Ad Navseam

“That’s the Power of Love: Two Ovidian Vignettes” (Ad Navseam, Episode 59)

October 19, 2021

Jeff and Dave wade into the Olympic-sized pool that is Ovid’s masterpiece, the Metamorphoses. After untangling etymological tendrils of the word “vignette”, the guys dive right in. First up, “Apollo and Daphne”. Not happy with Apollo’s arch trash-talk, Cupid shows him who’s really the boss—his arrows unleash unstoppable passion and malodorous disdain between the titular two. This is not the chubby bowman on your Valentine’s card. Then it’s on to “Diana and Actaeon”. What’s the message here? Another defense of chastity? Haunting comment on the goddess' sacredness? Is Ovid alluding to his own error or the recent Roman past? Maybe he's whelping on the very conventions of epic? Come on in, the water's fine, but be careful where you dogpaddle.

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