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Metamorphoses [Paperback]

Ovid , E.J. Kenney
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 11 2008 Oxford World's Classics
The modern, unacademic idiom of A.D. Melville's translation opens the way to a fresh understanding of Ovid's unique and elusive vision of reality.

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`This translation will quickly establish itself as _the_ transation for English speaking readers and students of this great Augustan epic.' Dr A.H.F. Griffin, University of Exeter

'a work of the highest quality which provides pleasure and information in generous measure.' JACT Review

About the Author

Publius Ovidius Naso, a Roman poet known to the English-speaking world as Ovid, wrote on topics of love, abandoned women, and mythological transformations. Ranked alongside Virgil and Horace as one of the three canonical poets of Latin literature, Ovid was generally considered the greatest master of the elegiac couplet.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
By A Customer
This edition is published by Oxford University Press and is translated from the Latin into English prosody by A. D. Melville, who was "a scholar of King's College, Cambridge [!!], where he gained a double First in Classics...."
To my mind, this is the best of the English translations available at this site. The format is it should be, I believe...which means that the reader will have to adjust (change) his usual perceptive modes...go slower... follow the thought from line to if tracking some wondrous mythic figure through a forest of sparkling silvery leaves...and flickering flashes of sunlight... There is an excellent "Introduction" as well as a truly insightful "Translator's Note" can tell the quality of the mind which worked on this translation from a quote from the "Introduction": "This it may be suggested is the point of a passage of the *Metamorphoses* that has puzzled some critics and bored others ...the great speech of Pythagoras. What is formally a long digression is accommodated to the argument of the poem with great skill bridging the long interval between Numa and Augustus and achieving a climax on a theme that informs and dominates the whole book: apotheosis, divinization, the supreme change to which human beings can aspire. The speech turns on the premiss[sic] that in all the constantly changing universe one thing remains unchanged, *anima*, the soul [Melville's translation of the lines follows...] our souls/ Are still the same for ever, but adopt/ In their migrations ever-varying forms.../ We too ourselves, who of this world are part,/ Not only flesh and blood, but pilgrim souls...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Metamorphoses: Culture of Ancients May 4 2001
Ovid's Metamorphoses is a rich and involved text dealing with classical mythology. Any student of poetry, past or present, can attest to the wonderful skill and excellent usage of diction that can be found in this book. If you like classical mythology this book shouldn't be absent from your library. The book attempts to deal with the coveted god's of ancient Roman mythology, their stories, and some other classical characters. As a student of Latin myself, I have studied this work many times. Yet, each time I pick up the book to read it, regardless of how many times I've read a passage before, I find that my senses are never dulled to it. The work is purely amazing, it should be given special honor just for its poetic style and sophistication. However, it is so beautifully done that anyone reading it for pleasure will find it enjoyable and enriching. Here are the opening lines as they appear in Rolfe Humphries' translation: My intention is to tell of bodies changed To different forms; the gods, who made the changes, Will help me-or I hope so-with a poem That runs from the world's beginning to our own days.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a Latin student, likes poetry, or just likes to read for pleasure.
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By A Customer
This is truly a brilliant piece. Ovid displays his genius and knowledge with a mythic chronology that links the legends of the gods to Caeser Augustus and his Empire. Not only is this classic a delight to read but better yet, everything is not as it seems. Picturesque landscapes become the stage for cruel fates and ironic endings while revered Gods are depicted as anything but godly. Graced with charm, wit, and attention to detail, Ovid's goal of immortality through prose is achieved
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Charming of Story-tellers Dec 14 1999
By Angel
Ovid gives wonderful accounts of the most famous mythological characters and their exploits.It is a poem, and should be #3 on the list of important authors of Classics poems: 1)Homer 2)Vergil. Ovid is however, very easy to read and should be used as a source--not merely for knowledge of stories--for enjoyment. Rudolfe Humphries' translation seems to be the most readable.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Stuff Dec 11 1998
By A Customer
Sex, violence, and great story-telling. What more could one ask of a novel? We often forget that the world of Roman society was not all that different in terms of human nature than Western society today...
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