Ovid - Metamorphoses

Ovid - Metamorphoses Facsimile Edition

United Kingdom — 1470–1490

Translated for the first time into English in 1480, the magnum opus from Ovid, one of the most prominent writers of the Roman Golden Age

  1. William Caxton (ca. 1422–91) was a merchant, diplomat, writer, and England’s first printer

  2. His controversial translation was made from a moralizing French text rather than the original Latin

  3. Recent research has sought to redeem the importance of this first English translation

Ovid - Metamorphoses

F.4.34 Magdalene College Library (Cambridge, United Kingdom)
  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Ovid - Metamorphoses

This manuscript is the only surviving specimen of a Middle English translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, which was completed in 1480 by William Caxton. Instead of translating straight from Latin, Caxton created a somewhat awkward translation of a moralizing French text that has been debated by scholars. Furthermore, analysis of the two volumes has been complicated by the fact that they were separated early on. Although it features an artistic program of 15 miniatures, only four were completed. Recent research has sought to redeem the importance of the first English translation of the Metamorphoses for serious study both in its own right and as a part of a trend in late medieval allegorical works becoming increasingly humanist in nature, rather than emphasizing a rupture between humanism and the traditional medieval worldview.


Alternative Titles
Moralised Ovid
Ovid - Metamorphosen
The Metamorphoses of Ovid
The Booke of Ovyde Named Methamorphose
Artist / School

Available facsimile editions:
G. Braziller – New York, 1968
Facsimile Editions

#1 The Metamorphoses of Ovid

G. Braziller – New York, 1968

Publisher: G. Braziller – New York, 1968
Commentary: 1 volume by Willam Caxton
Language: English
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
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