Seen, not heard: feminea lingua in Ovid's Fasti and the critical gaze

Peter Mark Keegan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter tests the degree to which the Fasti is immersed in and co-opted by the prevailing masculinist culture of its time, and compares interpretations of modern critics examining Ovid's (re)presentations of women. It finds some colluding with the poet's conservative phallocentric imperatives on ritual(ized) female activity. It contends that the ways by which Ovid engages in negating, inhibiting, silencing, or slaying women are reflected in modern interpretative practices, and notes the operation of an intertextuality between the criticized and the critic. It offers a reading of Ovid's Regifugium and the rape of Lucretia as a suggested methodology for an interpretation sensitive to sexual(ized) nuances in the Fasti and a way of delimiting and abnegating the perpetuation of the Philomela/Tacita syndrome in contemporary literary-critical and histori(ographi)cal practices.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOvid's Fasti
Subtitle of host publicationhistorical readings at its bimellennium
EditorsGeraldine Herbert-Brown
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9780191715457
ISBN (Print)0198154755, 9780198154754
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2002


  • Critic
  • Criticized
  • Interpretative practices
  • Intertextuality
  • Lucretia
  • Phallocentric imperatives
  • Philomela/Tacita syndrome
  • Ritualised female activity


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