The Classical Quarterly (New Series)


Ovid and the Fabii: Fasti 2.193–474

Byron Harriesa1

a1 Llanelli

The occasional role played in Ovidian poetry by noble Roman families and their contemporary representatives has naturally received much less attention than the recurring and often ambivalent presence of Augustus. A case of special interest is that of the Fabii, whose antiquity and military prowess are accorded special attention in the Fasti, while the penultimate consul the gens produced was a correspondent of Ovid's from Pontus. I propose to examine the ways in which the fortunes of this house become a complex theme in Fasti 2, partly to justify a sophisticated reading of the poem and partly to encourage a similar approach to the theme of the princeps himself.