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Ovid And The 'Poetics Of Exile': How Exilic Is Ovid'S Exile Poetry

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Chapter Summary

Of the many ancient exiles and writers on exile, Ovid is the most prominent figure: not only have his exilic works influenced later Latin writers on exile from Seneca to Boethius, but his poetry and his persona have also been a central point of reference for medieval and modern imaginings of exile. This chapter takes a closer look at the themes and motifs of Ovid's exile poetry. It examines the philological facts to explore how serious Ovid's self-depreciatory statements are. The only feature of the Tristia and the Epistulae ex Ponto that was prompted by the poet's experience of exile is his decision to write about his exile. Just as Ovid fashioned (and possibly even perceived) his experience of exile along the lines of earlier myths and historical accounts of exile and displacement, later authors may fashion and/or perceive their experience along the lines of their literary predecessors, including Ovid.

Keywords: ancient epistolography; Boethius; Epistulae ex Ponto ; Ibis; Ovid's exile poetry; Seneca; Tomis; Tristia



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