In “The Metamorphoses”, Ovid
draws on Greek mythology, Latin folklore, and tales from Babylon and the East to create a series of narrative poems, linked by the common theme of transformation. This is Arthur Golding's 16th-century translation of the verses.
Bringing together a series of ingeniously linked myths and legends, Ovid
's deliciously witty and poignant Metamorphoses describes a magical world in which men and women are transformed - often by love - into flowers, trees, animals, stones and stars. First published in 1567, this landmark translation by Arthur Golding was the first major English edition of the epic, which includes such tales as the legend of Narcissus; the parable of Icarus; and the passion held by the witch-queen Circe for the great Aeneas. A compelling adaptation that used imagery familiar to English sixteenth-century society, it powerfully influenced Spenser, Shakespeare and the character of Elizabethan literature.
(43 BC - AD 18) was a Roman poet who experimented in a variety of different forms from love elegies to mock didactic verse. He died in exile. Arthur Golding (c.1565 - c.1605) was a translator of Latin and French verse, the most significant of which was The Metamorphoses. Madeleine Forey is a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. Translated by Arthur Golding Edited with an introduction and notes by Madeleine Forey