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.
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