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The Metamorphoses - Ovid. A translation into English prose by A. S. Kline. Published in entirety with mythological index and illustrations by Hendrik Goltzius.
In the Metamorphoses Ovid retells stories from the Greek myths, arranging them in roughly chronological order, from the origins of the world to his own times. His charming and graceful versions, full of life and interest, express his humanist approach, his feeling for pathos, and his endless curiosity and delight in human affairs. Each tale involves a transformation of some kind, and the whole collection provided a potent source of motifs and images for later art, especially the paintings, sculpture, and verse of the Renaissance.
The role of women in the myths seems particularly important to Ovid, and this aspect of his work, his interest in the female element, is reflected elsewhere in his poetry, and strongly influenced European culture. Dante, and Shakespeare, in particular, echo sentiments and imagery in the Metamorphoses.
The Metamorphoses are an ideal resource for those wishing to enter the world of the Greek myths, as well as the refined atmosphere of Augustan Rome. Ovid was aware of the scale and beauty of his achievement, and himself ended the work with a promise of his own literary immortality.
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