PHD Defense, Jupiter and Juno in Ovid's Fasti: Prismatic Personae and Polarity, successfully defended per DGS Andrej Petrovic, July 8,2021.mrm8e

Brannelly, Timothy, Classics - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Miller, John, University of Virginia

The goal of this dissertation is two-fold. The first is to engage with the ways in which Ovid presents the figures of Jupiter and Juno throughout his Fasti, in terms of their epithets, their placement within various episodes, their mythological, religious, and political affiliations, and their relationship with one another. Toward this end, I offer a close analysis of the majority of passages in the Fasti that feature either of these two deities. I aim to show that Ovid draws upon a multitude of considerations when crafting their variegated personae in each individual episode, while at the same time creating a thread that connects many of these episodes together, despite their chronological separation and disparate contexts. In addition, I argue that calendrical considerations, such as Juno’s jurisdiction over the Kalends and Jupiter’s over the Ides, play a larger part in the unfolding of their complex and many-sided personae than has been previously acknowledged. This dynamic leads to the second goal of this dissertation, which is to emphasize the polarizing effects that result from Ovid’s prismatic representation of these two central deities. One way he achieves this result is by often conflating the religious with the mythological, to the point where the two become inseparable. In the first chapter I discuss the different aspects of Juno’s worship and how Ovid’s Fasti looks back at Juno’s characterization in Ennius and Vergil, while at the same time innovating considerably. Analysis there is focused on three episodes, all of which occur on the Kalends, the day sacred to Juno. The second chapter attempts to trace the association of Jupiter and Augustus that is prevalent throughout the Fasti and to show that it marks yet another example of Ovid presenting a prismatic and polarizing figure of a god. I argue that Ovid intentionally blends both positive and negative aspects of imperial power into his characterization of Jupiter, such that the reader is meant to see in Augustus a divine figure, who at the same time is subject to some of the less regal features of Jupiter. The third chapter offers a survey of the treatment of Jupiter and Juno as a pair from Homer down to Ovid’s Metamorphoses, before launching into an analysis of Ovid’s employment of that motif in his Fasti. I posit that Ovid deliberately intermingles the sacred days of these two deities, such that Jupiter infringes upon Juno’s Kalends both in February and in May, prompting a destabilization that ultimately leads to Juno’s Hellenic persona taking precedence over her Roman characterization. The issue of polarity is once again brought to the forefront, as Jupiter continually is viewed as a protective Roman deity, even in episodes where Juno would more appropriately perform that function.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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