Three Stories from Ovid’s Metamorphoses

In all three of the following myths, from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, there is the concept of man’s pride and then his fall before God (in this case a god or several gods). He is then turned into a part of nature in punishment.

The first myth is Arachne and Minerva. Arachne is a woman who has been taught by the goddess Minerva to weave. She pridefully believes herself to be the best weaver. Minerva, her own pride hurt, challenges her to a weaving contest. Arachne wins. Enraged, the goddess changes Arachne into a Continue reading

Introduction to Book I of Ovid’s Metamorphoses

Ovid (43 B.C. to 17/18 A.D.), born Publius Ovidius Naso, was a Roman poet who was banished by the unjust Augustus Caesar in 8 A.D., the same year he wrote Metamorphoses. This work is composed of fifteen books, which contain two hundred and fifty myths. They recount stories from the Creation until the death of Julius Caesar.

Metamorphoses begins with an invocation to the immortal Roman gods. The Creation, from the point of view of the Ancient Romans, began with Chaos. Then an unknown god Continue reading

The Cataline Orations

The Cataline Orations were persuasive speeches given to the Roman Senate in 63 B.C. exposing the Cataline Conspiracy. They were written and given by Roman orator Cicero. The Cataline Conspiracy was an attempt by the senator Cataline and his army to overthrow the Roman Republic and kill Cicero (see this article).

The cause of this conspiracy was that Cataline had run for consulship against Cicero. He had failed and was determined to try again when Cicero accused him of treason and treachery. Continue reading