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Statius’ unfinished epic, the Achilleid, describes in its surviving opening portion the attempt of Achilles’ mother, Thetis, to stop him joining the expedition against Troy by disguising him as a girl on the island of Scyros. The chapter analyses Roman conceptions of gender and sexuality, as Achilles’ disguise does not prevent him from having sex with Deidamia. His underlying violent masculinity is revealed by the trickery of Ulysses.
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