Ovid's Heroides : A New Translation and Critical Essays book cover
1st Edition

Ovid's Heroides
A New Translation and Critical Essays

ISBN 9781138722163
Published May 24, 2017 by Routledge
276 Pages

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Book Description

This volume offers up-to-date translations of all 21 epistles of Ovid’s Heroides. Each letter is accompanied by a preface explaining the mythological background, an essay offering critical remarks on the poem, and discussion of the heroine and her treatment elsewhere in Classical literature. Where relevant, reception in later literature, film, music and art, and feminist aspects of the myth are also covered. The book also contains an introduction covering Ovid's life and works, the Augustan background, the originality of the Heroides, dating, authenticity and reception. A useful glossary of characters mentioned in the Heroides concludes the book. This is a vital new resource for anyone studying the poetry of Ovid, Classical mythology or women in the ancient world.

Table of Contents



Heroides 1: Penelope to Ulysses

Heroides 2: Phyllis to Demophoon

Heroides 3: Briseis to Achilles

Heroides 4: Phaedra to Hippolytus

Heroides 5: Oenone to Paris

Heroides 6: Hypsipyle to Jason

Heroides 7: Dido to Aeneas

Heroides 8: Hermione to Orestes

Heroides 9: Deianira to Hercules

Heroides 10: Ariadne to Theseus

Heroides 11: Canace to Macareus

Heroides 12: Medea to Jason

Heroides 13: Laodamia to Protesilaus

Heroides 14: Hypermestra to Lynceus

Heroides 15: Sappho to Phaon

Heroides 16: Paris to Helen

Heroides 17: Helen to Paris

Heroides 18: Leander to Hero

Heroides 19: Hero to Leander

Heroides 20: Acontius to Cydippe

Heroides 21: Cydippe to Acontius

Glossary of Characters

Select Bibliography


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Paul Murgatroyd has lectured at the University of Natal, South Africa, and McMaster University, Canada, in a career of over 40 years. He is the author of 11 books and over 90 articles in the field of Classical literature, especially Latin poetry, and is a published Latin poet in his own right.

Bridget Reeves received a PhD from McMaster University, Canada, and, currently teaches in Hamilton, Canada. Her research interests are in story-telling, both in prose and in verse, with a focus on the mythological character Europa.

Sarah Parker is a part-time instructor in the Classics department at Brock University, Canada. Her research interests are the ancient novel – those by Apuleius in particular – and Latin literature in general.


This timely translation makes the particular pleasures of the Heroides available to the modern reader. The translations are lively and engaging; each verse letter is accompanied by detailed commentary that throws light on the situation of the individual speaker, and considers the position of that poem in the collection as a whole.

- Dr Mandy Green, Durham University, UK