There is a strong connection between mythology and nature. Professor O’Neill pointed out how ancient civilizations were subject to natural changes and how much they relied on nature. They loved nature to such an extent that they invented gods, who embodied the nature itself, to protect it. Let’s consider, for example, the Roman Flora, symbol for nature, flowers and fertility, the Greek Ceres, also called Demeter in Latin, or the Nereids, who were anthropomorphic equivalents of the natural elements.
Ovid’s Metamorphoses expanded upon this topic. Ovid intended to speak of forms changed into new entities and, very often, those entities came from the natural world. Emblematic is the anecdote of Daphne e Apollo: the god, fated by Cupid’s love-arrow, sees Daphne, who flees him because she’s been fated by Cupid’s love-repelling arrow and denies his love. Apollo pleads and persists, and Daphne cries out to her father for help. He responds by transforming her into a laurel tree.
Ovid’s work, as an elegiac poet, deals with love and its “cures”. Despite the common belief of his contemporaries, who tried to dominate love and nature with magic and witchcraft, Ovid in his Remedia Amoris (The Cures for Love) states the uselessness of “harmful herbs” or “magic plants” as a relief from love’s labors: “No pains will be charmed away to ease the heart, conquering love won’t be put to flight by burning sulphur”.