Ovid’s Two Loves: Venus and Flora. Transformation of the Elegiac Genre

Authors

  • Darja Šterbenc Erker Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany; University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Slovenia

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4312/keria.23.2.27-48

Keywords:

Ovid, Fasti, Augustus, Flora, Venus, genre, elegy, mime

Abstract

The transformation of a literary genre runs as a red thread not only through Ovid’s Amores but also through the Fasti, the poet’s “greater work”, which implies a genre higher than elegy. Ovid transforms the genre of the aetiological elegy by intertwining aetiologies of Roman festivals with epic elements, as well as with elements of love elegy and mime. Although the poet’s literary persona claims to continue writing love elegies under the influence and inspiration of the love goddess Venus, this article argues that Ovid’s real love in the Fasti is Flora. The poet incorporates into his poem the way of life championed by Flora, enjoying mimes and dissolute nocturnal dinner parties, drinking wine and writing elegies. Moreover, Ovid creatively adopts models from the Roman Empire, notably those written by Callimachus. In the process of the generic transformation of his aetiological elegy into Flora’s elegy, Ovid emphasises the political connotations of the Roman elegy by distancing himself from Augustus’ sexual morality.

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Published

29.12.2021

How to Cite

Šterbenc Erker, Darja. 2021. “Ovid’s Two Loves: Venus and Flora. Transformation of the Elegiac Genre”. Keria: Studia Latina Et Graeca 23 (2):27-48. https://doi.org/10.4312/keria.23.2.27-48.

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Articles