|Ovid Metamorphoses BOOKS 9-10
Chat Transcript 7
April 30, 1999
|21:54 Torrey Philemon enters...
21:55 Torrey Philemon: Ovid Metamorphosis chat starts here at 10pm!
22:00 Morgana Flavius enters...
22:01 Morgana Flavius: Hi there!
22:01 Morgana Flavius: Oh shoot! Once again I posted the wrong message! I posted a message in MQ saying the chat would start at 11pm EST. :o(
22:02 Torrey Philemon: Hi Morgana! I'm very behind in my reading this time around....only 1/3 of the way through book 10......Liked your posts however on both books.
22:02 Metella Porcius enters...
22:03 Torrey Philemon: I just posted a mythquest message about the chat starting. Actually I typed it 15 minutes ago but just noticed I never clicked on the final POST button....
22:03 Metella Porcius: Hello, everyone.
22:03 Morgana Flavius: Thank you Torrey. I finished book 10 this afternoon. I like the myths of that book, but again, Ovid has his own personal way of telling them.
22:03 Torrey Philemon: Hello Metella, welcome. And Nimue is on her way.
22:03 Morgana Flavius: Welcome Metella! Glad you make it!
22:04 Torrey Philemon: As we each arrive, why don't each mention one topic we'd like to talk about. Then maybe with five people for example, we could divide our discussion into five topics.....
22:05 Metella Porcius: I finished up through Book 10, but I haven't had a chance to go back and study any of the stories a second time.
22:06 Torrey Philemon: I tend to jump too quickly over small talk and introductions however. Haven't really encountered you, Metella, so welcome. Feel free to share a little about yourself and what drew you to Ovid.....
22:07 Morgana Flavius: *wanting to know about Metella too*
22:07 Nimue Cormac enters...
22:07 Torrey Philemon: Welcome, Nimue!
22:08 Morgana Flavius: Welcome Nimue!
22:08 Nimue Cormac: I only managed to read book 9, but wanted to jon you
22:09 Torrey Philemon: That's fine, Nimue....I only just started book 10 myself.....glad you read book nine! (The beginning of book 10 is the Orpheus story, which doesn't take long to read)
22:09 Nimue Cormac enters...
22:09 Metella Porcius: I read Ovid in Latin a litttle bit in high school, Pyramus and Thisbe, and I had translated the first book of the Ars Amatoria while in college, but this is actually my first time reading a translation. I'm liking it!
22:10 Morgana Flavius: It's interesting to read all those myths about what we (present society) still hold as tabus. (Homosexualism and incest)
22:10 Nimue Cormac: I'm having some trouble so I may be in and out a bit.
22:11 Torrey Philemon: You had an interesting observation Morgana in regard to how homosexuality is ok but not incest, and women's desires are not as acceptable as men's.........
22:11 Nimue Cormac: I was drawn to the pasion of the poetry. So many deep emotions.
22:11 Torrey Philemon: That's great that you know some Latin, Metella. Do you have both the Latin and the English there?
22:12 Morgana Flavius: I haven't read Ars Amatoria yet, Metella. But I've read some of the Heroides letters and I think that Ovid is very good when he portrays the suffering of lovers.... especially those "rejected" lovers...
22:12 Metella Porcius: Yes. Someone posted that Ovid didn't seem as upset by homosexuality as incest a few days ago, and having read through books 9 & 10 now, I think I agree.
22:13 Torrey Philemon: Ovid is very inconsistent. Sometimes he speaks (very poetically) from the depths of passion and conflicting feelings and sometimes he's a very ineffective detached narrator...
22:13 Metella Porcius: I'm afraid not. It's been some years, and my Latin is pretty shaky any more
22:14 Morgana Flavius: I wonder if this is Ovid's own prejudices or if it was the whole Roman society. I tend to think that he portrayed a social trend rather than a personal one.
22:14 Nimue Cormac: Wasn't homosexuality fairly accepted by the Greeks, Torry. I seem to have heard that somewhere
22:14 Morgana Flavius: Yes, Nimue, I have heard that too. But apparently only male homosexuality was accepted by the Greeks.
22:15 Torrey Philemon: But this is Roman Society. When the Emperor created laws forbidding adultery and other immoral behavior, was he including homosexuality? I don't think so......
22:15 Metella Porcius: Ars Amatoria was a lot of fun. I recommend it if you can find it.
22:15 Nimue Cormac: Women didn't have sexual natures. Didn't you know that?
22:16 Torrey Philemon: (Metella, I'm hoping that we'll all read Ars Amatoria together here after we're done with Metamporphoses. Amazon.com has it....)
22:17 Metella Porcius: Perhaps his acceptance of homosexuality had something to do with Augustus' disapproval.
22:17 Nimue Cormac: Was Ovid writing his own story or just repeating well-known old tales
22:18 Torrey Philemon: Does anyone have a particular myth they'd like to discuss? I for one would like to talk a little about Orpheus and Eurydice....
22:19 Metella Porcius: Women don't seem to have sexual natures unless they're horribly unnatural in Ovid. Witness the beginning of the Pygmalion story, Byblis et al
22:19 Torrey Philemon: Nimue, that's a question we've been asking. Ovid is often selective about what he tells in regard to certain myths - he's definitely giving them his own slant.
22:20 Morgana Flavius: Nimue, I guess this is our oldest doubt here in the Metamorphoses group. Personally, I think that he was most of the time re-telling existing myths. Sometimes he made some changes on them and at least in one occasion he is reported to be the only person who told a myth: the Arachne myth.
22:21 Nimue Cormac: It just seems that telling "ther classics" might exept him from blame for immproper content
22:21 Torrey Philemon: I once took a graduate course called Women in Mythology and Folklore. One of the main points was that once females were no longer virgins, they were all too frequently portrayed as witches, shrews, evildoers...... Men seem to be so scared of the sexually powerful women that they had to turn her into a monstrosity much of the time......
22:21 Metella Porcius: I agree, Morgana.
22:21 Morgana Flavius: I don't have any particular preference on the myths of Book 9 and 10. Most of them are well known to me and I would be happy to discuss any of them.
22:22 Torrey Philemon: I have never encountered the Byblis and Iphis myths anywhere before. Have any of you? I just wondered if it is also unique to Ovid.....
22:22 Nimue Cormac: Torry....you need to read a little more celtic myth
22:23 Torrey Philemon: (Yes, Nimue, we did find myths outside the Greek and Roman tradition that were kinder to women! I'm sure the Celtic tradition is one of them.....)
22:23 Morgana Flavius: Byblis and Iphis were not known to me. Neither Myrrha's story, which in the version I read was the best told in my opinion.
22:23 Nimue Cormac: I don't know a lot about greek myth
22:24 Nimue Cormac: but i never heard of them
22:24 Torrey Philemon: (Speaking of Myrrha, wasn't Myrrhine planning to be here? I imagine her name is derived from Myrrha)
22:25 Metella Porcius: I have never encountered Byblis and Iphis either.
22:25 Morgana Flavius: Sometimes I can imagine a group, in ancient Rome, getting together for a reading of Ovid's verses in Metamorphoses. And when reaching the Myrrha transformation and how she gave birth to her son even being a tree, it would sound as like a Steven Spielberg movie would be to us: an incredibly well told "special effects" story! :o)
22:26 Torrey Philemon: Morgana pointed out that Iphis' transformation was a kind one. Probably the kindest. Iphis was actually transformed into what "she" wanted to be - a "he." Very unlike all the other transformations.
22:26 Morgana Flavius: Myrrhine Philemon said she would be here. Myrrhine Solon told me she could not come tonight.
22:28 Nimue Cormac: I still want to know how her mother kept her sex a secret all those years
22:30 Morgana Flavius: Yes, Iphis' myth was almost unique among all those horrible punishing transformations we've been reading so far.
22:30 Torrey Philemon: Here's a question I'd like to address. I'm curious about the meaning of "Don't look back" in regard to the Orpheus story and other stories as well......like in the Bible, God told Lot not to look back (when Sodom and Gomorrah were burning). Now Orpheus is told to not look back or he will lose Eurydice........
22:31 Torrey Philemon: This is of course psychologically interpreting the myth, but I
22:31 Nimue Cormac: It's a matter of faith, as i see it
22:31 Metella Porcius: Must have been one dumb father! (s)
22:31 Torrey Philemon: But I'm looking for the deeper implications of the "don't look back" message.........
22:31 Nimue Cormac: Look to the uncertain future and trust the gods to dpo as they have promised
22:32 Torrey Philemon: Faith in not looking back, Nimue? A test of one's trust and faith in god or the gods.......
22:32 Morgana Flavius: Yes, I agree with Nimue. The message there is again: do what gods tell you to do, or else... you'll regret very deeply.
22:32 Nimue Cormac: Yes.
22:33 Nimue Cormac: The gods have said they will restore her but he didn't really believe or he wouldn't have looked back to see if she was there
22:34 Torrey Philemon: Well I don't think it's just do as the gods advise.....but there's something significant about not "looking back"........not being bound by the past in some way perhaps.
22:34 Morgana Flavius: and Orpheu and Eurydice also portray that terrible frustration we feel when after making an incredible effort to achieve a goal, we ruin it all for a very small thing...
22:35 Morgana Flavius: However, it seems that Orpheu looked back because he was missing his wife rather than certifying himself she was there...
22:36 Torrey Philemon: I just want to tell this brief story: Six years ago when I moved to this apartment I had finished moving things out of my old apartment and was ready to get into my car and drive away for the last time. As I stood by the car, looking for the last time at my old house, I heard a noise, and turned around. A car had sideswiped the other side of my car and knocked off the REAR VIEW mirror, sending the glass flying in all directions. I was looking BACK at my old house and a car broke my REAR VIEW mirror......It seemed very synchronistic......Makes me feel more attuned to this theme.......
22:36 Nimue Cormac: To quote"When he, mistrusting lest her steps might stray, " He mistrusted.
22:36 Metella Porcius: The text suggests that he was worried about her getting lost
22:38 Metella Porcius: You said it better, Nummue!
22:38 Torrey Philemon: Hmm. "His eyes must not turn back until he'd passed/ the valley of Avernus." What's the valley of Avernus? What significance does that have?
22:39 Torrey Philemon enters...
22:39 Torrey Philemon: acr
22:40 Morgana Flavius: I'm trying to look Avernus up. I don't know what it was or is.
22:42 Nimue Cormac: Could it be a river? Often valleys were named for the river that runs through them
22:42 Torrey Philemon: Just found it: "Avernus' vale: the valley of Avernus, another alleged entrance/exit to the underworld."
22:43 Torrey Philemon: http://www.metacrawler.com is the best search engine for doing a quick search. It took me to a study guide on Ovid's Orpheus myth at http://diogenes.baylor.edu/WWWproviders/thorburn/ovidmet225to228.html
22:43 Nimue Cormac: So he had top wait til they got out....delayed gratification?
22:44 Torrey Philemon: It still doesn't explain what Avernus is or means though.
22:45 Nimue Cormac: The end of the test ...or trial
22:45 Torrey Philemon: One must trust in what one cannot see. That's also a message of the Hebrew Bible - the invisible God. As well as you said Nimue, being able to delay gratification (which Zeus and most of the other male gods certainly can't do!)
22:46 Nimue Cormac enters...
22:46 Morgana Flavius: yes... the Avernus seems to mean the last boundary to the underworld, after which the forces governing Hades would not prevail anymore.
22:47 Morgana Flavius: Is Metella still with us?
22:49 Nimue Cormac: I get the feeling the greek gods are always saying"do as we say...not as we do." They seem to expect more of man than they do of each other
22:49 Metella Porcius: Hello, I'm still here
22:50 Morgana Flavius: The comment about "boudaries" reminds me that even the gods have limits imposed to their otherwise unlimited power. Apparently, they cannot play with "time travels"...
22:51 Torrey Philemon: Hey folks Avernus is a real place in Italy. A classical site has a page of pictures....... http://wings.buffalo.edu/AandL/Maecenas/italy_except_rome_and_sicily/avernus/section_contents.html
22:51 Metella Porcius: Yes. That interested me as well.
22:52 Morgana Flavius: Yes, Nimue. And sometimes I wonder how Romans (and Greeks) felt towards gods who had limitations and sometimes were even mocked by other gods (like in the case of Vulcan, Venus and Mars)
22:54 Nimue Cormac: I always kind of liked the idea of a handicapped god
22:55 Nimue Cormac enters...
22:56 Nimue Cormac enters...
22:56 Metella Porcius: Avernus is near Cumae, the home of the Sybil in the Aeneid, isn't it?
22:57 Torrey Philemon: There was a nice passage somewhere in book nine about the gods respecting and bowing to fate.......which meant acknowledging that they themselves lack absolute power......
22:57 Morgana Flavius: In the judaic-christian religions, god is always presented as omnipotent (with unlimited power). So that vision of a god who can be defeated do look strange for most of our Western societies.
22:58 Torrey Philemon: What led you to conclude it is near Cumae, Metella? (I closed that web page but didn't see any locale information on it)
22:58 Morgana Flavius: Yes, Torrey. Jupiter himself says that he must abide by the designs of the Fates. This was right after the gods revindicated the right to restore youth to their beloved mortals.
22:58 Metella Porcius: A difference between poly- and Monotheism?
23:00 Metella Porcius: I went to Italy last fall, and I think I recall considering going there while I was in the Naples region. We went to Paestum instead.
23:01 Torrey Philemon: It is surprising that if the Fates have the ultimate power that we don't hear more about them. They play a very passive role in the myths.
23:03 Morgana Flavius: From Bulfinch: "The lake Avernus is supposed to fill the crater of an extinct volcano. It is circular, half a mile wide, and very deep, surrounded by high banks, which in Virgil's time were covered with a gloomy forest. Mephitic vapours rise from its waters, so that no life is found on its banks: and no birds fly over it. Here, according to the deities, Proserpine (Persephone), Hecate, and the Furies (Erinyes)."
23:03 Nimue Cormac: Fate plays the central role. It's just behind the scenes. Like an iceberg....there's a lot going on below the surface
23:04 Metella Porcius: Well, we do hear about the Fates in conjunction with other myths: Thetis' marriage to Pelius (why she was married to a mortal), comes to mind
23:04 Morgana Flavius: The Fates belong to the deities that came before the Olympians were given power over the world (like the Titans).
23:05 Torrey Philemon: Does anyone else have a myth from book nine or two that they'd like to talk about? (Great reference, Morgana)
23:05 Torrey Philemon: book nine or ten, I mean.
23:07 Nimue Cormac enters...
23:08 Morgana Flavius: I skipped a line in Bulfinch - "Here, according to the poet was the cave which afforded access to the infernal regions and here Aeneas offered sacrifices to the infernal deities Proserpine, Hecate and the Furies."
23:10 Morgana Flavius: In book 10, the myth of Venus and Adonis is slightly different than what I had heard before reading Ovid.
23:10 Nimue Cormac: Why was Drype turned into a tree? All she did was pick some flowers. she didn't know...there was no sign sayng don't pick
23:10 Metella Porcius: I thought it was interesting how several people got turned into plants in book 10: Cyparissus and Myrrha in to tree, Hyacynthus and Adonis into flowers...
23:11 Nimue Cormac: that's Dryope
23:12 Metella Porcius: Hyacinthus, I mean
23:13 Morgana Flavius: Yes, Metella. In previous discussions we have tried to find any meaning in the transformations... why a plant, why an animal, why an inanimate thing like a fountain or a stone. Do you have any clue?
23:13 Torrey Philemon: Ignorance doesn't count in Ovid's myths, Nimue. If one angers a god, one's out of luck........And a lot of people are turned into trees throughout Ovid!
23:14 Torrey Philemon: What's continually disconcerting is that there is no sense of justice. Only the will of the gods (and fate)...
23:15 Nimue Cormac: It's the randomness of the vengeful behavior that gets me. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it
23:16 Torrey Philemon: I wrote a series of poems once as Daphne, a tree.......One has to do with a tree's sense of time. A tree moves throughout time (the seasons) but it's movement is so slow that from our perspective it appears almost immobilized........People transformed into trees appear to be immobilized, and returned to the earth, the Great Mother..
23:17 Nimue Cormac: Thefountain i understood. she was going around weeping on everything and everyone thus she is forever weeping.
23:18 Torrey Philemon: Yes, some of the transformations like the fountain, are easier to understand.
23:18 Metella Porcius: Both of the "trees" in Book 10 seem to be immobilised by grief. It almost seems like an act of mercy, as something hard and wooden they can't feel as much
23:18 Morgana Flavius: And sometimes they are transformed into a plant as a punishment for some wrongdoing and sometimes they are transformed because they asked to be released from some greater stress.
23:19 Torrey Philemon: Interesting point, Metella. In other books, some tree and plant transformations were related to grief as well. Weren't Phaethon's grieving sisters turned into plants?
23:20 Torrey Philemon: Daphne was transformed into a tree to escape being raped by Apollo.
23:20 Metella Porcius: Yes, and they continued to weep tears of amber, turning their greif into something beautiful and valuable
23:21 Nimue Cormac: I have to go. 7 A.M. comes awful early.I'll keep checking the board for more posts. And of course I'll read the transcipts. Thankyou for inviting me to join you.
23:21 Torrey Philemon enters...
23:21 Torrey Philemon: I'm so glad you came, Nimue, and were able to read book nine!
23:23 Morgana Flavius: I think Ovid is very good when portraying the exact moment of the transformation. When I read these verses I do feel the anguish...
23:23 Morgana Flavius: Yes, thanks for joining us, Nimue! Have a good evening!
23:24 Morgana Flavius: Again, I think Ovid was the Steven Spielberg of ancient Romans! (LOL!)
23:26 Torrey Philemon: In dreams, when a dream scene suddenly ends and transforms into another dream scene, it usually means that you the dreamer have gone as far as you can into the action of a particular scene - that you've reached a no exit point. The dream then shifts usually to a regressive place -- a scene that reflects reasons earlier in life that prevent you from going further. (I mention this because it seems that Ovid's transformations are usually regressive.....back to plant, animal or mineral........Also one regresses after being deeply wounded or traumatized too.
23:26 Metella Porcius: Thank you, Nimue
23:28 Torrey Philemon: Steven Spielberg, yes! (though at times I think we could compare him to the "great" soap opera writers LOL!. To the Romans, he may have written a kind of Peyton Place!
23:29 Morgana Flavius: The only positive transformations I can remember here in Ovid are: Ariadne who was transformed into an immortal goddess to reign together with Bacchus, Hercules who was turned into an immortal and Iphis who was transformed into a man and lived happily ever after (I think).
23:30 Metella Porcius: He does describe the transformations very well, but I think of Suetonius as the great writer of Soap Opera! LOL
23:31 Morgana Flavius: Yes, Torrey, but let's not forget that Ovid was working with a pre-existing material: the myths. He did not invent much. He's role was that of "writing the best adapted screen play". (LOL!)
23:31 Torrey Philemon: There does always seem to be some kind of wounding or agony before a transformation.
23:31 Metella Porcius: What about Galataea? Pygmalion's statue come to life?
23:32 Morgana Flavius: Although, I must agree that the most famous soap operas are nothing more than adaptations of ancient and universal myths. These myths seem to bring a record audience to any story!
23:33 Torrey Philemon: Hmm. I didn't get that far in book 10. Perhaps there weren't woundings here.....
23:33 Morgana Flavius: You're right, Metella! In Pygnalion myth we see stone becoming human!
23:33 Torrey Philemon: (Isn't your country, Brazil, known for its hot hot hot soap operas, Morgana?)
23:34 Metella Porcius: Definately a step up!
23:34 Torrey Philemon: I keep looking for theories to explain all the transformations or certain kinds of transformations, but there doesn't appear to be a perfect pattern.
23:35 Morgana Flavius: Yes, one of Brazil's most popular "export products" are soap operas. They are very well done round here (and extremely popular too!)
23:38 Metella Porcius: I think, to some extent, Ovid was choosing myths from all over. The Adonis myth, I believe, came from Mesopotamia or Phoenicia for instance. Perhaps all they have in common is Ovid's liking for them. (and the fact that something gets turned into someth
23:39 Torrey Philemon: Hmm. We've identified transformations as a common theme - obviously, based upon the title. Another common theme throughout Metamorphoses, I think, is gods or human beings feeling overcome by passions or desire.......
23:39 Metella Porcius: ...ing else (oops)
23:41 Morgana Flavius: Yes, passion and desire seem to be the almighty drive behind all the action in Ovid's Metamorphoses. Passion and desire, rather than love.
23:42 Metella Porcius: Yes. Did anyone else end up feeling very sorry for Byblis and Myrrha?
23:43 Morgana Flavius: I did, Metella. Specially regarding the "foreword" presented by Ovid before telling the story of Myrrha.
23:45 Metella Porcius: When the Gods are overcome, it's the humans who suffer, Daphne for instance.
23:45 Torrey Philemon: I didn't read Myrrha story yet but I thought Ovid did a wonderful job describing the feelings and conflicts of Byblis. I especially felt for her when she felt driven to confess, then regretted her action.......
23:46 Morgana Flavius: We heard myths of sons killing their mothers or fathers, mothers killing their children and the most horrible crimes. But never Ovid was so careful and cautioning when presenting a myth as he was with the myth of Myrrha (a daughter seducing her own father). He even feared that his audience would find that simply unbeliebvable. Why was that worse than killing a parent?
23:47 Metella Porcius: We can't like what Myrrha did (and I was horrified at the Nurse!), but I did feel sympathy
23:47 Torrey Philemon: It just occurred to me......in non-democratic societies, like Rome, where emperors were often a bit crazy and not expected to be role models, there's some parallel between the authoritative whims of the emperor and the whims of the gods......People didn't expect their rulers or gods to be role models.......Yet we do today.
23:47 Morgana Flavius: I wonder if that had to do with a particular "sin" in Augustus family... (as many things Ovid wrote were related to Augustan rules and stories).
23:49 Metella Porcius: If so, that sin must have been awfully well hidden. There's not a whisper of it anywhere else
23:50 Torrey Philemon: Interesting question, Morgana. All I can say - from my psychological perspective and experience with father/daughter counseling is that fathers have to psychologically defend against their own sexual feelings toward their daughters. It is very threatening to them, and such feelings constantly get evoked as their daughters enter adolescence. Given our Roman writers and readers are men, I imagine that father/daughter sexuality must therefore be made especially taboo in order to keep it from erupting......
23:50 Morgana Flavius: Yes, Torrey, that's interesting. We do expect our rulers to be models of moral conduct. Apparently, Romans did not. Or if they did, this was not a reason for "deposing" an Emperor.
23:53 Metella Porcius: What with the Paterfamilias system, it did probably have to be highly taboo because otherwise there would be no good way to punish it. A daughter being basically property.
23:53 Morgana Flavius: Well, but in Myrrha's myth it was the other way around: the daughter had developed a passion for the father and had to strive to supress it. She even tried to kill herself before deciding to "go for it".
23:55 Morgana Flavius: But Metella, wouldn't murdering a father threaten much more the "Paterfamilias" system than seductive daughters?
23:55 Torrey Philemon: Ovid is really writing a lot about the forbidden desires of women........
23:56 Metella Porcius: Perhaps havng the father be the instigator was simply not even discussed
23:56 Metella Porcius: True, Torrey, yes.
23:57 Metella Porcius: Sorry, I meant Morgana
23:58 Morgana Flavius: But he also wrote about forbidden desires of men... remember the stories where Diana punished men for wanting nymphs or even for the simple fact that one accidentally saw her when she was bathing...
23:59 Morgana Flavius: anyhow... I guess that we won't find a pattern... and I remember someone saying here that when Ovid would sound very clear, then we should doubt him even more...
00:00 Torrey Philemon: Yes, he seems to shift his focus a bit from book to book......desires of men, desires of women, desires of gods, desires of goddesses...........who's left? <-:
00:00 Morgana Flavius: Oh, and I just remembered a comment by Lusinda, on her post in the Ovid board... that she did not know of Orpheu's preference for boys...
00:01 Morgana Flavius: The translation I'm reading (by More) says that Orpheus decided to sing the boys as well as girls who were preferred by gods.
00:02 Torrey Philemon: Speaking of Orpheus, I find it fascinating that an entire mystery religion developed around Orpheus. I was watching a Campbell video on the mystery religions last week in which he discussed the parallels between the resurrection of Orpheus and the resurrection of Christ.
00:02 Metella Porcius: I don't remember coming upon that before either.
00:02 Morgana Flavius: (oh, we just switched dates that's why the chat screen has now only the posts of May 1st)
00:03 Morgana Flavius: Yes, Torrey, and how many mystery religions report to Orpheus as being their founder.
00:03 Torrey Philemon: (yes I noticed that too Morgana. I thought my screen was stuck)
00:04 Metella Porcius: I think I have a book that talks about the Orphic mysteries somewhere. I'll post about it at mythquest when I get a chance. I think he was important to the pythagoreans, who believved in reincarnation.
00:05 Morgana Flavius: Was Orpheu the first mortal that went to the underworld and came back? I know that when Aeneas was there and came back, Orpheus was already there. Was he there when Hercules descended to Hades?
00:06 Torrey Philemon: It's fascinating stuff. I also saw a Story of Painting video on the Renaissance that talked about how the pagan interest at the beginning of the Renaissance was fueled by the parallels between Christianity and the Greek mysteries, especially around dismemberment/crucifiction leading to resurrection and return from death.
00:06 Morgana Flavius: I'd like to read that, Metella.
00:07 Torrey Philemon: Odysseus also journeyed into the underworld.....But do we have a timeline with Orpheus? Doesn't his story occur out of time, as some of the myths do?
00:08 Metella Porcius: I'll try to find it in the next few days.
00:09 Torrey Philemon: I started researching the Orphic mysteries when we were doing the Aeneid a few months ago......see my links to Orphic mysteries at http://www.ancientsites.com/~Torrey_Philemon/calliope/aeneid2.htm#UNDERWORLD ....but I didn't read much because no one else was interested. I'd like to learn more though.
00:09 Metella Porcius: I think maybe Orpheus is at an unspecified time. Hercules wasn't first: he recued Theseus who was already there.
00:10 Torrey Philemon: Do you know what the book is that you have, Metella? One I listed but haven't read is called Orpheus and the Greek religion by Guthrie.
00:11 Metella Porcius: Odysseus was certainly later. He was in the next generation after Theseus, Hercules and so on.
00:11 Morgana Flavius: I read on of the links suggested by you, Torrey, about Orphic mysteries.
00:13 Metella Porcius: "The Mystery Religions" by S. Angus. It's a Dover reprint I got several years ago.
00:14 Torrey Philemon: This one here is called Orphic roots of Christianity...... http://web2.airmail.net/capella/aguide/greekroo.htm
00:14 Torrey Philemon: If you'd like to read some of it and share it with us, Metella, I for one would be very interested! The mystery religions are fascinating.
00:15 Torrey Philemon: Here's another one that looks really good.....http://www.opencenter.org/lapis3/noframes/jgodwin.html
00:18 Torrey Philemon: Goodness! This site says that in the early versions of the Orpheus myth, he DID succeed in rescuing Eurydice from the underworld. "Only later was the episode embroidered by the poets so that it ended tragically..."
00:19 Morgana Flavius: Oh! That's interesting Torrey!
00:19 Metella Porcius: Well, according to what he writes, Orphism became important in the 6th century B.C. and was a sort of "proto" mystery religion. Discussions of Orphism are scattered through the book, so I'll really have to reread it before I can really post very well abo
00:20 Morgana Flavius: Bulfinch says that when Orpheus died, he went to Hades for a second time and found Eurydice. "They roam the happy fields together now, sometimes he leading, sometimes she; nd Orpheus gazes as much as he will upon her, no longer incurring a penalty for a thoughtless glance."
00:21 Metella Porcius: that really is interesting. It would fit in well with the reincarnation beliefs of the pythagoreans
00:22 Torrey Philemon: I wonder why the poets like Ovid had to take away the happy ending, however. (Come to think of it, there are few stories with happy endings in Ovid, at least happiness on earth. Baucis and Philemon, Iphis.....
00:24 Torrey Philemon: Initiates of the Mysteries received the assurance that like Eurydice they would be saved from Pluto's dismal realm. "
00:26 Torrey Philemon: Well, I need to go, folks....I teach for six hours on Saturday.........It would be great if some of us read up on the Orphic mysteries and the different Orpheus stories and their influence though. It's a very interesting topic......and maybe an important one too in the development of Christianity AND the beginnings of the Renaissance.
00:27 Metella Porcius: Perhaps hat's why Christianity was often compared to the mystery religions: a better life later.
00:28 Morgana Flavius: Ladies, I have to go... Almost 1:30 am here... It was great sharing my reading with you! Thank you, Torrey, for hosting our chat and thank you, Metella, for joining us!!
00:29 Metella Porcius: I'll read Angus and post at Mythquest in the next few days. Perhaps some Joseph Campbell as well.
00:29 Torrey Philemon: Yes I'm really happy to have you with us Metella, and as always, enjoy Morgana's input. Goodnight both of you. We can plan the next chat on our message board.
00:29 Metella Porcius: Good night , everyone.
00:29 Metella Porcius exits...
00:30 Morgana Flavius: Good night!
00:30 Morgana Flavius exits...
00:32 Torrey Philemon exits...
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