Schwören, schriftlich : Liebe und Recht bei Ovid

  • The final letters of Ovid's collection "Heroides" tell the remarkable story of a written oath. Acontius has fallen in love with the beautiful Cydippe. Since she is already promised to another man, Acontius uses a deceitful stratagem: he sends her an apple on which he has inscribed "cunning words", namely, an oath of engagement. As Cydippe reads the inscription aloud mechanically, she finds herself involuntarily bound to marry Acontius, and finally gives in to his insistent wooing. If read against the backdrop of a media theory of law, Ovid's story raises a couple of important questions concerning the relationship between orality and literacy at the beginning of Western legal history. While the oath undoubtedly is a fundamental element of early law, it is usually understood as part of an "archaic" oral law that is "rationalized" only afterwards by being transferred to writing. Ovid, however, presents the idea of an originally written oath and thus invites the reader to reconsider the relation between speech and writing: To what extent may writing exert a binding force that is distinct from the representation of speech?

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Author:Joachim Harst
Parent Title (German):Philologie im Netz : PhiN. Beiheft, 12.2017
Publisher:Freie Universität Berlin, Institut für Romanische Philologie
Place of publication:Berlin
Document Type:Part of a Book
Date of Publication (online):2021/03/25
Year of first Publication:2017
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/04/21
GND Keyword:Ovidius Naso, Publius; Acontius Cydippae; Eid; Mündlichkeit; Schriftlichkeit; Liebe <Motiv>; Recht
Page Number:23
First Page:159
Last Page:181
Dewey Decimal Classification:8 Literatur / 80 Literatur, Rhetorik, Literaturwissenschaft / 800 Literatur und Rhetorik
8 Literatur / 87 Lateinische, italische Literaturen / 870 Italische Literaturen; Lateinische Literatur
Sammlungen:CompaRe | Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht