Ovid Met_8 - Bacchus was partially raised by his aunt Ino...

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Bacchus was partially raised by his aunt Ino
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The dark fate of Bacchus’ early nurturers: his uncle, Athamas, smashes his son, Learchus, against a rock; his aunt, Ino, plunges to her death with their second son, Melicertes/Melicertor
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Ovid’s innovating touch: Juno descends to the Underworld (which no Greek Olympian would ever dare do) to ask one of the Furies for help
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Hermes/Mercury, in his role as psychopomp (guide to dead souls), is the only Olympian allowed/able to go down to the Underworld
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The Olympian gods are called athanatoi , the “deathless ones”
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Ovid presents the madness of Ino and Athamas as an external event, devised by Juno (resentful of Ino’s raising of Bacchus) and carried out by the Fury, Tisiphone (“Voice of Revenge”) “Nor were their flesh seared, but their minds were pierced . Nor were these all the Fury’s gifts, she brought More deadly ills: spittle of Cerberus, Wiped from his open jaws, and Hydra virus And fiery Apparitions born at midnight, Amnesia and Tears and Love of Killing, […] She tossed her broth across their naked breasts, Where it burned inward to their very souls.”
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Afflicted with the Fury’s madness, Athamas smashes the head of his son, Learchus, against a rock
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Ino takes the remaining son, Melicertes/Melicertor, and jumps off a cliff down the fatal ocean
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Phrixus and Helle, the children of Nephele (“cloud”) and Athamas, flee on the golden ram
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