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Ille ego/Ille deus: poetic authority and political authority in Ovid's Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto

Grant number: 19/08229-3
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2019
Effective date (End): March 16, 2020
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Classical Languages
Principal researcher:Alexandre Pinheiro Hasegawa
Grantee:Cecilia Marcela Ugartemendía
Supervisor abroad: Joseph A. Farrell Jr.
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Pennsylvania, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:17/01934-8 - Relegatio as poetic reflection: poetology and auto-reception in Ovid's 'Tristia' and 'Epistulae ex Ponto', BP.DR


The aim of this project is to analyze the dichotomy "poetic authority / politic authority" in Ovid's Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto. I propose that Ovid's witty deification of Augustus is a means to diminish the princeps image in order to elevate his own, confronting each other's auctoritas. Ovid's auctoritas is merely poetic and it would be incorrect to suppose a factual opposition to the princeps. What Ovid pursues by this confrontation is to enhance his image as a poet and to defend his poetic career reputation, drastically damaged - as one might supposed - after being condemn to relegatio by the princeps himself. The poetic representation of the ruler as a divinity is not new in Augustan poetry. Nevertheless, the novelty brought by Ovid - another one to be added to the great list - lies on the personal features of the divine Augustus. Differently from Vergil and Horace, that had already implied the deification of the princeps, praising Augustus figure, Ovid presents him as a vengeful and enraged god. The object of this project owes much to McGowan's chapter "God and man", that studies Augustus' assimilation to Jupiter in Ovid's exile poetry and comments on the deification of the princeps in Horace, Vergil and Propertius. Notwithstanding, McGowan's research does not stress the fact that Vergil's and Horace's treatment differs from Ovid's, essentially in the former's always adulatory tone of their representation. With this in mind, I will focus my research on the poetic representation of Augustus as a god in Ovid's exile poetry, in opposition to Augustus deification in Vergil and Horace. Firstly, I will analyze Vergil's and Horace's treatment, along with the critical bibliography on the matter. Secondly, I will center on Ovid's deification of Augustus in the exile poetry, considering the historical context in which Ovid is writing and his situation as a relegatus, in order to stress the differences with the previous poets. I seek thereby to elucidate how the negative image of the deified Augustus presented by Ovid in the exilic poems is a poetic strategy for the construction of the relegatus's poetic authority. (AU)

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