Golden Age Imagery and the Artistic Philosophy of Ovid's Metamorphoses
Curran, Emma L.
MetadataShow full item record
In the Metamorphoses, Ovid brings together Golden Age imagery with contrasting scenes of destruction, making this paradoxical amalgam a motif within his epic. This study connects Ovid’s use of Golden Age language to his portrayal of artistry in the poem, discovering that both within the stories of the epic and in Ovid’s poetic style, artistic creation is emphasised in the context of this motif. Both natural fecundity and artistic creation emerge after the flood through the principle of discors concordia (Met. 1.433), which involves the unity of divine harmony and chaos; this principle is central to Ovid’s use of Golden Age language. The discussion takes up the influence of Virgil and Lucretius on this motif, discovering that Ovid’s synthesis of harmony and chaos draws on both forerunners. By uniting the Golden Age and its antithesis, Ovid reveals the conditions necessary for art, and thus for poetry itself.