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Eros at Dusk: Ancient Wedding and Love Poetry

Eros at Dusk: Ancient Wedding and Love Poetry

by Katherine Wasdin


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This book analyzes the relationship between wedding poetry and love poetry in the classical world. By treating both Greek and Latin texts, it offers an innovative and wide-ranging discussion of the poetic representation of social occasions. The discourses associated with weddings and love affairs both foreground ideas of persuasion and praise even though they differ dramatically in their participants and their outcomes. Furthermore, these texts make it clear that the brief, idealized, and eroticized moment of the wedding stands in contrast to the long-lasting and harmonious agreement of the marriage. At times, these genres share traditional forms of erotic persuasion, but at other points, one genre purposefully alludes to the other to make a bride seem like a paramour or a paramour like a bride. Explicit divergences remind the audience of the different trajectories of the wedding, which will hopefully transition into a stable marriage, and the love affair, which is unlikely to endure with mutual affection. Important themes include the threshold; the evening star; plant and animal metaphors; heroic comparisons; reciprocity and the blessings of the gods; and sexual violence and persuasion. The consistency and durability of this intergeneric relationship demonstrates deep-seated conceptions of legitimate and illegitimate sexual relationships. By examining these two types of poetry in tandem, Eros at Dusk adds fresh insight into the social concerns and generic composition of these occasional poems.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190869090
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 06/22/2018
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 9.30(w) x 6.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Katherine Wasdin is Assistant Professor at the George Washington University. Her research focuses on gender and genre in Greek and Latin poetry. She also has interests in the ancient novel and reception studies. Her publications include articles on Claudian's wedding poetry, chronology in Catullus 64, and the reception of classical poets in a novel by Kathy Acker.

Table of Contents

List of Images
Texts and Abbreviations
Chapter One: Catullan Women on the Threshold
Chapter Two: Allusive Superstars
Chapter Three: Cultivating Romance
Chapter Four: Wild Horses and Beasts of Burden
Chapter Five: Modeling Perfection
Chapter Six: Divine Reciprocity
Chapter Seven: Persuasive Violence

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