Sexual Life in Ancient Rome by Otto Kiefer, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Sexual Life in Ancient Rome

Sexual Life in Ancient Rome

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by Otto Kiefer
     
 

The psychological basis of the Roman Empire was a ruthless, frequently sadistic "will to power." This impulse is highly manifest in Ancient Roman attitudes towards sex. After describing women's position in Roman society, Otto Kiefer skilfully surveys the crypto-sexual satisfaction derived by Romans from a range of activities: the sadistic treatment of

Overview

The psychological basis of the Roman Empire was a ruthless, frequently sadistic "will to power." This impulse is highly manifest in Ancient Roman attitudes towards sex. After describing women's position in Roman society, Otto Kiefer skilfully surveys the crypto-sexual satisfaction derived by Romans from a range of activities: the sadistic treatment of slaves, savage public executions involving crucifixion and the mauling of naked, unarmed prisoners by wild beasts, and almost incredible mass-gladiatorial combats. The strong sexual element in Roman religion receives attention, as do the varying attitudes towards sex of Rome's major writers. A gallery of Emperors and Empresses complete with their often bizarre tastes, is included and Otto Kiefer takes a critical look at the notion that Rome's sexual excesses contributed to its decline and fall.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Kiefer, a 20th-century German scholar, sums up Roman sexual life as "at first fulfilled in simple, severe, and prosaic married life, then developing into more sophisticated forms of sensuality, and degenerating into sadism, but always instinctive and always unspiritual." Kiefer's summation arises through examination of the woman in Roman life, the Romans and cruelty, sexual themes in Roman religion and philosophy, physical life (dress, dance, theater), love in Roman poetry (Virgil, Horace, Juvenal, Apuleius), Roman figures (Julius Caesar, Claudius, Ovid, and Nero), and the sexual-decadence cause for the fall of Rome. This is a translation of Kiefer's work (date not provided) by Gilbert and Helen Highet. The index comprises only authors and their works. Distributed by Columbia University Press. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780094744806
Publisher:
Trans-Atlantic Publications, Incorporated
Publication date:
11/01/1995
Pages:
380
Product dimensions:
5.51(w) x 8.66(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Otto Kiefer was a German scholar in the early part of the twentieth century.

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