Rome city council overturns banishment that ‘one that the greatest poets’ much more than 2,000 years after Augustus forced him to leave


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An engraving of the roman poet Ovid: the decision to revoke his exile has actually been called an essential symbol. Photograph: Corbis via Getty Images
An engraving of the roman inn poet Ovid: the decision come revoke his exile has actually been called critical symbol. Photograph: Corbis via Getty Images

More than 2,000 year after Augustus banished him to deepest Romania, the poet Ovid has actually been rehabilitated.

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Rome city council on Thursday unanimously authorized a motion tabled through the populist M5S party come “repair the significant wrong” experienced by Ovid, believed of as one of the three canonical poets that Latin literature in addition to Virgil and Horace.

Best known for his 15-book epic narrative poem Metamorphoses and also the elegy Ars Amatoria, or the arts of Love, Publius Ovidius Naso to be exiled in 8 advertisement to Tomis, the ancient but remote black Sea settlement now known as the Romanian harbor city of Constanța.

He continued to be there until his death a te later. Back ordered directly by the emperor, scholars have long speculated end the motive because that Ovid’s exile; the poet self attributed it come “carmen et error”, a poem and a mistake.

Experts believe the reason was most likely a combination of three factors: that Ovid’s erotic poetry was thought about offensive, his mindset to Augustus was as well disrespectful, and also that he may have been connected in one unspecified plot or scandal.

La Repubblica reported that M5S, which holds a majority of the seats on the council, demanded that “necessary measures” be embraced to revoke the bespeak in what the capital’s deputy mayor, Luca Bergamo, defined as an important symbol.


“It is about the an essential right of artists to express themselves easily in cultures in which, approximately the world, the flexibility of artistic expression is increasingly constrained,” Bergamo said councillors.

Ovid was indisputably “one that the greatest poets in the history of humanity,” the deputy market said, and moreover the actual reasons for his secret banishment through the emperor “were never placed on the historic record”.

Sulmona, the Abruzzo town wherein the poet to be born (then Sulmo), officially acquitted that of any kind of wrongdoing. Dante, the great Renaissance poet, was similarly pardoned in 2008 by Florence – from whereby he to be exiled on ache of fatality in 1302.

Ovid’s countless poems and also letters in exile, accumulated in Tristia and The black color Sea Letters, have been explained by doubters as a “clinical presentation” that the problem of exile, “demonstrating the debilitating impact upon a male morale, his talents and also perhaps his psychology”.

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This write-up was amended ~ above 18 December 2017. An earlier version misspelled La Repubblica as La Republicca.