Read Ovid's Metamorphoses, Books 1-5 by Ovid Free Online
Book Title: Ovid's Metamorphoses, Books 1-5|
ISBN 13: 9780806128948
The author of the book: Ovid
Edition: University of Oklahoma Press
Date of issue: January 15th 1998
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 834 KB
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One of the most influential and popular works in all literature, Ovid’s Metamorphoses is a weaving-together of classical myths, extending in time from the creation of the world to the death of Julius Caesar. This volume provides the Latin text of the first five books of the poem and the most detailed commentary available in English for these books.
In his introduction to the volume, editor William S. Anderson provides essential background information, discussing Ovid’s life, the reception of the Metamorphoses during Ovid’s day and after, and the poem’s central issues. The Latin text of the five books is Anderson’s own edition, based on years of study of the surviving manuscripts. In the extensive notes that follow the text, Anderson offers both useful summaries of the stories and detailed line-by-line comments.
Unlike other epic poems, which concern wars and heroism, the Metamorphoses centers on ordinary human beings, women as well as men, who live in a world of continuous change. The first five books, which include such well-known stories as Apollo and Daphane, Diana and Actaeon, and Narcissus and Echo, deal especially with the relationship between human beings and the gods. Arrogant and lustful, but all-powerful, the gods of Ovid’s universe selfishly pursue their own pleasures, frequently at the expense of their human targets. Yet these gods escape unscathed, while the humans, unjustly, are punished. Helpless to defend themselves, they are changed into animal or nonhuman forms.
A resource for students and scholars of Latin, this volume enhances understanding and enjoyment of Ovid’s changeable poem about our changeable existence.
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Read information about the authorPublius Ovidius Naso (20 March 43 BCE – CE 17/18), known as Ovid (/ˈɒvɪd/) in the English-speaking world, was a Roman poet best known for the Metamorphoses, a 15-book continuous mythological narrative written in the meter of epic, and for collections of love poetry in elegiac couplets, especially the Amores ("Love Affairs") and Ars Amatoria ("Art of Love"). His poetry was much imitated during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, and greatly influenced Western art and literature. The Metamorphoses remains one of the most important sources of classical mythology.
Ovid is traditionally ranked alongside Virgil and Horace, his older contemporaries, as one of the three canonic poets of Latin literature. He was the first major Roman poet to begin his career during the reign of Augustus, and the Imperial scholar Quintilian considered him the last of the Latin love elegists. He enjoyed enormous popularity, but in one of the mysteries of literary history he was sent by Augustus into exile in a remote province on the Black Sea, where he remained until his death. Ovid himself attributes his exile to carmen et error, "a poem and a mistake", but his discretion in discussing the causes has resulted in much speculation among scholars.
Ovid's prolific poetry includes the Heroides, a collection of verse epistles written as by mythological heroines to the lovers who abandoned them; the Fasti, an incomplete six-book exploration of Roman religion with a calendar structure; and the Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto, two collections of elegies in the form of complaining letters from his exile. His shorter works include the Remedia Amoris ("Cure for Love"), the curse-poem Ibis, and an advice poem on women's cosmetics. He wrote a lost tragedy, Medea, and mentions that some of his other works were adapted for staged performance.
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