The tree catalogue (10, 90 - 106) in Ovid's 'Metamorphoses' is a piece hardly yielding to interpretation. Inherently relating to the motives of Book 10, it anticipates the main themes of the song of Orpheus and builds upon the tradition of 'ekphrasis' and 'locus amoenus'. The botanical names refer to particular narratives, making by this way for the basic unity of the text. The catalogue, itself a representative of the literary approaches, artistic style and horticulture of the urbanitas, can be read as the manifestation of a new theory of art that redefines the relationship of ars and natura. A reconstruction of the conceptual development of 'mimesis' may lead to a better understanding of the tree catalogue and of the whole epic. At the same time, it may also bring contribute to a profound comprehension of the theory of art, either implied or overtly expressed in 'Metamorphoses', without seeking for the concepts of contemporary literary criticism.
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