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Ovidius Naso, poeta et exul: Ovid’s identification with Homer and Ulysses in Tr. and Pont.

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Chapter Summary

Ovid's consistent use of the name Naso to define his exilic persona throughout the Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto invites his readers to distinguish accordingly between Ovid, the famous author, and Naso, the suffering exile. This distinction plays out repeatedly in Ovids comparisons of himself to Homer, the paradigmatic poet in antiquity, and to Ulysses, the paradigmatic exile in myth. In terms of the distinction drawn between Homer as poet and author and Ulysses as exile and subject, the former represents ars, the latter ingenium. On the surface, these poems purport to be private and ill-formed reflections on the evils of exile. At the same time, they claim to contain and even to outdo the sum of suffering that was connected in antiquity with Homer and Ulysses.

Keywords: Epistulae ex Ponto; evils of exile; exile poetry; Homer; poet in exile; Tristia; Ulysses



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