Fasti, by Ovid
Oxford University Press9780192824110
Ovid's poetical calendar of the Roman year is both a day-by-day account of festivals and observances and their origins, and a delightful retelling of myths and legends associated with particular dates. Written in the late years of the emperor Augustus, and cut short when the emperor sent the poet into exile, the poem's tone ranges from tragedy to farce, and its subject matter from astronomy and obscure ritual to Roman history and Greek mythology. Among the stories Ovid tells at length are those of Arion and the dolphin, the rape of Lucretia, the shield that fell from heaven, the adventures of Dido's sister, the Great Mother's journey to Rome, the killing of Remus, the bloodsucking birds, and the murderous daughter of King Servius. The poem also relates a wealth of customs and beliefs, such as the unluckiness of marrying in May.
This lively new edition by Anne and Peter Wiseman is the only modern prose translation of Ovid's Fasti and also the most accurate. The Wisemans also include an informative introduction to the calendar, numerous helpful notes, a detailed index of names, and a glossary of Latin terms.