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Reproducing Rome: Motherhood in Virgil, Ovid, Seneca, and Statius - Oxford Studies in Classical Literature and Gender Theory (Hardback)
  • Reproducing Rome: Motherhood in Virgil, Ovid, Seneca, and Statius - Oxford Studies in Classical Literature and Gender Theory (Hardback)
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Reproducing Rome: Motherhood in Virgil, Ovid, Seneca, and Statius - Oxford Studies in Classical Literature and Gender Theory (Hardback)

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£102.50
Hardback 464 Pages / Published: 15/10/2015
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In the conservative and competitive society of ancient Rome, where the law of the father (patria potestas) was supposedly absolute, motherhood took on complex aesthetic, moral, and political meanings in elite literary discourse. Reproducing Rome is a study of the representation of maternity in the Roman literature of the first century CE, a period of intense social upheaval and reorganization as Rome was transformed from a Republic to a form of hereditary monarchy under the emperor Augustus. Through a series of close readings of works by Virgil, Ovid, Seneca, and Statius, the volume scrutinizes the gender dynamics that permeate these ancient authors' language, imagery, and narrative structures. Analysing these texts 'through and for the maternal', McAuley considers to what degree their representations of motherhood reflect, construct, or subvert Roman ideals of, and anxieties about, family, gender roles, and reproduction. The volume also explores the extent to which these representations distort or displace concerns about fatherhood or other relations of power in Augustan and post-Augustan Rome. Keeping the ancient literary and historical context in view, the volume conducts a dialogue between these ancient male authors and modern feminist theorists-from Klein to Irigaray, Kristeva to Cavarero-to consider the relationship between motherhood as symbol and how a maternal subjectivity is suggested, developed, or suppressed by the authors. Readers are encouraged to consider the problems and possibilities of reading the maternal in these ancient texts, and to explore the unique site the maternal occupies in pre-modern discourses underpinning Western culture.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199659364
Number of pages: 464
Weight: 868 g
Dimensions: 236 x 173 x 33 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
McAuley's book is an excellent addition to the growing interest in Roman women's representations in literature that attempt a deeper engagement with the complexities of literary representation and investigate the way in which it refracts social structures and ideologies. * Vassiliki Panoussi, Classical World *
Beyond doubt, McAuley's monograph is packed with insightful readings and analyses ... she brings together disparate texts in the difficult task of uncovering the female voices. * Antony Augostakis, Journal of Roman Studies *
Her study deploys psychoanalytical approaches to reading Latin literature to excellent effect (not an easy task), always enhancing the insights of her reading of the ancient texts, and maintaining lucidity. Indeed, this is the best kind of gender study, which does not merely apply the modern framework of gender and contemporary theoretical approaches to ancient materials (though it does this very skilfully and convincingly), but in addition makes it clear why this is such a valuable endeavour for us now, and how rewarding it can be to place modern psychoanalytic theories into dialogue with the ancient Roman literature. * Rebecca Langlands, Greece and Rome *
McAuley's monograph succeeds laudably in avoiding these pitfalls and makes a valuable contribution to the study of gender and family in the ancient world, while also being an important contribution to the field of classical literary criticism. * Elina Pyy, Classical Review *
one of the great pleasures of her book is its formal embodiment of her readings. My understanding of the Latin epic, tragic, and philosophical traditions has been enriched in countless ways by sustained engagement with her intricate and absorbing interpretations and I recommend the volume to every student of classical literature. * Alison Keith, Classical Philology *

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