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Ovid in the Middle Ages: Exile, Mythographer, and Lover

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Chapter Summary

This chapter reviews Ovid's poetic persona, which includes exile, mythographer, and lover in order. So popular was the image of the exiled poet that some Carolingians adopted the Ovidian pose even when their place of 'exile' was hardly so cruel as Scythia. Ovid himself was, of course, perhaps the greatest of all Latin mythographers, but medieval authors seemed by and large disinclined even to attempt to recreate the Metamorphoses on a structural level. It is 'Ovid the lover' who, in the popular imagination of virtually every age, comes first to mind, an image based of course on his Amores, which invite, as love elegy always does, an autobiographical reading. The medieval Ovid was a conglomeration. As a work that combines all these elements, the thirteenth-century poem De Vetula can serve as a fitting conclusion to this partial survey of Ovid in the Middle Ages.

Keywords: Amores; De Vetula; exile poetry; Metamorphoses; mythographer; Ovid the lover

10.1163/9789047400950_014
/content/books/b9789047400950s014
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