From Calathos to Carmen: Metapoetics in the Story of the Daughters of Minyas (Ovid Metamorphoses 4)

Ohrman, Magdalena (2014) From Calathos to Carmen: Metapoetics in the Story of the Daughters of Minyas (Ovid Metamorphoses 4). In: Spinning Fates and the Song of the Loom: The Use of Textiles, Clothing and Cloth Production as Metaphor, Symbol and Narrative Device in Greek and Latin Literature. Oxbow, Oxford.

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This paper discusses Ovid's tale of the daughters of Minyas in Ov. Met. 4. It adds to the extensive discussion of metapoetics in Ovid’s tale of the daughters of Minyas (Ov. Met. 4.1-415). It suggests that Ovid uses the description of the Minyeides to signpost his willingness to engage with other genres. The focus, however, is not the adoption of tragic or elegiac themes in the sisters’ stories, nor their use of elegiac vocabulary. Instead, this paper focuses on stylistic features, supported by, but not inherently dependent on, the medium of elegiac verse or metre, and on how Ovid adapts them even within the hexameter text of the Metamorphoses. One such stylistic convention found in elegy is what one might loosely call stichic organisation of content, which the paper aims to show is present in Ov. Met. 4.32-41. The paper provides a close reading of the frame narrative of the Minyeides and their reluctance to embrace the cult of Bacchus, highlighting how Ovid’s text alternates between sympathy for and condemnation of the Minyeides’ actions. This shows that a pattern of stylised alternation is realised in the Metamorphoses without the motivation or support of explicit metrical alternation between hexameter and pentameter. Similar to the function of such stichic content organisation in elegiac verse, I argue that this stylistic feature is employed in Met. 4.32-41 in order to emphasie differences between the two opposing value systems at war in this episode, between old and new, and between the conservative worship of Minerva and the newly introduced cult of Bacchus.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ovid, Classical philology
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PA Classical philology
Divisions: Institutes and Academies > Institute of Education and Humanities > Academic Discipline: Humanities and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Magdalena Ohrman
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2016 08:01
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2023 10:47

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