CT253 Lecture Notes - Pan (God), Elizabeth Grosz, Roman Republic
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Ancients and Moderns
November 7, 2012
Week 9, Wednesday
Ovid- Michael Moore roman comparison to American's
ovid died in the year 17 C.E
Ovid left a record of the stories and myths that constituted the Hellenic imagination
Ovid was widely read in his day, but as christian culture ascended, the greek mythic imagination went
into decline, awaiting rediscovery
In the 11th century- Ovid became a standard reading in the cathedral schools of Medieval Europe, which
spurred a renewd interest in classical greece and Rome, which came to full fruition in the renaissance
and again in german and english romanticism.
Metamorphisis: people turning into stones, stones turning into people ; stories were quite popular.
Identity knowledge and reflection and how that relates to self knowledge.
Ovid born in 43 B.C.E. And died around 17 C.E in exile.
Trouble with leaders and authorities in Rome.
Rome: emerges as a republic around 500 BCE so what does that mean? It was a monarchy, people got
together, first democratic revolution we know of, later one in athens.
Hereditary inheritince in spiritual kingship.
The senate: was an appointed body, has problems.
Roman republic begins a system of checks and balances- seperate powers between army, judiciary and
Ovid lived fairly normal, domestic life.
EXILED: erotic love poetry (emperor was quite conservative, didn't like it) also a strong political critic.
Culturally very important. Book through many of the most important myths were preserved and handed
down to european culture.
Formally, this book is an epic, in that the story begins at the beginning, with creation and works
through to Ovid's present.
End of paganism
An important context in which to situate Ovid's work is that it marks the beginning of the slow
transition for a Hellenistic dominated to a christian dominated european world.
Plutarch wrote a treatise titled “On the failure (or obsolescence) of Oracles” Deals with the theme of
Literature and the Gods
There was a time when the Greek gods were not just a literary cliche, but an event, a sudden apparition
“Every primordial age is one in which it is said that the gods have ALMOST disappeared” (4-5)
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