Archaeology Magazine

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Seven Statues Linked to Ovid Recovered from Roman Pool

Thursday, January 10, 2013

CIAMPINO, ITALY—At the bottom of a pool at an ancient villa outside Rome, archaeologists have unearthed seven first-century B.C. statues of characters from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The villa was owned by Ovid’s patron, Roman general Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus. Scholars are wondering if the patron ordered the statues after reading Ovid’s masterpiece, or if the statues inspired the poet. The statues probably tumbled into the pool 2,000 years ago, during an earthquake.