Open to faculty and students.
Ovid’s Fasti, a poetic description of the Roman religious calendar and its reinvention under the emperor Augustus, contains in its second book a harrowing catalogue of female silencing and violation that centers around the story of the “mute goddess” Tacita and ends with the rape of Lucretia. This talk will argue that these accounts of loss of voice have uniquely complex resonances with the work’s religious and political context: rather than simply signifying disempowerment or subjugation, silencing heralds a transformation of identity that grants the victims a new, paradoxical, and distinctively imperial form of power.
Amy Koenig is Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Miami. Her research concentrates mainly on Latin and Greek literature of the Roman Empire, and her current book project is a study of loss of voice in Roman imperial literature; she has also published work on the ancient novel, completed several entries for the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae in Munich, and edited papyri from the Oxyrhynchus collection at the University of Oxford.