Ancient Sulmona

Sulmona (Abruzzo, Aquilla Province) has been motherland of the great Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso (20 March 43 BCE – 17 or 18 CE), known as Ovid in the English-speaking world. Most of all Ovid is famous for his poems «Metamorphoses» and «Ars Amatoria». Ovid had glorified Sulmona in one of his “sorrowful elegies” (Trist., IV, 10). He wrote «Sulmo mihi patria est» («Sulmona is my fatherland”). Since the Middle Ages an acronym SMPE is immortalized in the town’s coat of arms.

In the poem “Fasti” Ovid made an assumption that Sulmona had been found by Solimo Frigio, who was a companion-in-arms of the legendary hero Aeneas. The latter had been fighting in the Trojan war on the part of Troy and after the defeat had sailed away on 20 ships. After many years of wandering across the Mediterranean, Aeneas as well as his companions had founded several towns in the Apennine Peninsula.

Ovid’s hypothesis was supported also by another famous Roman writer Silio Italico (25-101 гг.). I like very much this beautiful legend because of fantastic sensation of continuous course of times connecting Trojan heroes with contemporary city of Sulmona.


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