Classical Studies | Ovidian Mythology & Its Tradition
C416 | 1029 | Leach

Eleanor Winsor Leach, Classical Studies
C416/Section No. 1029
Ovidian Mythology and its Traditions
I Semester 2001

Meets Monday and Wednesday, FA 010 from 4:00 to 5:15

This course will focus on Ovid's poetry and its importance for the
transmission of classical mythology within the literary and artistic
traditions of western Europe. Beginning with Ovid's own appropriation
and reconfiguration of myths as examples or narrative vehicles,
particular emphasis will be given to cultural context and to its
influence in the transformations of myth. Reading for the first few
weeks will comprise portions of Ovid's erotic poems (Amores and Art of
Love) and epic Metamorphoses in translation with particular attention
to myths that figure repeatedly in later art such as Pyramus and
Thisbe, Narcissus, Pygmalion, Venus and Adonis, Apollo and Daphne,
Polyphemus and Galatea, the "Loves of Jove". Subsequent readings will
include selections from Apuleius' Metamorphoses, medieval romance, the
Romance of the Rose, Petrarch's Rime Sparse, Boccaccio, Chaucer,
Spenser, Shakespeare and Milton. Paintings discussed will include
Roman wall paintings and works by Botticelli, Correggio, Titian,
Giulio Romano, Carracci, Velasquez and Poussin.

The course format will be lecture/discussion. Written work will
comprise 2 short interpretive papers and a longer research paper
studying the literary and artistic development of a single myth.
Material not covered in the class program, such as American
mythological painting, may be included in these papers. Depending on
class enrollment, these might be presented as reports. N.B. The course
can also carry Intensive Writing Credit for those who wish it; these
students will fulfill a series of short paper assignments.  There will
also be a final examination consisting of one hour of slide questions
and one hour's interpretive essay.


Apuleius, The Golden Ass, P.G. Walsh, tr. Oxford 1994. 1962.

Boccaccio, G. Decameron, Bondinella and Musa, trans. New American
Library, 1982.

Chaucer, G. The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale, ed. G. Cignan,
Holmes and Meier, 1976.

*Guilliame de Lorris/ Jean de Meun, Romance of the Rose, trans, Harry
Robbins, Dutton, 1962

Ovidius Maro, P. The Erotic Poems P. Greene, trans., Penguin, 1983

Ovidius Maro, P. Metamorphoses, A.D. Melville, trans., Oxford, 1987.

Shakespeare, Wm., Narrative Poems R. Wilbur & A. Harbage, eds.,
Penguin, 1966

Shakespeare, Wm., A Midsummer Night's Dream, Madeleine Doran, ed.,
Penguin, 1959.

Shakespere, Wm., A Winter's Tale, F. Kermode, ed., Signet Classics,

Spenser, Edmund, Faerie Queene Books 1 and 3, Ann Prescott, ed.
Norton, New York, 1992. (on order)

Anthology of selections from Medieval romance, Petrarch, Milton to be
purchased at Collegiate Copies

* = Recommended text: Selections are contained in anthology.
Students who already own other editions of these texts may feel free
to substitute them for those above, with the exception of the two Ovid