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Metamorphoses by Ovid

Translated by Ian Johnston


The Metamorphoses by Publius Ovidus Naso (43 BC-AD17) is, beyond all question, one of the most famous works from our classical past. It has decisively influence painters, dramatists, poets, and storytellers from the moment it first appeared up to the present day and has retained its immense popularity as a source of classical myths for over two thousand years.

The poem is a long narrative history of the world which incorporates about 250 well known legends and folk tales from Greek and Roman times, starting with the creation of the world and ending in Imperial Rome at the time of Augustus. Ovid has long been the principal source for such stories. However, the poem is a great deal more than merely a collection of tales, for it possesses a unique style, widely celebrated for its variety, vividness, narrative energy, and, above all, wit.

Ian Johnston's new verse translation of this immortal epic brilliantly captures the wonderful spirit of Ovid's poem in a fluent and immediately accessible English style