While in exile, the poet Ovid reaches out for help:
Cerne quid Aeacides post mortem praestet amico:
instar et hanc uitam mortis habere puta.
Pirithoum Theseus Stygias comitauit ad undas:
a Stygia quantum mors mea distat aqua?
Adfuit insano iuuenis Phoceus Orestae:
et mea non minimum culpa furoris habet.
Tu quoque magnorum laudes admitte uirorum,
ut facis, et lapso quam potes adfer opem.
--Ovid, Ex Ponto II.3.41-49
Consider how Achilles honored his “friend” Patroclus when he died,
and remember that this life of mine is a living death!
Theseus accompanied Pirithous to the Underworld:
How far off is my death from the Stygian waves?
Pylades supported Orestes through his mental crisis,
My troubles have given me no less a crisis.
Maximus, accept the same praise that these heroes received,
And keep doing what you are doing,
helping me however you can while my life is in ruins.
Name: Publius Ovidius Naso
Date: 43 BCE – 18 CE
Works: Ars Amatoria
Ovid was one of the most famous love poets of Rome’s Golden Age. His most famous work, the Metamorphoses, provides a history of the world through a series of interwoven myths. Most of his poetry is erotic in nature; for this reason, he fell into trouble during the conservative social reforms under the reign of the emperor Augustus. In 8 CE he was banished to Bithynia, where he spent the remainder of his life pining for his native homeland.
GOLDEN AGE ROME