An undeniable masterpiece of Western Civilization,
The Metamorphoses is a continuous narrative that covers all the Olympian legends, seamlessly moving from one story to another in a splendid panorama of savage beauty, charm, and wit. It marked the first attempt to link all of the Homeric and pre-Homeric myths into a single work and to carry the entire chronology into the Roman pantheon. All of the gods and heroes familiar to us are represented. Such familiar legends as Hercules, Perseus and Medusa, Daedelus and Icarus, Diana and Actaeon, and many others, are breathtakingly recreated.
Ovid was probably the most popular of all the Roman poets during the Renaissance and Baroque periods, and his verse was the inspiration for countless artistic and literary masterpieces of the time. Shakespeare, Bernini, and Rubens were only a few of those who mined his work to extraordinary effect.
Ovid has left mankind a magnificent achievement, and his sparkling poetry is a tour de force of Homeric and Roman myth. As Ovid himself wrote: "As long as Rome is the eternal city, these lines shall echo from the lips of men."
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