The Metamorphoses is a Latin narrative poem by the Roman poet Ovid, considered his magnum opus. Comprising 11,995 lines, 15 books and over 250 myths, the poem chronicles the history of the world from its creation to the deification of Julius Caesar within a loose mythico-historical framework. Although meeting the criteria for an epic, the poem defies simple genre classification by its use of varying themes and tones. Ovid took inspiration from the genre of metamorphosis poetry, some of the Metamorphoses derives from earlier treatment of the same myths. One of the most influential works in Western culture, the Metamorphoses has inspired such authors as Dante Alighieri, Giovanni Boccaccio, Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare. Numerous episodes from the poem have been depicted in acclaimed works of sculpture and music. Although interest in Ovid faded after the Renaissance, there was a resurgence of attention to his work towards the end of the 20th century. Today the Metamorphoses continues to be retold through various media.
The work has been the subject of numerous translations into English, the first by William Caxton in 1480. Ovid's decision to make myth the dominant subject of the Metamorphoses was influenced by the predisposition of Alexandrian poetry. However, whereas it served in that tradition as the cause for moral reflection or insight, he made it instead the "object of play and artful manipulation"; the model for a collection of metamorphosis myths derived from a pre-existing genre of metamorphosis poetry in the Hellenistic tradition, of which the earliest known example is Boio' Ornithogonia—a now-fragmentary poem collecting myths about the metamorphoses of humans into birds. There are three examples of Metamorphoses by Hellenistic writers, but little is known of their contents; the Heteroioumena by Nicander of Colophon is better known, an influence on the poem—21 of the stories from this work were treated in the Metamorphoses. However, in a way, typical for writers of the period, Ovid diverged from his models.
The Metamorphoses was longer than any previous collection of metamorphosis myths and positioned itself within a historical framework. Some of the Metamorphoses derives from earlier poetic treatment of the same myths; this material was of varying quality and comprehensiveness—while some of it was "finely worked", in other cases Ovid may have been working from limited material. In the case of an oft-used myth such as that of Io in Book I, the subject of literary adaptation as early as the 5th century BC, as as a generation prior to his own, Ovid reorganises and innovates existing material in order to foreground his favoured topics and to embody the key themes of the Metamorphoses. Scholars have found it difficult to place the Metamorphoses in a genre; the poem has been considered as a type of epic. The poem is considered to meet the criteria for an epic. However, the poem "handles the themes and employs the tone of every species of literature", ranging from epic and elegy to tragedy and pastoral.
Commenting on the genre debate, G. Karl Galinsky has opined that "... it would be misguided to pin the label of any genre on the Metamorphoses."The Metamorphoses is comprehensive in its chronology, recounting the creation of the world to the death of Julius Caesar, which had occurred only a year before Ovid's birth. In spite of its unbroken chronology, scholar Brooks Otis has identified four divisions in the narrative: Book I–Book II: The Divine Comedy Book III–Book VI, 400: The Avenging Gods Book VI, 401–Book XI: The Pathos of Love Book XII–Book XV: Rome and the Deified RulerOvid works his way through his subject matter in an arbitrary fashion, by jumping from one transformation tale to another, sometimes retelling what had come to be seen as central events in the world of Greek mythology and sometimes straying in odd directions, it begins with the ritual "invocation of the muse", makes use of traditional epithets and circumlocutions. But instead of following and extolling the deeds of a human hero, it leaps from story to story with little connection.
The recurring theme, as with nearly all of Ovid's work, is love—be it personal love or love personified in the figure of Amor. Indeed, the other Roman gods are perplexed and made ridiculous by Amor, an otherwise minor god of the pantheon, the closest thing this putative mock-epic has to a hero. Apollo comes in for particular ridicule as Ovid shows how irrational love can confound the god out of reason; the work as a whole inverts the accepted order, elevating humans and human passions while making the gods and their desires and conquests objects of low humor. The Metamorphoses ends with one of only two surviving Latin epics to do so; the ending acts as a declaration that everything except his poetry—even Rome—must give way to change: "Now stands my task accomp
Pausanias was a Greek traveler and geographer of the second-century AD, who lived in the time of Roman emperors Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius. He is famous for his Description of Greece, a lengthy work that describes ancient Greece from his first-hand observations; this work provides crucial information for making links between classical literature and modern archaeology. Andrew Stewart assesses him as: A careful, pedestrian writer...interested not only in the grandiose or the exquisite but in unusual sights and obscure ritual. He is careless or makes unwarranted inferences, his guides or his own notes sometimes mislead him, yet his honesty is unquestionable, his value without par. Pausanias was born in 110 AD into a Greek family and was a native of Lydia. Before visiting Greece, he had been to Antioch and Jerusalem, to the banks of the River Jordan. In Egypt, he had seen the pyramids. While at the temple of Ammon, he had been shown the hymn once sent to that shrine by Pindar. In Macedonia, he appears to have seen.
Crossing over to Italy, he had seen something of the wonders of Rome. He was one of the first known to write of seeing the ruins of Troy, Alexandria Troas, Mycenae. Pausanias' Description of Greece is in each dedicated to some portion of Greece, he begins his tour in Attica, where the city of its demes dominate the discussion. Subsequent books describe Corinthia, Messenia, Achaea, Boetia and Ozolian Locris; the project is more than topographical. Pausanias digresses from the description of architectural and artistic objects to review the mythological and historical underpinnings of the society that produced them; as a Greek writing under the auspices of the Roman empire, he was in an awkward cultural space, between the glories of the Greek past he was so keen to describe and the realities of a Greece beholden to Rome as a dominating imperial force. His work bears the marks of his attempt to navigate that space and establish an identity for Roman Greece, he is not a naturalist by any means, although from time to time, he does comment on the physical realities of the Greek landscape.
He notices the pine trees on the sandy coast of Elis, the deer and the wild boars in the oak woods of Phelloe, the crows amid the giant oak trees of Alalcomenae. It is in the last section that Pausanias touches on the products of nature, such as the wild strawberries of Helicon, the date palms of Aulis, the olive oil of Tithorea, as well as the tortoises of Arcadia and the "white blackbirds" of Cyllene. Pausanias is most of Delphi, yet in the most secluded regions of Greece, he is fascinated by all kinds of depictions of deities, holy relics, many other sacred and mysterious objects. At Thebes he views the shields of those who died at the Battle of Leuctra, the ruins of the house of Pindar, the statues of Hesiod, Arion and Orpheus in the grove of the Muses on Helicon, as well as the portraits of Corinna at Tanagra and of Polybius in the cities of Arcadia. Pausanias has the instincts of an antiquary; as his modern editor, Christian Habicht, has said, In general, he prefers the old to the new, the sacred to the profane.
Some magnificent and dominating structures, such as the Stoa of King Attalus in the Athenian Agora or the Exedra of Herodes Atticus at Olympia are not mentioned. Unlike a Baedeker guide, in Periegesis Pausanias stops for a brief excursus on a point of ancient ritual or to tell an apposite myth, in a genre that would not become popular again until the early nineteenth century. In the topographical part of his work, Pausanias is fond of digressions on the wonders of nature, the signs that herald the approach of an earthquake, the phenomena of the tides, the ice-bound seas of the north, the noonday sun that at the summer solstice, casts no shadow at Syene. While he never doubts the existence of the deities and heroes, he sometimes criticizes the myths and legends relating to them, his descriptions of monuments of art are unadorned. They bear the impression of reality, their accuracy is confirmed by the extant remains, he is frank in his confessions of ignorance. When he quotes a book at second hand he takes pains to say so.
The work left faint traces in the known Greek corpus. "It was not read", Habicht relates. The only manuscripts of Pausanias are three fifteenth-century copies, full of errors and lacunae, which all appear to depend on a single manuscript that survived to be copied. Niccolò Niccoli had this archetype in Florence in 1418. At his death in 1437, it went to the library of San Marco, Florence it disappeared after 1500; until twentieth-century archaeologists concluded that Pausanias was a reliable guide to the sites they were excavating, Pausanias was la
In Greek mythology, Oeneus was a Calydonian king. He introduced wine-making to Aetolia, which he learned from Dionysus and the first who received a vine-plant from the same god. Oeneus was the son of King Porthaon and Euryte, thus, brother of Agrius, Melas and Sterope, he married Althaea and became the father of Deianeira, Toxeus, Periphas, Thyreus, Eurymede and Perimede. See Meleagrids. Oeneus was the father of Tydeus and Melanippus or Olenias by Periboea, daughter of Hipponous, though Tydeus was exiled from Aetolia and appears in myths concerning Argos. According to Pausanias, Mothone was a daughter of Oeneus by a concubine. In some accounts, Polyxo was called the sister of Meleager and thus, can be counted among the daughters of Oeneus. Oeneus slew his son Toxeus by his own hand; when Dionysus had come as a guest to Oineus he fell in love with Althaea and the king realizing this, he voluntarily left the city and pretended to be performing sacred rites. But Dionysus laid with Althaea. To Oineus, because of his generous hospitality, he gave the vine as a gift, showed him how to plant it, decreed that its fruit should be called oinos from the name of his host.
Since Oineus had made sacrifices yearly to all the gods during the harvest ceremonies, but had omitted to honor Artemis, who in anger, sent a boar of immense size to lay waste the district of Calydon. He sent out his son Meleager who promised that he would go with chosen leaders to attack the Calydonian Boar. So began the Calydonian Hunt during which the boar was killed by Atalanta and Meleager. However, an argument began as to who should take the boar's skin as a prize: Meleager gave it to Atalanta, but two of his maternal uncles, sons of Thestius, wanted the trophy for themselves, claiming that it belonged to them by the right of birth if Meleager did not want it. Meleager, in rage, killed them, which resulted in a war between the Calydonians and the Curetes, in which all of Oeneus' sons, including Meleager, fell; when Hipponoüs of Olenus, angered at his daughter Periboea because she claimed that she was with child by Ares, sent her away into Aetolia to Oeneus with orders for him to do away with him at the first opportunity.
Oeneus, who had lost son and wife, was unwilling to slay Periboea, but married her instead and begat a son Tydeus. The sons of Oeneus' brother Agrius deposed him but Diomedes, his grandson through Tydeus, put Oeneus back on the Calydonian throne. Oeneus either died of natural causes or was killed by the surviving sons of Agrius who laid an ambush against him while Diomedes was transporting him to Peloponessus, he was buried in Argos by Diomedes, a town was named Oenoe after him. Antoninus Liberalis, The Metamorphoses of Antoninus Liberalis translated by Francis Celoria. Online version at the Topos Text Project. Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History translated by Charles Henry Oldfather. Twelve volumes. Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. Vol. 3. Books 4.59–8. Online version at Bill Thayer's Web Site Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica. Vol 1-2. Immanel Bekker. Ludwig Dindorf. Friedrich Vogel. in aedibus B. G. Teubneri. Leipzig. 1888-1890. Greek text available at the Perseus Digital Library.
Gaius Julius Hyginus, Fabulae from The Myths of Hyginus translated and edited by Mary Grant. University of Kansas Publications in Humanistic Studies. Online version at the Topos Text Project. Pausanias, Description of Greece with an English Translation by W. H. S. Jones, Litt. D. and H. A. Ormerod, M. A. in 4 Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio. 3 vols. Leipzig, Teubner. 1903. Greek text available at the Perseus Digital Library. Pseudo-Apollodorus, The Library with an English Translation by Sir James George Frazer, F. B. A. F. R. S. in 2 Volumes, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Greek text available from the same website
Pelias was king of Iolcus in Greek mythology. The son of Tyro and the god Poseidon, he was the one who sent Jason on the quest for the Golden Fleece. Pelias was the son of Poseidon, his wife is recorded as daughter of Bias, or Phylomache, daughter of Amphion. He was the father of Acastus, Alcestis, Hippothoe, Evadne, Asteropeia and Medusa. Tyro was married to King Cretheus of Iolcus, with whom she had three sons, Pherês, Amythaon, but she loved Enipeus, a river god, she pursued Enipeus. One day, filled with lust for Tyro, disguised himself as Enipeus and lay with her - from their union were born twin sons and Neleus. Tyro exposed her sons on a mountain to die, but they were found by a herdsman who raised them as his own, as one story goes, or they were raised by a maid; when they reached adulthood and Neleus found Tyro and killed her stepmother Sidero for having mistreated her. Pelias was power-hungry and he wished to gain dominion over all of Thessaly. To this end, he banished Neleus and Pherês, locked Aeson in the dungeons in Iolcus.
While in the dungeons, Aeson married and had several children, most famously, Jason. Aeson sent Jason away from Iolcus in fear that Pelias would have him killed as a potential heir to the throne. Jason grew in the care of Chiron the centaur, on the slopes of Mount Pelion, to be educated while Pelias, fearing that he would be overthrown, was warned by an oracle to beware a man wearing one sandal. Many years Pelias offered a sacrifice by the sea in honor of Poseidon. Jason, summoned with many others to take part in the sacrifice, lost one of his sandals in the flooded river Anaurus while rushing to Iolcus. In Virgil's Aeneid and Hyginus' Fabulae, Hera/Juno disguised herself as an old woman, whom Jason helped across the river when he lost his sandal; when Jason entered Iolcus, he was announced as a man wearing one sandal. Fearful, Pelias asked Jason. Jason responded. Pelias sent him to retrieve the Golden Fleece, it would be found in a grove sacred to Ares, the god of war. Though the Golden Fleece hung on an oak tree, this was a impossible task, as an ever-watchful dragon guarded it.
Jason made preparations by commanding the shipwright Argus to build a ship large enough for fifty men, which he would call the Argo. These heroes who would join his quest were known as the Argonauts. Upon their arrival, Jason requested the Golden Fleece from the king of Aeëtes. Aeëtes demanded that Jason must first yoke a pair of fire-breathing bulls to a plough and sow dragon's teeth into the earth. Medea, daughter of Aeëtes, fell in love with Jason, being endowed with magical powers, aided him in his completion of the difficult task, she cast a spell to put the dragon to sleep, enabling Jason to obtain the Golden Fleece from the oak tree. Jason and the Argonauts fled Colchis and began their journey home to Thessaly. During Jason's absence, Pelias thought the Argo had sunk, this was what he told Aeson and Promachus, who committed suicide by drinking poison. However, it is possible that the two were both killed directly by Pelias; when Jason and Medea returned, Pelias still refused to give up his throne.
Medea conspired to have Pelias' own daughters kill him. She told them she could turn an old ram into a young ram by boiling it. During the demonstration, a live, young ram jumped out of the pot. Excited, the girls cut their father into pieces and threw them into a pot, in the expectation that he would emerge rejuvenated. Pelias, of course, did not survive; as he was now an accessory to a terrible crime, Jason was still not made king. Pelias' son Acastus banished Jason and Medea, to Corinth, so reclaimed the kingdom. An alternate telling of the story has Medea slitting the throat of Jason's father Aeson, who she really does revive as a much younger man. Media related to Pelias at Wikimedia Commons
Bibliotheca historica, is a work of universal history by Diodorus Siculus. It consisted of forty books; the first six books are geographical in theme, describe the history and culture of Egypt, of Mesopotamia, India and Arabia, of North Africa, of Greece and Europe. In the next section, he recounts the history of the world starting with the Trojan War, down to the death of Alexander the Great; the last section concern the historical events from the successors of Alexander down to either 60 BC or the beginning of Caesar's Gallic War in 59 BC. He selected the name "Bibliotheca" in acknowledgement that he was assembling a composite work from many sources. Of the authors he drew from, some who have been identified include: Hecataeus of Abdera, Ctesias of Cnidus, Theopompus, Hieronymus of Cardia, Duris of Samos, Philistus, Timaeus and Posidonius. Diodorus' immense work has not survived intact; the rest exists only in fragments preserved in Photius and the excerpts of Constantine Porphyrogenitus. The earliest date Diodorus mentions is his visit to Egypt in the 180th Olympiad.
This visit was marked by his witnessing an angry mob demand the death of a Roman citizen who had accidentally killed a cat, an animal sacred to the ancient Egyptians. The latest event Diodorus mentions is Octavian's vengeance on the city of Tauromenium, whose refusal to help him led to Octavian's naval defeat nearby in 36 BC. Diodorus shows no knowledge that Egypt became a Roman province—which transpired in 30 BC—so he published his completed work before that event. Diodorus asserts that he devoted thirty years to the composition of his history, that he undertook a number of dangerous journeys through Europe and Asia in prosecution of his historical researches. Modern critics have called this claim into question, noting several surprising mistakes that an eye-witness would not be expected to have made. In the Bibliotheca historica, Diodorus sets out to write a universal history, covering the entire world and all periods of time; each book opens with a table of its contents and a preface discussing the relevance of history, issues in the writing of history or the significance of the events discussed in that book.
These are now agreed to be Diodorus' own work. The degree to which the text that follows is derived from earlier historical works is debated; the first five books describe the history and culture of different regions, without attempting to determine the relative chronology of events. Diodorus expresses serious doubts that such chronology is possible for barbarian lands and the distant past; the resulting books have affinities with the genre of geography. Books six to ten, which covered the transition from mythical times to the archaic period, are entirely lost. By book ten he had taken up an annalistic structure, narrating all the events throughout the world in each year before moving on to the next one. Books eleven to twenty, which are intact and cover events between 480 BC and 302 BC, maintain this annalistic structure. Books twenty-one to forty, which brought the work down to Diodorus' own lifetime, terminating around 60 BC, are lost. Book one opens with a prologue on the work as a whole, arguing for the importance of history and universal history in particular.
The rest of the book is divided into two halves. In the first half he covers the development of civilisation in Egypt. A long discussion of the theories offered by different Greek scholars to explain the annual floods of the River Nile serves to showcase Diodorus' wide-reading. In the second half he presents the history of the country, its customs and religion, in a respectful tone, his main sources are believed to be Hecataeus of Agatharchides of Cnidus. This book has only a short prologue outlining its contents; the majority of the book is devoted to the history of the Assyrians, focussed on the mythical conquests of Ninus and Semiramis, the fall of the dynasty under the effeminate Sardanapallus, the origins of the Medes who overthrew them. This section is explicitly derived from the account of Ctesias of Cnidus; the rest of the book is devoted to describing the various other peoples of Asia. He first describes India, drawing on Megasthenes the Scythians of the Eurasian steppe, including the Amazons and the Hyperboreans) and Arabia Felix.
He finishes the book with an account of the traveller Iambulus' journey to a group of islands in the Indian Ocean, which appears to be based on a Hellenistic utopian novel. In this book, Diodorus describes the geography of North Africa including Ethiopia, the gold mines of Egypt, the Persian Gulf and Libya, where he sites mythical figures including the Gorgons, Amazons and Atlas. Based on the writings on Agatharchides, Diodorus describes gold mining in Egypt, with horrible working conditions: And those who have been condemned in this way—and they are a great multitude and are all bound in chains—work at their task unceasingly both by day and throughout the entire night... For no leniency or respite of any kind is given to any man, sick, or maimed, or aged, or in the case of a woman for her weakness, but all without exception are compelled by bl
Aetolia is a mountainous region of Greece on the north coast of the Gulf of Corinth, forming the eastern part of the modern regional unit of Aetolia-Acarnania. The Achelous River separates Aetolia from Acarnania to the west. In classical times Aetolia comprised two parts: Old Aetolia in the west, from the Achelous to the Evenus and Calydon; the country has a level and fruitful coastal region, but an unproductive and mountainous interior. The mountains contained many wild beasts, acquired fame in Greek mythology as the scene of the hunt for the Calydonian Boar. Tribes known as Curetes – named after the nearby mountain Kourion, or just to stand out from the Acarnanians, who were called so because they were unshorn – and Leleges inhabited the country, but at an early period Greeks from Elis, led by the mythical eponym Aetolus, set up colonies. Dionysius of Halicarnassus mentions that Curetes was the old name of the Aetolians and Leleges the old name of the Locrians; the Aetolians took part under their king Thoas.
The mountain tribes of Aetolia were the Ophioneis, the Apodotoi, the Agraeis, the Aperantoi and the Eurytanians. The primitive lifestyle of those tribes made an impression on ancient historians. Polybius doubted their Greek heritage, while Livy reports that they spoke a language similar to the Macedonians. On the other hand, Thucydides claims that Eurytanians spoke a difficult language and ate their food raw, they were semi-barbaric and predatory. They worshiped Apollo as god of Artemis as goddess of wilderness, they worshiped Athena, not as goddess of wisdom, but emphasizing the element of war – i.e. a goddess, a counterbalance to the god Ares. They called Artemis "Laphrios gods," i.e. patrons of the spoils and loot of war. In addition, they worshiped the river Achelous and Bacchus. In Thermos, an area north of Trichonis lake, there was after the 7th century a shrine of Apollo “Thermios,” which became a significant religious center during the time of the Aetolian League; the Aetolians refused to participate in the Persian Wars.
In 426 BC, led by Aegitios, they defeated the Athenians and their allies, who had turned against Apodotia and Ophioneia under the general command of Demosthenes. However, they failed to regain Naupaktos, which had meanwhile been conquered by the Corinthians with the aid of the Athenians. At the end of the Peloponnesian War, the Aetolians took part as mercenaries of the Athenians in the expedition against Syracuse; the Achaeans occupied Calydon, but the Aetolians recovered it in 361 BC. In 338 BC, Naupaktos was again taken by the Aetolians, with the help of Philip II. During the Lamian War, the Aetolians helped the Athenian general Leosthenes defeat Antipater; as a result, they came into conflict with Antipater and Craterus, taking great risks, but were saved by the disagreement between the two Macedonian generals and Perdiccas. The Acarnanians attempted to invade their land, but the Aetolians were able to force them to flee; the Aetolians set up the Aetolian League, in early times. It soon became a powerful confederation and by c. 340 BC it became one of the leading military powers in ancient Greece.
It had been organized during the reign of Philip II by the cities of Aetolia for their mutual benefit and protection and became a formidable rival to the Macedonian monarchs and the Achaean League. The great courage shown by the Aetolians during the fighting against the Macedonians increased their glamour and fame after winning the last Amphictyonic war and more after repulsing the Gallic invasion under Brennus and rescuing the sanctuary of Delphi. Subsequently, the Sotiria Games were established in honour of Zeus the Saviour; the Aetolians’ power magnified with the occupation of the lands of Ozoloi and Phocians, as well as Boeotia. They united under the power of their League in the areas of Tegea, Orchomenus and Phigaleia. Between 220 -- 217 BC, the Social War broke out between the Aetolian Leagues; the war was first started by the Aetolians with the help of the Eleans. Allies of the Achaeans were the Macedonians, the Boeotians, the Phocians, the Epirotes, the Acarnanians and the Messenians.
The Aetolians allied with the Romans, while Philip destroyed the temple of Apollo Thermios and allied with the Carthaginians. The Aetolians continued to fight on the side of the Romans in the Battle of Cynoscephalae, ignoring the great dangers looming for Greece as a result of this alliance; the Aetolians took the side of Antiochus III against the Roman Republic, on the defeat of that monarch in 189 BC, they became the subjects of Rome. Following the conquest of the Achaeans by Lucius Mummius Achaicus in 146 BC, Aetolia became part of the Roman province of Achaea; when the Roman garrisons were withdrawn because of the civil wars in Rome, the Aetolians, began to fight each other. Following Octavius’ victory at the Battle of Actium, the Aetolians who had sided with Antony disbanded completely. Octavius handed Calydon over to the Achaeans, who devastated it and moved the statue of Artemis Laphria to Patras. There were subsequent invasions by Goths and Vandals several centuries at the end of the Roman Empire.
Aetolia's reputation has suffered from a rather hostile treatment in the sources. Polybius is considered now to have a h