Between Lament and Irony: Some Cross-References in Ovid’s Heroides 6 and 12


After a short introduction to Ovid’s Heroides, this article focuses on certain cross-references between Heroides 6 and 12. These two (fictitious) letters, the first, written by Hypsipyle, the queen of Lemnos, and the second written by the Colchian princess, Medea, are addressed to the same man, Jason. Before abandoning Medea in order to marry Creusa, Jason had already abandoned Hypsipyle for Medea, or so Hypsipyle claims. This article shows the intertextual complementarity of the two letters through the presentation of an imaginary communication between the two heroines, as Medea seems to “answer” some points in Hypsipyle’s epistle.