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Johns Hopkins University Press
The Metamorphoses of Ovid / Edition 1

The Metamorphoses of Ovid / Edition 1

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Composed in Latin in the early years of the first century by the Roman poet Ovid, the Metamorphoses presents a collection of amazing tales of transformation based on Greek mythology and Roman legend. Ovid was the most gifted storyteller of his age, and the Metamorphoses is his masterpiece. It begins with the creation of the world and continues on to the founding of Rome and to the reign of the emperor Augustus in Ovid's own time.

Many of the great stories from Greek mythology can be found in the Metamorphoses, including those of Apollo and Daphne, Jupiter and Io, Actaeon, Narcissus and Echo, Pyramus and Thisbe, Daedalus and Icarus, Orpheus and Eurydice, Pygmalion, and Venus and Adonis. The genial narrator sails unperturbed through tale after tale of love and loss, quests and battles, violence and suffering, human striving and folly. Ovid's wit and verbal adroitness hasten the pace of the narrative and make the work supremely accessible.

Michael Simpson's prose translation in the rapid and direct American idiom catches the swiftness and clarity of the Latin original. His introduction sketches the poet's life, describes his extant works, discusses his unusual exile to the west coast of the Black Sea (where he died), and provides a useful context for reading the Metamorphoses. Simpson has also prepared extensive endnotes that serve as mini-essays, illuminating the manifold aspects of the poem and offering commentary and interpretation that enable readers to enter Ovid's magical world and enjoy its richness.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801847981
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 05/01/1994
Pages: 360
Sales rank: 280,650
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

David R. Slavitt, poet, novelist, critic, and journalist, has published more than fifty books. His translations include the Metamorphoses of Ovid, The Fables of Avianus, the "Eclogues" and "Georgics" of Virgil, and Seneca: The Tragedies, Vols. 1 and 2, all available from Johns Hopkins.

Table of Contents

A Note on this Translation3
Book IThe Shaping of Changes13
Book IIOf Mortal Children and Immortal Lusts49
Book IIIThe Wrath of Juno89
Book IVSpinning Yarns and Weaving Tales121
Book VContests of Arms and Song157
Book VIOf Praise and Punishment187
Book VIIOf the Ties That Bind221
Book VIIIImpious Acts and Exemplary Lives261
Book IXDesire, Deceit, and Difficult Deliveries301
Book XThe Songs of Orpheus339
Book XIRome Begins at Troy367
Book XIIAround and About the Iliad405
Book XIIISpoils of War and Pangs of Love435
Book XIVAround and about with Aeneas479
Book XVProphetic Acts and Visionary Dreams519
Persons, Places, and Personifications in the Metamorphoses577

What People are Saying About This

Charles Segal

Simpson conveys the rapid flow of Ovid's wonderful mythological, epic-style poem in clear, accessible, and straightforward prose. The running commentary that accompanies the translation offers interesting and sometimes challenging interpretations, informed by recent scholarship and a concern with the meaning of the poem for a wide audience.

William S. Anderson

This translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses is a welcome surprise amid the many translations that have appeared in the past twenty years. It makes no strained effort to find a metrical scheme and pose as the modern equivalent to Ovid's poetic form. Instead, it seeks — and achieves with remarkable success — to render the flowing elegance of Ovid's narrative style with a sensitivity that captures the versatility of the Latin and of the stories that Ovid chose to tell. This is an especially effective text for studying Ovid.

Karl Galinsky

This is by far the best prose translation of Ovid's masterpiece. It fully captures the verve, nuance, and entertainment of Ovid's narration. The extensive and up-to-date notes are an additional bonus.

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The Metamorphoses of Ovid 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
manirul01 More than 1 year ago
Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book for a college class that revolved around books of transformation, and I admit to a struggle trying to keep up with Ovid's stories of the gods. Also, I have a new awareness of how often these stories of mythology are included in modern writings. It was a struggle, but I am so glad for the struggle.