Greek myth originated in an oral culture that we can’t easily think ourselves back into. Yet the stories from those ancient times have not only survived, but have infused much of our own art and literature since before the Renaissance. The intermediary for the most part has been Ovid, who retold the stories in Latin, adding some Roman myth as well. In this course we will read his Metamorphoses in translation, with a focus on some particular stories and the ways in which the tales have been re-imagined in later art and literature. Artist collaborator Mary Trev Thomas will provide accompanying visuals from the world of painting, sculpture, etc., to show how artists from many different eras have interpreted the myths in their own way.

Suggested Reading: Please read Book 1 of the Metamorphoses for the first class. Any modern translation of Ovid is fine. Professor Travis will use the Rolfe Humphries translation in class. Click here to order it on

Nancy Travis, M.A.T., Johns Hopkins University; A.B., Smith College; Professor Emerita and former Professor of English, Berkshire Community College.


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