Abstract

The portrayal of Zenobia of Palmyra in the Historia Augusta must be regarded with suspicion as a faithful representation of historical events. When considered as a narrative, however, this episode becomes a discourse on the correlation of power, gender, and ethnicity. In a new reading of the Life of Aurelian (HA 22–34), I argue that the construction of the episode’s plot as well as devices such as variable focalization and dramatic irony call attention to the nexus of power, gender, and cultural identity, and ultimately destabilize the assumption that power is Roman and masculine.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9234
Print ISSN
0009-8418
Pages
pp. 221-233
Launched on MUSE
2016-02-19
Open Access
No
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