Ovid’s Metamorphoses – Literal Translation

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This is a literal word-for-word translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses Books from the Key to the Classics Series by Rev. Dr. Giles.

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5 Responses to Ovid’s Metamorphoses – Literal Translation

  1. Amonre says:

    This is Fantastic! though im just wondering what is the publication date on this? And it is translated from Latin to english Correct?

  2. Jeff Tirey says:

    I’m unsure of the exact date, it should be there in the opening pages but it’s about 1865 or so. Literal translations, where English is translated word for word directly beneath the foreign word are bit of an artifact today and most modern educators frown upon them.

    The argument is that the translations are not smooth and are even confusing when it comes to complex syntax where word order is out of place from English. Another criticism is the belief that it’s bad for the learner to be presented with a translation so easily in sight. Somewhere around 1890-1900 literal translations gave way to the format found in Loebs where foreign text is on one page and opposite is the translation. This format allows a reader to cover the English and also the English translation can more freedom to be accurate where there are idioms and complex word order.

    For me, I see no harm is exploring a literal translation but certainly spend time reading from Latin only text to better strengthen your skills and identify your weaknesses. It’s always important as a learner to properly identify to yourself what you know and do not know. That’s why composition exercise is so important.

  3. Dan Ficklin says:

    Nota bene (note well), readers who are not reading the Latin as they read the word-by-word English translation: many words, especially verb forms, are added to the Latin in Dr. Giles’s translation. Many times, often perhaps to stay in meter, Ovid drops the “est” or “erat” in a perfect passive verb, and while Giles’s addition of the missing auxiliary is useful to non-Latin readers, it can be confusing for someone trying to translate from another version of the Latin text. One will encounter a number of lines that don’t match up to the version of Ovid that came down to us from the Middle Ages. In any case, this is an incredible tool for reading one of the great classics of human poetry.

  4. tenebrae says:

    marvelous!I have been benefiting from Dr. Giles’s work so much,
    apparentlly this is only 1-4 Book, any other left parts available?

  5. celia burney says:

    I am simply looking for a translation, and the source, of Ovid’s dictum, quoted in Francis
    Thompson’s essay, The Way of Imperfection.
    ‘…his (Ovid’s)dictum, decentiorem esse faciem in qua aliquis naevus esset.’
    ‘…a dictum so essentially modern…borne out by his own practice…’

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