Spring of Bandusia

The Spring of Bandusia (Latin: fons Bandusiae) is a natural water source in rural Italy, to which the Roman poet Horace addressed a well-known ode (Odes III, 13). The location of the spring is unknown: speculation has centered on Apulia, the poet's birthplace, and the neighborhood of an archaeological ruin east of Rome, thought to be the site of poet's beloved Sabine farm in what is now the commune of Licenza. In the poem Horace promises to sacrifice a young goat to the spring and praises the spring's constancy in the hottest days of summer. The poem ends with Horace promising to immortalize the spring through his song.


Evidence that the original Fons Bandusiae may have been located in Apulia, near Horace's childhood home, comes from a papal bull of Paschal II, dating to 1103. This bull mentions a "church of the Holy Martyrs Gervasius and Protasius at the Bandusine spring in Venusia" (ecclesia sanctorum martyrum Gervasii et Protasii in Bandusino fonte apud Venusiam).[1] Travelers have proposed the village of Palazzo San Gervasio, 13 km east of Venusia, as the probable location of the church but failed to match any of the nearby springs with Horace's description.[2] Recent scholarship suggests that Horace may have named a pleasant spring near his Sabine farm after a similar spring in the vicinity of his native Venusia.[3]

See also


  1. Ughelli, Ferdinando (1721), Italia sacra: sive De episcopis Italiae et insularum adjacentium, rebusque ab iis praeclare gestis, deducta serie ad nostram usque aetatem., viii (2nd ed.), Venice, p. 31 (Nendeln,Liechtenstein: Kraus Reprint, 1970); see also Jaffé, Philippus (1885). Regesta pontificum romanorum ab condita ecclesia ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. i (2nd ed.). Leipzig: Veit. p. 748.
  2. Ramage, Craufurd Tait (1868). Nooks and By-ways of Italy: wanderings in search of its ancient remains and modern superstitions. Liverpool: Edward Howell. pp. 208 ff., Douglas, Norman (1915). Old Calabria. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. pp. 43 ff.
  3. Nisbet, R. G. M.; Niall Rudd (2004). A Commentary on Horace, Odes, Book III. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. p. 173. ISBN 978-0-19-926314-1.

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