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At the same time, he was working on the Fasti, a six-book poem in elegiac couplets which took the Roman festivals calendar and astronomy as its theme.The composition of this poem was interrupted by Ovid's exile, and it is thought that Ovid abandoned work on the piece in Tomis.He is also well known for the Fasti, about the Roman calendar, and the Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto, two collections of poems written in exile on the Black Sea.

Ovid's writing in the Ars Amatoria concerned the serious crime of adultery, and he may have been banished for these works which appeared subversive to the emperor's moral legislation.

After the death of his brother at 20 years of age, Ovid renounced law and began travelling to Athens, Asia Minor, and Sicily.

He was part of the circle centered upon the patron Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus, but seems to have been friends with poets in the circle of Maecenas. 4.10.41–54, Ovid mentions friendships with Macer, Propertius, Horace, and Bassus (he only barely met Virgil and Tibullus, a fellow member of Messalla's circle whose elegies he admired greatly).

Information about his biography is drawn primarily from his poetry, especially Tristia 4.10, which gives a long autobiographical account of his life. Ovid was born in Sulmo (Sulmona), in an Apennine valley east of Rome, to an important equestrian family, on March 20, 43 BCE. His father wished him to study rhetoric toward the practice of law.

According to Seneca the Elder, Ovid tended to the emotional, not the argumentative pole of rhetoric.

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Ovid's next poem, the Medicamina Faciei, a fragmentary work on women's beauty treatments, preceded the Ars Amatoria, the Art of Love, a parody of didactic poetry and a three-book manual about seduction and intrigue, which has been dated to 2 CE.