Introduction: Other and Same: Female Presence in Flavian Epic
This chapter examines ancient views on cosmopolitanism and the intersection of gender and ethnicity in the literature of the Neronian and Flavian periods and interprets them through the lens of Julia Kristeva's psychoanalytic theories of motherhood and foreign otherness. Kristeva's discussion of the paradoxical status of women as both central but at the same time marginalized applies to the women's presence in the epic poems under discussion, inasmuch as the heroines emerge as both autonomous and idealized but also asymbolic, bacchic/monstrous and therefore abject.
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