Ovid's MetamorphosesOvid's ''MetamorphosesThe MetamorphosesMetamorphosisVenus and AdonisLes MétamorphosesFables of Ovid "PoesiaMet.MetamorfosiMetamorpheses
The Metamorphoses (Metamorphōseōn librī: "Books of Transformations") is a Latin narrative poem by the Roman poet Ovid, considered his magnum opus.wikipedia
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Publius Ovidius NasoOvidianOvidius
The Metamorphoses (Metamorphōseōn librī: "Books of Transformations") is a Latin narrative poem by the Roman poet Ovid, considered his magnum opus.
The first major Roman poet to begin his career during the reign of Augustus, Ovid is today best known for the Metamorphoses, a 15-book continuous mythological narrative written in the meter of epic, and for works in elegiac couplets such as Ars Amatoria ("The Art of Love") and Fasti.


bucolicpastoral poetryrustic
However, the poem "handles the themes and employs the tone of virtuallyevery species of literature", ranging from epic and elegy to tragedy and pastoral.
Ovid's Metamorphoses is much like the Works and Days with the description of ages (golden, silver, bronze, iron, and human) but with more ages to discuss and less emphasis on the gods and their punishments.

Universal history

universal chronicleuniversal historianuniversal histories
Metamorphoses by Ovid has been considered as a universal history because of its comprehensive chronology—from the creation of mankind to the death of Julius Caesar a year before the poet's birth.

Dactylic hexameter

hexameterhexametersdactylic hexameters
The poem is generally considered to meet the criteria for an epic; it is considerably long, relating over 250 narratives across fifteen books; it is composed in dactylic hexameter, the meter of both the ancient Iliad and Odyssey, and the more contemporary epic Aeneid; and it treats the high literary subject of myth.
Some premier examples of its use are Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil's Aeneid, and Ovid's Metamorphoses.

Roman mythology

RomanRoman godRoman goddess
Indeed, the other Roman gods are repeatedly perplexed, humiliated, and made ridiculous by Amor, an otherwise relatively minor god of the pantheon, who is the closest thing this putative mock-epic has to a hero.
In particular, the versions of Greek myths in Ovid's Metamorphoses, written during the reign of Augustus, came to be regarded as canonical.


The model for a collection of metamorphosis myths derived from a pre-existing genre of metamorphosis poetry in the Hellenistic tradition, of which the earliest known example is Boio(s)' Ornithogonia—a now-fragmentary poem collecting myths about the metamorphoses of humans into birds.
Boios, Latinized Boeus, was a Greek grammarian and mythographer, remembered chiefly as the author of a lost work on the transformations of mythic figures into birds, his Ornithogonia, which was translated into Latin by Aemilius Macer, a friend of Ovid, who was the author of the most familiar such collections of metamorphoses.

Pyramus and Thisbe

ThisbePyramusPiramus and Thisbe or Pyramus and Thisbe
His Romeo and Juliet is influenced by the story of Pyramus and Thisbe (Metamorphoses Book IV); and, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, a band of amateur actors performs a play about Pyramus and Thisbe.
Pyramus and Thisbē are a pair of ill-fated lovers whose story forms part of Ovid's Metamorphoses.

Greek mythology

GreekGreek mythmythological
Ovid works his way through his subject matter, often in an apparently arbitrary fashion, by jumping from one transformation tale to another, sometimes retelling what had come to be seen as central events in the world of Greek mythology and sometimes straying in odd directions.
In Metamorphoses, Ovid follows Hesiod's concept of the four ages.

Narcissus (mythology)

Narcissusyouth of that nameeponymous figure from Greek legend
The classic version is by Ovid, found in book 3 of his Metamorphoses (completed 8 AD); this is the story of Echo and Narcissus.


In the version of the myth told by Ovid in the Metamorphoses, Phaethon ascends into heaven, the home of his suspected father.


AmorDan CupidAmore
Indeed, the other Roman gods are repeatedly perplexed, humiliated, and made ridiculous by Amor, an otherwise relatively minor god of the pantheon, who is the closest thing this putative mock-epic has to a hero. The recurring theme, as with nearly all of Ovid's work, is love—be it personal love or love personified in the figure of Amor (Cupid).
The use of these arrows is described by the Latin poet Ovid in the first book of his Metamorphoses.

Diana (mythology)

In Ovid's version of this myth, part of his poem Metamorphoses, he tells of a pool or grotto hidden in the wooded valley of Gargaphie.


DeukalionDeucalian floodcharacter
The fullest accounts are provided in Ovid's Metamorphoses (8 AD) and in the Library of Pseudo-Apollodorus.

Narrative poetry

narrative poemnarrative poemsnarrative
The Metamorphoses (Metamorphōseōn librī: "Books of Transformations") is a Latin narrative poem by the Roman poet Ovid, considered his magnum opus.

Echo (mythology)

EchoEcchoEcho and Narcissus
In Metamorphoses, the poet Ovid tells of Juno (Hera in Greek mythology) and the jealousy she felt over her husband Jupiter's (Zeus in Greek mythology) many affairs.


Nicander of Colophon
The Heteroioumena by Nicander of Colophon is better known, and clearly an influence on the poem—21 of the stories from this work were treated in the Metamorphoses.
Among his lost works, Heteroeumena was a mythological epic, used by Ovid in the Metamorphoses and epitomized by Antoninus Liberalis; Georgica, of which considerable fragments survive, was perhaps imitated by Virgil.


In Titus Andronicus, the story of Lavinia's rape is drawn from Tereus' rape of Philomela, and the text of the Metamorphoses is used within the play to enable Titus to interpret his daughter's story.
The most complete and extant rendering of the story of Philomela, Procne, and Tereus can be found in Book VI of the Metamorphoses of the Roman poet Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso) (43 BC – AD 17/18), where the story reaches its full development during antiquity.


Arachne myth
In Metamorphoses the Roman poet Ovid writes that Arachne was a shepherd's daughter who began weaving at an early age.

William Caxton

CaxtonCaxton, WilliamCaxtons
The work has been the subject of numerous translations into English, the first by William Caxton in 1480.
He produced the first translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses in English.

William Shakespeare

One of the most influential works in Western culture, the Metamorphoses has inspired such authors as Dante Alighieri, Giovanni Boccaccio, Geoffrey Chaucer, and William Shakespeare.
Influenced by Ovid's Metamorphoses, the poems show the guilt and moral confusion that result from uncontrolled lust.


DafneDaphnéDaphne and Apollo
Later, the Roman poet Ovid does a retelling of this Greek legend, which appears in his work Metamorphoses.


303 Kern]); Ovid, Metamorphoses 6.110–114; Athenagoras of Athens, Legatio 20 Pratten (= Orphic [ fr.


MyrmidonMyrmidoneslegendary warriors
An etiological myth of their origins, simply expanding upon their supposed etymology— the name in Classical Greek was interpreted as "ant-people", from murmekes, "ants"— was first mentioned by Ovid, in Metamorphoses: in Ovid's telling, the Myrmidons were simple worker ants on the island of Aegina.


free speechMarsyas the satyrFlaying of Marsyas
His brothers, nymphs, gods and goddesses mourned his death, and their tears, according to Ovid's Metamorphoses, were the source of the river Marsyas in Phrygia, which joins the Meander near Celaenae, where Herodotus reported that the flayed skin of Marsyas was still to be seen, and Ptolemy Hephaestion recorded a "festival of Apollo, where the skins of all those victims one has flayed are offered to the god."

Pygmalion (mythology)

PygmalionPygmalion mytharchetypes from Greek myth
Though Pygmalion is the Greek version of the Phoenician royal name Pumayyaton, he is most familiar from Ovid's narrative poem Metamorphoses, in which Pygmalion was a sculptor who fell in love with a statue he had carved.