In book one of the Metamorphoses Ovid tells a creation story. In that story a god creates the earth from out of a mass of chaos. To do this, he separates the elements from one another. Earth is separated from heaven, the sea from the earth, and fluid aether from denser air. These "disentangled" elements are then bound in their places and harmony is achieved.
This creation story differs from the one found in Genesis in several ways. One interesting difference is that the God in Genesis calls the elements into existence, by saying, for instance, "Let there be light" (1:3). In the Metamorphoses the elements are already in existence and only need to be separated and properly ordered. This calling into existence, along with Adam's naming of the animals, puts an emphasis on language which is not present in the Metamorphoses. Language is given divine power in Genesis, as it is the means of calling things into existence. In Ovid's creation story separation seems to have divine power, as it is how harmony is achieved among the elements.
Which is more impressive, creating the universe by calling things into existence or putting a mass of chaos into order and harmony?
1 year ago