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Seeking the Barbarians: on the Trail of Ovid from Odesa to Balchik (2015-2016)

Field of study: Literature

Publius Ovidius Naso became a peculiar symbol of Eastern Europe after he had been exiled to the very limes of Western civilization by the emperor Octavian Augustus. His impressions from living in Tomis (present-day Constanta) for a long while became the keynote of West-European thought, astonished by the description of the exotic region, where severe barbarians ruled. This research describes stable stereotypes existing on the East-European borders, it is about the neighboring peoples, who we consider to be barbaric for the lack of knowledge about them, and about the frontiers often laid not on the ground but in our heads.

Keywords: Ovid, Tomis, barbarians, border, frontier, literature, stereotypes, western civilization, Eastern Europe

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