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Sorrows of an Exile (Tristia)




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Sorrows of an Exile (Tristia) by Ovid
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In AD 8 Ovid's brilliant career was abruptly blasted when the Emperor Augustus banished him, for reasons never satisfactorily explained, to Tomis (Constanta) on the Black Sea. This is a new translation of the five books of Tristia (Sorrows) which express his reaction to this savage and, as he clearly regarded it, unjust sentence. The title of the Tristia belies them: though their ostensible theme is the misery and loneliness of exile, their real message, if they are read with the care they deserve, is one of affirmation. Both directly and, as befitted the Roman Callimachus, allusively, Ovid repeatedly asserts, often with a wit and irony that borders on defiance, his conviction of the injustice of his sentence and of the pre-eminence of the eternal values of poetry over the ephemeral dictates of an earthly power. These elegies are informed throughout by Ovid's awareness of, and continuing pride in, his poetic identity and mission. In technical skill and inventiveness they rank with the Art of Love or the Fasti. This is poetry as accomplished as anything he wrote in happier days and which demands no less critical respect.
Release date NZ
September 10th, 1992
Translated by A D Melville
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
2 maps
Clarendon Press
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