Ovid, Ibis

Gareth David Williams (Columbia University)
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Beyond the five books of Tristia (“Poems of sadness”) and the four books of Epistulae ex Ponto (“Letters from Pontus”) that Ovid (43 BCE-17/18 CE) wrote during his years of exile from 8 CE onwards in Tomis (modern Constanţa) on what is now the Romanian coast of the Black Sea, he also composed the extraordinary curse poem that is known as the Ibis. This vast effusion of imprecations, amounting to more than 300 elegiac couplets, is directed against an enemy who is pseudonymously termed Ibis; the name is drawn from the Ibis who was apparently targeted by Callimachus in the Alexandrian prototype on which Ovid claims to have modeled his own poem. Given the loss of the Callimachean original, it is unclear whether (yet surely likely that) Ovid vastly outdoes the length of Callimachus’…

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Citation: Williams, Gareth David. "Ibis". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 October 2014 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=4571, accessed 09 December 2023.]

4571 Ibis 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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