CLS 495 Roman Women: Puella, Matrona, Meretrix, Amica

woman with perfume vial

A complex literary construct articulated by the elegiac poets, she (usually presented as someone else’s property) shares select attributes of the Puella, Matrona, and Meretrix

Positive Images: muse, girlfriend, lover, wife*

Negative Images: degenerate, dominatrix, betrayer

Associate Vocabulary: domina, amica, puella, bella

Transitional Stages: matrona, meretrix, ex-amica, death

Patron Deities: Cupid, Venus

Latin Texts

Game of Love
Ovid, Amores 1.4 (to his mistress), 2.2 (to his mistress’ slave), 2.19 (to his mistress’ husband); Ars Amatoria, passim

as Desired Object
Lycoris (Volumnia Cytheris, the mime): Cornelius Gallus, fragts.
Corinna: Ovid, Amores 1.5
Lesbia: Catullus, Carmina 5, 51, 70, 75, 78
Cynthia: Propertius, Elegiae Books 1-4, passim
    (see esp. 2.6.42*: "semper amica mihi, semper et uxor eris")
Delia: Tibullus, Carmina
Nemesis: Tibullus, Carmina
Pyrrha: Horace, Carmina 1.5, 3.26
Lydia: Horace, Carmina 3.9
Chloe: Horace, Carmina 1.12, 23

Puella as
Desiring Subject
Sulpicia, Carmina (Tibullus, Bk 3): Cerinthus

Return to Roman Women Syllabus
Ann R. Raia, Professor of Classics
The College of New Rochelle
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