Can the succession of victims be a critique against Augustus’ politics?
Other interpretations suggest that this succession of victims can be a critique against Augustus’ politics -something that Ovid also did in Ars Amatoria-. Augustus, in the Julian law on the repression of adulteries, made illicit sexual intercourse -extramarital intercourse by and with a respectable free woman- a crime, to be tried by a special court. The penalty for adulterers can be delegated (banishment) and partial confiscation of property and dowry, but this law also justifies -in some restricted circumstances- homicide by father or husband. Convicted women could not remarry and were forced to wear togas to mark their shame. This mark of shame is present in Callisto and Philomela -and many other victims-, they could not look up at the eyes of her companions or family because the mark will be seen. Diana and Minerva (celibate goddesses) and Juno could have been the law being unfair in Metamorphoses. Here these female characters are not acting as victims but as culprits.