The Latin poet Ovid between Sulmona and Constance

The city of Sulmona has been twinned for years with the city of Constanta in Romania, where the great Latin poet Publio Ovidio Nasone died in exile. He was born in Sulmona in 43 B.C. and he died at Tomi (the name of the era of Constance) in 17 AD.

He was a court poet, loved and revered by Augustus and the Roman people for a long time, until the day when he suddenly lost the favors of the emperor who issued an edict with which he was ordered to leave Italy for Tomi. The reasons are still uncertain (the same Ovid mentions in an elegy that perhaps was for a work not appreciated by the emperor or an "Error", an episode of which was imprudently protagonist). The most important work of Ovid is "Le Metamorfosi", composed of 15 books, which collects most of the myths of Greco-Roman tradition through a succession of intertwined stories. It is a work that has influenced much of Italian literature, from Dante to D'Annunzio. He was the poet preferred by young people and elegant Roman environments thanks to his youthful work made of stories and love poems, the "Amores". The book that gave him more fame was however the rumored and scandalous, for the time, "Ars Amatoria", an erotic book with which he dispenses advice on courtship to men and women. While he was at Tomi he composed the "Tristia", a melancholic work of exile from which the "Sulmo mihi patria est", which has been on the civic coat of arms since the Middle Ages, was taken.

the twin statue of Ovid present in Sulmona was erected In Constance and the Romanian city loves the poet so much that he dedicates to him the annual "International Festival of Art and Culture" and the name "Ovidiu" is the most common among the Romanian males. The outrage of the centuries has left no tangible remains of Ovid at Sulmona, but the places so loved and praised in its choruses still retain the same names and ancient suggestion: the "Fonte d'Amore", dear to the god Amores, where he visited his beloved Corinna, a sensual vestal, is still there, even if he no longer dispenses the aphrodisiac water of falling in love.

The Temple of Ercole Curino, believed for centuries as its dwelling, is still known today as "La Villa di Ovidio".


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