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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $16.00
  • November 2009
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-92534-0
  • 592 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

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  • Metamorphoses


    Hailed in Newsweek for his translation of The Poems of Catullus ("Charles Martin is an American poet; he puts the poetry, the immediacy of the streets back into the English Catullus. The effect is electric"), Martin's translation of Metamorphoses will be the translation of choice for contemporary readers.

  • Metamorphoses

    "A version that has been long awaited, and likely to become the new standard."—Michael Dirda, Washington Post


Norton Critical Editions


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Ovid (Author), Charles Martin (Editor, Translator, Queensborough Community College)


In his award-winning translation, Charles Martin combines fidelity to Ovid’s text with verse that catches the speed and liveliness of the original.

Ovid’s epic poem—whose theme of change has resonated throughout the ages—is one of the most important texts of Western imagination, an inspiration from Dante’s time to the present, when writers such as Salman Rushdie and Italo Calvino have found a living source in Ovid’s work. The text is accompanied by a preface, A Note on the Translation, and detailed explanatory annotations.

“Sources and Backgrounds” includes Seneca’s inspired commentary on Ovid, Charles Martin’s essay on the ways in which pantomimic dancing—an art form popular in Ovid’s time—may have been the model for Metamorphoses, as well as related works by Virgil, Callimachus, Hesiod, and Lucretius, among others.

From the enormous body of scholarly writing on Metamorphoses, Charles Martin has chosen six major interpretations by Bernard Knox, J. R. R. Mackail, Norman O. Brown, Italo Calvino, Frederick Ahl, and Diane Middlebrook.

A Glossary of Persons, Places, and Personifications in the Metamorphoses and a Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.




    A Note on This Translation

    A Brief Life of Ovid

    The Text of Metamorphoses

    1. Book I: The Shaping of Changes
    2. Book II: Of Mortal Children and Immortal Lusts
    3. Book III: The Wrath of Juno
    4. Book IV: Spinning Yarns and Weaving Tales
    5. Book V: Contests of Arms and Song
    6. Book VI: Of Praise and Punishment
    7. Book VII: Of the Ties That Bind
    8. Book VIII: Impious Acts and Exemplary Lives
    9. Book IX: Desire, Deceit, and Difficult Deliveries
    10. Book X: The Songs of Orpheus
    11. Book XI: Rome Begins at Troy
    12. Book XII: Around and About the Iliad
    13. Book XIII: Spoils of War and Pangs of Love
    14. Book XIV: Around and About with Aeneas
    15. Book XV: Prophetic Acts and Visionary Dreams


    1. Bernard Knox : Ovid in His Time and Ours
    2. Seneca the Elder : Two Anecdotes of Ovid


    1. Hesiod : From Works and Days
    2. Lucretius : From De rerum natura
    3. Callimachus : Hymn VI: To Demeter
    4. Virgil : From the Aeneid
    5. Charles Martin : Ovid's Metamorphoses and Pantomime Dancing


    1. J. W. Mackail : [A Work of Such Wide Importance]
    2. Diane Middlebrook : A Roman in His Prime
    3. Italo Calvino : Ovid and Universal Contiguity
    4. Norman O. Brown : Daphne, or Metamorphosis

    Persons, Places, and Personifications in the Metamorphoses

    Selected Bibliography