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Achilles in LoveIntertextual Studies$
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Marco Fantuzzi

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199603626

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199603626.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Achilles in Love

Marco Fantuzzi

Oxford University Press

Synchronic typology of Achilles loves (and transvestism), compared to the loves (and transvestism) of Heracles, another of the most invincible heroes of Greek mythology: Achilles and Heracles as boundary-breaking heroes. Diachrony of the fortune of Achilles' loves. After Homer's silence, the Epic Cycle must have narrated some of them to some extent, though not without developing a sort of debate, in the Aethiopis, on their epic propriety. Finally, tragedy indulged in (re-)constructing Achilles' erotic passions with no censorious stance at all. The negative viewpoint of Alessandra (Cassandra) in her re-writing of the Iliad in a anti-Greek perspective led Lycophron to elaborate a first summary of Achilles' erotic life. This perspective was totally reversed by the Latin erotic poets of the 1st cent. BC and AD. But reactions of indignation at Achilles' erotic debauchery and opposite attempts at a dignified restoration of his heroism never stopped, at least from the Hellenistic age onwards, at both the level of interpretation of existing texts and mythopoiesis of new texts.

Keywords:   Heracles, heroism, Epic Cycle, Lycophron, tragedy and Eros, epic “distance”, epic hero, epic prepon = “decency”, character consistency, Homeric scholarship, Horace, Ars poetica

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