Vintila Horia: Dieu est né en exil (God Was Born in Exile)

The latest addition to my website is Vintila Hori‘s Dieu est né en exil (God Was Born in Exile). This is the fourth book on my website about Ovid’s exile but the first by a Romanian. Ovid was exiled by Emperor Augustus in 9 A.D. to Tomis which is now Constanța in modern-day Romania.The book is a (fictitious) diary kept by Ovid of his stay there. It is generally agreed that he died there. We follow the trials and tribulations he faces, missing his life in Rome and his various girlfriends. We know he wrote some poems while there and these do feature but not significantly. We also see him getting to know the local people and even learning their language. He makes a tour of the area – essentially modern-day Romania – and even starts to enjoy being there. However, where the novel is weak, in my view, is that he and others are gradually brought around to a monotheistic view, culminating in a sudden conversion to Christianity (in 12 A.D.!) with one of the characters even having seen Jesus in Bethlehem. It is all so improbable that it seriously detracts from the novel. The rest of the novel, however, is well worth reading.

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