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Gendered Dynamics in Latin Love Poetry

, 384 pages

10 halftones

October 2005


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Gendered Dynamics in Latin Love Poetry

In recent decades, Latin love poetry has become a significant site for feminist and other literary critics studying conceptions of gender and sexuality in ancient Roman culture.

This new volume, the first to focus specifically on gender dynamics in Latin love poetry, moves beyond the polarized critical positions that argue that this poetry either confirms traditional gender roles or subverts them. Rather, the essays in the collection explore the ways in which Latin erotic texts can have both effects, shifting power back and forth between male and female. If there is one conclusion that emerges, it is that the dynamics of gender in Latin amatory poetry do not map in any single way onto the cultural and historical norms of Roman society. In fact, as several essays show, there is a dialectical relationship between this poetry and Roman cultural practices.

By complicating the views of gender dynamics in Latin love poetry, this exciting new scholarship will stimulate further debates in classical studies and literary criticism with its fresh perspectives.

Ronnie Ancona is a professor of classics at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, The City University of New York. Ellen Greene is the Joseph Paxton Presidential Professor of Classics at the University of Oklahoma.

"The volume as a whole is valuable... A successful and thought-provoking collection."

"Admirably ambitious in the range of texts and authors that it covers... Gendered Dynamics shows a welcome spirit of adventure in the many contributions which cast strikingly different perspectives on given problems or texts."

"This collection will surely help to shape the future contours of this field."

"The study of gender in the Roman world and in Latin literature is a growing and vibrant field, and this volume makes an impressive and thought-provoking contribution to the subject."

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