- 科学史研究. 第II期 (ISSN:00227692)
- vol.32, no.185, pp.43-47, 1993-03-19
The motif of Ovid's Metamorphoses is to tell of bodies changed into new forms. The present author, by reading the texts with an analytical method, comes to recognize that Ovid used some philosophical terms such as Latin 'corpus', 'forma', 'mutare' for the purpose of constructing his philosophical cosmology, that is so closely related to the concept and behaviours of 'corpus' found in Greek natural philosophy. There are few classical scholars who have ever paid their attention to Ovid's concept of 'body' i. e., 'corpus' because they have classified him as a poet of amorous poems. Ovid himself would not make use of this knowledge of natural science only for the rhetorical purpose. Metamorphoses belongs to the Hellenistic tradition of aetiological literature, which combines geographical, historical and scientific information with the legendary materials. We should remember that litterae', in the Augustan Age, was used for representing any texts written in any forms and implying philosophy and science as Cicero said and some contemporary linguistic philosophers have advocated. In Ovid's Metamorphoses, even a soul is described in terms of 'corpus'. The mutability of 'corpus' is actualized in both legendary world and the physical world. We come to know that such aetiological expressions play an important role in telling us the 'cause and effect', i. e., 'aitia' of marvelous phenomena. Based on this thesis, the present author assumes that Ovid certainly tried to construct a new view of the world by unifying myths with the natural philosophy.