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Publius Ovidius Naso
(43 BC - 17 AD) Rome

Ovid

Poet

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OvidBorn in Sulmo in the Appennines, east of Rome, he studied grammar and rhetoric in Rome in prepration for a legal career, but soon turned to literature.

In 8 AD he was banished by Augustus to Tomi, on the Black Sea, which was in the Roman province of Dacia (now Constanta, Romania), where he died: this punishment was supposedly for his Ars amatoria (Art of Love), a handbook of seduction for men, but was probably for his knowledge of a scandal that involved the emperor's daughter.

Among his work are the youthful Amores, the Metmorphoses, mytical stories of miraculous transformatios, the Fasti, forming an incomplete poetic calendar, and the fruits of his exile, the elegiac Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto.

Ovid was not gay, but he casually admits in Ars amatoria (2.684) to having homosexual experiences. Throughout the centuries censors have changed Ovid's writings. For instance: Ovid

"A boy's love appealed to me less."
was altered to:
"A boy's love appealed to me not at all."

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Ovid

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