Camma was a Galatian princess and priestess of Artemis whom Plutarch writes about in both On the Bravery of Women and the Eroticus or Amatorius. As Plutarch is our only source on Camma, her historicity cannot be independently verified. In both works, Plutarch cites her as an exemplar of fidelity and courage in love.
In Plutarch's accounts, Camma was wedded to the tetrarch Sinatus, and became known and admired for her virtue and beauty. Sinatus' rival, another tetrarch named Sinorix, murdered Sinatus and proceeded to woo Camma herself. Rather than submit to Sinorix' advances, Camma took him to a temple of Artemis where she served poison to both herself and him in a libation of either milk and honey or mead. Camma died happily, according to Plutarch, in the knowledge that she had avenged the death of her husband.
Plutarch's story of Camma inspired a number of works of later art and literature. Polyaenus briefly reprises Plutarch's tale in his 2nd-century CE Stratagems of War. In the Renaissance, the story of Camma enjoyed considerable popularity, inspiring De re uxoria by Barbaro, De institutione feminae christianae by Vives, the Libro del cortegiano by Castiglione, and Orlando furioso by Ariosto (where Camma is renamed Drusilla). Thomas Corneille wrote a play named Camma (1661) about the story of the Galatian princess. The opera Nephté (1789) by Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne uses the story of Camma but moves the setting to Ancient Egypt. Tennyson subsequently wrote the tragedy The Cup (1884), in which Camma is again a Galatian princess. The poem ‘Camma’ by Oscar Wilde has been seen as a hedonistic commentary on Plutarch's Camma.
- Gilabert i Barberà (2000), p. 1.
- Gilabert i Barberà (2000), p. 2.
- Henri d’Arbois de Jubainville is cited by Sandra Péré-Noguès (2013) as declaring that the Greeks had invented such stories, though she is not so dismissive.
- Plutarch. De Mulierum Virtutibus 20, in the Moralia. English translation published online by Bill Thayer.
- Gilabert i Barberà (2000), pp. 2-3: text and translation of the passage from the Amatorius.
- Polyaenus, Stratagems VIII.39.1
- Bartera (2011), p. 140.
- Gilabert i Barberà (2000), p. 4.
- Bartera, Salvador (2011). "Review of Carlo Caruso and Andrew Laird (eds.), Italy and the Classical Tradition: Language, Thought and Poetry 1300–1600 (London: Gerald Duckworth & Co., Ltd., 2009)". International Journal of the Classical Tradition. 18 (1): 138–144. doi:10.1007/s12138-011-0241-8.
- Gilabert i Barberà, Pau (2000). "Oscar Wilde. ‘Camma’, a Severe and Hedonic Aesthetic Correction of Plutarch’s Ethics". Actas del VII Simposio Internacional sobre Plutarco de la Sociedad Española de Plutarquistas. Majorca.
- Péré-Noguès, Sandra (2013). "Chiomara, Camma, et autres princesses… Une histoire des femmes dans les sociétés " celtiques " est‑elle possible ? [Chiomara, Camma and other princesses… Is a history of women and gender in Celtic societies possible?]". L’Antiquité en partage. 90: 159–176.
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