Abstract

This discussion presents a survey of scenes involving breastfeeding and wet-nursing from Homer to Menander. It demonstrates that male authors and their audiences understood the physiology of breastfeeding and used that knowledge to create nuanced, complicated situations in (especially) Homer's Odyssey, Aeschylus' Libation Bearers, Euripides' Hypsipyle, and Menander's Samia. This added verisimilitude such as that seen in Plutarch's consolation to his wife on the death of their child. As such, the realities associated with maternal and non-maternal breastfeeding shaped the reception of the plays in their own right, and it is possible to isolate crucial moments in several literary works where this impacts interpretation.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2328-5265
Print ISSN
0363-1923
Pages
pp. 185-201
Launched on MUSE
2017-08-30
Open Access
No
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