‘Hail wedded love!’ Embracing the conjugal in Ovid - Philip Hardie - Vita e Pensiero - Articolo Aevum Antiquum Vita e Pensiero

‘Hail wedded love!’ Embracing the conjugal in Ovid

digital ‘Hail wedded love!’ Embracing the conjugal in Ovid
fascicolo AEVUM ANTIQUUM - 2018 - 18
titolo ‘Hail wedded love!’ Embracing the conjugal in Ovid
‘Hail wedded love!’ Embracing the conjugal in Ovid
editore Vita e Pensiero
formato Articolo | Pdf
online da 02-2020
doi 10.26350/020747_000031
issn 1121-8932 (stampa) | 1827-7861 (digitale)
€ 6,00

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Ovid the poet of irregular love, is also the poet who celebrates married love. His wife appears in both the Amores and the exile poetry, and the Metamorphoses contains a number of major episodes on the theme of marriage and conjugal love. In this paper I first examine the Ovidian stories of Orpheus and Eurydice, and Ceyx and Alcyone, with contrastive reference to the theme of marriage in Virgil. I then turn to a number of examples of the post-antique reception of Ovidian stories and images of conjugal love: Chaucer’s rewriting of Ceyx and Alcyone in The Book of the Duchess; the use of Salmacis and Hermaphroditus as an image for marital union in Edmund Spenser and in other Renaissance texts and images; Milton’s use of Ovidian episodes of married love in Paradise Lost. I end with the panegyrical equation, in Ovid’s poetry and in Rubens’ Life of Maria de’ Medici, of divine marriages in heaven with the earthly marriages of rulers.


Ovid, Chaucer, Spenser, Milton, Rubens, marriage, love, panegyric.

Biografia dell'autore

Philip Hardie, Trinity College, Cambridge. Email: prh1004@hermes.cam.ac.uk

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