What is Named by the Name “Philaenis”?

Gender, function, and authority of an antonomastic figure 1

Authored by: Sandra Boehringer

Sex in Antiquity

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  December  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415519410
eBook ISBN: 9781315747910
Adobe ISBN: 9781317602774


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Antiquity has left us few works by women. Even if recent research by specialists in the Greek and Roman worlds sometimes enables us to discover unpublished fragments, learn new names, and bring to light aspects of women’s participation in the cultural, scientific, and artistic life of political communities, it is undeniable that they play only a minor part in the record that has come down to us. The reasons for this are numerous and vary greatly according to period and geographical area in the ancient world, but one can say with justice that, in general, the vast majority of those to whom the ancients attribute authorship of a work – “the author function” 3 (in choral works, epic, drama, epigram, and historiography) – are men.

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