USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)


Tara Bonds

First Advisor

Ava Chitwood, Ph.D

Second Advisor

J.D. Noonan, Ph.D

Third Advisor

William M. Murray, Ph.D

Fifth Advisor

University Honors Program University of South Florida St. Petersburg, Florida


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Date Available


Publication Date


Date Issued



The thesis begins with a retelling of the Ariadne and Theseus myth. Once the basic storyline has been explained, a brief historical survey of the political and social environment ofCatullus and Ovid follows, for the changes in Rome and the historical context in which each wrote must be taken into consideration. Next, Catullus and Ovid's presentations will be analyzed within the literary context each writer provides. Catullus wrote his version within a wedding hymn, among stories of other lovers; Ovid's version of the myth is placed within his Heroides, a collection of fictional letters written by mythological female characters. The moods and motives of these two versions of Ariadne and Theseus offer a new understanding of the poets' intent. The literary contexts in which the poets wrote provide readers with a broader grasp of their purposes and ancient audiences, while a historical perspective presents the literary freedom allowable for each poet in their respective societies. A social context provides a broader comprehension of why each writer chose to present the male and female characters as they did. Studying one myth in two distinctly different social and political cultures therefore prompts a better understanding of the Ancient Roman world.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.