Iphis, Do You Enjoy It More Now?


  • Maja Pan




Ovid, Metamorphoses, Iphis and Ianthe, sex change, lesbianity, feminist theory, desire


This contribution focuses on the story of Iphis and Ianthe from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, which features gender change. This story is explored from various aspects, ranging from the problem of naming a culturally and temporally distant gender, sexuality and desire, to the options of how to determine the ideology embedded in Ovid’s setting. The core analysis takes and explains sexuality and gender as power relations, which are reinforced in ‘literature’ as well, thus significantly limiting the impossible, the marvellous and the imaginary. A broader analysis of the Roman and Hellenistic phallocentredness, the masculinisation and anachronisation of the term tribas, and the problem of conceiving the lesbian as monstrous, foreign (i.e. Greek), an oxymoron, leads to the final discussion. The latter opens up to a deconstructive conclusion that adds an explication to the grounds of Tiresias’ riddle of sexual pleasure.


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23. 12. 2022



I. »Love Shook my Heart Like the Wind on the Mountain Rushing over the Oak Trees«: Love in Classical Antiquity

How to Cite

Pan, Maja. 2022. “Iphis, Do You Enjoy It More Now?”. Keria: Studia Latina Et Graeca 24 (1): 65-89. https://doi.org/10.4312/keria.24.1.65-89.