Book I: Questions and Answers
1. How did Ovid modify the traditional Invocation to the Muse?
2. Who or what changed the original Chaos into the World we now have?
3. What was the form that the Earth took?
4. What were the Four Ages, and what were their characteristics?
5. What was the cause of the Flood?
6. What were the sins of Lycaon, and how was he punished?
7. Who or what was Python, and what was its fate?
8. What was the origin of the laurel tree?
9. Daphne, Io, and Syrinx have a common thread in their tales. What is it?
10. What was the taunt of Epaphus aimed at Phaethon? What was its result?
1. He simply expressed his intention to tell the stories with the possible help of the gods.
2. The change was the work of Nature or God.
3. Earth was a globe, not a flat disk as later “experts” claimed.
4. The Four Ages were: the Age of Gold, perfection; the Age of Silver, still very good, but with the coming of the seasons bringing extremes of heat and cold; the Age of Bronze, in which weapons were introduced; and finally, the Age of Iron, during which every evil was loosed upon the world. (Ovid adapted this theory from the Greek poet Hesiod.)
5. Jove saw the wickedness of mankind and persuaded the other gods to punish it.
6. Lyacon planned to murder Jove in his sleep (an extreme example of lack of hospitality); he also tried to feed him human flesh (cannibalism). He was also guilty of hubris, testing Jove’s omniscience and power.
7. Python was a monstrous serpent, a by-product of the second creation. Apollo killed the serpent with his arrows.
8. As Daphne was fleeing Apollo, Diana changed her into a laurel tree. Apollo then made the laurel the badge of victory in the Pythian Games, an antecedent of the Olympic Games.
9. All three maidens were pursued by gods who wanted to rape them.
10. Epaphus challenged Phaethon to prove that his mother was not a liar and that he was truly the son of the Sun-god.