Pics and Video from Ovid Celebration

The UC Classics Library celebrated the birthday and 2000-year anniversary of the ancient Roman poet Publius Ouidius Naso (20 March 43 BCE – CE 17/18) on March 29, 2018. See UC President Pinto’s tweet

Thank you to all the outstanding participants and to all those who attended!

Dr. Bridget Langley, UC Classics Department, gave a brilliant and hysterically funny talk on Ovid.

Dr. Colin Shelton, UC Classics Department, read the tale of Echo and Narcissus, in a hauntingly beautiful and suggestive manner, in Latin and in translation/interpretation by modern English poet Ted Hughes. It gave us all goose bumps.

Dr. Jenny Doctor, Library, UC College-Conservatory of Music, gave a fascinating talk on modern English composer Benjamin Britten and his opus 49 for solo oboe, “Six Metamorphoses after Ovid,” as well as introduced the piece’s individual metamorphoses and the oboist.

Yo Shionoya, oboist, UC College-Conservatory of Music. If we were not already Britten and oboe fans, we all became such after his outstanding performance.  Yo is an amazing musician, who although a graduate student, has a full program of public appearances. He, not Ovid, dictated the date of the event.  Many of us were moved to tears (of joy) during his rendition of the heart-wrenching grief of Niobe, the loving “self-reflection” of Narcissus, the hubris of the flight of Phaeton.

It was a full house!

Yo Shionoya and Jenny Doctor enjoying themselves at the reception.

Professors Susan Prince, Jack Davis, Steven Ellis, UC Classics Department, in deep conversation.

Mike Braunlin, UC Classics Library, Bibliographer and Numismatist, handsome in a rare suit.

Three of the UC Classics Department’s bright students, Maria Gaki, Cecilia Cozzi, Kelly Grogan.

“Performers” Bridget Langley and Colin Shelton relaxing together with Professor Valeria Sergueenkova and Tytus Fellow Salvador Bartera.

Mike Braunlin, UC Classics Library, and May Chang, UC Libraries’ Chief Technology Officer. May, although a techie, borrowed a book of Ovid’s Metamorphoses after the event and commented that if she had had Bridget and Colin as teachers of Latin, she may have chosen Classics instead of IT, which highlights the importance of Latin teachers that enthuse rather than frustrate their students.

UC Classics Professors Antonios Kotsonas and Daniel Markovich in spirited conversation.

Dan Gottlieb, UC Libraries, Senior Adviser to the Dean and Interim Dean of Library Services, Humanities, and Social Sciences, and Mike Braunlin having fun.

The delicious and healthy and “ancient Roman” refreshments prepared by Christina Miller, vegan chef at Whole Foods — roasted asparagus, wild mushrooms, leeks, dates, cinnamon apples, figs, melon, strawberries, grapes, breads, olives, nuts.  Ovid would have enjoyed this feast, free from animal suffering, hormones, and pesticides and perfectly in line with UC President Pinto’s new strategic directions, Next Lives Here! It is our hope that human health, the health of the environment, and kindness to all sentient beings become the norm for receptions at UC. Ovid himself said it best: “The earth, prodigal of her wealth, provides you with her sweet sustenance and offers you food without bloodshed and slaughter” (Metamorphoses book 15, lines 81-83).

The attendees were also treated to “ancient Roman” candy, the so called Confetti di Sulmona, from Ovid’s hometown of ancient Sulmo, present-day Sulmona, in the province of Abruzzo, Italy.

Although born in Sulmo, exiled to Tomis by the Black Sea, present-day Constanța, Romania, where he died, it was the City of Rome Ovid called home.  The She-Wolf with the legendary twin founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, has become a symbol of Rome, also here in Cincinnati (Eden Park).


If you wish to read Ovid’s Metamorphoses or any other work from his quite extensive œuvre, you could, for example, use the translations with parallel Latin texts in the Loeb Classical Library series. Here are the perhaps best known of Ovid’s poems:

Metamorphoses —

Fasti —

Amores —

Ars Amatoria

Tristia —

(Epistulae) Ex Ponto —


Dr. Shelton read from the Latin text of the Metamorphoses from the so called Oxford Classical Text edition:

Tarrant, R.J. 2004. P. Ovidi Nasonis Metamorphoses: Recognovit brevique adnotatione critica instruxit. Oxford University Press.

And from the English translation by Ted Hughes:

Hughes, Ted. 1997. Tales from Ovid. Faber & Faber. Also online from Chadwyck-Healey (ProQuest):

Another very readable and accessible translation is that of Charles Martin, with introduction by Bernard Knox.

Martin, C. 2010. Metamorphoses : A new translation, contexts, criticism. Norton.


Moreover, be sure to check out graduate student Angelica Wisenbarger’s amusing and witty description of March’s “Book of the Month,” an Elzevir edition of the Metamorphoses from 1629:

You could also check out the video of the Ovid celebration; however, the sound quality is poor.

Finally, don’t miss the book exhibits, still up in the Classics Library’s Reading Room, of rare editions of the works of Ovid with Emperor Augustus, the source of much of Ovid’s chagrin, on top of the display, from a UC excavation at Troy.



Please follow and like us: