Centre for Languages and Literature

The Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology | Lund University



About the research

Ovid (43 BC - 17 AD) was one of Rome's greatest poets. The object for my thesis is the so called "single letters" of the Heroides (or Epistulae Heroidum), fifteen fictitious letters written by women from Greek-Roman mythology. Recipients are their absent lovers. Penelope writes to Ulysses, Briseis to Achilles, Medea to Jason. Something is preventing love, and the women complain about their situations.

Ovid's opus has often been called his most rhetorical work. Despite this fact, few studies from a rhetorical point of view have been made. My thesis aims to explore a long-lived yet uninvestigated notion of the poems as ethopoeiae. The ethopoeia was a progymnasma, a rhetorical exercise practised in ancient grammar school, which aimed at capturing the speaker in a certain situation. I will argue that a relationship between the ethopoeia and Ovid's heroical poems exists and I will discuss what such a connection entails.


Books (1)
Book chapters (4)
Conference contributions (7)
Reports (1)
Reviews (5)
Articles in specialist publications and popular press (21)
Miscellaneous (8)
  • Björk, M. (2015). Apollon och Dafne : ett samtal om konstens roll på universitetet. Uppsala universitet och Statens konstråd.
  • Björk, M. (2014). Ovidius, retoriken och den kvinnliga monologen.
  • Björk, M. (2012). Progymnasmata - en antik modell för modern tid?.
  • Finnskog, M. (2012). Vanans makt är stor - det visste redan romarna.
  • Finnskog, M. (2011). Failing in Persuasion : Phyllis and Dido.
  • Finnskog, M. (2010). Den barbariska kvinnan : Medea hos Ovidius. Svenska Atheninstitutets Vänner.
  • Finnskog, M. (2010). Ovidius Medea.
  • Finnskog, M. (2010). Vad har Caesar att göra med svensk sommar?.


Martina Björk

Centre for Languages and Literature

Contact information

E-mail martina.bjorkklass.luse

Visiting address Helgonabacken 12, Lund

Postal address Box 201, 221 00 Lund

Internal post code 20