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Books for adults/Publications: Books

Uncovering Anna Perenna: A Focused Study of Roman Myth and Culture

Date of Publication: July 03, 2020

Editors: Gwynaeth McIntyre, Sarah McCallum

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The figure of Anna Perenna embodies the complexity and richness of the Roman mythological tradition. In exploring Anna Perenna, the contributors apply different perspectives and critical methods to an array of compelling evidence drawn from central texts, monuments, coins, and inscriptions that encapsulate Rome’s shifting artistic and political landscape. As a collection, Uncovering Anna Perenna provides a unique examination that represents the interdisciplinary intersection between Roman literature, history, and culture.

The assembled chapters offer thought-provoking and insightful discussions written by specialists in Roman myth and religion, literary studies, and ancient history. A convergence of different perspectives within the collection, including comparative literature, gender and sexuality, literary criticism, and reception, results in a rich and varied investigation. Organized into four parts, the volume explores Anna along four conceptual lines: her liminal nature as a Carthaginian figure coopted into Rome’s literary, mythological, and artistic heritage; her capacity as a Roman goddess and nymph; her political and cultural associations with plebeian and populist ideology; and her intriguing influence on James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake.

Table of contents

List of Figures
List of Abbreviations

Introduction: Anna and the Plebs: A Synthesis of Primary Evidence – T.P. Wiseman (University of Exeter, UK)

From Carthage to Rome
1. Rivalry and Revelation: Ovid’s Elegiac Revision of Virgilian Allusion – Sarah McCallum (University of Arizona, USA)
2. Calendar Girl: Anna Perenna Between the Fasti and the Punica – James S. McIntyre (Cambridge University Press, UK)
3. Not Just Another Fertility Goddess: Searching for Anna in Art – Gwynaeth McIntyre (University of Otago, New Zealand)

Anna and her nymphs
4. Anna, Water and Her Imminent Deification in Aeneid – David J. Wright (Rutgers University, USA)
5. How to Become a Hero: Gendering the Apotheosis of Ovid’s Anna Perenna – A. Everett Beek (University of Memphis, USA)
6. Instability and Permanence in Ceremonial Epigraphy: The Example of Anna Perenna – Anna Blennow (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)

Champion of the Plebs
7. Ovid’s Anna Perenna and the Coin of Gaius Annius – Teresa Ramsby (University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA)
8. Infiltrating Julian History: Anna Perenna at Lavinium and Bovillae – Carole Newlands (University of Colorado, Boulder, USA)

The Afterlife of Anna Perenna
9. Riverrun: Channeling Anna Perenna in Finnegans Wake – Justin Hudak (University of California, Berkeley, USA)

List of Contributors


“This is the first volume-length, comprehensive study of Anna Perenna, a Roman divinity with a complex identity and firm yet insufficiently defined impact on the Roman civic and cultural experience. The individual studies comprising the book offer expert interpretations of the various manifestations in literature, archaeology and material culture in general, of a Roman goddess whose fluid identity parallels Rome’s ever evolving cultural and political experience.” –  SOPHIA PAPAIOANNOU, Professor of Latin Literature, The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece,