The Goths Take Rome
Posted: 2020-11-19 08:49:49    (see more from www.historytoday.com)

Roman warrior holding the head of an enemy between his teeth, cast from Trajan’s Column, 1862.
Roman warrior holding the head of an enemy between his teeth, cast from Trajan’s Column, 1862 © Luisa Ricciarini/Bridgeman Images.

During a welcome period of Mediterranean peace in AD 8, a swift judgment from Rome’s first emperor sent the Latin poet Ovid into exile: it was a banishment from which antiquity’s exuberant conjurer of classical myth would never return. The circumstances surrounding the scandal remain as murky as they do memorable. A ‘poem and a mistake’, as Ovid later put it, carmen et error, had wheeled his fortunes the wrong direction, with disastrous results for his career and his family.