Subject matter source : LUSENET : Publius Ovidius Naso : One Thread

Hi, In reading the Metamorphoses I found striking similarities with Judeo-Christian concepts of creation and the like. Does anyone know if Ovid was copying this material from Jewish or Christian sources, or was he using other sources which later became incorporated into Western Christianity?

Thanks in advance for each and any answer.

(just an opinion) Francisco

-- Francisco L. Loaiza (, August 28, 1997


Dual question?

I suppose the question of similarities between ideas in the Metamorphose and in Judeo-Christian thought is a dual one:

1) What interrelation between ideas in the Semitic and the Greek world, ideas that Ovid would have gotten from Greek philosophers and Greek influence Roman authors, possibly from Jews and Phoenicians in Rome;

2) What was the influence of Roman thought on the Near East under Roman rule

-- Sean Redmond (, August 29, 1997.

This has been discussed several times (cf. in general Boemer's commentary), but - of course - without clear evidence. But when you consider that there about 40 000 Jews living in Rome at that time there may well be connections. The same is true for Vergil and Horace (cf. sat. 1,5; 1,9; epod. 16).

-- Ulrich Schmitzer (, August 29, 1997.

Jewish influence

I have looked up the paper by Stroh, mentioned from memeory in the earlier posting: W. Stroh, Vergil und Horaz in ihren prophetischen Gedichten, Gymnasium 100,1993,289-322: it seems very convincing to me that Vergil and Horace knew more of Jewish wisdom than most classicists are willing to accept. And Ov. met. 1,26ff (as E.A. Schmidt, Poetische Menschenwelt states) is interestingly close to the Genesis. It is not clear how these traces of Jewish thought came to Rome. There are two possibilities (to my opinion): either the Roman poets learned from the Jews living in Rome (among them might well have been not only merchants) or there is a Greek mediation via the Alexandrian connection. The latter hypothesis seems more plausible to me. I don't think that there was much influence on the intellectual world in Judea at that time - though I am not sure about it.

Ulrich Schmitzer

-- Ulrich Schmitzer (, August 29, 1997.

Adrian Hollis, I believe, in his commentary on book 8 of the met. includes an appendix at the end discussing flood myths and the frequent occurrence of such myths in the mediterranean basin area and near east - all of which seem to contain certain elements in common. (I think, although I cannot remember offhand, that this was the results of a study carried out by someone else...) Hope this is of use. Laura

-- Laura Gorney (, December 02, 1997.

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