¶ … Duly do ye worship the goddess, ye Latin mothers and brides, and ye, too, who wear not the fillets and long robe.13 Take off the golden necklaces from the marble neck of the goddess14; take off her gauds; the goddess must be washed from top to toe." (Ovid and Fantham)
OVID, a Latin poet, who gained fame and success in 1st Century BC and early 1st Century AD in Rome is best known for his works during the reign of the Emperor Augustus. His works include Heroides, Metamorphoses, and Fasti. Fasti is an unfinished series of six books of poems that depict the initial six months of the Roman calendar. The month of April which is in book 4, will be analyzed for its beautiful use of language and style. Book IV or 4, covers the telling of stories of the three daughter of Minyas which include forbidden love, godly affairs, and sexual escapades.
The three daughters of Minyas bored of worshipping Bacchus sit together to tell tales of romance, adventure, and lust. The first one, who remained unnamed, starts her story of the forbidden love of Thisbe and Pyramus. A classic story of fathers opposing the couple, they elect to run away to bathe in corporeal delights. Now the story can automatically be determined as Roman because Bacchus is the Roman name for the god of wine. If he had used Dionysus, the reader would have assumed it was Greek. From here the first daughter explains that Thisbe, upon being the first to arrive sees a lioness...
Upon seeing her belongings on the ground, Pyramus assumes the worse and commits suicide by sword to the belly. Thisbe, seeing her lover dead, also commits suicide.
This is a great way to tie into Greek mythology because many Greek mythologies were tragedies that ended in suicide or murder, sometimes both. So for OVID to make the story of the unnamed daughter a tragedy, he was thus providing a transition from Roman to Greek mythology. He used the means of death as a bridge to link both the Roman aspects of God names and the tragic endings of Greek stories.
The second daughter, named Leuconoe, explains of the story of Vulcan and Venus and the love affair Venus had with Mars. Now this is Roman because again, the God names are of Roman origin. Although the tale uses Roman names, Greek mythology includes Aphrodite or Venus marrying Hephaestus or Vulcan. The added play on the Sun snitching on Venus to Vulcan made the affair that much more heated because Venus, enraged, makes the Sun fall in love with a moral, Leucothoe.
Just like in Greek myths when Gods interfere with the lives of mortals and make them fall in love, Venus made Vulcan love Leucothoe. As the wife of the Sun finds out of the affair, much like Vulcan did, she seeks revenge on the woman and she gets buried alive, to the dismay of the Sun. Greek myths often show women having a revenge streak. This is seen in Hera and her hatred of Hercules and Aphrodite with her involvement in the Phaedra-stepson debacle. Greek Gods loved to meddle in the affairs of mortals and in this tale it is no different. And like the tale before it, it ends tragically, meaning bad news for both Venus and the Sun.
The third daughter, named Alcithoe, shares the last and final love story. Similar to the spurn and burn felt by Phaedra through Hippolytus contempt for her, Salmacis gets…
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