- Purchase/rental options available:
This paper treats Cephalus’s autobiographical account in Ovid’s Metamorphoses 7.690–865, a passage that has given rise to various and even contradictory interpretations. The present analysis takes a broader view of the problem of Cephalus’s credibility by relying on rhetorical concepts such as context and contents of speech. The Ovidian myth of Cephalus and Procris is configured as an epic scene (modeled on the hospitality scenes of the Homeric and Virgilian poems) in which the protagonist recounts his story of love and death to a young male audience. Cephalus’s communicative strategy aims at effecting pathos and veracity. Ovid has made an innovative selection between existing versions of the myth of Cephalus and Procris (among which are the preserved fragment of Pherecydes) in order to construct an authoritative character and an exemplary story.