Roman Sexualities

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Overview

This collection of essays seeks to establish Roman constructions of sexuality and gender difference as a distinct area of research, complementing work already done on Greece to give a fuller picture of ancient sexuality. By applying feminist critical tools to forms of public discourse, including literature, history, law, medicine, and political oratory, the essays explore the hierarchy of power reflected so strongly in most Roman sexual relations, where noblemen acted as the penetrators and women, boys, and slaves the penetrated. In many cases, the authors show how these roles could be inverted--in ways that revealed citizens' anxieties during the days of the early Empire, when traditional power structures seemed threatened.

In the essays, Jonathan Walters defines the impenetrable male body as the ideational norm; Holt Parker and Catharine Edwards treat literary and legal models of male sexual deviance; Anthony Corbeill unpacks political charges of immoral behavior at banquets, while Marilyn B. Skinner, Ellen Oliensis, and David Fredrick trace linkages between social status and the gender role of the male speaker in Roman lyric and elegy; Amy Richlin interrogates popular medical belief about the female body; Sandra R. Joshel examines the semiotics of empire underlying the historiographic portrayal of the empress Messalina; Judith P. Hallett and Pamela Gordon critique Roman caricatures of the woman-desiring woman; and Alison Keith discovers subversive allusions to the tragedy of Dido in the elegist Sulpicia's self-depiction as a woman in love.

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Editorial Reviews

Phoenix
Roman Sexualities makes a major contribution to our understanding of the construction of sexuality in Roman society and culture as it moves beyond the more traditional forms of historical and literary scholarship to create illuminating perspectives on the subject in all its multifaceted complexity.
From the Publisher

"Roman Sexualities makes a major contribution to our understanding of the construction of sexuality in Roman society and culture as it moves beyond the more traditional forms of historical and literary scholarship to create illuminating perspectives on the subject in all its multifaceted complexity."--Phoenix
Phoenix
Roman Sexualities makes a major contribution to our understanding of the construction of sexuality in Roman society and culture as it moves beyond the more traditional forms of historical and literary scholarship to create illuminating perspectives on the subject in all its multifaceted complexity.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691011783
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 12/8/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.07 (w) x 9.07 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments
Introduction: Quod multo fit aliter in Graecia ... 3
Pt. 1 Unmarked Sexuality
1 Invading the Roman Body: Manliness and Impenetrability in Roman Thought 29
Pt. 2 Wayward Sexualities
2 The Teratogenic Grid 47
3 Unspeakable Professions: Public Performance and Prostitution in Ancient Rome 66
Pt. 3 Gender Slippage in Literary Constructions of the Masculine
4 Dining Deviants in Roman Political Invective 99
5 Ego mulier: The Construction of Male Sexuality in Catullus 129
6 The Erotics of amicitia: Readings in Tibullus, Propertius, and Horace 151
7 Reading Broken Skin: Violence in Roman Elegy 172
Pt. 4 Male Constructions of "Woman"
8 Pliny's Brassiere 197
9 Female Desire and the Discourse of Empire: Tacitus's Messalina 221
10 Female Homoeroticism and the Denial of Roman Reality in Latin Literature 255
11 The Lover's Voice in Heroides 15: Or, Wy Is Sappho a Man? 274
Pt. 5 Female Construction of the Desiring Subject
12 Tandem venit amor: A Roman Woman Speaks of Love 295
Bibliography 311
Notes on Contributors 333
Index 335
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