Lykaion: Cannibalistic Despot or Tourist Destination? Both!

Lykaion may be best known to students of myth as the cruel king of Arcadia, who liked to indulge in human sacrifice and cannibalism, and who so offended the gods that he provoked the near extermination of humanity.

But Mt. Lykaion is also one of the places where Zeus may have been born (Crete and Naxos are other candidates). And recent excavations by David Romano of the University of Pennsylvania have revealed Mt. Lykaion to be one of the oldest cult centers in ancient Greece.

What would surprise Pausanias—as it is surprising archaeologists—is how early that “beginning” actually may be. New pottery evidence from excavations by the Greek-American, interdisciplinary team of the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project indicates that the ash altar—a cone of earth located atop the southern peak of Mt Lykaion where dedications were made in antiquity— was in use as early as 5,000 years ago—at least 1,000 years before the early Greeks began to worship the god Zeus.

Read the rest of the story…

Un-planted Olympia

I wish I could say I was surprised, but the laudable efforts to replant fire-ravaged Olympia are well behind schedule.

“ATHENS, Greece – Greece’s Olympic Committee said Thursday that work to replant fire-ravaged woods at the birthplace of the ancient Olympic Games was far behind schedule, and urged “drastic improvement” before the flame-lighting ceremony for the Beijing Olympics…” [more]

The story includes a photograph of the ceremonial planting of an olive tree in November on the Kronion Hill (Petros Giannakouris / AP file)


I don’t have a picture from the same angle, but this shot of the Temple of Hera shows well the dense, beautiful forest that so recently covered Kronion.


As sorrowful as the ecological and cultural damage are, we should never forget that the fires last summer were a true tragedy, with dozens of deaths and countless more losing homes and property.

Nuntii Latini: Gold! Pirates! Stoning! Vitamin D?

For those who like their news the same way they like their classes (Latine scilicet), Nuntii Latini has posted its weekly round-up of world news:

Forum argentarium fluctuat

Facinora piratarum aucta

Lapidationem in Irania finiendam

Beneficia vitamini D


Overviews and Introductions

Oxford Classical Bibliography by K. S. Myers

Boyd, Barbara Weiden, ed. 2002. Brill’s companion to Ovid. Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill. (Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2003.01.34)

Hardie, Philip R., ed. 2002. The Cambridge companion to Ovid. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Knox, Peter E. 2012. A Companion to Ovid. Wiley-Blackwell.

Hardie, Philip, Alessandro Barchiesi, and Stephen Hinds. 1999. Ovidian transformations. Supplementary Volume 23. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Philological Society. (collection of important essays)

Holzberg, Niklas. 2002. Ovid: The poet and his work. Translated by G. M. Goshgarian. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Holzberg, Niklas. 1997. Playing with his life: Ovid’s autobiographical references. Lampas 30: 4–19.

Knox, Peter E., ed. 2006. Oxford readings in Ovid. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Myers, K. S. 1999. The metamorphosis of a poet: Recent work on Ovid. Journal of Roman Studies 89:190–204.



Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso). 2004. P. Ovidi Nasonis Metamorphoses. Edited by R. J. Tarrant. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Authoritative Text


M. M. Innes (2006, prose); Martin (2004, verse with notes); D.A. Raeburn (2004, introduction by D. Feeney); A. Mandelbaum (1995, verse); D. R. Slavitt (1994, verse, in hexameters);  A. D. Melville (1987, verse with helpful notes);

Dryden et al. (1717, verse); A. Golding (1567, Shakespeare’s Met.)


Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso). 1997. Ovid’s Metamorphoses Books 1–5. Edited by William Scovil Anderson. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. (Bryn Mawr Classical Review 97.9.11)

Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso). 1972. Ovid’s Metamorphoses Books 6–10. Edited by William Scovil Anderson. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso). 1979. Metamorphoses III. Edited by A. A. R. Henderson. Bristol: Bristol Classical Press.

Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso). 1983. Metamorphoses Book VIII. Edited by A. S. Hollis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso). 2000. Metamorphoses Book XIII. Edited by Neil Hopkinson. Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso). 2001. Metamorphoses Book XI. Edited by G. M. H. Murphy. London: Duckworth.

Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso). 2003. Metamorphoses Book I. Edited by Arthur G. Lee. London: Bristol Classical Press.

Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso). 2009. Metamorphoses Book XIV. Edited by K. Sara Myers. Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Overviews, Surveys, and Monographs

Due, O. S. 1974. Changing forms: Studies in the Metamorphoses of Ovid. Copenhagen, Denmark: Gyldendal. (good introduction)

Fantham, Elaine. 2004. Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. (good introduction)

Feeney, D. C. 1991. The gods in epic. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press: 188-249.

Galinsky, Karl. 1975. Ovid’s Metamorphoses: An introduction to the basic aspects. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. (introduction focused on poetic, aesthetic aspects of text)

Hardie, Philip. 2002. Ovid’s poetics of illusion. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Hardie, Philip. 1990. Ovid’s Theban history: The first Anti-AeneidClassical Quarterly 40:224–235.

Hinds, Stephen E. 1987. The metamorphosis of Persephone: Ovid and the self-conscious muse. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 1987.

Hinds, Stephen E. 1998. Allusion and intertext: Roman literature and its contexts. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Knox, Peter E. 1986. Ovid’s Metamorphoses and the traditions of Augustan poetry. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Philological Society.

Myers, K. Sara. 1994. Ovid’s causes: Cosmogony and aetiology in the Metamorphoses. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Solodow, Joseph B. 1988. The world of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Tissol, Garth. 1997. The face of nature: Wit, narrative, and cosmic origins in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Wheeler, Stephen Michael. 1999. A discourse of wonders: Audience and performance in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Gender and Sexuality

Richlin, Amy. 1992. Reading Ovid’s rapes. In Pornography and representation in Greece and Rome. Edited by Amy Richlin, 158–179. New York: Oxford University Press.

Segal, C. P. 1998. Ovid’s metamorphic bodies: Art, gender, and violence in the Metamorphoses. Arion 5:9–41.


Brown, Sarah Annes. 1999. The metamorphosis of Ovid: From Chaucer to Ted Hughes. New York: St. Martin’s. (Scholia Review)

The Oxford Guide to Classical Mythology in the Arts, 1300-1990s

Text and Transmission

Richmond, John. 2002. Manuscript traditions and the transmission of Ovid’s works. In Brill’s companion to Ovid. Edited by Barbara Weiden Boyd, 443–483. Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill.

Tarrant, R. J. 1983. Ovid. In Texts and Transmissions. Edited by L. D. Reynolds, 257–284. Oxford: Clarendon.

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