The public domain consists of all the creative works to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable; the works of William Shakespeare and Beethoven, most early silent films, are in the public domain either by virtue of their having been created before copyright existed, or by their copyright term having expired. Some works are not covered by copyright, are therefore in the public domain—among them the formulae of Newtonian physics, cooking recipes, all computer software created prior to 1974. Other works are dedicated by their authors to the public domain; the term public domain is not applied to situations where the creator of a work retains residual rights, in which case use of the work is referred to as "under license" or "with permission". As rights vary by country and jurisdiction, a work may be subject to rights in one country and be in the public domain in another; some rights depend on registrations on a country-by-country basis, the absence of registration in a particular country, if required, gives rise to public-domain status for a work in that country.
The term public domain may be interchangeably used with other imprecise or undefined terms such as the "public sphere" or "commons", including concepts such as the "commons of the mind", the "intellectual commons", the "information commons". Although the term "domain" did not come into use until the mid-18th century, the concept "can be traced back to the ancient Roman Law, as a preset system included in the property right system." The Romans had a large proprietary rights system where they defined "many things that cannot be owned" as res nullius, res communes, res publicae and res universitatis. The term res nullius was defined as things not yet appropriated; the term res communes was defined as "things that could be enjoyed by mankind, such as air and ocean." The term res publicae referred to things that were shared by all citizens, the term res universitatis meant things that were owned by the municipalities of Rome. When looking at it from a historical perspective, one could say the construction of the idea of "public domain" sprouted from the concepts of res communes, res publicae, res universitatis in early Roman law.
When the first early copyright law was first established in Britain with the Statute of Anne in 1710, public domain did not appear. However, similar concepts were developed by French jurists in the 18th century. Instead of "public domain", they used terms such as publici juris or propriété publique to describe works that were not covered by copyright law; the phrase "fall in the public domain" can be traced to mid-19th century France to describe the end of copyright term. The French poet Alfred de Vigny equated the expiration of copyright with a work falling "into the sink hole of public domain" and if the public domain receives any attention from intellectual property lawyers it is still treated as little more than that, left when intellectual property rights, such as copyright and trademarks, expire or are abandoned. In this historical context Paul Torremans describes copyright as a, "little coral reef of private right jutting up from the ocean of the public domain." Copyright law differs by country, the American legal scholar Pamela Samuelson has described the public domain as being "different sizes at different times in different countries".
Definitions of the boundaries of the public domain in relation to copyright, or intellectual property more regard the public domain as a negative space. According to James Boyle this definition underlines common usage of the term public domain and equates the public domain to public property and works in copyright to private property. However, the usage of the term public domain can be more granular, including for example uses of works in copyright permitted by copyright exceptions; such a definition regards work in copyright as private property subject to fair-use rights and limitation on ownership. A conceptual definition comes from Lange, who focused on what the public domain should be: "it should be a place of sanctuary for individual creative expression, a sanctuary conferring affirmative protection against the forces of private appropriation that threatened such expression". Patterson and Lindberg described the public domain not as a "territory", but rather as a concept: "here are certain materials – the air we breathe, rain, life, thoughts, ideas, numbers – not subject to private ownership.
The materials that compose our cultural heritage must be free for all living to use no less than matter necessary for biological survival." The term public domain may be interchangeably used with other imprecise or undefined terms such as the "public sphere" or "commons", including concepts such as the "commons of the mind", the "intellectual commons", the "information commons". A public-domain book is a book with no copyright, a book, created without a license, or a book where its copyrights expired or have been forfeited. In most countries the term of protection of copyright lasts until January first, 70 years after the death of the latest living author; the longest copyright term is in Mexico, which has life plus 100 years for all deaths since July 1928. A notable exception is the United States, where every book and tale published prior to 1924 is in the public domain.
Strabo was a Greek geographer and historian who lived in Asia Minor during the transitional period of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus in around 64 BC, his family had been involved in politics since at least the reign of Mithridates V. Strabo was related to Dorylaeus on his mother's side. Several other family members, including his paternal grandfather had served Mithridates VI during the Mithridatic Wars; as the war drew to a close, Strabo's grandfather had turned several Pontic fortresses over to the Romans. Strabo wrote that "great promises were made in exchange for these services", as Persian culture endured in Amasia after Mithridates and Tigranes were defeated, scholars have speculated about how the family's support for Rome might have affected their position in the local community, whether they might have been granted Roman citizenship as a reward. Strabo's life was characterized by extensive travels, he journeyed to Egypt and Kush, as far west as coastal Tuscany and as far south as Ethiopia in addition to his travels in Asia Minor and the time he spent in Rome.
Travel throughout the Mediterranean and Near East for scholarly purposes, was popular during this era and was facilitated by the relative peace enjoyed throughout the reign of Augustus. He moved to Rome in 44 BC, stayed there and writing, until at least 31 BC. In 29 BC, on his way to Corinth, he visited the island of Gyaros in the Aegean Sea. Around 25 BC, he sailed up the Nile until reaching Philae, after which point there is little record of his proceedings until AD 17, it is not known when Strabo's Geography was written, though comments within the work itself place the finished version within the reign of Emperor Tiberius. Some place its first drafts around 7 BC, others around AD 17 or 18; the latest passage to which a date can be assigned is his reference to the death in AD 23 of Juba II, king of Maurousia, said to have died "just recently". He worked on the Geography for many years and revised it not always consistently, it is an encyclopaedical chronicle and consists of political, social, geographic description of whole Europe: British Isles, Iberian Peninsula, Germania, The Alps, Greece.
The Geography is the only extant work providing information about both Greek and Roman peoples and countries during the reign of Augustus. On the presumption that "recently" means within a year, Strabo stopped writing that year or the next, when he died, he was influenced by Homer and Aristotle. The first of Strabo's major works, Historical Sketches, written while he was in Rome, is nearly lost. Meant to cover the history of the known world from the conquest of Greece by the Romans, Strabo quotes it himself and other classical authors mention that it existed, although the only surviving document is a fragment of papyrus now in possession of the University of Milan. Strabo studied under several prominent teachers of various specialties throughout his early life at different stops along his Mediterranean travels, his first chapter of education took place in Nysa under the master of rhetoric Aristodemus, who had taught the sons of the same Roman general who had taken over Pontus. Aristodemus was the head of two schools of rhetoric and grammar, one in Nysa and one in Rhodes, the former of the two cities possessing a distinct intellectual curiosity of Homeric literature and the interpretation of epics.
Strabo was an admirer of Homer's poetry a consequence of his time spent in Nysa with Aristodemus. At around the age of 21, Strabo moved to Rome, where he studied philosophy with the Peripatetic Xenarchus, a respected tutor in Augustus's court. Despite Xenarchus's Aristotelian leanings, Strabo gives evidence to have formed his own Stoic inclinations. In Rome, he learned grammar under the rich and famous scholar Tyrannion of Amisus. Although Tyrannion was a Peripatetic, he was more relevantly a respected authority on geography, a fact significant, considering Strabo's future contributions to the field; the final noteworthy mentor to Strabo was Athenodorus Cananites, a philosopher who had spent his life since 44 BC in Rome forging relationships with the Roman elite. Athenodorus endowed to Strabo three important items: his philosophy, his knowledge, his contacts. Unlike the Aristotelian Xenarchus and Tyrannion who preceded him in teaching Strabo, Athenodorus was Stoic in mindset certainly the source of Strabo's diversion from the philosophy of his former mentors.
Moreover, from his own first-hand experience, Athenodorus provided Strabo with information about regions of the empire which he would not otherwise have known. Strabo is most notable for his work Geographica, which presented a descriptive history of people and places from different regions of the world known to his era. Although the Geographica was utilized in its contemporary antiquity, a multitude of copies survived throughout the Byzantine Empire, it first appeared in Western Europe in Rome as a Latin translation issued around 1469. The first Greek edition was published in 1516 in Venice. Isaac Casaubon, classical scholar and editor of Greek texts, provided the first critical edition in 1587. Although Strabo cited the antique Greek astronomers Eratosthenes and Hipparchus, acknowledging their astronomical and mathematical efforts towards geography, he claimed that
Diana Nemorensis known as "Diana of the Wood", was an Italic form of the goddess who became Hellenised during the fourth century BC and conflated with Artemis. Her sanctuary was to be found on the northern shore of Lake Nemi beneath the cliffs of the modern city Nemi; this lake is referred to by poets as speculum Dianae – "Diana's Mirror". According to one of several Hellenising foundation myths, the worship of Diana at Nemi would have been instituted by Orestes, after killing Thoas, king in the Tauric Chersonesus, fled with his sister Iphigenia to Italy, bringing with him the image of the Tauric Diana hidden in a mound of sticks. After his death, the myth has it, his bones were transported from Aricia to Rome and buried in front of the Temple of Saturn, on the Capitoline slope, beside the Temple of Concord; the bloody ritual which legend ascribed to the Tauric Diana is familiar to classical readers. No historical or archaeological evidence links these Greek myths to the cultus, or religious cult, at Nemi.
The temple of Diana Nemorensis was preceded by the sacred grove in which there stood a carved cult image. The temple was noted by Vitruvius as being archaic and "Etruscan" in its form. A. E. Gordon has observed that "the comparatively late date of the excavated remains of the sanctuary does not preclude the dedication of the grove at the end of the sixth century." Andreas Alföldi has demonstrated that the cult image still stood as late as 43 BC, when it was reflected in coinage. The Italic type of the triform cult image of Diana Nemorensis was reconstructed by Alföldi from a sequence of Republican period coins he connected with a gens from Aricia. In early examples the three goddesses stand before a sketchily indicated wood, the central goddess placing her right hand on the shoulder of one goddess and her left on the hip of the other; the three are shown to be one by a horizontal bar behind their necks. Die-cutters simplified the image. Alföldi interpreted the numismatic image as the Latin Diana "conceived as a threefold unity of the divine huntress, the Moon goddess, the goddess of the nether world, Hekate," noting that Diana montium custos nemoremque virgo is addressed by Horace as diva triformis.
Diana is addressed as Trivia by Virgil and Catullus. The votive offerings, none earlier than the fourth century BC, found in the grove of Aricia portray her as a huntress, further as blessing men and women with offspring, granting expectant mothers an easy delivery; the dedicatory inscription, long disappeared, was copied for its curiosity as testimony to the political union of Latin cities, the Latin league by Cato the Elder and transmitted incompletely, by the grammarian Priscianus: Lucum Dianium in nemore Aricino Egerius Baebius Tusculanus dedicavit dictator Latinus. Hi populi communiter: Tusculanus, Lanuvinus, Coranus, Pometinus, Ardeatis Rutulus Diana Nemorensis was not translated to Republican Rome by the rite called evocatio, as was performed for Juno of Veii, but remained a foreigner there, in a temple outside the pomerium on the Aventine. A votive inscription of the time of Nerva indicates that Vesta, Roman goddess of the hearth and family, was venerated in the grove at Nemi. Sir James George Frazer writes of this sacred grove in the often-quoted opening of The Golden Bough, basing his interpretation on brief remarks in Strabo and Servius' commentary on the Aeneid Legend tells of a tree that stands in the center of the grove and is guarded heavily.
No one was to break off its limbs, with the exception of a runaway slave, allowed, if he could, to break off one of the boughs. He was in turn granted the privilege to engage the Rex Nemorensis, the current king and priest of Diana in the region, in one-on-one mortal combat. If the slave prevailed, he became the next king for as long. By the time Caligula interfered in the succession of priest-kings, the murder-succession had devolved into a gladiatorial combat before an audience. Querquetulanae, oak nymphs who may have been associated with Diana Nemorensis Carin M. C. Green, Roman Religion and the Cult of Diana at Aricia, limited preview online ISBN 0-521-85158-0, ISBN 978-0-521-85158-9.
The Twelve Caesars
De vita Caesarum known as The Twelve Caesars, is a set of twelve biographies of Julius Caesar and the first 11 emperors of the Roman Empire written by Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus. The work, written in AD 121 during the reign of the emperor Hadrian, was the most popular work of Suetonius, at that time Hadrian's personal secretary, is the largest among his surviving writings, it was dedicated to the Praetorian prefect Gaius Septicius Clarus. The Twelve Caesars was considered significant in antiquity and remains a primary source on Roman history; the book discusses the significant and critical period of the Principate from the end of the Republic to the reign of Domitian. The book can be described as racy, packed with gossip and sometimes amusing. At times the author subjectively expresses his knowledge. Although he was never a senator himself, Suetonius took the side of the Senate in most conflicts with the princeps, as well as the senators' views of the emperor; that resulted in biases, both unconscious.
Suetonius lost access to the official archives shortly after beginning his work. He was forced to rely on secondhand accounts when it came to Claudius and does not quote the emperor; the book still provides valuable information on the heritage, personal habits, physical appearance and political careers of the first Roman emperors. It mentions details. For example, Suetonius is the main source on the lives of Caligula, his uncle Claudius, the heritage of Vespasian. Suetonius made a reference in this work to "Chrestus". During the book on Nero, Suetonius does mention Christians; as with many of his contemporaries, Suetonius took omens and includes reports of omens portending imperial births and deaths. The first few chapters of this section are missing. Suetonius begins this section by describing Caesar's conquests in Gaul, his Civil War against Pompey the Great. Several times Suetonius quotes Caesar. Suetonius includes Caesar's famous decree, "Veni, vici". In discussing Caesar's war against Pompey the Great, Suetonius quotes Caesar during a battle that Caesar nearly lost, "That man does not know how to win a war."
Suetonius describes an incident. Caesar was captured by pirates in the Mediterranean Sea. Caesar engaged in philosophical discussion with the pirates while in captivity, he promised that one day he would find them and crucify them. When told by the pirates that he would be held for a ransom of 20 talents of gold, Caesar laughed, said that he must be worth at least 50 talents. Just as he had promised, after being released, Caesar crucified them, it is from Suetonius. While serving as quaestor in Hispania, Caesar once visited a statue of Alexander the Great. Upon viewing this statue, Suetonius reports; when asked what was wrong, Caesar sighed, said that by the time Alexander was his age, Alexander had conquered the whole world. Suetonius describes Caesar's gift at winning the admiration of his soldiers. Suetonius mentions that Caesar referred to them as "comrades" instead of "soldiers." When one of Caesar's legions took heavy losses in a battle, Caesar vowed not to trim his beard or hair until he had avenged the deaths of his soldiers.
Suetonius describes an incident during a naval battle. One of Caesar's soldiers had his hand cut off. Despite the injury, this soldier still managed to subdue its crew. Suetonius mentions Caesar's famous crossing of the Rubicon, on his way to Rome to start a Civil War against Pompey and seize power. Suetonius describes Caesar's major reforms upon defeating Pompey and seizing power. One such reform was the modification of the Roman calendar; the calendar at the time had used the same system of solar years and lunar months that our current calendar uses. Caesar updated the calendar so as to minimize the number of lost days due to the prior calendar’s imprecision regarding the exact amount of time in a solar year. Caesar renamed the fifth month in the Roman calendar July, in his honor. Suetonius says that Caesar had planned on conquering the Parthian Empire; these plans were not carried out due to Caesar's assassination. Suetonius includes a description of Caesar's appearance and personality. Suetonius says.
Due to embarrassment regarding his premature baldness, Caesar combed his hair over and forward so as to hide this baldness. Caesar wore a senator's tunic with an orange belt. Caesar is described as wearing loose clothes. Suetonius quotes the Roman dictator Lucius Cornelius Sulla as saying, "Beware the boy with the loose clothes, for one day he will mean the ruin of the Republic." This quote referred to Caesar, as Caesar had been a young man during Sulla's Social War and subsequent dictatorship. Suetonius describes Caesar as taking steps. Political enemies at the time had claimed that C
Publius Ovidius Naso, known as Ovid in the English-speaking world, was a Roman poet who lived during the reign of Augustus. He was a contemporary of the older Virgil and Horace, with whom he is ranked as one of the three canonical poets of Latin literature; the Imperial scholar Quintilian considered him the last of the Latin love elegists. He enjoyed enormous popularity, but, in one of the mysteries of literary history, was sent by Augustus into exile in a remote province on the Black Sea, where he remained until his death. Ovid himself attributes his exile to carmen et error, "a poem and a mistake", but his discretion in discussing the causes has resulted in much speculation among scholars; the first major Roman poet to begin his career during the reign of Augustus, Ovid is today best known for the Metamorphoses, a 15-book continuous mythological narrative written in the meter of epic, for works in elegiac couplets such as Ars Amatoria and Fasti. His poetry was much imitated during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, influenced Western art and literature.
The Metamorphoses remains one of the most important sources of classical mythology. Ovid talks more about his own life than most other Roman poets. Information about his biography is drawn from his poetry Tristia 4.10, which gives a long autobiographical account of his life. Other sources include Seneca the Quintilian. Ovid was born in Sulmo, in an Apennine valley east of Rome, to an important equestrian family, on 20 March, 43 BC; that was a significant year in Roman politics. He was educated in rhetoric in Rome under the teachers Arellius Fuscus and Porcius Latro with his brother who excelled at oratory, his father wanted him to study rhetoric toward the practice of law. According to Seneca the Elder, Ovid tended to not the argumentative pole of rhetoric. After the death of his brother at 20 years of age, Ovid renounced law and began travelling to Athens, Asia Minor, Sicily, he held minor public posts, as one of the tresviri capitales, as a member of the Centumviral court and as one of the decemviri litibus iudicandis, but resigned to pursue poetry around 29–25 BC, a decision his father disapproved of.
Ovid's first recitation has been dated to around 25 BC. He was part of the circle centered on the patron Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus, seems to have been a friend of poets in the circle of Maecenas. In Trist. 4.10.41–54, Ovid mentions friendships with Macer, Horace and Bassus. He married three times and divorced twice by the time he was thirty years old, he had one daughter, who bore him grandchildren. His last wife was connected in some way to the influential gens Fabia and would help him during his exile in Tomis; the first 25 years of Ovid's literary career were spent writing poetry in elegiac meter with erotic themes. The chronology of these early works is not secure, his earliest extant work is thought to be the Heroides, letters of mythological heroines to their absent lovers, which may have been published in 19 BC, although the date is uncertain as it depends on a notice in Am. 2.18.19–26 that seems to describe the collection as an early published work. The authenticity of some of these poems has been challenged, but this first edition contained the first 14 poems of the collection.
The first five-book collection of the Amores, a series of erotic poems addressed to a lover, Corinna, is thought to have been published in 16–15 BC. 8–3 BC. Between the publications of the two editions of the Amores can be dated the premiere of his tragedy Medea, admired in antiquity but is no longer extant. 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, dated to AD 2. Ovid may identify this work in his exile poetry as the carmen, or song, one cause of his banishment; the Ars Amatoria was followed by the Remedia Amoris in the same year. This corpus of elegiac, erotic poetry earned Ovid a place among the chief Roman elegists Gallus and Propertius, of whom he saw himself as the fourth member. By AD 8, he had completed his most ambitious work, the Metamorphoses, a hexameter epic poem in 15 books; the work encyclopedically catalogues transformations in Greek and Roman mythology, from the emergence of the cosmos to the apotheosis of Julius Caesar.
The stories follow each other in the telling of human beings transformed to new bodies: trees, animals, constellations etc. At the same time, he worked on the Fasti, a six-book poem in elegiac couplets on the theme of the calendar of Roman festivals and astronomy; the composition of this poem was interrupted by Ovid's exile, it is thought that Ovid abandoned work on the piece in Tomis. It is in this period, if they are indeed by Ovid, that the double letters in the Heroides were composed. In AD 8, Ovid was banished to Tomis, on the Black Sea, by the exclusive intervention of the Emperor Augustus, without any participation of the Senate or of any Roman judge; this event shaped all his following poetry. Ovid wrote that the reason for his exile was carmen et error – "a poem and a mistake", claiming that his crime was
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
The Fasti or Fausti, sometimes translated as The Book of Days or On the Roman Calendar, is a six-book Latin poem written by the Roman poet Ovid and published in 8 AD. Ovid is believed to have left the Fasti incomplete when he was exiled to Tomis by the emperor Augustus in 8 AD. Written in elegiac couplets and drawing on conventions of Greek and Latin didactic poetry, the Fasti is structured as a series of eye-witness reports and interviews by the first-person vates with Roman deities, who explain the origins of Roman holidays and associated customs—often with multiple aetiologies; the poem is a significant, in some cases unique, source of fact in studies of religion in ancient Rome. G. Frazer annotated the work for the Loeb Classical Library series; each book covers one month, January through June, of the Roman calendar, was written several years after Julius Caesar replaced the old system of Roman time-keeping with what would come to be known as the Julian calendar. The popularity and reputation of the Fasti has fluctuated more than that of any of Ovid's other works.
The poem was read in the 15th–18th centuries, influenced a number of mythological paintings in the tradition of Western art. However, as scholar Carole E. Newlands has observed, throughout the 20th century "anthropologists and students of Roman religion … found it full of errors, an inadequate and unreliable source for Roman cultic practice and belief. Literary critics have regarded the Fasti as an artistic failure." In the late 1980s, the poem enjoyed a revival of scholarly interest and a subsequent reappraisal. Ovid was exiled from Rome for his subversive treatment of Augustus, yet the Fasti continues this treatment—which has led to the emergence of an argument in academia for treating the Fasti as a politically weighted work. Only the six books which concern the first six months of the year are extant, it may be that Ovid never finished it, that the remaining half is lost, or that only six books were intended. Ovid worked on the poem while he was in exile at Tomis; the Tristia, a collection of elegiac letters on the poet's exile, mentions the Fasti, that its completion had been interrupted by his banishment from Rome.
Ovid mentions that he had written the entire work, finished revising six books. However, no ancient source quotes a fragment from the six missing books; the Fasti is dedicated to a high-ranking member of the emperor Augustus's family. These circumstances have led some to speculate that the poem was written on religious and antiquarian themes in order to improve Ovid's standing with the rulers of Rome and secure his release from exile; the earliest classical calendrical poem which might have inspired Ovid is the Works and Days of Hesiod, which includes mythological lore, astronomical observations, an agricultural calendar. For the astronomical sections, Ovid was preceded by Aratus' Phaenomena as well as lost poetry on constellations and Germanicus' adaptation of Aratus; the most significant influence on Ovid were the Roman fasti, the Roman calendrical lists, which included dates, notices of festivals, ritual prohibitions and proscriptions, anniversaries of important events, sometimes aetiological material.
Ovid mentions consulting these calendars, such as his reference at 1.11 to pictos fastos and his references to the actual annotation marks of the calendar. The most important of these calendars for Ovid were the Fasti Praenestini, a contemporary calendar constructed and annotated by the grammarian Verrius Flaccus, whose fragments include much ritual material that can be found in Ovid's poem; the concept of putting these calendars into verse however, seems to be a uniquely Ovidian concept. Besides his use of calendars and astronomical poetry, Ovid's multi-generic, digressive narrative and learned poem depends on the full range of ancient poetry and prose. In this, one of the most important works for Ovid was Callimachus' Aetia; the Fourth Book of Propertius, who claimed to be the Roman Callimachus, might be a model since it deals with aetiologies of Roman customs and myths. His etymologizing implies an interest in Roman antiquarianism the works of Varro on etymology and Roman religion, he makes use of much Roman history writing, which must include lost historical poetry as well as the annal tradition (Ovid says in the prologue that one of his sources are ancient annals.
In his longer narrative sections, Ovid makes use of tragedy, epic poetry and Hellenistic mythological poems. For some episodes, the sources Ovid used are untraceable. On the Roman side, Ovid focuses on and employs Virgil's Aeneid and Eclogues, most notably in the long section on Anna in Book 3; as in the Metamorphoses, Ovid's use of Virgil is multifaceted. Ovid will deliberately pass over material covered in the Aeneid and expand a small section or a neglected episode into an elaborate narrative; the poem is an extensive treatment on fasti. Each of its separate books discusses one month of the Roman calendar, beginning with January, it contains some brief astronomical notes, but its more significant portions discuss the religious festivals of the Roman religion, the rites per