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Re: Inner classes/modules (was Re: RFC: Amores...)

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Ovid via perl5-porters
January 26, 2022 21:07
Re: Inner classes/modules (was Re: RFC: Amores...)
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On Wednesday, 26 January 2022, 21:03:04 CET, Ovid via perl5-porters <> wrote:

(not Perl, feel free to ignore)

> > The next step would the racy Ars Amatoria (Art of Love), then exile
> > for offending the emperor (possibly because some of those love poems
> > were a bit too racy), 

Historical note: many historians don't believe that Ovid was exiled because his poems were too racy. There were plenty of other racy, and popular, writers at that time. Instead, he was relegated (banished, if you prefer, not exiled) because Ovid wrote his banishment was due to "carmen et error" (poetry and error).

This is complicated because Ovid often employed a rhetorical technique, hendiadys, whereby two different ideas are joined by "and" ("et", in Latin) to express a single idea. Except in this case, these ideas may be mutually exclusive. Clearly he can talk about his poetry but he would not talk about his error. Thus, he might be talking about different things whereby Augustus used his poetry as an excuse, but the real reason he was relegated was due to the error Ovid can't talk about.

It was long after Ars Amatoria was published before Ovid was relegated to Tomis, so his poetry, though a cited reason, may not be the cause of his banishment. (I'm pretty sure it wasn't the cause).

Ovid was relegated, not exiled or executed. If Ovid saw (or participated) in something treasonous, execution or exile would likely have been supported. So I'm of the opinion that he likely saw something politically damaging for Augustus, but probably wasn't *legally* serious. Thus, Augustus couldn't execute Ovid, but he could move that piece off the board.

If it's not Ovid's poetry, what was his error? Clearly he can talk about his poetry, but he apparently could not not (or would not) talk about his error. Since he spent much of the remainder of his time in relegation petitioning Augustus to let him return to Rome, it's speculated that what happened is that Ovid saw, or knew, about something that he kept quiet about and that's why he was relegated.

Was it a plot to overthrow the emperor (treason: I don't think so)? Did Ovid witness a relative of Augustus engaging in immoral behavior in defiance of Augustus' attempts to introduce moral reform? Did Ovid discover something compromising about the emperor or someone close to him?

We don't know what happened, but it probably wasn't Ovid's poetry.

Ovid (not the poet)
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