On my view this identification does much to account for the difference between the negative figuration of Juno in Virgil’s Aeneid and Hera’s comparatively positive portrayal in the Argonautica. See B. F. McManus, Classics and Feminism: Gendering the Classics, New York, 1997, p. 96-107, who draws on the work of G. Duerst-Lahti and R. M. Kelly (eds.), Gender Power, Leadership, and Governance, Ann Arbor, 1995, in order to distinguish “sex-role crossovers” (the appropriation of characteristics normally attributed to a different sex), from “transgendered behaviors” that are appropriate for different sexes yet still affected by gender expectations. As McManus explains, Virgil’s destructive Juno is in keeping with the gender polarization of the Aeneid but contrasts with the “luminous transgendered moments” in the representation of Dido and Camilla (p. 107).
Argos has requested aid from Chalciope, but the scene is not narrated. See M. G. Plantinga, “The Supplication Motif in Apollonius Rhodius’ Argonautica”, p. 113, in M. A. Harder, R. F. Regtuit and G. C. Wakker (eds.), Apollonius Rhodius, Leuven, 2000, p. 105-128.
R. Parker, Miasma: Pollution and Purification in Early Greek Religion, Oxford, 1983, p. 181; M. G. Plantinga, op. cit., p. 106.
A few lines later Medea manipulates the Argonauts by mentioning this supplication (4.1047-49): “you are not ashamed at the sight of me helplessly stretching my hands to the knees of a foreign queen.”
Cf. R. V. Albis, Poet and Audience in the Argonautica of Apollonius, Lanham, MD, 1996, p. 112-113, on the predominance of female aid in the Argonautica, esp. in the second half of the poem.
In Homer dynamis is used of strength in combat (Il. 8.294; 13.786, 22.20; Od. 20.237; 21.202; 23.1280); cf. discussions of skill in expression (Gorg. fr. 11 l. 87; Dion. Hal. Thuc. 5), the physicality of animals and the young (e.g., Xen. Cyn. 10.17.1; Antiph. 3.2.10) or the body in general (Aristotle; medical writers). It is also used of divine aid to mortals (e.g., Hes. Th. 420 (Hecate); Posidippus 101.2 (Asclepius)); cf. Pindar’s appeal to for the aid of Tolma (“Daring”) and Dynamis (Ol. 9. 82), as well an individual’s ability to help or benefit others (Pl. Symp. 218e1; Xen. Oec. 7.14; Eur. Tro. 1144). Others commonly associate dynamis with political domination by gods (Pind. Ol. 13.83, Nem. 6.3; Eur. Alc. 220, Orest. 1546), monarchs (Aesch. Pers. 174; Hdt. 3.142.9; 3.155.6, and esp. 8.140.30), or states and other political groups (Hdt. 8.143.3; Thuc. 1.21.3; 2.41.2; 2.97.3; 6.16.2; Dem. Olynth. 2.14; Xen. Hell. 4.2.17; 5.2.15; Ar. Lys. 698).
The association is not always consistent: Hypsipyle is unmarried but politically adept; Medea’s marriage brings her exile rather than influence.
It is also true that the solar gaze of Helios’ descendants is hard to return: 4.683-84, 727-29.
M. B. Skinner, “Woman and Language in Archaic Greece, or, Why is Sappho a Woman?”, in N. S. Rabinowitz and A. Richlin (eds.), Feminist Theory and the Classics, New York and London, 1993, p. 125-144: “Language in a patriarchal culture originates with man, who locates himself as discursive subject and positive reference point of thought; woman is relegated simultaneously to the negative pole of any conceptual antithesis and to a subordinate object position. She can be defined only in terms of her alterity, named in a way that inevitably reduces itself to ‘not-man.’ Linguistic transgression, then, must necessarily precede and facilitate her political resistance” (p. 125). See e.g., J. S. Clay’s discussion of the Homeric Hymns: “The permanence and stability of Zeus’ cosmos demands, in turn, a concomitant restriction of the female with her disruptive powers of seduction and her dangerous potential for producing a rival or successor to Zeus” (The Wrath of Athena: Gods and Men in the Odyssey, Lanham, Boulder, New York and London, 2nd ed. 1997, p. 268).
See Goldhill (1995), p. 137-142.
J. Redfield, The Locrian Maidens. Love and Death in Greek Italy, Princeton, 2003, p. 26. Women were often denied participation in sacrifices, however: M. Dillon, Girls and Women in Classical Greek Religion, London and New York, 2002, p. 236-267.
L. Meynell, “Introduction: Minding Bodies”, p. 5, in S. Campbell, L. Meynell and S. Sherwin (eds.), Embodiment and Agency, University Park, 2009, p. 1-21; see further L. Schiebinger, The Mind has no Sex? Women and the Origins of Modern Science, Cambridge, MA, 1989; N Tuana, The Less Noble Sex: Scientific, Religious, and Philosophical Conceptions of Woman’s Nature, Bloomington, 1993.
K. J. Gutzwiller and A. N. Michelini, “Women and Other Strangers: Feminist Perspectives in Classical Literature”, p. 71, in J. E. Hartman and E. Messer-Davidow (eds.) (En)Gendering Knowledge: Feminists in Academe, Knoxville, 1991, p. 66-84.
Ibidem, p. 74.
Ibidem, p. 82, n. 45.
K. J. Gutzwiller, A Guide to Hellenistic Literature, Malden and Oxford, 2007, p. 190-191. On differences in the characterization of the monarchy, see most recently Stefano Caneva, “Courtly love, stars, and power. The Queen in Third-century Royal Couples, through Poetry and Epigraphic Texts”, presented at the Groningen Workshop on Hellenistic Poetry in Context (August 2010).
S. Pomeroy, Women in Hellenistic Egypt. From Alexander to Cleopatra, Detroit, 1990, xvii-xviii.
M. B. Skinner, “Nossis Thêlyglôssis. The Private Text and the Public Book”, p. 124-125, in E. Greene (ed.), Women Poets in Ancient Greece and Rome, Norman, 2005, p. 112-138; K. J. Gutzwiller, “Genre Development and Gendered Voices in Erinna and Nossis”, in Y. Prins and M. Shreiber (eds.), Dwelling in Possibility: Women Poets and Critics on Poetry, Ithaca and London, 1997, p. 202-222. On the extant works of Nossis and other Hellenistic women poets (Anyte, Moero, and Erinna), see J. M. Snyder, The Woman and the Lyre. Women Writers in Classical Greece and Rome, Carbondale and Edwardsville, 1989, p. 64-98.
M. B. Skinner, “Nossis Thêlyglôssis. The Private Text and the Public Book”, op. cit., p. 127-128; M. B. Skinner, “Woman and Language in Archaic Greece, or, Why is Sappho a Woman?”, op. cit., p. 216-221, citing O. Crusius, Untersuchungen zu den Mimiamben des Herondas, Leipzig, 1892.
K. J. Gutzwiller, “Genre Development and Gendered Voices in Erinna and Nossis”, op. cit., p. 203.
A. Lardinois, “Keening Sappho. Female Speech Genres in Sappho’s Poetry”, in A. Lardinois and L. McClure (eds.), Making Silence Speak: Women’s Voices in Greek Literature and Society, Princeton, 2001, p. 74-92.
On the range of Helen’s characterization, see N. Worman, “This Voice Which is Not One: Helen’s Verbal Disguises in Homeric Epic”, in A. Lardinois and L. McClure (eds.), Making Silence Speak: Women’s Voices in Greek Literature and Society, op. cit., p. 19-37.
J. S. Clay, op. cit.; L. M. Slatkin, The Power of Thetis. Allusion and Interpretation in the Iliad, Berkeley, 1991.
Characterized by A. Adkins, Merit and Responsibility, Oxford, 1960, as the “quiet” or “weaker” virtues: see K. J. Gutzwiller and A. N. Michelini, “Women and Other Strangers: Feminist Perspectives in Classical Literature”, op. cit., p. 69-75, on the alteration of gender values in the Hellenistic period.
Arsinoe was already a mother, as she had had three sons with her first husband, Lysimachus of Thrace: her second husband (and half-brother) Ptolemy Ceraunus was said to have killed two during the wedding celebration (Justin 24.2-3; Trogus, Prolog. 24.5).
See, e.g., S. M. Burstein, “Arsinoë Philadelphos: A Revisionist View.”, in W. L. Adams and E. N. Borza (eds.), Philip II, Alexander the Great, and the Macedonian Heritage, Washington, 1982, p. 197-212; E. Carney, “The reappearance of royal sibling marriage in Ptolemaic Egypt”, PP 42, 1987, p. 420-439; R. A. Hazzard, Imagination of a Monarchy: Studies in Ptolemaic Propaganda, Toronto and Buffalo, 2000, p. 81-100; W. Huß, Ägypten in hellenistischer Zeit 332-30 v. Chr., Munich, 2001, p. 306; S. Ager, op. cit.; K. Buraselis, “The Problem of the Ptolemaic Sibling Marriage: A Case of Dynastic Acculturation?”, in P. McKechnie and P. Guillaume (eds.), Ptolemy II Philadelphus and his World, Leiden and Boston, 2008, p. 291-302.
On royal Egyptian brother-sister marriage, see S. Pomeroy, op. cit., p. 16. On poetic references to the royal marriage, see Bouché-Leclercq (1903) p. 163 with n. 2. The marriage took place at some point after the removal of Arsinoe I, in approximately 275: Shipley (2000) p. 275; S. A. Stephens, Seeing Double: Intercultural Poetics in Ptolemaic Alexandria, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 2003, p. 147. G. A. Hölbl, A History of the Ptolemaic Empire, tr. T. Saavedra, London and New York, 2001, dates the marriage to before 274 (see appendix), while R. A. Hazzard, op. cit., p. 90, dates the marriage to 273/2. On brother-sister marriage see further K. Hopkins, “Brother-sister Marriage in Roman Egypt”, Comparative Studies in Society and History 20, 1980, p. 303-354.
R. Hunter, The Argonautica of Apollonius: literary studies, Cambridge, 1993, p. 161-162; A. Mori, “Personal Favor and Public Influence. Arete, Arsinoë II, and the Argonautica”, OT 16, 2001, p. 85-106. See R. A. Hazzard, op. cit., p. 91-92 on the practice of flattering kings by praising Zeus.
“Familiarity breeds: Incest and the Ptolemaic dynasty.” JHS 125, 2005, p. 1-34.
On the Ptolemaic affinity for tryphe, see also J. Tondriau, “La tryphe: philosophie royale ptolémaïque”, RÉA 50, 1948, p. 49-54; U. Cozzoli, “La truphê nella interpretazione delle crisi politiche”, in Tra Grecia e Roma: Temi antichi e metodologie moderne,Rome, 1980, p. 133-45.
For an overview of the debate see R. A. Hazzard, op. cit., p. 82-100, esp. 96-99.
The strongest proponent of the “weak Arsinoe” thesis is S. M Burstein (op.cit.). S. Pomeroy, op. cit., p. 17-20, argues for her dominance, although she observes that written evidence supports Burstein’s view. See also G. Longega, Arsinoë II, Rome, 1968; E. Bevan, The House of Ptolemy: A History of Egypt under the Ptolemaic Dynasty, Chicago, 1968 ; G. H. Macurdy, Hellenistic Queens: A Study of Woman-Power in Macedonia, Seleucid Syria, and Ptolemaic Egypt, Baltimore, 1932 (reprint 1985).
“In the 260s, the Greeks attributed to her a strong influence on Ptolemaic foreign policy which was now strongly anti-Macedonian and eventually led to the Chremonidean war”, G. A. Hölbl, op. cit., p 40, n. 28 (Syll. I3, 34/35, 41.17). See further M. Fantuzzi and R. Hunter, Tradition and Innovation in Hellenistic Poetry, Cambridge, 2004, p. 380-381; H. Hauben, “Aspects du culte des souverains a l’époque des Lagid”, in L. Criscuolo and G. Geraci (eds.), Egitto e storia antica dall’ ellenismo all’età araba, Bologna, 1989, p. 441-467.
S. M. Burstein, op. cit., p 208.
R. A. Hazzard, op. cit., p. 95-96; S. Pomeroy, op. cit., p. 17-20; J. Rowlandson (ed.), Women and Society in Greek and Roman Egypt. A Sourcebook, Cambridge, 1998, p. 30-31.
“The Foreign Policy of Ptolemy II”, in P. McKechnie and P. Guillaume (eds.), Ptolemy II Philadelphus and his World, Leiden and Boston, 2008, p. 39-64.
“The Languages of Praise: 3: Posidippus and the Ideology of Kingship”, in M. Fantuzzi and R. Hunter, Tradition and Innovation in Hellenistic Poetry, op. cit., p. 377-403.
This is truer of male gods than female. D. C. Feeney, The Gods in Epic. Poets and Critics of the Classical Tradition, Oxford, 1991, remarks that “Apollonius for long keeps us in suspense as to how (or even, perhaps, whether) he will represent the gods in the narrative” (p. 69); yet he also notes that “Hera is as much part of the narrative as any Argonaut, with speech, gesture, and emotion figured in the text, while Zeus, with whose name she is so often linked as consort, is not with her ever, nor once represented in the narrative” (p. 65).
R. Hunter, The Argonautica of Apollonius: literary studies, op. cit., p. 78-79.
Hera puts courage into Ancaeus 2.865; fear into Medea 4.11.
For further discussion of this episode see also A. Mori, “Personal Favor and Public Influence. Arete, Arsinoë II, and the Argonautica”, OT 16, 2001, p. 85-106, and The Politics of Apollonius Rhodius’ Argonautica, Cambridge, 2008, p. 127-139.
R. Hunter, The Argonautica of Apollonius: literary studies, op. cit., p. 70-71.
On the Egyptian king as intermediary, see further A. Mori, The Politics of Apollonius Rhodius’ Argonautica, op. cit., p. 146-149; on the ideology of Egyptian kingship see S. A. Stephens, Seeing Double: Intercultural Poetics in Ptolemaic Alexandria, op. cit., p. 49-64.
The Transformation of Hera. A Study of Ritual, Hero, and the Goddess in the Iliad, Lanham, 1993.
Phineus (3.555), Jason (3.575), Circe (4.688), and Apollo (2.519) each are said to make a command at one point.
Cf. 1.242 “Ζεῦ ἄνα, τίς Πελίαο νόος…;” (“King Zeus, what does Pelias intend?”).
R. Hunter, The Argonautica of Apollonius: literary studies, op. cit., p. 87-88: “Hera dominates the second half of the poem but disappears from the action possibly because the homecoming is assured…”Haut de page