Twenty weeks old Gray wolf pups (Canis lupus) from the Sawtooth pack
Pictures by Jim and Jamie Dutcher
Women of the Classical World | Ovid's Daphne
Again and again in Roman poetry, a nearly identical model asserts itself: A female nymph, pursued by an unwelcome male god, is turned into a plant as a means of escape from attempted rape. Ovid’s story of Daphne and Apollo isn’t the first or last instance, but it’s one of the most well known:
'da mihi perpetua, genitor carissime,' dixit
'virginitate frui! dedit hoc pater ante Dianae.'
'Dearest father,' she said, 'grant me
virginity eternal, the same as Diana’s father
granted her before.’ (Ovid, Met. 1.486-87)
Cupid punishes Apollo for his arrogance by causing him to fall in love with Daphne, but what scholars often neglect to mention is that Cupid is implicitly punishing Daphne as well, using Apollo to threaten her with sexual violence because she dared to live a celibate life. At the end of the story, Daphne asks her father - ancient women must always ask their fathers’ permission - to rescue her from her would-be rapist. Her father, the river-god Peneus, turns his daughter into a laurel tree. But even as a tree, she is not safe from Apollo; he takes her leaves for his crown and tells her that she will henceforth be arbor mea, ‘my tree.’
You can find the full story of Daphne and Apollo here. Myths which follow a similar model include Pan and Syrinx (Metamorphoses Book 1), Lotis and Priapus (Metamorphoses Book 9), Statius’ ‘The Tree of Atedius Melior’ (Statius, Silvae 2.3), and the story of Pitys (Nonnus, Dionysiaca 42. 257 fr).
These stories share a common theme: A woman who chooses celibacy over the wishes of males is to be punished, and in the end she will become male property no matter how she tries to avoid her fate. The Romans could not accept the wishes of women, and in order to protect their patriarchy, any woman who rejected the institutions of marriage and male dominance had to be stamped out.
(ﾉ✳ヮ✳)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ finally finished to draw these spooky little friends ♡ ♡ ♡ …now just a little bit of wicked dust and they will magically become creepy stickers!!! soon on lOll3♡SHOP !!
Forgiveness. The frail beauty of the word takes root in me as I make my way back through the woods, past the caves and the ravine, where the earth has accepted the flesh of the deer, leaving nothing but a bone or two, peeking about Kartik’s makeshift grave, to prove that any of this ever happened. Soon, they’ll be gone too. But forgiveness… I’ll hold on to that fragile slice of hope and keep it close, remembering that in each of us lie good and bad, light and dark, art and pain, choice and regret, cruelty and sacrifice. We’re each of us our own chiaroscuro, our own bit of illusion fighting to emerge into something solid, something real. We’ve got to forgive ourselves that. I must remember to forgive myself. Because there’s an awful lot of gray to work with. No one can live in the light all the time.