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NEW publication, Irene Salvo García

“Les Métamorphoses et l’histoire ancienne en France et en Espagne (XIIIe-XIVe s.) : l’exemple des légendes crétoises (Mét. VII-VIII)”

“Les Métamorphoses et l’histoire ancienne en France et en Espagne (XIIIe-XIVe s.) : l’exemple des légendes crétoises (Mét. VII-VIII)”, Ovidius explanatus. Traduire et commenter les "Métamorphoses" au Moyen Âge, Classiques Garnier, Paris, 2018, p. 235-258.


In the manuscript transmitting the Metamorphoses, the myths about Crete (VII, v. 453-865, VIII, v. 1-270) are accompanied since the Late Antiquity by a compound of stories only briefly mentioned by Ovid: the death of Androgeos, Minos’ son; Pasiphaë and the Minotaur; the loves of Theseus, Ariadne and Phaedra. In the 13th century, in France and in Spain, these narratives are party or integrally inserted in ancient histories, in relationship with Ovid or not, in order to complete the knowledge about the origins of Crete. Years later, the Ovide moralisé compiles the same elements in books VII and VIII, next to the translation of the Metamorphoses. The objective of this study is to compare the different Castilian and French versions of Cretan legends, taking into account the possible sources. These seem to be very varied: they do not come exclusively from the Metamorphoses or their gloss, they are not necessarily historiographic, and not exclusively mythographic. The authors show they know different texts of Ovid, as the Art of Love and the Heroines, to take advantage of their lyricism, for instance in order to express the women’s suffering and to complete the narratives by coming back to the author they think is the most adapted for “their subject.” The similarities between the General estoriaand the Ovide moralisé seems to originate from a common intention to write a thorough account of the feats of the Pagans, and to the choice of Ovid as the fundamental source, as auctoritas.

Editing was completed: 27.11.2018