Lifelong Dewey

Reading through every Dewey Decimal section.

Tag: epic poetry

873: The Metamorphoses of Ovid


873.01: Ovid. The Metamorphoses of Ovid. Translated by Allen Mandelbaum. San Diego, CA: Harvest, 1993. 559 pp. ISBN 0-15-170529-1.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 800: Literature
  • 870: Latin and Italic literatures
  • 873: Latin epic poetry and fiction
  • 873.01: Latin fiction of the Roman period

To fully investigate the entirety of Greek and Roman mythology  would take a lifetime. Luckily, Ovid did all the heavy lifting two thousand years ago. Every mythological figure you can think of is in here—from Jupiter to Perseus to Jason to Pygmalion to Romulus. Ovid’s history start at the creation of the universe and goes up to the Caesars of Rome and paints the chronology as a series of changes. In fact, the first lines have the poet saying “My soul would sing of metamorphoses.” Also playing a heavy part is the role of the love god Amor, who is constantly affecting the course of history.

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883: The Iliad by Homer (trans. Powell)


883.01: Homer. The Iliad. Translated by Barry B. Powell. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2013. 570 pp. ISBN 978-0-1993-2610-5.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 800: Literature
  • 880: Classical and modern Greek literatures
  • 883: Classical Greek epic poetry and fiction
  • 883.01: Ancient period

Among the first extant works of mankind is Homer’s Iliad. Dating back almost 2,800 years and comprising over 15,000 lines, it stands as a testament to the human imagination. It is a recounting of the famous Trojan war but really only takes place during a few weeks at the end of the war. Through flashbacks and stories within the story, we get the entire magnitude of the struggle. Agamemnon rails against Achilles, Paris duels with Menelaus, Troy is sacked, and the death of Achilles, while untold, is still a tragic affair. Being an epic poem, it has everything under the sun packed into it lines—love, war, trickery, gods, life, and death.

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