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Friday, February 1, 2013

'Exceptional' find of Roman statues linked to poet Ovid

8 January 2013 

'Exceptional' find of Roman statues linked to poet Ovid

By Alan Johnston
BBC News

The head of Niobe The head of Niobe has been described as
an "exceptional" find

Archaeologists in Italy say they have discovered what they've called a "very important" series of statues dating back to the Roman era.

The seven figures were found in a villa outside the city owned by the patron of the celebrated poet, Ovid.

They depict one of the myths recounted in his masterpiece, Metamorphoses, that of the proud mother Niobe.

The team unearthed the 2m-high figures at the bottom of what would have been a richly-decorated swimming pool.

It is reckoned that the statues toppled in to the pool during an earthquake and remained there for about 2,000 years.

In Metamorphoses, Ovid recounted many myths of transformations. He wrote of Niobe, the mother of 14 children who boasted about how much more fertile she was than the goddess Leto.

She was punished her for her pride. Leto's two children, Artemis and Apollo, slaughtered her offspring. In her grief, Niobe turned to stone, weeping continuously.

The discovery of the statues raises an intriguing question - which came first, the statues or Ovid's famous poem?

Perhaps the owner of the villa ordered the making of the statues for his home after reading the tale in his favourite poet's work.

Or maybe it was the other way round. (...)

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  1. Hey hey hey! I read those stories last year in Literature... and um... this is really cool. Just sayin'

  2. Yeah, I'm going to sometime check out all those old Greek & Roman mythology stories because I've realized that I LOVE them after I started reading the Percy Jackson books. :P I know one English course I want to take in college. ;)


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