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Gilbert Highet and Antony Spawforth

Anyte of *Tegea(fl. early 3rd cent. bc), an Arcadian poetess, much admired in her time and thereafter. About eighteen of her Doric epigrams, mostly funerary, are in the Greek Anthology, and one is cited by Pollux 5. 48. Her lyrics are lost, but she translated some of *Sappho's spirit into her sensitive elegiac quatrains.


Artemon (5), of Magnesia, Greek author  

M. B. Trapp

Artemon (5), of Magnesia (date uncertain), author of a Famous Exploits of Women, from which *Sopater (2) made excerpts.



Ken Dowden

Boeo, short form of a woman's name (based on ‘Boeotian’ ?).(1) Legendary Delphian (see delphi) author of a *hymn mentioning *Hyperboreans and the prophet *Olen (Pausanias 10. 5. 7–8).(2) Either Boeo (fem.) or Boeos (masc.), author of the Hellenistic Ornithogonia (‘Origins of Birds’, cf. ‘Theogony’) used by *Ovid in his Metamorphoses.



Katherine Wasdin

An epithalamium (pl. epithalamia) is a song, poem, or speech performed at or composed for a wedding. The Latin word comes from the Greek epithalamion (ἐπιθαλάμιον), originally an adjectival form which can be applied to various genres (e.g. ἐπιθαλάμιος ὕμνος) or used as a substantive. The genre has a long and varied history from Sappho through late antiquity and beyond. At its core, however, it designates a performance or literary work which praises and encourages the bridal couple and offers them communal recognition. Epithalamia often feature refrains, sometimes variants of the ritual cry hymen hymenaee or other significant phrases. They have a strong association with performance during the wedding ritual itself, an association maintained even in literary works which may not have been performed at the ceremony.The etymology of epithalamium suggests that it was originally performed before (ἐπί) the door of the wedding chamber (.


feminism and ancient literature  

Helen Morales

Feminism does not refer to one coherent theory, doctrine, or political movement. The range of movements and ideologies that thrive under the term feminism, however, are all committed to political and social change. Feminism recognises that we live in a patriarchal world, that is to say a world in which women are, and have historically been, oppressed by and unequal to men. It opposes this, and strives to change existing power structures so that people of all genders and races have control over their own bodies, have equal opportunities and value, can participate fully in community life, and are allowed to live with dignity and freedom.

What has this to do with ancient literature? There are several significant ways in which feminism and ancient literature interact. Ancient literature, particularly ancient Greek tragedy and myth, has played a formative role in shaping feminist theory. Feminism encourages scholars to uncover and reevaluate a tradition of women’s writing. Feminism has provided the tools for us better to understand how ancient literature functioned to promote, and sometimes to challenge, the misogynist practices of ancient Greek and Roman societies. Scholars have detected feminism, or proto-feminism, in ancient writing. Queer theory and feminism join forces to mine ancient literature for alternatives to hetero, cisgender, and gender binary models of identity. Feminism has changed the field of ancient literary studies by valuing authors and genres that are sensitive to the perspectives of women of all ethnicities and statuses. Finally, ancient literature is used to serve contemporary activism: Greek and Latin texts are used by modern feminist authors who rewrite and creatively adapt ancient literature, and classicists resist the use of ancient literature to promote misogyny and white supremacy.



Kelly L. Wrenhaven

In ancient Greece and Rome, masturbation was viewed with good-humored disdain. Although it was not apparently subject to the same kinds of scathing attacks that Greek comedy makes on male same-sex activity, it was certainly connected with a lack of sophistication. In line with sexual subjects in general, references are found primarily in Greek comedy and sympotic art of the Archaic and Classical periods, where it is typically associated with barbarians, slaves, and satyrs, all of whom fall into the category of the “Other,” or the anti-ideal. All were deemed lacking in sophrosyne (“moderation”) and enkratia (“self-control”) and were associated with uncivilized behavior. The Greeks had a varied terminology for masturbation. The most commonly found verb is dephesthai (“to soften”), but several other words and euphemisms were used (e.g. cheirourgon, “self-stimulation”).1The comedies of Aristophanes (1) provide the majority of references to masturbation and largely associate it with slaves. The lengthiest reference is a joke that occurs near the beginning of Knights, when Slave B tells Slave A to masturbate in order to give himself courage.


Moero, of Byzantium  

Richard Hunter

Female poet of late 4th–early 3rd cent. bce. Only scanty remains survive: ten verses from the hexameter Mnemosyne, two epigrams, a summary of a story of cruelty and mad passion from her Ἀραί (‘Curses’), and the mention of a Hymn to Poseidon. Her son, Homeros, was one of the tragic *Pleiad in *Alexandria (1).


Nossis, fl. c. 300 BCE  

Alan Douglas Edward Cameron

Nossis (fl. c. 300 bce), Greek poetess from Epizephyrian Locri (see locri epizephyrii), author of a dozen epigrams from *Meleager(2)'s Garland in the Greek *anthology, mostly inscriptions for votive offerings and works of art. She compares herself to Sappho (Anth. Pal. 7. 718), and 5. 170 implies that she also wrote love poetry.



Richard Seaford

Phallus, an image of the penis, often as erect, to be found in various contexts, in particular (a) in certain rituals associated with fertility, notably Dionysiac *processions (see dionysus): see e.g. Ar. Ach.243 on the Attic rural Dionysia (see attic cults and myths), *Semos in Ath. 622b-c on groups of ‘ithyphallics’ and ‘phallus-bearers’, *Varro in Aug. Civ. 7. 21 ‘for the success of seeds’ at the Liberalia (see liber pater);(b) as a sacred object revealed in the Dionysiac *mysteries, as in the Villa of the Mysteries fresco at *Pompeii; *Iamblichus (2) (Myst. 1. 11) mentions it as a symbol of secret doctrine;(c) in the costume of comedy (see comedy (greek), old), *satyric drama, and various low theatrical genres; *Aristotle (Poet. 1449a11) says that comedy originated in phallic songs;(d) on permanent display, often as part of a statue such as those of *Priapus or the *herms identified with *Hermes;(e) as apotropaic: e.


sexuality, textual representation of  

Marilyn B. Skinner

The basic dominance-submission model of sexual relations, involving a hierarchical distinction between the active and passive roles, was the same in Greek and Roman cultures and remained unchanged throughout classical antiquity. However, we find subtle modifications reflected in the literary tradition from the Homeric age to imperial Rome. In Homer and Hesiod, heterosexual relations are the only recognized form of sexual congress, and consensual sex is mutually pleasurable. Forced sex, in the form of abduction and rape, also occurs in epic narrative. Pederasty became a literary theme in Greek lyric poetry of the archaic age. In classical Athens, discourses of sexuality were tied to political ideology, because self-control was a civic virtue enabling the free adult male householder to manage his estate correctly and serve the city-state in war and peace. Tragedy illustrates the dire impact of unbridled erōs, while comedy mocks those who trespass against moderation or violate gender norms, and forensic oratory seeks to disqualify such offenders from participating in government. Philosophical schools disagreed over the proper place of erōs in a virtuous life.