Publius Ovidius Naso was a Roman poet. Ovid's Metamorphosis, published in 15 books, is a collection of tales gathered from many sources: the Greek myths, Roman folk-lore, Babylon and the East. Ovid retold them with great flair. This provided a source from which writers, painters and sculptors have drawn for 2,000 years. The stories in which chaos turns into order, animals to stone, men to trees, and so forth, had a particular influence on landscape painters, garden sculptors and garden designers. Ovid was educated at schools of rhetoric in Rome and, as in their Greek predecessors, it is likely that part of the teaching was done in courtyard gardens with peristyle courts, plants, pools and statuary.
Tempus edax rerum. Time the devourer of all things. (Metamorphosis xv.234)