Ovid’s Bacchic Helmsman and Homeric Hymn 7

TitoloOvid’s Bacchic Helmsman and Homeric Hymn 7
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsMiller, JF
EditorVergados, A, Schwab, A, Faulkner, A
Ancient AuthorsPublius Ovidius Naso (PHI 0959), Euripides Trag. (TLG 0006), Hymni Homerici Hymn. (TLG 0013), Nonnus Epic. (TLG 2045)
Book TitleThe Reception of the Homeric Hymns
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN9780198728788 (print)

This paper investigates Ovid’s telling of the story of Dionysus and the Tyrrhenian pirates from Homeric Hymn 7, which in Metamorphoses 3 he folds into his version of Pentheus vs Bacchus at Thebes. The elegant contaminatio of models extends beyond Euripides’ Bacchae and Hymn 7, for Ovid appeals as well to subsequent versions of Dionysus and the pirates, most likely traceable to lost Hellenistic sources. Overall, Ovid refashions the Hymn’s narrative through manoeuvres typical of the Metamorphoses: narrative doubling, story within a story, sudden shifts of speaker, filling in gaps in mythical history, and generic mixing. These and other issues are thrown into relief by comparison with the brief hymnic reference to the Tyrrhenian pirates in Fasti 3 and the other extended version of the tale told in the first person within the Pentheus story, in Nonnus’ Dionysiaca Book 45. [http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198728788.001.0001/acprof-9780198728788-chapter-5]



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