Arms and the Woman: Classical Tradition and Women Writers in the Venetian Renaissance (Classical Memories/Modern Identitie) (Hardcover)

Arms and the Woman: Classical Tradition and Women Writers in the Venetian Renaissance (Classical Memories/Modern Identitie) By Francesca D'Alessandro Behr Cover Image
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Arms and the Woman: Classical Tradition and Women Writers in the Venetian Renaissance by Francesca D’Alessandro Behr focuses on the classical reception in the works of female authors active in Venice during the Early Modern Age. Even in this relatively liberal city, women had restricted access to education and were subject to deep-seated cultural prejudices, but those who read and wrote were able, in part, to overcome those limitations.
In this study, Behr explores the work of Moderata Fonte and Lucrezia Marinella and demonstrates how they used knowledge of texts by Virgil, Ovid, and Aristotle to systematically reanalyze the biased patterns apparent both in the romance epic genre and contemporary society. Whereas these classical texts were normally used to bolster the belief in female inferiority and the status quo, Fonte and Marinella used them to envision societies structured according to new, egalitarian ethics. Reflecting on the humanist representation of virtue, Fonte and Marinella insisted on the importance of peace, mercy, and education for women. These authors took up the theme of the equality of genders and participated in the Renaissance querelle des femmes, promoting women’s capabilities and nature.

About the Author

Francesca D’Alessandro Behr is Associate Professor of Classics and Italian Studies at the University of Houston and author of Feeling History: Lucan, Stoicism, and the Poetics of Passion (OSU Press, 2007).

Praise For…

“Francesca D’Alessandro Behr brilliantly contributes to the scholarship on Italian Renaissance [epics].…This book launches a new season for Italian gender and renaissance studies, with regard to women’s representation of and through violence and war, a season firmly rooted in the previous scholarship (e.g. Cox, Stoppino, Finucci, Ross), but one that contributes with both innovative thoughts and methodologies, and texts and figures that are still mostly understudied.” —Lucia Gemmani, gender/sexuality/italy

“High-quality works like D’Alessandro Behr’s . . . are important steps towards making women more visible in the history of Classical scholarship. As D’Alessandro Behr argues for the authors covered in this volume, the classical tradition can offer women the opportunity to challenge the values of their society through a rich shared vocabulary of images and ideas.”—Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Arms and the Woman is a very worthwhile addition to the literature on Fonte’s and Marinella’s epic poems, one that attests to their importance and to the significance of reception theory. It reveals the long-lasting impact of classical antiquity, and it casts crucial light on early modern texts.” —Maria Galli Stampino, author of Staging the Pastoral: Tasso’s Aminta and the Emergence of Modern Western Theater
Product Details
ISBN: 9780814213711
ISBN-10: 0814213715
Publisher: Ohio State University Press
Publication Date: May 20th, 2018
Pages: 292
Language: English
Series: Classical Memories/Modern Identitie