|Ovid Metamorphoses BOOK SEVEN
Chat Transcript 5
Mar. 19, 1999
|18:50 Myrrhine Philemon enters...
18:51 Myrrhine Philemon: *settles into the corner b/c she hasn't kept up with the reading*
18:57 Torrey Philemon enters...
18:58 Torrey Philemon: Hmm. Is that a Myrrhine I see hiding in the corner?
18:59 Myrrhine Philemon: *peeking out from behind her book* yes ... I'm feeling guilty because I haven't got much to say ..
19:00 Torrey Philemon: Well, I don't know that I have much to say tonight myself (I know, that's a change!)....Maybe a combination of different people and questions etc. will stimulate us both.....
19:01 Myrrhine Philemon: I hope so ... I'm hoping I can spend some time taking in the more literary approach tonight
19:02 Torrey Philemon: Just heard from Morgana that she's coming but is going to be late.
19:03 Myrrhine Philemon: I really appreciated her posts ... I think I come at Ovid the same way that she does ...
19:05 Torrey Philemon: She just said she'll be here fairly soon.
19:05 Myrrhine Philemon: Oh good ... I wonder if the others will be here? Have you heard from them?
19:08 Torrey Philemon: I haven't been online all day.....not feeling well at all....I thought Phya indicated she'd be here though.
19:09 Torrey Philemon: Any particular topics of interest to you right now, Myrrhine? Jason and Medea, Cephalus and Procris, Arachne, Philomela, the Plague......
19:10 Myrrhine Philemon: Jason and Medea certainly - it is so different from Euripides version which is one of my favourite plays ...
19:10 Torrey Philemon: Phya's essay questions sounded very difficult.
19:11 Myrrhine Philemon: I think I said in a post a while ago that the Philomela story was more like Euripides Medea that Medea was
19:11 Torrey Philemon: I haven't read that particular Euripides play. How do you perceive it being different than Ovid's version?
19:11 Myrrhine Philemon: I think it's in the approach .. Euripides' Medea is a much more passionate, human character ...
19:13 Torrey Philemon: In the play, does Jason falls in love with Glauce, right, and reject Medea, and she's insanely jealous? And kills not only Glauce with the robe but also her two kids?
19:14 Myrrhine Philemon: yes that's right ... but right up until the murder of the children I felt great compassion for her, even though she was doing these horrible things
19:15 Torrey Philemon: Ovid really doesn't develop the character of Medea at all except in the long passage I quoted in which she's expressing her inner conflict initially. Then everything else is sketchy. Both this story and the Cephalus story seem different than many of Ovid's stories.
19:16 Torrey Philemon: What do you think helps you feel compassion for her? That you can understand her anger and jealousy, at being so betrayed?
19:17 Myrrhine Philemon: Euripides builds up the betrayal ... he makes you feel that Jason is ungrateful, unworthy ...
19:18 Torrey Philemon: It would be easy to interpret the story that Jason married her only to get her help, and when she served her purpose, he turned from her. He could have been totally self-serving.
19:19 Myrrhine Philemon: Yes, that's exactly how you feel ... she sacrifices everything for him and he dumps her to climb the social ladder
19:19 Torrey Philemon: Though I read in several versions of the story they were married for ten years and he was "loyal" those 10 years.....and there's a version that says he married Glauce for political reasons only. So many different interpretations. I wonder why Ovid's is so sketchy. It's like he let an unfinished draft get published.
19:20 Torrey Philemon: Having read Virgil with FabBib, I'm reminded of Dido. But Dido turned her anger against herself when she felt used and betrayed by Aeneas.
19:21 Myrrhine Philemon: yes, it's interesting ... my copy of the Metamophoses makes references where the note maker thinks Ovid is sending up Virgil or using some other source but because I'm not familiar with alot of the references I miss them
19:22 Torrey Philemon: Did you read the Dido story? You don't have to read the the whole Aeneid to read it. It's mostly book four I think.
19:23 Torrey Philemon: Medea's rage sounds a bit like Hera's when she catches Zeus being unfaithful. She'll stop at nothing to cause suffering.....
19:23 Myrrhine Philemon: I tried to read it a while ago and got caught up with other things ... I'll go back to it when I have time ...
19:25 Torrey Philemon: But you know how Ovid portrayed Envy earlier, in such detail? He could have gone much more deeply into Medea's feelings and reactions, but he doesn't. He just presents a bare sketch of what she does.
19:26 Myrrhine Philemon: Yes, I can see the similarity with Hera ... I found her witchcraft interesting in Ovid too, it's played down in Euripides
19:27 Aldicius Amaru enters...
19:27 Torrey Philemon: Do you know what sources Bullfinch uses? Maybe a combination. He plays up the witchcraft in the online version.
19:27 Aldicius Amaru: Hello, all.
19:27 Myrrhine Philemon: Morgana mentioned that there is no metamorphoses in her story either ... I wonder why it was included
19:28 Myrrhine Philemon: hello Alidicius
19:28 Torrey Philemon: There really isn't metamorphoses in the Procris story too, except that Cephalus disguises himself (perhaps that could be called a metamorphoses)....
19:29 Torrey Philemon: Morgana's supposed to be here at any moment. That will make four of us here.
19:30 Myrrhine Philemon: I'm looking forward to your comment Aldicius ... I haven't got the background to Ovid that you have
19:31 Aldicius Amaru: You should read Galinsky on Metamorphoses. It's his contention that the poem isn't really about mythic metamorphoses, but about the metamorphosis of myth itself by Ovid, who in the process created something entirely new and original.
19:31 Aldicius Amaru: Thank you, Myrrhine.
19:32 Myrrhine Philemon: really? I can see how you could come to that conclusion when you read other versions of the myths
19:33 Aldicius Amaru: In fact, the comment about Bulfinch is very interesting, because Galinsky specifically says that Ovid is *not* a poetic Bulfinch, sho just puts the old versions into hexametre.
19:34 Torrey Philemon: It's typically Ovid that he has Aphrodite and Cupid responsible for Medea falling in love with Jason. There's a version in which she uses Jason as an excuse to leave, and one in which Jason uses spells to get HER to fall in love with him.
19:35 Aldicius Amaru enters...
19:36 Aldicius Amaru: Sorry, my screen keeps going blank, and the only way I can get read the text is to reload.
19:39 Myrrhine Philemon: really? I can see how you could come to that conclusion when you read other versions of the myths
19:39 Aldicius Amaru enters...
19:40 Myrrhine Philemon enters...
19:40 Aldicius Amaru enters...
19:40 Torrey Philemon: Looks like both of you are having some technical problems.....
19:41 Myrrhine Philemon: sorry, yes, seems we are
19:41 Aldicius Amaru: Yes, things have been crazy today--ghost grams, disappearing chat screens...
19:41 Torrey Philemon: In Apollodorus, Medea kills her brother and cuts him in little pieces. I can imagine Jason would be wary of her after that! But Ovid omits that incident (doesn't he? I don't remember it).....I got several blank grams myself and that wierd gram that says "this is a bug".....
19:43 Torrey Philemon: I hope Morgana can get here. She said 20 minutes over half an hour ago. We can always meet at MythQuest because we're all MythQuest members but I don't think it would make a difference.
19:43 Aldicius Amaru: Ovid explicitly leaves out most of the bloody stuff, although I think that reference to the saviour of mothers is one of his lsy reminders--as if his audience needed reminding!
19:44 Myrrhine Philemon: I got one of those grams ... I'm having trouble remembering myself Torrey...
19:44 Morgana Flavius enters...
19:44 Myrrhine Philemon: ah hello Morgana
19:45 Morgana Flavius: Hello!!!
19:45 Torrey Philemon: Glad you made it Morgana! hard getting in?
19:45 Aldicius Amaru: I think it's interesting, too, that he placed the story of Procne and Itys toward the end of the previous book.
19:46 Morgana Flavius: Yes.... I guess I had a problem with my server. But it seems ok now. So, where are we? I see some new people here! Nice to meet you, Adicius!
19:46 Torrey Philemon: What difference do you think it makes near the end?
19:46 Myrrhine Philemon: why is that Aldicius ... that he leaves out the bloody stuff ...
19:46 Aldicius Amaru: Very Ovidian to tell a story of child murder, then follow with the tale of a woman whose most (in)famous act was the murder of her children, without even mentioning that fact.
19:47 Torrey Philemon: We're "sort of" talking about Jason and Medea, but are not particularly focused. Anything you want to bring up, Morgana?
19:47 Aldicius Amaru enters...
19:47 Myrrhine Philemon: sly then ... I was saying earlier that Prone reminded me of Euripides Medea
19:47 Aldicius Amaru: Hello, Morgana, sorry to be so late in greeting you, but my screen went blank.
19:49 Aldicius Amaru: You can't really know, Myrrhine, *why* an ancient author did (or in thiss case, didn't) do something. But with a poet as artifex as Ovid, you know he had a really good reason for it.
19:50 Torrey Philemon: In both cases, women murder children because they feel violated by a man in one way or another and want revenge.....It's just hard to fathom that revenge against the man would totally wipe out the maternal instinct.
19:51 Myrrhine Philemon: *G* fair enough Aldicius
19:51 Aldicius Amaru: Just remember that these stories were created by men a long time ago. They weren't real people, and those who wrote them wouldn't have that view of their actions.
19:51 Torrey Philemon: I'm inclined to applaud Philomela's revenge but not Medea's....however Ovid doesn't do a good job of letting us "in" to the Medea story.
19:52 Torrey Philemon: Morgana, are you off reading the earlier transcript? We're eagerly awaiting your input! (-:
19:52 Aldicius Amaru: Remember, the ancients had a very deep fear of female sexuallity, which seemed utterly out of control and often "monstrous" to them. *G* It was the man's job to keep that aspect under control.
19:53 Aldicius Amaru: Whatever Ovid chooses to do, he does a very good job at. If he doesn't address something, it's because it wasn't a concern to him.
19:53 Morgana Flavius: Yes, I was reading the previous chat lines...
19:54 Torrey Philemon: That fear of female sexuality does come through in myths. I took a course once on the role of the female in mythology and folklore, and one of the main points was that in most myths, once a woman is a sexual being, she is most often portrayed as a seductress or destroyer .....There are very few Penelopes, but then again Penelope remains chaste while she waits Odysseus' return.....
19:55 Morgana Flavius: Regarding Medea... I think that the purpose of that bloody story is to show how a person deals with the feeling of being betrayed by someone who they trust in a unconditional way...
19:57 Morgana Flavius: How blind a person can be when he/she feels betrayed... like losing all parameters...
19:57 Aldicius Amaru: For the Romans, if they wanted to cast a political opponent as "out of control," they called himm "effeminate." From their point of view, there was no contradiction in the idea that someone could be whast vulgar slang would call a "fag" and an adulterer w
19:57 Torrey Philemon: Sometimes it seems in Greek myth that children aren't viewed as separate individuals but as exxtensions of the parents. Get back at someone through the children - that causes the most suffering. The children's feelings/rights aren't taken into consideration.
19:58 Aldicius Amaru enters...
19:59 Aldicius Amaru: Yes, Torrey, children were chattel, especially in Rome, with the patria potestas. But even in Greece, you prayed for your enemies cattle to die, his business to go bankrupt, and his wife to be sterile.
19:59 Morgana Flavius: Now... I wonder why Ovid chose to portray only the linear facts of the story, without going into Medea's feelings, which are the core of Euripides' tragedy... Can you imagine what a more powerful poetic subject? Why was it neglected by Ovid? Perhaps it was too obvious?
19:59 Myrrhine Philemon: yes Torrey - it's the ultimate revenge
19:59 Torrey Philemon: You read Euripides' Medea too, didn't you Morgana? I didn't....but was asking Myrrhine how the versions compared....
19:59 Aldicius Amaru: Remember, the Roman paterfamilias could legally put his children to death.
20:01 Myrrhine Philemon: so children were commodities Aldicius?
20:01 Torrey Philemon: We're asking the same questions, Morgana....about the holes in Ovid's Medea story. Yet he does start to go in depth into Medea's feelings at the beginning of the story, about her inner conflict....then he just drops into a sketch of the rest of the story. (Maybe he ran off with a lover and just neglected to finish it! GRIN!)
20:02 Aldicius Amaru: Well, Ovid wasn't really a tragic poet, even though Metamorphoses seems to be his artistic tour de force, a way of showing he could "do it all." He tries out so many genres in the coursse of the poem.
20:03 Morgana Flavius: LOL!!! Yes... Torrey... or maybe when he was going to start to tell us about Medea's feeling when she found out Jason's betrayal, Ovid got the news that he was getting banished from Rome... *grin*
20:03 Torrey Philemon: BTW, it's been 20 years since I read it, but I highly recommend John Gardner's Jason and Medeia, which is out of print but which you can get at http://www.abebooks.com/ It's really magnificent!.....
20:04 Aldicius Amaru: He's not really interested in giving the poem that sustained tragic dimension. Once he's shown that he 8can* do it very well, he steps back a few paces, into his persona as narrator.
20:04 Aldicius Amaru: Gardner is another writer with his own distinctive take on myth. I loved Grendel.
20:05 Myrrhine Philemon: I found that difficult to deal with on occaision ... seemed to disturb the continuity
20:05 Torrey Philemon: Hmm, interesting Morgana, though we can only speculate. But Ovid maybe something in the Medea story was too close to home for Ovid to want to go into it in more detail.....
20:05 Morgana Flavius: Yes, Aldicius, I've read that Metamorphoses not only tells about transformations in the myths, but also the poem suffers some literary form transformations as it develops too...
20:05 Torrey Philemon: (Yes I read his Grendel recently too and loved it also. Very clever)
20:06 Aldicius Amaru: *Suffers* is probably the wrong word. And clever is a very good one, I think, to apply to both Gardner and Ovid.
20:06 Torrey Philemon: That's another interesting perspective, how the Metamorphoses itself transforms.....
20:07 Morgana Flavius: On the other hand... Euripides was not afraid at all of Medea's feelings!!!
20:07 Aldicius Amaru: Instead, Ovid moves away from the internal self-examination more appropriate to tragedy and back to the visual and narrative elements he delights in.
20:07 Aldicius Amaru: Beware of Ovid most when he appears most serious. You know something's up.
20:08 Aldicius Amaru: He did write a tragedy on Medea, BTW, but unfortunately it's lost.
20:09 Aldicius Amaru: The most distinguishing feature of Ovid's art is his sense of humor. He can't resist putting in the joke. Which makes his exilic poems doubly sad to the reader.
20:09 Morgana Flavius: Yes, Aldicius, but it is interesting to speculate why Ovid sometimes goes deep into feelings and other times he just stick to sketches... I wonder if he just gets tired or eager to move on...
20:10 Aldicius Amaru: To see him fawning toward Augustus, in hope of the recall that never came. For the most urban and urbane of Roman poets to die at a place like Tomis...terrible.
20:10 Torrey Philemon: Hmm. I'm just thinking about Medea's feelings "Look at all I did for you and you've cast me out." I would imagine this would be painfully familiar to Ovid! Not all he did for a partner perhaps, but for his people, through his writing.....
20:10 Myrrhine Philemon enters...
20:11 Aldicius Amaru: He was very insightful toward the human condition in all his poetry, but his tone is more like Jane Austen, detached and ironic, than full-blown tragic.
20:11 Morgana Flavius: And another thing that makes me wonder... why Medea and Jason story is there, in Metamorphoses? No transformation... and certainly not a necessary link to further events...
20:11 Torrey Philemon: I don't see any humor in Ovid whatsoever....though I admit that not living in the Roman context I'd miss the humor that Romans might see. Where is the humor?
20:11 Aldicius Amaru: I see I'm not the only one having problems. Welcome back, Myrrhine.
20:12 Myrrhine Philemon: thanks Aldicius - now I've got to catch up *G*
20:13 Aldicius Amaru: The humor is everywhere, especially when you can read the Latin and see the little word-plays. But there's always a subtext of social commentary that would probably pass over thicker heads among the Roman "Moral Majority" but his own buddies in the audien
20:13 Torrey Philemon: We can move to the Mythquest chatroom if that would help, but I'm not sure it would make a difference. But we could meet there on a reglar basis if you'd prefer.....
20:14 Myrrhine Philemon: I only see the humour when I read the notes to my text which does disrupt my concentration ... but once I can see them ...
20:14 Torrey Philemon: Certainly knowing that we're reading translations....and different translations at that....means we really miss some of the subtleties.
20:14 Morgana Flavius: Right, Torrey... At least in Metamorphoses, I don't see any humor... although I sense some satiric references to Augustus when he portrays Jupiter's deeds.
20:15 Aldicius Amaru: There are also many literary allusions which would evoke other stories and genres in the minds of his audience. Ovid is the most consistently witty and humorous poet of antiquity. So much so that in the past, many have characterized him as a "lightweight.
20:16 Myrrhine Philemon: a lightweight? you've got to be kidding
20:16 Aldicius Amaru: Not true, IMO, but an easy mistake to make if you can see beneath the biting wit, or are uncomfortable with that kind of detachment which places everyone and everything in its place, regardless of affection.
20:17 Aldicius Amaru enters...
20:17 Morgana Flavius: (I am seeing a blank screen for a while now...)
20:17 Aldicius Amaru: He's constantly laughing at himself, too, but you need an acquaintance with his entire corpus to pick up on the allusions and get the jokes.
20:18 Torrey Philemon: I think we get into trouble and misunderstandings when we make too many generalities, because Ovid is very diverse. There are some very deep and heavy passages in what he writes...but also lighter and superficial passages too. So far I'm more aware of the gory sufferings of many of his characters.....
20:18 Myrrhine Philemon: I think that's my trouble ... and notes can only clue you in so far ...
20:19 Aldicius Amaru: But the problem is that he enjoys the gore and the suffering. Ovid is alwyas detached (except when he's complaining about the rotten food and biting cold in exile).
20:19 Morgana Flavius: Ok, I can see the screen now.
20:20 Torrey Philemon: I also suspect that men and women might experience him differently. Women would be more aware of some misogynist tendencies....and vicariously experience the violation of too many females. It's hard for me to believe that much of Metamorphoses would feel "light" to most women readers....(granted there were probably few women readers during his time)
20:20 Aldicius Amaru: He tends to parody other writers. If you aren't familiar with their work, you can't get the joke. Metamorphoses is full of that kind of thing, although some of it is affectionate parody of writers he admired elsewhere.
20:20 Torrey Philemon: Oh good, Morgana....glad you've got the screen back.
20:20 Myrrhine Philemon: an example Aldicius ... perhaps Perseus' fight?
20:21 Aldicius Amaru: There's a great anecdote about Ovid. Supposedly he and his friends engaged in a contest. They chose the 3 lines they would most like removed from his work because of "inappropriateness" and he chose his favorite ones.
20:22 Aldicius Amaru: The joke was, they were all the same!
20:22 Aldicius Amaru: Oh, most women classicists love Ovid's light touch.
20:23 Torrey Philemon: Don't understand, Aldicius. What three lines?
20:25 Aldicius Amaru: For instance, Myrrhine, Salmacis's speech to Hermaphroditus in book 4 is a direct take-off (satirically) on Odysseus's speech to Nausicaa in Odyssey.
20:25 Morgana Flavius: It seems that women like the Ovid of Ars Amatoria... or even Amores... but not this on of Metamorphoses...
20:26 Torrey Philemon: What if we get back to the stories we were going to talk about tonight? Medea, Philomela, Procris....
20:26 Aldicius Amaru: Sorry, Torrey--Ovid's *favorite* lines from his own work (he thought about it a lot) were the same three that his friends wanted cut out.
20:26 Myrrhine Philemon: ok - thanks ... I've read the Odyssey and I still didn't notice *G*
20:27 Torrey Philemon: What were those three lines, Aldicius?
20:27 Aldicius Amaru: Actually, most women are more bothered by the "When she says no, she really means yes" from Ars.
20:27 Morgana Flavius: Procris story, at least the version chosen by Ovid, again was very shallow...
20:27 Aldicius Amaru: No one knows, Torrey. That part hasn't come down to us.
20:28 Torrey Philemon: Are you familiar with any other versions of the Procris story, Morgana? That's not one I know much about.....
20:29 Torrey Philemon: (Someone could run a contest in writing the three lines that Ovid liked best that he removed from the Metamorphoses at the advice of his friends!)
20:29 Aldicius Amaru: Try not to think of his work as shallow or deep. That's falling into the same pit of "Ovid as lightweight."
20:30 Torrey Philemon: I actually liked Ovid's version the Procris, I guess in part because I felt the anguish of Cephalus telling the story...and the tragedy of Procris' death. But I thought the play on words of Aure and Aurora was kind of a weak focus for the twist in the story.
20:31 Morgana Flavius: It is difficult for me, Aldicius, not to think about the possibilities of a story that Ovid simply passes by. Procris was not the almost "innocent" woman she looks like in Ovid's version of that myth.
20:31 Aldicius Amaru: he didn't remove them, Torrey. he had too much confidence in his own artistry. And we don't know if they were from Metamorphoses or another work.
20:31 Aldicius Amaru: The Romans, especially Ovid, who was so adept, loved word play. He can't resist it.
20:32 Torrey Philemon: Morgana, how was Procris not so innocent? What's the other version?
20:32 Aldicius Amaru: I don't think Ovid is very concerned with "guilt" in Metamorphoses or any of his work.
20:33 Torrey Philemon: Did she let herself be seduced in other versions, so that she wasn't true to her husband?
20:33 Myrrhine Philemon: no, i never got a sense of guilt from Ovid ...he doesn't make judgments ...
20:33 Morgana Flavius: The other version is that Procris ran away from Cephalus and went to Crete, where she became King Minos mistress.
20:34 Torrey Philemon: If Ovid was very concerned with guilt, he probably wouldn't have been pro-adultery.....
20:34 Aldicius Amaru: Well, Augustus certainly thought he was.
20:35 Torrey Philemon: Really? That's an entirely different Procris story....Does it still end with Cephalus mistakenly killing her? Who told this version of the story?
20:35 Morgana Flavius: Why do you think Ovid was pro-adultery, Torrey?
20:35 Aldicius Amaru: Procris is the subject, BTW, of a lost tragedy by Sophocles.
20:36 Torrey Philemon: I don't know enough about Ovid's history to speak authoritatively, Morgana...but what I read led me to believe that Ovid was at least perceived by Augustus and some of his peers as being pro-adultery. I haven't read anything but half of Metamorphoses....so I don't have enough to go on here to draw my own conclusions.
20:37 Morgana Flavius: That version I found in the Greek Mythology Link. And yes, the end of the story is still the same... because Procris and Cephalus reconciliate... actually, it is Minos who gives Procris the fatal arrow...
20:38 Torrey Philemon: Greek Mythology Link is a great site, though it doesn't always identify the sources of some the story versions. Very different slant there, apparently, on Procris.
20:39 Aldicius Amaru enters...
20:41 Aldicius Amaru: Ars Amatoria was considered a handbook for adulterers. Two books for men on how to find, choose and seduce women, followed by one for the ladies on how to get your man, including the most enticing positions. Ovid claimed it was only for meretrices (ladies
20:41 Aldicius Amaru: Ars Amatoria is the carmen (poem) which Ovid always said was (along with "error") the cause of his banishment.
20:41 Morgana Flavius: Apparently, what made Augustus think Ovid was pro adultery was his Ars Amatoria... where he teaches men to seduce women and vice versa...
20:42 Aldicius Amaru: Sorry--cut off. Ovid claimed he was only advising men about ladies of ill-repute, and had nothing to do with respectable matronae, but Augustus wasn't buying that one.
20:43 Torrey Philemon: Yes, I had read that about Ars Amatoria, but since I haven't actually read it, I wasn't sure to what extent it directly encourages adultery.
20:43 Torrey Philemon: It could be interesting to read and discuss that next! (-:
20:44 Morgana Flavius: I wonder if Ovid himself was an adulterous man... I know he married 3 times, but...
20:46 Torrey Philemon: Is there anything else anyone wants to discuss about any of the stories in book 6 or 7? If I recall correctly, Morgana, you were disappointed last time we covered Niobe but had technical problems that kept us from getting to Arachne (was it Arachne?) .......(Now I don't know how we'd know if Ovid was really adulterous! (-: Haven't seen any pictures of him in the act....!)
20:47 Aldicius Amaru: It's Peter Green's take that the Corinna of the Amores was actually Ovid's first wife. They were married very young, you know.
20:47 Torrey Philemon: Wasn't it OK for men to be adulterous but not for women to be? (even though Augustus had moral laws supposedly pertaining to everyone)?
20:47 Myrrhine Philemon: I can't stay much longer ... it's almost 1pm here and there is housework to be done *G* We've reached a gap in my knowledge so I've just been listening for a while ...
20:47 Aldicius Amaru: I doubt if they would have formulated male "straying" as adultery. As long as it was not pursued with the wives of men from their own class.
20:48 Torrey Philemon: Sorry to have you go soon Myrrhine, but my guess is that we all won't go on too much longer anyway. Anything you want to bring up before you leave?
20:49 Aldicius Amaru: A man who seduced the wife of another citizen was theoretically in a lot of trouble. But in practice, it was often excused, especially if there was a class differential between the man and woman concerned.
20:49 Myrrhine Philemon: not really - I read the stories we're discussing a couple of weeks ago now and I haven't refreshed my memory sufficiently to contribute much ... I have enjoyed some of the background today though ...
20:49 Morgana Flavius: Anyhow, I must confess that this Book 7 was somehow frustrating to me... I was unable to grasp Ovid's humor, I didn't find the deep insights about people's feelings...
20:50 Aldicius Amaru: But for women, any infidelity was adultery, and legally punishable by death--although (pace good old days) it never came to that. Not even for Julia.
20:50 Aldicius Amaru: Or the Juliae, I should say.
20:51 Aldicius Amaru: Yes, I have to leave, too. It's been fun, but frustrating with all the tech problems.
20:52 Aldicius Amaru: Of course, Messalina was another story...
20:52 Phya Artistides enters...
20:52 Torrey Philemon: I agree, Morgana. Ovid seems inconsistent, in that some "books" are much better written than others....There was another one, the end of book 2, Battis, Coronis etc. that was very hard to follow....
20:53 Phya Artistides: *a little flustered and confused* You know I seriously thought this chat started at 9! I have to start writing things down!
20:53 Myrrhine Philemon: before I go - plans for the next chat?
20:53 Torrey Philemon: Phya arrives! Just before we end....Let's find out about Phya's essays!
20:53 Phya Artistides: I hope it went well, I wrote on the retribution of the gods
20:53 Torrey Philemon: Usually we do start at 9. I think we chose 7 because more people could make it. We're all around the globe.
20:54 Aldicius Amaru: Well, when you say they are "better written" you mean that you liked the translation, and they addressed your concerns. Ovid and his audience may not have cared about that.
20:54 Phya Artistides: *takes out diary to record time and day of next chat*
20:55 Torrey Philemon: Actually what I meant Aldicius by better written is that in some books it's easier to follow what's he's talking about, the story line is straighter, without a lot of holes.....At the moment, I'm speaking about his skill as a writer or storyteller, more than the substances of what he says.
20:56 Torrey Philemon: Granted the translation makes a difference. As a whole, I like Mandelbaum.
20:56 Torrey Philemon: Myrrhine, about next chat time......what do you suggest?
20:56 Aldicius Amaru: But unless you read Latin and know the literature so you can get his allusions, you can't really judge the "quality" of his writing. Only how it speaks to your modern concerns.
20:57 Phya Artistides: I have to agree with Torrey on that one. But I don't think it is soley a fault on Ovid's part, I mean how would you fit 250 stories into one poem?
20:57 Myrrhine Philemon: in general this time will be good for me ... Saturday morning is good because the family aren't around to bug me!
20:57 Morgana Flavius: Hi Phya!
20:57 Aldicius Amaru enters...
20:58 Torrey Philemon: Maybe every week is too often. What about two weeks from tonight and covering the next two books? Eight and nine?
20:58 Phya Artistides: Hi morgana!
20:58 Aldicius Amaru: That was Ovid's art, Phya, and it has been admired and much imitated for 2,000 years by people who can't see that flaw.
20:58 Myrrhine Philemon: Sounds good to me - that'll give me enough time to figure out what I want to say ... I won't be so passive in future
20:59 Morgana Flavius: Sorry, connection is slow here...
20:59 Torrey Philemon: I'd like to hear about Phya's essay!
20:59 Phya Artistides: I know it was his art, and he was amazing at it. What I love most about him is his creativity in narrative styles. But so many stories natuarally means some will be told better than others
21:00 Myrrhine Philemon: Got to go .. it's been great!
21:00 Myrrhine Philemon exits...
21:01 Morgana Flavius: I would like to hear about Phya's essay too!
21:02 Morgana Flavius: (I'm not sure I will be able to cover 2 books in 2 weeks, Torrey)
21:03 Torrey Philemon: Ok Morgana.... What about book 8 and the first half of book 9 - the Hercules stories only?
21:03 Phya Artistides: Bye Myrrhine! Basically my thesis was that Ovid was demonstrating how the gods used their power to assert their superiority, even if it was a false superiority (okay it was a wee bit more detailed than this but i'm trying to cram 9 pages into a few sentences) I used Arachne, Actaeon, and How Venus got her revenge on Apollo to contrast divine treatment of mortals to gods
21:03 Morgana Flavius: Is Aldicius still here? Maybe he could tell us about Ovid's view on the correctness of gods...
21:04 Torrey Philemon: Actually I just noticed that book 8 is very long and includes many stories.....We could just do book 8....am "listening" to you now, Phya!
21:06 Phya Artistides: Um, that's about it. I mean, it sounded a lot better when I wrote it today!
21:06 Torrey Philemon: Phya, how you would you say the gods differed in regard to how they asserted their superiority over other gods, in contrast to mortals?
21:08 Phya Artistides: Well, that the gods asserted their authority over mortals, but when retribution was aimed at other gods it was a lot less brutal. In fact most of the pain caused was through mortals that the gods cared for. But it seemed to me almost like a practical joke when Vulcan caught his wife and her lover in a net, or when Venus and Cupid played around with their love arrows to mess with the god's emotions
21:09 Phya Artistides: But mortals never had a chance to fairly challenge or outshine a god, and even if they did they were punished for it
21:10 Phya Artistides: I am about to pass out from fatigue right now, but it was a lot more coherant today (i promise)
21:12 Morgana Flavius: Phya, what you just said reminded me of something... Medea was not a goddess... and yet, have you guys noticed that there's no inteference from gods in her story with Jason? At least in Ovid's version...
21:12 Torrey Philemon: Interesting. It's like how a higher status people tend to abuse a lower status people, but are more respectful of their own peers. To the gods, mankinds were second-class.....not worthy of much consideration, and brutality to man was excusable. Perhaps like human beings have treated slaves in the past, or animals.....
21:13 Phya Artistides: Yes, or how a ruling political class would treat a lower class. My main arguement was that in the Arachne story their tapestries seemed to portray the views of a ruling/lower class. Arachne: The gods abusing women, and tricking them to get what they want. Minerva:The gods proving they are superior to mortals
21:14 Torrey Philemon enters...
21:15 Torrey Philemon: (Now I crashed)....Morgana, isn't Hecate in the Medea story in Ovid? Though it's not that she intervenes, it's more than Medea uses her rites....
21:16 Phya Artistides: well, i guess if the chat is over i might go to sleep now...sounds nice after a week of five hour sleeps!
21:16 Torrey Philemon: You're indirectly raising an interesting issue, Phya.....that of to what extent does the god/mortal relationship in Ovid (and in Greek myth) reflect the upper class/lower class relationship in Roman society?
21:17 Phya Artistides: Yes Torrey, she was the one who Medea called on, and I think Hecate sent her the Chariot that she went around and got the herbs in
21:17 Morgana Flavius: No Hecate doesn't play any active role in Ovid's version... he does not even tell that Venus made Medea fall in love with Jason (or does he? Now I am a bit confused between the versions! LOL!)
21:18 Phya Artistides: well, that's sort of what i was saying about the runling class in rome...i guess i have marxism on the brain or something, university does that to you:-)
21:19 Torrey Philemon: Latin 167-192, Medea's incantations to Hecate.....though we don't see actual dialogue between them.
21:20 Morgana Flavius: Phya, I sympathize with your feeling... but I also feel sorry that you have to go so soon... there's always an interesting issue in the end of chats, isn't there?
21:20 Phya Artistides: oops runling=ruling
21:21 Torrey Philemon: Phya, I think you're raising interesting issues......and a corollary of them would be to look at differences in god/mortal relationships between Greek and Roman myths (if we can do so) and if they differ in ways related to Greek and Roman society.
21:22 Torrey Philemon: Also this a time in which slavery existed...so it was perfectly ok to view "lower beings" as objects to be manipulated for one's own purpose.....
21:22 Phya Artistides: yes, a cliffhanger:-) Also my housemate just came home with triple browie overload hagen daz. What can I say, I'm mortal
21:23 Torrey Philemon: Ahh. Well triple brownie hagendaz is definitely a more viable reason to leave than a need for sleep ! GRIN!
21:24 Phya Artistides: so when is the next chat?
21:24 Torrey Philemon: So Morgana, would you prefer we just do book 8 for the next chat? and not start 9? Two weeks from tonight, 7pm eastern time, unless we need to make it a wee bit later for someone's sake.
21:25 Phya Artistides: well, i'm on book 12 in class!
21:26 Morgana Flavius: Whoa, Phya!!! A tripple hagen daz makes me feel very mortal too!
21:26 Phya Artistides: any time is good for me as long as i can remeber it this time!
21:27 Morgana Flavius: Book 8 only sounds feasible for me. Two weeks from tonight... ok.
21:27 Morgana Flavius: 8 pm would be better for me than 7pm...
21:27 Torrey Philemon: well 7pm book 8 ( maybe SOME of 9 but we can decide as we see how discussion goes....)
21:28 Torrey Philemon: Well let's say 8pm then unless Myrrhine needs to start a little earlier in which case we can start at 7:30pm, ok? I'll announce 8pm....
21:29 Phya Artistides: well, i'll see you guys. Is that 7:30 in a week or two weeks?
21:29 Morgana Flavius: Did you hear from Lusinda, Torrey? Is she still interested in the chats or only in the board messages?
21:29 Torrey Philemon: Don't know about Lusinda, Morgana. She does seem to be getting involved here again.....
21:30 Torrey Philemon: Two weeks, Phya. Just check out board for updates or changes. In any case, it should be either 7:30 or 8pm two weeks from today.
21:30 Phya Artistides: ok, see you guys
21:30 Torrey Philemon: Well goodnight, everyone. It was nice to have five or six of you turn up tonight, even though at different times!
21:31 Phya Artistides exits...
21:32 Morgana Flavius: Ok, 7 or 8 two weeks from today.
21:34 Torrey Philemon: Goodnight, Morgana! Glad to see you again in chat (and hear your comments!)
21:35 Morgana Flavius: Good night!
21:36 Torrey Philemon exits...
21:36 Morgana Flavius exits...
Next Ovid Chat Transcript, Book Eight
Back to Ovid Links Page To Torrey's Home
To MythQuest To Ancient Sites