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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.21) 2 Deidameia
Achilles in Love

Marco Fantuzzi

Oxford University Press

After investigating Homer's complete silence on Achilles' stay at Scyros and the hints he makes about the military character of Achilles' visit to the island in the “Iliad”, much time is devoted to arguing that the poems of the Epic Cycle were also silent about Achilles' cross-dressing. The tragedy “Scyrioi” by Euripides appears to have dwelt mainly on the indecision and psychological drama of Achilles' last days at Scyros. The derogatory reconstruction of the motivations behind Achilles' stay (dodging the draft) dominates Lycophron's presentation of the myth, which is told from the hostile view-point of Cassandra. Greek and Latin poetry of the second/first century BC transforms the myth into an apotheosis of love. Statius intervenes to provide a new balance between epic dignification and eroticism.

Keywords:   Scyros, Euripides' Skyrioi, Achilles' youth, Epic Cycle, Second Sophistic, Homeric and Bucolic, Epithalamium of Achilles and Deidameia, cross-dressing, epic dignification, Ovid, Latin elegy, ideas of virility, Latin idea of sexuality

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