Okay, so I’m posting this a little bit late in the game, but better late than never!

In July, the wonderful Jean from BookishThoughts decided to host a Classical Literature Read-Along that would take place in the month of August, as a way to help encourage other people to delve into some classical literature. The plan was to read Homer’s Odyssey in the first two weeks of August, and Ovid’s Metamorpheses in the final two weeks of August.

I read the Odyssey just at the end of last summer and didn’t feel like re-reading it so soon, especially as I’m in the depths of my MA dissertation. I did, however, decide to join in with reading Ovid!

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The only Ovid that I’ve ever read cover-to-cover is his The Love Poems, which I finished in July this year. I’ve read a fair few extracts from his Metamorpheses before, but never the entire poem. Which is quite shameful to be honest! I can’t believe I’ve almost completed my Postgraduate MA in Ancient History having never read the entire poem! Luckily I wasn’t alone in having never read it, as neither had Jean, so I didn’t feel too bad about it! But I still thought that this was the perfect time to finally pick this book up.

The Metamorpheses is a Latin poem written in the first centruy AD that chronicles a series of myths from the dawn of creation to the deification of Caesar. The one thing that these myths have in common is that they all involve metamorphosis, hence the poem’s title.

I’m definitely a passive participant in this read-along and I doubt I’ll finish it by 31st August, but I’m still thoroughly enjoying it, and I’m so glad that this finally gave me the push to read this epic poem! It’s very similar to reading a collection of short stories, and after I finish it I look forward to dipping in to my favourite myths from it on occasion.

Let me know if you’ve been taking part in this read-along! If you haven’t been, I still recommend starting now. Okay, it may be a bit late in the game to really participate, but I’m pretty sure you’ll still enjoy the poetry of Ovid. Don’t be put off by the fact that it was written two millenia ago!

2 thoughts on “#ClassicalReadalong

  1. I finished Metamorphoses about a week ago now – don’t know how I got through it so quickly, it was twice the length of The Odyssey but seemed to move at three times the speed! As a more hobby-ing historian, I really enjoyed it. I was familiar with a few of the poems as stories from school that I’d studied when I was younger, but reading the ‘original’ was a good (though I sometimes longed for the simplicity of paraphrased prose editions for children. They’re much less brutal!)

    • It definitely seems a lot quicker paced than The Odyssey! The fact that it’s like lots of short stories helps as well, I find. Not sure why, but it works that way for me haha! Glad to hear that you read and enjoyed it though! I think it wass such a great idea of Jean to host this read-along!
      Haha and gosh yes, the children’s versions of these myth are always much less horrific than the brutal originals. Can’t imagine wanting to read all of these to a young child!

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