Download Ovid's Fasti: Historical Readings at Its Bimillennium by Geraldine Herbert-Brown PDF

By Geraldine Herbert-Brown

This ground-breaking e-book celebrates the bimillennial anniversary of the inception of Ovid's Fasti through delivering numerous methods to Ovid's poem at the Roman spiritual calendar. the amount doesn't objective at consensus yet brings jointly specialists from world wide with no permitting any unmarried prejudice to succeed.

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23 But fertility was even more vital to society and to the woman's self-respect than fidelity. 24 The poet's account of the origin of this practice conveys the urgent need for fertility in those days of heavy infant mortality. 25 There husbands and wives alike prayed to the goddess and her voice was heard to order with oracular ambiguity 'Italidas matres sacer hircus inito' ('let the sacred he-goat penetrate the Italian mothers'). The suppliants were naturally shocked, until an augur, guessing the riddle, slew and skinned a he-goat so that women could offer their backs to be lashed with strips of its hide: as Ovid tells it, in ten lunar months the 'vir' and 'nupta' of 437 became a father and mother (2.

And he seems to be inviting all the women to join in bathing the image, though this kind of ritual was usually only performed by a few attendants, often indeed by virgins. We noted in connection with the washing of Cybele's image that women's rituals would not be listed in public calendars, because they were not required of public officials. But what makes the washing of Venus suspect is less the lack of corroborating evidence than Ovid's close imitation in the consciously stylized artificial language of his instructions of a famous literary model-Callimachus' elegiac hymn called 'the Bathing of Pallas' which celebrates an equally unattested ritual in which women bathe the image of Pallas Athene in Argos.

The 'Aedes Forlunae in foro Boario') with 'Fortuna Virgo', also identified with the original 'Pudicitia Patricia*. 24 2, 427-8: 'excipe fecundae patienter verbera dextrae, | iam socer optaturn nomen babe-bit avi*. Women are usually seen in terms of male interests; when a man has no sons, he must hope that his daughter will, give him a grandson. As for his daughter-inlaw, unless she conies from an important family with whuni a political bond is desired, she has no other function. '^ 2, 4-25—52.

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