What was Ovid’s View of the god’s Ethical Performance?

Ovid was a Roman poet who lived during the time of Augustus. One of his most well known written works’ is his work known as the Metamorphoses, which was a written work that contained stories that were often ethical revolving around the Roman gods. These ethical stories often showed the gods punishing humans for their wrongdoings, but also showed how those gods behaved, which was often in a questionable manner. From what I have read from Metamorphoses, what was Ovid’s view of the god’s ethical performance?

 On the note of these gods’ ethical performance in general it was quite low. They were actually quite atrocious in their behavior, which Ovid portrayed quite openly in his work. For example, in one of the stories contained in the Metamorphoses, it tells that story of Arachne and Minerva. In this story Arachne who was a gifted weaver, who gained her knowledge from the goddess Minerva was bragging of her skill, and refused to admit that it was partially credited to Minerva. Minerva of course was angry, so she disguises as an old woman, and goes to Arachne. She eventually reveals herself to Arachne, this interaction eventually leads to them both having a contest in weaving. Arachne had better skill than Minerva, and her weaving was flawless. THis angered Minerva more to the point that tore apart Arachne’s work and physically hit her a couple of times, this led to Arachne eventually attempting to hang herself. Minerva felt some pity towards Arachne, so she thus gave Arachne life by turning her into a spider, she also cursed Arachne to be a spider forever and so would her descendants. 

This story in my opinion showed how petty the gods were. Minerva was very prideful and jealous, which led her to act in a violent way. Arachne was no better, but Minerva was far out of line. The other stories contained in the Metamorphoses, showed many examples of godly pride, which often led to them being violent or doing some sort of horrible deed. Also these other stories show examples of gods committing adultery, and other ethically wrong deeds. Which comes into question of Ovid’s view of the god’s ethical performance.

Truly I have no idea what was Ovid’s view of the gods in general let alone on their ethical performance, because he never really showed his personal views in these stories. Regardless, these stories did not ease off on showing the gods in a dark light, for example in the example of the story of Arachne and Minerva, which showed how destructive Minerva’s pride was. Perhaps his view of the gods ethical performance was that of slight distaste, or disapproval.

One can gather so much of an author’s view from their writing, especially if they offer no details on it, Ovid’s Metamorphoses is no different. From the lack of detail on this matter from what I have gathered perhaps Ovid’s view of the gods in regards to their ethical performance is that of slight disapproval, but I truly do not know. 

Was There Any Basis for an Optimistic View of Rome in Livy and Ovid?

Livy and Ovid were two ancient Roman writers who wrote pieces of literature which one way or another revolved around Rome. Livy wrote a series of books on the history of Rome which were titled: History of Rome. Some of the aspects of this history recount are most likely mythological, but regardless it still was a history work. Ovid’s written work on the other hand: Metamorphoses included Ovid’s version of the Four Ages of Man, which was a tale also retold by an ancient Greek writer named Hesiod. Metamorphoses told a series of stories, including one on how Rome came to be in regards to the concept of the Four Ages of Man. With both pieces of literature in mind, was there any basis for an optimistic view of Rome in the figures of Livy and Ovid?

Livy’s History of Rome, began with a story of how Rome was founded by the brothers Romulus and Remus. Their story began with them being raised by a she wolf, and ended in one murdering the other after they had created a town which eventually became the great city of Rome. The idea that a great ancient city and eventually empire was created with the shadow of murderis a pleasant thought. Another story which was included in this history piece was the story of how they brought women to Rome, preventing the dying out and ending of the city. At first this story sounds reasonable enough since the Roman men went to neighboring towns and asked for permission to marry some of the women, this request was rejected, which left these men to come up with a new plan, which was a plan to kidnap some Sabine women, and force them to marry them. This plan ended up working out, regardless of the displeasure of the women and their families, it all managed to work out in the end for the Romans. This story, though more optimistic than the first, is still surrounded with violence, which is not necessarily optimistic.

Ovid’s Metamorphoses, tells a retelling of the Four Ages of Man. This story went something more or less like this: the four ages of man began with the Golden Age which was an age of no sin, and was a successful age. This was followed by the Silver Age which was an age full of farming and animal husbandry; after this age came along the Bronze Age, which was an age full of war. After this age ended the last and final age in this list was the Iron Age, which unfortunately was full of sin and evil. The other stories in this collection of stories were full of violence and showed the evil and destructive nature of man.

Was there any basis for an optimistic view of Rome in Livy and Ovid? First of all to note there is only so much one can gather from someone’s written work but from what you can see through these pieces of literature there is very little basis for an optimistic view of Rome in Livy and Ovid. With Livy you see how Rome’s founding was shadowed by violence with the examples of Romulus and Remus, and the kidnapping of the Sabine women. In Ovid’s Metamorphoses it also shows the destructive nature of man, and how Rome eventually came to be. Neither of these examples are very optimistic and in many ways could be considered pessimistic or negative.

In conclusion, in my study of Livy and Ovid’s writing I have gathered that both men were not exactly optimistic in their view of Rome. In their writing there was very little basis on optimism. Rome’s founding in the accounts of the more factual and the mythological were shadowed with violence and destruction, which is not a good basis for optimism, in regards to Rome.

How Important was the Rhetorical Context of Cicero’s Orations: His Listeners’ Fear of Catiline’s Army and Conspiracy?

Cicero’s Orations Against Catiline is a collection of four orations that was directed towards a man named Catiline who had created a conspiracy against Rome. Both of these men had previously been competing for the position of consul. Catiline had used unethical tactics against Cicero, such as bribing which Cicero caught wind of, and used to his own advantage by creating a law which most likely was very specifically targeted towards Catiline. This continued on, with Catiline creating a murder plot against Cicero, which Cicero used as his window to demand to the Senate to do something about Catiline. This actually succeeded and Catiline actually left the city of Rome without a fight. A good question to ask in the context of the whole situation is: how important was the rhetorical context of Cicero’s orations: his listeners’ fear of Catiline’s army and conspiracy?

The design of Cicero’s orations was to persuade Catiline to leave Rome, which was most likely Cicero’s ultimate goal. For example the first oration, Cicero blackened Catiline’s name, to demean and humiliate him to the point that he would leave Rome. Catiline actually left Rome soon after this oration. The second oration was used to insult Catiline’s followers. Which in turn further blackened Catiline’s name. This whole interesting situation was a success on Cicero’s part because he definitely used the tactic of fear. The listeners to his orations were probably scared of Catiline, his army, and what he would do to Rome, because of this being most likely true Cicero used this as an advantage. Cicero is considered to be one of the greatest masters of rhetoric in history so he most definitely could use his listeners’ emotion to his advantage. For example he didn’t actually need to use any physical force to get Catiline to leave Rome.

With this in mind the rhetorical context of Cicero’s orations: his listeners’ fear of Catiline’s army and conspiracy was very important in influencing the outcome of the situation, which was to persuade Catiline to leave Rome. By the end of Cicero’s orations the other individuals who were involved with Catiline’s army were punished for their crimes, and thus weakened Catiline for good. This was only possible by Cicero’s use of the context of his listeners’ fear of Catiline. But regardless of this being the case both men were in the wrong in different ways, and politics is not a clean or tidy business by any means.

In conclusion, the importance of the rhetorical context of Cicero’s Orations in the terms of his listeners’ fear of Catiline and his army was a great one. This enabled Cicero to be able to influence his listeners, and to gain his ultimate goal which was to weaken and persuade Catiline to leave Rome, without using any or little physical force.

If I Had Been Catiline What Would I Have Said to Undermine Cicero’s Case?

Cicero was a very important ancient Roman figure who was a famous orator, or speaker. One of Cicero’s well known written works was his Orations Against Catiline, which was a group of speeches directed at a man named Catiline. Cicero and Catiline were competing with each other for the position of consulship in Rome. This was a large debate that was eventually won out by who was the better public speaker. Catiline, spoiler alert, lost this debate, which makes me wonder, if I had been Catiline, what would I have said to undermine Cicero’s case?

The whole story of this debate between Cicero and Catiline went something in this form. Catiline had created a conspiracy against Cicero; at the start of his campaign for consulship he began using bribes, which Cicero learned about. Cicero on that note published a law that dealt with the issue of bribing, this obviously left Catiline feeling that this new law was targeted towards him which was why he began to think of a plot to murder Cicero. Like the situation with the bribes Cicero again discovers Catiline’s plot, which in turn Cicero uses as an advantage. Cicero begins to accuse Catiline of these terrible crimes to the Senate. He never brought these up against Catiline in a court of law but instead tried to persuade the senate to punish Catiline, which in my opinion was a fear tactic. Cicero’s main goal was to drive Catiline out of the city, which ultimately worked because Catiline did leave Rome.

If I was Catiline what would I have said to undermine Cicero’s case? Well first of all I would have not used bribes but if that was the case I would stand up for myself. I would ask Cicero for his evidence against me, I would stand for my case and hopefully prevent Cicero from going to the Senate. I personally believe that both men were to blame for the messy situation; Catiline should not have used bribes, Cicero infuriated Catiline with the new law, and Catiline most definitely should have not been plotting to murder Cicero. Catiline more or less was more in the wrong since he was the main reason for the whole situation occurring. Regardless of all this I still believe that Cicero would have won the case because he seemed to be a better public speaker, and was much more persuasive with his arguments.

Cicero is considered to be one of the greatest orators in history, though some of his written works on rhetoric have some questionable advice. In history he is also known for his political scandal between Catiline, who was a conspirator against Rome. Cicero, with his skill in rhetoric, was able to influence Catiline leaving Rome.

How Does the View of Ethical Cause and Effect in History in Works and Days Compare With the View in Eumenides?

Ancient Greek literature usually contained tales regarding the Greek deities or the supernatural, which gave these stories a sense of ethical cause and effect. Two examples of ancient Greek literature are: Works and Days, by Hesiod, and Eumenides, by Aeschylus. Both of these pieces of literature revolve around an ethical debate, which involves the supernatural, also because both of these stories revolve around some form of an ethical debate both have views on ethical cause and effect in history. But how do these separate views from these two pieces of literature compare with each other?

Works and Days, by Hesiod was written by Hesiod to his brother Perses, after his brother had won in a legal case over their father’s will, and had received the whole said inheritance. Hesiod explained to his brother the importance of good, how to turn his life around, and other advice, including advice on who to marry, or how important hard work is. This piece of literature is Hesiod’s way of scolding his brother for “stealing,” his inheritance, but also providing “useful,” lessons for his brother, to heed to. It explains how Perses can live a better life.

Eumenides is the third of a series of tragic plays by Aeschylus. Eumenides tells the tale of the aftermath of Orestes murdering his mother and avenging his father’s death. The first play of this series Agamemnon, is where this whole conflict begins, with Agamemnon, Orestes’ father sacrificing his own daughter, this lead to him being murdered by his wife. In the second play, Libation Bearers, Orestes returns home from exile just in time for his father’s funeral; he and his sister Electra decide to avenge their father’s death, after being told to do so by Apollo. Orestes ends up killing his mother and her lover who was also involved in the killing of his father. In Eumenides, after killing his mother Orestes is being pursued by the Furies. The Furies were Greek mythological creatures that the Greeks feared; they all punished crime doers in one form or another. These Furies wanted Orestes to pay for killing his mother.

Orestes turns to Apollo, who was the one who had told him to do the deed. Orestes thus goes to the temple of Athena; Athena aids him by calling on a court case in Athens that was made up of mortals. The Furies had caught up to him and Orestes was in deep trouble, but he did end up winning the case and his set free from the torment of the Furies. The Furies are appeased by Athena granting them sacrifices, and rituals done in their favor. The Furies in this story are the givers of negative sanctions, they punish crimes. 

Now that there is a clear summary of both pieces of literature, how does the view of ethical cause and effect in history in Works and Days’, Compare with the Furies View in Eumenides? In Works and Days, Hesiod explains to his brother on how to live a good life, and how to make the right decisions; to work hard. He shows examples of cause and effect with examples of what would happen if Perses his brother was to do the right thing or the bad one. The view of the Furies in Eumenides, is that of punishment or negative sanctions; that if one does a bad deed such as killing their mother they must pay for it, which is their view of cause and effect.

Ethics, sanctions, and cause and effect are three things I have noticed quite prevalent in the ancient Greek literature pieces I have read so far in my life, and Eumenides is no exception. The Furies in this ancient Greek play inflicts the negative sanctions, which is why they play an important role in the cause and effect of the story. The story Works and Days, though much different, contains its own view of cause and effect. Thus one may be able to compare the two views and see how different and similar they are.

What Would Have Been Orestes Proper Course of Action, had He Been Alive Today?

Orestes, the son of Agamemnon, is the main character of the ancient Greek play, Libation Bearers, which was written by a man named Aeschylus. This play was the sequel to the play Agamemnon. This play recounts the events after the tragic end of Agamemnon in the previous play. To recap Agamemnon had sacrificed his own daughter to be able to sail to Troy, this in turn led his wife to murder him after he returned home from Troy. Orestes at the time was exiled, but does return home to visit his father’s grave; there he reunites with his sister Electra. This leads to a course of events which leaves the question: what would have been Orestes proper course of action, had he been alive today in the modern world?

After this reunion Orestes and Electra both relate greatly over their resentment towards their mother, and her lover. They both decide to avenge their father’s death, by murdering their mother, and her lover who also happened to be their grandfather on their father’s side. Also to note Orestes did not really have a choice when it came to this plot since the Oracle of Delphi told him that if he did not do this he himself would face judgment for his father’s death. To do so Orestes disguises as someone else and Electra behaves as though nothing has happened. This ends up being a success and Orestes kills his mother and grandfather. 

Nowadays this situation would be completely different. For example in ancient Greece there was no law enforcement like it is today. If Orestes was around today he would have probably gone to the authorities to report his mother and his grandfather, for his father’s murder, if he found the proper evidence. Instead of going ahead and murdering them Orestes most likely will look for evidence against his mother and grandfather. But if he did choose to kill his mother and grandfather which would be a pretty unlikely situation today, that would be much harder than it would have been in ancient Greece, since there would be the law enforcement to worry about and covering up the murder, so not to be caught. Overall I believe a modern Orestes would most likely report his mother instead of murdering her, since that is the more logical and appropriate action to take.

Ancient Greek plays are a unique area of literature with rather insane, absurd story lines, and mythological tales; the play Libation Bearers, is no exception. The main character of Libation Bearers, Orestes, if he was a man of today would have behaved much differently in handling the situation of his father’s murder. Thus, this would have most likely been Orestes proper course of action had he been alive today.

What was Aeschylus’ View of the Trojan War?

Aeschylus was an ancient Greek playwright who wrote numerous plays, including one known as Agamemnon. Sadly only seven of his plays have survived today. His tragic play Agamemnon is about a king named Agamemnon who goes off to fight in the Trojan war, which was a war between the Trojans and the Greeks. Because Agamemnon revolves around the Trojan war, what was Aeschylus’ personal view of the Trojan war?

The Trojan War is rather a mystery since we do not know if it really took place or not, but regardless tales of the war are seen throughout the genre of ancient Greek literature. The Trojan war began when Helen, who was the wife of King Menelaus, was kidnapped by Paris of Troy. King Menelaus asked his brother Agamemnon to aid him in rescuing Helen. This was the start of a ten year long war in which at the end Troy is defeated. Agamemnon on the journey to Troy had to sacrifice his own daughter to the Greek goddess of Artemis who had stopped the wind which prevented Agamemnon from continuing his journey. 

The Trojan war itself was full of death and tragedy, but in the end the Greeks were victorious. Agamemnon starts the journey home; this journey is without bumps in the road. But he returns home mostly unscathed with a prisionar, a woman named Cassandra who is a prophet and princess of Troy. Upon returning home Cassandra sees a prophecy that she and Agamemnon would be killed by Agamemnon’s wife Clytemnestra(who was very angry over his sacrifice of their daughter). In the end Agamemnon is murdered by his wife.

The play of Agamemnon portrays the Trojan war as just being tragic, full of loss and tragedy. It was a long war which began for a reason that did not exactly justify the amount of lives lost. Also the characters did terrible and tragic things throughout the story which all had to do with the war itself. For example with Agamemnon sacrificing his own daughter to continue on the journey to Troy, which influenced Clytemnestra to kill Agamemnon and Cassandra. Which in turn is why I believe that Aeschylus’ view was that the Trojan war was a waste, tragedy, and unnecessary. This view is seen pretty clearly throughout the play, especially in the most tragic details of it. Though the Greeks were victorious they paid a heavy price before, during, and after the Trojan war, which he showed through Agamemnon. But regardless of his seeming view he still wrote a play about the war.

The Trojan war is a common backdrop in ancient Greek literary pieces, for example in the Iliad, and the play Agamemnon by Aeschylus. Aeschylus portrayed the Trojan war as a tragic and wasteful war which was caused by something that was not justifiable for all the bloodshed caused. Thus why I believe that Aeschylus viewed the Trojan war as a tragic waste, which paid a heavy price on the parties involved.

What was Hesiod’s View of Mankind’s Past and Future

Hesiod was an ancient Greek poet who wrote the works, Theogony, and Works and Days. For the past week I have been studying and reading his work, Works and Days, which was directed to Hesiod’s brother who had won a legal battle against him, that was related to their father’s inheritance. The piece of literature itself contains many interesting messages which are related to the gods but are directed to Hesiod’s brother. An interesting aspect of this piece of literature is the fact that it shares the author’s(Hesiod’s),view of mankind’s past and future. Exactly what was Hesiod’s view of mankind’s past and future?

Hesiod in Works and Days, stated that there were four races of man before our race of man. The first race of man was called “the golden race,” which was created by Greek deities. This race of man lived similarly to the gods and had no troubles, but due to them being mortal they died off and a new race of man was created. The second race of man was known as the “silver race,” which was very pathetic and poor minded, which Hesiod blamed on the fact that they were raised by their mothers.

After the “silver race” died off another race was created which in turn became known as the “bronze race,” which was a race that loved war and violence. This race was very strong, but like the last two races they too died off. The fourth race and the last before our race of man was known as the “demigods,” which was a noble race of man; but like the rest of the races they too began to die off from war, but those who survived were gifted by Zeus to live in a special place where they lived without sorrow.

The final race of man, the race of man that Hesiod was a part of had no break from hardship and sorrow, but also they had moments of joy and happiness. The final race of man is known as the “iron race,” and Hesiod in his own words stated quite frankly that this race of man too like the rest would eventually die out, thanks to the race being unrighteous; which in turn will lead Zeus to destroy them. But other than that Hesiod also stated that this race was not a completely bad one.

Hesiod’s view of mankind’s past and future is a unique one. Instead of perceiving the past and the future in the way that us people do today, Hesiod instead sees it in cycles of different races of man. These races of man all in the end have the same end, they all die off in the end and a new race is thus created by Zeus to replace the old race. Hesiod sees man kind as destructive beings who in the end somehow manage to destroy themselves through violence and dishonoring others, and that they were always like this in the past and that they will continue to be like this in the future. Which makes one wonder why Hesiod thought in this way.

What are the Main Differences Between Genesis 1 and Theogony

Genesis 1 is in the book of Genesis which is contained in the Old Testament. It tells the story of how God created everything in seven days, and how the world came into existence. Theogony on the other hand is an ancient Greek piece of literature written by a man named Hesiod. Theogony tells the story of how the world came into existence in regard to the ancient Greek gods. Both pieces of literature sound very different just by these descriptions, but what are these main differences between Genesis 1 and Theogony by Hesiod?

Genesis 1 like I stated above tells the story of how God created everything in seven days, and how the world came into existence. This telling explains what God created on each of those seven days: for example on the first day of creation God created light. This story in my opinion is quite organized and easy to understand; it clearly explains how everything was created by God.

Theogony on the other hand tells the story of how the world came into existence in regard to the ancient Greek gods. This story goes something like this: the world began in Chaos, which created earth. Earth, also known as Gaia goes on to create Heaven, and together they create the first gods, which in turn created more gods. This in turn created a very large, complex, and dramatic family of gods or deities. 

The first main difference between these two stories is that of the creators. In Genesis there is only one creator, God, who created everything. In Theogony there were many creators involved, for example Chaos created earth, earth, Gaia created Heaven and the first of the Greek gods, and those Greek gods went on and created more gods. There is more than one creator involved in the story of Theogony, unlike the one creator in Genesis, God.

The second main difference is that of how the creators are portrayed. In Theogony the gods are portrayed with human emotions and behave in many ways like humans with supernatural abilities. God in Genesis is portrayed above this, and behaves as a sovereign God. Another key important difference is that to do with sovereignty. The Greek gods are not sovereign; they are not fully in control; they still are able to get tricked by other gods, to have conflicts with other gods, etc. God in Genesis is sovereign and is in control, which is very unlike the gods in Theogony.

Genesis 1 and Theogony are two unique stories that both contain the telling of a creation account. Both of these creation accounts are quite different; for example the creation account in Genesis 1 tells the story of how one sovereign God created everything in the course of seven days. The creation account in Theogony involves many creators, for example Chaos(which created earth or Gaia), Gaia(who created heaven), and they in turn created the first gods, who in turn created more gods. But regardless of the differences of both accounts I recommend reading both pieces of literature: Genesis and Theogony, especially Genesis.

What is the View of the Biblical Materials on the Role of Ethics in the Development of History?

Ethics is a very important thing, without ethics civilizations would not last. Without having some sort of ethical standard as an individual human being life would be confusing, since you would not have a standard of life. Many religions have a set of ethics in which a person who follows that religion must follow; Christianity is a great example of this. But what is the view of the Biblical materials on the role of ethics in the development of history?

Throughout history people have been making choices; no matter if that person was not considered as well known or important as another. These choices that were made by people throughout history could either be negative or positive choices, which in turn brought forth an outcome. No matter how big those choices were there were still outcomes to them which influenced history. For example look at the story of Adam and Eve, and how their choice to go against God affected history; or how the choice of more modern politicians has affected the course of history. The majority of these choices that were made during history were based one way or another on ethics, and I mean not necessarily Christian ethics, but just ethics in general. The reason why I believe that most of these choices were based around certain ethics is because a lot of these choices either goes along with a certain ethical view or goes against an ethical view.

But how does all this relate to the question: what is the view of the biblical materials on the role of ethics in the development of history? Well first of all the Bible in many ways is a guide to life; it provides an ethical or moral standard to follow, along with the reasons why one must follow these standards, and what would occur if one does or not follow these standards. It shows many great examples on what happens when one chooses to go against the ethical standard and God. In general the Bible is a very important piece of literature that has guided and still guides many people today. Because the Bible is a guide to life and provides an ethical standard to follow, and many people followed the teachings of God which is contained in the Bible throughout history, choices were made throughout history that revolved around the ethical standards contained in the Bible, either in the form of following or disobeying those standards.

Because the course of history is connected to choices that people make, the view of the Biblical materials on the role of ethics in the development of history is that of guiding us humans into making the right choices, to follow God, and be on the right path. Our choices as individual human beings can actually affect the course of history no matter how small that choice may be.

To conclude, ethics are the base to most choices that are made by individuals; either that choice goes against an ethical principle or goes with that principle. Choices are an important part of the course of history, outcomes are based on choices. The Bible is a guide book to life, and contains an ethical standard, which can influence the choices one makes, which in turn influences the course of history. This in turn is the view of Biblical materials on the role of ethics in the development of history.