Ovid and Augustus: A Political Reading of Ovid's Erotic Poems

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Ovid and Augustus deals with one of the most contentious issues in the study of Roman literature, the relationship between Augustan literary texts and Augustan politics. One of the central facts of Ovid's life is that he was exiled to the shores of the Black Sea. The poet himself tells us that he was being punished because of a poem and a mistake. Although the mistake is unknowable, we do have the poem, Art of Love . Here, Peter Davis reads all of Ovid's early works (the erotic poetry: Heroides , Amores , Art of Love , Cures for Love ) against their political context, and argues that they challenge the Augustan regime's political ideology and resist the Augustan conception of what it was to be Roman.