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1 leu, 5 and 100 lei 2008 - Publius Ovidius Naso
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37 mm diameter, 23.5 g, coppered tombac, reeded edge
Obverse: face value "LEU 1" and Romanian coat of arms inside a laurel wreath, ROMANIA below
Reverse: the upper part of the statue of Ovid from Constanța, at right year 2008 and a garland, circular inscription
PUBLIUS OVIDIUS NASO • A.D. VIII • TOMIS • A.D. XVII •
marking the years of Ovid's exile at Tomis

Issuing date: 3rd of March 2008

Mintage: 1000 coins

30 mm diameter, 15.55 g, 99.9% silver, reeded edge
Obverse: face value "LEI 5" and Romanian coat of arms inside a laurel wreath, ROMANIA below
Reverse: the upper part of the statue of Ovid from Constanța, at right year 2008 and a garland, circular inscription
PUBLIUS OVIDIUS NASO • A.D. VIII • TOMIS • A.D. XVII •
marking the years of Ovid's exile at Tomis

Issuing date: 3rd of March 2008

Mintage: 500 coins

21 mm diameter, 6.452 g, 90% gold, reeded edge
Obverse: face value "LEI 100" and Romanian coat of arms inside a laurel wreath, ROMANIA below
Reverse: the upper part of the statue of Ovid from Constanța, at right year 2008 and a garland, circular inscription
PUBLIUS OVIDIUS NASO • A.D. VIII • TOMIS • A.D. XVII •
marking the years of Ovid's exile at Tomis

Issuing date: 3rd of March 2008

Mintage: 250 coins


The 1 leu and 5 lei 2008 pictures above are present on the site through the permission of an anonymous donor.The 100 lei 2008 gold coin pictures above are present on Romanian coins through the kind permission of Mr. J. Ardelean.


About Roman poet Ovid

Publius Ovidius Naso was born in 43 B.C. in Sulmo, Italy, inside an equestrian rank family. In year 8 A.D. he was relegated (punishment akin to banishment, but less severe) at Tomis, where he finally passed away.

His best known works are Metamorphoses, Art of Love - Ars amandi, Tristia and Pontica - the later two marked by his sad exile experiences at Tomis.


About the statue of Ovid at Constanța

The statue was unveiled in 1887, as work of Italian sculptor Ettore Ferrari (1845-1929). On the plinth of the staute a marble plaque bear some verses of the poet, that can be considered his epitaph.

HIC EGO QVI IACEO TENERORUM
LVSOR AMORVM,
INGENIO PERII NASO POETA MEO.
AT TIBI QVI TRANSIS, NE SIT GRAVE,
QVISQVIS AMASTI
DICERE. NASONIS MOLLITER OSSA
CVBENT.
I lie here, who toyed with tender love,
Ovid the poet betrayed by my genius.
To thee who pass by, be it not hard, if once you loved,
To say rest softly, bones of Ovid.

Ovid, Tristia, book III, poem III

Quite shortly after, the statue was in danger of being destroyed. A sad episode in the history of Ovid's statue at Constanța, that happened in October 1916, is told by historian Constantin Kirițescu (father of economist and numismatist Costin Kirițescu) in his book "Istoria războiului pentru întregirea României 1916-1918” (Ed. Științifică și Enciclopedică, București, 1989, p. 383) [History of the War for Romania's Completion 1916 - 1919]: "... Bulgarian soldiers tied Ovid's statue with ropes and forced it down of the plinth, jerking it with teams of water buffalos of their heavy artillery. As they were shlepping in triumph the victim to the sea, the Germans intervened, ashamed by the deed of their comrades in arms and they raised anew Ovid on his plinth of centenary glory.”.


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