In Focus

Ovid's Description of the Bath of Diana

The following description of the godless Diana at her bath was written by the Roman poet Ovid (43 BCE- 18 CE) for Book III of his Metamorphoses_ (c. 2-8 CE)._

There is a grove of pine and cypresses known as Gargraphie, a hidden place most sacred to the celibate Diana; and deep in its recesses is a grotto artlessly fabricated by the genius of Nature, which, in imitating Art, had shaped a natural organic arch out of the living pumice and light tufa.

Before this little grotto, on the right, a fountain burbles; its pellucid stream widens to form a pool edged round with turf; here the great goddess of the woods would come to bathe her virgin limbs in its cool waters, when hunting wearied her.