Sex, Macht und Fiktion in den Metamorphosen Ovids


  • Alexander Kirichenko Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin



Ovid, Metamorphoses, Augustus, political Eros, fictionality


This article analyses the eroticized power dynamics that Ovid stages in the Metamorphoses. It argues that 1) erotic desire functions in Ovid as a synonym of the desire for power; 2) that the transformations of gods can be read as a metaphor of the powerful subjecting the powerless to their will; 3) that metamorphosed humans can be regarded as notional monuments to divine power; and 4) that, by parading the self-evident fictionality of his transformation tales (including, most notably, the story of Julius Caesar’s apotheosis in Book 15), Ovid allows his readers, at least for the duration of the reading process, to experience a modicum of freedom.

Author Biography

Alexander Kirichenko, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Privatdozent, Uni Trier
Heisenberg-Stipendiat, HU Berlin