Ovid: The Art of Love
Horace: The Art of Poetry

Ovid: Heroides

Didon_et_le_glaive_d%u2019Énée_(Epîtres_d%u2019Ovide _coll._Arcana _fol21)The Heroides or Epistulae Heroidum (Letters of Heroines) are a collection of Latin elegaic poems by the Roman poet Ovid, written around the end of the first century BCE. Each poem purports to be a letter from a legendary heroine to her lover or husband, a form which Ovid considered as a new literary genre of his own invention.  He drew widely on classical myth for his chosen subjects, as well as including the historical poet Sappho.

The Heroides at online book stores

Amazon | bookshop.org (US) | bookshop.org (UK)

Free online texts
Bilingual texts
Loebulus: L041 - Ovid - Heroides. Amores. Loeb edition. PDF format.
English translations
Internet Archive: The Heroïdes or Epistles of the Heroines, The Amours, Art of Love, Remedy of Love, and Minor Works of Ovid, translated by Henry T. Riley. EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXT formats.
Poetry in Translation: The Heroides, translated by A.S. Kline (2001). Multiple formats.
Theoi: Heroides, translated by Grant Showerman. HTML format.
Latin texts
Latin Library: Ovid. HTML format.
Wikisource: Heroides. HTML and other formats.

Other Resources
Librivox: Heroides - public domain audiobook.
Literature and History: Early Ovid - Ovid's Amores and Heroides. Podcast and transcript by Doug Metzger.
Wikipedia: Ovid - Heroides

Further reading
Homer: The Iliad: A number of epistulae are written from the viewpoints of characters associated with the Trojan War including Briseis (Epistula III), Oenone (Epistula V).
Homer: The Odyssey - Epistula I is written from the viewpoint of Penelope.
Sappho: Poems - Epistula XV examines the Greek poet's relationship with her former lover, Phaon.
Sophocles: Women of Trachis - Deianira (Epistula VIII) is the central character.
Euripides: Hippolytus - a version of the story of Phaedra, subject of Epistula IV.
Euripides: Andromache - Hermione (Epistula VII) is a key character.
Euripides: Medea - The subject of Epistula XII.
Apollonius of Rhodes: Argonautica - earliest extant version of the story of Hypsipyle (Epistula VI). Medea is a central character.
Propertius: Elegies - Propertius' Arethusa is considered by some a precursor of the Heroides.
Virgil: Aeneid - The most famous treatment of the story of Dido (Epistula VII).
Seneca: Phaedra - a later version of the story which inspired Epistula IV.
The Letters of Heloise and Abelard - Heloise used the Heroides as a model.
Bloom's Western Canon: The Heroides are listed.
Latin resources: Learn to read Latin texts in the original.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)