Western Literature to Dante

Bruce A. McMenomy, Ph.D. for Scholars Online
2019-20: Mondays, 1:00 p.m.- 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time
2019

September

9   16   23   30  

October

7   14   21   28  

November

4   11   18   25  

December

2   9   16  

2020

January

6   13   20   27  

February

3   10   17   24  

March

2   9   16   23   30  

April

13   20   27  

May

4   11   18   25  

Unit VI: Augustan Rome 44 B.C - A.D. 14

Week 21: P. Ovidius Naso (Ovid), 43 B.C. - A.D. 17

Mediaeval statue of Ovid.
Mediaeval statue of Ovid. Courtesy VRoma.

By class time this week, please have read:

This week I have given you a fairly short reading from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, in hopes that we can dig into it a little bit: it’s only about five pages on my printer. The translation is a bit old and stodgy, but not as old and stodgy as the Dryden translation that was the alternative. Ovid was a poet writing in the wake of Vergil and the other Augustan poets; he was later, but not much: he was in fact banished by Augustus toward the end of his life. The trick is to get into the story and see what it implies, and how Ovid is telling it.

Consider the following questions for class discussion:

  1. What is Ovid doing here?
  2. What is the ecphrasis (relatively short) doing, and how does it compare with the others you have seen?
  3. Does Ovid have a message? A point? Or is he just telling a series of good yarns?