Compare/Contrast Vergil & Ovid

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Ovid/Vergil Composition Publius Ovidius Naso was born in March of 43 BC in Sulmo, Rome. The son of a wealthy equestrian family, he was automatically set up for public work. His father wished for him to become a great orator but those dreams were quelched when his son went to Rome to study rhetoric and law. While in Rome, Ovid explored his love of poetry. By the time he turned thirty Ovid had already been married and divorced a few times. His early work reflected one common theme: love. The Amores, his first major work, was written in 16 BC and was a series of love poems to a fabled woman called Corinna. After that he wrote a collection of letters to the lovers of mythological heroines called Heroides. Ovid’s most famous work however was the Metamorphoses. Written in dactylic hexameter and styled like an epic, the 15-book Metamorphoses consists of creation stories and myths about Rome and its past. It is most widely known and celebrated work. Ovid’s life got more difficult as it progressed. He was exiled to Tomis in 8 AD where he wrote about his depression and desire to return to Rome (Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto). His wish was never fulfilled however, as he died in exile around 17 AD. Publius Vergilius Maro was born in October of 70 BC near Mantua in Cisalpine Gaul. Like Ovid, Vergil was born to an upper class family and he also studied rhetoric and law before delving into his love of poetry. Vergil’s family fled to Rome after they lost much of their property and wealth during Marc Antony’s civil war. Vergil’s greatest works include the Eclogues, the Georgics, and the Aeneid. The Eclogues detail the changes that took place following Octavian’s great victory in the Revolution. The Georgics claim a decidedly pastoral theme as Vergil describes the methods of managing a farm. The epic poetry of the Aeneid-about hero Aeneas’s journey from Troy back to
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