Issues in Early Modern Europe: Myth and History and the Reception of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.
The course examines Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a collection of mythological stories written in the reign of Caesar Augustus but drawn from both Roman and Greek sources. We will also examine the interpretations people have employed in subsequent centuries. Of particular importance in this second endeavor will be translations, commentaries, and artistic representations produced in late medieval France, Renaissance Rome, Reformation England, Baroque Spain, and Enlightenment France. More importantly, we will work toward understanding the cultural importance of Mythology; defining the relationship between the discipline of History and the study of Mythology, and we will seek to explain why certain basic symbols and narratives seem to hold such power over people who lived in vastly different cultures, centuries apart from one another.