Metamorphoses

Metamorphoses

Ovid
Translated by Rolfe Humphries
Distribution: World
Publication date: 1/1/1960
Format: paper 416 pages
5.125 x 7.875
ISBN: 978-0-253-20001-3
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Description

“The Metamorphoses of Ovid offers to the modern world such a key to the literary and religious culture of the ancients that it becomes an important event when at last a good poet comes up with a translation into English verse.” —John Crowe Ransom



“ . . . a charming and expert English version, which is right in tone for the Metamorphoses.” —Francis Fergusson



“This new Ovid, fresh and faithful, is right for our time and should help to restore a great reputation.” —Mark Van Doren



The first and still the best modern verse translation of the Metamorphoses, Humphries’ version of Ovid’s masterpiece captures its wit, merriment, and sophistication.

Everyone will enjoy this first modern translation by an American poet of Ovid’s great work, the major treasury of classical mythology, which has perennially stimulated the minds of men. In this lively rendering there are no stock props of the pastoral and no literary landscaping, but real food on the table and sometimes real blood on the ground.

Not only is Ovid’s Metamorphoses a collection of all the myths of the time of the Roman poet as he knew them, but the book presents at the same time a series of love poems—about the loves of men, women, and the gods. There are also poems of hate, to give the proper shading to the narrative. And pervading all is the writer’s love for this earth, its people, its phenomena.

Using ten-beat, unrhymed lines in his translation, Rolfe Humphries shows a definite kinship for Ovid’s swift and colloquial language and Humphries’ whole poetic manner is in tune with the wit and sophistication of the Roman poet.

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Table of Contents

Book One: The Creation/The Four Ages/ Jove’s Intervention/The Story of Lycaon/The Flood/Deucalion and Pyrrha/Apollo and Daphne/Jove and Io

Book Two: The Story of Phaethon/Jove in Arcady/The Story of the Raven/The Story of Ocyrhoe/Mercury and Battus/Mercury, Herse, and Aglauros/The House of the Goddess Envy/Europa

Book Three: The Story of Cadmus/The Story of Actaeon/The Story of Semele/The Story of Tiresias/The Story of Echo and Narcissus/The Story of Pentheus and Bacchus

Book Four: The Story of Pyramus and Thisbe/The Story of Mars and Venus/The Sun-god and Leucothoe/The Story of Salmacis/The End of the Daughters of Minyas/The Story of Athamas and Ino/The End of Cadmus/The Story of Perseus

Book Five: The Fighting of Perseus/Minerva Visits the Muses

Book Six: The Story of Niobe/The Story of Tereus, Procne, and Philomela

Book Seven: The Story of Jason and Medea/War Between Crete and Athens/The Story of Cephalus and Procris

Book Eight: The Story of Nisus and Scylla/The Story of Daedalus and Icarus/The Calydonian Boar/The Brand of Meleager/The Return of Theseus/The Story of Baucis and Philemon/The Story of Erysichthon

Book Nine: The Story of Achelous’ Duel for Deianira/The Story of Hercules, Nessus, and Deianira/The Story of Hercules’ Birth/The Story of Dryope/The Story of Caunus and Byblis/The Story of Iphis and Ianthe

Book Ten: The Story of Orpheus and Eurydice/The Story of Cyparissus/The Story of Ganymede/The Story of Apollo and Hyacinthus/Two Incidents of Venus’ Anger/The Story of Pygmalion/The Story of Cinyras and Myrrha/The Story of Adonis/Venus Tells Adonis the Story of Atalanta/The Fate of Adonis

Book Eleven: The Death of Orpheus/The Story of Midas/Midas Never Learns/The Building of the Walls of Troy/The Story of Thetis/Ceyx Tells the Story of Daedalion/The Story of Peleus’ Cattle/The Quest of Ceyx/The Story of Aesacus and Hesperia

Book Twelve: The Invasion of Troy/Nestor Tells the Story of Caeneus/Story of the Battle with the Centaurs/Nestor Is Asked Why He Omitted Hercules

Book Thirteen: The Argument between Ajax and Ulysses/After the Fall/The Sacrifice of Polyxena/The Discovery of Polydorus/The Story of Memnon/The Pilgrimage of Aeneas/The Story of Anius’ Daughters/The Pilgrimage Resumed/The Story of Galatea/The Song of Polyphemus/The Transformation of Acis/The Story of Glaucus

Book Fourteen: The Story of Glaucus Continued/The Pilgrimage of Aeneas Resumed/Achaemenides Tells His Story/The Story of Picus/The Pilgrimage of Aeneas Resumed/The Narrative of Diomedes/The Return of Venulus/The Deification of Aeneas/Legendary History of Rome/Pomona and Vertumnus/The Story of Iphis and Anaxarete/More Early Roman History

Book Fifteen: The Succession of Numa/The Teachings of Pythagoras/The Return of Numa/The Story of Hippolytus/The Story of Cipus/The Story of Aesculapius/The Deification of Caesar/The Epilogue