A literary commentary on the fifth book of Ovid's Fasti
This thesis examines the literary nature of Ovid's fasti. This aspect of the poem has been largely neglected in previous commentaries, yet recent research on the Fasti indicates that the poem was composed with considerable literary artistry. The introduction outlines the major issues surrounding the interpretation of the Fasti as a poetic work, and establishes the text of Book V which will be used for the purposes of this investigation. The main body of the thesis falls into two parts. In Chapters 1-13 1 subject each of the constituent episodes of Book V to close scrutiny and attempt to trace the techniques which the poet uses to present his material in an entertaining fashion. In Chapters 14-17 I consider various elements which pervade the book as a whole, looking at the poet's success in investing his composition with poetic language and drama, and his ingenuity in manipulating his material. My analysis leads me to conclude that Ovid's literary achievement in the Fazti may be greater than many critics have been prepared to admit, and indeed that Ovid's primary goals in writing this piece were surely poetic rather than didactic or political.