Ovid: Poems From Exile - Index A-C


Ibis:465-540 The city in Thrace. It was publicly purified once a year and one of the burghers set apart for that purpose was stoned to death as a scapegoat. He was excommunicated six days before in order to ‘bear the sins of the people’. (See Frazer: The Golden Bough LVIII: The Human Scapegoat in Ancient Greece.)


The brother of Medea. Remembered for his death at Jason’s hands during the escape from Colchis. Ovid uses the tale of how Medea dismembered him and scattered his limbs behind their ship. King Aeetes following gathered up the remains. The cutting up (τομή) was a false etymology for Tomis.

Book TIII. IX:1-34 The source of Tomis’s name.


A town at the narrows of the Dardanelles, opposite Sestos.

Book TI.X:1-50 On the Minerva’s route.

Ibis:541-596 Swum by Leander, hence a destructive passage.

Accius (Lucius)

A Roman tragic poet, born c170BC in Umbria. He also wrote critical and historical works.

Book TII:313-360 His character unlike his works.


Book EIV.X:1-34 A fierce tribe living near the Pontus.


Ibis:251-310 There was an Acheus son of Dorus and Creusa, daughter of Erechtheus, who founded the Achaean race of Greece. The reference is obscure.


A companion of Ulysses left behind in Sicily and rescued by Aeneas. See Aeneid Book III:588.

Book EII.II:1-38 An example of a Greek welcomed by Trojans.

Ibis:413-464  A castaway.


The Greek hero of the Trojan War. The son of Peleus, king of Thessaly, and the sea-goddess Thetis, (See Homer’s Iliad).

Book TI. IX:1-66 Patroclus was his loyal companion.

Book TII:361-420 Aeschylus in the Myrmidons and Sophocles in Achilles’ Lovers represented Achilles as effeminate, and homosexual.

Book TIII.IV:1-46 Ibis:597-644 Dolon coveted his horses.

Book TIII.V:1-56 The greatest warrior at Troy.

Book TIV.I:1-48 See Homer’s Iliad IX.186. Achilles playing the lyre. Briseis was taken by Agamemnon leading to Achilles’ anger and the dispute that begins the Iliad.

Book TIV.III:1-48 In this comparison Ovid is Hector, so presumably Augustus is Achilles.

Book TV.I:49-80 Achilles was not offended by Priam’s tears over Hector.

Book TV.VI:1-46 Automedon was his faithful charioteer.

Book EI.III:49-94 Patroclus sought refuge with him.

Book EI.VII:1-70 He wielded his father Peleus’s spear. Given him by Chiron the Centaur it was cut from an ash on the summit of Mount Pelion, Athene polished the shaft and Hephaestus forged the blade.

Book EII.II:1-38 His spear wounded and healed Telephus.

Book EII.III:1-48 A loyal friend to Patroclus, weeping for him after death and carrying out extensive funeral rites. Called scion (grandson) of Aeacus.

Book EII.IV:1-34 His friendship with Antilochus was second only to that with Patroclus. (Odyssey 24.78-9)

Book EIII.III:1-108 Chiron the Centaur was his teacher.

Ibis:251-310 Pyrrhus (Neoptolemus) was his son.

Ibis:311-364 Achilles came from Thessaly.


The lover of Cydippe. She was bound to him by oath after picking up an apple on which he had written his pledge to marry her. See Ovid’s Heroides 20-21.

Book TIII. X:41-78 The place devoid of fruit-trees.


The grandson of Cadmus, son of Autonoë, called Hyantius from an ancient name for Boeotia. He saw Diana bathing naked and was turned into a stag. Pursued by his hounds, he was torn to pieces by his own pack. (See the Metope of Temple E at Selinus – the Death of Actaeon – Palermo, National Museum: and Titian’s painting – the Death of Actaeon – National Gallery, London.) See Ovid’s Metamorphoses Book III:138.

Book TII:77-120 Ovid chooses this myth to indicate his own punishment for seeing something, a mischief (culpa) by chance. Like Actaeon, that alone seems to have been his error.

Ibis:465-540 Torn apart by the hounds.


The grandson of Actor. See Patroclus.


The husband of Alcestis who agreed to die on his behalf.

Book TII:361-420 Book TV.XIV:1-46 Her love for him.

Book TV.V:27-64 His wife’s response to his fate brought about her fame.

Book EIII.1:105-166 Alcestis, his wife.

Ibis:413-464 Pelias was his father-in-law.


Ibis:465-540 The son of Myrrha by her father Cinyras, born after her transformation into a myrrh-tree. (As such he is a vegetation god born from the heart of the wood.) See Metamorphoses X:681 Venus fell in love with him, but he was killed by a wild boar that gashed his thigh. His blood formed the windflower, the anemone.


Mythical prince of Argos.

Book EI.III:49-94 Welcomed the exiled Tydeus.


Descendants of Aeacus, usually Achilles or his son Pyrrhus.

Book EII.III:1-48 Achilles, grandson of Aeacus.

Ibis:365-412 Probably Pyrrhus (Neoptolemus) at the fall of Troy.


Ibis:163-208 The son of Jupiter and Aegina, grandson of Asopus, the river-god of the north-eastern Peloponnese. He named his island, in the Saronic gulf, Aegina after his mother. Jupiter appointed him one of the three judges of the Underworld. The others were Minos and Rhadamanthys.


King of Colchis, son of Sol and the Oceanid Perse, brother of Circe, and father of Medea. See Ovid’s Metamorphoses Book VII:1. The Argonauts reached his court, and requested the return of the Golden Fleece. The fleece was that of the divine ram on which Phrixus had fled from Orchemonos, to avoid being sacrificed. Iolcus could never prosper until it was brought back to Thessaly. King Aeetes was reluctant and set Jason demanding tasks as a pre-condition for its return. Medea assisted Jason to perform them.

Book TIII. IX:1-34 He pursued the traitorous Medea.

Book EIII.1:105-166 A poisoner and witch.

Ibis:413-464 Medea killed her half-brother Apsyrtus, and scattered his limbs about to delay her father’s pursuit.


Ibis:465-540 The father of Theseus and king of Athens. Theseus forgot to raise a white sail as a signal of success on his return to Athens from Crete and Aegeus leapt to his death in sorrow.


Theseus, son of Aegeus.

Book TV.IV:1-50 Book EII.VI:1-38 A paragon of friendship.


Moesian town on the Danube delta. The modern Tulcea it lies about forty miles inland from the southern mouth of the delta and about seventy miles north of Tomis.

Book EI.VIII:1-70 Founded by Aegisos the Caspian according to legend, and taken by the Getae.

Book EIV.VII:1-54 Re-taken by Vestalis in AD12 after a Getic incursion. The Romans re-captured it with the aid of the Odrysian Thracians of King Rhoemetalces, father of Cotys.


The lover of Clytemnestra who murdered Agamemnon.

Book TII:361-420 Famous because of Clytemnestra’s adultery and the consequent events.


Son of Belus, brother of Danaus. He was King of Egypt and Arabia. His fifty sons married the Danaides, the fifty daughters of Danaus. Learning of his sons’ fate at the hands of the Danaids, he fled to Aroe where he died, and was buried at Patrae in the sanctuary of Serapis (Pausanias VII.21.6)

Book EIII.1:105-166 Ibis:163-208 The Danaids his daughters in law.


Descendants of Aeneas, a name applied to the Julian family, especially Augustus.


The Trojan son of Venus and Anchises. Aeneas escaped from Troy at its fall, and travelled to Latium. The Julian family claimed descent from his son Ascanius (Iulus). See Virgil’s Aeneid.

Book TI.II:1-74 Hated by Juno.

Book TII:253-312 The son of Venus and Anchises.

Book EI.I:1-36 He carried his father Anchises out of Troy on his shoulders.

Book EII.II:1-38 Ibis:413-464 His Trojan fleet.

Book EIII.III:1-108 As the son of Venus he is the half-brother of Amor.


The son of Hippotes, and king of the winds. His cave was on the islands of Lipari (the Aeolian Islands) that include Stromboli, off Sicily.

Book TI.IV:1-28 God of the winds.

Book TI.X:1-50 The grandfather of Helle.

Book EIV.X:1-34 He helped Ulysses with fair winds, however Homer says Odysseus’s crew opened the bag of the winds given him by Aeolus and the resultant storms blew them off course.


The wife of Atreus, she was raped by his brother Thyestes. Atreus killed her together with Thyestes and his children. She had previously born Agamemnon and Menelaus to Pleisthenes son of Atreus.

Book TII:361-420 Raped by her brother-in-law.

Aesculapius (Asclepius)

The Greek god of medicine, the father of Machaon and Podalirius who inherited his skills. Zeus was supposed to have killed him for restoring the dead to life. His cult was celebrated at Epidaurus and imported to Rome in 293BC (See Ovid’s Metamorphoses Book XV) at the urging of the Sibylline books, after a plague there.


Thessalian prince of Iolchos, son of Cretheus, father of Jason. His half-brother Pelias usurped his throne.

Book EI.IV:1-58 Father of Jason.


Book EI.IV:1-58 Jason, son of Aeson.


Book EII.III:49-100 An adjective applied to Elba.


Ibis:541-596 The daughter of Pittheus King of Troezen who bore Theseus to Aegeus of Athens.


Mount Etna. The Volcano on Sicily.

Book TV.II:45-79 Its fires.

Book EII.II:75-126 Ibis:251-310 Its caves a haunt of the Cyclopes.

Book EII.X:1-52 Seen erupting by Ovid on his travels.

Ibis:413-464 On Sicily.

Ibis:597-644 Fuelled by the anger of the giants beneath it.


The king of Mycenae, son of Atreus, brother of Menelaüs, husband of Clytaemnestra, father of OrestesIphigenia, and Electra. The leader of the Greek army in the Trojan War. See Homer’s Iliad, and Aeschylus’s Oresteian tragedies.

Book TII:361-420 He desired Cassandra and took her back to Greece with him.

Book TV.VI:1-46 Book EII.VI:1-38 The father of Orestes, the son being famous for loyalty to his friend Pylades.

Book EIII.1:105-166 Ibis:311-364 Murdered by his wife.

Book EIV.VIII:49-90 Famous through the poets.

Ibis:465-540 Orestes was his son.


King of Sidon. The father of Phineus, and Cadmus.

Book EI.III:49-94 Father of Cadmus.

Book EI.IV:1-58 Father of Phineus.


Book EI.III:49-94 Cadmus, son of Agenor.


The youngest daughter of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, Augustus’s general and friend, and Augustus’s daughter Julia. She married GermanicusTiberius ultimately banished her to the island of Panadataria in 29AD where she starved herself to death in 33AD. Caligula was one of her surviving children.

Book TIV.II:1-74 Germanicus fighting alongside Tiberius in Germany in AD10.


The father of Thersites the ugliest man among the Greeks at Troy.

Book EIII.IX:1-56 Father of Thersites.


The Greater, the son of Telamon, and mightiest of the Greeks at Troy save for Achilles.

Book TII:497-546 Represented in his wrath over the armour of Achilles.

Book EIV.VII:1-54 Ajax held off the Trojan assault when Hector attempted to fire the Greek ships.


Alban, from Alba Longa, a town on the Alban Mount founded by Ascanius, and not far from Rome.

Book EI.VIII:1-70 Severus had an estate there.


Probably the Albinovanus Pedo, a soldier who served with Germanicus in Germany, and a poet known for his epigrams (a fragment survives).

Book TIV.VII:1-26 The friend addressed here might be Pedo, following Seneca’s comment in Controversiae (2.2.12) of Ovid being asked to cut out three lines, disliked by his friends, from his early verse. He agreed if he could retain three he specifically liked. They proved identical. (One of them was the half-man, half-bull line from Ars Amatoria II.24: semibovemque virum, semivirumque bovem, and all three were probably similar verbal tricks). Seneca claimed to have had the story from Pedo, one of the friends, and Ovid may be referring to the incident pointedly here.

Book EIV.X:1-34 Book EIV.X:35-84 This letter addressed to Pedo explicitly.


The son of Pelops, founder of the city of Megara, hence Megara is called urbs Alcathoï.

Book TI.X:1-50 Exiles from Heracleia in Bithynia founded by Megara, also founded Callatis, now Mangalia, on the Minerva’s course.


The daughter of Pelias, and wife of Admetus, who consented to die in place of her husband but was saved by Hercules.

Book TV.V:27-64 His wife’s response to her husband’s fate brought about her fame.

Book TV.XIV:1-46 A paragon of loyalty, bringing help in distress.

Book EIII.1:105-166 Her act of loyalty.


A name of Hercules.


The king of the Phaeacians (Phaeacia is probably Corcyra, =Corfu), on whose coast Ulysses was washed ashore. The father of Nausicaa. One of his ships was turned to stone. His orchards were famous. See Homer, The Odyssey XIII.

Book EII.IX:39-80 His generosity in helping a stranger.

Book EIV.II:1-50 His apple orchards.


Ibis:311-364 The son of Amphiaraus, who killed his mother Eriphyle for causing the death of his father, and was maddened by the Furies. He married Callirhoe daughter of the river-god Achelous.


The daughter of Electryon king of Tiryns, wife of Amphitryon, and mother of Hercules by the god Jupiter. Jupiter caused the night to double in length as he seduced her.

Book TII:361-420 Seduced by Jupiter.


Ibis:465-540 The king and founder of Tegea in Arcadia, and father to Auge, who bore Telephus to Hercules. There was an ancient statue of Alean Athene at Tegea that Augustus moved to Rome after the defeat of Antony, and which was placed in the Forum Augustum (vowed at Philippi in 42BC and consecrated forty years later.)

Ibis:251-310 Scene of Philopoimen’s last defeat.

Alexander the Great

Alexander III of Macedon (356-323BC) the son of Philip II and conquereor of Greece, and the Persian Empire.

Book TI.II:75-110 His famous city of Alexandria in Egypt.

Book TIII.V:1-56 Showed mercy in victory.


The capital of Egypt, founded by Alexander the Great and the site of his tomb.

Book TI.II:75-110 Founded by Alexander.


A tributary of the Tiber. The Romans were crushed by the Gauls under Brennius in a battle by the river on 18th July 390BC, leading to the capture and sacking of Rome. It was a day of national mourning (dies ater) when no public business was transacted.

Ibis:209-250 A black day.


The mother of Meleager, and wife of Oeneus, king of Calydon. The sister of the Thestiadae, Plexippus and Toxeus. She sought revenge for their deaths at the hands of her own son, Meleager, and threw into the fire the piece of wood that was linked to Meleager’s life, and which she had once rescued from the flames, at the time of the Fates prophecy to her.

Book TI.VII:1-40 Ibis:597-644 She destroyed her own son, and proved a better sister than a mother.


A character in Virgil’s Bucolic poems.

Book TII:497-546 A character in the Eclogues.


Ibis:311-364 A town in Paphlagonia in Asia Minor, on a peninsula jutting into the Black Sea. It was mentioned by Homer (Iliad, II, 853), was a flourishing town in the time of Trajan (98-117), and was of some importance until the seventh century AD. Lenaeus was a title of Bacchus as lord of the wine-press. The reference is obscure.


A race of warlike women living by the River Thermodon, probably based on the Sarmatian warrior princesses of the Black Sea area (See Herodotus). In particular Hippolyte the mother of Hippolytus by Theseus.

Book EIII.1:67-104 Their battle-axes.

Book EIV.X:35-84 Mentioned obliquely.


Ibis:251-310 The region of western Greece in Epirus, round the Gulf of Ambracia.

Amor (Cupid)

The god of love, son of Venus (Aphrodite). He is often portrayed as a blind winged child armed with a bow and arrows, and carrying a flaming torch.

Book TII:361-420 Metaphorically he drove Pelops’s chariot, when Pelops snatched Hippodamia.

Book TV.I:1-48 The archer god of love.

Book EI.IV:1-58 Ovid regrets his role as the teacher of Love.

Book EIII.III:1-108 A vision of the god of Love.


A Greek seer, one of the heroes, the Oeclides, at the Calydonian Boar Hunt. The son of Oecleus, father of Alcmaeon, and husband of Eriphyle.

Fighting in the war of the Seven against Thebes he was swallowed up alive by the earth.

Book EIII.1:1-66 Made more famous by his fate.


Ibis:251-310 King of Ormenium, near Mount Pelion. His concubine Phthia accused his son Phoenix of violating her. Amyntor blinded him and cursed him with childlessness.


The Greek elegicac, iambic and lyric poet of Teos, Ionia, born c. 570BC. His patrons included Polycrates of Samos and the Athenian Hipparchos. He was in Thessaly in 514 before returning to Athens.

Book TII:361-420 His lyric eroticism. The Tean bard.


Sicilian river, the Anapo, converging with the Cyane, now, to the south of Syracuse inland from the Great Harbour.

Book EII.X:1-52 Visited by Ovid and Macer.


A Greek town on the Thracian (west) coast of the Black Sea south of Tomis and subject to Apollonia further north. Modern Pomerie.

Book TI.X:1-50 On the Minerva’s course.


The son of Capys, and father of Aeneas by the goddess Venus. Aeneas rescued him from the fall of Troy. See Virgil’s Aeneid.

Book TII:253-312 The lover of Venus.

Book EI.I:1-36 Rescued from Troy by his son Aeneas.


The wife of Hector, daughter of Eetion King of Cilician Thebes. See Euripides’ The Trojan Women and Racine’s Andromache.

Book TI.VI:1-36 Book TV.V:27-64 Book TV.XIV:1-46 

Ovid compares his wife to her for probity and strength of character.

Book TIV.III:1-48 Another comparison of his wife’s sorrow to hers.


The daughter of Cepheus, the Ethiopian King, and Cassiope, who was chained to a rock and exposed to a sea-monster Cetus because of her mother’s sin. She is represented by the constellation Andromeda which contains the Andromeda galaxy M31 a spiral like our own, the most distant object visible to the naked eye. Cetus is represented by the constellation of Cetus, the Whale, between Pisces and Eridanus that contains the variable star, Mira. She was chained to a rock for her mother’s fault and Perseus offered to rescue her. (See Burne-Jones’s oil paintings and gouaches in the Perseus series, particularly The Rock of Doom). He killed the sea serpent and claimed her as his bride. He is represented by the nearby constellation with his name.

Book TII:361-420 Danae’s daughter-in-law.


An Augustan erotic poet, a friend of Mark Antony and critic of Virgil.

Book TII:421-470 His dubious erotic verse.


Ibis:365-412 The King of Lybia, son of Neptune and Earth, whom Hercules defeated by lifting him off the ground in a wrestling match. He gained strength from touching the ground. Busiris was his brother.


A Trojan noble, the reputed founder of Padua.

Book EIV.XVI:1-52 Mentioned, as the aged Trojan.


The Greek city in Phocis.

Book EIV.III:1-58 The mountains there produced white and black hellebore used as purgatives. Common hellebore (helleborus cyclophyllus) is a spring wildflower on nearby Parnassus. The black hellebore helleborus niger also possibly flourished there. Dioskorides (Materia Medica 4.148) says the best black and white hellebore grew there. Strabo (9.3.3) says that people went to Anticyra to be purged. See Pausanias (10.36.3).


The daughter of Oedipus, King of Thebes. She performed the burial rites for her brother Polynices, though King Creon had forbidden it because of her brother’s role in the war of the Seven against Thebes. See Sophocles’ Antigone.

Book TIII.III:47-88 She buried her brother despite the King’s ruling.

Ibis:251-310 She acted as guide to her blinded father Oedipus.


The son of Nestor and close friend of Achilles.

Book EII.IV:1-34 His great friendship with Achilles.


An epic and elegiac poet of Colophon (or Claros) fl.c.400BC. His most famous work the Lyde was written to console himself for the loss of his wife.

Book TI.VI:1-36 Mirrors Ovid’s love for his wife.


The king of the Laestrygonians. He incited his people, who were cannibals, to attack Ulysses and his crew.

Book EII.II:75-126 A hostile savage.

Book EII.IX:39-80 Cursed for his inhumanity and abuse of strangers.

Antonius (Marcus)

Mark Antony, the Roman general and triumvir, who seized the inheritance at Julius Caesar’s death, despite his will, and who was defeated by Octavian at Mutina in Cisalpine Gaul, and Octavian’s naval commander, Vispanius Agrippa, at the naval battle of Actium in 31BC. Lover of Cleopatra VII, Queen of Egypt.

Book EI.I:1-36 A writer of political pamphlets against his opponents.


Book TV.XII:1-68  Ibis:541-596 An Athenian democrat, one of the accusers of Socrates. See Plato’s Apology.


Originally a district of Boeotia near Phocis, containing Mount Helicon, then a poetic term for all of Boeotia. Helicon and the Muses are often called Aonian.

Book TIV.X:1-40 Book EIV.II:1-50 An epithet for the Muses.


The painter of Cos and Ephesus, 4th century BC, and court painter to Alexander the Great, who depicted Venus Aphrodite, rising from the waves, wringing the sea-water from her hair. He seems to have specialised in portraits and allegories, aiming at realistic representation. He also painted Alexander as Zeus, and his style of portraiture was a major influence for two centuries.

Book EIV.I:1-36 The painter of Cos, and creator of the Venus (Aphrodite) Anadyomene, brought to Rome from Cos by Augustus and dedicated to the deified Caesar.


Son of Jupiter and Latona (Leto), brother of Diana (Artemis), born on Delos. God of poetry, art, medicine, prophecy, archery, herds and flocks, and of the sun.

Book TI.II:1-74 He supported the Trojans.

Book TI.X:1-50 Apollonia, named for him, a town on the west coast of the Black Sea, and on the Minerva’s course. A Milesian foundation it was famous for a giant statue of the god that Lucullus had transported to Rome.

Book TII.I:1 Patron of the Secular Games, the Ludi Saeculares. They were held to inaugurate the pax Augusta, in 17BC, with a hymn by Horace sung by a mixed choir of boys and girls on the Palatine.

Book TII:361-420 Cassandra was his prophetic priestess at Troy.

Book TIII.I:1-46 Augustus dedicated his victory at Actium to Apollo, since there was a temple to the god at Leucadia nearby. The laurel was sacred to Apollo: see the myth of Daphne in Metamorphoses BookI:525

Book TIII.I:47-82 The figures of Danaus and his daughters in the temple of Apollo built by Augustus on the Palatine, in which he also established a library. 

Book TIII.II:1-30 The god of the arts, including poetry.

Book TIII.III:1-46 Book TIV.III:49-84 The god of medicine.

Book TIV.II:1-74 Phoebus Apollo’s sacred laurel wreathed the heads of victorious soldiers.

Book TV.III:1-58 The god of poetry, who empowers poetic achievement.

Book TV.XII:1-68 Apollo’s oracle at Delphi proclaimed Socrates as wiser than others: he concluded, ironically, that it was because he knew his own ignorance. (Plato, Apol. 21A)

Book EII.II:75-126 The laurel was sacred to Apollo: see the myth of Daphne in Metamorphoses BookI:525

Book EII.V:41-76 Laurel was chewed to induce prophetic trance in the rites of Diana, and was sacred to Apollo the god of the Arts.

Book EIII.II:1-110 His sister was Diana.

Ibis:105-134 The god of prophecy.

Book EIV.VIII:49-90 The god of both strings, those of the bow and the lyre.

Ibis:251-310 Tiresias was gifted with prophecy, Apollo’s art.

Ibis:465-540 Sacrificed to at the altars.

Ibis:541-596 The father of Linus.

Appia (Via)

The first great Roman Road from Rome to Capua (132miles) built c. 312 BC by Appius Claudius Caecus and later extended by way of Beneventum, and Tarentum to Brundisium (Brindisi) by the middle of the 3rd century. It was later fully paved.

Book EI.VIII:1-70 The route to Alba Longa.

Book EII.VII:1-46 Hollowed by the passage of wheels.


The north wind. As a god he is Boreas.

Book TI.XI:1-44 Book TIII. X:1-40 Ibis:163-208 A storm wind in winter.


The twin constellations of the Great and Little Bear, Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, individually or together. They never set.

Book TI.II:1-74 The circum-polar stars.

Book TI.III:47-102 The Great Bear is Parrhasian, from the Callisto myth.

Book TIII. X:1-40 Book TV.V:27-64 Northern constellations.

Book TV.III:1-58 The Cynosurian or Little Bear. Ursa Minor.


The Bearkeeper, a star in the constellation Bootes, the fourth brightest star in the sky. Its rising signifies the stormy seasons of autumn and winter.

Book EII.VII:47-84 An autumn and winter star.


A nymph of Elis and attendant of Diana-Artemis. She was loved by the river god Alpheus and pursued beneath the sea to Sicily. See Ovid’s Metamorphoses Book V:572.

Book EII.X:1-52 The fountain visited by Ovid and Macer.


The ship of Jason and the Argonauts, built with the aid of Athene. The Argonauts sailed her to the Black Sea to find the Golden Fleece.

Book TII:421-470 In the Argonautica of Varro.

Book TIII. IX:1-34 Built under the protection of Minerva. The first Greek ship to enter the Black Sea. Its arrival at Tomis on its way back to Greece.

Ibis:251-310 Athene-Minerva protected the Argo, and her sacred dove was sent ahead through the clashing rocks to guide the ship.


A daughter of Minos. Half-sister of the Minotaur, and sister of Phaedra who helped Theseus escape the Cretan Labyrinth. She fled to Dia with Theseus and he abandoned her there, but she was rescued by Bacchus, and her crown was set among the stars as the Corona Borealis. (See Titian’s painting – Bacchus and Ariadne – National Gallery, London: and Annibale Carracci’s fresco – The triumph of Bacchus and Ariadne – Farnese Palace, Rome)). The Northern Crown, the Corona Borealis, is a constellation between Hercules and Serpens Caput, consisting of an arc of seven stars, its central jewel being the blue-white star Gemma.

Book TV.III:1-58 Her crown of stars, the Corona Borealis, set in the sky by Bacchus.

Ibis:251-310 This a variant of her fate.


The son of Apollo, the patron of dairy-farming, apiculture etc.

Book EIV.II:1-50 His honey.


The Homeric scholar and critic of second century BC Alexandria, born on Samothrace. He was the tutor of Ptolemy VII Neos Philopator and Director of the great library. He retired to Cyprus in 145BC. He also made critical recensions of Hesiod and Pindar.

Book EIII.IX:1-56 Inferior to those he criticised.

Aristides (1)

The Athenian statesman, exiled in 482BC.

Book EI.III:49-94 He fled to Sparta.

Aristides (2)

The author (2nd century BC) of the Milesian Tales, a sort of Decameron, of which some fragments survive in Sisenna’s Latin translation.

Book TII:361-420 Not exiled for his risqué tales.

Book TII:421-470 Translated by Sisenna.


Ovid’s poem Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love) a contributory reason for his exile to Tomis.

Artemis (Diana)

The daughter of Zeus and Leto and the sister of Apollo. Associated with childbirth, virginity, hunting, wild creatures, and the moon. At Brauron in Attica young girls were involved in her bear-cult. At Ephesus she had a famous temple (as Diana). In the Tauric Chersonese she was associated with human sacrifice. See Frazer’s The Golden Bough.

Asclepius, Aesculapius

The son of Coronis and Apollo, hence great grandson of Saturn, and named Coronides. He was saved by Apollo from his mother’s body and given to Chiron the Centaur to rear. He is represented in the sky by the constellation Ophiucus near Scorpius, depicting a man entwined in the coils of a serpent, consisting of the split constellation, Serpens Cauda and Serpens Caput, which contains Barnard’s star, having the greatest proper motion of any star and being the second nearest to the sun. He restored Hippolytus and others to life. He saved Rome from the plague, and becomes a resident god. (His cult centre was Epidaurus where there was a statue of the god with a golden beard. Cicero mentions that Dionysius the Elder, Tyrant of Syracuse wrenched off the gold. (‘On the Nature of the Gods, Bk III 82). Asclepius himself was killed and restored to life by Jupiter-Zeus.

Ibis:365-412 Great grandson of Saturn, via Jupiter and Apollo.


Book EIV.XIV:1-62 The Boeotian town where Hesiod was born.


Ibis:465-540 Ibis:541-596 The son of Hector and Andromache, who at the fall of Troy was hurled from the citadel onto the rocks below, or as some sources say leapt to his death.


The daughter of King Schoeneus of Boeotia, famous for her swift running. Warned against marriage by the oracle, her suitors were forced to race against her on penalty of death for losing. She fell in love with Hippomenes. He raced with her, and by use of the golden apples, won the race and her. (See Guido Reni’s painting – Atalanta and Hippomenes – Naples, Galleria Nazionale di Capodimonte)

Book TII:361-420 A tale of passion.

Ibis:365-412 The golden apples.


Ibis:311-364 A city in Mysia in Asia Minor, opposite Mytilene the city of Lesbos. Herodotus I.160. The incident described is obscure.


Ibis:311-364 The son of Aeolus, who married InoCadmus’s daughter. He was maddened by Hera (See Metamorphoses IV:512). Ovid also refers to the myth in which Cadmus and his wife Harmonia were turned into serpents. (See Metamorphoses IV:563)

Athene (Minerva)

The patron goddess of Athens, born fully grown and armed from the head of Zeus. Associated with virginity, olive-cultivation, domestic arts (spinning, weaving, and pottery etc) wisdom, learning, technology and the mind.

Book EIV.I:1-36 Her statues by Phidias on the Acropolis. The chryselephantine statue on the Parthenon, and the bronze Athena Promachos (‘The Champion’) presented to Athens by the allies after Marathon, which supposedly stood in the great square at Constantinople until 1203 when it was destroyed. Both were more than lifesize.


The chief city of Attica in Greece, sacred to Minerva ( Pallas Athene).

Book TI.II:75-110 Ovid visited the city, as a student, and parts of Asian Minor.

Book TV.IV:1-50 The honey of Mount Hymettos in Attica, near Athens, was famous in ancient times, and sweeter than the honey of Taygetos near Sparta.

Book EI.III:49-94 Diogenes the Cynic was exiled, and lived in Attica.

Book EIV.I:1-36 The Athenian citadel the Acropolis, guarded by Athena.


A high promontory of the Macedonian Chalcidice, on a peninsula in the northern Aegean.

Book EI.V:1-42 Ovid suggests he is being asked to perform the impossible, equivalent to Mount Athos appearing in the distant Alps.

Ibis:163-208 Snow covered in winter.

Atia (Minor)

Augustus’s maternal aunt, and the wife of Lucius Marcius Philippus.

Book EI.II:101-150 Mother of Marcia, Maximus Paullus’s wife, to whom Ovid’s third wife was a companion.


Atlantian is an epithet for the Great Bear, since Callisto represented by the constellation was descended from Atlas.


King of Mycenae, the son of Pelops and Hippodameia, and brother of Thyestes. The father of Agamemnon and Menelaüs. His wife was Aerope.

Book EI.II:101-150 An example of cruelty. The feud between the brothers over the kingship of Mycenae was long and complex, and gave rise to a network of myths. Thyestes committed adultery with Aerope, and Atreus in revenge killed Thyestes’ children, cooked the flesh, and served it to him at a banquet. Later Thyestes’ son Aegisthus killed Atreus, and subsequently Agamemnon.

Book EI.VII:1-70 His sons Agamemnon and Menelaus.


A friend to whom Ovid addresses two of the poems.

Book EII.IV:1-34 Addressed to him explicitly.

Book EII.VII:1-46 The second letter addressed explicitly to him.


Ibis:413-464 A Phrygian shepherd, loved by Cybele. An incarnation of the vegetation god, the consort of the Great Goddess. He castrated himself and became a sexless follower of hers. See Catullus:63.


The Emperor Augustus Caesar (63BC –14AD). (The title was also granted to Tiberius). Augustus was Julius Caesar’s grand-nephew, whom Julius adopted and declared as his heir, Octavius Caesar (Octavian). (The honorary title Augustus was bestowed by the Senate 16th Jan 27BC). He married Scribonia and then Livia. He exiled Ovid to the Black Sea region in 8AD for ‘a poem and a mistake’ (carmen et error). The poem probably the Ars Amatoria, the mistake probably something to do with the notorious Julias’ set (the younger Julia, Augustus’s grandaughter, was banished as was the Elder Julia his daughter), that Ovid knew of and repeated. He may possibly have witnessed ‘an illegal’, that is politically unacceptable, marriage between Julia the Younger and her lover. (She subsequently had an illegitimate child while in exile).

 Book TI.I:1-68 Ovid hopes for greater leniency, despite the sparing of his life. A subtle doubtle-entendre as to which Caesar might grant it.

 Book TI.I:70-128 He fears further attention from Augustus. Once bitten, twice shy.

Book TI.II:1-74 Augustus’s anger. Augustus did not judge Ovid’s fault (culpa) to be deserving of the death sentence.

Book TI.IV:1-28 Book TIV.III:49-84 Augustus identified with Jupiter (Jove).

Book TI.V:1-44 Book TI. IX:1-66 Augustus noted for his admiration of loyalty even amongst enemies.

Book TII.I:1 His banning of Ars Amatoria (the text is uncertain here).

Perhaps also a reference to Augustus’s re-dedication of the temple of Cybele (Ops) on the Palatine, after it burnt down in AD3. Augustus was granted the title pater patriae: Father of the Country on 2nd February 2BC.

Book TII:361-420 Augustus attached a library to the temple of Apollo on the Palatine, and built one in the Portico of Octavia in memory of her son Marcellus.

Book TII:421-470 Augustus’s accession was 26BC.

Book TII:547-578 See the close of the Metamorphoses Book XV:745-870 where Ovid celebrates Julius Caesar and Augustus.

Book TIII.I:1-46 The doorposts of his house on the Palatine were hung with wreaths of laurel and oak, triumphal insignia. The wreath of oak, the civic crown (civica corona) was awarded to Romans who saved others’ lives in battle, and Augustus was treated as the saviour of the country. The oak was sacred to Jupiter of Dodona, and Ovid continually identifies Augustus with Jupiter in the convential way.

Book TIII.VI:1-38 ‘The man’ is Augustus.

Book EI.I:1-36 Augustus was said to be (spuriously) descended from Aeneas.

Book EI.I:37-80 Ovid celebrates the Julian succession, with its divine characteristics. The problem of Ovid’s past double-entendres in his works concerning Augustus is that one is inevitably tempted to read them into the later works too, but Ovid may in fact be ‘playing it straight’ here.

Book EII.I:68 Book EIII.VI:1-60 Augustus’s Justice was personified as a goddess, Justitia Augusta and awarded a marble temple on the 8th January AD13.

Book EII.II:39-74 Augustus is also Jupiter Capitolinus, the Tarpeian Thunderer.

Book EII.II:39-74 Augustus was embarrassed by the fragility of the succession, and his own lack of direct heirs through Livia. Here the younger women of the house, and granddaughters include Livilla wife of Drusus the Younger: Agrippina the Elder wife of Germanicus: Antonia the widow of the Elder Drusus: and the Younger Julia.The great-grandsons

are Germanicus’s three sons by Agrippina (Caligula, Drusus Caesar and Nero Caesar, the latter not the Emperor Nero.)

Book EII.V:1-40 The pax Augusta, the tranquillity of the Empire within established borders.

Book EII.VIII:1-36 Cotta Maximus sent Ovid portraits of Augustus, Tiberius and Livia. The Livia-Augustus relationship is mocked in The Metamorphoses by potraying them as Juno and Jupiter. Here Ovid lightly and ironically highlights the relationships, Tiberius being only his son by adoption, and Germanicus in turn an adopted son of Tiberius.

Book EII.VIII:37-76 The implication is that gladiators were not allowed to fight to the death in Augustus’s presence. (Suetonius Divus Augustus:45)

Book EIII.III:1-108 His (mythical) descent from Aeneas stressed.

Ibis:1-40 He allowed Ovid to retain his possessions.

Book EIV.V:1-46 Book EIV.XV:1-42 The Forum of Augustus was north-east of the Capitol at the foot of the Quirinal Hill. Augustus dedicated it in May 2BC. The Julian Temple was the Curia Julia begun by Caesar in 45BC flanking the Forum Romanum and dedicated by Augustus in 29BC.

Book EIV.VI:1-50 Book EIV.VIII:49-90 Book EIV.IX:89-134 Book EIV.XII:1-50 Book EIV.XIII:1-50 Augustus had died on 19th August AD14, and was deified on 17th September.

Book EIV.IX:55-88 The consuls receive extra authority from the deified Augustus.


Book EII.III:49-100 The wife of Marcus Valerius Corvinus Messalla.


The goddess of the dawn (Greek Eos) the daughter of Hyperion, spouse of Tithonus, and mother of Memnon.

Book EI.IV:1-58 The Dawn, mother of Memnon.


A Greek name for the land of the Aurunci, later a poetic term for Latium and Italy.

Book TI.II:75-110 Book TII.I:1 Book EIII.II:1-110

Book EIV.XIV:1-62 Ovid’s Italy.

Book TIV.X:41-92 The Italian lyre.

Book TV.II:45-79 The Roman people.

Book EI.II:53-100 The Roman military machine.

Book EIV.VIII:49-90 Rome, the Ausonian city.


The South Wind. Eurus is the East Wind, Zephyrus the West Wind, and Boreas is the North Wind. A storm-wind.

Book TI.X:1-50 A favourable wind for navigating the Bosporus from south-west to north-east.

Book TI.XI:1-44 A rain-bearing wind in winter.

Book EII.1:68 A cloudy southerly bringing rain.

Book EII.III:49-100 A late winter rain, melting the snow.

Book EIV.XII:1-50 A warm wind.


The charioteer of Achilles, who according to Virgil (Aeneid II.476) later fought alongside Neoptolemus (Pyrrhus) Achilles’ son.

Book TV.VI:1-46 Loyal to Achilles.


‘Inhospitable’ an adjective applied to Pontus (The Black Sea).

Book TIV.IV:43-88 His place of exile.


The ancient Mesopotamian capital of the Babylonians, in modern Iraq.

Book EII.IV:1-34 Its heat.


A Bacchante, one of the female followers of Bacchus-Dionysus, noted for their ecstatic worship of the god.

Book TIV.I:1-48 They celebrated the rites on Mount Ida, ululating, shrieking wildly, in ecstatic dances.

Book TV.III:1-58 The female followers of Bacchus.

Bacchus, Dionysus

The god Dionysus, the ‘twice-born’, the god of the vine. The son of Jupiter-Zeus and Semele. His worship was celebrated with orgiastic rites borrowed from Phrygia. His female followers are the Maenades. He carries the thyrsus, a wand tipped with a pine-cone, the Maenads and Satyrs following him carrying ivy-twined fir branches as thyrsi. (See Caravaggio’s painting – Bacchus – Uffizi, Florence) He was equated by the Romans with Liber the fertility god. See Euripides’ Bacchae. Also called Lenaeus, ‘of the winepress’.

Book TI.VII:1-40 The ivy-crowned god.

Book TI.X:1-50 Dionysopolis named for him.

Book TII:361-420 Son of Semele.

Book TIV.I:1-48 His thyrsus wand. A god of inspiration.

Book TV.III:1-58 His feast of the Liberalia on March 17th is the occasion for this poem. He was born prematurely, and then a second time after being nourished sewn into Jupiter-Zeus’s thigh. The evergreen ivy was sacred to Bacchus-Dionysus. Ovid mentions elements of his myth, his mother Semele, the antipathetic Lycurgus and Pentheus punished for denying his worship, his rescue of Ariadne, and his identification with Liber.

Book EII.V:41-76 The thyrsus as a symbol of inspiration from the god. Here apparently poetic inspiration.

Book EII.IX:1-38 Book EIV.II:1-50 God of the grape, and the vine. Falernian wine was prized.

Book EIV.VIII:49-90 He was celebrated in India through which he conducted a triumphal procession.

Ibis:465-540 Nursed by Persephone and by the nymphs of Mount Nysa.


An iambic poet and member of Ovid’s circle, otherwise unknown, though he could be the Bassus of Propertius I.4.

Book TIV.X:41-92 Mentioned.


A Germanic or Celtic people living along the Danube from the Carpathians to the Black Sea.

Book TII:155-206 They held the land on the border of the Roman area.


A Dalmatian, chieftain of the Daesitiatae, who fought against Rome AD 6-9. He obtained immunity and was allowed to live in Ravenna.

Book EII.I:68 A captive in Tiberius’s Pannonian triumph.


Callimachus the poet, a descendant of Battus.

Book TII:361-420 His love poetry.

Book TV.V:27-64 A lost reference in his works.

Ibis:41-104 Ovid used a poem of Callimachus as a model and adopted the name of Ibis for his enemy.


Ibis:541-596 A countryman changed by Mercury into a flint (touchstone, the ‘informer’) See Metamorphoses II:676


See Danaides


He was entertained by Proetus King of Argos and rejected the advances of Stheneboea his hostess who falsely denounced him in revenge. The King gave him to Iobates to be killed, but Iobates not daring to kill him forced him to fight the fire-breathing Chimaera which he destroyed.

Book TII:361-420 Brought near to death by Stheneboea.


Thracian people living on the upper Hebrus. Distributed according to Strabo (7.5.12, C.318) along the southern slopes of the Haemus range, from the Black Sea as far as the Dardani north of Macedonia. They had a reputation as brigands.

Book TIII. X:1-40 Book TIV.I:49-107 Ovid living among them.


Thracian people of the Aegean coast around Abdera and Dicaea, and as far west as the Nestos. Used by Ovid and others as a term for the Thracians generally.

Book TI.X:1-50 Ibis:365-412 Thrace. Ovid sailed from Samothrace to the Bistonian shore to continue his journey.

Book EI.II:101-150 Thracian horses.

Book EI.III:49-94 Thracian spears.

Book EII.IX:39-80 Cotys king of Thrace.

Book EIV.V:1-46 Thracian swords a threat.


‘The Beloved.’ The wife of Philetas the poet.

Book TI.VI:1-36 A loved wife.

Book EIII.1:1-66 Ovid’s wife will be as famous as she is.


The constellation of the Waggoner, or Herdsman, or Bear Herd. The nearby constellation of Ursa Major is the Waggon, or Plough, or Great Bear. He holds the leash of the constellation of the hunting dogs, Canes Venatici. He is sometimes identified with Arcas son of Jupiter and Callisto. Arcas may alternatively be the Little Bear. Contains the star Arcturus.

Book TI.IV:1-28 The constellation sets in the stormy winter waters.

Book TI.XI:1-44 Winter stars.


The North Wind. Eurus is the East Wind, Zephyrus is the West Wind, and Auster is the South Wind. He was identified with Thrace and the north.

Book TI.II:1-74 The warring of the winds.

Book TIII. X:1-40 Book TIII. X:41-78 Book EIV.XII:1-50 The wintry north wind.

Book TIII. XI:1-38 Book TIV.VIII:1-52 Book EIV.X:35-84 Associated with the Great Bear and the north.

Book EI.V:43- 86 The North wind is less powerful by the time it reaches Rome.


The Dneiper.

Book EIV.X:35-84 A river running into the Black Sea.


The strait separating Europe and Asia Minor, connecting the Black Sea (Euxine) with the Propontis (Sea of Marmara). Byzantium on its west bank, Chalcedon on its east. It is distinguished as the Thracian Bosporus from the Cimmerian Bosporus in the Crimea the passage between the Black Sea (Euxine) and the Maeotic Lake (Sea of Azov).

Book TII:253-312 Juno drove Io over the sea.

Book TIII.IV:1-46 The southern limit for Ovid of the region round Tomis.


Hippodameia, the daughter of Briseus of Lyrnesus, and the favourite slave of Achilles, whom Agamemnon forced him to relinquish, initiating the famous quarrel described in the Iliad.

Book TII:361-420 The quarrel described in the Iliad.

Book TIV.I:1-48 Achilles saddened.


Ibis:465-540 A son of Tantalus. He committed suicide in the flames because of his ugliness, or as some say on being driven mad by Artemis.

Brutus (1)

Marcus Junius Brutus co-leader of the conspiracy to assassinate Julius Caesar, and a writer on philosophy and rhetoric.

Book EI.I:1-36 A moralist and essayist on various subjects.

Brutus (2)

A friend addressed by Ovid who acted as his editor, otherwise unknown.

Book TI.VII:1-40 Probably TI:VII is addressed to him. He acted as Ovid’s editor and took responsibility for his works. Brutus issued the first three books of the Tristia on their completion.

Book EI.I:1-36 This letter addressed to him explicitly.

Book EIII.IX:1-56 This letter addressed to him explicitly.

Book EIV.VI:1-50 This letter addressed to him explicitly.


A king of Egypt who sacrificed strangers to Jupiter, killed by Hercules. He was the brother of Antaeus of Libya.

Book TIII. XI:39-74 Book EIII.VI:1-60 Ibis:365-412 An example of cruelty.


Ibis:311-364 The daughter of Miletus, and Cyanee, twin sister of Caunus.The twins were noted for their beauty. Byblis fell in love with Caunus and wooed him incestuously. See Metamorphoses IX:439.


The city founded on the west side of the Bosporus in the mid 7th century BC. Renamed Constantinople (330AD by Constantine), and now named Istanbul (1457AD by the Ottoman Empire). The city now lies on both sides of the southern end of the Bosporus.

Book TI.X:1-50 On the Minerva’s route.


Ibis:465-540 The three-headed giant who lived in a cave, stole Hercules’ cattle, and was killed by him. The bellowing of the stolen bulls gave him away.


The son of the Phoenician king Agenor, who searched for his sister Europa stolen by Jupiter. The founder of  (Boeotian)Thebes. The father of Semele.

Book TIV.III:49-84 He rescued Semele’s child, Bacchus.

Book EI.III:49-94 The founder of Thebes.

Ibis:413-464 Athene commanded him to sow the teeth of the serpent (from the snake of the Castalian Spring, that he had killed) in the soil of Thebes. The Sparti or sown men were born from the soil, and they fought each other until only five were left.

Ibis:465-540 Grandfather of Pentheus.


Ovid uses Caesares, the Caesars, of two or more members of the Imperial house.

Book EI.IV:1-58 Here Augustus and Tiberius the heir apparent.

Book EII.VI:1-38 Book EIV.XV:1-42 The Imperial House.

Calamis, Calamus

An Athenian artist c.460BC famous for metalwork.

Book EIV.I:1-36 Famous for his bronze horses.


Probably a Bithynian river south of Herakleia.

Book EIV.X:35-84 A river running into the Black Sea.


The scholar and poet of Alexandria (c. 305-240BC) who claimed descent from Battus the founder of Cyrene in North Africa. He was admired by OvidPropertius and Catullus. He was a prominent member of the library of Alexandria under Ptolemy II Philadelphos, where he produced a catalogue (the Pinakes) of the library’s holdings. His Hymns and fragments of Aitia etc survive.

Book TII:361-420 Called Battiades. His erotic epigrams?

Book TV.V:27-64 A lost reference in his works.

Book EIV.XVI:1-52 Imitated by Proculus a poet in Ovid’s list of his lesser contemporaries.


The Muse of epic poetry. The mother of Orpheus.

Book TII:547-578 Ovid’s Muse. Calliope often represents all the Muses, being the primal Muse.

Ibis:465-540 The mother of Orpheus.


A nymph of Nonacris in Arcadia, a favourite of Phoebe-Diana. The daughter of Lycaon, and descended from Atlas. Jupiter raped her and pregnant by him she was expelled from the band of Diana’s virgin followers by Diana as Cynthia, in her Moon goddess mode. She gave birth to a son Arcas, and was turned into a bear by Juno. Her constellation is the Great Bear.

Book TI.XI:1-44 Her constellation, the Atlantian Bear.

Book TII:155-206 Callisto is the Parrhasian virgin, Parrhasia being a name  for Arcadia.

Book TIII.IV:1-46 Her constellation, the Erymanthian Bear.

Book TIII. XI:1-38 The Maenalian Bear from Mount Maenalus in Arcadia.

Book TIV.III:1-48 Ursa Major the Great Bear was used by the Greeks for navigation, as Ursa Minor the Little Bear was used by the Phoenicians. Both the circumpolar constellations can be used to find the location of the north celestial pole.

Book EI.V:43- 86 Book EIV.X:35-84 Ursa Major, also called the Wain.

Ibis:465-540 Callisto the daughter of Lycaon.


Gaius Licinius Macer Calvus (82-46?BC) the orator, poet and friend of Catullus. He was a man of small stature with a fierce courtoom manner. As a poet he wrote epigrams, lampoons etc. His oratory was compared with Cicero’s. Catullus called him the salaputium disertum, the ‘eloquent manikin’

Book TII:421-470 His love poetry.


The town in Aetolia, a few miles inland. The site of the Calydonian Boar Hunt.

Book EI.III:49-94 The birthplace of Tydeus.


The goddess who loved Ulysses and detained him on her island for a number of years. Odysseus was impatient to leave her. See Homer’s Odyssey.

Book TII:361-420 Driven by passion for Ulysses. (Odyssey V:13).

Book EIV.X:1-34 An easy time for Ulysses.


A Roman term for Muse.


An Augustan epic poet, otherwise unknown.

Book EIV.XVI:1-52 A poet in Ovid’s list of his lesser contemporaries.


The region of southern Italy consisting of the coastal plain along the Tyrrhenian Sea, and mountains in the interior, and the Sorrento peninsula. It’s modern capital is Naples.

Book EIV.XV:1-42 Sextus Pompey’s land there.

Campus (Martis)

The great recreation ground of ancient Rome, the Field of Mars, just outside the ancient city to the north-west along the Tiber. Originally it was open pasture outside the city boundary (pomerium) in the bend of the Tiber south of the Pincian Hill and east of the Janiculum, used for army musters and political assemblies. It took its name from the altar of Mars located there. It was encroached on by public buildings later including the Portico of Octavia and the Theatre of Pompey, but still retained its function as a park and exercise ground.

Book TV.I:1-48 Book EI.VIII:1-70 An extensive grassy plain. The gardens it faced were those of Agrippa and the Horti Pompeiani.


The daughter of Aeolus, God of the Winds and Enarete. Her ill-fated love for her brother Macareus was the theme of Euripides’ Aeolus.

Book TII:361-420 Ibis:311-364 Her illicit love.


The son of Hipponous and Astynome. One of the seven leaders who attacked Thebes. He was killed by Zeus’s lightning bolt when attempting to scale the walls (or attack the Electra Gate). His wife Evadne threw herself into his funeral pyre.

Book TIV.III:49-84 His wife did not disown him.

Book TV.III:1-58 Driven from the wall by Jupiter-Zeus.

Book TV.V:27-64 His wife’s response to his fate brought about her fame.

Book EIII.1:1-66 Made more famous by his fate.

Ibis:465-540 Blasted by Jove’s lightning.


An Augustan poet who wrote elegiac verse, otherwise unknown.

Book EIV.XVI:1-52 A poet in Ovid’s list of his lesser contemporaries.


A rocky promontory on the northern coast of Euboea where the Greek fleet came to grief while returning from Troy.

Book TI.I:70-128 Book TV.VII:1-68 A peril to the Greek fleet.


The southern summit of the Capitoline Hill of Rome, but used as a name for the whole Hill.

Book TI.III:1-46 Ovid’s house is located near the Capitol.

Book EII.XI:1-28 The Temple of Jupiter there, identified with Augustus.

Book EIV.IX:1-54 The procession to the Capitol at the inauguration of a consul.


A friend of Ovid’s and a poet, who had charge of the education of Germanicus’s sons (Nero and Drusus III). Possibly also a pseudonym for another of his friends.

Book TI.V:1-44 Carus is possibly the addressee of this poem based on the carissime in line 3, and the statement of tokens instead of a name in line 7.

Book TIII.IV:1-46 Again possibly addressed to Carus based on the care in line 1.

Book TIII.V:1-56 A third poem addressed to Carus based on this strong hint. The point may well be that Carus, the true name, is itself merely a pseudonym, which is likely considering the caution Ovid displayed in dragging his friends into his misfortunes.

Book TIII.VI:1-38 Carissime here refers as we shall see to an old friend not the recent friend of TIII.V, so clearly every reference of this kind is not to the same pseudonymous Carus. Possibly here the influential Cotta, close supporter of the Emperors, is meant.

Book TV.IV:1-50 The use of carior and the remembrance of the tears shed over his disgrace is reminiscent of TIII.IV, see above, and suggests that TV:IV is addressed to the same friend.

Book TV.VII:1-68 The use of carissime may again be significant, but note the comments above.

Book EIV.XIII:1-50 Carus again addressed and his tutelage of Germanicus’s sons mentioned.

Book EIV.XVI:1-52 A poet in Ovid’s list of his lesser contemporaries.

Caspios Aegisos

The founder of Aegisos.


The daughter of Priam and Hecuba, gifted with prophecy by Apollo, but cursed to tell the truth and not be believed. She was raped by Ajax the Lesser in the sanctuary of Athene at the Fall of Troy and then taken back to Greece by Agamemnon and killed there with him by Clytemnestra and Aegisthus. (See Aeschylus: The Agamemnon)

Book TII:361-420 Desired by Agamemnon.


Book EII.IX:39-80 Resembling Apollodorus the cruel lord of Cassandreia in Macedonia. Apollodorus was a democratic leader in the city in the Chalcidice peninsula, known in Thucydides’ time as Potidaea. He seized power with the help of a band of Gaullish mercenaries and ruled from c279-276BC.

Ibis:413-464 His fate.


The son of Tyndareus of Sparta and Leda, and twin brother of Pollux.

The brothers of Helen. Castor was an expert horseman, Pollux a noted boxer. They came to be regarded as the protectors of sailors, and gave their names to the two major stars of the constellation Gemini, The Twins.

Book TI.X:1-50 Worshipped on Samothrace.

Book TIV.V:1-34 His affection for his brother. Note that Ovid’s naming of these gods is consistent with the shipwreck imagery earlier in the poem.

Book EII.II:75-126 Their temple in the Forum was close to that of the deified Julius Caesar. It was rebuilt by Tiberius in AD6 and dedicated in his and his brother Drusus the Elder’s names.

Book EII.XI:1-28 Uncle to Hermione, daughter of his sister Helen.


Gaius Valerius Cato (not the more famous Marcius Portius Cato), the Roman grammarian and poet an older contemporary of Catullus, and influential as a teacher. He was a rhetorician known as ‘the Latin Siren’. He flourished at Rome in the second half of the 1st century BC. Though at one time wealthy he ended his life in poverty.

Book TII:421-470 His light verse.


Caius Valerius Catullus the Roman lyric poet (c.87-c54BC) the lyric and iambic poet and leading exponent of the neoteric movement with its emphasis on technique and allusiveness, following the poetry of Hellenistic Alexandria. His erotic verse was addressed to Lesbia, probably Clodia Metella, the sister of Publius Clodius Pulcher, and wife of Quintus Metellus Celer. Catullus also wrote epithalamia, epigrams and at least one epyllion, the Marriage of Peleus and Thetis.

Book TII:421-470 His erotic and explicit verse.


The major river of Lydia in Asia Minor, with its mouth near Ephesus and its sources in the Tmolus mountains.

Book TV.I:1-48 Noted for its swans, which Homer and many others mention (Iliad II:449). They were said (falsely) to sing their own death song. See Ovid’s Metamorphoses XIV:429.


One of Ovid’s closest friends. Possibly Albinovanus Celsus addressed by Horace (Epistle I.8) as Tiberius’s companion and secretary in 20BC and whom he accuses of plagiarism (Epistle I.13).

Book EI.IX:1-56 Cotta writes to Ovid concerning Celsus’ death.


The eastern port of Corinth on the Saronic Gulf, and the main Asian trade harbour. It was linked with the Gulf of Corinth by the slipway, the diolkos, on which boats could be winched across the Isthmus.

Book TI.IX:1-50 The harbour of Corinth where Ovid embarked for Samothrace.


Creatures, half-man and half-horse living in the mountains of Thessaly, hence called biformesduplex naturasemihominesbimembres.

They were the sons of Ixion, and a cloud, in the form of Juno. Invited to the marriage feast of Pirithoüs and Hippodamia, Eurytus the Centaur precipitated a fight with the Lapithae.

Book TIV.VII:1-26 Ovid sceptically lists the ‘unbelievable’ myths that he would have to believe in first before he could believe in this friends disloyalty.

Ibis:365-412 The Centaurs Nessus and Eurytion.

Ceraunia, Acroceraunia

The dangerous headland on the Adriatic Coast of Illyria and Epirus.

Book EII.VI:1-38 A symbolic place of danger.


The three-headed watchdog of Hades.

Book TIV.VII:1-26 Ovid sceptically lists the ‘unbelievable’ myths that he would have to believe in first before he could believe in this friends disloyalty.


Ibis:365-412 A brigand who wrestled with travellers and crushed them to death. He was served in the same way by Theseus, to Ceres great delight.


The Corn Goddess. The daughter of Saturn and Rhea, and Jupiter’s sister. As Demeter she is represented in the sky by the constellation and zodiacal sign of Virgo, holding an ear of wheat, the star Spica. It contains the brightest quasar, 3C 273. (The constellation alternatively depicts Astraea.) The worship of her and her daughter Persephone, as the Mother and the Maiden, was central to the Eleusinian mysteries, where the ritual of the rebirth of the world from winter was enacted. Ceres was there a representation of the Great Goddess of Neolithic times, and her daughter her incarnation, in the underworld and on earth. Her most famous cult in Rome was on the Aventine, and dated from the 5th century BC.

Book TII:253-312 She lay with Iasion in the ‘thrice-ploughed’ field.

Book EII.IX:1-38 Pregnant sows ritually sacrificed to her.

Book EIII.VIII:1-24 Grain and bread are ‘gifts of Ceres’.

Ibis:251-310 Her rites were the Eleusinian mysteries. The reference is obscure.

Ibis:365-412 Her delight at the death of Cercyon.

Ibis:413-464 The mother of Plutus.


The source and state of the Universe at its creation. See Ovid’s Metamorphoses Book I.

Book EIV.VIII:49-90 Known of through the poets.


The whirlpool between Italy and Sicily in the Messenian straits. Charybdis was the voracious daughter of Mother Earth and Neptune, hurled into the sea, and thrice, daily, drawing in and spewing out a huge volume of water.

See Homer’s Odyssey Book XII.

Book TV.II:45-79 Ovid calls the whirlpool Zanclean, from Zancle the ancient name for the city of Messina.

Book EIV.X:1-34 Not as bad as the threat from Thracian tribes.

Book EIV.XIV:1-62 Preferable to Pontus.

Ibis:365-412 Ulysses’ men caught in the whirlpool.


A fire-breathing monster with a lion’s head, she-goat’s body and serpent’s tail. Its native country is Lycia (or Caria) in Asia Minor.

Book TII:361-420 Defeated by Bellerephon.

Book TIV.VII:1-26 Ovid sceptically lists the ‘unbelievable’ myths that he would have to believe in first before he could believe in this friends disloyalty.


One of the Centaurs, half-man and half-horse. He was the son of Philyra and Saturn. Phoebus Apollo took his newborn son Aesculapius to his cave for protection since he was skilled in hunting, music, medicine and gymnastics. He is represented in the sky by the constellation Centaurus, which contains the nearest star to the sun, Alpha Centauri. The father of Ocyroë, by Chariclo the water-nymph. He was begotten by Saturn disguised as a horse. His home is on Mount PelionAchilles was his pupil.

Book EIII.III:1-108 He taught Achilles.


Ibis:163-208 The southeast coastal region of Asia Minor, incorporated into the Empire from 67BC when Pompey suppressed the endemic piracy of the coastal area. Famous for its saffron, derived from crocus flowers.


The Teutonic horde defeated by Marius.

Book EIV.III:1-58 Marius defeated the Cimbri and Teutones at Aquae Sextiae and Vercellae in 102-1BC.


Book EIV.X:1-34 A people living between the Danube and the Don. Ovid calls the region of Tomis ‘Cimmerian’. Also a fabled people who were said to live in caves in perpetual darkness, ‘beyond the north Wind.’ See Ovid’s Metamorphoses Book XI:573-649 where their country is the home of Somnus, Sleep.


Gaius Helvius Cinna, the neoteric poet and friend of Catullus and a student of Valerius Cato. His epyllion Zmyrna described the incest between Myrrha and her father Cinyras. He also wrote light verse. Mistaken for one of the conspirators, the praetor Lucius Cornelius Cinna, after Julius Caesar’s assassination, he was killed by the mob. See Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.

Book TII:421-470 His dubious light verse.


The river Cinyps of North Africa flowing into the sea near the Syrtes. In the Metamorphoses Medea uses one of its water snakes as an ingredient for her magic potion. Ovid also gives it as Juba’s place of origin.

Book EII.VII:1-46 The fertile fields alongside.

Ibis:209-250 Cursed soil.


The sea-nymph, daughter of Sol and Perse, and the granddaughter of Oceanus. (Kirke or Circe means a small falcon) She was famed for her beauty and magic arts and lived on the ‘island’ of Aeaea, which is the promontory of Circeii. (Cape Circeo between Anzio and Gaeta, on the west coast of Italy, now part of the magnificent Parco Nazionale del Circeo extending to Capo Portiere in the north, and providing a reminder of the ancient Pontine Marshes before they were drained: rich in wildfowl and varied tree species.) Cicero mentions that Circe was worshipped religiously by the colonists at Circei. (‘On the Nature of the Gods’, Bk III 47)

(See John Melhuish Strudwick’s painting – Circe and Scylla – Walker Art Gallery, Sudley, Merseyside, England: See Dosso Dossi’s painting - Circe and her Lovers in a Landscape- National gallery of Art, Washington)

She transformed Ulysses’s men into beasts. Mercury gave him the plant moly to enable him to approach her. He married her and freed his men, staying for a year on her island. (Moly has been variously identified as ‘wild rue’, wild cyclamen, and a sort of garlic, allium moly. John Gerard’s Herbal of 1633 Ch.100 gives seven plants under this heading, of which the third, Moly Homericum, is he suggests the Moly of Theophrastus, Pliny and Homer – Odyssey XX – and he describes it as a wild garlic). Circe was the mother by Ulysses of Telegonus.

Book TII:361-420 Driven by passion for Ulysses. (Odyssey X:133).

Book EIII.1:105-166 Ibis:365-412 A witch able to transform men into beasts.

Circus Maximus

The huge circus in Rome between the Palatine and Aventine Hills used for pageants races etc.

Book TIV.IX:1-32 Ovid refers to a Circus, not necessarily this one, and describes the preparations for a bullfight.

Book EI.IV:1-58 A horse-racing venue.


A tribe living near the Danube.

Book TII:155-206 A tribe of the Danube region.


The Roman woman, Claudia Quinta, a Vestal Virgin, who was accused of unchastity, but fulfilled the oracle and showed herself a pure woman by freeing the stranded ship containing the image of Cybele that had stuck on the mud when arriving at Ostia in 204BC.

Book EI.II:101-150 She was superior to her reputation.

Clodia (Via)

A major Road in Rome.

Book EI.VIII:1-70 Mentioned. The junction with the Via Flaminia near the Milvian Bridge where Ovid had a small estate.


One of the three Fates. Clotho spins the thread. Lachesis measures it. Atropos wields the shears.

Ibis:209-250 She spins Ibis’s fate.

Clytaemnestra, Clytaemestra, Clytemnestra

The wife of Agamemnon, daughter of Tyndareus of Sparta, and Leda. Sister or half-sister of Helen, and of the Dioscuri. Mother of OrestesElectra (Laodice), and Iphigenia. She conspired with her lover Aegisthus to murder Agamemnon. She was in turn killed by her son Orestes.

Book TII:361-420 Tragedy caused by her adultery and the consequent events.

Book EIII.1:105-166 Conspired to murder her husband.


A tribe living near the Danube.

Book TII:155-206 A tribe of the Danube region.


The region at the eastern end of the Black Sea, south of the Caucasus. Its King was Aeetes, and it was the home of Medea. Its main river the Phasis, was a trade route to central Asia. Medea is called ‘the Phasian’. Colchis was noted for timber, linen, hemp, pitch and gold-dust.

Book TIII. IX:1-34 Home of Aeetes and Medea.

Book EI.III:49-94 Its waters sailed by the Argonauts.


Moesian tribe living near the Danube.

Book EIV.II:1-50 Book EIV.VIII:49-90 A blonde-haired tribe of the area.


The unknown heroine of Ovid’s Amores.

Book TIV.X:41-92 Ovid claims here that Corinna was sung throughout

the City, and that he did not use her real name, suggesting that she was in fact a real and well-known person. The name Corinna refers back to the ancient Greece poetess (fourth century BC?) who claimed to have rivalled Pindar. This suggests a girl learned in verse. From this and a possible later identification of Julia the Younger and the Muse, I would suggest the speculation, without any evidence, that Corinna was Julia. I don’t suggest any direct affair between Ovid and Julia, merely that she was at least his literary pretext.


The city north of Mycenae, on the Isthmus between Attica and the Argolis. Built on the hill of Acrocorinth, it and Ithome were ‘the horns of the Greek bull’, whoever held them held the Peloponnese. It controlled both land and sea trade between Northern Greece and the Peloponnese and, by means of the famous slipway or diolkos, between the Saronic and Corinthian Gulfs. It sided with Sparta against Athens during the Peloponnesian War. It was destroyed by the Roman general Mummius in 146BC and rebuilt by Julius Caesar in 44BC as a Roman colony.

Book TI.X:1-50 The harbour of Corinth on the Saronic Gulf was Cenchreae.

Book TIII.VIII:1-42 Medea fled from there.


A Roman erotic poet, possibly Quintus Cornificius friend of Catullus and Cicero, proscribed by the second Triumvirate, and killed defending his province of Africa Nova in 42BC.

Book TII:421-470 His light verse.


Ibis:541-596 He destroyed the Harpy, Poene, visited on Argos by Apollo after Crotopus’s crime of killing Linus and Psamathe. A plague then descended on the Argolis, which was ended by Corobeus confessing to his act at Delphi, and being sent out to build a temple to Apollo wherever the sacred tripod he was carrying fell to earth.

Cotta Maximus

Marcus Aurelius Cotta Maximus Messalinus (called Maximus or Cotta Maximus, and born not earlier than 24BC, possibly in 14BC) consul 20AD, the younger son of Messalla, brother of Messalinus, and patron and ‘friend’ of Ovid. A poet and orator, condemned by Tacitus (Annals:6.5-6.7) for his extravagant life-style, his shameful behaviour, and his servility, he was a supporter of Tiberius, and was successfully defended by him when prosecuted in 32AD, for accusing Gaius Caligula of homosexuality, ridiculing a banquet to the late Julia Augusta as a funeral feast, and boasting of Tiberius’s protection when he went to law. Pliny (Historia Naturalis:10.52) describes him as an extravagant gourmet. Juvenal (5.109, 7.94) makes him a patron of the arts. (Tacitus apart, he probably behaved no differently than any member of the Caesars’ inner group of supporters, and appears to have been a continuing supporter of Ovid. Those who think he didn’t do enough for the poet probably overestimate his power, and underestimate the distaste for Ovid’s error at court.)

Book TIV.V:1-34 This poem probably addressed to Cotta, given its consistency with other poems to Cotta (Ex Ponto I:V,IX and II:III,VIII and III:II,V), the mention of the blood brother, and the content of the preceding poem, probably addressed to Messalinus.

Book TV.IX:1-38 The imagery of shipwreck again and the perceived high rank of the recipient, who wishes to be strictly anonymous, suggests that as above this poem may be to Cotta.

Book EI.V:1-42 Explicitly addressed to Cotta.

Book EI.VII:1-70 Brother to Messalinus. Ovid stresses the relationship with him.

Book EI.IX:1-56 Explicitly addressed to Cotta. He may have acted as a patron to Celsus in his literary efforts.

Book EII.III:1-48 Explicitly addressed to Cotta. Ovid claims that Cotta accepted he had only made a mistake and not committed a crime.

Book EII.VIII:1-36 Explicitly addressed to Cotta thanking him for sending likenesses of the Imperial family.

Book EIII.II:1-110 Explicitly addressed to Cotta. Iphigenia in Tauris.

Book EIII.V:1-58 Explicitly addressed to Cotta. Compliments on his eloquence.

Book EIV.XVI:1-52 A poet and patron of poets in Ovid’s list of his lesser contemporaries.


Several so-named Kings of Thrace. Cotys IV, son of Rhoemetalces I, was ruler at the time of Ovid’s exile. He shared Thrace with his uncle Rhescuporis, when Augustus divided the kingdom in 12AD. He was cultivated and Romanised. He was deposed and killed by his uncle in 19AD after Ovid’s death. (Rhoemetalces had been supported by Augustus, Marcus Lollius providing military help, and Rome later had helped drive the Sarmatians back across the Danube).

Book EII.IX:1-38 This poem addressed to him explicitly.


King of Lydia (c560-546BC), famed for his wealth. He was defeated and captured by Cyrus of Persia at the taking of Sardis.

Book TIII.VII:1-54 An example of wealth.

Book EIV.III:1-58 Rescued by his conqueror from the pyre (Herodotus 1.86)


Ibis:541-596 The Argive father of Psamathe who killed her son Linus.

Cupido, Cupid, see Amor

Book TIV.X:41-92 The love-god and his arrows.

Book EI.IV:1-58 The god of love helped Jason.


A fountain nymph of Sicily whose stream flows into the River Anapis, near Syracuse. She was loved by Anapis and wedded him. She obstructed Dis in his abduction of Proserpine and Dis opened up a way to Tartarus from the depths of her pool.

Book EII.X:1-52 Visited by Ovid and Macer.

Cyaneae Insulae, Symphlegades

The Greek Symplegades, the ‘clashing rocks’. Two rocky islands at the entrance to the Euxine Sea in the Bosporus channel, clashing rocks according to the fable, crushing what attempted to pass between them. The Argo had to avoid them. With Athena’s help the Argonauts passed through after which the rocks ceased to clash.

Book TI.X:1-50 On the route of the Minerva.

Cybele, Rhea

The Phrygian great goddess, Magna Mater, the Great Mother, personifying the earth in its savage state, worshipped in caves and on mountaintops. Merged with Rhea, the mother of the gods. Her consort was Attis, slain by a wild boar like Adonis. His festival was celebrated by the followers of Cybele, the Galli, or Corybantes, who were noted for convulsive dances to the music of flutes, drums and cymbals, and self-mutilation in an orgiastic fury. Her worship was introduced at Rome in 204BC. She wore a many-turretted crown, and is often represented with many breasts.

Book TII.I:1 Identified with Ops the Roman goddess of plenty.

Book EI.I:37-80 Worshipped to the sound of flutes, pipes and horns.

Ibis:413-464 Worshipped with ecstatic self-mutilation.


Ibis:251-310 The first king of Salamis, in some versions of myth the grandfather of Telamon. He killed, bred, or was killed by a serpent in various mythological variants. He is said to have appeared to the Greek fleet at the Battle of Salamis as a snake.


The ‘Encircling Isles’ The chain of islands centred on Delos in the Aegean Sea, Naxos, Paros and Andros being the largest.

Book TI.XI:1-44 Ovid passed them on his journey into exile.


A race of giants living on the coast of Sicily of whom Polyphemus, blinded by Ulysses, was one. They had a single eye in the centre of their foreheads. They forged Jupiter’s lightning-bolts, using Etna’s fires.

Book EIV.X:1-34 The encounter with Ulysses.


Ibis:413-464 The son of Apollo and Hyrie, a great hunter of Tempe. He is turned into a swan when he attempts suicide to spite Phylius by diving into a lake, thereafter called the Cycnean Lake. Ovid gives a variant myth here. See Metamorphoses VII:350


The lover of Acontius.

Book TIII. X:41-78 The place devoid of fruit-trees.


A river with unknown location.

Book EIV.X:35-84 A river running into the Black Sea.


The Milesian colony founded in 756 BC situated on the island of Arctonessus in the Propontis (Sea of Marmara) and linked to the mainland by a sandy isthmus. It was famous for its electrum coinage (staters) known as ‘Cyzicenes’. It was held for Rome against Mithridates in 74BC, the siege being raised by Lucullus, had a superb temple of Hadrian, and was ultimately destroyed by earthquakes. The uninhabited site is now known as Bal-Kiz.

Book TI.X:1-50 On the Minerva’s route. According to myth it was founded by the Argonaut Aeneus from Haemonia.