Ovid, Metamorpheses

Topics: Greek mythology, Metamorphoses, Daphne Pages: 2 (1331 words) Published: October 31, 2014

Ovid, Metamorphoses
During the time of Augustus, Greek literature and myths were highly influential throughout the Roman world. In particular, Ovid, a Roman poet born in 43 BC, retells and adjusts much of Greek mythology in a humorous yet personal style to suit himself and his audiences (Plant 2012, p. 298). A close comparison of Ovid and Hesiod calls for similarities and differences in their accounts of the human races. In Book I of the Metamorphoses, Ovid accounts four “Ages of Humankind”. He begins with the Golden Ages, where he describes to be a time of purity in humanity and the fertile land continues to prosper throughout “everlasting spring” (Ovid, Metamorphoses 1: 89-12). This period was known to be the climax of ‘peace and quiet’ on Earth as there were no warfare or negative qualities in human emotions. With the overruling of Saturn by Jupiter, his ascension was the beginning of The Silver Age as Ovid asserts. It was in this age that crops were planted and humans emerged from their cave homes to built homes of wood and bark (Ovid, Metamorphoses 1:121-124). Additionally, Ovid provides an aetiological explanation of the four seasons through the actions of Jupiter. The Bronze and Iron Age succeeded the Silver age, existing quite simultaneously. Cruelty in humanity influenced their submission to warfare, while by the time the Iron Age came, this worsened with ‘malicious evil’ roaming the land and the disappearance of ‘restraint, piety and truth’ (Ovid, Metamorphoses 1: 125-141). Hesiod’s influence over Ovid is clear, with the exception of a fifth race in Hesiod’s account. Both authors account for the evolution of humanity and the transformation of the social and psychological structure with the use of metals as a metaphor (Kegan, 1982 pp.1). Ovid’s reflects spiritual and moral characteristics of humanity, as did Hesiod; common qualities present in both Rome and Greece (Nelson and Grene et al., 1998). As each stage of the world emerges, Ovid demonstrates...

References: Francese, C. 2004. Daphne, Honor, and Aetiological Action in Ovid 's" Metamorphoses" in The Classical World, The Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 153--157.
Galinsky, G. Karl. "Ovid, Vergil, and Augustus" in Ovid 's Metamorphoses: an Introduction to the Basic Aspects, Galinsky, G. Karl , 1975 , 210-265
Hesiod, Work and days in Plant, I
Kegan, R. 1982. The evolving self. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Moulton, C. 1973. “Ovid as Anti-Augustan: Met 15. 843-79)’ in The Classical World, Vol. 67, No. 1, p. 6
Nagle, B.R
Nelson, S., Grene, D. and Hesiod. 1998. God and the land. New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press.
Ovid, Metamorphoses in Plant, I. 2012. Myth in the ancient world. Palgrave Macmillan, South Yarra, pp. 298-311
Plant, I
Spawforth, A. 2012. Greece and the Augustan cultural revolution. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Williams, F. 1999. Daphne Transformed: Parthenius, Ovid, and EM Forster in Hermathena, No. 166, Trinity College Dublin. Pp. 45
Zanker, P
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Ovid the Metamorphoses Essay
  • Essay about Transformations in Ovid
  • Latin Ovid Amores III Essay
  • Ovid Essay
  • Ovids Metamorphisis Essay
  • Art of Love
  • Hippolytus: Seneca, Euripides, Ovid Essay
  • The Characterization of Medea in Euripides and Ovid Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free