Sexual Violence in History: A Bibliography

compiled by Stefan Blaschke


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Start: Topical Index: Cases: Mythological Cases:

Cases: Mythological Cases:

G e n e r a l   I n f o r m a t i o n

»Philomela is a minor figure in Greek mythology who is frequently invoked as a direct and figurative symbol in literary and artistic works in the Western canon. ... While the myth has several variations, the general depiction is that Philomela, after being raped and mutilated by her sister's husband, Tereus, obtains her revenge and is transformed into a nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos).« -- More information: Wikipedia

Rape by Tereus

I n f o r m a t i o n

»In Greek mythology, Tereus was a Thracian king, the son of Ares and the naiad Bistonis. He was the brother of Dryas. Tereus was the husband of the Athenian princess Procne and the father of Itys.
When Tereus desired his wife's sister, Philomela, he came to Athens to his father-in-law Pandion to ask for his other daughter in marriage, stating that Procne had died. Pandion granted him the favour, and sent Philomela and guards along with her. But Tereus threw the guards into the sea, and finding Philomela on a mountain, forced himself upon her. He then cut her tongue out and held her captive so she could never tell anyone. After he returned to Thrace, Tereus gave Philomela to King Lynceus and told his wife that her sister had died. Philomela wove letters in a tapestry depicting Tereus's crime and sent it secretly to Procne.« More information: Wikipedia

G e n e r a l   K e y w or d s

Chronological Index: Ancient History: Ancient Greece | Topical Index: Types: General: Rape; Victims: Reactions: Revenge

B i b l i o g r a p h y

Topical Index: Representations: Literary Texts: Gregorio Correr, John Gower, Ovid, Christoph Ransmayr, Sophocles, Timberlake Wertenbaker; Speeches: Demosthenes


I. Author Index

[Info] Papanastou, Julia. »Aggression and Violence Against Females: Analyzing the Similarities Between Myth and Film.« Parnassus 7 (2020): 47-55.

II. Speaker Index

[Info] Abbattista, Alessandra, et al., org. Rape, Revenge and Transformation: Tereus Through the Ages. London 2019.

[Info] Culled, Sigrid S. »Nefas: Philomela and the Unspeakable.« Ancient Rape Cultures: Greek, Roman, Jewish, Christian: International Conference Rome 2022.

[Info] Olive, Peter. »Tereus and taboo: 'Incest of the second type'.« Rape, Revenge and Transformation: Tereus Through the Ages. London 2019.