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In Her Own Words. The Life and Poetry of Aelia Eudocia by Brian P. Sowers

In Her Own Words: The Life and Poetry of Aelia Eudocia is the first full-length study to examine Eudocia’s writings as a unified whole and to situate them within their wider fifth-century literary, social, and religious contexts.

Responsible for over 3,000 lines of extant poetry, Eudocia is one of the best-preserved ancient female poets. Because she wrote in a literary mode frequently suppressed by proto-orthodox (male) leaders, much of her poetry does not survive, and what does survive remains understudied and underappreciated.

This book represents a detailed investigation into Eudocia’s works: her epigraphic poem in honor of the therapeutic bath at Hammat Gader, her Homeric cento—a poetic paraphrase of the Bible using lines from Homer—and her epic on the fictional magician-turned-Christian, Cyprian of Antioch.

Reading her poetry as a whole and in context, Eudocia emerges as an exceptional author representing three unique late-antique communities: poets interested in preserving and transforming classical literature; Christians whose religious views positioned them outside and against traditional power structures; and women who challenged social, religious, and literary boundaries.

Brian P. Sowers is Assistant Professor of Classics at Brooklyn College, City University of New York.

In Her Own Words
The Life and Poetry of Aelia Eudocia
Brian P. Sowers
Hellenic Studies Series 80
Harvard University Press
Paperback
ISBN 9780674987371
275 pages
€22.50
Publication: January 2019

# new books
Aelia Eudocia
Life and work – poetry
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