What are they?
An ancient collection of myths.
Who wrote them?
The Latin poet Publuis Ovidins Naso, more commonly known as Ovid.
He was born in the Apennines, in Sulmona, Italy, 43BC. After early fame as a writer of love elegies, he was abruptly banished to a Black Sea outpost in 8AD, where he later died after writing his last collection, the Tristia.
The Metamorphoses is his greatest work. Superficially a recording of all the ancient myths, the book is in fact a subconscious examination of the theme of mutability. Of change.
The gods change their shape in to animal forms - a bull, a swan - in order to physically possess their human prey. They rape. They kill.
The humans - always only the beautiful ones - change after their possession in to other non-human forms - trees, flowers, birds. Victims. Sacrifices.
The names of many of the subjects of these stories of destiny and chance have entered the English language in association with their depictions; e.g.
For new interpretations of these tales every few weeks click on STORY.
© Guy Byrne 2002