Category: Tales of Troy

Visiting Troy

I just discovered (via rogueclassicism) this article in the New York Times on a visit to the site of ancient Troy.


As it happened, our two-week visit to Turkey afforded a perfect moment to indulge our Homeric idée fixe. The trek north on Turkey’s west coast permitted a brief Trojan fly-by during the drive from Pergamum to Gallipoli.

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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.

Word from Brown University about a new production of Jean-Paul Sartre’s The Flies, a retelling of Aeschylus’ Oresteia. They plan to take the play’s title a touch too literally:

Producers of the Jean-Paul Sartre play “The Flies” at Brown University will subject the audience to 40,000 fruit flies to bring to life the existentialist work about flies sent to plague the city of Argos in ancient Greece.
Production Workshop, the student-run theater producing the play, built a 10-foot-high by 16-foot by 22-foot “cage” of netting to surround the stage and about 70 audience members, and to keep the flies from infesting the theater.
“There’s a sense of containment and quarantine and pestilence, which ties in with the play very well,” said James Rutherford, a senior theater arts major who is directing the play. Read more »

Homer’s Wheel. of. Fortune.

Michael Gilleland at Laudator Temporis Acti posts several translations of Homer’s meditation on the vicissitudes of life in Odyssey 18.130-137. Among other insights, we can see how true Richard Bentley’s comment on Pope’s Iliad is: “it is a pretty poem, Mr. Pope, but you must not call it Homer.”

Homer, Odyssey 18.130-137 (tr. Richmond Lattimore):

Of all creatures that breathe and walk on the earth there is nothing
more helpless than a man is, of all that the earth fosters;
for he thinks that he will never suffer misfortune in future
days, while the gods grant him courage, and his knees have spring
in them. But when the blessed gods bring sad days upon him,
against his will he must suffer it with enduring spirit.
For the mind in men upon earth goes according to the fortunes
the Father of Gods and Men, day by day, bestows upon them.

The same, tr. William Cowper:

Earth nourishes, of all that breathe or creep,
No creature weak as man; for while the Gods
Grant him prosperity and health, no fear
Hath he, or thought, that he shall ever mourn;
But when the Gods with evils unforeseen
Smite him, he bears them with a grudging mind;
For such as the complexion of his lot
By the appointment of the Sire of all,
Such is the colour of the mind of man.

The same, tr. Alexander Pope:

Of all that breathes, or grovelling creeps on earth,
Most man in vain! calamitous by birth:
To-day, with power elate, in strength he blooms;
The haughty creature on that power presumes:
Anon from Heaven a sad reverse he feels:
Untaught to bear, ‘gainst Heaven the wretch rebels.
For man is changeful, as his bliss or woe!
Too high when prosperous, when distress’d too low.

[more translations]

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