Literature and Literary Terms:
of the ones talked about in class.
There is no central hero. All of the stories involve metamorphoses, which binds them all
together. Ovid is more interested in metamorphoses as a universal principle which explains the
nature of the world. Orpheus, a famous singer and poet, is the narrator of the metamorphoses.
Major theme of rape
. Romans were all about conquest. The rape of the Sabine women – Rome
was founded. There are close to fifty rape episodes in the metamorphoses.
Daphne and Apollo
– Daphne turns into a laurel tree, the most honored tree, after being pursued
by Apollo. Significant: The sun god is in love with the daughter of the river – sun representing
male and river representing female. The laurel trees leaves were used for crowns in the Olympics
and for emperors, etc.
Jove and Io
– Io gets turned into a cow after Jove rapes her and then gets caught by his wife,
Juno. Jove is Zeus and Juno is Hera. Argus
– Mercury tells him boring stories of metamorphoses
to get him to fall asleep. His eyes become the eyes of the tail of the peacock.
– He carves a statue of a woman because he thinks all other women are sinners and
then his statue turns into a real woman at his plea to the gods. Considered a scary story.
Venus and Adonis
– Adonis represents the vegetation spirit worshiped by the Babylonians. The
name “Adonis” means Lord. He’s a fertility god, believed to spend half the year in Hades with
Persephone. Adonis’ blood turned into an Anemone flower. Anemones signified love and were
strewn on the altar of Venus. Atalanta and Hippomenes – Both turned into lions. Hippomenes
races Atalanta for her love and marriage and he throws three golden apples to distract her.
Know a little about Latin and the Alphabet.
– The most widely used alphabet is the one the Romans developed with upper and
lower case letters. Lower case letters were developed by publishers in 300 AD. Upper case
letters have been around since 600 BC. The only change was in medieval times: I was promoted
to J and V was divided into U, V, and W.
– Was used to educate people for over 2000 years. Until recently it was the most widely
used language in all major universities throughout the world. Examples: “dict” means “to say”
such as contradict, dictate, diction, edict, and predict. “ject” means “to throw” such as eject,
inject, interject, project, reject, and subject. “pend” means “to hang” such as append, depend,
impend, pendant, and pendulum.
, especially all of what we emphasized in class discussion.
* see notes from class