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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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Comrades in Love

Comrades in Love

(p.187) 4 Comrades in Love
Achilles in Love

Marco Fantuzzi

Oxford University Press

The dynamics of the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus is investigated through an analysis of their stories; this analysis sticks to the text of the “Iliad” as much as possible, avoiding the over-sexualized interpretations of some ancient and modern scholars. The result is that Homer is found to place great emphasis on the special intensity of this relationship, which however is markedly asexual and in tune with the Iliadic refusal of investigating sexuality as a male concern. The homosexual interpretation of Achilles' and Patroclus' relationship is explored through its Latin replicas in Virgil, Ovid and Statius.

Keywords:   homosexuality in Ancient Greece / Rome, friendship in Ancient Greece, Eros and the poetics of tragedy, Homer and Plato, Patroclus, Statius, Ovid, epic dignification, politics of dirge, contrasting value in Virgil's epos

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