Abstract This essay focuses on the competing representational projects of poet and emperor as represented (or polemically misrepresented) in Ovid's poetry. I begin by developing two readings of the famous weaving contest of Metamorphoses 6, the first emphasizing Arachne's will to truth (her exposéé of Olympian injustice), the second her will to power (her appropriation of Olympian potency). With these models in mind, I explore the vicissitudes of Ovid's rivalrous identification with Augustus in the Tristia, ending with some unhappier implications of this identification, and with some reflections on the question of the reality of Ovid's exile.

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