This article considers the popularity and pedagogical functions of Ovid's exilic poem Ibis in the Middle Ages. In Ibis, the relegated Ovid inveighs against an unknown enemy, laying curse after curse upon him via complex and riddlelike allusions. Although the poem has now itself been relegated to the understudied margins of Ovid's corpus, this was not always the case. On the contrary: it was known and studied both in medieval England and on the Continent. This article argues that Ibis was a tool of teaching: for medieval instructors, the poem's puzzles provided a course in classical culture with which to teach mythography. Beyond the schoolroom, Ibis formed a potential model for moral behavior in Guillaume de Deguileville's Le Pèlerinage de la Vie Humaine and John Lydgate's The Pilgrimage of the Life of Man. Here, we see the limits of the exilic Ovid's assimilation into medieval Christian culture.

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