Mitografia e miturgia femminile a Bisanzio: il caso di Giovanni Tzetze

Tommaso Braccini


In his "Little Big Iliad", John Tzetzes intended to tell 'the young' the whole story of the Trojan War. He decided to write this didactic poem for a curious reason: he had rejected the advances of the wife of the official for whom he worked as a secretary. She had therefore, like Potiphar's wife, accused the young man and her husband had him fired. This story is reflected also in the work: Tzetzes' resentment against the female gender is exemplified by lively personal utterances and tirades, and also in mythography, since the author frequently chooses (and perhaps even creates) mythical variants that put women in a bad light: in this case, one can speak of a real mythurgy vis-à-vis women, although it is a mythurgy clearly governed by contempt and ill will.

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