The Roman Mistress

The Roman Mistress : Ancient and Modern Representations

By (author) Maria Wyke


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From Latin love poetry's dominating and enslaving beloveds, to modern popular culture's infamous Cleopatras and Messalinas, representations of the Roman mistress (or the mistress of Romans) have brought into question both ancient and modern genders and political systems. The Roman Mistress explores representations of transgressive women in Latin love poetry and British television drama, in Roman historiography and nineteenth-century Italian anthropology, on classical coinage and college websites, as poetic metaphor and in the Hollywood star system. In a highly accessible style, the book makes an important and original contribution simultaneously to feminist scholarship on antiquity, the classical tradition, and cultural studies.

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  • Paperback | 464 pages
  • 138 x 214 x 24mm | 557.92g
  • 07 Dec 2007
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 32 in-text illustrations
  • 0199228337
  • 9780199228331
  • 1,055,769

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Author Information

Maria Wyke is Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Reading.

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Review quote

Wyke's essays...powerfully demonstrated the artificiality of the elegiac world, its women in particular. Wyke's key insight about love elegy is that...the elegiac woman has everything to do with the construction of a provocative male persona, and very little to do with women per se. Times Literary Supplement

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