The Roman Mistress: Ancient and Modern Representations

The Roman Mistress: Ancient and Modern Representations


By (author) Maria Wyke

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 464 pages
  • Dimensions: 137mm x 213mm x 25mm | 572g
  • Publication date: 7 December 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199228337
  • ISBN 13: 9780199228331
  • Edition statement: Revised ed.
  • Illustrations note: 32 in-text illustrations
  • Sales rank: 941,010

Product description

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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Author information

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

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

Table of contents

Introduction ; I. LOVE POETRY ; 1. Mistress and Metaphor in Augustan Elegy ; 2. Written Women: Propertius' scripta puella (2. 10-13) ; 3. The Elegiac Woman at Rome: Propertius Book 4 ; 4. Reading Female Flesh: Ovid Amores 3. 1 ; 5. Taking the Woman's Part: Gender and Scholarship on Love Elegy ; II. RECEPTION ; 6. Meretrix regina: Augustan Cleopatras ; 7. Oriental Vamp; Cleopatra 1910s ; 8. Glamour Girl: Cleopatra 1930s-1960s ; 9. Meretrix Augusta: Messalina 1870s-1920s ; 10. Suburban Feminist: Messalina 1930s-1970s