Biographical note

Roman poet, considered a master of the elegiac couplet, and traditionally ranked alongside Virgil and Horace as one of the three canonic poets of Latin literature. His poetry, much imitated during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, decisively influenced European art and literature. The Elegiac couplet is the meter of most of Ovid's poems: the Amores — Ars Amatoria, Remedia Amoris — are didactic long poems; the Fasti, about the Roman calendar; the Medicamina Faciei Femineae, about cosmetics; fictional letters from mythologic heroines, the Heroides or Epistulae Heroidum; and all of the works written in exile (five Tristia books, four Epistulae ex Ponto books, and "Ibis", a long curse-poem). The two extant fragments of the tragedy Medea are in iambic trimeter and anapest, respectively; the Metamorphoses is in dactylic hexameter, also known as "epic meter," which was used in the Aeneid by Virgil and the Odyssey and the Iliad by Homer.


  • Metamorphoses / translated into English verse under the direction of Sir Samuel Garth by John Dryden, Alexander Pope, Joseph Addison, William Congreve and other eminent hands
  • Amores ("The Loves"), five books, published in 16 BC, and revised to three books ca. AD 1.
  • Heroides ("The Heroines"), also known as Epistulae Heroidum ("Letters of Heroines"), 21 letters. Letters 1–5 published 5 BC; letters 16–21 were composed ca. AD 4–8.
  • Medicamina Faciei Femineae ("Women's Facial Cosmetics"), The Art of Beauty, 100 lines survive; 5 BC.
  • Ars Amatoria ("The Art of Love"), three books; first two books published 1 BC, the third book was published later.
  • Remedia Amoris ("The Cure for Love"), 1 book, published AD 1.
  • Fasti ("The Festivals"), 6 books extant, about the first semester of the year, about the Roman calendar. Finished by AD 8, possibly published posthumously.
  • Metamorphoses, ("Transformations"), 15 books published ca. AD 8.
  • Ibis a poem written ca. AD 9.
  • Tristia ("Sorrows"), five books published AD 10.
  • Epistulae ex Ponto ("Letters from the Black Sea"), four books published AD 10.
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