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by Ovid, Trans. By Tony Kline
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Fasti is both a calendar of daily rituals and a witty sequence of stories. Using the first six months of the Roman religious calendar as a frame, Ovid weaves Greek and Roman history and mythology, astronomical observations and political tidbits into a lively tapestry shot through with uncomfortable political echoes. Augustus tried to control his subjects by imposing his own accounts of history and an annual cycle of festivals on them, but Ovid brilliantly debunks Augustus's versions with his own reflections on patriotism, militarism, and public virtue with earthy images of sensual pleasures and sexual adventures.
From the description of Mars' rape of Silvia--"Mars sees her, desires what he sees, takes what he desires"--with its echoes of Julius Caesar's famous boast, to the portrait of Romulus as a violent thug and impious rapist, Ovid debunks official heroes and dismantles the foundations of Rome's power structures. Written while Ovid was in exile, Fasti is at once a wonderfully witty sequence of stories and a courageous political manifesto.
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Latin
About the Author
Ovid (43 B.C.-C. A.D. 17) was born in central Italy. He worked as a minor government official before devoting himself to writing, becoming the most distinguished poet of his time. His published works include Amores, Heroides, Ars Amatoria, Remedia Amoris, and Metamorphoses, his epic work on change. He died in exile.
A. J. Boyle is professor of Classics at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
R. D. Woodard is the Andrew V. V. Raymond Chair at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
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