Saturday, January 2, 2021

Challenging Gender Roles: Two Fragments of Accius on Achilles, Accius, fr. 28 & 304

1) Achilles on Skyros: 

...cum virginali mundo clam pater

--Accius fr. 28, quoted in Festus

[Achilles], a father hiding in a maiden’s dress...

This fragment of early Latin poetry refers to the period of time prior to the Trojan War when Achilles lived as a maiden on the island of Skyros and impregnate the princess Deidamia. Together they will have a son named Neoptolemus / Pyrrhus, who will fight in the Trojan War after the death of his father.

2) On the Death of Patroclus:

Achilles: Mors amici subigit, quod mi est senium multo accerrimum.

--Accius fr. 304, quoted in Nonius

The death of a friend has overpowered me; it is by far the most bitterest grief.




Name: Lucius Accius

Date:  170 – 86 BCE

Works:  [lost]



Region 1: Peninsular Italy; Region 2: Western Europe; Region 3: Western Coast of Africa; Region 4: Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean; Region 5: Greece and the Balkans



 Accius was a freeborn child of a freedman parent; he was born in Umbria (modern Italy) but later moved to Rome. He wrote several tragedies based on Greek myths, but these are no longer extant; only fragments remain of his writings.


Early Roman Lit: through 2nd c BCE: Republican Rome: through 1st c. BCE; Golden Age: 70 BCE to 18 CE; Silver Age: 18 CE to 150 CE; Age of Conflict: 150 CE - 410 CE; Byzantine and Late Latin: after 410 CE

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