to show how he adapts old themes to new circumstances; and she cites the Northern Irish poet Derek Mahon for a modern re-imagining of Ovidian love elegy. Newlands’ Ovid is an exemplary introduction not only to Ovid’s writings but to their continuing importance from the first millennium to the third.’
Garth Tissol, Professor of Classics, Emory University, author of The Face of Nature: Wit, Narrative, and Cosmic Origins in Ovid’s Metamorphoses

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Series: Understanding Classics

Paperback
ISBN: 9781848859302
Publication Date: 29 Aug 2015
Number of Pages: 192
Height: 216
Width: 134

Hardback
ISBN: 9781848859296
Publication Date: 29 Aug 2015
Number of Pages: 192
Height: 216
Width: 134

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