The Metamorphoses is a Latin narrative poem by the Roman poet Ovid, considered his magnum opus. Comprising 11,995 lines, 15 books and over 250 myths, the poem chronicles the history of the world from its creation to the deification of Julius Caesar within a loose mythico-historical framework. Although meeting the criteria for an epic, the poem defies simple genre classification by its use of varying themes and tones. Ovid took inspiration from the genre of metamorphosis poetry, some of the Metamorphoses derives from earlier treatment of the same myths. One of the most influential works in Western culture, the Metamorphoses has inspired such authors as Dante Alighieri, Giovanni Boccaccio, Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare. Numerous episodes from the poem have been depicted in acclaimed works of sculpture and music. Although interest in Ovid faded after the Renaissance, there was a resurgence of attention to his work towards the end of the 20th century. Today the Metamorphoses continues to be retold through various media.
The work has been the subject of numerous translations into English, the first by William Caxton in 1480. Ovid's decision to make myth the dominant subject of the Metamorphoses was influenced by the predisposition of Alexandrian poetry. However, whereas it served in that tradition as the cause for moral reflection or insight, he made it instead the "object of play and artful manipulation"; the model for a collection of metamorphosis myths derived from a pre-existing genre of metamorphosis poetry in the Hellenistic tradition, of which the earliest known example is Boio' Ornithogonia—a now-fragmentary poem collecting myths about the metamorphoses of humans into birds. There are three examples of Metamorphoses by Hellenistic writers, but little is known of their contents; the Heteroioumena by Nicander of Colophon is better known, an influence on the poem—21 of the stories from this work were treated in the Metamorphoses. However, in a way, typical for writers of the period, Ovid diverged from his models.
The Metamorphoses was longer than any previous collection of metamorphosis myths and positioned itself within a historical framework. Some of the Metamorphoses derives from earlier poetic treatment of the same myths; this material was of varying quality and comprehensiveness—while some of it was "finely worked", in other cases Ovid may have been working from limited material. In the case of an oft-used myth such as that of Io in Book I, the subject of literary adaptation as early as the 5th century BC, as as a generation prior to his own, Ovid reorganises and innovates existing material in order to foreground his favoured topics and to embody the key themes of the Metamorphoses. Scholars have found it difficult to place the Metamorphoses in a genre; the poem has been considered as a type of epic. The poem is considered to meet the criteria for an epic. However, the poem "handles the themes and employs the tone of every species of literature", ranging from epic and elegy to tragedy and pastoral.
Commenting on the genre debate, G. Karl Galinsky has opined that "... it would be misguided to pin the label of any genre on the Metamorphoses."The Metamorphoses is comprehensive in its chronology, recounting the creation of the world to the death of Julius Caesar, which had occurred only a year before Ovid's birth. In spite of its unbroken chronology, scholar Brooks Otis has identified four divisions in the narrative: Book I–Book II: The Divine Comedy Book III–Book VI, 400: The Avenging Gods Book VI, 401–Book XI: The Pathos of Love Book XII–Book XV: Rome and the Deified RulerOvid works his way through his subject matter in an arbitrary fashion, by jumping from one transformation tale to another, sometimes retelling what had come to be seen as central events in the world of Greek mythology and sometimes straying in odd directions, it begins with the ritual "invocation of the muse", makes use of traditional epithets and circumlocutions. But instead of following and extolling the deeds of a human hero, it leaps from story to story with little connection.
The recurring theme, as with nearly all of Ovid's work, is love—be it personal love or love personified in the figure of Amor. Indeed, the other Roman gods are perplexed and made ridiculous by Amor, an otherwise minor god of the pantheon, the closest thing this putative mock-epic has to a hero. Apollo comes in for particular ridicule as Ovid shows how irrational love can confound the god out of reason; the work as a whole inverts the accepted order, elevating humans and human passions while making the gods and their desires and conquests objects of low humor. The Metamorphoses ends with one of only two surviving Latin epics to do so; the ending acts as a declaration that everything except his poetry—even Rome—must give way to change: "Now stands my task accomp
Morpheus is a god associated with sleep and dreams. In Ovid's Metamorphoses he is the son of Sleep. From the medieval period, the name began to stand more for the god of dreams, or of sleep. In Ovid's Metamorphoses, Morpheus is one of the thousand sons of Somnus, his name derives from the Greek word for form, his function was to appear in dreams in human guise. According to Ovid "no other is more skilled than he in representing the gait, the features, the speech of men. Like other gods associated with sleep, Ovid makes. Ovid called Morpheus and his brothers, the other sons of Somnus, the Somnia, saying that they appear in dreams "mimicking many forms". Ovid gives names to two more of these sons of Sleep. One called Icelos, by the gods, but Phobetor by men, "takes the form of beast or bird or the long serpent", Phantasos, who "puts on deceptive shapes of earth, water, all lifeless things"; the three brothers' names are found nowhere earlier than Ovid, are Ovidian inventions. Tripp calls these three figures "literary, not mythical concepts".
However Griffin suggests that this division of dream forms between Morpheus and his brothers including their names, may have been of Hellenistic origin. Robert Burton, in his 1621 Anatomy of Melancholy, refers to a depiction of Morpheus, saying "Philostratus paints in a white and black coat, with a horn and ivory box full of dreams, of the same colours, to signify good and bad". In Carl Michael Bellman's Fredman's Epistle No. 72, "Glimmande nymf", Morpheus is invoked as the "god of sleep". Friedrich Sertürner derived the name of the opiate drug morphine from the name of Morpheus. Gates of horn and ivory Oneiroi Britten Austin, The Life and Songs of Carl Michael Bellman: Genius of the Swedish Rococo. Allhem, Malmö American-Scandinavian Foundation, New York, 1967. ISBN 978-3-932759-00-0. Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, New York: J. W. Moore, J. Wiley, 1850. Online version at the University of Michigan Library. Griffin, A. H. F. A Commentary on Ovid, Metamorphoses XI, Hermathena, 162/163, Dublin, JSTOR 23041237.
Grimal, The Dictionary of Classical Mythology, Wiley-Blackwell, 1996, ISBN 9780631201021. Kearns, E. "Morpheus", in S. Hornblower & A. Spawforth, Oxford Classical Dictionary, Oxford, ISBN 9780198661726CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter. Ovid. Metamorphoses, Volume II: Books 9-15. Translated by Frank Justus Miller. Revised by G. P. Goold. Loeb Classical Library No. 43. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1916. Online version at Harvard University Press. Tripp, Crowell's Handbook of Classical Mythology, Ty Crowell Co. ISBN 069022608X
Loeb Classical Library
The Loeb Classical Library is a series of books published by Heinemann in Londen, today by Harvard University Press, which presents important works of ancient Greek and Latin literature in a way designed to make the text accessible to the broadest possible audience, by presenting the original Greek or Latin text on each left-hand page, a literal translation on the facing page. The General Editor is Jeffrey Henderson, holder of the William Goodwin Aurelio Professorship of Greek Language and Literature at Boston University; the Loeb Classical Library was conceived and funded by the Jewish-German-American banker and philanthropist James Loeb. The first volumes were edited by T. E. Page, W. H. D. Rouse, Edward Capps, published by William Heinemann, Ltd. in 1912 in their distinctive green and red hardcover bindings. Since scores of new titles have been added, the earliest translations have been revised several times. In recent years, this has included the removal of earlier editions' bowdlerization, which habitually extended to reversal of gender to disguise homosexual references or translated sexually explicit passages into Latin, rather than English.
Since 1934, it has been co-published with Harvard University. Profit from the editions continues to fund graduate student fellowships at Harvard University; the Loebs have only a minimal critical apparatus. They are intended for the amateur reader of Greek or Latin, are so nearly ubiquitous as to be recognizable. In 1917 Virginia Woolf wrote: The Loeb Library, with its Greek or Latin on one side of the page and its English on the other, came as a gift of freedom.... The existence of the amateur was recognised by the publication of this Library, to a great extent made respectable.... The difficulty of Greek is not sufficiently dwelt upon, chiefly because the sirens who lure us to these perilous waters are scholars have forgotten... What those difficulties are, but for the ordinary amateur they are real and great. Harvard University assumed complete responsibility for the series in 1989 and in recent years four or five new or re-edited volumes have been published annually. In 2001, Harvard University Press began issuing a second series of books with a similar format.
The I Tatti Renaissance Library presents key Renaissance works in Latin with a facing English translation. A third series, the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library, was introduced in 2010 covering works in Byzantine Greek, Medieval Latin, Old English. Volumes with a brown cover; the Clay Sanskrit Library, bound in teal cloth, was modeled on the Loeb Classical Library. As the command of Latin among generalist historians and archaeologists shrank in the course of the 20th century, professionals came to rely on these texts designed for amateurs; as Birgitta Hoffmann remarked in 2001 of Tacitus' Agricola, "Unfortunately the first thing that happens in bilingual versions like the Loebs is that most of this apparatus vanishes and, if you use a translation, there is no way of knowing that there were problems with the text in the first place."In 2014, the Loeb Classical Library Foundation and Harvard University Press launched the digital Loeb Classical Library, described as "an interconnected searchable, perpetually growing, virtual library of all, important in Greek and Latin literature."
The listings of Loeb volumes at online bookstores and library catalogues vary and are best navigated via ISBN numbers. L170N) Iliad, Second Edition: Volume I. Books 1–12 L171N) Iliad: Volume II. Books 13–24 L104) Odyssey: Volume I. Books 1–12 L105) Odyssey: Volume II. Books 13–24 L057N) Volume I. Theogony. Works and Days. Testimonia L503) Volume II; the Shield. Catalogue of Women. Other Fragments L344) Dionysiaca: Volume I. Books 1–15 L354) Dionysiaca: Volume II. Books 16–35 L356) Dionysiaca: Volume III. Books 36–48 L496) Homeric Hymns. Homeric Apocrypha. Lives of Homer L497) Greek Epic Fragments L001) Apollonius Rhodius: Argonautica L019N) Quintus Smyrnaeus: Posthomerica L219) Oppian and Tryphiodorus L142) Greek Lyric Poetry: Volume I. Sappho and Alcaeus L143) Greek Lyric Poetry: Volume II. Anacreon, Choral Lyric from Olympus to Alcman L476) Greek Lyric Poetry: Volume III. Stesichorus, Ibycus and Others L461) Greek Lyric Poetry: Volume IV. Bacchylides and Others L144) Greek Lyric Poetry: Volume V; the New School of Poetry and Anonymous Songs and Hymns L258N) Greek Elegiac Poetry: From the Seventh to the Fifth Centuries BC.
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Harvard University Press
Harvard University Press is a publishing house established on January 13, 1913, as a division of Harvard University, focused on academic publishing. It is a member of the Association of American University Presses. After the retirement of William P. Sisler in 2017, the university appointed as Director George Andreou; the press maintains offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts near Harvard Square, in London, England. The press co-founded the distributor TriLiteral LLC with Yale University Press. TriLiteral was sold to LSC Communications in 2018. Notable authors published by HUP include Eudora Welty, Walter Benjamin, E. O. Wilson, John Rawls, Emily Dickinson, Stephen Jay Gould, Helen Vendler, Carol Gilligan, Amartya Sen, David Blight, Martha Nussbaum, Thomas Piketty; the Display Room in Harvard Square, dedicated to selling HUP publications, closed on June 17, 2009. HUP owns the Belknap Press imprint, which it inaugurated in May 1954 with the publication of the Harvard Guide to American History; the John Harvard Library book series is published under the Belknap imprint.
Harvard University Press distributes the Loeb Classical Library and is the publisher of the I Tatti Renaissance Library, the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library, the Murty Classical Library of India. It is distinct from Harvard Business Press, part of Harvard Business Publishing, the independent Harvard Common Press, its 2011 publication Listed: Dispatches from America's Endangered Species Act by Joe Roman received the 2012 Rachel Carson Environment Book Award from the Society of Environmental Journalists. Hall, Max. Harvard University Press: A History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-38080-6. Official website Blog of Harvard University Press
Publius Ovidius Naso, known as Ovid in the English-speaking world, was a Roman poet who lived during the reign of Augustus. He was a contemporary of the older Virgil and Horace, with whom he is ranked as one of the three canonical poets of Latin literature; 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, 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; the first major Roman poet to begin his career during the reign of Augustus, Ovid is today best known for the Metamorphoses, a 15-book continuous mythological narrative written in the meter of epic, for works in elegiac couplets such as Ars Amatoria and Fasti. His poetry was much imitated during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, influenced Western art and literature.
The Metamorphoses remains one of the most important sources of classical mythology. Ovid talks more about his own life than most other Roman poets. Information about his biography is drawn from his poetry Tristia 4.10, which gives a long autobiographical account of his life. Other sources include Seneca the Quintilian. Ovid was born in Sulmo, in an Apennine valley east of Rome, to an important equestrian family, on 20 March, 43 BC; that was a significant year in Roman politics. He was educated in rhetoric in Rome under the teachers Arellius Fuscus and Porcius Latro with his brother who excelled at oratory, his father wanted him to study rhetoric toward the practice of law. According to Seneca the Elder, Ovid tended to not the argumentative pole of rhetoric. After the death of his brother at 20 years of age, Ovid renounced law and began travelling to Athens, Asia Minor, Sicily, he held minor public posts, as one of the tresviri capitales, as a member of the Centumviral court and as one of the decemviri litibus iudicandis, but resigned to pursue poetry around 29–25 BC, a decision his father disapproved of.
Ovid's first recitation has been dated to around 25 BC. He was part of the circle centered on the patron Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus, seems to have been a friend of poets in the circle of Maecenas. In Trist. 4.10.41–54, Ovid mentions friendships with Macer, Horace and Bassus. He married three times and divorced twice by the time he was thirty years old, he had one daughter, who bore him grandchildren. His last wife was connected in some way to the influential gens Fabia and would help him during his exile in Tomis; the first 25 years of Ovid's literary career were spent writing poetry in elegiac meter with erotic themes. The chronology of these early works is not secure, his earliest extant work is thought to be the Heroides, letters of mythological heroines to their absent lovers, which may have been published in 19 BC, although the date is uncertain as it depends on a notice in Am. 2.18.19–26 that seems to describe the collection as an early published work. The authenticity of some of these poems has been challenged, but this first edition contained the first 14 poems of the collection.
The first five-book collection of the Amores, a series of erotic poems addressed to a lover, Corinna, is thought to have been published in 16–15 BC. 8–3 BC. Between the publications of the two editions of the Amores can be dated the premiere of his tragedy Medea, admired in antiquity but is no longer extant. Ovid's next poem, the Medicamina Faciei, a fragmentary work on women's beauty treatments, preceded the Ars Amatoria, the Art of Love, a parody of didactic poetry and a three-book manual about seduction and intrigue, dated to AD 2. Ovid may identify this work in his exile poetry as the carmen, or song, one cause of his banishment; the Ars Amatoria was followed by the Remedia Amoris in the same year. This corpus of elegiac, erotic poetry earned Ovid a place among the chief Roman elegists Gallus and Propertius, of whom he saw himself as the fourth member. By AD 8, he had completed his most ambitious work, the Metamorphoses, a hexameter epic poem in 15 books; the work encyclopedically catalogues transformations in Greek and Roman mythology, from the emergence of the cosmos to the apotheosis of Julius Caesar.
The stories follow each other in the telling of human beings transformed to new bodies: trees, animals, constellations etc. At the same time, he worked on the Fasti, a six-book poem in elegiac couplets on the theme of the calendar of Roman festivals and astronomy; the composition of this poem was interrupted by Ovid's exile, it is thought that Ovid abandoned work on the piece in Tomis. It is in this period, if they are indeed by Ovid, that the double letters in the Heroides were composed. In AD 8, Ovid was banished to Tomis, on the Black Sea, by the exclusive intervention of the Emperor Augustus, without any participation of the Senate or of any Roman judge; this event shaped all his following poetry. Ovid wrote that the reason for his exile was carmen et error – "a poem and a mistake", claiming that his crime was