| Quote #1
Those parts that bore some moisture from the earth
In these lines, Ovid tries to explain something about the world he lives in by pointing to its origin. In this case, he ascribes the toughness of the age he lives in to the fact that this race of humans originated as stones. We have already seen plenty of examples of this when looking at the theme of "Transformations." What makes this passage slightly different, however, is its focus on language – when he says that humans' veins originated as "veins" in rock. In this way, Ovid is also investigating part of human culture and memory.
| Quote #2
To keep the memory of that great feat
Here, once again, Ovid ties a human custom to an event from the mythological past. In this case, the god Apollo starts a tradition of athletic contests – the "Pythian Games" – to commemorate his killing of a giant python.
| Quote #3
The oracle replies: "You'll meet a heifer
These instructions given to Cadmus explain how he came to found the land of Boeotia. But why was he supposed to call it that, exactly? This is because, in Greek, the word for "cow" is "bous." Because he would know which land to settle by following a heifer (female cow), it made sense for him to call it "Cow-land" ("Boeotia"). The Greek word "bous" is related to the Latin word "bovis," which is the origin of our word "bovine," which refers to things having to do with cows.