This corpus of elegiac, erotic poetry earned Ovid a place among the chief Roman elegists Gallus, Tibullus, 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, rocks, animals, flowers, constellations etc.
He was part of the circle centered on the patron Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus, and seems to have been a friend of poets in the circle of Maecenas. 4.10.41–54, Ovid mentions friendships with Macer, Propertius, Horace, Ponticus and Bassus (he only barely met Virgil and Tibullus, a fellow member of Messalla's circle whose elegies he admired greatly).
Ovid was very popular at the time of his early works, but was later exiled by Augustus in AD 8.
Ovid's writing in the Ars Amatoria concerned the serious crime of adultery.
He may have been banished for these works, which appeared subversive to the emperor's moral legislation.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.However, in view of the long time that elapsed between the publication of this work (1 BC) and the exile (AD 8), some authors suggest that Augustus used the poem as a mere justification for something more personal.In exile, Ovid wrote two poetry collections, Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto, that illustrated his sadness and desolation.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.