Playing the Same: Roman and Non‐Roman Mothers in the <i>Punica</i>

Antony Augoustakis

in Motherhood and the Other

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199584413
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723117 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Classical Literature and Gender Theory

Playing the Same: Roman and Non‐Roman Mothers in the Punica

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This chapter examines the portrayal of Imilce, Hannibal's wife, and Masinissa's mother, i.e. of two women from the periphery of the empire, to demonstrate the significance of gendered otherness. Imilce is fashioned as a reasonable Roman matrona, who denounces child-sacrifice, yet she is marked as a hybridic, unclassified, other. By contrast, Masinissa's mother promotes alliance with the Romans and is placed within reach of the centre, as she preaches Roman ideals of fidelity and piety. At the end, Claudia Quinta's intervention for the arrival of Cybele, a foreign deity, proves that the conflation of Romanness and otherness is no longer a threat but a necessary condition for a prosperous future.

Keywords: Punica; Imilce; Masinissa's mother; Claudia Quinta; Cybele; Romanness; otherness

Chapter.  16837 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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