Ovid Never Exiled?

Interesting article on the Ars Amatoria up at the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers blog (I thing it’s a blog) which mentions, inter alia:

Then there’s another theory that has bounced around scholars for the last century or so: Ovid never was exiled. The main reason for this theory is that the only record of it is Ovid’s, except for “dubious” mentions by Pliny the Elder and Statius, but no one else until the 4th century CE. He did apparently die in Tomis in 17 CE, however, and has been adopted by Romanian nationalists as “The First Romanian Poet”.

I didn’t realize that the ‘phoney exile’ claim was still kicking around — near as I can tell, it hasn’t really been around (i.e. taken seriously)  for at least twenty years or so. For a summary of the scholarship , check out the Wikipedia article’s section on ‘exile’ upon which the above appears to be based. Whatever the case, it’s one of those ‘literary oppositional arguments’ which can stand up because of the nature of our sources, but really is the Classics Department version of a conspiracy theory.

Classics Confidential: Henry Stead and Helen Slaney

Today it’s a bit different … the Classics Confidential folks are interviewing the folks responsible for staging Seneca’s Medea back in February:

There’s a somewhat disturbing trailer for the production at the Oxford Medea webpage (blog?)  as well … There are also some clips from other productions of Medea (movie treatments) … Pasolini’s has always been a fave of mine …

Some of the posts that turned up in my RSS reader yesterday:

This Day in Ancient History: pridie idus sextiles

pridie idus sextiles

  • rites in honour of Hercules Invictus in the Circus Maximus
  • rites in honour of Venus Victrix, Honos, Virtus, and Felicitas in Pompey’s theatre
  • 3 A.D. — conjunction of Jupiter and Venus (one suggestion for the ‘Star of Bethlehem’)
  • 305 A.D. — martyrdom of Anicetus and companions at Nicomedia
  • 1867 — birth of Edith Hamilton (The Greek Way)