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Heroides
About the book
  • Published: 14 June 1990
  • ISBN: 9780141913094
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

Heroides


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In the twenty-one poems of the Heroides, Ovid gave voice to the heroines and heroes of epic and myth. These deeply moving literary epistles reveal the happiness and torment of love, as the writers tell of their pain at separation, forgiveness of infidelity or anger at betrayal. The faithful Penelope wonders at the suspiciously long absence of Ulysses, while Dido bitterly reproaches Aeneas for too eagerly leaving her bed to follow his destiny, and Sappho - the only historical figure portrayed here - describes her passion for the cruelly rejecting Phaon. In the poetic letters between Paris and Helen the lovers seem oblivious to the tragedy prophesied for them, while in another exchange the youthful Leander asserts his foolhardy eagerness to risk his life to be with his beloved Hero.

  • Pub date: 14 June 1990
  • ISBN: 9780141913094
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

About the Author

Ovid

Publius Ovidius Naso was born in Italy on 20 March 43 BC. He was educated in Rome and worked as a public official before taking up poetry full-time. His earliest surviving work is the collection of love poems called the Amores, which was followed by the Heroides. The Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love) and the Remedia Amoris (The Cure for Love) were probably written between 2 BC and 2 AD. These were followed by his two epic poems the Fasti and the Metamorphoses. In 8 AD Ovid fell out of favour with the Emperor Augustus due to a 'carmen et error' ('a poem and a mistake') and was banished to what is now Romania. While in exile he wrote Tristia, Ibis and the Epistulae ex Ponto which consists of letters appealing for help in his efforts to be recalled to Rome. Ovid died in exile in 18 AD.

Ovid (43BC-18AD) was born at Sulmo (Sulmona) in central Italy. Coming from a wealthy Roman family and seemingly destined for a career in politics, he held minor official posts before leaving public service to write, becoming the most distinguished poet of his time. His works, all published in Penguin Classics, include Amores, a collection of short love poems; Heroides, verse-letters written by mythological heroines to their lovers; Ars Amatoria, a satirical handbook on love; and Metamorphoses, his epic work that has inspired countless writers and artists through the ages.

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