Few mythic narratives of the ancient world are more famous than the story of the Colchian princess/sorceress who betrayed her father and family for love of a foreign adventurer and who, when abandoned for another woman, killed in revenge both her rival and her children. Many critics have observed the complexities and contradictions of the Medea figure—naive princess, knowing witch, faithless and devoted daughter, frightened exile, marginalised alien, displaced traitor to family and state, helper-maiden, abandoned wife, vengeful lover, caring and filicidal mother, loving and fratricidal sister, oriental ‘other’, barbarian saviour of Greece, rejuvenator of the bodies of animals and men, killer of kings and princesses, destroyer and restorer of kingdoms, poisonous stepmother, paradigm of beauty and horror, demi-goddess, subhuman monster, priestess of Hecate and granddaughter of the sun, bride of dead Achilles and ancestor of the Medes, rider of a serpent-drawn chariot in the sky—complexities reflected in her story's fragmented and fragmenting history. That history has been much examined, but, though there are distinguished recent exceptions, comparatively little attention has been devoted to the specifically ‘Roman’ Medea—the Medea of the Republican tragedians, of Cicero, Varro Atacinus, Ovid, the younger Seneca, Valerius Flaccus, Hosidius Geta and Dracontius, and, beyond the literary field, the Medea of Roman painting and Roman sculpture. Hence the present volume of Ramus, which aims to draw attention to the complex and fascinating use and abuse of this transcultural heroine in the Roman intellectual and visual world. The present introduction briefly outlines Medea's Greek history before examining in detail her journey through Republican Rome. It concludes with a survey of her imperial configurations and a preliminary framing of the studies which follow.