This month at Baubo, our theme is “Creation”. We offer “Theogony and Works and Days” , said to have been written by Hesiod (8th – 7th century BC) . Theogony describes the origins of the Greek gods, how they came to be and how they established permanent control over the cosmos. It is the first known Greek mythical cosmogony.
Accompanying it is “Metamorphoses” by Roman poet Ovid (43 BC – c. 18 AD). It chronicles the history of the world from its creation to the deification of Julius Caesar in 42 BC. Metamorphoses is an important text that I always recommend get you started on Roman myths. You would recognize its influence in major classical works, including Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Venus and Adonis, Titus Andronicus and the Tempest. I have to admit that I do derive a special kind of joy from hearing what first time readers of Metamorphoses think of the imagery that Ovid presented because they are enchanting (If you are so inclined, please do drop me a line sometime and tell me what you think.)
If you like the cover artwork accompanying these books, you can get posters and other merchandise of them in our Society6 page.
We are trying something new this month with a series of children’s books we dubbed “the Stick Figure series” where we retell myths using simple stick figures to help you visualize what happen in the stories. Now here is where we move away a little from the Graeco-Roman myths. Still keeping with the Creation theme, we present a Hawaiian myth, “The Birth of the World from the Ocean” and the Chinese myth “The World, the Giant and the Goddess”. Our other two stories are not about the creation of the world, but they do still concern a creation. One of the stories is another Chinese myth “the Ten Suns” which tells us a story of how we end up with just one sun. The other story happens to be my favorite. It is an Aboriginal Australian story “the Seven Sisters” which tells us the story of the Pleiades star cluster and answers the question of why there are two stars in the cluster that do not shine as brightly as the others.
I hope you enjoy the stories!