Despite the dearth of contemporary witnesses for the late Augustan and early Tiberian Principates, Ovid's Fasti has remained curiously untapped as a historical source for the period. The aim of this new research is to show that the poem of some five thousand lines on the Roman calendar, written and revised in the years between AD 4 and 16, provides students of the Augustan age with a wealth of information, both about the author himself, and about his cultural and political environment. Dr Herbert-Brown investigates the purpose of the poem and examines the options available to a love-elegist who wished to adapt his talents to the service of the late Augustan regime. She illustrates how Ovid's calendar discloses important new insights into the ways in which Augustus and his family were incorporated into the ancient religion of the city of Rome. She reveals the author of the Fasti to be a unique contemporary observer of the processes which marked the transition from State cult to Ruler cult, and of the parallel evolution from Republic to Empire.
`This study will be essential reading for anyone interested in the Augustan period, from a literary, topographical, or political point of view.'
Christopher Smith, The Classical Review
`A fine example of how to analyse the effect of political power on a writer and his work.'
Thomas Wiedemann, Greece and Rome
`Herbert-Brown's powerful discussions of those episodes in the Fasti that relate to the imperial house stand in an older tradition of scholarship on 'history of Ovid'...H.B. is very impressive in her control of the historical evidence and in her ability to combine it into large-scale hypothetical structures to provide usually convincing backgrounds to details of selection and emphasis in Ovid's treatment of the imperial household.'
Philip Hardie, New Hall, Cambridge
`This revised doctoral thesis is a learned and closely argued work that reads Ovid's Fasti essentially as a historical document. The book is well organized and produced ... There is no question but that the author has a thorough command of the historical evidence that bears on her subject. Her imagination is vivid and detailed, her attempts to reconstruct the ideological forces that shaped Augustus' Principate and Ovid's poem always challenging and
instructive ... can ... be read with profit: it is full of useful information and challenging analysis ... A book to be used.'
Joseph Farrell, University of Pennsylvania, American Journal of Philology 12/97
Series: Oxford Classical Monographs
Number Of Pages: 264
Published: 3rd February 1994
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.3 x 14.35
Weight (kg): 0.45