Representing Agrippina: Constructions of Female Power in the Early Roman Empire (Society for Classical Studies American Classical Studies)

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9780195181418: Representing Agrippina: Constructions of Female Power in the Early Roman Empire (Society for Classical Studies American Classical Studies)
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Agrippina the Younger, wife of the emperor Claudius and mother of his successor Nero, wielded power and authority at the center of the Roman empire in ways unmatched by almost any other woman in Roman history. Such, at least, is the portrait of Agrippina delivered by our sources and perpetuated in modern scholarship. In this posthumous work, Judith Ginsburg provides a fresh look at both the literary and material representations of Agrippina. Unlike previous treatments, she seeks neither to condemn nor to rehabilitate Agrippina. Nor does she endeavor to exhume the "real Agrippina" from the embellished or fabricated portraits found among the ancients. Ginsburg trains her focus on the representations themselves. Her painstaking dissection of the portrayals by historians exposes the rhetorical tropes, the recurrent motifs, and the craft that shaped the literary image of Agrippina. The designs, as Ginsburg shows, were more than literary flourishes. They aimed to blur the boundaries between the domestic and the imperial realms, deploying the image of Agrippina as domineering wife and mother to suggest the flaws and instability of the regime, a dysfunctional family entailing a dysfunctional system of governance. Gender inversions at home played themselves out on the public scene as imperial rule compromised by female ascendancy. Distorted stereotypes of the "wicked stepmother," the domineering woman, and the sexual transgessor were applied to underscore the violations of status and disruption of gender relations that characterized the imperial administration. Ginsburg has as keen an eye for visual (mis)representations as for literary ones. The depictions of Agrippina on coinage and statuary provide a stark contrast with the written evidence. She appears as matron and priestess, emblematic of domestic rectitude and public piety, and a central figure in the continuity of the dynasty. Ginsburg incisively demonstrates the means whereby Agrippina's imagery was molded both to serve the interests of the Julio-Claudian regime and to advance the ends of its critics.

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Judith Ginsburg, 1944-2002, was Associate Professor of Classics at Cornell University. Eric S. Gruen is Professor of Classics at the University of California, Berkeley

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[The editors'] decision to publish the text with only the lightest editorial intervention is entirely justified by the quality of Judith Ginsbury's work. But it is also, in its unfinished state, an affecting memorial to its author, dramatizing in its loose ends the loss of the discipline that her death represents. * Llewelyn Morgan, TLS * There is much to be praised here. * Kristina Milnor, Barnard College *

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2005. Hardback. Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Agrippina the Younger ranks as one of the most powerful women in the history of the Roman empire. Judith Ginsburg s book provides a fresh look at both the literary and material representations of Agrippina. Her incisive study exposes both the contrivances of the commissioned artists whose idealized portraits served to buttress the image of the regime and the contrasting designs of the historians whose rhetorical stereotypes and negative depictions aimed to undermine it. Seller Inventory # APC9780195181418

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Book Description Oxford University Press, USA. Hardcover. Condition: New. 160 pages. Dimensions: 9.2in. x 6.2in. x 0.8in.Agrippina the Younger, wife of the emperor Claudius and mother of his successor Nero, wielded power and authority at the center of the Roman empire in ways unmatched by almost any other woman in Roman history. Such, at least, is the portrait of Agrippina delivered by our sources and perpetuated in modern scholarship. In this posthumous work, Judith Ginsburg provides a fresh look at both the literary and material representations of Agrippina. Unlike previous treatments, she seeks neither to condemn nor to rehabilitate Agrippina. Nor does she endeavor to exhume the real Agrippina from the embellished or fabricated portraits found among the ancients. Ginsburg trains her focus on the representations themselves. Her painstaking dissection of the portrayals by historians exposes the rhetorical tropes, the recurrent motifs, and the craft that shaped the literary image of Agrippina. The designs, as Ginsburg shows, were more than literary flourishes. They aimed to blur the boundaries between the domestic and the imperial realms, deploying the image of Agrippina as domineering wife and mother to suggest the flaws and instability of the regime, a dysfunctional family entailing a dysfunctional system of governance. Gender inversions at home played themselves out on the public scene as imperial rule compromised by female ascendancy. Distorted stereotypes of the wicked stepmother, the domineering woman, and the sexual transgessor were applied to underscore the violations of status and disruption of gender relations that characterized the imperial administration. Ginsburg has as keen an eye for visual (mis)representations as for literary ones. The depictions of Agrippina on coinage and statuary provide a stark contrast with the written evidence. She appears as matron and priestess, emblematic of domestic rectitude and public piety, and a central figure in the continuity of the dynasty. Ginsburg incisively demonstrates the means whereby Agrippinas imagery was molded both to serve the interests of the Julio-Claudian regime and to advance the ends of its critics. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Seller Inventory # 9780195181418

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