2017 will be a big year for Sulmona, where preparations are already underway for special events to mark the 2000 anniversary of the death of the great poet Publio Ovidio Nasone, born in the city in the year 43BC.
Ovidio, ignoring his father’s advice to follow a career in forensic science, dedicated his life to poetry. A passionate and untiring writer, he is author of some of the most celebrated works in ancient Latin – the Amores, the Metamorphoses, the Tristia, through which he won the esteem of Emperor Augustus and other influential Roman politicians.
However, under still unexplained circumstances and at the height of his career, he was exiled by Augustus and sent to Tomi, what is now Costanza in Romania. This city is twinned with the capital Poligno, where there is a statue of the poet identical to that which to this day has pride of place in Piazza XX Settembre. Here Ovidio died in 17AD, without ever returning to Italy, despite numerous appeals to the Emperor.
For such a timeless person, the city of his birth has decided to honour him in a big way by, in agreement with the political authorities of Boston and Boston University, organising a programme of cultural collaboration in order to remember Ovidio. There will be conferences, public gatherings and other events held in Italy and in America to celebrate the 2000 years since the death of the poet.
The opportunity to celebrate Ovidio alongside and in collaboration with one of the most important universities in the world, certainly underlines the immensity of the event. Those involved will include not only lecturers and professors from Boston University, but also Italian and European students who have been studying and researching the Sulmonan poet for many years, and many other Italian and American students who will enliven the cultural discussions of his works.
Credits: photo by Gilda Molinaro
(*) translated by Gail K.