Ovid’s Metamorphoses is an encyclopedia of about 250 Greek and Roman myths from Creation to Julius Caesar, including Pyramus and Thisbe, Arachne, the Minotaur’s labyrinth, Icarus, Hercules, Pygmalion, Orpheus and Eurydice, King Midas, and more you will probably recognize. These otherwise independent stories are united by Ovid’s theme of change, along with other interesting interweavings, such as Daedalus being both the architect hired by Minos to hide the Minotaur and the engineer who designed the wings of wax and feathers that he and his son Icarus use to escape Crete.
Wes Callihan brings to light dozens of fascinating insights, finds connections with biblical events, and demonstrates the value to Christian students of understanding this ancient epic, among others. For example, in Ovid, man is made in the image of God to rule over the earth. Ovid’s version of the great Flood, following the ages of gold, silver, and bronze, and the violent age of iron, has surprising parallels and differences with scriptures story of Noah. The only survivors, Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha, survive on a small boat, land on a mountain, but repopulate the world by throwing rocks behind them, which then grow into people. This demonstrates both the historicity and superiority of the biblical account.
As someone who enjoys science, I was particularly intrigued by three further associations made by Wes Callihan. Continue reading Great Books Challenge Lesson 10-11