Ovid’s Metamorphoses

ovids-metamorphosesPresented by Rhiannon Evans and Peter Davis

Ovid's Metamorphoses is one of the most entertaining and popular ancient Roman texts, and a storehouse of Greek and Roman mythological tales, wrapped up in an appealing and often comic style. However, in recent years, scholars have also emphasised the historical and cultural context of the Metamorphoses, as a product and critique of Augustan Rome, and as a text which contains distinctly darker strains.

We shall spend some time looking at how particular episodes within this text might have been read by contemporary Romans as commentary on the misuse of arbitrary power; and how other narratives in the poem deal with gender, sexuality, memory, art and the cosmos. Throughout, we will consider how the Metamorphoses rewrites both mythology and the epic genre to create a poem which remains fresh and vibrant to the contemporary reader.

Optional Preparatory Reading:
G. Lively, Ovid's Metamorphoses: A Reader's Guide (Continuum, 2010) Ovid, Metamorphoses
J.B. Solodow, The World of Ovid's Metamorphoses (University of North Carolina Press, 2008)

Date and Location:

1.00 – 4.00pm Saturday 1st June
Room 104, La Trobe University (Franklin Street Campus)
215 Franklin St, Melbourne


Cost: $50 (full)/ $25 (discount)

Register Now


About the Speakers:

Peter Davis

p-davis-thumbnailAssociate Professor Peter Davis lectured in Classics at the University of Tasmania for many years. He is now a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide, where he is one of the chief investigators in a project funded by the Australian Research Council, Banning Ideas, Burning Books: The Dynamics of Censorship in Classical Antiquity.

He has published widely on ancient Greek and Roman literature, including a recent book Ovid and Augustus: A Political Reading of Ovid's Erotic Poetry.

Rhiannon Evans

r-evans-thumbnailRhiannon is a lecturer in Ancient Mediterranean Studies at La Trobe University. She has also worked at the Universities of Melbourne and Tasmania, and has been teaching Latin language and Roman Studies for over 15 years. She wrote her M.A. Thesis on Ovid's poetry, and has since published a book on the Golden Age in Roman literature, including a chapter focussing on Ovid's Metamorphoses, and several articles on Roman literature in the imperial period.


Free Public Lecture: Political exploration presented by Peter Davis

The Dynamics of Censorship in Early Imperial Rome: Ovid and Statius

As Ovid learnt, you have to be careful with what you write! Exiled to the shores of the Black Sea for 'a poem' and 'an error', he wasn't in fact the only one to face such a fate in the ancient world. Discover the historical dynamics of censorship with this free public lecture as a prelude to the literary exploration of Ovid's Metamorphoses.

Date: 6-7pm on Thursday 30 May
Location: La Trobe University, 215 Franklin St, Room 104

Register Now


More Information

If you have any inquiries please contact Annie Fergusson via email at: a.fergusson@latrobe.edu.au or contact on 9479 3466.

Course Code - OM07