Sunday, January 24, 2021

The Birth of Bacchus: Ovid, Fasti III.713-718

 Tertia post Idus lux est celeberrima Baccho:

     Bacche, fave vati, dum tua festa cano.

nec referam Semelen, ad quam nisi fulmina secum               715

     Iuppiter adferret, ~parvus inermis eras~;

nec, puer ut posses maturo tempore nasci,

     expletum patrio corpore matris opus.

--Ovid, Fasti III.713-718

The third day after the Ides is famous for Bacchus:

Bless me, Bacchus, while I sing of your holiday.

I’ll not mention [your mother] Semele, whom Jupiter visited with lightning

while you were an innocent little baby—premature.

So that you could be born at an appropriate time,

A father’s body was used to complete a mother’s function.



Name: Publius Ovidius Naso  

Date:  43 BCE – 18 CE

Works:  Ars Amatoria


              Tristia, etc.



Region 1: Peninsular Italy; Region 2: Western Europe; Region 3: Western Coast of Africa; Region 4: Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean; Region 5: Greece and the Balkans



Ovid was one of the most famous love poets of Rome’s Golden Age. His most famous work, the Metamorphoses, provides a history of the world through a series of interwoven myths. Most of his poetry is erotic in nature; for this reason, he fell into trouble during the conservative social reforms under the reign of the emperor Augustus. In 8 CE he was banished to Bithynia, where he spent the remainder of his life pining for his native homeland.



Early Roman Lit: through 2nd c BCE: Republican Rome: through 1st c. BCE; Golden Age: 70 BCE to 18 CE; Silver Age: 18 CE to 150 CE; Age of Conflict: 150 CE - 410 CE; Byzantine and Late Latin: after 410 CE

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