The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, February 25, 2018


Exiled for his sense of humour, poet Ovid has last laugh
Statue (1887) by Ettore Ferrari commemorating Ovid's exile in Tomis.

by Ella Ide


ROME (AFP).- Two thousand years after being banished from Rome, Ovid has been rehabilitated in a victory for the famous poet whose cheek riled one of history's most powerful emperors.

Rome council unanimously approved a motion to "repair the serious wrong" suffered by Ovid, best known for his "Metamorphoses" and "Ars Amatoria", or the Art of Love, who was exiled by the Emperor Augustus to Romania in the year AD 8.

The reason for his banishment to the town of Tomis on the Black Sea coast is one of literature's biggest mysteries, as there are no surviving contemporary sources which give details about it, so all historians have is Ovid's word.

The poet rather cryptically claims it was due to "carmen et error", or "a poem and a mistake" -- the poem being the Ars Amatoria, a subversively witty poem instructing men how to get and keep a girlfriend.

Augustus is assumed to have been less than pleased, having recently passed a series of laws against adultery.

Scandal in the senate
"Although the poem doesn't overtly advocate adultery, it sails quite close to the wind," Rebecca Armstrong, a Fellow in Classics at Oxford University, told AFP.

"It definitely displays an irreverent tone towards traditional moral attitudes as well as the emperor and his family.

"For example, Ovid recommends several of the public monuments built by Augustus and his family as excellent spots to pick up girls," she said.

It is unlikely to have been the poem alone that angered Augustus enough to drive Ovid out, as it was published several years before he was sent away.

But after irritating the emperor, experts believe the poet's mysterious "error" was the last straw.

"It's quite often suggested that it might have been something to do with the scandal surrounding Augustus's granddaughter, Julia, who was exiled in AD 8 for an adulterous affair with a Roman senator," Armstrong said.

The writer hated the "wild frontier" of Tomis and pleaded endlessly to be allowed to return to Rome -- to no avail.

'From Shakespeare to Dylan'
He did not help himself by partly apologising for the Ars Amatoria in the poem Tristia II, but "making it clear that he believes Augustus to be an unsophisticated reader of poetry and someone who can't take a joke."

"An interesting strategy for someone hoping to be recalled!" Armstrong said.

The decision to revoke Ovid's exile comes on the 2,000th anniversary of the poet's death in AD 17. It was approved Thursday in the presence of officials from the poet's hometown of Sulmona in central Italy.

Rome said it had restored "the freedom and dignity" of a man who had "inspired writers of calibre such as Dante, Boccaccio, Shakespeare, Joyce, Kafka and Pope, as well as modern artists such as Bob Dylan".

Ovid is not the only famous figure to whom Italy has recently apologised: In 2008 Florence asked forgiveness for persecuting the poet Dante, who fled into exile after he was sentenced to death for his political beliefs.

Armstrong said she thought Ovid "would have been pleased" by the ruling, particularly "by the knowledge that people care who he was and are still reading his poetry so many years later".

And not only has his jocular guide to dating been avenged, he may also have pulled one of the biggest pranks in history.

Most critics are dubious, but "on the basis that there is so little evidence available, some have even argued that Ovid was never exiled at all, and that his exile poetry is, rather, a kind of experimental literature".


© Agence France-Presse





Today's News

December 19, 2017

Inrap discovers a mikveh in the medieval Jewish quarter of Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux

Asia Week New York announces stellar gallery line-up for 2018

Chinese ink-brush artwork sells for record $144 mn

Sale breaks European record for Chinese artist Sanyu

Wallraf-Richartz-Museum restores Gerrit van Honthorst's 'Adoration of the Shepherds'

Mammoth skeleton sells for nearly 550,000 euros at French auction

The Cleveland Museum of Art announces new acquisitions

France dubs '120 Days of Sodom' a national treasure to stop sale

Artist Hiroshi Sugimoto to reenvision Hirshhorn lobby for the first time in the museums 42-year history

Yossi Milo Gallery opens an exhibition of graphite drawings and color photographs by David Goldes

Exhibition at Vancouver Art Gallery features works by Lui Shou Kwan in dialogue with Emily Carr

TarraWarra Museum of Art opens exhibition of works by Rosemary Laing

Art Institute names Jay A. Clarke as new curator in the Department of Prints and Drawings

Major exhibition of photographer and ceramicist Peter Olson opens in Santa Fe

Baltimore Museum of Art hosts immersive installation by Baltimore-based artist Phaan Howng

Kiosk Opens at the Institute of Contemporary Arts

Artemis Gallery plans auction to conclude most successful year ever

Nigeria turns the page on literary past

Exhibition at EYE Filmmuseum focuses on Jesper Just's big spatial film installations

Radiant with Color & Art: The holiday exhibition at the Grolier Club

Specimen 1795 Dollar and error rarities highlight Heritage Auctions U.S. Coins FUN Sale Jan. 3-8

Exiled for his sense of humour, poet Ovid has last laugh

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit announces new Ford Curatorial Fellow Jova Lynne

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- The Morgan explores the Medieval world's fascinating approach to the passage of time

2.- Experts discover hidden ancient Maya structures in Guatemala

3.- Egyptian archaeologists unveil tomb of Old Kingdom priestess Hetpet

4.- The Speed Art Museum and Italian Ministry reach loan agreement on ancient calyx-krater

5.- Major exhibition features artistic masterpieces from the glorious Church of the Gesù

6.- From Beowulf to Chaucer, the British Library makes 1,000 years of rich literary history freely available online

7.- Truck damages Peru's ancient Nazca lines

8.- Trish Duebber is new Coordinator of Youth Programs at Boca Raton Museum Art School

9.- Exhibition examines the way art, like language, was used to articulate a rhetoric of exclusion

10.- The Dallas Museum of Art announces gift of three major European works



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez


Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful