Reflections in a Serpent's Eye: Thebes in Ovid's Metamorphoses

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Ovid's extraordinary story of Thebes' founding and bloody unravelling spans two books of his epic poem, the Metamorphoses . His bizarre refractions of the well-ordered community engage Ovid's own Rome and the mythohistory of the Eternal City's origins, most particularly as framed in Vergil's Aeneid (Vergil's poem attained nonpareil status as the Latin epic soon after publication). The Aeneid has regularly been read as persuasively formulating how and why Rome will stride forward into history, into manifest destiny, and ...

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