Is there an edition of Ovid's Metamorphoses in Latin that comes with auxiliary features to make it an easier read? I want to read it in Latin, but to make it more pleasurable, I would like support especially for harder passages and confirmation that my interpretations are correct — if they are. Features that would help reading include be a prose1 translation to English (perhaps side by side), syntactical and grammatical discussion of unusual constructions, and some context for the stories when not self-evident.

Cambridge University Press has books XIII and XIV, but nothing more. Something like this is in the right direction, but the commentary would not have to be so extensive and all the books together would cost a significant amount of money bought this way. I would like to have Metamorphoses in its entirety. I have read the whole thing as a Finnish translation over a decade ago and English translations are easy to find. Would it be best to simply buy a Latin text and a translation and read them side by side?

It does not have to be perfect, but I hope these criteria give an idea of what I am looking for. I know some Latin, I want to read Metamorphoses, but I do not want it to feel like work. How would you recommend approaching this goal?

1 I would prefer prose over verse, so that it respects the original language better. I want to use it as an aid to enjoy Latin verse, not as the main text.

1 Answer 1


I have never used this specific text myself, but Loeb Classical Library has some really great texts with side by side translation and some helpful notes. I personally have some of these texts for some of Cicero's works and they are really nice in that way, and the translation provided is not so literal where it sounds mechanical, but literal enough where you can follow along. Here are the links to Ovid's Metamorphoses, which comes in two volumes:

Can I testify to how easy it is to read? Not necessarily. But, if I extrapolate from what I know about the company and the works I do have, I think this is a good resource.


Here's an sample image of the inside: enter image description here

  • Looks promising! I have no prior experience with Loeb Classical Library. Do you know if there is a way to find a sneak peek and get a feeling what it might be like?
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 21:15
  • 1
    @JoonasIlmavirta I edited my post to add a picture specifically from the Metamorphoses. I do not think it really does it justice, so I suggest just looking on Google, even if it isn't the Metamorphoses. Loeb has a lot of works available in both Latin and Greek that you could use as reference points.
    – Sam K
    Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 21:22
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    @JoonasIlmavirta♦: You can view a single page from the Loeb collection per session: loebclassics.com/view/ovid-metamorphoses/1916/pb_LCL042.3.xml You'd need to use a new private/incognito tab/window to view a different page.
    – Cerberus
    Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 0:59

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