Study abroad in Edinburgh

Course finder

Semester 1

Changing Bodies in Ovid's Metamorphoses (CLTR10030)


Classical Literature in Translation





Normal Year Taken


Delivery Session Year



Visiting students must have taken at least 3 courses in Classics related subject matter (at least 1 of which should be in Latin Literature and another in Classical Literature) at grade B or above for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum academic entry requirements does NOT guarantee admission. **Please note that 3rd year Classics courses are very popular and have strict visiting student quotas, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces.** These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces. Please note that this course may incur additional costs for course texts.

Course Summary

In our course, we will examine Ovid's account of metamorphosis, by focusing specifically on the concept of the human body and its multiplicity of implications: from gender to philosophical theories, ancient medical accounts of the body, including the senses, and specific functions of its limbs. By exploring a representative selection of episodes from Ovid's Metamorphoses (in translation), we will study the concepts, functions, and criticism of the human body and its transformation in the Greco-Roman world.

Course Description

Ovid's epic will be our point of reference and point of departure in exploring the plurality of ancient theories of the body, the contexts in which they were conceptualised in the Greco-Roman world, and the ways in which Ovid manipulated them to serve new purposes. Seminars will also engage with the ways in which Ovid's work has been influenced by political and social factors which have shaped ancient theories of the body, including gender systems, religious beliefs, and the political and social contexts within which medical issues concerning the human body were explored. More specifically, we will investigate the influence of ancient philosophy, medicine, gender theories, and literature more broadly, especially Greek tragedy, on Ovid's account of bodily transformations. Seminars will further be aimed at stimulating critical debate on broader questions about gender, identity, politics and ethics, while simultaneously challenging traditional assumptions about ancient cultural concepts. While the primary focus will be on the classical sources and contexts, the various interests and disciplinary backgrounds that members of the class may bring to the subject will be integral to the module.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 60%, Coursework 40%, Practical Exam 0%

view the timetable and further details for this course


All course information obtained from this visiting student course finder should be regarded as provisional. We cannot guarantee that places will be available for any particular course. For more information, please see the visiting student disclaimer:

Visiting student disclaimer