A Companion to Ovid by Peter E. Knox

By Peter E. Knox

A better half to Ovid is a finished evaluate of 1 of the main influential poets of classical antiquity.• positive aspects greater than 30 newly commissioned chapters through famous students writing of their parts of specialization• Illuminates quite a few elements of Ovid's paintings, equivalent to construction, style, and style• offers interpretive essays on key poems and collections of poems• comprises targeted discussions of Ovid's basic literary impacts and his reception in English literature• offers a chronology of key literary and historic occasions in the course of Ovid's lifetime

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Around the beginning of the first century BC, we know of some Greek poets who wrote occasional verse and panegyric poems for rich Roman gentlemen, to whose Poetry in Augustan Rome 19 houses they were invited; we also begin to hear about senators and rich knights who compose poetry themselves. This is frivolous poetry, or sentimental verse, practiced by a Roman citizen in his spare time, and clearly very different from the timeconsuming production which had traditionally been reserved to professional poets.

As long as the practice of reading literary texts was limited to the upper classes, the only ones taught to read and write, books were largely produced, thanks to the labors of educated slaves assigned to this task, in the houses of their authors or their readers, and they circulated as a result of private lending and subsequent copies and domestic transcriptions. Books produced by artisans were also sold, but Cicero and his friends preferred not to purchase these, as the best-quality transcriptions were those produced at home.

The difference in age, which spared Ovid the sad experience of the civil wars, also meant that he was the only one, among the great poets, who lived through the years of the definitive consolidation of the regime, until the succession. And as this succession took place inside the family of Augustus, without arousing any controversy, it rendered explicit, for the first time, what had been clear for some time to everybody, and had been accepted by everybody, but had always been formally denied: a dynastic monarchy had effectively been installed in Rome.

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