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Ritual and Religion in Flavian Epic
Oxford University Press
This chapter examines the representation of young women’s rituals in Statius’ Achilleid. The poem shows female ritual activity (expressed through Bacchic rites, choral dancing, and collective worship of Pallas) as bestowing the young women of Scyros with a power that appears capable of containing (or at least delaying) the manifestation of Achilles’ masculinity. The girls’ agency is indicated in three ways: the power of their beauty and sexuality to attract and potentially dominate men; their association with Amazons; and their performance of Bacchic rituals. An analysis of these narrative strategies reveals that Statius invests typical motifs associated with women with an exceptional power that renders the young women capable of posing a threat to the full articulation of masculinity.
This material was originally published in "Ritual and Religon in Flavian Epic" edited by Antony Augoustakis and has been reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press https://www.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199644094.001.0001 and http://global.oup.com/academic. For permission to reuse this material, please visit http://global.oup.com/academic/rights.
Panoussi, V. (2013). Dancing in Scyros: Masculinity and Young Women’s Rituals in the Achilleid. Antony Augoustakis (Ed.), Ritual and Religion in Flavian Epic . Oxford University Press. https://scholarworks.wm.edu/asbookchapters/143