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Covering the region equivalent to modern Italy in southern Europe, but also used for topics within the cultural scope of the Roman Empire, if a more specific region is not indicated.

LHMP entry

This article frame is the legal defense of the Countess of Arundel against espionage charges in Venice as a sort of theatrical performance. As context for this, the author reviews the countess’s experience performing in masques at the court of James I. The article feels like it’s stretching the premise of the collection a bit, and feels fairly speculative, using the phrases “might have,” and “must have” a bit too often for confidence.

Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night draws on two prominent motifs of Italian theater: a cross-dressed heroine who provokes female desire, and the ideal of the Italian actress, who combined beauty and rhetorical skill. Shakespeare and other English playwrights backed off somewhat on the lesbian eroticism, but retained the image of a female character claiming power through performance and improvising, as manifested in Viola/Cesario’s ambiguous teasing banter with Olivia.

Actresses were an integral part of the early modern Italian stage, though the focus in theater history on commedia masks has tended to sideline that point. But female stage participation in Italy, not only transformed theater there, but had ripple effects elsewhere, including England.

In the era before, women were accepted on the professional stage, they performed in less formal venues – squares, fairs, street corners, inn courtyards, and such – the venue of mountebanks. Typically, this was not as the primary performer, and therefore we must search more carefully for the evidence. The underlying purpose of these vaudeville-like mountebank performances, was to sell non-professional, medical treatments: folk or “quack” remedies.

Cameron acknowledges that Brooten found more evidence for love between women in Greco-Roman antiquity than scholars had previously supposed was available. However, he then lays out his agenda that her arguments depend on four Greek texts, each of which he will challenge the interpretation of. In two cases, Cameron’s objection is that the verb “gamein,” when applied to two women, does not refer to marriage at all, not even metaphorically.

This chapter is entirely male in focus. It includes both positive and negative depictions of male homoerotic relationships, and the social function of such commentary.

The classical corpus of “pastoral lament” is small (two Greek, two Latin) and the genre doesn’t really come into being until the later 15th century, at which point the genre has shifted from its classical origins. This “lament for a lost companion” in its 15th century form primarily mourns female figures, and early works lack a clear relationship of the poetic voice and its subject. The poems are not clearly personal reactions.

This article summarizes various “ways of  being single” in Catholic society of one particular Tuscan community in the first half of the 19th century.

This article focuses primarily on women who chose a single/celibate life for religious reasons in the late 4th and early 5th century. In earlier Roman society, while modesty and chastity were desired virtues for the young, unmarried woman, it was for the purpose of entering marriage as a virgin, not as an end in itself. However shifts in social expectations due to Christianity created the idea of choosing singlehood as a deliberate strategy for religious purposes.


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