Oxford Approaches to Classical Literature (Series Editors: Kathleen Coleman and Richard Rutherford) introduces individual works of Greek and Latin literature to readers who are approaching them for the first time. Each volume sets the work in its literary and historical context, and aims to offer a balanced and engaging assessment of its content, artistry, and purpose. A brief survey of the influence of the work upon subsequent generations is included to demonstrate its enduring relevance and power. All quotations from the original are translated into English.
Ovid's Metamorphoses have been seen as both the culmination of and a revolution in the classical epic tradition, transferring narrative interest from war to love and fantasy. This introduction considers how Ovid found and shaped his narrative from the creation of the world to his own sophisticated times, illustrating the cruelty of jealous gods, the pathos of human love, and the imaginative fantasy of flight, monsters, magic, and illusion. Elaine Fantham introduces the reader not only to this marvelous and complex narrative poem, but to the Greek and Roman traditions behind Ovid's tales of transformation and a selection of the images and texts that it inspired.