Maternal Conceptions in Classical Literature and Philosophy
Unlike many studies of the family in the ancient world, this volume presents readings of mothers in classical literature, including philosophical and epigraphic writing as well as poetic texts. Rather than relying on a male viewpoint, the essays offer a female perspective on the lifecycle of motherhood.
Although almost all ancient authors are men, this book nevertheless aims to carefully unpack the role of the mother – not as projected by the son or other male relations, but from a woman’s own experiences – in order to better understand how they perceived themselves and their families. Because the primary interest is in the mothers themselves, rather than the authors of the texts in which they appear, the work is organized according to the lifecycle of motherhood instead of the traditional structure of the chronology of male authors. The chronology of the male authors ranges from classical Greece to late antiquity, while the motherly lifecycle ranges from pre-conception to the commemoration of offspring who have died before their mothers.
- Series: Phoenix Supplementary Volumes
- World Rights
- Page Count: 400 pages
- Illustrations: 3
- Dimensions: 6.5in x 1.3in x 9.3in
"Maternal Conceptions in Classical Literature and Philosophy is a compelling and exciting collection that thoughtfully deals with motherly grief, authority, and wisdom, and will offer much to scholars and students on the topics of women in antiquity and ancient sexuality and gender."
Erika Damer, Department of Classical Studies, University of Richmond
"Featuring a truly stellar list of contributors, Maternal Conceptions in Classical Literature and Philosophy makes significant contributions to the study of motherhood in the ancient world, and presents deep and thorough discussions of well-defined themes and original theses."
Patricia Salzman-Mitchell, Department of Classics and General Humanities, Montclair State University
Author InformationAlison Sharrock is a professor in the Department of Classics, Ancient History, Archaeology, and Egyptology at the University of Manchester.
Alison Keith is a professor in the Departments of Classics and Women’s Studies and the director of the Jackman Humanities Institute at the University of Toronto.
Table of contents
Alison Keith, University of Toronto, Mairéad McAuley, University College London, and Alison Sharrock, University of Manchester
2. Uncanny Mothers in Roman Literature
Mairéad McAuley, University College London
Section 1: Mothers and Young Children
3. From Body to Behaviour: Maternal Transmission in the Ancient Greek World
Florence Gherchanoc, Université Paris Diderot, ANHIMA Centre
4. Νωδυνία: l’Oubli des souffrances maternelles et le chant théocritéen
Florence Klein, Charles de Gaulle University
5. "Nimis mater": Mother Plot and Epic Deviation in the Achilleid
Federica Bessone, Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy
6. Augustan Maternal Ideology: The Blended Families of Octavia and Venus
Judith P. Hallett, University of Maryland
Section 2: Mothers and Their Children’s Marriages
7. Motherhood in Roman Epithalamia
Henriette Harich-Schwarzbauer, Universität Basel, Switzerland
8. The Roman Mother-in-Law
Alison Sharrock, University of Manchester
Section 3: Mothers and Adult Children
9. maximum Thebis (Romae?) scelus/maternus amor est (Oed. 629-30): Amour de la mère et inceste chez Sénèque
Jacqueline Fabre-Serris, Charles de Gaulle University
10. Mighty Mothers: Female Political Theorists in Euripides’ Suppliant Women and Phoenician Women
Giulia Sissa, University of California
11. Wife, Mother, Philosopher: On the Symbolic Function of Augustine’s Monnica
Therese Fuhrer, Ludwig Maximilians Universität
Section 4: Mothers and the Death of Their Children
12. Virgilian Matres: From Maternal Lament to Female Sedition in the Aeneid
Alison Keith, University of Toronto
13. Octavia: A Roman Mother in Mourning
Valerie Hope, The Open University
14. Mothers as Dedicators
Olympia Bobou, Aarhus University, Denmark
Subjects and Courses