2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

Echoes of Sapphic Voices: Masculine Constructions in the Catullan Corpus
David J. Giovagnoli
Dr. Rebecca Harrison and Prof. Alex Tetlak, Faculty Mentors

The Roman vir is always strong at war, in the forum, and in love. This is the image that is passed down to us by many writers of the Late Republican and Early Augustan periods. This view was not a universal representation of the daily life of the Romans, but was a literary ideal. This reading of Catullus works adds balance to that monolithic portrayal of masculinity in antiquity by presenting many distinct personae, and by identifying perspective shifts within the corpus. Catullus 16 is invective against those who question the speakers masculinity, Catullus 5 demonstrates reciprocity between Catullus and Lesbia, Catullus 51 and 75 suggest the speakers passivity towards his female lover, and Catullus 51 displays all three tones when dealing with a male paramour. These performed selves of Catullus personae represent a series of more flexible masculine constructions and deepen our understanding of the range of Roman masculinity.

Keywords: Catullus, Masculinity, Gender, Sappho, Latin, Poetry, Rome, Classics

Women's and Gender Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 412-4
Location: VH 1324
Time: 3:15

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