Ovid (c. 43 BC-AD17), a daring, original and passionate poet, has been an enduring influence on later poets. "Amores" is the work that first made Ovid famous, and infamous. A scandal in its day, and probably in part responsible for Ovid's banishment from Rome, "Amores" lays bare the intrigues and appetites of high society in the imperial capital at the time of Caesar Augustus. Clandestine sex, orgies and entertainments, fashion and violence, are among the subjects Ovid explores: the surface dazzle and hidden depths, secret liaisons and their public postures. This new translation by Tom Bishop closely follows the movement and metre of Ovid's verse, rendering his world of love, licentiousness and conspiracy so as to catch Ovid's raciness. His introduction sets the work in historical context.
Publius Ovidius Naso ('Ovid') was born in Sulmo, now Sulmona, Italy in 43 BC, into an old gentry family. Educated for public affairs, in Rome he abandoned officialdom for poetry. He became famous for poems of erotic intrigue and betrayal, such as the Amores and the Art of Love, and wrote at least one tragedy, on Medea, now lost. His most famous work is the story-cycle of ancient myths, Metamorphoses. In 8 BC Augustus banished him to the town of Tomis on the Black Sea, citing his immoral poems. Despite many entreaties, he remained exiled until his death in AD 17.