Ad Mea Tempora

Ovid in Ovidian Times

  • March 9-10, 2013
  • Warburg Institute, London

It is by now a critical commonplace to observe that the last 30 years have seen a dramatic reversal in Ovid’s critical fortunes. From a maligned harbinger of Silver Latin, Ovid has moved to the centre of Latin literary criticism and classical reception studies. This critical reappraisal can, of course, be understood as a reversion to a periodic historical norm, with Ovid returning to the high esteem in which he was held for much of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. At the same time, the recent Ovidian revival seems to follow, almost inevitably, from contemporary cultural conditions: Ovid’s irony and wit, the kaleidoscopically intertextual texture of his poetry. his fascination with change, and his continual juxtapositions of sex and politics are all highly congenial to the interests and aesthetics of modern and postmodern literary and intellectual culture. The turn of the twenty-first century, then, has not only been a good moment for Ovid, but also a very Ovidian moment.

But what does it mean to describe a period, genre or work as Ovidian? This one-day graduate colloquium – a pendant to the Warburg Institute and Institute for Classical Study’s The Afterlife of Ovid (– aims to bring together graduate students working on Ovid and his reception to explore and discuss the nature and boundaries of the Ovidian. Do different readers of Ovid invariably create their own versions of the poet, or can the Ovidian be understood as a transhistorical aesthetic category? Do literary and critical contexts in which Ovid holds a prominent position – including, but not limited to, the present moment, late 16th century England, and the latter half of the Augustan principate – share distinguishing cultural and aesthetic conditions? What are the relations between the Ovidian, the Augustan, the Classical?

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Organized by Leon Grek (Princeton), Aaron Kachuck (Princeton) and Daisy Dunn (UCL)


Saturday, March 9, 2013


Panel 1: Ovidian Lives

Leon Grek (Princeton)
“The Commentator’s Grief: Ovidian Ruins and the Fasti of Paulus Marsus.”

Helena Taylor (Oxford)
“When an ancien Becomes a Moderne: Telling Ovid’s Story in Late Seventeenth-Century France.

Iarla Manny (Open University/Oxford)
“The Gorgon’s Gaze: Visuality, Reality, and Sexual Identity in Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray and Salomé.”

Panel 2: Translating Ovid

Anastasios Tyflopoulos (KCL)
“Ovidian Transformations in Greek: Heroides 16 Translated by Thomas Trivizanos (c. 1550).

Gina White (Princeton)
“Reflections of the Cave of Sleep: Ovid, Statius, and Spenser.”

David Van Schoor (Rhodes University)
“Expedit esse deos: Magic & Romantic Ironic in Receptions of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.”


Panel 3: Ovidian Theories

Leah Klement (Princeton)
“Heterogeneity as Genre: Ovid, Celtic Genre Theory, and the Breton Lay.

Sarah Case (Princeton)
“Looking into Chapman’s Ovid: Poetry and Pleasure in George Chapman’s Ovids Banquet of Sence.”

Holly Ranger (Birmingham)
“Ovid, Queer Theory and Fictocriticism: A Model for Classical Reception”

Coffee Break

Panel 4: Ovid in Performance

Daniel Blank (Princeton)
“‘Smelling too much of that writer Ovid’: Ovid on the University Stage.”

Sergios Paschalis (Harvard)
“From Epic Myth to Dramatic Allegory: Ovid’s Apollo and Daphne and Lope de Vega’s Fuente Ovejuna.

William Weber (Yale)
“Exceeding Shakespeare Exceeding Ovid: Added Allusion in Taymor’s Titus.”

Concluding Remarks (Aaron Kachuck, Princeton) and Discussion.