Life Ovid talks more about his own life than most other Roman poets. Information about his biography is drawn primarily from his poetry, especially Tristia 4.10, which gives a long autobiographical account of his life. Other sources include Seneca the Elder and Quintilian. Birth, early life, and marriage His father wanted him to study rhetoric toward the practice of law. Ovid's first recitation has been dated to around 25 BC, when he was eighteen. 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. He married three times and divorced twice by the time he was thirty years old. Literary success The first 25 years of Ovid's literary career were spent primarily writing poetry in elegiac meter with erotic themes. The chronology of these early works is not secure; tentative dates, however, have been established by scholars. Exile to Tomis In 1923, scholar J.