Ovid’s Daphne & Apollo – Beta

  1. Commentary: Ovid’s Daphne and Apollo (Metamorphoses I.452-567)  (beta ed., July 2017)
  2. Translation Sheet for Daphne and Apollo: pdf and doc formats (beta ed., July 2017)
  3. Commentary: Ovid’s Icarus and Daedalus (Metamorphoses 183-235)  (coming in August 2017)
  4. Translation Sheets for Icarus and Daedalus: pdf and doc formats (beta ed., August 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. This draft has not been revised and was originally designed impromptu for classroom use.  All notes will undoubtedly be rewritten in a future revision.

Intermediate readers often struggle with lines 458-462 at the beginning of the myth, and so I fear that readers will encounter these lines, become discouraged, and stop reading. Don’t stop. Daphne and Apollo is very readable at the intermediate level, and those five lines are not representative of the rest of the work.

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 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.