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Ovid was very popular at the time of his early works, but was later exiled by Augustus in AD 8.
He married three times and divorced twice by the time he was thirty years old.
He enjoyed enormous popularity, but, in one of the mysteries of literary history, was sent by Augustus into exile in a remote province on the Black Sea, where he remained until his death.
Ovid himself attributes his exile to carmen et error, "a poem and a mistake", but his discretion in discussing the causes has resulted in much speculation among scholars.
He was a contemporary of the older Virgil and Horace, with whom he is often ranked as one of the three canonical poets of Latin literature.
The Imperial scholar Quintilian considered him the last of the Latin love elegists.
By AD 8, he had completed his most ambitious work, the Metamorphoses, a hexameter epic poem in 15 books.
The work encyclopedically catalogues transformations in Greek and Roman mythology, from the emergence of the cosmos to the apotheosis of Julius Caesar.
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After the death of his brother at 20 years of age, Ovid renounced law and began travelling to Athens, Asia Minor, and Sicily.
He was part of the circle centered on the patron Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus, and seems to have been a friend of poets in the circle of Maecenas. 4.10.41–54, Ovid mentions friendships with Macer, Propertius, Horace, Ponticus and Bassus (he only barely met Virgil and Tibullus, a fellow member of Messalla's circle whose elegies he admired greatly).
The composition of this poem was interrupted by Ovid's exile, The Emperor's grandchildren, Julia the Younger and Agrippa Postumus (the latter adopted by him), were also banished around the same time.
Julia's husband, Lucius Aemilius Paullus, was put to death for conspiracy against Augustus, a conspiracy Ovid might have known of.
The first major Roman poet to begin his career during the reign of Augustus, Ovid is today best known for the Metamorphoses, a 15-book continuous mythological narrative written in the meter of epic, and for works in elegiac couplets such as Ars Amatoria ("The Art of Love") and Fasti.