Looking at Lovemaking: Constructions of Sexuality in Roman Art, 100 B.C.-A.D. 250 / Edition 1

Looking at Lovemaking: Constructions of Sexuality in Roman Art, 100 B.C.-A.D. 250 / Edition 1

by John R. Clarke
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0520229045

ISBN-13: 9780520229044

Pub. Date: 04/16/2001

Publisher: University of California Press


What did sex mean to the ancient Romans? In this lavishly illustrated study, John R. Clarke investigates a rich assortment of Roman erotic art to answer this question—and along the way, he reveals a society quite different from our own. Clarke reevaluates our understanding of Roman art and society in a study informed by recent gender and cultural studies, and

Overview


What did sex mean to the ancient Romans? In this lavishly illustrated study, John R. Clarke investigates a rich assortment of Roman erotic art to answer this question—and along the way, he reveals a society quite different from our own. Clarke reevaluates our understanding of Roman art and society in a study informed by recent gender and cultural studies, and focusing for the first time on attitudes toward the erotic among both the Roman non-elite and women. This splendid volume is the first study of erotic art and sexuality to set these works—many newly discovered and previously unpublished—in their ancient context and the first to define the differences between modern and ancient concepts of sexuality using clear visual evidence.

Roman artists pictured a great range of human sexual activities—far beyond those mentioned in classical literature—including sex between men and women, men and men, women and women, men and boys, threesomes, foursomes, and more. Roman citizens paid artists to decorate expensive objects, such as silver and cameo glass, with scenes of lovemaking. Erotic works were created for and sold to a broad range of consumers, from the elite to the very poor, during a period spanning the first century B.C. through the mid-third century of our era. This erotic art was not hidden away, but was displayed proudly in homes as signs of wealth and luxury. In public spaces, artists often depicted outrageous sexual acrobatics to make people laugh.

Looking at Lovemaking depicts a sophisticated, pre-Christian society that placed a high value on sexual pleasure and the art that represented it. Clarke shows how this culture evolved within religious, social, and legal frameworks that were vastly different from our own and contributes an original and controversial chapter to the history of human sexuality.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520229044
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
04/16/2001
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
389
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsix
Acknowledgmentsxv
Introduction1
1.The Cultural Construction of Sexuality7
2.Greek and Hellenistic Constructions of Lovemaking19
The Augustan and Early Julio-Claudian Periods (27 B.C.-A.D. 30)
3.Representations of Male-to-Male Lovemaking59
4.Representations of Male-to-Female Lovemaking91
5.Sex and the Body of the Other119
Pompeii: The Neronian and Flavian Periods (A.D. 54-79)
6.The Display of Erotica and the Erotics of Display in Houses145
7.The Display of Erotica and the Erotics of Display in Public Buildings195
Italy and the Provinces: The First through the Third Centuries
8.The Invention and Spread of Sexual Imagery through the Roman World243
Conclusions275
Notes281
Glossary327
A Guide to Classical Texts331
Bibliography337
Index361

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