Sunday, September 4, 2022

From Man to Woman and Back Again: Tiresias, Lactantius Placidus, Narr. 3.5

[Tiresias] qui utramque naturam maris ac feminae fuerat expertus. nam quodam tempore cum serpentes concubitu haerentes baculo percussisset, in mulierem conversus fuerat ac rursus proximo vere eadem usus ratione ac tactu in virum cesserat. 

--Lactantius Placidus, Qui dicitur Narrationes Fabularum Ovidiarum Liber 3 fabula 5

Tiresias had experienced the nature of being a man and a woman. For at some point in his life he had transformed into a woman when he had struck a pair of mating serpents with a stick. He changed back into a man the following spring the same way.



Name:  Lactantius Placidus

Date:  5th or 6th century CE

Works:  Abridgement of Ovids’ Metamorphoses

Commentary on Statius’ Thebaid



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



 Little is known about this Christian author, but he is known for his commentary on Statius’ Thebaid and an abridgement of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.


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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