A good selection of tales from the Metamorphoses, in the original Latin, with vocabulary and a near-paraphrase and some grammatical and other helps. The vocabulary is split between a learning vocabulary, which appears both with the extracts from Ovid and (for the first half of the book) in a list at the back, and other vocabulary which is translated as it appears. This is a good way into reading Ovid in the original. I would have liked to see more notes about Ovid's poetic techniques, drawing attention to his use of sound, rhythm and word order to achieve his effects. For those learning Latin, GCSE Latin will be enough preparation, and the book can serve as a good way of building on GCSE level skills.
This is an excellent introduction to reading Ovid in the original - the selections are sometimes a little oblique, but they include vocabulary, explanatory notes and commentary. With latin texts so expensive, it's nice to see Cambridge bringing out something like this. Each segment is just long enough to test you, and there is a learning voculary to keep you on track. Perfect for 'A' level or first year undergraduates - or anyone else who wants to experience the wit, energy and sheer narrative skills of Ovid in the original. I hope we see more texts like this at an affordable price.
I found this text great for reading and interpreting Ovid. Each passage has a detailed commentary and vocabulary list. This is very important as vocabulary is a major stumbling block to the intermediate learner's enjoyment of original latin authors. There are learning vocabulary lists and difficult grammatical points are either explained or cross referenced to the 'reading latin' course by Jones. Another very useful feature is the use of symbols to indicate which words are in grammatical agreement, as in latin poetry these can often be widely seperated and difficult to spot. I would highly recommend this text to the self learner who wants to read latin poetry in the original.
It is often difficult to make the transition from reading modified texts such as those in Reading Latin or Reading Greek to reading original texts with only a dictionary for help. Along with Reading Virgil this is an outstanding attempt to help the student transition to reading the original texts. The book is well designed with vocabulary, grammar, literary appreciation and textual linking devices on every page. The extracts are interesting and the author's notes are an excellent introduction to the poem and contain much that is of interest. This text is highly recommended for students who have completed Reading Latin or Wheelock's Latin and are finding reading texts frustrating and difficult. I hope the author applies this methodology to creating other intermediate texts and I think a series of such texts in Greek would be immensely valuable.
The transition to 'authentic' (original) Latin and especially to poetry can be a difficult one, but there are some excellent resources available now for the intermediate student who has mastered, e,g,, Wheelock's. Peter Jones' 'Reading Ovid' is a very helpful way into 'Metamorphoses' with a selection of twenty of the tales generously glossed for vocabulary and grammatical points and especially for commentary on mythology and Roman beliefs and values. Best of all, the attentive student will learn a lot about the *poetics of this poetry from the illuminating notes on scansion, 'golden lines', alliteration and other devices, as well as remarks that place this seminal work in the wider context of European literature. In particular, the student who has worked through the 'Fabulae Syrae' in 'Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata' will have already encountered many of these stories in prose form, increasingly interspersed with lines from 'Metamorphoses'. The point of poetry, of course, is to *read it aloud*, and this book enables the student to do so with growing understanding and enjoyment.
For a few years now, I've been working hard at learning Latin, purely as a hobby. As yet, I've been sticking with prose, and every time I looked at a bit of poetry I got frightened off, read a bit of it in translation, and consoled myself with the thought that it seemed a bit dull and wasn't something I'd want to read anyway! (Philistine? Moi?)
But this gem of a book is changing that. For me, this was the one that lit up the little light-bulb above my head. Finally, I'm starting to 'get' Latin poetry. Even better, I'm loving Ovid's stories.
If you've completed a basic course (for me it was three-book 'So you really want to learn Latin' by NRR Oulton), then this book should give you enough help with grammar and vocab to read 'actual' Ovid with great pleasure.
For each section it also includes commentary and questions for further study.