A new prose translation of Ovid's poetical calendar of the Roman
year, with its various observances and festivals, recording a
wealth of detail on rites and customs recorded day by day. Contains
attractive retellings of the old Greek myths. The only modern prose
translation, and the most accurate. Helpful introduction and notes.
Detailed Index of Names. Glossary of Latin terms. 'Times and their
reasons, arranged in order through the Latin year, and
constellations sunk beneath the earth and risen, I shall sing.'
Ovid's poetical calendar of the Roman year is both a day by day
account of festivals and observances and their origins, and a
delightful retelling of myths and legends associated with
particular dates. Written in the late years of the emperor
Augustus, and cut short when the emperor sent the poet into exile,
the poem's tone ranges from tragedy to farce, and its subject
matter from astronomy and obscure ritual to Roman history and Greek
mythology. Among the stories Ovid tells at length are those of
Arion and the dolphin, the rape of Lucretia, the shield that fell
from heaven, the adventures of Dido's sister, the Great Mother's
journey to Rome, the killing of Remus, the bloodsucking birds, and
the murderous daughter of King Servius. The poem also relates a
wealth of customs and beliefs, such as the unluckiness of marrying
in May. This new prose translation is lively and accurate, and is
accompanied by a contextualizing introduction and helpful notes.
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