Subeunt Amazones: Tracing the Amazons in Statius' Achilleid

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Abstract

This article investigates the presence of Amazonian imagery in Statius' Achilleid. It begins by uncovering intertexts to Aeneid 1 in the arrival of Ulysses and Diomedes on Scyros (Ach. 1.726–58), which create a layer of erotic tension that is vital for the interpretation of the ensuing simile comparing Achilles, Deidamia, and Lycomedes' daughters with Amazons (Ach. 1.758–60). A comprehensive analysis of the simile allows a re-examination of Statius' echoes to the portrayals of Hippolyte and Theseus in Thebaid 12, and draws attention to previously unnoticed parallels with Virgil's Aeneid. The final section of the article examines the broader context of the Amazon simile, eliciting intertextual points of contact with Ovid's Metamorphoses 7 and Valerius Flaccus' Argonautica 5, emphasising in particular the importance of the underlying recruitment theme. Statius' deployment of Amazonian imagery in the Achilleid is seen to be intrinsically tied to the poem's gender fluidity, and the poet's innovative narrative technique.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-349
Number of pages29
JournalAmerican Journal of Philology
Volume144
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 2023

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