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Exemplary TraitsReading Characterization in Roman Poetry$
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J. Mira Seo

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199734283

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199734283.001.0001

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Parthenopaeus and mors immatura in Statius’ Thebaid

Parthenopaeus and mors immatura in Statius’ Thebaid

(p.122) 4 Parthenopaeus and mors immatura in Statius’ Thebaid
Exemplary Traits

J. Mira Seo

Oxford University Press

“Parthenopaeus and mors immatura in Statius’ Thebaid.” This chapter explores the construction of a super-trope and its narrative implications. The pederastic poetics of Ovid’s Orpheus are referentially embodied in Statius’ ephebic Parthenopaeus: Statius synthesizes multiple traditions into a consistent set of physical traits and poetic topoi that signify the Doomed Ephebe. Seneca’s Hippolytus (discussed in the appendix) is an important antecedent. This essentialized portrait of ephebic death contains a voyeuristic eroticism that corresponds to Domitianic sexual practices and aesthetic norms.

Keywords:   Thebaid, Parthenopaeus, Ovid’s Orpheus, Doomed Ephebe, Domitianic sculpture, pederastic epigram, hair

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