Crafting chaos: Intelligent design in ovid, metamorphoses book 1 and plato's timaeus

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Many attempts have been made to define the precise philosophical outlook of Ovid's account of cosmogony from the beginning of the Metamorphoses, while numerous different and interconnected influences have been identified including Homer, Hesiod, Empedocles, Apollonius Rhodius, Lucretius and Virgil. This has led some scholars to conclude that Ovid's cosmogony is simply eclectic, a magpie collection of various poetic and philosophical snippets haphazardly jumbled together, and with no significant philosophical dimension whatsoever. A more constructive approach could see Ovid's synthesis of many of the major cosmogonic works in the Graeco-Roman tradition as an attempt to match textually his all-encompassing history of the universe that purports to stretch from the first beginnings of the world up to the present day (Met. 1.3-4). Furthermore, if the beginning of the Metamorphoses is designed to be both cosmologically and intertextually all-encompassing, it is surprising that the influence of arguably the major philosophical work on cosmogony from the ancient world, Plato's Timaeus, remains to be evaluated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)734-748
Number of pages15
JournalClassical Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Classics
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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