Ovid was born on March 20th, 43 B.C., and exiled to Tomis (now Constanza, on the coast of Romania) in A.D. 8. There he wrote five books of Tristia and four of Epistulae ex Ponto, lamenting his fate at great and sometimes tedious length. Tristia 3.13 is a gloomy non-celebration of his birthday, and the third book of Tristia can be dated to 10 A.D. (So says Sir Ronald Syme, History in Ovid, 38.) Assuming that it was in fact written on his birthday, anyone who reads it in the next 18 minutes is reading it on the 2000th anniversary of its composition. Anyone in the eastern U.S., that is – it’s already March 21st in Ovid’s hemisphere.
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