| Quote #4
The father – though that word is hollow now –
Here, as usual, Ovid is interested in names that conceal a deeper history. In this case, the island of Icaria in Greece is revealed to be near the site where Icarus, the son of the inventor Daedalus, plummeted into the sea. Although it isn't necessarily an issue of cultural memory, it is interesting how closely the story about the name of the island follows Ovid's grim joke that Daedalus isn't a father anymore, now that his son is dead. This shows Ovid's general concern with giving things their correct names. Can you think of other examples where Ovid engages in this sort of wordplay?
| Quote #5
As [Lichas] flies
Here, Ovid seems to be up to the same tricks as in the other quotations for this theme. But why does he say that "Lichas is the name" that the seamen have "given it"? Why doesn't he just say that that rock is Lichas? Could this be a sign that Ovid is here criticizing some forms of cultural memory? Notice also how, earlier he says that "[t]his is the way the tale – of old – was told." Is this a way of washing his hands of responsibility for it? Hard to tell; Ovid is one slippery dude sometimes.
| Quote #6
So Bacchus ordered, and the king obeyed.
In ancient times, Asia (modern Turkey) was legendary for its wealth. One source of wealth was the River Pactolus, where people would pan for gold. Ovid's story connects this geographical feature – a river rich in ore – with the legendary King Midas, who had the power to turn whatever he touched to gold.