Ovid wrote in elegiac couplets, with the exception of his great Metamorphoses, which he wrote in dactylic hexameter in imitation of Vergil's Aeneid or Homer's epics. Ovid offers not an epic narrative like his predecessors but promises a chronological account of the cosmos from creation to his own day, incorporating many myths and legends from the Greek and Roman traditions.
Augustus banished Ovid in A.D. 8 to Tomis on the Black Sea for reasons that remain mysterious (Ovid himself wrote that it was because of an 'error' and a 'carmen' - a mistake and a poem). He may have had an affair with a female relative of Augustus, and the 'carmen' mentioned by Ovid may be his supposedly immoral Ars Amatoria, which had been available for some time.
- Amores - "The Loves"
- Heroides - "The Heroines"
- Ars Amatoria - "The Art of Love"
- Remedium Amoris - "The Remedy for Love"
- Metamorphoses - "The Transformations"
- Fasti - "The Festivals" - with unique information on the Roman calendar.
- Tristia - "The Sorrows"