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Classics Series Lecture - Professor Ariana Traill (UIUC): "Why is Polemon at fault? Domestic violence in Menander’s Perikeiromene"

Event Type
Department of the Classics
Lucy Ellis Lounge, 1080 Foreign Languages Building, 707 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana
Nov 8, 2019   2:00 pm  
Professor Ariana Traill, Dept. of the Classics, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Free and open to the public.
Clara Bosak-Schroeder
Originating Calendar
School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics Calendar

The title incident of this play is an extreme haircut forcibly imposed on a free woman by her lover, a soldier named Polemon. Despite being a mild form of violence, it is emphatically condemned by the play’s most credible authorities, the divine prologue and the play’s father figure, and it is taken seriously enough to require correction before the couple can be married.


Previous investigations of the question have approached it from a philosophical, particularly peripatetic perspective, a cultural studies perspective, a legalistic perspective and, to some degree, a historical perspective, particularly concerning hair styles as status indicators.


This paper approaches the question from the perspective of (1) domestic violence in classical and Hellenistic Greece; (2) social scientific studies of domestic violence; and (3) an intertextual and feminist perspective.

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