Ovidius’ ballingschap als elegische fictie | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 52, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0165-8204
  • E-ISSN: 2667-1573



Se non dovessi tornare,

sappiate che non sono mai partito.

Il mio viaggiare

è stato tutto un restare

qua, dove non fui mai.

Mocht ik niet terugkomen,

Weet dan dat ik nooit vertrokken ben.

Mijn gereis

Was uitsluitend hier

Blijven, waar ik nooit ben geweest.1

(Giorgio Caproni. )

, Summary

Ovid’s exile to Tomi has appealed to the imagination through the centuries and has even spawned a literary genre. The circumstances of this exile, however, are shrouded in mystery, and scholars have endlessly speculated on the possible reasons, which has everything to do with the fact that Ovid’s own poetry is the only direct evidence for his exile. Since the beginning of the twentieth century some scholars have therefore argued that the exile was a poetic fiction. Due to the growing interest in Ovid’s exile poetry in the last decades, and in particular the analysis of its literary aspects, the fiction theory has become topical again. In this contribution, I would like to study how we should read Ovid’s exile poetry in this fictive scenario, and to see if this way of reading can produce meaningful interpretations.


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