The poetry of the exile of Publio Ovidio Nason (Sulmona, 43 a.C.-Tomis, 17 d.C), composed during the last ten years of his life, has provided a powerful shadow that reaches, even nowadays, the city of Constanza, ancien Tomis, scene of his banishment.
Constanza, in great measure, but also the estuary of the Danubian river, the Dobruja fields, the coasts of the Black Sea, the greeks ruins of Histria, thanks to the ovidian elegy acknowledge nowadays a unique emotional patina. The softness of the memory claimed by Ovidio for his own work, its poetic endurance, coats the map and the territory, the streets and the shabby walls of present Constanza.
Echoes and appearances, urban quotidianities, possesed by a never ending hazardous antiquity, which also crystallize in the home town of Ovidio, Sulmona, his mother country, acclaimed and recreated from the misfortune of distancy and the nostalgy of remembrance.
[Project by Esteban Bérchez Castaño and Joaquín Bérchez]
I, who lie here, with tender loves once played, Naso, the bard, whose life his wit betrayed. Grudge not, o lover, as thou passest by, a prayer: ‘soft may the bones of Naso lie!’
(Ovid, Tristia III 3,73-6)
Your joyless lament made these lands famous, You tender-voiced lyre has not gone mute. This place is still filled by your words
(A. Pushkin, “To Ovid”, 4-6)
Listen Posterity, and find out who this ‘I’ was, this playful poet of tender passions you read. Sulmo’s my native place, rich in icy streams, and ninety miles distant from the City
(Ovid, Tristia IV 10,1-6)
Go, my book, and in my name greet the loved places: I will tread them at least with what foot I may
(Ovid, Tristia I 1,15-6)
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