List of Characters
The poet—Expresses intention to tell stories of transformations.
Nature or God—Force that put an end to original chaos.
The Winds—The winds that blow across the world’s surface, including Zephyr god of the warm west, and Boreas, god of the cold the North Wind.
Earth—The planet whose land, air and water are ruled by the gods.
Saturn—Son of Heaven and Earth; father of three sons—Jove, Neptune, and Pluto; father of three
daughters—Juno, Ceres and Vesta; father of Chiron the Centaur.
Jove—Lord of heaven; son of Saturn and Rhea, husband of Juno.
Giants—Attempted an attack on Heaven.
Lycaon—A barbarous king of Arcadia; turned into a wolf.
Deucalion—Son of Prometheus, husband of Pyrrha; spared from the primordial flood with his mate.
Pyrrha—Wife of Deucalion; spared from the flood with him, by order of Jove and attendant deities.
Themis—Goddess of justice, who hears the prayers of Deucalion and Pyrrha.
Python—A monstrous snake.
Apollo (Phoebus)—God of the sun, music, poetry, healing, archery and prophecy; sometimes known as Phoebus; father of Phaethon with Clymene; slays Python.
Clymene—Mother of Phaeton with Apollo; wife of Merops.
Daphne—First love of Apollo, daughter of the river god Peneus; turned into a laurel tree in answer to her prayer when she is pursued by Apollo; he takes her leaves for his emblem.
Cupid—God of love, in rivalry with Apollo.
Diana (Artemis)—Daughter of Jove and Latona; sister of Apollo; moon goddess and goddess of the hunt; patroness of young, unmarried women.
Io—Daughter of Inachus, worshipped also as Isis; desired by Jove; changed into a heifer; mother of Epaphus.
Juno—Queen of heaven, sister and wife of Jove; is well aware of his philandering ways.
Argus—Monster with 100 eyes who serves Juno; ordered to keep watch over Io.
Mercury—Messenger of the gods, son of Jove and Maia, takes pity on Io and slays Argus, enraging Juno.
Syrinx—Nymph chased by Pan, she is turned into a reed, from which he fashions his musical pipes.
Phaethon—Son of Apollo; friend of Epaphus, eager to prove his parentage; comes to grief driving his father’s chariot of fire.
Vulcan (Hephaestus in Greek)—God of fire and metalworking; son of Juno, husband of Venus.
The Sun-God—Another name for Apollo or Phoebus; father of Phaethon with Clymene.
Lucifer—The morning star.
Phaethusa and Lamperia—Sisters of ill-fated Phaethon.
Cygnus—King of Liguria; turned into a swan and placed among the stars.
Callisto—An Arcadian nymph, seduced by love, and turned into a bear by Diana, goddess of the moon and the hunt. (She is not named here, but her story was known during Ovid’s time.)
Arcas—Son of Caillisto, by Jove.
Thetis—A sea nymph, daughter of Neresu and Doris; wife of Peleus; mother of Achilles.
Coronis of Larissa—A nymph pursued by Apollo.
Erichthonius—A boy without a mother.
Pallas Athena (also known as Athena or Minerva)—Goddess of wisdom, craftsmanship and invention; daughter of Jove; patron goddess of Athens.
Pandrosos, Herse and Aglouros—Three sisters, daughters of Cecrops; the first two honorable, the third, not.
Chiron—An educated centaur; father of Ocyrhoe, by the nymph Chariclo.
Ocyrhoe—Daughter of Chiron; turned into a mare.
Battus—A roguish herdsman, turned to stone by Mercury for lying and cheating.
Envy—Green-fleshed monster whose tongue drips venom.
Europa—Abducted princess; daughter of Agenor; mother of Minos, the king of Crete.
Agenor—Father of the princess Europa, who is abducted; she becomes the mother of Minos, the king of Crete.
Cadmus—Son of Agenor; brother of Europa; defeats the dragon; founder of Thebes.
Serpent—Killed by Cadmus; the beast is sacred to Mars, god of War and son of Juno and Jove.
Echion—One of the survivors of a battle with troops who spring up from the serpents’ teeth sown in the ground.
Actaeon—Hunter turned into a stag by the goddess Diana, after he sees her bathing; grandson of Cadmus.
Semele—Daughter of Cadmus; beloved of Jove; mother of Bacchus, the god of wine and ecstasy, who is also known as Dionysus.
Dionysus—Another name for Bacchus, the god of wine and ecstasy.
Ino—Sister of Semele, daughter of Cadmus, beloved of Jove, mother of Bacchus, the god of wine and ecstasy, who is also known as Dionysus.
Tiresias—Blind soothsayer whose gift of prophecy was given by Jove after his sight was taken as punishment by Juno; lived part of his life as a man and part of his life as a woman.
Narcissus—An unloving but beautiful and vain young man who breaks Echo’s heart.
Echo—A nymph in love with Narcissus; she cannot speak except to repeat what others say.
Nemesis—Goddess of vengeance.
Pentheus—King of Thebes; son of Echion, who was one of the survivors of the battle with the troops sprung from dragon’s teeth.
Acoetes—Devotee of Bacchus (Dionysus), the god of wine and ecstasy.
Autonoe—Aunt of Pentheus, the King of Thebes.
Agave—Mother of Pentheus, the Theban king.
Alcithoe—A girl who, with her sisters, refuses to worship Bacchus, the god of wine and ecstasy (also known as Dionysus).
Pyramus—Lovers of Thisbe.
Thisbe—Babylonian girl, who is the lover of Pyramus.
Leuconoe—Sister of Alcithoe; tells the story of Mars and Venus.
Mars and Venus—Divine lovers, (the god of war and the goddess of love), they are snared by Vulcan’s net.
Leucothoe—Daughter of Eurynome; dazzled, seduced and abandoned by Apollo, but still longing for him, then buried alive by her father.
Eurynome—Mother of Leucothoe.
Clytie—Enamored of Apollo, who despises her, she turns into a flower and daily turns to face the sun.
Hermaphroditus—Child of Hermes and Aphrodite (Mercury and Venus).
Salmacis—A naiad in love with Hermaphroditus.
Minyas—Father of Alcithoe and her sisters, who refuse to worship the god Bacchus (Dionysus).
Athamas—Husband of Ino, the daughter of Cadmus; brother-in-law of Semele.
Cerberus—Three-headed dog who guards the gates of the underworld.
The Furies—These three sisters—Alecto, Tisiphone, and Megaera, who are daughters of Uranus and Night—are the goddesses of vengeance; they also offer their protection at times.
Tisiphone—One of the Furies, she executes a command issued by Juno.
Medusa—One of the Gorgons, she was seduced by Neptune; Perseus slays her, and the sight of her severed head turns men to stone; drops of her blood turn into snakes; Pegasus, the enchanted flying horse, is also created from her blood.
Perseus—Slays the Medusa, by using his shield as a mirror for her; the sight of her severed head turned men to stone; he is the son of Jove and Danae.
Atlas—A giant who held the world on his shoulders; he is turned into a mountain by Perseus, who shows him the severed head of the Medusa.
Andromeda—A princess and the daughter of Cassiope and Cepheus, she is rescued by Perseus.
Phineus—Uncle of Andromeda and her promised husband.
Cepheus—Father of Andromeda, with Cassiope.
Proteus—A sea god.
Polydectes—Ruler of the tiny island of Seriphos; an antagonist of Perseus.
Urania—One of the nine Muses; daughter of Jove.
Pegasus—Enchanted horse who makes a stream appear on the land by striking his hoof on the ground; born from the blood of the Medusa.
Pyreneus—King of Thrace.
Pierus and Euippe—Their daughters opposed Minerva and became magpies.
Thyphoeus—A giant; a foe of the Olympian gods.
Calliope—Chief of the nine Muses, she is associated with epic poetry and songs; the steam-whistle musical instrument takes its name from her.
Ceres (Demeter)—One of the original, pre-Olympian divinities of the Mediterranean area; goddess of agriculture; sister-wife of Jove; mother of Proserpina (Persephone).
Cupid (Eros)—The god of love; son of Venus, the goddess of love.
(The entire section is 3582 words.)