From 2.00pm until 5.00pm
At ONLINE ONLY
Ovid's Metamorphoses - ONLINE
Saturday 8th August 2020 2-5pm
‘I want to speak about bodies changed into new forms. You, gods, since you are the ones who alter these, and all other things, inspire my attempt, and spin out a continuous thread of words, from the world's first origins to my own time …’. The Metamorphoses is a twelve-thousand-line poem arranged loosely in chronological order from the beginning of the universe's creation to the Augustan Rome of Ovid's own time. Throughout the fifteen books making up the Metamorphoses, the idea of change is pervasive. Gods are continually transforming their own selves and shapes, as well as the shapes and beings of humans. The theme of power is also ever-present in Ovid's work. The gods as depicted by the Roman poets are wrathful, vengeful and capricious, forever turning their powers against weaker mortals and half-mortals, especially females. Ovid's own situation as a poet who was exiled because of Augustus' capriciousness is reflected in his depictions of the relationships between the gods and humans. By studying a representative number of episodes from the Metamorphoses this Saturday Afternoon Seminar investigates the concepts, functions, and criticism of transformation in the Greco-Roman world.
It is not necessary to have read the Metamorphoses in full before attending the course, but it would be useful to have researched the poem and have a broad understanding of the themes that it explores. This information can be obtained from online encyclopaedia-style sources.