Why was Ovid exiled from Rome?

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I have been trying to find out why- exactly- Ovid was exiled from Rome. "A poem and a mistake" -as the text books say- means little to me. What do you know about his exile?

-- Aliza Weller (gestalt@limestone.kosone.com), November 17, 1997


There have been hundreds of suggestions -but no answer that has been generally accepted. You can get an overview from J. Thibault: The Mystery of Ovid's Exile, ca. 1964. BTW: If you would find the true reason, nobody would believe you

-- Ulrich Schmitzer (uhschmit@phil.uni-erlangen.de), November 28, 1997.

It has been suggested that Ovid had an affair with Augustus' daughter (grand-daughter?), also Ovid tells us in his poems of exile that he must never mention that one "mistake" again. It certainly sounds like a scandal, more than simply distasteful writings to me, although if anything was ever proven he would have been put to death. I find it unbelievable that few to no other hints were recorded about his exile. I am in the process of attempting to write an essay on this subject as well, and welcome any help... jpyles@quik.com

-- Jacqueline (jpyles@quik.com), January 02, 1998.

Try to find out whether your question is rightly put. In much discussion the question is put "Has Ovid really been exiled ?". Since there is no possibility for finding an answer in the affirmative outside his own writings we have to reckon with the possibility of his having created a new poetic genre of Exile Poetry' [cfr.'Pastoral Poetry' etc.] in which feelings of displacedness could get form. Such a theory fits his Amores' in which a relation with a fictional Corinna is the start for some well-written love-poetry. The originality of his Exile Poetry' fits the unique scope of his Metamorphoses' and he himself stresses the rights of the poets to a virtual reality'. Bibl.:A.D.Fitton Brown, The unreality of Ovid's Tomitan exile, Liverpool Class. Monthly 10.2, 1985, 18-22

-- Ben Bijnsdorp (bbijns@xs4all.nl), February 02, 1998.

It is a pity there still remains a problem to read foreign languages. I have just ordered the book you mention. I have a french book dated 1921 from the french writer, translator and poet Emile Ripert named "Ovide počte de l'amour des dieux et de l'exil" (Library Armand Colin Paris) which is in spite of his age (nearly 80 years) very impressive. For me Emile Ripert was by far the most accurate french translator for what concerns Ovid. I found and lost alas on internet a writer giving curiously the real name of the first "Corinna". Please let me know if you find it. Best regards from a frenchman who is very puzzled by the mystery. Thank you very much for the trouble.

-- Roger TRAVERSAC (roger.traversac@wanadoo.fr), April 04, 2001.

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