Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Voce voco. Ariadne in Ovids Heroides und die ‘weibliche’ Stimme*)

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Mnemosyne

Abstract The article analyses how Ovid in the 10th letter of his Heroides experiments with the concept of a female voice within Roman literature. Ovid constructs Ariadne as a literary speaker against the background of (1) the Augustan elegiac tradition with its mostly male speakers, (2) the earlier phases of the Ariadne-myth in which Ariadne’s fate is determined by men (Theseus and Bacchus), and (3) the reception of this myth in Catullus’ famous ecphrasis in carmen 64. In the beginning of Heroides 10, Ovid shows how Ariadne develops consciousness of her own ability to speak. She develops from a heterodiegetic (epic) narrator to a homodiegetic (elegiac) speaker. In a second step, however, Ovid demonstrates that Ariadne is not only generally inexperienced in the field of literature, but that her attempt to re-shape her own story from a female perspective must necessarily fail. Her literary character cannot be separated from the previous (male) myth. At the end of the letter, she accepts her own literary immaturity when she asks Theseus to be the future narrator of her own fate. By showing that Ovid in his Ariadne-letter actually stages the failure of his protagonist’s attempt to free herself from a male literary tradition, I suggest that the Heroides should not be read as female literature, but as texts which reaffirm male dominance within Roman literary society.

Affiliations: 1: Universiteit Leiden, Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, GLTC Postbus 9515, 2300 RA Leiden The Netherlands


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Barchiesi A. " Problemi d’interpretazione in Ovidio. Continuità delle storie, continuazione dei testi " MD 1986 Vol 16 77 107
2. Barchiesi A. " Future Reflexive. Two Modes of Allusion and Ovid’s Heroides " HSCPh 1993 Vol 95 333 365
3. Barchiesi A. Barchiesi A. " Narrativity and Convention in the Heroides " Speaking Volumes. Narrative and Intertext in Ovid and Other Latin Poets 2001 London 29 47 168 172
4. Bolton M.C. " The Isolating Effect of sola in Heroides 10 " Phoenix 1994 Vol 48 42 50 [Crossref]
5. Booth J. Bormann D. , Wittchow F. " Performing Tears in Roman Love Elegy and Modern Life " Emotionalität in der Antike. Zwischen Performativität und Diskursivität 2008 Berlin 57 75
6. Breed B.W. " Portrait of a Lady. Propertius 1,3 and Ecphrasis " CJ 2003-4 Vol 99 35 56
7. Deroux C. Deroux C. " Some Remarks on the Handling of Ekphrasis in Catullus 64 " Studies in Latin Literature and Roman History IV 1986 Bruxelles 247 258
8. Dörrie H. P. Ovidii Nasonis Epistulae heroidum 1971 Berlin/New York
9. Elsner J. " Viewing Ariadne. From Ekphrasis to Wall Painting in the Roman World " CP 2007 Vol 102 20 44
10. Farrell J. " Reading and Writing the ‘Heroides’ " HSCPh 1998 Vol 98 307 338
11. Fögen T. Fögen T. " Tears in Propertius, Ovid and Greek Epistolographers " Tears in the Graeco-Roman World 2009 Berlin/New York 179 208 [Crossref]
12. Fulkerson L. The Ovidian Heroine as Author. Reading, Writing, and Community in the Heroides 2005 Cambridge [Crossref]
13. Gaisser J.H. " Threads in the Labyrinth. Competing Views and Voices in Catullus 64 " AJPh 1995 Vol 115 579 616
14. Gold B.K. Rabinowitz N.S. , Richlin A. " “But Ariadne Was Never There in the First Place.” Finding the Female in Roman Poetry " Feminist Theory and the Classics 1993 New York/London 75 101
15. Herman L. , Verwaeck B. Handbook of Narrative Analysis 2001 Lincoln/London
16. Hewig A. " Ariadne’s Fears from Sea and Sky (Ovid, Heroides 10,88 and 85-98) " CQ 1991 Vol 41 554 556 [Crossref]
17. Jacobson H. Ovid’s Heroides 1974 Princeton
18. Jolivet J.-C. Allusion et fiction épistolaire dans les Héroïdes 2001 Paris/Rome
19. Kennedy D. " Epistolarity. The Heroides " The Cambridge Companion to Ovid 2002 Cambridge 217 232 [Crossref]
20. Knox P.E. Ovid, Heroides, Select Epistles 1995 Cambridge
21. Knox P.E. Knox P.E. , Foss C. " Ariadne on the Rocks. Influences on Ovid, Her. 10 " Style and Tradition 1998 Stuttgart/Leipzig 72 83
22. Konstan D. Boyle A.J. " Neoteric Epic. Catullus 64 " Roman Epic 1993 London/New York 59 78
23. Kroon C. , Risselada R. " Iamque dies infanda aderat. Time management, historiografie en de geschiedenis van een narratieve techniek " Lampas 2004 Vol 37 191 200
24. Lindheim S.H. Mail and Female. Epistolary Narrative and Desire in Ovid’s Heroides 2003 Madison, WI
25. Maurer J. Untersuchungen zur poetischen Technik und den Vorbildern der Ariadne-Epistel 1990 Frankfurt am Main
26. Reitz C. " Klagt Ariadne? Überlegungen zur Rede der Ariadne in Catulls carmen 64 " Gymnasium 2002 Vol 109 91 102
27. Rimell V. Ovid’s Lovers. Desire, Difference and the Poetic Imagination 2006 Cambridge [Crossref]
28. Smith R.A. " Fantasy, Myth, and Love Letters. Text and Tales in Ovid’s Heroides " Arethusa 1994 Vol 27 247 273
29. Spentzou E. Readers and Writers in Ovid’s Heroides. Transgressions of Genre and Gender 2003 Oxford [Crossref]
30. Spoth F. Ovids Heroides als Elegien 1992 München
31. Spoth F. " Ovids Ariadne-Brief (Her. 10) und die römische Liebeselegie " WJB N.F. 1993 Vol 19 239 260
32. Verducci F. Ovid’s Toyshop of the Heart. Epistulae heroidum 1985 Princeton
33. Walde C. " Literatur als Experiment? Zur Erzähltechnik in Ovids Heroides " A&A 2000 Vol 46 124 138
34. Wyke M. " Taking the Woman’s Part. Engendering Roman Love Elegy " Ramus 1994 Vol 23 110 128

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Mnemosyne — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation