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"While I worry alone at home, perhaps / it is only love that detains you; / be sure that I know how fickle men can be." Ovid, Heroides, Letter 1, Penelope to Ulysses.




43 BCE – 17 CE
Dates are approximate

Publius Ovidius Naso ('Ovid') was born in Sulmo, north of Rome, in 43 BCE Although educated to take part in political and public life, as an aesthete from the very start, he tells us in his first published collection of poetry that he has no intention of 'learning wordy laws by heart', or 'prostituting' his voice to the 'ungrateful Forum' (Amores 1.15.6).