Comitum princeps tu mihi eris: Rape and the Distribution of Auctoritas in Ovid's Fasti
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In Ovid’s Fasti, the rape narratives of Callisto, Lara, Flora, and Carna contain the common themes of the distribution of auctoritas and/or the subversion of auctoritas. While all four characters are victims of rape, Callisto loses auctoritas as a result of her rape by Jupiter, whereas Flora and Carna gain auctoritas from their rapes by Zephyrus and Janus respectively. Since Ovid associated Augustus with Jupiter on more than one occasion in the poem, it appears that readers were meant to see a parallel between Jupiter’s dealings with auctoritas in these narratives and Augustus’ exercise of his auctoritas over Rome. Zephyrus’ and Janus’ bestowal of auctoritas upon their victims was intended to be a foil for Jupiter’s denial of auctoritas to Callisto and strict regulation of his own auctoritas, which Lara’s narrative exemplifies, in order for Ovid to criticize the overwhelming nature of Augustus’ auctoritas, as well as specific Augustan policies.