Tag Archives: Ovid

“Certamen Ovidianum Sulmonense” Contest: Translating Ovid’s work

Mid of April 2016, students from eight European countries and USA saw a very special challenge: Translating a passage of the famous epic poem “Metamorphoses”, with the theme of food and nutrition.

Parcite, mortales, dapibus temerare nefandis
corpora! sunt fruges, sunt deducentia ramos
pondere poma suo tumidaeque in vitibus uvae,
sunt herbae dulces, sunt quae mitescere flamma
mollirique queant; nec vobis lacteus umor
eripitur, nec mella thymi redolentia florem


“No, mortals,” he would say, “Do not permit
pollution of your bodies with such food,
for there are grain and good fruits which bear down
the branches by their weight, and ripened grapes
upon the vines, and herbs—those sweet by nature
and those which will grow tender and mellow with
a fire, and flowing milk is not denied,
nor honey, redolent of blossoming thyme.

P. Ovidius Naso, Metamorphoses, Book 15, line 75-80

Within the framework of the “Certamen Ovidianum Sulmonense”, the international annual contest for the best translation of Ovid’s literary works, ICCU organised an event dedicated to Europeana Food and Drink.  The Central Institute for the Union Catalogue of Italian Libraries and for Bibliographic Information in Italy is one of the Culture Sector Partners within the project.

On Friday 15th April, 70 students arrived in Sulmona, Italy. They were challenged in the translation of a passage of the famous poem “Metamorphoses” by P. Ovidius Naso.

QR Code used during the city quest “Ovidie Quo Vadis” and The basket received as prize from each participant to the city quest
QR Code used during the city quest “Ovidie Quo Vadis” , Poster and the Europeana Food and Drink prize bag

Art, History and Food Heritage through Sulmona

The day after, Saturday 16th April, the students participated in the initiative “Ovidie Quo Vadis” organised by ICCU in cooperation with the Archeoclub of Sulmona. The aim of this initiative was to make known the rich artistic and historical heritage of Sulmona together with the local food and drink products of Valle Peligna. The participants used the app “CityQuest” developed by PACKED Expertisecentrum Digitaal Erfgoed Vzw within ATHENA plus European project. This fun activity allowed the participants to explore the attractions of this area in few time together with the local food. The local secondary school “Liceo Classico Ovidio”, the Archeoclub of Sulmona, and the Rotary club of Sulmona will maintain and distribute “Ovidie Quo Vadis” to the tourists in the next city events.

Each participant of the initiative received a bag containing postcards and bookmarks of the Europeana Food and Drink project and  local food specialties(pasta, sweets, creams, garlic, honey) and also olive oil soap provided by the local consortium of producers and dealers “Italia Autentica”. This end demonstrates how it is possible to join history, literature, art and wine and food heritage.

Stay tuned for the winning translation, which will be posted on our blog soon!

By Elisa Sciotti, ICCU