Il numero 16 di Aevum Antiquum accoglie nel FORUM gli interventi proposti al convegno QUOT ADERANT VATES, REBAR ADESSE DEOS. LA FORMAZIONE DI OVIDIO, organizzato da Luigi Galasso e svoltosi presso l’Università Cattolica del S. Cuore di Milano il 17-18 novembre 2016: le giornate di studio ovidiane hanno anticipato di qualche settimana le celebrazioni del bimillenario della morte di Ovidio (2017), proponendo un approfondimento sugli anni formativi della sua vita e mettendone in luce la complessità umana e culturale. Hanno contribuito alla discussione E. Berti, S. Casali, L. Galasso, V. Garulli, F. Montana, R. Nicolai, T. Thorsen.
Aevum Antiquum issue 16 includes in the FORUM the contributions to the congress QUOT ADERANT VATES, REBAR ADESSE DEOS. THE FORMATION OF OVID, organized by Luigi Galasso and held at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan on 17-18 November 2016: the congress anticipated a few weeks the celebrations of the bimillenary of the death of Ovid (2017) and offered an in-depth analysis of his formative years, highlighting his human and cultural complexity. The authors are E. Berti, S. Casali, L. Galasso, V. Garulli, F. Montana, R. Nicolai, T. Thorsen.
The aim of this paper is to offer a re-reading of the portrait of the young Ovid as a student of rhetoric and declaimer sketched out by Seneca the Elder (contr. II 2, 8-12). A thorough analysis of the informations provided by Seneca may allow a more precise understanding of Ovid’s rhetorical training and a better-grounded evaluation of its significance for Ovid’s later poetic career.
In his autobiographical poem, Tristia IV 10, Ovid reviews his poetic career from the perspective of his exile. Quite strangely, however, he makes no reference at all to his major works, the Medea, the Fasti, and the Metamorphoses (only recalled through allusion at line 129). He presents himself as tenerorum lusor Amorum (echoing both his ‘epitaph’, trist. III 3, 73, and am. III 15, 1), and keeps making reference both explicitly and through allusions only to his amatory works. On the other side, he does not mention the Ars amatoria as a cause of his exile, referring only to his notorious error, and declares that Livor has never bitten any of his works, a disconcerting affirmation in the light of Livor’s role at the beginning of am. I 15 and at rem. 361-396. Ovid’s intertextual strategies and his constant revisions of his poetic career (especially in the Amores) are studied in order to make sense of the strange and contradictory self-portrait which emerges from trist. IV 10 and other poems from Ovid’s exile (such as trist. II, III 3, V 1 (a ‘recantation’ of IV 10), Pont. III 3). Trist. IV 10 appears to be an emphatic and daring statement on Ovid’s part on the immortal fame he has attained with his amatory works, including the Ars, in spite of Augustus’ persecution.
In the last decades, pioneering studies argued that the debt owed by Vergil to the Homeric epic is not disjunct from a knowledge of the Hellenistic exegetical tradition on the part of the Latin poet. In more recent times, the same kind of sophisticated relationship was explored for Horace and the Greek archaic lyrics as well as for Ovid and Homer. In this paper, after a survey on the spread of the Greek literary culture and scholarship in Rome under Augustus, three study-cases are proposed of possible Ovid’s reception of mythical traditions in the Metamorphoses under the influence of the Alexandrian exegesis on Pindar.
The paper aims at outlining the situation of Greek men of letters in Rome at Ovidius’ time, identifying the main categories (poets, grammarians, rhetoricians, historians, philosophers) and the most representative figures. The number of these men of letters, their relationships with Roman aristocracy, with the court and with the Emperor himself show that they played an important role in Roman high society at the beginnings of the Empire and that the knowledge of Greek language was more widespread than is usually acknowledged.
The main argument of this paper is that Amores I 5, a key poem in the work with which Ovid claims to have to begun his literary career, activates specific features of the legacy of Pompey the Great mediated through both the monument that Pompey built for himself and through works of Augustan literature composed after Pompey’s death.
In spite of the abundance of sources of various nature on the Hellenistic period, the dynamics of most of the military events which took place then are still obscure. Numerous, however, are the epigraphic poems commemorating individual soldiers who fought in those battles, and often died in action. Rich in literary topoi and imagery derived from the previous epic, epigrammatic and elegiac tradition, Hellenistic epitaphs, not unlike court poetry of the same period, offer a representation of contemporary wars through the lenses of the literary conventions and in the light of the poetic reinvention of the previous historical and mythical wars. Some of the traditional literary images here discussed also resurface, unexpectedly, in modern war poetry (the paper is specifically focusing on in WWI poetry in English). This contribution is one in a series of articles proposing a survey of the contents of Hellenistic epigrams on soldiers.
In Cratinus’ Seriphioi 223, 1 K.-A., Perseus is informed of the populations that he is going to face during his journey to Medusa’s land. In the text transmitted by the manuscripts, one of these populations is Sakai. However, in order to make Perseus’ route more geographically coherent, Kassel and Austin accept Holstein’s emendation Sabai. Instead of taking Holstein’s emendation for granted, this paper argues for the political implication of Cratinus’ naming of Sakai.
Analysis of two ways of approaching the classics, apparently different but with underlying aspects in common, respectively in the fields of literature and visual art. In his lyric O Reginella (Myricae2, 1892) Giovanni Pascoli uses the techniques of the Hellenistic and Roman poets, contaminating his literary sources and reusing epic models to describe the humble life of his rural characters: adopting the role of Odysseus in Od. VI, and combining fragments from three different passages (vv. 25-30, 62-65, 154-159), he addresses his makarismos to a girl (a new Nausicaa) who has stretched out her white laundry in the meadows. The theme of ‘Reginella’, born from his readings of Homer, often returns in his poetic works (poems, letters, handwritten notes): he adapts it to different poetic characters, sometimes imaginary, sometimes inspired by the figures of his real life. If Pascoli highlights his literary sources with a purposed allusive technique, in his painting Der Kuss (1907-1908) Klimt at first sight seems to hide them: the canvas is, in my opinion, inspired by the hierogamy of Zeus and Hera in Iliad XIV 341-351, whose archetypal value also stems from the fact that this is the first erotic scene in Western literature. All the details described by Homer are present here: the gold cloud surroundings the lovers, the golden dew falling from the sky, the flowery meadow below them. Even a detail often ignored or misunderstood – the edge of cliff on which the two lovers are almost hovering – can find a more convincing explanation: the Hieros Gamos of the divine couple takes place on the Gargaron, the highest peak of Mount Ida (Il. XIV 292 s. e 352). The Homeric scene, which inspired many ancient and modern artists, is here reinterpreted according to the personal style of the artist, who was attracted – at this stage of its production (the so called golden period) – by the myths of Zeus’ loves: in the same years he painted Danae (1907-1908), impregnated by Zeus turned into a golden rain, and in 1917 Leda, who was loved by Zeus in the form of a swan.
In this article, I investigate intrageneric occurrence in dithyramb by using Bacchylides 19 as a case in point. My aim is to demonstrate how this narrative rendition of the Io story infiltrates features of the maiden-song (partheneion). Starting-point is the typology of ‘a maiden’s abduction’ from a ritual environment dedicated to a goddess, which E. Bowie designated as aetiological story for the maiden-songs. I analyse the narrative’s two references to the aetiology-laden term maiden in a context that exemplifies the epic hymn’s relation to the maiden-song.