Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso)
Ovid Publius Ovidius Naso), the famous Latin poet. Ovid’s character ranges from the self-indulgent frivolity that characterized the real Ovid while he was in exile from Rome in the last decade of his life to the more somber and pensive attitudes that are found in the fictional protagonist. The work is told from the poet’s point of view, in the first person. In his place of banishment between the Danube and the Black Sea, the fictional Ovid finds his surroundings cold, bleak, and desolate; however, he reflects that exile is a state of mind. The effects of age and isolation beset him at first. He is fifty years old at the outset, and he wonders whether his writings have been preserved at all in the imperial capital. At times, he muses on earlier memories of Italy. In due course, he finds a sense of closeness to nature, indeed a sense of mystery, in the rude and untamed, but also unspoiled, setting into which he has been cast. Although as an accomplished writer he feels out of place in a locality where his own language is not known, eventually he comes to understand the natives’ speech almost as well as Latin. He feels little impulse to indulge in any expressions of disdain for the rather modest level of culture found in those around him. He takes a pronounced and touching interest in the Child’s needs, and when he discovers that the boy is in danger, Ovid takes the Child with him into the steppe to the north, where...
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