Contemporary theoretical debate on the "death" and eventual "resurrection" of the author (from structuralism and psychoanalysis to feminism and postcolonialstudies) mostly refers to the model of the "romantic" author as anoriginal genius, creating from the inner-self (E. Young), the unacknowledged "legislator of the world" (P. Shelley). It is evident that this model profoundly determined modern European literatures until the 20th century, when (literary) theory began to scrutinize it thoroughly and question it in different ways. The roots of such understanding are heterogeneous and partly extend to classical philosophy and literature. This paper will try to revise philosophical discussions on authorship (from Plato to Longinus) and certain aspects of Greek and Roman poetry (from Hesiod to Ovid) to explore how much and in what ways later views on authorship are indebted to antiquity. It will also try to ascertain whether it is adequate to explain the development of the modern authorial concept by means of a linear scheme stretching from semi-anonymous rhapsodist to self-confident Romantic genius. Especially in Ovid's love poetry one can find a surprisingly high degree of authorial awareness and playful presence in the text, which can challenge any simplified linear understanding of the authorial concept in the history of Western literatures.