Introduction by: Denis Feeney

Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140447897
  • 768 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult


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 Daedalus and Icarus, Pyramus and Thisbe, Pygmalion, Perseus and Andromeda, and the fall of Troy. Erudite but light-hearted, dramatic and yet playful, Metamorphoses has influenced writers and artists throughout the centuries from Shakespeare and Titian to Picasso and Ted Hughes.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Table of Contents

Further Reading
Translator’s Note


Book 1
Prologue – The Creation – The Four Ages – The Giants – Lycaön – The Flood – Deucalion and Pyrrha – Python – Daphne – Io (1) – Interlude: Pan and Syrinx – Io (2) – Phaëton (1)

Book 2
Phaëton (2) – Callisto – The Raven and the Crow – Ocyrho#235; – Battus – Aglauros – Europa

Book 3
Cadmus – Actaeon – Semele – Teiresias – Narcissus and Echo – Pentheus and Bacchus (1) – Acotetes and the Lydian Sailors – Pentheus and Bacchus (2)

Book 4
The Daughters of Miniyas (1) – Pyramus and Thisbe – Mars and Venus – Leucotho#235; and Lyti#235; – Slmacis and Hermaphroditus – The Daughters of Miniyas (2) – Ino and Athamas – Cadmus and Harmonia – Perseus (1)

Book 5
Perseus (2) – Minerva and the Muses – Calliope’s Song: The Rape of Proserpina; Arethusa; Triptolemus and Lyncus – The Daughters of Pierus

Book 6
Arachne – Niobe – The Lycian Peasants – Marsyas – Pelops – Tereus, Procne and Philomela – Boreas and Orithyia

Book 7
Medea and Jason – The Rejuvenation of Aeson – The Punishment of Pelias – Medea’s Flight – Theseus and Aegeus – Minos and Aeacus – The Plague at Aegina – The Birth of the Myrmidons – Cephalus and Procris

Book 8
Scylla and Minos – The Minotaur and Ariadne – Daedalus and Perdix – Meleäger and the Calyydonian Boar – Acheloüs, the Naiads and Perimele – Philemon and Baucis – Erysichthon

Book 9
Acheloüs and Hercules – Hercules and Nessus – The Death of Hercules – Alcmena and Galanthis – Dryope – Iolaüs and Callirhoë’s Sons – Miletus – Byblis – Iphis

Book 10
Orpheus and Eurydice – Cyparissus – Orpheus’ Song: Introduction; Ganymede; Hyacinthus; The Cerastae and Propoetides; Pygmalion; Myrrha; Venus and Adonis (1) – Venus’ Story: Atalanta and Hippomenes – Orpheus’ Song: Venus and Adonis (2)

Book 11
The Death of Orpheus – The Punishment of the Maenads – Midas – Laömedon’s Treachery – Peleus and Thetis – Peleus at the Court of Ceÿx (1) – Ceÿx’s Story: Daedalion – Peleus at the Court of Ceÿx (2) – Ceÿx and Alcyone – Aesacus

Book 12
The Greeks at Aulis – Rumour – Cycnus – Achilles’ Victory Celebration – Caenis – The Battle of the Lapiths and Centaurs – Periclymenus – The Death of Achilles

Book 13
The Judgement of Arms – Ajax’s Suicide – The Fall of Troy – The Sufferings of Hecuba – Memnon – The Wanderings of Aeneas (1) – The Daughters of Anius – The Daughters of Orion – The Wanderings of Aeneas (2) – Acis, Galatea and Polyphemus – Glaucus and Scylla (1)

Book 14
Glaucus and Scylla (2) – The Wanderings of Aeneas (3) – The Sibyl of Cumae – Achaemenides’ Story: Ulysses’ Men in Plyphemus’ Cave – Macareus’ Story: Ulysses and Circe; Picus, Canens and Circe – The Wanderings of Aeneus (4) – The Mutinous Companions of Diomedes – The Apulian Shepherd – The Ships of Aeneus – Ardea – The Apotheosis of Aeneus – Aeneus’ Descendants – Pomona and Vertumnus – Iphis and Anaxarete – Romulus – The Apotheosis of Romulus

Book 15
Myscelus – Pythagoras – Egeria and Hippolytus – Tages, Romulus’ Spear, Cipus – Aesculapius – The Apotheosis of Julius Caesar- Epilogue

Glossary Index
Map of Ovid’s Mediterranean World

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