The existence of a metaphoric female standing in for poetic style was only plainly discussed in a paper from 1987 concerned with Roman elegiac poetry. This figure is given the title of scripta puella or written woman, since her existence depends solely on the writings of an author. These females often appear to have basis in reality; however there is insufficient evidence to allow them to cross out of the realm of fantasy. The term scripta puella in poetry refers to a perfected poetic form, one the author prefers over all others, and a human form creates the illusion of a mistress. Using this form, usually described in basic terms which create an outline of a woman, a poet easily expresses his inclination towards specific poetic styles and elements. While other scholars recognize the scripta puella in elegiac poetry, little research has been done into other genres. For this thesis, the focus is on the genre called Latin verse satire. The genre contains four recognized authors: Lucilius, Horace, Persius, and Juvenal. In order to prove her existence, each collection of satires is examined in its original language and analyzed with heavy emphasis on recognizing key phrases and attributes of scriptae puellae. Her appearances can be difficult to determine, as some examples will show, yet the existence of scriptae puellae enrich modern understanding of ancient texts. In addition to the four authors, articles and books dealing with women, satire, and women in satire are consulted to aid in explanation and support. With this body of proof, scriptae puellae are shown to exist within the Latin verse satirists' texts; they act as a link between the four authors and as a link to Greek poetry, which has been considered a possible predecessor for satire. This knowledge allows for a better explanation of satire as a genre and opens up the possibilities for further study in other genres which contain women of various forms.



College and Department

Humanities; Humanities, Classics, and Comparative Literature



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scripta puella, verse satire, women, poetry, mistress, Horace, Juvenal, Persius, Lucilius, Callimachus, Catullus