The Metamorphoses

Ovid,

The Metamorphoses
 
 
Ovid’s famous mock epic—a treasury of myth and magic that is one of the greatest literary works of classical antiquity—is rendered into fluidly poetic English by world-renowned translator Allen Mandelbaum.

Roman poet Ovid’s dazzling cycle of tales begins with the creation of the world and ends with the deification of Caesar Augustus. In between is a glorious panoply of the most famous myths and legends of the ancient Greek and Roman world—from Echo’s passion for Narcissus to Pygmalion’s living statue, from Perseus’s defeat of Medusa to the fall of Troy. Retold with Ovid’s irreverent flair, these tales are united by the theme of metamorphosis, as men and women are rendered alien to themselves, turned variously to flowers, trees, animals, and stones. The closest thing to a central character is love itself—a confounding, transforming, irrational force that makes fools of gods and mortals alike.

The poem’s playful verses, both sensually earthy and wittily sophisticated, have reverberated through the centuries, inspiring countless artists and writers from Shakespeare to the present. Frequently translated, imitated, and adapted, The Metamorphoses has lost none of its power to provoke and entertain.


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