Works of the Roman Poet Ovid

by Erin on March 28, 2012

“My soul would sing of metamorphoses.
But since, o gods, you were the source of these
bodies becoming other bodies, breathe
your breath into my book of changes: may
the song I sing be seamless as its way
weaves from the world’s beginning to our day.”

(prologue to the Metamorphoses of Ovid)

You could say that it was love at first read. Those opening lines in the Metamorphoses of Ovid just seduced me completely. After being mesmerized by that book, I wanted to know more about this Roman who composed epic poetry.

I learned that there is more to Ovid than his Metamorphoses though. Much more. He was a rather prolific writer. Here are my notes about some of his main works:

Amores - The Amores are love poems.

Heroides - Essentially, the Heroides are love letters from legendary heroines.

Ars Amatoria - The arts of love and seduction are discussed in Ovid’s Ars Amatoria.

Remedia Amoris - A stylized “recantation” of the aforementioned works.

Metamorphoses - Ovid’s epic poem. The organizing theme of the Metamorphoses is, unsurprisingly, transformation.

Fasti - The Fasti is sort of a poetic calendar of the Roman year.

Tristia - Poems or letters Ovid wrote in exile.

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