Tag Archives: Metamorphoses

“Jove and Arcadian Callisto” [Practical Morals from Mythology]

Further advice for surviving in the world of Classical Mythology, by Paul Burgess

If you’d prefer to not become a bear,
Do not let Jove remove your underwear.

[Callisto’s “crime” was having a child after being raped by Jove. For this crime, Hera turned the girl into a bear. A moral we see throughout the classics is: Do not let one of the Universe’s most powerful entities rape you…]

“Zeus and Io”* [Practical Morals from Mythology]

Further advice for surviving in the world of Classical Mythology, by Paul Burgess

If Zeus decides it’s you he’d like to woo,
In time, you might be saying only “Moo.”*

*Zeus/Jove turned his love interest Io into a cow to hide her from his wife.

“Venus/Aphrodite Turns ‘Forgetful’, Insufficiently Grateful Hippomenes and Atalanta into Lions” [Practical Morals from Mythology”]

“Venus/Aphrodite Turns ‘Forgetful’, Insufficiently Grateful Hippomenes and Atalanta into Lions” [Practical Morals from Mythology”] by Paul Burgess

If gods provide in any way for you,
Be sure to thank them each instant or two.

Medusa’s Transformation from Beauty to ‘Petrifying’ Horror” [Morals from Mythology]by Paul Burgess

If Neptune rapes you and Minerva wakes,
She’ll turn your silky hair to slimy snakes.

“Semele and Others Killed or Handicapped by Hera/Juno” [Morals from Mythology] by Paul Burgess

To guarantee* a long and happy life,
Avoid the wrath of Jove’s* vindictive wife.

*While not exactly guaranteed, long lives were more likely to be enjoyed by those who did not provoke the wrath of Hera.
*For whatever reason, Jove/Jupiter is best known by his Greek name “Zeus”.

[These epigrams might eventually add up to a survival guide for those trapped in the world of classical mythology].

 

P.S. While not the original source for most of these myths, Ovid’s Metamorphoses–my favorite work of poetry–is a fantastic read for those interested in the classics. I especially like Horace Gregory’s translation.

“Actaeon” [Morals from Mythology]–an epigram by Paul Burgess

You will become your canines’ food
If, by some chance, you see a goddess nude. *

*In classical mythology, Actaeon, separated from his hunting party, accidentally comes across the goddess Diana while she is bathing. The kindly goddess immediately turns him into a stag, and his friends and hunting dogs kill him when they see him.