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Title:Gender, text, and the body in Martial’s Epigrams
Author(s):Wells, Jessica Rose
Director of Research:Williams, Craig
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Williams, Craig
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Augoustakis, Antonios; Tzanetou, Angeliki; Walters, Brian
Department / Program:Classics
Discipline:Classical Philology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Epigram
Latin
Latin epigram
gender
text
body
corpus
book
masculinity
mentula
macro-epigrammatic
plagiarism
self-presentation
poetry
Latin poetry
Roman poetry
Martial
Martialis
Marcus Valerius Martialis
castration
emasculation
Galla
Gallus
Cybele
Priapus
ithyphallic
liber
libellus
epigramma
metaliterary
poetological
dactylic hexameter
elegiac couplet
hegemonic masculinity
elegiac puella
humor
identity
publication
vulnerability
elegy
epic
modification
mutilation
body alteration
vir
phallic
eunuch
castrate
emasculate
Abstract:The expression “body of work” has long been used to describe the creative output of an author or artist, and the Latin word corpus is traditionally used to signify the bulk of a textual work because it represents a whole being made of many parts. This dissertation explores Martial’s Epigrams to ask how the poet presents his own work as a whole, gendered entity within its generic context. This dissertation undertakes a close textual analysis of epigrams that prominently feature body imagery for the text and textual imagery applied to the body. The analysis reveals that the text of the epigrams is often figured as a phallic male, but that the text may be figured as a more vulnerable body (e.g., that of a woman, boy, or an emasculated man, “gallus”) to demonstrate moments when the text is most at risk of theft or alteration; this vulnerability is especially applicable to pre-published texts. The research suggests that the figuration of a body of text as a phallically aggressive man presents the text as authoritative and the genre as a worthy form of literature. In the first chapter, I focus on the representations of “wrong” bodies or bodies in need of correcting. In chapter 2, I define various terms in Latin and English and give a brief cultural background before I introduce the idea of the text as an altered male body; the poet employs this imagery to threaten poetic rivals and situate his own text in an authoritative position. In the third chapter, I argue that Book 3 of Martial’s Epigrams is presented as a “macro-epigrammatic” text: the book itself is structured as if it were a large-scale, bipartite epigram, and the joke contained within hinges on the identity of the book as a vir (“man”), not a gallus (“emasculated man”) as the book’s first poem suggests.
Issue Date:2019-11-27
Type:Text
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/106222
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Jessica Wells
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-03-02
Date Deposited:2019-12


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