Sunday, September 14, 2008


Version at BMCR home site
Irene Frings, Das Spiel mit den eigenen Texten. Wiederholung und Selbstzitat bei Ovid. Zetemata, 124. München: C. H. Beck, 2005. Pp. 302. ISBN 3-406-531-520. €64.00 (pb).
Reviewed by James Burbidge, Queen's College, Oxford

Ovid probably makes greater use of Selbstzitat, or imitation of his own earlier work, than any other classical author. It is therefore surprising that hitherto there has appeared only one substantial study of this aspect of his art -- Albert Lüneburg's De Ovidio sui imitatore, which was published as long ago as 1888 and is by no means widely available today.1 Various successful accounts of Ovidian self-imitation have of course been produced since then. But these have tended to focus on individual instances of Selbstzitat in particular works or passages (rather than on the phenomenon of Ovidian Selbstzitat more generally), and furthermore they have been published in periodicals or in books primarily concerned with other topics -- making it difficult to gain a clear overview of this important feature of Ovid's poetry, or of the current state of research into it. The appearance of this full study is thus to be welcomed -- and welcomed warmly, since her treatment of the topic is on the whole a helpful and an interesting one.2

The book is clearly organized, and very user-friendly. It has three main parts: a substantial introductory section (A: 10-64); a section on self-imitation within individual Ovidian works (B: 65-100); and a third section, the heart of the book, dealing with self-imitation from one Ovidian work to another (C: 101-262). These three parts are all broken down into clearly-defined sub-sections, dealing with particular topics (which are listed in full on pp. 5-6).

The question which Frings (F.) sets out to answer is: 'why did Ovid repeat himself so often?' (14; cf. 20). As she observes in her introductory section, one does not have to look very hard to find clear examples of repeated material in this poet. Most obviously, Ovid likes to return to subject-matter which he has already handled elsewhere -- sometimes returning to it more than once. This is especially true of mythological subjects (for example Medea, Ariadne, or Daedalus and Icarus), but also for instance of certain erotic situations (flirting at the Circus, writing in wine to one's mistress). And 'repetitions of subject-matter frequently coincide with verbal repetitions', as F. points out (13). Critics have not always been impressed by such repetitions (F. surveys modern scholarship on pp. 14-20, and briefly considers Sen. Contr. IX.5.15-17 as possible evidence for ancient attitudes on pp. 12-13). But F. proposes to take a new look at the whole topic of self-imitation in Ovid.

Few instances of Selbstzitat discussed in the book are themselves new discoveries, as F. acknowledges (20). The novelty of her work lies rather in its approach and its scope. Basic to F.'s reappraisal of the material is the assumption that 'relationships between texts by the same author are not essentially different from relationships which exist between texts by different authors' (21). Consequently Selbstzitat can be treated as a form of allusion (or intertextuality) to which we may apply the same techniques of interpretation that we apply to allusions from one author to another (or to intertextualities between different authors). This approach may not be accepted by all scholars; but to me it seems entirely legitimate. F. is by no means the first critic to read instances of Selbstzitat in this way: she acknowledges predecessors in Ovidian studies at various points in the book, and this approach has been applied to (for instance) Vergilian self-imitation for some time.3 But F. is the first scholar to employ such an approach to Ovid in anything like a systematic way, looking at a really broad range of examples of self-imitation from across the poet's oeuvre.

F.'s introduction goes on to clarify her understanding of the dynamics of literary imitation, placing her firmly and explicitly in the tradition of Pasquali and Conte -- allusion functions as a generator of meaning in poetry, which requires the active involvement of the reader (22-5). F. then offers a brief but helpful 'typology' of the forms which Ovidian Selbstzitat does in practice take (25-32). Rather less helpful is the following section (33-60), in which F. makes an ambitious attempt to distinguish between intentional and unintentional instances of Selbstzitat in Ovid: I shall dwell on this briefly.

F. believes that some and possibly many instances of self-imitation in Ovid were not created intentionally by the poet, but are the result either of chance or of unconscious habits of composition (32-3). This seems likely. She is also right to claim that a full picture of Ovid's Technik des Selbstzitats should take into account both intended and unintended repetitions (32). However, any attempt by a modern critic to determine which repetitions are intentional and which are not is fraught with problems. F. is certainly aware of this (33), but believes the attempt is worth making. She begins with the explicit citation of Ars I.31-4 (slightly reworked) at Tristia II.245-50: this is clearly an intentional self-imitation, for it is signalled as one by the author. Such explicit signalling is however most unusual (there is no other example of self-imitation being flagged in this way in Ovid). However, F. thinks we can identify various indications which imply acknowledgement of authorial intention (34-39): for instance, the use of the so-called 'Alexandrian footnote' technique, or the self-reflexive use of language of memory, to accompany instances of self-imitation. Many of her readings of individual passages may well be valid; but it is impossible to produce a watertight proof of authorial intention in any one case. This kind of objection applies more strongly still to F.'s attempt to identify unintentional instances of self-imitation. She correctly points out that many verbal repetitions in Ovid occur in more or less formulaic passages (for example, in introductions of aitia in the Fasti: 39-40): but the claim that such repetitions are less intentional than others is not necessarily true, and certainly not provable. Likewise with what F. terms Ovid's 'building-block technique' (Baustein-technik: analysed, 41-47), where the poet redeploys parts or halves of lines he has used elsewhere in new contexts -- sometimes in combination with other repetitions. Once again, it is not obvious that such self-imitations are likely always to have been unintentional. Overall, it seems to me that it would have been more helpful to analyse the (often fascinating) material F. has assembled in this section in terms of its function in the poetry, rather than in terms of authorial intention. At times, in fact, F. does seem interested in the function of these self-imitations (notably in discussion of passages where she is uncertain about authorial intention: 47-60); and this is certainly her concern in most of the rest of the book. The quest for some insight into Ovid's technique of composition is undoubtedly interesting: but I at least am not convinced by the method employed in this section.4 The second main part of the book is devoted to self-imitation within individual Ovidian works (65-100). F. begins by looking at local repetitions within individual short poems, or within individual episodes which form part of longer poems (65-74). Much of this material has been discussed by Jeff Wills in his outstanding book on repetition in Latin poetry, and F. makes frequent reference to that standard work.5 F.'s treatment is nevertheless useful to have: she points out the kinds of local repetition especially favoured by Ovid, and discusses some significant examples (including the Echo and Narcissus narrative from Met. III, the most brilliant and inventive use of local repetition in Ovid: discussed, 70-2; cf. Wills 346-7). She shows that local repetition is used for a variety of ends -- emphasis, contrast, the articulation of structure. Just occasionally, F. may underestimate the element of humour involved in such repetition. To the otherwise attractive discussion (72-4) of the refrain in Am. I.6, for instance, one might add that the recurring line 'tempora noctis eunt; excute poste seram' takes on a rather comical desperation towards the end of the poem, as the frustrated exclusus amator appears increasingly unlikely to succeed in his aim. The sheer fun, indeed silliness of some local repetitions in Ovid was clearly appreciated by his first readers -- if we can trust a famous anecdote preserved in Seneca (Contr. 2.2.12: not mentioned by F., rather surprisingly).6 F. then considers the use of Selbstzitat in pairs and groups of poems (or episodes) within individual works (74-81). She discusses Trist. III.12 and III.10 as an example of paired poems within a work; Am. I.5, II.10 and III.7 as a connected series of poems within a work; and Romulus-episodes from Fasti III, IV and V as a connected series of episodes within a poem. One feels more might have been said here: no further examples are given, and analysis of the examples quoted is slightly underpowered. On pairs of poems, good pieces by Cynthia Damon and Francis Cairns might have been cited;7 Mary Beard's discussion of some of the ways in which the Roman calendar projected an image (or images) of Roman history could have enriched F.'s discussion of Fasti III-V.8

The second part of the book concludes with a rewarding discussion of some verbal (and larger) correspondences between different parts of the Ars Amatoria (81-89) and between various letters among the single and double Heroides (90-99). F. looks at a series of reminiscences of Ars I-II in book III: she shows how the praeceptor amoris of the final book sometimes seems to give his female addressees an insight into the cynical tactics he recommended to the men in books I-II, but just as often sets the women up to be caught by the men whom he advised in the earlier books. Correspondences between paired letters in the double Heroides are hardly surprising -- as F. points out, in real life letters of reply often reproduce material from the letter which has been received. Rather less expected are some of the verbal correspondences visible among the single Heroides. Most striking are those between VI (Hypsipyle to Jason) and XII (Medea to Jason): the repetitions encourage us to identify recurring patterns in Jason's behaviour, but may also serve to highlight certain contrasts between the two women writing the letters. F. ends with an excellent analysis (96-99) of reminiscences of some of the single letters in XVII (Helen's reply to Paris). Helen's explicit citation of the stories of Ariadne and Medea to justify her caution before embarking on an affair with her guest (XVII.191-6, 229-36) may be reinforced by Ovidian allusion to passages from his own treatments of those heroines, in letters X and XII.

The third main section, the heart of the book, deals with self-imitation from one Ovidian work to another (101-262). It has three parts (themselves divided into clearly defined sub-sections). The first discusses instances of Selbstzitat between Ovid's various different works in elegiacs on erotic subjects (101-163). The second looks at reminiscences of these elegiac works in the Metamorphoses (163-210). The third considers how the exile poetry makes use of allusion both to the earlier erotic elegies and to the Metamorphoses (210-262). These 162 pages are dense with quotation and literary analysis of examples of self-imitation: most of the imitations F. identifies are plausible, and much of her interpretation (which often builds on previous scholarship) seems to me convincing.

F.'s discussion of Ovid's use of self-imitation from one work of erotic elegy to another is the most successful and appealing part of her book. She begins with an account of the rich intertextuality between the Amores and the Ars (101-25). Much of this ground is familiar enough: but to my knowledge no comparably full treatment of the verbal relationship between these texts has been published previously. F. shows how allusion to the Amores complicates our response to the praeceptor amoris of the Ars. His claim to have 'experience' in erotic matters is bolstered by verbal recollections of Ovid's encounters with Corinna and other girls from the Amores. Sometimes a poem from the earlier collection will serve almost as a 'text-book' example of the art of seduction for the student of the Ars: so we might read the reminiscences of Amores III.2 at Ars I.135-62, for example (discussed by F.: 114-24). Elsewhere, the teacher of the Ars urges his students to learn from his own mistakes, telling them for instance not to fight with their girlfriends if they are poor (II.167-74) and to avoid being angered by a rival (II.547-52): in these passages, the teacher's claim to have learned from his own bitter experience may be supported by recollection of Amores I.7 and II.5 respectively (F. 102-4). Most interesting of all is the relationship of the Ars to Amores I.8, the erotodidaxis of Dipsas the bawd. In a full discussion (105-14), F. shows that the Ars makes its male addressees aware of some of the tricks recommended by Dipsas in I.8 -- but also encourages them to undertake similar tricks themselves; the female addressees of book III are often given advice which recalls that given by Dipsas, but this advice is typically modified and toned down (in the interests of the men involved, it seems).

F. goes on to look at how the Ars itself is reworked in the Remedia Amoris (126-40). The poems have some basic points in common, in particular the idea that amor is something which can be controlled by the intellect. But since their aims are fundamentally opposed (become a lover/cease to be one), the allusive relationship between them often involves some element of oppositio in imitando. For instance, the love poets are recommended reading-material for the female students of Ars III.329-40: the same poets (described in similar terms) are rejected at Remedia 757-66. Or, Ars III.209-14 remind the girls to make sure their lovers don't catch them applying their cosmetics: Remedia 351-6 urge the lover to witness precisely this (again, described in very similar language).

The section concludes with analysis of some relationships between the Heroides and the more personal elegiac poems we have just been considering. F. takes various mentions of Phyllis in the Ars and Remedia as her cue to read Heroides II against the background of these poems (140-6): she tentatively concludes that Phyllis and Demophoon in that letter might be understood as 'typical figures', the former as a typical naive girl and the latter a typical worldly seducer. Arguably much stronger are the links between the Ars and the letters of Acontius and Cydippe (Her. XX and XXI). F.'s discussion (146-52) highlights a number of correspondences between Acontius' behaviour and that recommended in Ars I -- a book where Acontius is held up at one point as a model for the student of seduction to follow (I.455-8). Most persuasive of all is F.'s reading of the letters of Paris and Helen (XVI and XVII) in relation to the Ars and the Amores (152-63). In particular, Helen's account of the night-time banquet at which Paris flirted with her while her husband Menelaus was present (XVII.75-90) has a number of points of contact with Amores I.4 (the lover plotting with his mistress how they might flirt in the presence of her vir). Such allusions serve to cast Paris as very much the modern lover; but perhaps they also suggest that the techniques of seduction practised nowadays are nothing new.

F.'s discussion of various relationships between the Metamorphoses and Ovidian erotic elegy (163-210) has its attractions, but overall it is much less satisfying than the previous section. F. focusses on just five instances of self-imitation in the epic: and of these five only three have any significance for interpretation, in my opinion.9 This is rather a disappointing harvest. Other episodes could certainly have been mentioned -- one thinks particularly of the encounter between Apollo and Cupid in Met. I (452ff.), which contains some fairly clear (and much-discussed) glances back to the memorable encounter between Ovid himself and Cupid at the beginning of the Amores (I.1).10 F. makes no reference to this episode, nor to any others which might have been taken into account; nor does she direct the reader to any further secondary literature. Of course one does not expect complete coverage of every instance of self-imitation in such a long poem: but it is surprising that the existence of at least some other examples is not acknowledged here.11 Self-imitation is surely a more notable feature of the Metamorphoses than F. seems to allow: a really full examination of this topic remains a desideratum.

The most substantial case of Selbstzitat in the Metamorphoses which is discussed by F. is found in the story of Byblis' incestuous love for her brother Caunus (IX.450-665). This episode has as its centrepiece Byblis' letter to her brother (IX.530-63). As has long been recognised, this part of the tale has some close points of contact (both general and specific) with the Heroides.12 These are handled very well by F. (180-94). At a general level, we see Ovid integrating a verse-letter of the Heroides-type within a continuous epic narrative. This allows the poet to explore in greater depth various aspects of letter-writing which could only be treated obliquely in the Heroides themselves: the planning and writing of the letter, its delivery and its reception. The Byblis-episode can thus be read as a reflection and a commentary of sorts upon the conventions and limitations of the earlier collection. Most significant among the specific points of contact with the Heroides are the allusions to the letters of Canace to Macareus (XI) and of Phaedra to Hippolytus (IV) -- both expressions of incestuous desire. Byblis is thereby associated with these two notorious heroines: and such an association may be found elsewhere in the story too (F. observes some further possible glances at Heroides IV and XI in Byblis' earlier decision-monologue at IX.474-516). However, it is up to the reader whether he sees this association as a full assimilation, or rather as an opportunity for the poet to highlight some important differences between Byblis and the others (for the latter position cf. F. 193). F.'s brief discussion (171-5) of the story of Iphis' rejection by Anaxarete (told to Pomona by Vertumnus at XIV.698-764) is also rewarding. Here Iphis is very much the exclusus amator of elegiac convention, as is often pointed out: but F. makes a persuasive case for the relevance of Ovid's own Remedia Amoris as well. Iphis' nights on the doorstep are described at XIV.708-10 in such a way as to recall the prohibitions of the Remedia (505-8) against such behaviour; that this advice could have helped Iphis is suggested by a further allusion when he hangs himself (XIV.738, cf. Rem. 15-18). The tale of Cephalus and Procris in Met. VII (688-862) sees Ovid retell a story he had told in book III of the Ars (687-746: cf. Met. VII.796-862). This is the only instance that F. chooses to discuss (194-210) of the poet returning to a narrative presented in his elegies; others might have been taken into account.13 Her analysis of the Cephalus narratives highlights similarities and also important differences between the two versions; arch authorial acknowledgements of Selbstzitat are plausibly identified in the epic tale (VII.813, 827). In addition, a convincing case is made for the presence of allusion to the Amores in both versions.

The final part of F.'s third main section turns to the exile poetry (210-62). The relationship of the Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto to Ovid's earlier output is an important theme of these collections themselves, and has been central to much recent critical discussion of them. Often building on this modern scholarship, F. explores a range of allusions to Ovid's erotic elegies and to the Metamorphoses in the exile poetry: although by no means exhaustive, the coverage of the topic in this section is much fuller and more satisfying than in the previous section.

Ostensibly, the exile poems distance themselves from the Ars Amatoria. Sometimes Selbstzitat serves to reinforce this distancing, most obviously at Tr. I.1.67 'non sum praeceptor Amoris' (picking up the famous Ars I.17: F. 226). But occasionally material from the Ars is incorporated into the new works. The barbarians of Tomis (Tr. V.7) are described in terms inverting those used by the Ars of Roman youths (F. 231-2). Ovid's 'home thoughts from abroad' in Tr. III.12 (springtime) and IV.2 (Tiberius' triumph) recall related descriptions in the earlier poem (F. 232-7). There is even the odd instance of seduction-advice from the Ars being transformed into supplication-advice to Ovid's wife in Pont. III.1 (F. 227-31).

The Amores as a collection are looked back on with pride in Tr. IV.10 (and their words picked up more than once in that poem: F. 213-16). But times have changed since they were written; and the reworkings of individual elegies tend to highlight these changes. F. shows how language used in the Amores of the travails of the lover is adapted to express the sufferings of exile in the Tristia (221-6). (This is visible in the very first couplet of the first poem in book I, where the lover's complaint from Am. III.8.6 that 'quo licuit libris, non licet ire mihi' is adapted to the exile's situation: the liber can go 'quo domino non licet ire tuo'.) Change is also visible in the reworkings of Am. I.1 and I.5 when Amor comes to visit the sleeping Ovid in Pont. III.3 (F. 216-21).

Some of the most interesting self-imitations in the exile poetry return us to the Heroides and the Metamorphoses. F. handles the former well, drawing together various strands in modern research (240-52). She shows how some of the epistolary poems from exile pick up formal features of the Heroides (248-51). More significantly for interpretation, the portrayal of Ovid's wife in Tr. I.3 recalls some moving moments from the letters of Briseis (III) and Laodamia (XIII) (243-5). All the significant allusions to the Heroides appear to come in poems where Ovid's wife is either the addressee or portrayed as a character (251: Tr. I.6 is considered on pp. 240-2). F.'s discussion of allusion to the Metamorphoses is brief (252-62), but her interpretation of the instances she does discuss is convincing. In Tr. III.10, the description of the transforming effect of winter on the landscape at Tomis is enlivened by recollection of some extreme landscapes and transformations from the Met. (252-6). The account of Ovid's lack of appetite in Pont. I.10 wittily inverts Erysicthon's hunger in Met. VIII (256-8). F. ends the section, and the main part of the book, with an analysis of the clear verbal correspondences between the storm in Tr. I.2 and the storm which results in Ceyx' shipwreck and death in Met. XI (258-62). She convincingly suggests that reminiscence of that deadly storm from the epic serves to increase the sense of danger in Tr. I.2, and also to associate Ovid with the appealing husband-figure of Ceyx. I would only add that these allusions may also make a (less tangible, but no less significant) contribution to the mood and the atmosphere of Tr. I.2: recalling as they do part of what may be the most moving episode in the entire Metamorphoses, they help to generate real emotional charge in the later poem.

I hope to have given some idea above of the range of material treated by this book. F. covers a very considerable amount of ground in a relatively short space: this achievement is facilitated by an admirable concision of expression, and by an equally admirable refusal to stray from the central topic of study. The appeal of the book lies above all in its gathering and clear organization of a large amount of relevant material, and in its sane and often convincing interpretation of that material. But it should also be added that the book is very readable (in other hands, this could have been a terribly dry monograph). The usefulness of the book is enhanced by a full list of Ovidian passages discussed (278-84), crucial in a work of this type. There is also a list of passages from other authors (285-8), and an unusually full index of names and topics mentioned (289-302).

F.'s coverage of the topic is broad. However, it is by no means exhaustive -- and although one certainly does not expect every last instance of Selbstzitat in Ovid to be presented and discussed, there are one or two significant gaps in the book. The first has already been mentioned. The section on self-imitation in the Metamorphoses is less substantial than one might have hoped: there is more (perhaps much more) to be said on this topic. The second major gap in coverage is the almost total absence of the Fasti from the main part of the book: F. discusses a number of repetitions (local and long-distance) within that poem, but there is no mention of the relationship between the Fasti and Ovid's other works. This is surprising, not least since there are a few pretty clear (and very interesting) instances of self-imitation in the Fasti -- the most familiar being the reminiscences of the Amores during the poet's interview with Venus at the beginning of book IV.14 In the cases of both the Metamorphoses and the Fasti, then, much work remains to be done. The examples of self-imitation cited by F. from these works may well be, if not quite the tip of an iceberg, nevertheless only a small sample from a much larger number of instances.

Other absences are less significant. I have mentioned above a few works of relevant secondary literature which F. does not cite, but for the most part her familiarity with the large modern bibliography on Ovid and on literary imitation is impressive. One last topic on which it would have been interesting to have F.'s views is Ovid's position within the ancient tradition of literary self-imitation. He was certainly not the first poet to make use of this type of imitatio: it is found at least as early as Hesiod, arguably; but Vergil was perhaps the key precedent for Ovid, in this respect as in so many others (the Georgics allude to the Eclogues, and the Aeneid alludes to both).15

Overall, though, it is churlish to dwell on absences when there is a great deal on offer here. If F.'s book is not the definitive work on Ovid's use of Selbstzitat, it is at the least a very helpful tool for future research -- and a good summary of much of what is currently known about this aspect of his poetry. In gathering together the fruits of her own and others' research and presenting them in a full, attractive and user-friendly volume, F. has performed an important service for Ovidians -- and for all interested in imitation in Latin poetry.16


1.   This was a dissertation written at Königsberg, 89 pages long in its published form (publ. Jena). It is not easy to track down: only one copy seems to be available in the British library system, for instance (in Cambridge).
2.   The reviewer apologizes to the author and the publisher for the late appearance of this review.
3.   As F. acknowledges at 21 n.61. Cf. e.g. W.W. Briggs Jr., Narrative and Simile from the Georgics in the Aeneid (Leiden, 1980).
4.   My chief objection here is to F.'s method for trying to gain some insight into what Ovid's intentions might have been, and not to her interest in authorial intention per se. Many of course hold that an author's intentions, even if they were known, would not be relevant to a reader's interpretation of his poem -- but for some doubts about this in recent scholarship see e.g. S. Hinds, Allusion and Intertext (Cambridge, 1998) 47-51; W. Irwin, 'What Is an Allusion?' Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 59.3 (2001) 287-97; C. Ricks, Allusion to the Poets (Oxford, 2002) 3-4.
5.   J. Wills, Repetition in Latin Poetry: Figures of Allusion (Oxford, 1996).
6.   The lines discussed by Seneca are Ars 2.24 and Am. 2.11.10. Cf. Wills 416, 450-1.
7.   F. Cairns, 'Self-imitation within a generic framework: Ovid, Amores 2.9 and 3.11 and the renuntiatio amoris' in D. West and T. Woodman (edd.), Creative imitation and Latin literature (Cambridge, 1979) 121-41; C. Damon, 'Poem Division, Paired Poems, and Amores 2.9 and 3.11' TAPA 120 (1990) 269-90.
8.   M. Beard, 'A complex of times: No more sheep on Romulus' birthday' PCPS 33 (1987) 1-15.
9.   F.'s analysis (163-71) of the Narcissus story in Met. III in relation to the insistence of the Ars that students must get to know themselves before they can become successful in love (Ars II.497-502, III.771-4) does not persuade me. Nor does F. make a clear case for any literary significance in the undoubted verbal parallels between the Iphis episode (Met. IX.666-797) and Amores II.13.
10.   The fullest discussion of the correspondences is W.S.M. Nicoll, 'Cupid, Apollo and Daphne (Ovid Met. 1.452ff.' CQ 30 (1980) 174-82. Their significance is perhaps best understood in the context of the debate about genre and generic mixing in the Metamorphoses (which is ignored by Frings, so far as I can see): see P.E. Knox, Ovid's Metamorphoses and the Traditions of Augustan Poetry (Cambridge, 1986) 14-17, and passim for the larger issue. The allusion is noted by a number of recent general handbooks: P. Hardie (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Ovid (Cambridge, 2002) 28 (Tarrant) and 88 (Harrison); R. Armstrong, Ovid and His Love Poetry (London, 2005) 140-3.
11.   I know of no convenient list of imitations of Ovid's erotic elegies in the Metamorphoses. I have stumbled upon the following instances from Met. I-IV in the course of reading and teaching; I suspect there are other instances even in these books. The Io episode (I.583-746) recalls the lines on Io in Her. XIV (85-108) at a number of points (I.589, 637-8, 640-1). Callisto at II.412 does not care to 'positu variare comas': contrast the girls of Medicamina 19. Narcissus laments 'primoque extinguor in aevo' (III.470): cf. Hermione at Her. 8.121. The Venus and Mars episode (IV.171-89) picks up Ovid's telling of the same story at Ars II.561-92 (esp. IV.189: cf. Ars II.561). The Pyramus and Thisbe story owes something to elegy (cf. Knox op. cit. 35-7), and may recall Am. I.7.53-6 at IV.133-7. The Sun's pursuit of Leucothoe may glance at Ars I.42 (at IV.228) and I.126 (at IV.230). Mercury's male grooming at II.731-6 is probably related to Ovidian elegy (Knox 27-8), although precise verbal correspondences are elusive.
12.   Some earlier bibliography is cited by F. (180 n. 205). Besides Her. XI and IV, F. also identifies convincing correspondences with Her. II and with Amores I.11-12.
13.   For example, Daedalus and Icarus: Met. VIII.183-235, cf. Ars II.21-96; or Venus and Mars: Met. IV.171-89, cf. Ars II.561-92; or Medea: Met. VII.1-424, cf. Heroides XII. Those episodes where the Metamorphoses-narrative overlaps (and interacts) with the elegiac Fasti might also have been mentioned in this section: for instance, Callisto (Met. II.401-531, cf. Fasti II.153-92) or Ceres and Proserpina (Met. V.341-571, cf. Fasti 4.417-620). The fundamental discussion of the latter instance by Stephen Hinds (The Metamorphosis of Persephone: Cambridge, 1987) demonstrates what can be done with this material.
14.   On these, see e.g. Fantham's commentary ad loc. and A. Barchiesi, The Poet and the Prince. Ovid and Augustan Discourse (Berkeley, 1997) 53-65.
15.   Stephen Hinds has suggested that at one point Fasti III shows a learned and sympathetic appreciation of Vergilian Selbstzitat: for the argument (too complex to summarize here), see his 'Generalising about Ovid' (Ramus 16 (1987) 4-31) at 14-17.
16.   The book is well produced. I noticed only a few misprints: p. 44 (for 'Sedes Divi Iuli', read 'Aedes Divi Iuli'); p. 68 (Met. 4.307 is missing an inverted comma at the end); p. 207 n. 265 (for 'Miller 1997', read 'Miller 1993'); p. 250 (for 'mit epist. 14 und 22', read 'mit epist. 14 und 21'); p. 260 (Met. 11.493 should end 'iubeatve vetetve'); also, the numbering of Catullus' sparrow poems seems to have gone awry on p. 75. There are some minor font-related problems on pp. 69, 142, 205 and 247; the Greek quotations embedded in the main text on pp. 158 and 188 have been mangled.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.