(b Sulmo [now Sulmona, Abruzzi], 20 March 43 BC; d Tomis [now Constanţa, Romania], AD 17–18).
Roman poet. His work is an important source for mythological subjects in Western visual art. He studied in Rome and held minor judicial posts there before becoming a poet. For two decades he was the leading poet in Rome, but in AD 8, for unknown reasons, the Emperor Augustus banished him to Tomis on the Black Sea, where he remained. The principal works of his maturity are the Metamorphoses, stories from mythology related in a historical frame, and the Fasti, a poetical treatise on the Roman calendar.
Willem F. Lash