| Quote #7
In this case, Ovid wades into the arguing-over-different-versions-of-myths muck. In many versions of this story, Iphigenia is indeed sacrificed by the Greeks in order to get better weather. For example, in a poem by the earlier Roman poet, Lucretius, entitled On The Nature of Things (De Rerum Natura), the girl is definitely sacrificed – though in that case her name is slightly different: "Iphianassa." In his version, though, Ovid mixes things up, saying that Diana replaced Iphigenia with a "hind" (female deer) at the last minute. By sticking in that little "they say," he gets to claim that he is just following a different tradition. Do you think he's telling the truth? If not, why would he lie about it?
| Quote #8
And so the other gods were stirred to pity
In this passage, Ovid explains the origin of dew as the tears shed by Aurora, the goddess of the Dawn. Aurora is in mourning because her son, Memnon, was killed in the Trojan War.
| Quote #9
Aeneas sailed along Inarime
Now, if you were an inhabitant of Pythecusae – also spelled Pithecusae – you would probably be pretty offended at this remark of Ovid's. (This is a real place, by the way – an island in the Bay of Naples.) But then again, think of how modern humans first felt when Charles Darwin came along and said that we all were descended from monkeys, a metamorphosis that Ovid would have loved? Ever heard of an early hominid called "Australopithecus"? (The most famous is the so-called "Lucy"; you can read more about her here). Anyway, the "pithecus" in "Australopithecus" comes from the same Greek word that Ovid is playing off here.