The Bavarian Commentary and Ovid: Clm 4610, The Earliest Documented Commentary on the 'Metamorphoses' - cover image


Robin Wahlsten Böckerman

Published On





  • English

Print Length

398 pages (viii+390)


Paperback156 x 27 x 234 mm(6.14" x 1.08" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 32 x 234 mm(6.14" x 1.25" x 9.21")


Paperback1652g (58.27oz)
Hardback2060g (72.66oz)



OCLC Number





  • DB
  • DCF
  • CFP


  • PA6519.M9


  • critical edition
  • translation
  • Ovid
  • Metamorphoses
  • Bavarian Commentary
  • ancient literature
  • medieval readers
  • Munich Bayerische Staatsbibliothek clm 4610

The Bavarian Commentary and Ovid

Clm 4610, The Earliest Documented Commentary on the 'Metamorphoses'

The Bavarian Commentary and Ovid is the first complete critical edition and translation of the earliest preserved commentary on Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

Today, Ovid’s famous work is one of the touchstones of ancient literature, but we have only a handful of scraps and quotations to show how the earliest medieval readers received and discussed the poems—until the Munich Bayerische Staatsbibliothek clm 4610. This commentary, which dates from around the year 1100 is the first systematic study of the Metamorphoses, founding a tradition of scholarly study that extends to the present day.

Despite its significance, this medieval commentary has never before been published or analysed as a whole. Böckerman’s groundbreaking work includes a critical edition of the entire manuscript, together with a lucid English translation and a rigorous and stimulating introduction, which sets the work in its historical, geographical and linguistic contexts with precision and clarity while offering a rigorous analysis of its form and function.

The Bavarian Commentary and Ovid is essential reading for academics concerned with the reception of Ovid or that of other ancient authors. It will also be of great interest for Classical scholars, those investigating medieval commentaries and media history, and for anyone intrigued to know more about how the work of Ovid has echoed through history.


Robin Böckerman's edition, with extensive introduction and English translation, of the earliest extant commentary on Ovid's Metamorphoses constitutes an invaluable contribution to the study of medieval Latin commentaries on classical Latin authors. Having access to the complete text of the commentary preserved on ff. 61v to 84r of Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 4610 greatly advances our understanding of how masters and students in south German monastic schools ca. 1100 read Ovidius maior, as Ovid's great poem was often called, and by means of that exercise deepened their command of Latin grammar and ancient mythology. It is truly accessible, because the handsomely produced volume appears under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

Ralph Hexter, University of California, Davis

"Böckerman, The Bavarian Commentary and Ovid". The Medieval Review (1096-746X), 2021.

Full Review


1. Introduction

(pp. 1–9)
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4. Form and Function

(pp. 50–111)
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(pp. 170–189)
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Bavarian B, clm 14482c

(pp. 332–366)
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Robin Wahlsten Böckerman

Postdoctoral Researcher in Latin at Stockholm University