Pre-Modern Seminar No 26: Camilla Asplund
On Monday September 16th PhD Camilla Asplund from the Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland, will give a talk called:
“CHILD-KILLING DEMONS: VERBALISING EMOTION IN ANCIENT ROMAN FOLK NARRATIVE”
The seminar will take place in the library of Skandinavistika (Ülikooli 17, 3rd floor, room 305) at 18.15.
Camilla has sent us a short presentation of the lecture:
“At the seminar I will present an analysis of stories of childkilling demons – Lamia, Gello, Mormo and the strix – and how Ancient Roman fears were expressed in these narratives, in particular fears of the discontinuation of the family line. Stories of these demons have survived in folk belief well into Byzantine and modern times, and there is evidence to suggest that the narratives studied circulated in oral or popular tradition in the Ancient world as well. (The stories will be treated in a book in progress, Representations of Fear: Verbalising Emotion in Ancient Roman Folk Narrative, written with Dominic Ingemark). I offer an analysis of the emotions chiefly associated with these narratives: envy on the part of the child-killing demons, fear on the part of parents and wet-nurses (and grief, but I haven’t worked on this part yet). I also attempt to understand the therapeutic potential of these stories in dealing with the loss of infants and young children, as well as pregnant and postpartum women who were also believed to be attacked by these creatures.”
Everybody is welcome!