The University of Wisconsin Press
Classics / Literature & Criticism / Art
Ovid before Exile
Art and Punishment in the Metamorphoses
Patricia J. Johnson
Wisconsin Studies in Classics
William Aylward, Nicholas D. Cahill, and Patricia A. Rosenmeyer, Series Editors
Explores the Metamorphoses, Ovid’s response to the quelling of artistic freedom in late Augustan Rome
The epic Metamorphoses, Ovid’s most renowned work, has regained its stature among the masterpieces of great poets such as Vergil, Horace, and Tibullus. Yet its irreverent tone and bold defiance of generic boundaries set the Metamorphoses apart from its contemporaries. Ovid before Exile provides a compelling new reading of the epic, examining the text in light of circumstances surrounding the final years of Augustus’s reign, a time when a culture of poets and patrons was in sharp decline, discouraging and even endangering artistic freedom of expression.
Patricia J. Johnson demonstrates how the production of art—specifically poetry—changed dramatically during the reign of Augustus. By Ovid’s final decade in Rome, the atmosphere for artistic work had transformed, leading to a drop in poetic production of quality. Johnson shows how Ovid, in the episodes of artistic creation that anchor his Metamorphoses, responded to his audience and commented on artistic circumstances in Rome.
Patricia J. Johnson is associate professor of classical studies at Boston University.
“Johnson offer[s] useful interpretive observations, especially on Ovid’s use of his Greek and Latin influences.”Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at firstname.lastname@example.org or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)
LC: 2007011820 PA
200 pp. 6 x 9
Paper $29.95 s
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