n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - Caesar or Augustus? The game of the name in Ovid's

Volume 54, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1141
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The first emperor's name is invoked more often by Ovid than by any other poet of the Augustan age. For this reason alone he might justly be called the most Augustan of all the poets. Yet 'Augustus' appears surprisingly rarely in his large corpus. 'Caesar', the borne by Julius Caesar's descendants, whether or not they became the monarch, is the name preferred most persistently by Ovid when addressing or alluding to Augustus. When modern commentators refer to the ruler portrayed in Ovid's poetry, we usually call him Augustus or Octavian, even when Ovid has not. Such a convention might serve to obfuscate or conceal an interpretive strategy on the part of the poet. This paper will examine 'Caesar' and 'Augustus' in the , arguably Ovid's most political treatise, in an attempt to detect a rationale behind the poet's choice of name for the ruler in his Julian calendar.

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