‘I shall be thy devoted foe’

Jennifer Ingleheart

in Two Thousand Years of Solitude

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199603848
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731587 | DOI:

Series: Classical Presences

‘I shall be thy devoted foe’

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A rather different picture from the stereotype of Ovid as sorrowful poet of exile emerges from his Ibis, a curse-poem in which Ovid viciously and repeatedly attacks the pseudonymous enemy he blames for seeking to make his exilic circumstances worse. The extreme and vindictive persona of the exiled Ovid on display in the Ibis has been neglected by later readers, yet the Ibis was published in English translation (in a 1569 version by Thomas Underdowne) before the Tristia (1572) and Epistulae ex Ponto (1639), the works usually regarded as Ovid’s ‘exile poetry’. This chapter explores the reasons for the neglect of the figure of Ovid as it appears in the Ibis, as well as its appeal to translators such as Underdowne, John Jones, and David Slavitt.

Keywords: translation; Ibis; curse-poem; vindictive persona; Thomas Underdowne; John Jones; David Slavitt; reception; Tristia; exile

Chapter.  6887 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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