May I begin by thanking you sincerely for inviting me to give this Todd Memorial Lecture? I am sensible of the honour, not only in memory of the pioneer Australian Latinist whose name it bears, but in view of the roll-call of Classical scholars who have spoken before me. I am particularly conscious of my own debt to two predecessors here, the unforgettable Sir Ronald Syme and my former teacher Gordon Williams, who from their different viewpoints have had a considerable influence on present day approaches to Augustan—and some would say un-Augustan—poetry.
I shall be talking today about two kinds of fasti or calendar, the public, inscribed, fasti of Augustan Rome, and the poetic Fasti of Ovid, the last great poet of the age of Augustus. But I should first introduce both calendar and calendar poem, before moving on to discuss the interpretative battle which has recently developed over Ovid's complex but fascinating work.