Fourth style. 60—79 CE. Inv. No. 9271.Naples, National Archaeological Museum, Hall LXXIIIPhoto by Egisto Sani
Bacchus finding Ariadne.
Fourth style. 60—79 CE.
Naples, National Archaeological Museum, Hall LXXIII
(Napoli, Museo archeologico nazionale, Sala LXXIII).
Ovid’s summarize her fate in these verses [Met., 8, 169—
|Quo postquam geminam tauri iuvenisque figuram
clausit et Actaeo bis pastum sanguine monstrum
tertia sors annis domuit repetita novenis,
utque ope virginea nullis iterata priorum
ianua difficilis filo est inventa relecto,
protinus Aegides rapta Minoide Diam
vela dedit comitemque suam crudelis in illo
litore destituit. Desertae et multa querenti
amplexus et opem Liber tulit, utque perenni
sidere clara foret, sumptam de fronte coronam
inmisit caelo. Tenues volat illa per auras,
dumque volat, gemmae nitidos vertuntur in ignes
consistuntque loco specie remanente coronae,
qui medius Nixique genu est Anguemque tenentis.
“In this labyrinth Minos shut up the monster of the bull-man form and twice he fed him on Athenian blood; but the third tribute, demanded after each nine years, brought the creature’s overthrow. And when, by the virgin Ariadne’s help, the difficult entrance, which no former adventurer had ever reached again, was found by winding up the thread, straightway the son of Aegeus, taking Minos’ daughter, spread his sails for Dia [Naxos]; and on that shore he cruelly abandoned his companion. To her, deserted and bewailing bitterly, Bacchus brought love and help. And, that she might shine among the deathless stars, he sent the crown she wore up to the skies. Through the thin air it flew; and as it flew its gems were changed to gleaming fires and, still keeping the appearance of a crown, it took its place between the Kneeler and the Serpent-holder.” (Translation: Frank Justus Miller, “Ovid — Metamorphoses”).
Exhibition: “Ovidio: Loves, Myths & Other Stories”, Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome (17.10.2018 — 20.01.2019).
Text: museum label.