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Metamorphoses of the mind We still appreciate the ‘indiscreet, sexy and witty’ verse of the Roman poet Ovid, who died in exile 2000 years ago, and we continue to see the wildly amorous world of the Greek gods through his eyes. John Davie For the love of the gods Inspired by Ovid’s collection of Classical myths – stories of divine love and seduction – an exhibition at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples looks at how they have been interpreted by artists. Dalu Jones Unbelievable treasures Damien Hirst’s faux antiquities, supposedly rescued from a Roman shipwreck, are his most audacious art works to date; are they a tribute to marine archaeology or just a load of old crock? Sean A Kingsley In the lap of luxury The elegant silver tableware, elaborate drinking vessels and dazzling jewellery that rich Romans used to show off their wealth is displayed at an exhibition in Arles in the South of France. Nicole Benazeth The galloping goldsmiths The Scythians are often seen as a band of illusive nomadic warriors, but the autumn exhibition at the British Museum reveals that they could also produce beautifully crafted gold objects. St John Simpson Magnificent Monteverdi Born 450 years ago, the great Italian composer is known for his three surviving operas, inspired by Greek mythology and Roman history, with glorious music that has a timeless quality. Tom Ford Taking the tablets Monumental inscriptions tell us about the grand events of the Roman Empire but the Vindolanda and Bloomberg Tablets reveal intimate details of the everyday lives of soldiers and citizens in Britain. Paul Chrystal

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