“So easy to read that one may have to think twice to realize these tales are nearly 2,000 years old.” –Washington Post

“One of the most captivating books ever written” —The New York Times

Ovid’s Metamorphoses is one of the most influential works of Western literature, inspiring artists and writers from Titian to Shakespeare to Salman Rushdie. These are some of the most famous Roman myths as you’ve never read them before—sensuous, dangerously witty, audacious—from the fall of Troy to birth of the minotaur, and many others that only appear in the Metamorphoses. Connected together by the immutable laws of change and metamorphosis, the myths tell the story of the world from its creation up to the transformation of Julius Caesar from man into god.

In the ten-beat, unrhymed lines of this now-legendary and widely praised translation, Rolfe Humphries captures the spirit of Ovid’s swift and conversational language, bringing the wit and sophistication of the Roman poet to modern readers.

This special annotated edition includes new, comprehensive commentary and notes by Joseph D. Reed, Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature at Brown University.
592 printed pages
Original publication
Rolfe Humphries

Other versions



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    Marina Mitrovichas quoted5 months ago
    When a hound starts a rabbit

    In an open field, one runs for game, one safety,
    Marina Mitrovichas quoted5 months ago
    One house has fallen,

    But more than one deserves to.
    Marina Mitrovichas quoted5 months ago
    “Imaginary gardens with real toads in them.”

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