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Women & WeaselsMythologies of Birth in Ancient Greece and Rome$
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Maurizio Bettini and Emlyn Eisenach

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226044743

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226039961.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 19 May 2022

The Woman in Labor

The Woman in Labor

(p.51) [3] The Woman in Labor
Women & Weasels

Maurizio Bettini

University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on the use of metaphor to describe childbirth. It shows that neither Homer nor Ovid nor Antoninus tell us everything we want to know about the moment of Heracles' birth. Instead they provide discreetly veiled and strange metaphors, such as “to fall between a woman's feet.” It describes the story of Latona who, like Alcmene, was persecuted by Hera. It suggests that reading Alcmene's story together with that of Latona provides a better understanding of the theme, the Woman in Labor.

Keywords:   metaphor, childbirth, Alcmene, Latona, mythologhy

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