Ovid’s Daphne & Apollo – Beta

  1. Commentary; Ovid’s Daphne and Apollo (Metamorphoses I.452-567)  (beta ed., June 2017)

This pdf is a short 14-page commentary of Ovid’s Daphne and Apollo with 10 lines of Latin per page and all corresponding vocabulary and notes below the text. There are 26 core vocabulary words not included in the commentary, and they will soon be listed in a file below. Translation sheets will follow as well. This draft has not been revised and was originally designed impromptu for classroom use.  All notes will undoubtedly be rewritten in a future revision.

I have had great success reading this selection with Latin III high school students. If you are looking for a reading in Ovid, I strongly recommend it–not merely as a myth but as an attempt by the poet to subvert the political propaganda of his times. The emperor Augustus actively cultivated his own public identification with Apollo, the god of moderation and self-restraint, and the laurel tree (Daphne) in order to portray himself as a paragon of self-restraint. But, as Ovid shows with increasingly comical and sinister turns, even the god Apollo fails to uphold the ideal that Augustus claims to embody.

This is a proof of concept commentary, and I have no intention of finishing the remainder of Metamorphosis Book 1 at this time. This beta edition will likely end up in a very different commentary.

Expect Ovid’s Icarus and Daedalus (a much shorter read) to be posted shortly as well.