Women on Top: Livia and Andromache

Alessandro Barchiesi

in The Art of Love

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780199277773
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191708138 | DOI:
Women on Top: Livia and Andromache

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This chapter sees both the Leges Iuliae and the Ars Amatoria as creative attempts to redraw the boundaries for different groups of women. Focussing on two named individuals – the historical ‘first lady’ Livia and the mythological Andromache – it demonstrates the ways in which these two women at one time represent polar opposites (the ideal wife and the concubine respectively), and at another appear to occupy a ‘middle ground’ between the two poles. The instability of female categorisation in the Ars is, in turn, a (playful) commentary on the negotiation of gender roles in the Augustan age.

Keywords: Ars Amatoria; love; Augustus; politics; Rome; Livia; Andromache

Chapter.  10295 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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