Ovid’s view of the gods’ ethical performance or to put it simply the main point, was that you can’t challenge a gods pride. If they dared, however, to mess with the gods and their pride, they would become an element of nature. Ovid is explaining the origin of nature and the positive/negative sanctions placed on people by telling us these stories of those who challenged gods pride.
Pride is the key factor for the gods whenever ethical decisions needed to be made. It’s interesting how Ovid says it, he states that gods were prideful beings. I think we could’ve figured that out by ourselves just by looking at those examples and stories that contained that essential theme (pride). Anyways, because they were prideful beings, there were some serious consequences to those who hurt their pride. By that I mean negative sanctions were placed upon them and to their surroundings. If a person respects the gods and their pride as well, they would receive positive sanctions. That’s pretty much common sense, if someone can receive negative sanctions then there are those who could receive positive ones.
I liked this one example in particular. It’s in book 6, it’s about a story of a goddess by the name of Latona. Latona giving birth to 2 gods felt extremely thirsty. She spotted a pool hoping that she could drink from it. As she approached, men came to her and forbid her from drinking from that pool. They knew very well that she was a goddess, but they decided that they were capable of keeping even a goddess under their control. They thought of themselves very highly and divine. They felt very prideful in doing so. Latona kept asking them to let her drink from the pool and they kept refusing. She started to pray for help and after she did, the men that forbid her from entering the pool were turned into frogs. That was a sign of negative sanctions placed upon them. As a consequence for being so prideful they became an element of nature. From now on, those men lost connection to the gods completely and would no longer impact the lives of others, for an element of nature stays as an element.
As for Latona, for she was humble throughout the situation, the gods helped her out and they satisfied her thirst. These were the positive sanctions placed upon Latona, these were her rewards for remaining faithful and humble.
In this example, we can point out many things that the author was trying to point out for us. Because the men got prideful of themselves, the gods punished them. As a result, they became an object of nature. If only they weren’t so prideful and would let Latona drink from that pool this could have been avoided. Like I said with Latona, she received positive sanctions from the gods and therefore was blessed with the things she asked for.
If you stopped by to read this essay, congratulations, for you received some life lessons. To those of you who are prideful, make sure it’s in a good manner, because you might end up hurting others and eventually yourself. I hope y’all have a great rest of your day. I’ll be posting more in time.