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Ovid's FastiHistorical Readings at its Bimillennium$
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Geraldine Herbert-Brown

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780198154754

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198154754.001.0001

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Varro's Three Theologies and their Influence on the Fasti

Varro's Three Theologies and their Influence on the Fasti

(p.71) 4 Varro's Three Theologies and their Influence on the Fasti
Ovid's Fasti

C. M. C. Green

Oxford University Press

This chapter chooses Fasti Book Four to illustrate how Ovid appropriated and adapted Varro’s division of religion into three theologiae: the philosophical, the civic, and the mythical, as a means of weaving together multifaceted ceremonies and festivals into a thematic whole. The philosophical theology of April is that of divine generation, and fire and water are the generative principal which appears in protean generative transformations throughout the book. The civic theology is Peace, civil companion of generative power, source and guarantor of fruitfulness, and an important theme in the Augustan religious and artistic programme. The theology of mythicon is the theatre, an essential part of religious festivals whence tales of the gods, licentious, and solemn, were learned. Ovid’s application of Varro’s theologiae demonstrate that he was not restricted by the calendar but was creating a religiously innovative, intellectually coherent, and artistically daring calendar for Augustus’ Rome.

Keywords:   Varro, religion, civic, mythical theologiae, April, peace, theatre

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