‘Her soft white bosom was ringed in a layer
of bark, her hair was turned into foliage, her arms into branches’
Ovid’s sensuous and witty poem brings together a dazzling array of mythological tales, ingeniously linked by the idea of transformation – often as a result of love or lust – where men and women find themselves magically changed into new and sometimes extraordinary beings. Beginning with the creation of the world and ending with the deification of Augustus, Ovid interweaves many of the best-known myths and legends of ancient Greece and Rome, including the stories of Daedalus and Icarus, Pyramus and Thisbe, Pygmalion, Perseus and Andromeda, and the Fall of Troy. Erudite but light-hearted, dramatic and yet playful, the Metamorphoses has influenced writers and artists throughout the centuries from Shakespeare and Titian to Picasso and Ted Hughes.
This lively, accessible new translation by David Raeburn is in hexameter verse form, which brilliantly captures the energy and spontaneity of the original. The edition contains an introduction discussing the life and work of Ovid as well as a preface to each book, explanatory notes and an index of people, gods and places.