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.
Times Literary Supplement
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Ovid (43 BC-AD 17) was born in central Italy. He was sent to Rome where he realised that his talent lay with poetry rather than with politics. His first published work was 'Amores', a collection of short love poems. He was expelled in A.D. 8 by Emperor Augustus for an unknown reason and went to Tomis on the Black Sea, where he died.
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Thhis is an outstanding book for anyone who is at all interested in the history of early Greek and Roman Literature. If you have a good understanding of the Greek Pantheon, you will appreciate Ovid's contribution all the more. Imagine yourself living and reading at or near the time that Ovid wrote. Imagine the world as it was and the way folks believed it could be. This is entertaining and ancient. This should be mandatory reading for every Freshmen High student or earlier. An outstanding translation definitely worth the time and money.
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