Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Classics

First Advisor

Carole E. Newlands

Second Advisor

Jackie M. Elliott

Third Advisor

Laurialan B. Reitzammer

Fourth Advisor

Diane Conlin

Fifth Advisor

Anne Lester

Abstract

Though ostensibly a poem meant to explicate the Roman calendar and its attendant religious festivals under the Caesars, Ovid’s Fasti elevates certain non-Augustan religious and historical figures to surprising heights. This dissertation investigates three such characters: Remus, Hersilia, and Carmentis. All three of these characters are somewhat minor figures in the art and literature of Ovid’s time, and have little – if any – connection to the religious contexts into which Ovid inserts them. A comparison with the traditional accounts of these characters (both literary and material) shows that Ovid utilizes their relative absence elsewhere to construct a new narrative about them that represents and articulates his own elegiac poetic “programme” in the face of the famous artistic and political “programme” of Augustus. Ovid’s concerns – the feminine voice, the perspective of the historical “other,” and elegiac poetry’s alternative views on morality – are personified through these characters, and their unprecedented promotion to divinity (or, in Remus’ case, the unprecedented suggestion of his potential divinity) not only questions the Augustan rhetoric of political apotheosis but also suggests Ovid’s elevation of his own poetry to immortality.

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