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Episode Seven: Various Artists

Warning: there’s some talk of rape in this episode (sadly it’s quite unavoidable in myth).

This week Abi and Sarah nerd-gasm HARD (yes, it’s possible for us to get MORE nerdy) because we’re bringing it back to our main man, Ovid (Latin poet of the first-century BCE/CE) and his poem, published in around 8 CE: the Metamorphoses. NOT ONLY THAT, but we also get to talk about art and artists, so basically ... we’re in heaven.

Yes, this episode we’re talking about ‘Ovid’s Artists’, but my goodness there are a lot of them, so technically this episode we’re talking about ‘Three Of Ovid’s Artists With A Few Scattered Along The Way’. Catchy, right?

You’ll hear about Pygmalion and his statue kinks – the ultimate artist who even fools himself with his own creation (oh and also hates women along the way *eye roll*). AND GETS BLOODY REWARDED FOR IT. *second eye roll*. Arachne is our second artist who decides to take on Minerva in a weaving contest ... did we mention that Minerva is THE goddess of weaving...? But Arachne isn’t the only weaver in the Met and this gives us a chance to shout about a completely tragic and totally underappreciated Greek myth: Philomela and Procne. We’re not gonna tell you about that one here – you’ll have to have a listen.

Oh, and let’s not forget Ovid himself ... he certainly doesn’t ... (yes that makes four, we’re Classicists, not Mathmeticians).

There are subjects like art and nature, taking on the gods, using the patriarchy against itself (YAS Philomela), the competition of the arts, and using myth to cure phobias. There also may be some claims that our podcast is at the very crux of the universe.

Not sorry about that.

If you want to know more about Ovid, why not listen to our very first episode: One Poet to Rule Them All (any excuse for a cheeky plug).

The features this week both come from After Ovid. The first is Pygmalion and Galatea by Derek Mahon and the second is Spiderwoman by Michael Longley.

References (phew there are lots this week!):

Ovid’s Metamorphoses, c. 8 CE

· Pygmalion: 10.243-297

· Arachne: 6.1-145

· Philomela and Procne: 6.424-474

Hofmann, M. and J. Lasdun (eds.) (1994) After Ovid: New Metamorphoses. New York.

Philostephanus, The Cypriaca, c. 3rd century BCE.

George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion, first performed in 1913.

Elsner, J. (1991) ‘Visual mimesis and the myth of the real: Ovid’s Pygmalion as viewer’, Ramus 20.2: 154-168.

Pete Wentz, Fall out Toy Works comic series:

Solodow, J.B. (1988) The World of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Chapel Hill.

Johnson, P.J. (2008) Ovid Before Exile: Art and Punishment in the Metamorphoses. Wisconsin.

Lateiner, D. (1984) ‘Mythic and non-mythic artists in Ovid’s Metamorphoses’, Ramus: Critical Studies in Greek and Roman Literature 13.1: 1-30.

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