Cretan Women: Pasiphae, Ariadne, and Phaedra in Latin Poetry by Rebecca Armstrong

By Rebecca Armstrong

During this specified research of the representations of Pasiphae, Ariadne, and Phaedra in Latin poetry, Rebecca Armstrong investigates either the literary historical past of the myths (the Greek roots, the interactions among Roman models) and their cultural resonance. as well as shut readings of the key remedies of every woman's tale (in Catullus, Virgil, Ovid, and Seneca), she bargains prolonged thematic explorations of the significance of reminiscence, wildness, and morality within the myths. via extending the internet to surround 3 ladies (all from a similar ill-fated family), the e-book provides a transparent photograph of the complexity and interesting interconnectedness of myths and texts in old Rome.

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See also Spentzou (2002) for a discussion of Medea as Muse in the Argonautica. 36 Literary and Personal Memory the emphasis on the beautiful, holy marriage which took place afterwards, but it remains, occupying the last line and a half of the description. The comparison between himself and Theseus which Jason invited, then made even more pointed by his deception, is here strengthened once more through the memory of Hypsipyle, another woman loved and left by Jason, whose very gift to him recalls Theseus’ perWdy as it commemorates Dionysus’ passion.

His oVence may be softened slightly by 7 Here we might once again compare (and contrast) Jason with the main narrator, Apollonius, whose grip on his own tale begins to slip during the course of the epic, and who is driven to ask the Muses for more and more support. Cf. Feeney (1991), 89–93. See also Spentzou (2002) for a discussion of Medea as Muse in the Argonautica. 36 Literary and Personal Memory the emphasis on the beautiful, holy marriage which took place afterwards, but it remains, occupying the last line and a half of the description.

Having subjected the Cretan women to such a stern assessment of their vice, however, it seems only fair to look a little more closely at the moral records of the men who accuse them and with whom they are involved. Minos and Theseus themselves emerge as unconscionable philanderers, whilst Daedalus’ role as an abetter to bestiality casts him in a distinctly shady light. Thus prejudices against the women are modiWed in view of the imperfections in the men. In the Wnal part of the chapter, having uncovered the possibility that the Cretan women can be seen in some senses as victims as well as perpetrators of vice, I then make the attempt to redeem them further, to see if they can make any claim to some ancient concept of virtue despite their wicked deeds.

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