Brill's Companion to Episodes of 'Heroic' Rape/Abduction in Classical Antiquity and Their Reception


Sexual violence is one of the oldest and most difficult problems of humankind. Many of the “love stories” in Classical Greek and Roman Myth are tales of rape, a fact that is often casually glossed over in both popular and scholarly treatments of these narratives. Through a careful selection of stories, this book provides a deep exploration of rape in Classical Myth as well as in the works of art and literature that have responded to it through the millennia. The volume offers an essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand sexual violence from different perspectives and through an interdisciplinary approach, which includes Trauma Theory and Evolutionary Psychology.

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Rosanna Lauriola (Ph.D. Greek and Latin Philology, University of Firenze, Italy) is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Randolph Macon College (Virginia, USA). She has published many papers, book chapters, and some books on a variety of authors and topics of Greek literature and its reception, including Brill’s Companion to the Reception of Euripides (2015) and Brill’s Companion to the Reception of Sophocles (2017).
"Tracing the presentation, from the earliest tellings of their stories to our own day, of four of the many mortal women of Graeco-Roman myth on whom Zeus/Jupiter cast a lustful eye, with an indignation that blazes from every page, Lauriola indicts the king of the gods as a serial rapist (along with several other male gods and heroes), and – more importantly – indicts also the overwhelming majority of poets, artists, critics and scholars whose evasions and euphemisms have distracted attention from the criminality of the perpetrators and the suffering of their victims – and are still doing so." Alan Sommerstein, University of Nottingham, UK. ' “Brill's Companion to Episodes of ‘Heroic’ Rape/Abduction in Classical Antiquity and Their Reception” is overall a strong analysis of ancient myth. It treats ancient examples of violence with meticulous attention that they have up to this point rarely been afforded in scholarship. Lauriola’s book will be useful to academics who wish to analyze ancient myth through an outlook that centers women’s experiences, and it is applaudable for its tact and respect.' Hannah E. Gadway, The Harvard Crimson, July 29 2023.
List of Figures

1 Introduction
 1 Why Rape? A Prefatory Note
 2 Rape/Abduction: What’s in a Name?
 3 Patriarchy and ‘Rape Culture’: The Pervasiveness and the Overlooking of Rape in Classical Antiquity
 4 The Perspectives, Objectives, and Methodology of This Study: For an Operational Definition of Rape
 5 Mapping Out This Study

2 Episodes of ‘Heroic’ Rape/Abduction in Classical Antiquity and Their Reception
 1 Zeus, the “Master Rapist”: A Selection of His ‘Many Rapes’

3 Conclusion

Index Locorum
Index of Modern Authors
Index of Works of Art
Index of Subjects
This book would be of immediate relevance for a various and diverse readership: from classicists to specialists in Humanities’ and Social Science’s subfields; from scholars to teachers, students, and lay readers. With rape being the focus, due to the different approaches to the subject and the emphasis on the reception, this companion would represent a rich source of material for persons interested in particular in gender/women studies, psychology, comparative literature, and art history as well.
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