18 March 1997
"Where did man come from? Where did time begin? Who, or what, created
all things?" These are questions that mankind has sought to answer from the
beginning of existence as it is known today. Many stories and fables have been
told and passed down from generation to generation, yet two have survived the
test of time and criticism. The Biblical account in Genesis, probably written
by Moses around 1500 B.C., and the story of creation and flood in Ovid's
Metamorphosis, written somewhere between 8 and 17 A.D., have weathered the
criticism and become the most famous. The Genesis account, however, may be the
most prominent of the two accounts. Within these accounts, are many
similarities, as well as differences, which make these two writings well
respected, while holding their own in the literary world.
Though both accounts of the creation and flood are well respected on
their own, when compared side to side, they are drastically different. Ovid's
purpose for writing the creation story is geared more towards explaining
creation as it happens, in his opinion, whereas the Bible stresses the fact that
the God of the Hebrews is responsible for the world's existence today. Overall,
Ovid is very detailed in explaining the formless mass, creation of the earth,
waters and land metaphorically. The Biblical account seems to be more plain,
simple, and organized; not spending time on intricate detail. There seems to be
no specific time frame for creation in Ovid's writing, whereas, the Bible states
that it takes God six days to complete His creation; resting on the seventh. In
Metamorphoses, the creation story is seven stanzas, a compilation of eighty
lines. It takes Moses thirty- one verses of Old Testament history to complete
his story of creation.
There are a few discrepancies in detail as well. The water, in Ovid's,
"[holds] up, [holds] in the land," while, in Genesis, the land... [continues]
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