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Talking BooksReadings in Hellenistic and Roman Books of Poetry$
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G. O. Hutchinson

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199279418

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199279418.001.0001

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The Metamorphosis of Metamorphosis: P. Oxy. 4711 and Ovid *

The Metamorphosis of Metamorphosis: P. Oxy. 4711 and Ovid *

Chapter:
(p.200) 9 The Metamorphosis of Metamorphosis: P. Oxy. 4711 and Ovid*
Source:
Talking Books
Author(s):

G. O. Hutchinson (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199279418.003.0009

This piece was the first to discuss the relation of a new papyrus to Ovid's Metamorphoses. The papyrus exhibits a sequence of unjoined elegiac accounts of metamorphoses; the individual accounts are shown to have been relatively short. The work is argued to be probably Hellenistic, and possibly by Parthenius. It throws light on the typology of Hellenistic poetry, much of which presents formally linked or formally unlinked sequences of parallel items. The work brings out for us, and possibly Ovid's first readers, the sweep and ambition of Ovid's design. Examination of the shared episodes displays Ovid's large interconnections, particularly within the poem's books, which are held to be significant structures. The role of length and brevity in the poem is illuminated by the papyrus. The appendix discusses the structure of Metamorphoses 9, built on the opposition of gender.

Keywords:   Ovid, Metamorphoses, Parthenius, Hellenistic poetry, brevity, gender

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