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Unformatted text preview: Ovid’s Metamorphoses
Wednesday, August 6 Ovid Publius Ovidius Naso, 43 BC-17 AD Roman poet Completed the Metamorphoses in 8 AD Also banished by Augustus in 8 AD The Metamorphoses, an Epic? “Metamorphosis” = change, transformation Invocation to the Muse Dactylic hexameter Epithets Great events Gods “Mock epic”, “collective poem” Ends with Julius Caesar being turned into a star Models Orpheus’ song in the Argonautica Strife separates the elements (contrast with Ovid – strife perpetuates chaos) Achilles’ Shield in the Iliad Cicero’s On the Nature of the Gods (Stoic) Lucretius’ On the Nature of Things (Epicurean) Ovid and Hesiod’s Creation Accounts
Hesiod Begins with Chasm Gaia Tartaros, Erebus, Night Gaia gives birth to Heaven/Ouranos No account of the creation of man Woman Ovid Begins with Chaos Some God organizes the elements 5 zones God creates man in the form of god Genesis Begins with God God creates the heavens and the earth Earth = formless void Darkness Creates the sky, waters, vegetation, seasons, animals Genesis continued God creates man out of earth Woman Downfall Ages of Man in the Metamorphoses Gold Silver Bronze Iron Does not include the Age of Heroes, as Hesiod does The Golden Age Trust No laws No war No buildings or fortifications No working the earth Always springtime Age of Saturn (Ouranos/Heaven) The Silver Age Jove (Zeus) created seasons Walls and shelter Agriculture The Bronze Age Spear and sword The Iron Age Evils Sailing Land divided into property Storage of food Mining Breakdown in family relations Born of blood Lycaon Rumors of evils among man abound Joves enters the world in disguise to survey man Lycaon tests Jove’s divinity by feeding him a hostage Lycaon turns into a wolf Metamorphoses and the Old Testament Giants piled up mountains to reach heaven Breed of men arose from earth Serpent, the last of the creatures Tower of Babel Man formed from earth Serpent in Eden The Flood Jove seeks to establish a new race of man Two virtuous individuals survive New race born of rocks from the earth Themis’ Oracle “Walk from temple with covered head, with girdled tunic open at breast and shoulder, and as the wind flows scatter your mother’s bones.” (p.41) the Genesis Noah, his family, and animals Flood intended for all mankind Ark lands on top of Mt. Ararat Sends out birds Makes sacrifices Epic of Gilgamesh Poem, about 650 BC Gilgamesh = Sumerian King of Uruk The gods kill his friend, Enkidu He sets off to find Utnapishtim The gods send a flood to kill mankind Utnapishtim survives b/c Ea tells him to build an ark Ark lands on Mt. Nisir (near Ararat) Sends out birds Gods in the Metamorphoses Petty, thoughtless Very human Dignity reduced Infusion of the modern Senate Plebs Palatine Apollo Squabble between Apollo and Cupid Alternate explanation for the designation, “Pythian” Two arrows Golden, sharp, love’s fire Leaden, heavy Apollo Rejected by Daphne, who wishes to remain a virgin Apollo and Daphne Daphne becomes a laurel tree Thereafter victors are crowned with laurel/bay leaves Io Io rejects Zeus So Zeus comes to her in the form of a cloud Zeus changes Io into a cow Juno asks for the cow as a gift and has the hundred-eyed Argos watch her Io writes in the dust Death of Argos and the tail of a peacock Phaethon Son of Phoebus and Clymene Goes to question Phoebus (the Sun) Phoebus offers him a gift of anything he wants Phaethon continued Asks to drive the chariot of the sun Falls to the earth (cf. Icarus) Etiologies and Transformations Dark skin Desert in Libya Phaethon’s sister’s become trees, who weep amber ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/04/2009 for the course CLASSICS 222 taught by Professor Lopez during the Summer '07 term at Ohio State.
- Summer '07