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Eros at DuskAncient Wedding and Love Poetry$
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Katherine Wasdin

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190869090

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190869090.001.0001

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Persuasive Violence

Persuasive Violence

(p.195) 7 Persuasive Violence
Eros at Dusk

Katherine Wasdin

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the connection between sexual violence and persuasion, first by identifying a grouping of similar poems that narrate female defloration. Defloration poems displace accounts of violence onto female narrators and downplay them in the voices of the official (male) narrators. Such accounts are found in both wedding and erotic poetry, indicating a point of cultural overlap. Physical force does appear as eroticized titillation in other erotic poems, especially those of Latin love elegy, and this topos is borrowed by Claudian in a wedding poem for the emperor Honorius. In all of these texts, physical violence works together with verbal persuasion to sexually coerce women, both brides and beloveds.

Keywords:   persuasion, consent, sexual violence, Oaristys, Claudian

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