The best translations : LUSENET : Publius Ovidius Naso : One Thread

I often get asked my opinion about translations of Ovid. Unfortunately, the only translations I've seen are "workman-like" Loebs, and the AWFUL Penguin Metamorphoses by Mary Innes. When I finish my dissertation maybe I'll sit down in a cozy corner with Mandelbaum's version, but until then I'd like to ask the same question: What's the best translation of...? Perhaps this could be the start of an Translations of Ovid FAQ.

-- Sean Redmond (, August 28, 1997



First, congratulations on the new BBS system. Let's hope all the people who pretend to be of classicists on it really are :-) Second, let me put in a good word for Melville's World's Classics Met., with Kenney's notes. Often useful from a shcolarly point of view as well as for reading.

-- Don Fowler (, August 29, 1997.

-- anonymously answered, September 02, 1997

That's a good question. Although I can't compare it to any other translation, I read David R. Slavitt's translation of Ovid's Poetry of Exile and really enjoyed it. Slavitt readily admits that it is a "very free rendering," but also adds that he "was aiming for a text that is lively and readable in English." Hope this was helpful.

-- Rebecca Grenier (, October 30, 1997.

A friend doing Roman poetry complained about poor Tristia translations. So i translated tristia Bk1 for her and gave a reading. i did not go for 'academic accuracy' but for something more immediate. The aim was to give students a sense that there was something to relate to and encourage them to venture into more 'academic' versions. I am willing to share these translations with you.

-- Chris Neenan (, September 26, 1999.

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