Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso)
BiographySulmo, Roman Empire. [now Sulmona, Italy]
Born a year after the notorious murder of Julius Caesar, Ovid passed his childhood in relative peace despite the civil wars that wracked the Roman Empire. At last Augustus was crowned emperor and the Pax Romana began, and Ovid set out to study rhetoric in Rome. Despite a promising career in government and even a shot at becoming senator, he preferred writing love poetry and concentrating on his unusual epic, "Metamorphoses". In 8 A.D. he was exiled by the Emperor Augustus for an unspecified crime; scholars speculate Ovid was involved somehow with the scandal of Augustus' daughter Julia's adultery. Read more... sexually liberated work was wildly popular before and after his exile, and both "Metamorphoses" and "Ars Amatoria", his cynically humorous book on seduction, would greatly influence later writers.