Our topic this spring is Ovid’s Metamorphoses, arguably the most influential poem to survive from classical antiquity. While we will gradually read the entire poem in English translation, most of our energy will be devoted to close reading of selected episodes in Latin (for example, Apollo and Daphne, Echo and Narcissus, Pyramus and Thisbe, Arachne and Minerva, Pygmalion; students can also put in requests for particular episodes). In class we will discuss a range of topics, from word order and meter to gender and sexuality, self-reflexivity and intertextuality, the poem’s relation to its Augustan context, and (depending on the interests of the class) its influence on subsequent art and literature. Work will include preparation of ca. 150-250 lines of Latin each week; a close-reading assignment focused on a single episode (4-5pp.); a longer final essay (6-8 pp.); and midterm and final exams. In the course of the term, each student will also be responsible for digesting and presenting one scholarly article to the class.