The notion that Ovid was never relegated to Tomis at all, but — in a very real sense an exul ludens [laughing exile] — spent his latter years in Rome toying with ever more elaborate exilic topoi (presumably as an excuse for not finishing the Fasti and not revising the Metamorphoses …), remains fundamentally bizarre. Just how bizarre can be appreciated when we try to envisage the Realien [realities] of such a project and the reaction to it of friends and critics. Ovid’s real exile may not have provoked (surviving) contemporary comment, but so ludicrous a piece of monotonous and obsessional playacting … most certainly would have done so.
[Ovid. The Poems of Exile: Tristia and the Black Sea Letters, with a new foreword. Translated with an introduction, notes and glossary by Peter Green. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005. x.]