István CzetiFaculty of Law, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary

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The Ovidian story of Baucis and Philemon can be divided into shorter sections based on the structure of the narrative, and several parallelisms and analogies can be perceived between these sections. In one section the number of vegetables and other edibles corresponds with the number of the edibles in the other, as well as with the arrangement of divine names in the text creating a palistrophe, thus showing the individual parts of the whole strory. The aim of this article is to present the Ovidian structure of the narrative of the story and make possible emendations of the widely accepted text utilising the most important medieval codices and this supposed structural framework.


The Ovidian story of Baucis and Philemon can be divided into shorter sections based on the structure of the narrative, and several parallelisms and analogies can be perceived between these sections. In one section the number of vegetables and other edibles corresponds with the number of the edibles in the other, as well as with the arrangement of divine names in the text creating a palistrophe, thus showing the individual parts of the whole strory. The aim of this article is to present the Ovidian structure of the narrative of the story and make possible emendations of the widely accepted text utilising the most important medieval codices and this supposed structural framework.

Book VIII. of Ovid's Metamorphoses is placed exactly in the middle of the whole opus, and begins with the story of Scylla (1–151), which is followed by the story of Daedalus and Icarus (152–235), Perdix (236–259), Meleager and his sisters (260–546) and finally ends with the journey of Theseus, who is stopped by the flooding Achelous and forced to participate in the river god's banquet (547–884). The appearance of Achelous indicates a caesura in the flow of the narration, because as the flooding river blocks Theseus' way, so the banquet of the flooding river-god (who is the symbol of the epic genre) blocks the momentum of the epic narrative, which up to that point characterized the Ovidian storytelling.1

Actually, the banquet is a frame story, and the text (according to Zs. Acél's theory) can be divided into seven parts (I, Echinades 577–589; II, Perimele 590–610; III, Baucis and Philemon 611–724; IV, Proteus 725–737; V, Erysichthon 738–842; VI, the daughter of Erysichthon 843–878; VII, Achelous and Hercules VIII 879–IX 88). Some form of symmetrical arrangement is perceivable between these parts, following the rules of the so-called Ringkomposition. In medio is Proteus, the old sea-god, who can change his shapes as he wishes, and his versatility is an allegory of the whole Metamorphoses. The figure of Proteus in the middle of the frame story (and it can be assumed, approximately the whole opus as well) symbolizes the central theme of the Metamorphoses, and the real nature and character of the Ovidian text, which is often ambiguous and does not lend itself to clear definition. At times it is epic, as in the first part of Book VIII, and at others, it bears marks of Alexandrian poetry, as in the second part of Book VIII.2

In the story of Baucis and Philemon the rule of symmetry and the dominance of harmony is quite obvious in the contrast of the changeable figure of Proteus, and the nature of the whole Metamorphoses. Our episode is the third story told at the river god's banquet (frame story) and placed directly before the description of the sea-god, and it is considered as the counterpart of the story of Erysichthon (fifth part).3

Moreover, contrary to the frame story, the Baucis and Philemon episode even has an identifiable and visible centre, and its narrative follows a circular thematic structure, which can be broken down to thematic units. The narrative starts, when after telling two stories about the Echinades and Perimele (577–610, or from amnis [577] to amnis [611]) Achelous fell silent (0), then his audience is astonished and Pirithous made some harsh and sceptical statements (A). After, Lelex spoke about the power of the gods (B), then about the cult of sacred trees, which he has seen with his own eyes (C). Then follows the embedded story of Baucis and Philemon (D), who turned into sacred trees, whose cult, as Lelex personally observed, is still practiced by locals (C), and then Lelex praised the gods again (B), finally the audience is astonished (A), and Achelous started telling a new story (725–737) about Proteus (0). The simmetry of the thematic units is visible:

0 – A – B – C – D – C – B – A – 04

The complexity of the manuscript tradition of the Metamorphoses is widely known, and the difficulty of drawing a satisfactory stemma codicum is mentioned in the preface of almost all critical editions. The vast number of manuscripts and the high probability of horizontal contaminations between the codices makes it almost impossible to solve the questions raised by alternative versions. Furthermore, the question of the so-called double recension causes even more confusion for the critical editor. Thus, instead of scrutinizing the individual manuscripts or manuscript families the current paper will attempt to use the simplest working hypothesis for establishing the authentic Ovidian text, basing the argumentation on the principle, ingeniously condensed by R. J. Tarrant in a primary editorial note: ubicumque codices inter se discrepant aliique alias lectiones praebent, ipsae lectiones sint ponderandae, non codices.5

The difficulty of establishing the text of the story of Baucis and Philemon is often highlighted by editors and critics because three of the loci classici of the double recension (652 ff; 693a–b; 697a–b) are found here, and there are as many versions of the text, as there are critical editions. R. J. Tarrant gives the best explanation for the existence of these alternative variants: Illud autem memorabile videtur, plures in una de Baucide et Philemone fabula inveniri, quod facilius intellegas si putes huius fabulae imprimis dilectae leporem lectores ad aemulationem invitasse.6

It is widely accepted that the long Baucis and Philemon episode (611–724) can be divided into shorter segments on the basis of inner parallelisms and connections.7 These are generally marked at the beginning and the end with similar wording, recurring expressions or simply thematic parallelisms. This phenomenon is far from unique in Latin literature; among others, it is also observable in Virgil's Aeneid. Presumably, the Ovidian composition is based on the same principles.8 It is important to emphasise that the openings and the endings of the individual paragraphs and shorter sections intentionally do not always correspond to the beginning and end of sentences, making the borderlines between the smaller parts less clear-cut. Thus, the unity of the text prevents the reader from feeling that the narrative is a composition of short independent fragments and the borders of the smaller sections do not break the flow of narration. On the other hand, the openings of the greater parts of the text are consistently marked by new sentences. At these points, the author wanted the reader to stop and take a breath.

It can be observed, in the story of Baucis and Philemon (in contrast with a huge amount of other episodes) that the segments of the narrative are always easily separable, and the text boundaries are clearly visible, which might symbolize the harmonic and simple household and lifestyle of the righteous old couple. As the ideal and honest simplicity of the hospitable peasants' hut might represent archaic Roman values and honesty, so the simple and unambiguous structure of the text9 can be interpreted as reflecting the ideals of contemporary Augustan fine arts, and in some degree, those of poetry as well.

The first part of the episode is the reemergence of the frame story (611–625), in fifteen lines and two paragraphs. The first paragraph (611–616) begins with the appearance of Achelous, who ends his story about Perimele (amnis ab his tacuit) and the whole audience is completely entranced (factum mirabile cunctos / moverat), but Pirithous, “the scornful of the gods” starts mocking the credulity of the participants, making the others' blood run cold and provokes general disapproval (obstipuere omnes nec talia dicta probarunt).10 The boundaries of the six lines long paragraph are marked by mention of the river-god and the general astonishment caused by his interesting and marvellous narrative, and at the end by the general stupefaction and disapprobation.

In the following nine lines (617–625) Lelex, “experienced in mind and years”, introduces the episode of Baucis and Philemon in answer to the words of Pirithous by describing the place, where the old couple formerly lived. He assures the audience of the story's trustworthiness by mentioning that he has personally visited the place. The paragraph begins with mention of how the narrator started speaking before the other participants of the banquet could say a word (ante omnes) and his name follows next. This marks the opening boundary of the paragraph with the same word (omnes) that appeared in the second position of the last line of the former paragraph. The first three lines are about the admonishment of Lelex the wise, and the following six describe the scene of the episode.

The domination of pairs is apparent in the narrator's short introduction. In line 620 the two trees are mentioned as a couple (tiliae contermina quercus), in line 624 the contrast of stagnum and tellus habitabilis olim is highlighted, and finally, in line 625 two species of birds (mergis fulcisque) are represented. Exactly in the middle of this paragraph, in the fifth line, after the penthemimeral caesura11 the word medio12 can be found, which obviously indicates that these nine lines are a closed unit.

In the Metamorphoses, the word medio in the middle of a line frequently indicates the middle of the whole paragraph.13 For instance, in the story of Arachne the ecphrasis of Minerva's weave comprises thirteen lines (VI 70–82), and the medial hexameter of the whole unit is marked with the word medio after the caesura. The medial line of the ecphrasis of the drinking-bowl Anius gives to Aeneas (XIII 685–699) mentions Orion's daughters precisely in the middle of the described city (ecce facit mediis natas Orione Thebis). Finally, something very similar happens in the story of Phaethon. In the middle of the sun god's speech to his son (II 126–149) the following warning occurs after the penthemimeral caesura: medio tutissimus ibis.14

After this short introduction, the story of Baucis and Philemon begins in the second part of the episode, which consists of fifteen lines (626–640), and can be divided into three paragraphs.

The first paragraph, which is four lines long (626–629), starts with Iuppiter's name and two gods appear in the first two hexameters (the former is about the god of the sky, and the latter is entirely about Mercury). They represent the divine sphere, in contrast with the following two lines, in which the houses of the human sphere are represented. The first two words of the lines describing the human world are the same (mille domos), but the contrast behind the parallelism is striking. The first hexameter illustrates the gods' efforts to find a place to sleep that night. The second hexameter is divided into two parts by the hephthemimeral caesura: the first part of the line represents the rejection and the negligence of the sacred duty of guest-friendship (mille domos clausere serae), and the second part the hut, which symbolizes the pious hospitality of the kind old couple (tamen una recepit).

The next paragraph (630–636) consists of seven lines and presents the story's true protagonists, Baucis, Philemon and their hut, always together. The last word of the paragraph's first hexameter palustri refers to the end of the previous segment (palustribus undae) thus enclosing the preceding four lines long paragraph. These seven hexameters illustrate the strong bond between the house and its owners, who are inseparable companions (iuncti) living inside the building, which virtually encloses them as medial elements in the line (illa sunt annis iuncti iuvenalibus, illa). The consorts are (almost)15 equal in age, live in full egality, and it would be hard to say who is the servant and who is the master of the other, and frequently occurring parallelisms also emphasise this harmony16 (consenuere – effecere; fatendo – ferendo; dominos – famulos; parentque – iubentque17).

The last paragraph of this segment (637–640), in parallel with the first, consists of four lines, and similarly, the divine sphere (637–638) is represented in two of them, as the human (637–638) in the other two. In the first hexameter, before the penthemimeral caesura, the gods (caelicolae) appear, and the fourth line ends with the name Baucis. The contrast of the two spheres is obvious, when the gods from heaven meet their humble earthly colleagues (parvos penates), who symbolize the household18 – and without any doubt belong to the terrestrial world –, they have to duck their head (summisso vertice) to pass through the low doorway (humiles postes). This element gives the whole scene the character of a theoxeny. In the next two parallel lines harmony returns with the old couple, and as the first hexameter describes the man's invitation, so the second his wife's activity, and this is the only place in the whole episode, where Baucis's name occurs without her husband's. Moreover, this is where the story's locality is transferred from outside to inside, and the convivium begins.19 The number of the lines in the frame story and the brief introduction told by Lelex (611–625) is fifteen as the number of the lines of the first segment of the story (626–640).

The next part of the text is about the convivium and made up of forty lines (641–683), and it can be divided into four, symmetrically arranged shorter paragraphs, each containing ten hexameters. The first paragraph (641–650) describes the idyllic activities of Baucis and Philemon as they make their efforts to feast their guests, whose real identity has not yet been revealed to them. The first five lines describe Baucis' endeavours to rekindle the fire, while the next five hexameters focus on her husband's work.20

The main topic of the following paragraph (651–663) is the poorish furniture of the hut, and without the interpolated lines, it consists of ten hexameters.

interea medias fallunt sermonibus horas651
concutiuntque torum de molli fluminis ulva655
impositum lecto sponda pedibusque salignis656
vestibus hunc velant quas non nisi tempore festo
sternere consuerant, sed et haec vilisque vetusque
vestis erat, lecto non indignanda saligno.659
accubuere dei. mensam succinta tremensque660
ponit anus, mensae sed erat pes tertius impar;
testa parem fecit, quae postquam subdita clivum
sustulit, aequatam mentae tersere virentes.663

The first line of the paragraph mentions, that, while preparing the food, they held a conversation (651), and the mattress is described in the following two lines (655–656). The next three hexameters (657–659) are about the festive coverlets, and finally, the table is represented in a four lines long unit (660–663). In the first position of the second unit's hexameters (655–656) is the verb (concutiunt) and the nonfinite verb form (impositum), and in the last position the materials (ulva; salignis), and before the two penthemimeral caesuras the mattress (torum) and the frame (lecto) are mentioned. The beginning of the next three lines (657–659) is marked by the coverlets (vestibus), so is the first part of this unit's last hexameter (vestis). At the end of the first and the last lines the times of sacred festivals (tempore festo) and willow-wood, the symbol of rustic simplicity (saligno), are mentioned. This paragraph's last unit (660–663) opens with the seating of the gods (accubuere dei), and in the first position of the fourth hexameter, a broken pot balances the table by raising it to a higher position (sustulit). At the end of these lines, the contrast is marked between the elderly woman's trembling hands (tremens) and the mint's freshness (mentae tersere virentes). The homogeneity of this unit is reinforced by the appearances of the words mensa and menta, which sound similar, and occur next to the caesura.

In the twenty hexameters discussed above (641–663) the reader could catch a glimpse of the preparations for the poorish convivium. The following twenty lines (664–683) describe the meal itself using exactly the same text structure, as it were, the image of the previous section reflected by a mirror producing a so-called palistrophe. “In a palistrophe the first item matches the final item, the second item matches the penultimate item, and so on. The second half of the story is thus a mirror image of the first.”21

The first paragraph (664–673) can be divided into four smaller units, and the first four hexameters (664–667) are about the first course, the so-called gustatio, in the second three lines (668–670) the tableware is presented, and the following two hexameters (671–672) describe the main dish (caput coenae). The paragraph ends with a one-line long unit (673) about the dessert (mensae secundae) forming a transition between this paragraph and the following description.

In the first unit of the paragraph (664–667) seven items of the first course are mentioned, one in the first, two in the second, three in the third, and one more in the fourth hexameter: olives, cornelian cherries, wine-lees, radishes, endives, cheese and finally lightly roasted eggs. In some of the fragments of Callimachus' Hecale (36 [SH 283; ?334, 248 Pf.]; 39 [250 Pf.]; 38 [249 Pf.]), which present strong intertextual connections with Ovid's description of the convivium,22 the reader also can find the names of rare vegetables, and as Athenaeus mentioned, it even comprises a catalogue of olives (II 47).

The next part of the paragraph (668–670) is about the tableware, conspicuously dominated by trinities. There are three types of pots (fictile, crater and poculum), three different materials (argentum, fagus and cera) and three techniques: caelare, fabricare and illinere. (All of them in the form of passive participles used as ordinary adjectives. I prefer not to count cava, since it is an adjective, and not a form of the verb cavare, and rather provides additional information about the shape of the drinking-vessel, than the method of preparation.)

The content of the following two lines (671–672) is less defined, the poet confines himself to say that they eat the main course and drink wine. The last line of the paragraph (673) merely refers to the dessert and leads on to the next one. The fourth paragraph of this segment (674–683) describes in two equal parts the items of the dessert (674–678) and the miracle which happens with the mixing bowl (679–683). The paragraph's bipartite structure is the mirror image of the segment's first paragraph (641–650).

The items of the dessert (674–678) are the counterparts of the items of the first course (664–667) arranged in reverse order. In the first hexameter (674) three types of delicacies occur (nuts, figs and dates), in the second (675) two (plums, apples) and in the third (676) one (grapes). Finally, honeycomb is also mentioned in the next line (677) as lightly roasted eggs were in line 667. Thus, the first course and the dessert both contain the same number of items. The end of the segment dealing with the convivium (641–683) is visibly marked by the opening of the following paragraph (unicus anser erat, minimae custodia villae). This is a typical Ovidian transitory element, and brings the reader out of the old couple's hut and presents the goose outside as the one and only watch of the house.23

If we accept this structural analysis, the sum of the lines will be forty, and this whole section constitutes a beautiful palistrophe, in which every single hexameter is put in its proper place. It could not be supplemented by additional lines, nor could it be shortened by removing some elements without totally destroying the symmetry of the whole segment.

When trying to establish the original text of Baucis and Philemon's story, the problem of the lines, above labelled as “interpolated” (652–656a), cannot be neglected. If these lines are inserted into the text, the result will be the following:

interea medias fallunt sermonibus horas651
sentirique moram prohibent. erat alveus illic
fagineus, dura clavo suspensus ab ansa;
is tepidis impletur aquis artusque fovendos654
accipit. in medio torus est de mollibus ulvis655a
impositus lecto sponda pedibusque salignis;656a
concutiuntque torum de molli fluminis ulva655
impositum lecto sponda pedibusque salignis;656

R. J. Tarrant made a meaningful editorial note about lines 652–655a, which are omitted from the original text (ante correctionem) of two of the three earliest codices (Marcianus Florentinus 225 [M]; Neapolitanus Bibl. Nat. IV. F. 3 [N]), though he did not exclude them from the text of his edition: delevit [Hugo] Magnus; quos versus dubitanter recepi, licet quaedam in iis parum eleganter dicta viderentur et hic vestigia duplicis ut aiunt recensionis dispicere conati sunt multi.24 Neither line 656a occurs in codicibus M and N, but all the other manuscripts contain it. Moreover, lines 655–656 in the above-cited form are present only in the original text of M and N, and in a slightly different form in many other manuscripts and in the corrected text-variants of M and N.

In this case, I prefer to rely on the shorter version in the original text of two of the three oldest codices containing this episode (M and N) against the text of Vaticanus Urbinas lat 341. (U), the corrected versions of M and N and the vast amount of later manuscripts. This argumentation is mainly based on the perfect symmetry of the segment and the often admitted (but far from universally accepted)25 un-Ovidian composition of the longer version, but structural similarities with the theoxeny narratives in the Fasti may support this reconstruction as well, as it will be demonstrated below.

A frequently cited argument in defence of the authenticity of lines 652–655a is that the foot-washing (or even bath) scene is a common element of the classical theoxeny narratives and it also occurs in Callimachus's Hecale, which is widely considered as one of Ovid's primary sources for creating the story of Baucis and Philemon.26 Firstly, the mere fact that it was a common element of theoxeny narratives and some of the fragments of Callimachus' Hecale (according to the opinion of the majority of scholars) might be about the divine guest's foot-washing or bath does not prove that this is a necessary element of all classical theoxeny narratives.27 Secondly, one must keep in mind that “Ovid's method of adaptation is always ingenious and never slavish”.28 Thirdly, it is far from obvious that the above mentioned Callimachean fragments are in any way connected to the visualized foot-washing scene.29

The first fragment of the Hecale describes a pot in which something is boiling, but the pot's content is not detailed (33 [244 Pf.]): αἶψα δὲ κυμαίνουσαν ἀπαίνυτο χυτρίδα κοίλην. According to Pfeiffer, it might be water for the foot-washing, but A. S. Hollis sceptically remarks that it could be some vegetables as well and for a better reference cites two lines of the Hyrieus episode from the Fasti (V 509–510): stant calices; minor inde fabas, holus alter habebat, / et spumat testo pressus uterque suo. Of the remaining three fragments (34 [246 Pf.], 60 [245 Pf.] and 48, 5 [247 Pf.]) traditionally considered as remnants of the foot-washing scene (according to A. S. Hollis): “only one stands a good chance of being correctly assigned. Fr. 245 Pf. in my opinion more probably concerns Sciron (fr. 60), while a papyrus has shown the context of fr. 247 Pf. to be different (48, 5). The present fragment [34.], however, is quoted by Suidas s.v. κελέβη, defined as τοιοῦτον σκεῦος ἐν ὧι δυνατὸν νίψασθαι πόδας. Since the comment may derive from Salustius, there is reason to believe that this was also the context in Call[imachus]. One might wish to strengthen the case for a foot-washing scene in the Hecale by pointing to a parallel passage in Ovid's Baucis and Philemon (Met. VIII, 652 ff). Unfortunately, the matter is complicated by doubts over the authenticity of those lines, but I myself believe, with the majority of scholars, that they may well be genuinely Ovidian.”30

Thus, it can be seen that of the four Callimachean fragments there is only one (34 [246 Pf.]): ἐκ δ’ ἔχεεν κελέβην, μετὰ δ’ αὖ κερὰς ἠφύσατ’ ἄλλο, which could be a tolerable candidate for being a part of a foot-washing scene, and this is only reinforced by two arguments. Firstly, the object mentioned in the line is defined by the medieval Suda as a vessel which was used for foot washing. Secondly, that this fragment could be used as reference to the admittedly dubious lines 652–655a of the Baucis and Philemon episode.31

All things considered, it cannot be stated with high certainty that once there was a foot-washing scene in the Hecale, but neither can its possibility be ruled out. Thus, the Callimachean reference is no longer a strong argument for the authenticity of the superfluous lines. Moreover, in general the foot-washing scene is far from being a necessary element of the theoxeny narratives, and it is also missing from the present story's most important later intertexts, the Ovidian Ceres in Eleusis episode (Fast. IV 507–560), the Hyrieus episode (Fast. V 493–544), and the Bacchus episode in Silius Italicus' Punica (VII 162 ff). Anyway, if one wishes to find the best counterpart for the poured out water in the Ovidian text, the boiling water mentioned in line 650 (ferventibus undis) would be an equally good option as well.32

The problem of the double recension makes clarifying the place even more complicated, because even if the shorter version is accepted, as the original,33 the question of who authored the additional lines remains unanswered. Are they the creative product of a later interpolator or did the poet himself add them to the text of the unfinished surreptitious edition? I would suppose, that these lines were invented by an extraordinarily talented interpolator, who could almost perfectly imitate Ovid's style and used typically Ovidian words such as fagineus and in medio before the penthemimeral caesura.34

For providing a broader context to the proposed symmetrical structure of the description of the convivium, it will be useful to make a digression and analyse further Ovidian theoxeny narratives as well.

The symmetrical arrangement of the forty-line-long Hyrieus episode of the Fasti (V 495–534) clearly echoes that of the convivium scene of the Baucis and Philemon episode of the same length (Met. VIII 641–683). A detailed comparison of the Fasti's text with the Baucis and Philemon episode could provide a more exhaustive list of structural parallelisms, similar wordings and positioning of divine names. Thus, the obvious textual connections between these two stories can shed light on the deeper thematic accord as well.35 Fortunately, no difficult textual problems (affecting the number of the lines) arise in this section of the Fasti.

Orion's katasterismos is an unusual and unique story within the Ovidian corpus. In contrast with the majority of the myths told by Ovid, in this case the poet mainly deals with the events preceding the birth of the stellified hero. Thus, the reader may have the impression that the real protagonist of the story is not Orion, but his pious old father Hyrieus, and the main subject is not the life and death of the Hero, but the theoxeny and the miraculous birth of a child. The Fasti's whole entry for the 11th May (V 493–544) comprises fifty-two lines. Save for a reference to his name in the first introductory elegiac couplet – which serves as a title or introduction (493–494), merely specifying the topic of the day – Orion, who is supposed to be the hero of the day, only appears in the forty-third line (535) and his life and final katasterismos is summarised in ten lines (535–544), as if the poet had intended to cut a long story short.36

The story of Hyrieus (495–534) itself consists of forty lines, and in the middle of this forty lines long part we find in ten elegiac couplets, namely in twenty lines the embedded description of the convivium of the three gods and the pious old man (505–524). This section naturally falls into two halves, and the turning point of the story (after line 514) serves as an axis of symmetry both for the description of the convivium and for the whole Hyrieus episode. Thus, the whole forty-line-long story can be divided into four, symmetrically arranged shorter paragraphs, each of ten lines.

The first paragraph of Hyrieus' story (495–504) opens with the name Iuppiter, followed by his two companions, Neptunus and Mercurius, who journeyed together. Comparing the elegiac couplet (495–496) with the text of the Metamorphoses (VIII 626–627), striking similarities arise. In both stories the wandering gods are described in two lines, in the first metrical place Iuppiter's name appears and in the end of the first line a word of kinship (frater and parente). Mercurius' name or attribute (caducifer) appears in a middle of a chiasmus, before the caesura causing homoioptoton.

In the Fasti's narrative the gods are followed by an elegiac couplet that pinpoints the time of day (497–498), placing the events in the late afternoon. The exact starting time of Baucis and Philemon episode is not mentioned in the text, but from the circumstances we can infer that the gods arrived in the evening.37 The common feature of the two compared texts is that in both stories two lines about the gods are followed by two lines about the world of mortals. In the Fasti this is idyllic, attracting and indifferent, in the text of the Metamorphoses (VIII 628–629) – except for one hut – it is hostile, selfish and impious.

The next elegiac couplet of the Fasti (499–500) introduces Hyrieus. The protagonist of the story is portrayed with the same concepts as Baucis and Philemon, whose house and simple lifestyle are described in seven hexameters (Met. VIII 630–636). Hyrieus is old (senex) as the couple (Baucis anus parilique aetate Philemon and consenuere) and cultivates a tiny farm (angusti cultor agelli). Thus, he lives in the same low but honest financial situation as Baucis and Philemon (paupertatemque fatendo / effecere levem), and he is a master of a poorish house (exigua casa), which resembles the couple's hut (parva quidem stipulis et canna tecta palustri). The following two elegiac couplets of the Fasti (501–504) tell, how the kind old peasant voluntarily invited the disguised wandering gods into his house. This sheds light onto how there is no need to beg for shelter in Hyrieus' idyllic world. The generous invitation and exercise of the sacred duty of hospitality is not only automatic but even reiterated, if at first the guests are not entirely willing to accept it. Opposite to this, in Baucis and Philemon's world all men are selfish and impious and after many rejections even the most righteous couple has to be asked to provide shelter. In both stories the host's or hosts' sincere kindness is highlighted by the harmony of their words and the real emotions seen on their faces (addidit et voltum verbis and super omnia vultus / accessere boni nec iners pauperque voluptas). In the last line of this paragraph the gods accept the old man's offer and disguise their real identity (parent promissis dissimulantque deos) as Iuppiter and Mercurius did in the Metamorphoses (specie mortali and positis alis). The paragraph ends with the meaningful word deos.

After the first paragraph of the Hyrieus episode the locality of the events changes, and the guests pass beneath the house's begrimed roof (tecta senis subeunt nigro deformia fumo) as two of them duck their heads (summisso vertice) to pass through the low doorway (humiles postes) in the Baucis and Philemon episode, where the scene of entering is described in four hexameters (Met. VIII 637–640). The two theoxenies begin similarly with the motive of the gods' entrance into the mortal's extremely humble hut. In the first line of the second paragraph (505–514) the gods enter the house of Hyrieus, the reader finds himself inside and the convivium begins. The Fasti does not contain a detailed description of the house, but the rekindling of the fire is similar to the narration of Baucis' efforts in the Metamorphoses (VIII 641–645). The words used to describe the fireplace (ignis in hesterno stipite and ignes suscitat hesternos), the moment of rekindling (flammas exsuscitat aura and ad flammas anima producit anili) and the chopping up of the torches (promit quassas comminuitque faces and faces detulit et minuit) are obviously similar.38

The remarkable contrast between the two texts is that, in the Metamorphoses rekindling the fire and chopping up of the torches is the wife's work, while her husband prepares the food. In the Fasti Hyrieus does the wife's work, maybe because he is widowed, and thus he also has to perform his wife's duties. However, the old man's efforts to prepare the meal (which in the Metamorphoses is Philemon's task) are not specified. The following elegiac couplet (509–510) depicts the preparation of the meal offered to the guests by the master of the house which is definitely poor in comparison with the feast prepared by the righteous couple. While the meal offered by Baucis and Philemon consists of three courses (first course, main dish and dessert) and the guests eat meat, in the Fasti only two types of vegetables are prepared (faba and holus) as a one-course meal. The most obvious difference between Hyrieus' feast and the banquet depicted in the Metamorphoses is that Baucis and Philemon prepare a festive banquet and their hut is adorned festively as if it were a religious holiday (vestibus hunc velant quas non nisi tempore festo / sternere consuerant), while Hyrieus' meal resembles a workman's everyday dinner without meat.39

The next elegiac couplet (511–512) starts with a typically Ovidian transitory element between the particular moments of the narration (dumque mora est), which is echoed in line 519 (nec mora), and is also used in the Metamorphoses in line 671 to separate the courses of the meal (parva mora est) keeping the words in the same metrical positions. The host serves out red wine with a shaky right hand (tremula dextra), which attributive is used for Baucis (mensam succincta tremensque / ponit anus) underlining the fact that the widowed man (who will be later a single parent of a boy) has to fulfil both the husband's and the wife's duties. In the last elegiac couplet of the second paragraph (513–514) the gods' real identity is revealed. This frightens the master of the house, just as the righteous couple of the Metamorphoses is frightened by the miraculous replenishment of the mixing bowl (VIII 681–683), and it is also noticeable that in both episodes the immortal guests' real identity is revealed when they were drinking wine. Both stories are continued with the hosts' intention to offer an animal sacrifice to the gods but in the Baucis and Philemon episode the gods have mercy on the goose. The last line of the paragraph (514) starts with the same divine name which began the whole episode (Iuppiter), and it closes with it (Iove) as well. This is the middle and the turning point of the Hyrieus episode. The latter part will be the mirror-image of the former, but without producing such an elaborate palistrophe as observable in the Metamorphoses.

The third paragraph (515–524) opens with an elegiac couplet (515–516) about the sacrificing of Hyrieus' single ox characterized as cultor pauperis agri, exactly the same word used to denote the master of the house in line 499 (angusti cultor agelli). This emphasises the importance of the animal in the household. The scene clearly recalls what happened with the couple's goose, which is also the single watch of the house (unicus anser erat). Interestingly, in both of the narrations the hosts sacrifice (or at least intend to) to the gods (the verbs immolat and mactare parabant emphasise the ritualistic nature of the killing) only after their real identities are revealed, or a miracle has happened. Following the sacrifice the old peasant offers the gods his best wine (517–518), but before he knew his guests' real identity he gave them wine of lower quality (511–512) as Baucis and Philemon did in line 672 of the Metamorphoses (nec longae rursus referuntur vina senectae). These two elegiac couplets (515–518) can be interpreted as preparations for a more copious feast redesigned by the master of the house.40

In lines 519–520 the gods recline on mattresses which are stuffed with river sedge and covered with linen (flumineam lino celantibus ulvam) as in Baucis and Philemon's hut (torus de molli fluminis ulva […] vestibus hunc velant) but without the festive coverlets. The motion of the gods (incubuere toris and accubuere dei) is similar in both stories, as the poet used the same form of the verb and an additional word of two syllables forming two dactyls and a long syllable which in the Fasti serves as the second half of a pentameter line, and in the Metamorphoses as the first part of a hexameter followed by a penthemimeral caesura. In the next elegiac couplet (521–522) the banquet finally starts, and the description of the meal follows a strict rule of symmetry similar to that followed in lines 509–510 about the preparation of the meal (cf. linum and ulva in lines 519–520). There are two calices, two types of vegetables (faba and holus) and two lids, as in lines 521–522, where food (daps) and drink (Lyaeus) occur, two types of tableware (crater and poculum) made of two different materials (terra and fagus). Interestingly, in the Metamorphoses trinities dominate the description of the tableware (VIII 668–670). The last elegiac couplet of the paragraph (523–524) details Iuppiter's generous offer and ends by mentioning the old peasant in a repetition after the caesura (verba fuere Iovis and verba fuere senis). The convivium scene ends here and, while the locality of the story does not change yet, the reader proceeds from the banquet into the host's memories.

The fourth ten lines long paragraph of the story (525–534) tells Hyrieus' wish (525–530) and how it is fulfilled by the gods (531–534). The old man's words can be interpreted as the mirror image of his kind invitation (499–504) and the story closes with two elegiac couplets about the gods wandering amongst men and performing miracles as the narration started (495–498). The common motive of Hyrieus' and Baucis and Philemon's wish is mutual conjugal love, which lasts until death and even beyond. Hyrieus' monologue recalls Deucalion's (Met. I 351–365) and Philemon's words (Met. VIII 707–710) with the main difference (among others of lesser importance) being that he is widowed, thus his wife is not listening to his speech. Relying upon this monologue the reader can be sure that the couple once also “represented an ideal of married love which is distinctively Ovidian”.41 The last two elegiac couplets of the fourth paragraph (531–534) briefly relate how the gods fulfil the protagonist's wish. The former contains mere technical details, and the miracle happens in the latter. As the paragraph started in line 525 with the death of the old peasant's beloved wife (cara fuit coniunx), the second half of line 534 deals with the miraculous birth of his son (et puer ortus erat).42 After the end of the perfectly symmetrical story a new episode begins (535–544), which summarily narrates the story of Orion, as if it were a short résumé of a longer work and has nothing to do with the Hyrieus episode.

After having seen the basic structural similarities between the two theoxenies, the question still remains, how can the differences be interpreted? Firstly, it is impossible to entirely reconstruct the poet's actual reasons for not following the previous pattern used in the Baucis and Philemon episode, but it is obvious, that creating a palistrophe from hexameters is not the same as creating a palistrophe from elegiac couplets. In the case of hexameters, the poet used singular lines as the smallest items of the whole structure, while an elegiac couplet is usually a thematic and grammatical unit. Thus, in the Fasti the smallest natural item consists of two lines. This is why the number of the lines is even in every paragraph of the text and the whole narration is dominated by symmetry. In the Metamorphoses the use of hexameters provided more freedom, allowing for the creation of a palistrophe consisting of items, in which the number of lines alternates between odd and even (following the pattern: 4+3+2+1 / 1+2+3+4). This would be strange using elegiac couplets and would probably cause cacophony.43 Frequent repetitions also emphasise the importance of parity in the Fasti's narration (e. g. verba fuere Iovis and verba fuere senis; dixi and dixi; adnuerant omnes and omnes ad terga iuvenci) and the above mentioned pairs of the foods and the tableware (509–510 and 521–522) strengthen symmetry, in contrast with the trinities in the Metamorphoses (VIII 668–670).

The same structure and parallel wordings of the two Ovidian theoxenies can serve as external evidence for the reconstruction of the banquet scene of the Baucis and Philemon episode in forty lines (Met. VIII 641–683) and for the exclusion of the dubious lines (652–656a). Thus, the correctness of the previously proposed solution of the so-called double recension-problem in this place of the Metamorphoses can also be confirmed through a comparison with the Hyrieus episode (and at some degree with the Ceres in Eleusis [Fast. IV 507–560] and the Lycaon episodes [Met. I 216–243]44 as well), since the structural similarity is obvious, and in the thematically parallel texts there is no reference to the motives occurring exclusively in the dubious lines of the Baucis and Philemon episode.45 Furthermore, the structural similarity between these two stories supports the better contextualisation of the Fasti's entry for the 11th May (V 493–544), the core section of which is about Hyrieus and the theoxeny, and not about Orion and his katasterismos.

In this regard the closest parallel of the mentioned two episodes in the Fasti is the story of Ceres who having taken the form of a mortal visits the house of Celeus in Eleusis (IV 507–560). The description of the scene, the house, the characters and their activities are all strikingly similar to the discussed theoxeny narratives of the Metamorphoses and the Fasti, and it can hardly be a coincidence. Among others, Celeus, the master of the house is an old (senex or senior) peasant and collects kindlings (arsuris arida ligna focis), reinforces his former invitation addressed to the reluctant goddess (IV 515–518) with the same wording as Hyrieus expressed his wish (V 524): haec iusti verba fuere senis (IV 524). His hut is poorish (tecta suae quantulacumque casae and exiguae tecta casae) as the house of the old couple or Hyrieus (Met. VIII 630 and Fast. V 500, 505), but in the entrance scene it is metonymically referred to as penates (IV 531) as in the parallel narratives.46 The household is identified with its members (not counting the baby) as in the Baucis and Philemon episode (Met. VIII 636): Tota domus laeta est, hoc est materque paterque / nataque: tres illi tota fuere domus (IV 543–544).47

The core part of the story is a theoxeny narrative (IV 537–560) which begins in line 537, when the goddess crosses the threshold, enters the house (limen ut intravit)48 and the locality of the narrative is transferred from outside to inside, and it ends with the departure of the divine visitor, which entails the next change in the locality of the story (560). The total number of the lines in this scene is twenty-four, which unit is arranged symmetrically and naturally falls into two halves. In the first half (537–548) Ceres cures Triptolemus, the members of the household eat dinner, and the goddess gives poppies in warm milk to the child. The main topics of the first six lines are the children's sickness and the miraculous healing (537–542), and in the next three elegiac couplets the joy of the family and the dinner is narrated (543–548).

The second half of the unit (549–560) starts with a line depicting the calm before the storm foreshadowing something very unusual (noctis erat medium placidique silentia somni). This hexameter, in which we find the word medium before the penthemimeral caesura, can be considered as the turning point of the story, when the goddess starts her supernatural activities, and the remaining part of the story tells the well-known myth about Triptolemus. The first six lines narrate the ritual which Ceres tries to secretly perform (549–554), and in the last segment we find the interruption and the severe but sympathetic words of the goddess (555–560). Thus, it can be seen that the Ceres in Eleusis episode has the following structure: 30+12 (=6+6) +12 (=6+6), and the twenty-four lines long theoxeny scene (including the interrupted ritual) is symmetrically arranged.49

The fourth Ovidian theoxeny narrative with similar structure and motives is the story of Lycaon.50 The structure of the Lycaon episode (Met. I 216–243) is also quadripartite and the third and fourth sections are the mirror images of second and first forming a palistrophe (4+10+10+4). The first part of the story (216–219) is about the geographical location of the scene and ends with Iuppiter's entrance to the wicked king's palace. In the first line of the second section (220–229), after the story's locality is transferred from outside to inside, the god reveals his divine identity (signa dedi venisse deum), which fills the crowd with religious fear, but Lycaon does not show any sign of reverence, and openly mocks his people's piety. This behavior makes the king the most impious of all hosts, since he could have known his guest's real identity, while the others, who reject the disguised gods in the story of Baucis and Philemon are totally unaware of the importance of their guests. After, Lycaon kills and butchers a man, and serves him for supper to the god. The preparations of the extremely impious convivium (228–229) are similar to the preparations of Hyrieus and of the old couple, one part of the dead body of the killed man is cooked in boiling water (semineces partim ferventibus artus / mollit aquis) as Philemon cooks the meat (partem / exiguam sectamque domat ferventibus undis), and the other part of the man is roasted in fire (partim subiecto torruit igni) as Hyrieus roasts the beef (magno torret in igne bovem), and the symmetry of the items is served as well. According to Griffin, Lycaon's cooking with fire and water parodies the two commonly known types of apocalypses, namely the destruction of mankind by fire (ἐκπύρωσις) and by water (κατακλυσμός),51 and if we accept this interpretation, the symmetry of the items is more significant.

The third section of the story (230–239) – instead of the description of a peaceful convivium – begins with the tool of punishment (vindice flamma), and after the turning point of the story, the poet presents the punishment of the crime told in the previous paragraph. The last unit of the story (240–243) is about the general consequences of the wickedness of mankind, which is so great on the earth, that there is not even a house which is pious (occidit una domus, sed non domus una perire / digna fuit: qua terra patet, fera regnat Erinys), which is in contrast with the situation presented in the Baucis and Philemon episode (mille domos clausere serae. tamen una recepit), where despite of the fact that the impia vicinitas rejects the visitors the old couple does not neglect the duty of guest-friendship.52

The four discussed Ovidian theoxeny narratives all have palistrophic structures, and in every story, there is an identifiable axis of symmetry making the first half of the scene or the whole episode somehow the mirror image of the second. In the three analysed episodes of the Fasti the middle and the turning point of the theoxeny narrative coincides with the axis of symmetry, but in the story of Baucis and Philemon the axis of symmetry of the palistrophe (after line 663) and the turning point of the episode (after line 688) are in different places. This fact shows that in the story of Baucis and Philemon the thematic structure (A – B – C – D – C – B – A) and the structure of the narrative (Appendix I) do not fully overlap, but the symmetry is still obvious as in the discussed theoxeny stories of the Fasti.

After the convivium, the characters of the Baucis and Philemon episode leave the hut, and the third part of the narration (Met. VIII 684–724) begins outside. The first segment is comprised of twelve lines (684–694) and falls into two paragraphs. The first paragraph (684–688) is about the goose and the divine intervention in favour of saving it from being sacrificed, and in the second (689–694) the gods reveal their true identity, foretell the punishment of the impious neighbourhood and save the lives of the righteous couple. The moment when the gods reveal their true identity is the real turning point of the story (similarly as in the Lycaon and Hyrieus episodes), and thenceforward the whole narration becomes faster and less detailed.

The first five lines of the segment are unproblematic and could be regarded as an independent story with a happy ending inserted into the frame story of Baucis and Philemon, but the second seven hexameters contain two lines (693a–693b), that raise questions. Line 693 occurs in the original text of M, N and according to L. Langermann's collation in the text of the lost Spirensis deperditus (Hauniensis Bibl. Reg. Ny kgl. S. 56 2° [S]) as well. Lines 693a–693b appear in the margins of M, N and (S) added by later correctors. Both versions satisfactorily fill the gap between line 692 and line 694, but choosing one pair excludes the possibility of choosing the other since the almost identical repetition of line 693 in line 693a would result in strange and un-Ovidian text.53

In this case, it would be preferable to choose lines 693a–693b and exclude line 693 as unnecessary because it destroys the symmetry of the whole story and lines 693a–693b fit properly into the structure of the narrative. The most probable cause of these two versions is rather accidental scribal error, than intentional forgery.54 An additional argument in favour of the authenticity of line 693b (membra levant baculis tardique senilibus annis) could be that in the Hecale's text (66 [355 Pf.]) the poet described the old woman's staff as “a support for old age” (γήραος ὀκχή).55

In the next paragraph (695–702) the reader can find a brief summary of the flood (695–698) in four lines and the metamorphosis of the humble hut into a magnificent temple (699–702) described in four further lines. In a few manuscripts (in M in the margin by another hand; in Parisinus lat. 8001 [B]; in Marcianus Florentinus 223 [F]) two additional lines appear, which (if they are not simply omitted) should be inserted between lines 697 and 698:

Mersa vident quaeruntque suae pia culmina villae697a
sola loco stabant. dum deflent fata suorum698a

The first hexameter is probably nothing more than a mere reminiscence of a line from the first flood narrative (Met. I 295), and the latest editors have unanimously deleted lines 697a–698a labelling them as later additions.56 I, for my part, agree with A. S. Hollis, who summarized his opinion as follows: “It seems very unlikely that anything genuine could lie behind all these variants. Magnus may have been right in thinking that the extra lines were concocted from marginal glosses, together with a reminiscence of I, 295 mersae culmina villae. But this fact does not weigh too heavily against other possible cases of double recension. […] The presence of doublets elsewhere in this book may have encouraged later copyists to try their own hand at composing.”57

The following paragraph (703–710) is of equal length as the previous, and can also be divided into two halves, the first (703–706) is about Iuppiter's offer to Philemon, who naturally talks it over with his wife, and the second (707–710) is about the couple's wish told by Philemon. These two paragraphs (695–710) of sixteen hexameters describe the deserved punishment of the inhabitants of the wicked village, the merited metamorphosis of Baucis and Philemon's hospitable home, Iuppiter's offer and the couple's humble answer. Each of these four parts comprises four lines, the deluge is the counterpart of the transformation, and the answer can be paired with the offer. The first paragraph mainly deals with the buildings and the second with the characters; the arrangement is perfectly symmetrical. Thus, any unnecessary addition would be superfluous.

The penultimate paragraph (711–720) of ten lines is also bipartite, and the first part (711–715) deals with the fulfilment of Baucis and Philemon's wish and the latter (716–720) with the metamorphosis of the couple, who instead of dying turn into trees. The description of the transformation opens with the beginning of the process, in the first line the couple still have faces (iamque super geminos crescente cacumine vultus), and the last hexameter closes with the final result (de gemino vicinos corpore truncos).

In the last four lines (721–724) Lelex, the narrator concludes his speech with a reference to the local tradition and to his personal experiences reinforcing the veracity of the story by mentioning his sources (haec mihi non vani [neque erat cur fallere vellent] / narravere senes), and finally drawing the moral of the fable. Although at the end, Lelex refers to his personal observations and impressions and gradually withdraws from the main topic, it is obvious that he is still speaking about the local myth and the scene of the river-god's banquet has not returned yet. Thus, these lines belong more to the embedded narration than to the frame story.58

The end of the story is distinctly marked by the returning of the frame story in line 725 and by the fact that it closes by mentioning the gods and the deified righteous couple. As the whole narration opened in line 626 with the gods disguising themselves as itinerant mortals (Iuppiter huc specie mortali cumque parente / venit Atlantiades positis caducifer alis), who intend to visit the world of humans, so the story ends in line 724 with the inhabitants of heaven and the deified mortals (cura deum di sunt, et qui coluere coluntur).59 The opening of the frame story's next part (Desierat, cunctosque et res et moverat auctor) also recalls the opening of the frame story's previous section (Amnis ab his tacuit. factum mirabile cunctos / moverat), but while this was followed in the first case by the disrespectful comment of the impious Pirithous, in the second it is followed by the interested politeness of the reverent Theseus.

If the lines of the story are summed (obviously omitting the fifteen hexameters of the frame story at the beginning [611–625]), the total number of the lines comes to ninety-seven (626–724).60 Thus, the medial hexameter will be line 677 (candidus in medio favus est. super omnia vultus). In this line, the medial phrase, placed before the penthemimeral caesura is in medio, and the caesura is followed by the word favus. The artistically arranged composition of the story has an identifiable centre, which is also made visible by the word choice.

In restoring the presumed original structure of the narration, the problem of the double recension naturally arises. The mere fact that an elaborately composed story can be reconstructed, in which every single item matches the others and every unit of the text is easily identifiable and separable does not mean that the text could not have been rewritten later by the poet himself for some unknown reason. This possibility can never be entirely ruled out, but I think that somebody who has gone to such lengths to write an embedded story based on symmetry and parallelisms following the same structure as other theoxeny narratives, would never destroy it by inserting unnecessary additional lines. The hexameters which could be the results of the second recension have nothing new to say on the subject, and it is impossible to interpret them as last-ditch efforts by the despondent poet to regain the princeps' grace.

A matter of greater importance is that in this case, the structural analysis of the story lead to conclusions on textual criticism and (in this particular place) helped solve some problems of the double recension.61 This method of establishing the original text of the Metamorphoses using the structural analysis of the story could be effective in other independent cases as well, but necessarily has its own limitations, and is definitely not the general solution to the problem of the double recension. However, it could be used as a working hypothesis in other places as well. The most important thing that must be considered is when attempting to restore the text of the Metamorphoses, it is worthwhile to examine the whole story's structure, not just the individual places.

Appendix I

The Structure of the Narrative in the Story of Baucis and Philemon

Appendix II

The Structure of the Narrative in the Story of Orion

Appendix III

The restored text of the story of Baucis and Philemon (without the probably interpolated lines)
Amnis ab his tacuit. factum mirabile cunctos611
moverat; inridet credentes, utque deorum615
spretor erat mentisque ferox, Ixione natus:
‘ficta refers nimiumque putas, Acheloe, potentes
esse deos’ dixit, ‘si dant adimuntque figuras.’
obstipuere omnes nec talia dicta probarunt,
ante omnesque Lelex animo maturus et aevo620
sic ait: ‘inmensa est finemque potentia caeli
non habet, et quicquid superi voluere peractum est.
quoque minus dubites, tiliae contermina quercus
collibus est Phrygiis, medio circumdata muro.625
(ipse locum vidi, nam me Pelopeia Pittheus
misit in arva suo quondam regnata parenti.)
haud procul hinc stagnum est, tellus habitabilis olim,
nunc celebres mergis fulicisque palustribus undae.
Iuppiter huc specie mortali cumque parente
venit Atlantiades positis caducifer alis.
mille domos adiere locum requiemque petentes,
mille domos clausere serae. tamen una recepit,
parva quidem stipulis et canna tecta palustri,630
sed pia Baucis anus parilique aetate Philemon635
illa sunt annis iuncti iuvenalibus, illa
consenuere casa paupertatemque fatendo
effecere levem nec iniqua mente ferendo,
nec refert, dominos illic famulosne requiras:
tota domus duo sunt, idem parentque iubentque.
Ergo ubi caelicolae parvos tetigere penates640
summissoque humiles intrarunt vertice postes,
membra senex posito iussit relevare sedili,
cui superiniecit textum rude sedula Baucis.
inde foco tepidum cinerem dimovit et ignes645
suscitat hesternos foliisque et cortice sicco
nutrit et ad flammas anima producit anili,
multifidasque faces ramaliaque arida tecto
detulit et minuit parvoque admovit aeno,
quodque suus coniunx riguo collegerat horto650
truncat holus foliis; furca levat ille bicorni
sordida terga suis nigro pendentia tigno
servatoque diu resecat de tergore partem
exiguam sectamque domat ferventibus undis.
interea medias fallunt sermonibus horas,651
concutiuntque torum de molli fluminis ulva655
inpositum lecto sponda pedibusque salignis;
vestibus hunc velant quas non nisi tempore festo
sternere consuerant, sed et haec vilisque vetusque
vestis erat, lecto non indignanda saligno.
accubuere dei. mensam succincta tremensque660
ponit anus, mensae sed erat pes tertius inpar;
testa parem fecit, quae postquam subdita clivum
sustulit, aequatam mentae tersere virentes.
ponitur hic bicolor sincerae baca Minervae665
conditaque in liquida corna autumnalia faece
intibaque et radix et lactis massa coacti670
ovaque non acri leviter versata favilla,
omnia fictilibus; post haec caelatus eodem
sistitur argento crater fabricataque fago
pocula, qua cava sunt, flaventibus inlita ceris.
parva mora est, epulasque foci misere calentes;
nec longae rursus referuntur vina senectae
dantque locum mensis paulum seducta secundis.
hic nux, hic mixta est rugosis carica palmis675
prunaque et in patulis redolentia mala canistris
et de purpureis collectae vitibus uvae;680
candidus in medio favus est. super omnia vultus
accessere boni nec iners pauperque voluntas.
Interea totiens haustum cratera repleri
sponte sua per seque vident succrescere vina;
attoniti novitate pavent manibusque supinis
concipiunt Baucisque preces timidusque Philemon
et veniam dapibus nullisque paratibus orant.
unicus anser erat, minimae custodia villae,685
quem dis hospitibus domini mactare parabant;
ille celer penna tardos aetate fatigat
eluditque diu tandemque est visus ad ipsos
confugisse deos. superi vetuere necari
“di”que “sumus, meritasque luet vicinia poenas690
impia” dixerunt; “vobis inmunibus huius
esse mali dabitur. modo vestra relinquite tecta691
ac nostros comitate gradus et in ardua montis692
ite simul!” parent et dis praeeuntibus ambo693a
membra levant baculis tardique senilibus annis693b
nituntur longo vestigia ponere clivo.694
tantum aberant summo quantum semel ire sagitta695
missa potest; flexere oculos et mersa palude
cetera prospiciunt, tantum sua tecta manere.
dumque ea mirantur, dum deflent fata suorum,
illa vetus dominis etiam casa parva duobus700
vertitur in templum; furcas subiere columnae,
stramina flavescunt aurataque tecta videntur
caelataeque fores adopertaque marmore tellus.
talia tum placido Saturnius edidit ore:705
“dicite, iuste senex et femina coniuge iusto
digna, quid optetis.” cum Baucide pauca locutus
iudicium superis aperit commune Philemon:
“esse sacerdotes delubraque vestra tueri710
poscimus, et quoniam concordes egimus annos,
auferat hora duos eadem, nec coniugis umquam
busta meae videam neu sim tumulandus ab illa."
vota fides sequitur; templi tutela fuere,715
donec vita data est. annis aevoque soluti
ante gradus sacros cum starent forte locique
narrarent casus, frondere Philemona Baucis,
Baucida conspexit senior frondere Philemon
iamque super geminos crescente cacumine vultus720
mutua, dum licuit, reddebant dicta “vale”que
“o coniunx” dixere simul, simul abdita texit
ora frutex. ostendit adhuc Thyneius illic
incola de gemino vicinos corpore truncos.
haec mihi non vani (neque erat cur fallere vellent)724
narravere senes; equidem pendentia vidi
serta super ramos ponensque recentia dixi:
“cura deum di sunt, et, qui coluere, coluntur.”


Barchiesi, A.: Speaking Volumes. Narrative and Intertext in Ovid and Other Latin Poets. London 2001, 50–51; cf. Rosati, G.: Narrative Techniques and Narrative Structures in the Metamorphoses. In Boyd, B. W. (ed.): Brill's Companion to Ovid. Leiden–Boston 2012, 288.


Acél, Zs.: La figura di Proteo, il testo proteiforme e la struttura delle Metamorfosi (Ov. Met. 8. 730–737). Prometheus 44 (2018) 176–196.


“[Erysichthon's] story therefore provides, as Brooks Otis pointed out, a moral contrast and foil to the pious characters of Philemon and Baucis in the immediately preceding episode. There is also a contrast of literary approach: the Erysichthon story can be described as ‘epic’, the Philemon and Baucis episode belongs to the genre of ‘idyll’.” Griffin, A. H. F.: Erysichthon – Ovid's Giant? G&R. 33.1 (1986) 60.


Beller, M.: Philemon und Baucis in der europäischen Literatur. Heidelberg 1967, 20–21.


Ovidii Nasonis Metamorphoses. Ed with Introduction by Tarrant, R. J. Oxford 2004, XXVII.


Tarrant (n. 5) XXXV.


This method was used by Beller ([n. 4] 21–27) and G. Lieberg (Zur Kombination Literarischer Gattungen: Ovids Erzählung von Philemon und Baucis [«Metamorphosen», VIII, 611–728]. Aevum 54.1 [gennaio-aprile 1980]) as well.


“Another contribution to scholarly literature can well complement this line of argumentation: according to Guillaume Stégen's 1975 book on Virgil [Stégen, G.: Virgile. Le Livre I de l’Éneide. Namur 1975], the text of the Aeneid comprises 20–30-line passages. These passages can be divided into two 10–15-line parts of almost the same length, written in a similar manner. What is more, these are built on parallelly-edited paragraphs comprising 4–7 lines, and thus the formula of Virgil's Aeneid is the following: A (a1 + a2) + B (b1 + b2) = 20–30 lines.” Acél, Zs.: Mise en page and Columnar Arrangement. The Traces of Authorial Edition in Ovid's Metamorphoses. (to appear)


Symmetry and orderly arrangement of the themes are frequently in connection with the narrative itself in the Metamorphoses. Wheeler, S. M.: Imago Mundi: Another View of the Creation in Ovid's Metamorphoses. AJPh. 116.1 (1995) 95–121.


I used Tarrant's edition (Tarrant [n. 5]) for quoting the Latin text of the Metamorphoses and the edition of Alton, Wormell and Courtney (P. Ovidius Naso. Fastorum libri sex. Ed with Introduction by Alton, E. H. – Wormell, D. E. W. – Courtney. E. Monachii et Lipsiae 2005) for the Latin text of the Fasti. The English translation of the Metamorphoses is quoted in A. S. Kline's version, and the English translation of the Fasti in J. G. Frazer's version.


This could also be a hephthemimeral caesura, and Ovid frequently uses homoioteleuton or homoioptoton before the caesura and at the end of the line, but I think, that a penthemimeral caesura (which tends to have an interpretative role) would be more in accordance with the meaning of the sentence.


A. S. Hollis argued to replace the word medio with modico, because he found it confusing together with circumdata, but honestly admitted, that the best manuscripts give medio which could also have roughly the same meaning (Hollis, A. S.: Ovid. Metamorphoses. Book VIII. Oxford 1970, 113). His proposal was far from being universally accepted by later editors, but still has supporters (Luck, G.: Naugerius' notes on Ovid's Metamorphoses. ExClass 9 [2005] 201–202).


In the Fasti the position of the mentioned adjective can also be noticeable in the descriptions of certain religious ceremonies and in embedded narratives as well. For instance, after a short introduction (II 639–642) and immediately before the text of the hymn addressed to the god (659–678), the reader finds the detailed account of the ritual activities performed on the day of Terminalia (643–658). The description of the rite falls into two equally long sections, each of them containing eight lines; the former depicts the preparations for the sacrifices (643–650), and the latter tells the performance of the sacrifices and the feast (651–658). Since the work is written in elegiac couplets, there is no medial line, but in the middle of the description, right in the first line of the second section the following pentameter appears: inde, ubi ter fruges medios immisit in ignes. The structure of the description of the celebration held on the first day of Megalesia in honour of Cybele (IV 183–190) is quite similar. The paragraph preceded by a short introduction (179–182) and followed by an extremely long interview with the Muses (191–372) is comprised of two four lines long sections, and the first part closes with the following pentameter: Urbis per medias exululata vias.

The analyses of the mythical and legendary narratives in the Fasti can lead us to similar conclusions. The cause of the muteness of Iuturna is told by Ovid in sixteen elegiac couplets (II 585–616), which can be divided into two paragraphs as follows: 12+20; and these paragraphs are made of shorter segments 6+6 and 10+10. The first section (585–590) informs us about Iuppiter's intense love for Iuturna, the second contains the words of the lustful god (591–596), the third deals with the events leading to the turning point of the story (597–606), and the last tells the punishment and the birth of the Lares. The middle of the first paragraph is indicated with this line: et iacit in medio talia verba choro (cf. Fast. IV 537–560).


Ovid's tendency to place the adjective medius in the middle of a section could be known for some later poets as well. Wheeler discussing an Ovidian allusion (to Met. I 45–51) in Claudian's De raptu Proserpinae mentions an interesting parallel: “Cf. also Claud. Rapt. Pros. 1, 259–60, addit quinque plagas: mediam subtegmine rubro / obsessam fervore notat, where the description of Proserpina's tapestry of creation emphasises the medial position of the torrid zone, recognizing Ovid's play with the same idea: at 259 mediam not only occupies the center of the line but also the middle of the ecphrasis, which begins at line 248 and is interrupted at 270.” Wheeler (n. 9) 111 n. 56.


See line 715.


About the equality between the aged wife and husband and the mutuality of their relationship, see Hallett, J. P.: Mortal and Immortal; Animal, Vegetable and Mineral: Equality and Change in Ovid's Baucis and Philemon Episode (Met. 8.616–724). In Dickison, Sh. K. – Hallett, J. P. (eds): Rome and her Monuments. Essays on the City and Literature of Rome in Honor of Katherine A. Geffcken. Wauconda (Illinois) 2000, 545–561.


Line 636 (tota domus duo sunt, idem parentque iubentque) creates textual connection between this episode and the story of Ceres in Eleusis in the Fasti, where the house of Celeus is presented with the following words: Tota domus laeta est, hoc est, materque paterque / nataque: tres illi tota fuere domus (IV 543–544), as it is observed by Bömer. Bömer, F.: Ovid. Die Fasten. Kommentar. Heidelberg 1958, 255.


The poet used the word penates quite similarly in the description of the heavenly city (I 174) in the story of Lycaon (I 231), in the narrative of Triptolemus' visit in the house of Lyncus (V 650) and in the Ceres in Eleusis episode of the Fasti as well (Fast. IV 531); cf. Galinsky, G. K.:Ovid's Metamorphoses. An Introduction to the Basic Aspects. Berkeley – Los Angeles 1975, 199.


The words and the characteristic motives of the scene find their parallels in the first part of the theoxeny of Ceres visiting Eleusis (Fast. IV 537–548).


The symmetrical description of the activities of the wife and the husband is echoed in some places of the Fasti, where archaic honesty and idyllic peace are core elements of the narrative. Hence, during the preparations for the celebration of Terminalia the duties of the wife are presented in one elegiac couplet (II, 645–646), followed by the husband's tasks told in the same length (647–648), and in the next two lines the filius familias (649–650), then the filia familias (651–652) is mentioned. Similar arrangements can be found in IV 509–512 and IV 695–700 as well, when every person's activities are separately narrated.

The symmetrical (or at least similarly composed) structures found in some thematically related places of the Fasti can serve as an argument for the correctness of the version chosen by Tarrant in line 647: truncat holus foliis; furca levat ille bicorni. In the original (ante correctionem) texts of the M, N and B the demonstrative pronoun is feminine (illa) and refers to Baucis, but in most of the manuscripts appears ille. (Tarrant [n. 5] 240.) In defence of ille A. S. Hollis follows a different line of argumentation, but comes to the same result: “The original reading of M and N was apparently ‘illa’. But Philemon would then be under-employed, after welcoming the guests (639) and collecting some vegetables (646); ‘ille’ (also well-attested) makes him lend a hand.” Hollis (n. 12) 116.


Wenham G. J.: The Coherence of the Flood Narrative. VT 28.3 (1978) 337.


About the true nature of the relationship between these two texts, see Griffin, A. H. F.: Philemon and Baucis in Ovid's Metamorphoses. G&R. 38.1 (1991) 62–74.


Tsitsiou-Chelidoni, Ch.: Ovid. Metamorphosen. Buch VIII. Narrative technik und literarischer kontext. Frankfurt am Main – Berlin 1999, 306.


Tarrant (n. 5) 240.


E. g. Hollis (n. 12) 117–118; Bömer, F.: Ovid. Metamorphosen. Kommentar. Heidelberg 1977, 206–208; Anderson, W. S.: Ovid's Metamorphoses. Books 6–10. Norman (Oklahoma) 1989, 394–395.


Lieberg (n. 7) 44–45. W. S. Anderson disagrees, and states that the Callimachean influence on this episode is not so clear: “It has long been asserted that Ovid borrowed directly from Callimachus' account. The assertion is unprovable, since we possess so few relevant fragments of the Alexandrian poem, but also unnecessary. Simple meals had surely become a topos of poetry in the 250 years since Callimachus' poem, and we need not limit Ovid merely because our sources are limited. After all, simple meals were a standard motif of Roman satire. We shall find that Callimachus is a major influence on the next story about Erysichthon; that is enough.” Anderson (n. 25) 390. The Moretum was also an imoportant source for our episode, and the poem of the Appendix Vergiliana obviously lacks the motives present in lines 652–655a.


Unfortunately, the Aetia, which is often cited in this context, is too fragmentary to draw final conclusions from it, but at least it is obvious that in the extant fragments of the Victoria Berenices (including the Molorchus episode) the foot-washing scene does not have any obvious Callimachean parallel or precedent. Callimachus. Aetia. Ed. with Introduction, Text, Translation and Commentary by A. Harder. Oxford 2012, [fr. 54–60j] 198–223.)


Callimachus. Hecale. Ed. with Introduction, Translation and Notes by A. S. Hollis. Oxford 2009, 33. Cf. “As usual, however, Ovid did not simply ‘borrow’ from Callimachus without making substantial changes. (…) While Ovid in his account of the couple's hospitality utilizes some Alexandrian elements, which in turn are based on Homeric descriptions, there is no convincing parallel in the Callimachean fragments for the total design of Ovid's version.” Galinsky (n. 18) 198–199.


Although in general I am rather sceptical about O. Zwierlein's theory on the authorship of the dubious places of the Ovidian Corpus, I think in the present case his following statement perfectly epitomizes the whole problem: “Dass die Hekale des Kallimachos dem Theseus ein Fussbad bereitet, scheint nicht erwiesen; doch selbst wenn sie es getan hat, musste Ovid dem hellenistischen Dichter nicht sklavisch folgen.” Zwierlein O.: Die Ovid- und Vergil-Revision in tiberischer Zeit. I. Prolegomena. Berlin – New York 1999, 240.


Hollis (n. 28) 170–171.


Richmond admits the possible circularity of this reasoning, but still accepts the lines 652–654 (preserved in the branch of manuscripts which he names X) as originals: “The three extra verses in the version of X show evidence of reminiscence of two fragments of the Hecale (frr. 246, 247 Pf.), and hence are very unlikely to result from interpolation. (…) One must guard against the danger of a circular argument here: these fragments (frr. 246, 247 Pf.) are ascribed to the Hecale because they are paralleled in this episode of the Metamorphoses.” Richmond, J.: Manuscript Traditions and the Transmission of Ovid's Works. In Boyd, B. W. (eds):Brill's Companion to Ovid. Leiden–Boston–Köln 2002, 473.


It is worthwhile to mention that Juvenal used our episode as a source for the mockery of the idealized past (Sat. XI 60 ff), but the later poet did not allude to the the foot-washing scene of the Metamorphoses. Courtney E.: ACommentary on the Satires of Juvenal. Berkeley, California 2013, 440–441. Moreover, the hut of Baucis and Philemon served as a model for the description of Oenothea's house in Petronius' Satyricon (135), and in the text of the latter work there is no obvious reference to the VIII 652–655a of the Metamorphoses, but the previous and the following lines of the Baucis and Philemon episode are echoed; cf. Garrido, I. M.: Note on Petronius's Satyricon 135. CR. 44.1 (1930) 10–11; Perutelli, A.: Enotea, la capanna e il rito magico: l'intreccio dei modelli in Petron. 135–136. MD 17 (1986) 125–143; Rosenmeyer, P. A.: The Unexpected Guests: Patterns of Xenia in Callimachus' Victoria Berenices and Petronius' Satyricon. CQ. 41.2 (1991) 403–413; Schmeling, G.:A Commentary on The Satyrica of Petronius. Oxford – New York 2011, 522–527.


Caveat lector! One should not draw far-fetched conclusions from the originality of the version presented here by the primary text of M and N, because the above-mentioned principle or golden rule of the Metamorphoses's manuscript research (ipsae lectiones sunt ponderandae non codices) is still valid. The fact, that neither the primary text of M nor of N is totally reliable can be easily demonstrated by the omission of line 683 in both of these manuscripts, while the originality of the line is beyond doubt, but in M it only appears in the margin, and in N is inserted between the lines by a later corrector.


The latter is probably a borrowing from line IX, 610 (at medio torus est ebeno sublimis in antro), in which the word appears as the second word of the line.


The strong textual connections between these two texts are often mentioned, see Hollis (n. 12) 106, 113, 115, 116, 121, 123; Bömer (n. 25) 321; Ovide. Les Fastes. II. Livres IV–VI. Texte établi, traduit et commenté par R. Schilling. Paris [Les Belles Lettres] 1993, 154 n. 145.


Murgatroyd, P.: Mythical and Legendary Narrative in Ovid's Fasti [Mnemosyne, Suppl. 263]. Leiden–Boston 2005, 157. (It is also worth mentioning that Orion is placed amongst the “minimized and elided characters” in Murgatroyd's book.)


“In the Philemon-Baucis however the gods' arrival at evening, the re-kindling of the previous day's fire (Met. 8. 641–42, ignes / suscitat hesternos), the long-drawn preparation of the meal (Met. 8. 651, medias . . . horas), the serving of the meal and its associated miracle, the chase after the goose, the slow flight of the elderly couple to the mountain top, the drowning of their neighbours, the transformation of the cottage and the granting of a boon, form an unbroken sequence of events in the course of which Ovid makes no mention of night falling or passing. Ovid has simply ignored the night and indeed it is bright enough at Met. 8.696-97 for Philemon and Baucis to look back from the mountain top at the flooded countryside below. As in Aeschylus's Eumenides the passage of time is not altogether clearly marked.” Griffin, A. H. F.: Philemon and Baucis in Ovid's Metamorphoses (Book 8.611–724). Hermathena 151 (winter 1991) 54. Hollis also mentions that the wandering god's or hero's arrival typically happens in the evening or at night-time and lists the following stories: “Theseus at Hecale's cottage νυκτὸς ἐπιλαμβανούσης (Arg. Hec. 8); the three gods who visit Hyrieus ‘tempus erat quo versa iugo referuntur aratra / et pronus saturae lac bibit agnus ovis’ (Ov. Fast. 5. 497–8); Zeus at Lycaon's house ‘traherent cum sera crepuscula noctem’ (Ov. Met. 1. 219. in a grim reversal of the conventional hospitality story); the angels coming to Lot (Gen. 19: 1); Christ at Emmaus (Luke 24: 29).” Hollis (n. 28) 341 n. 3.


Cf. Bömer (n. 17) 321.


It is possible to interpret this elegiac couplet (509–510) as a reference to Callimachus' Hecale, and to find connection between these two lines and fr. 33 (244 Pf.), as Hollis does: “we do not know what was boiling in the pot. Pfeiffer suggested that it might be no more than water for the foot-washing (see fr. 34). Otherwise one would think (with Naeke) of some vegetables; cf. Ov. Fast. 5. 509–10 (Hyrieus entertaining three gods unawares) stant calices; minor inde fabas, holus alter habebat et spumat testo pressus uterque suo.” Hollis (n. 28) 170.


After the revelation of the gods' identity the convivium becomes much more elegant as Brookes points out: “At this point the Hyrieus story diverges from other examples of the hospitality myth. Hyrieus' actions after he realizes the true identity of his guests are very different from his initial preparations to entertain the travelers. Once he knows that he is entertaining gods, he kills his ox to provide them with meat rather than vegetables. The ignis parvus (506) now becomes magnus (516). Instead of everyday vina rubentia (511), Hyrieus opens a prize vintage, whose extreme age and sentimental value are emphasised in line 517: quaeque puer quondam primis diffuderat annis. Perhaps also nec mora (519) contrasts with dumque mora est (511) to indicate the increased effort which Hyrieus puts into his preparations. Thus the old man opportunistically goes to extreme lengths to ensure the favour of the gods. This departure sets the Hyrieus story apart from the other versions of the hospitality myth.” Brookes, I. N.: A literary commentary on the fifth book of Ovid's Fasti. (PhD Dissertation, University of Newcastle upon Tyne) 1992, 251.


Griffin, A. H. F.: Ovid's Universal Flood. Hermathena 152 (Summer 1992) 54; cf. Fontenrose, J.: Philemon, Lot and Lycaeon. University of California Publications in Classical Philology, Vol. 13. No. 4. (1945) 93–120.


Cf. Ov. Trist. I 3. 72.


As Griffin mentions contrasting the two Ovidian episodes: “A comparison of the two episodes shows clearly that the hexameter is much better suited to narrative than elegiac couplets.” Griffin (n. 37) 52. and “The superiority of the hexameter to elegiac couplets for narrative purposes can also be seen by comparing Ovid's treatment of Cephalus and Procris at Ars Amatoria 3.687-746 with that at Metamorphoses 7.794–865 and his treatment of Daedalus and Icarus at Ars Amatoria 2.21-96 with that at Metamorphoses 8.152–2.” Griffin (n. 37) n. 8. cf. p. 54.


Griffin (n. 41) 47–48. Leigh, M.: Ovid and the Lectisternium (Metamorphoses 8. 651–60) CQ. 52.2 (2002) 625–627.


For the second argument against the originality of the dubious lines of the Metamorphoses (652–656a), it is important to note that reader shall remain still aware of the traditional aphorism: “the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”!


Met. I 231, V 650, VIII 637. The word is placed at the end of the line in all cases (cf. n. 18).


Bömer (n. 17) 255.


Cf. Hom. Hymn Dem. 188.


The Fasti's entry for the 19th April (IV 679–712) offers interesting parallels to some common elemens of the discussed theoxeny narratives but without a divine guest or a miracle. This story can be divided into shorter segments as follows: 4+8+10+8+4. The first two elegiac couplets serve as a title or introduction (679–682), after the description of the place and the arrival of the narrator follows (683–690). The story itself begins with the portrayal of a couple living together in harmony (691–700), and after their son's adventure with a fox is narrated (701–708), and finally the story ends with the conclusion (709–712).


Jipp, J. W.: Divine Visitations and Hospitality to Strangers in Luke-Acts. An Interpretation of the Malta Episode in Acts 28:1–10. Leiden–Boston 2013, 122–126.


Griffin (n. 41) 55.


Cf. Met. V 650–661.


Griffin finds the repetitivity caused by the longer version (693, 693a and 693b together) “not Ovidian”: “The repetitive phrases of the longer versions suggest that they are not Ovidian, or, if they are, that Ovid has not fully revised them.” Griffin (n. 37) 58.


The presence of the unquestionably Ovidian fessusque senilibus annis or tardus gravitate senili in the same metrical position in other passages of the Metamorphoses (VII 163; VII 478; XIII 66), which are really close to the last words of line 693b, is not sufficient to prove that line 693b is authentic, since this mere fact does not exclude the possibility that line 693b was written by a talented interpolator, who had a profound knowledge of the material. Regarding the first two words of the fifth line of the Moretum (membra levat) the same discretion is advised.


Hollis (n. 28) 214. The fact that Ovid was an ingenious poet does not mean that he could not borrow motives or expressions directly from Callimachus.


Hollis (n. 12); P. Ovidii Nasonis Metamorphoses. Ed. by W. S. Anderson. München–Leipzig 2001; Tarrant (n. 5) et alii.


Hollis (n. 12) 125.


It is not unusual that the transition between the embedded narration and the frame story is barely perceptible, but this is not in contradiction with the fact, that the embedded story's boundaries are clear. Lafaye, G.: Les Métamorphoses d’Ovide et leurs modèle grecs. Paris 1904, 84–86. Acél, Zs.: A megfoghatatlan középpont. Achelous lakomája Ovidius Metamorphoses című művében (8, 547–9, 97). [The Elusive Centre. The Feast of Achelous in Ovid's Metamorphoses (8, 547–9, 97)] Ókor (2014/2) 46.


The last line of the story is not without difficult textual problems, since the “predominant testimony of the manuscripts” brings the following version: cura deum di sint, et qui coluere colantur. Until Tarrant's edition the editorial vulgate was sint and colantur, apart from Hensius's version, which contained the following emendation: cura pii dis sunt, et, qui coluere, coluntur. Kenney, E. J.: Textual Notes on Ovid, “Metamorphoses 7–9”. CQ. 51.2 (2001) 548. However, the problem is not relevant in the current case, since it does not affect the structure of the story.


It is advisable not to count the frame story, when attempting to find the boundaries of the embedded narrative, since the frame story's core function is to connect the individual embedded narratives and not to be a part of any of them. In the story of Lycaon this phenomenon is conspicuous. The narrative (Met. I 216–243) also naturally falls into two halves (4+10+10+4), creating a palistrophe, and the seven lines long paragraph of the frame story preceeding the episode (209–215) shall not be counted as part of the embedded narrative.


On this topic, see Acél (n. 8).

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Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae
Language English
Size B5
Year of
per Year
per Year
Founder Magyar Tudományos Akadémia   
H-1051 Budapest, Hungary, Széchenyi István tér 9.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 0044-5975 (Print)
ISSN 1588-2543 (Online)