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God and man: Caesar Augustus in Ovid’s exilic mythology

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses primarily on the latter, in particular on the poet's treatment of Augustus as a god both by analogy to Jupiter, the most powerful divinity in the exile poetry, and in his own right as a Caesar destined for deification by senatorial decree. Reforms in religious practice gradually placed the figure of the princeps at the center of Roman religious discourse. On the margins of the Roman world where Ovid spends his exile, the Caesars began to be worshipped as gods in an early form of the emperor cult. The chapter investigates how the poet combines these newfound gods of the Roman state with the prominent figures of Greco-Roman myth to construct a unique, exilic mythology that aptly reflects both the political reality in Rome and the poet's personal experience on the margins of the empire in Tomis.

Keywords: Caesar Augustus; exilic mythology; Greco-Roman myth; Ovid; Tomis



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