Sexuality in Greek and Roman Culture

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Overview

This agenda-setting text has been fully revised in its second edition, with coverage extended into the Christian era. It remains the most comprehensive and engaging introduction to the sexual cultures of ancient Greece and Rome.

  • Covers a wide range of subjects, including Greek pederasty and the symposium, ancient prostitution, representations of women in Greece and Rome, and the public regulation of sexual behavior
  • Expanded coverage extends to...
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Sexuality in Greek and Roman Culture

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Overview

This agenda-setting text has been fully revised in its second edition, with coverage extended into the Christian era. It remains the most comprehensive and engaging introduction to the sexual cultures of ancient Greece and Rome.

  • Covers a wide range of subjects, including Greek pederasty and the symposium, ancient prostitution, representations of women in Greece and Rome, and the public regulation of sexual behavior
  • Expanded coverage extends to the advent of Christianity, includes added illustrations, and offers student-friendly pedagogical features
  • Text boxes supply intriguing information about tangential topics
  • Gives a thorough overview of current literature while encouraging further reading and discussion
  • Conveys the complexity of ancient attitudes towards sexuality and gender and the modern debates they have engendered
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“What has long been badly needed is a comprehensive survey that examines Greco-Roman sexuality, non-judgementally, in its own cultural context. Marilyn Skinner’s Sexuality in Greek and Roman Culture does just that … Non-ideological, its vast scholarship distilled in elegant prose for the general reader, sensible in its judgements, and equipped with a formidable bibliography, this splendid book replaces all earlier works on the subject for those in search of knowledge rather than confirmation of their prejudices.” Times Literary Supplement (Books of the Year)

"This book is not only an overview of sexuality but also an introduction to all forms of interpersonal relations, as Skinner uses the social and political structures of the time to account for differing notions of sexuality across time periods … As a general introduction to the topic this work is highly successful in that it gives a thorough overview of current literature while encouraging further reading and discussion … this is a most successful addition to the work on ancient sexuality and comes at a time when sexuality is becoming such a popular research topic.” Scholia: Studies in Classical Antiquity

"More than twenty years of researching and teaching sex and gender in antiquity, on both Greek and Roman topics, makes Marilyn Skinner an ideal candidate to write the first textbook-style survey of the subject ... I already look forward to the possibility of future editions." Bryn Mawr Classical Review

“Elegantly written and skillfully argued, Sexuality in Greek and Roman Culture brilliantly conveys the complexity of ancient attitudes towards sexuality and gender and the modern debates they have engendered. This book is comprehensive yet concise, theoretically sophisticated and yet accessible for an undergraduate reader.” Laura McClure, University of Wisconsin, Madison

"For several reasons this book may be considered a masterpiece ... The book is eminently readable, with the occasional good sense of humour. Moreover it is an outstanding example of integrated scholarship, aptly covering literary, epigraphical and papyrological source material as well as iconographical evidence ... and comparitive material with reference to contemporary issues." Les Etudes Classiques

“Written in a clear, engaging style that is enlivened with many touches of wit and humour, and, in addition, extremely well organized – a great challenge given the complexity of the subject.”
Beert Verstraete
Department of Classics
Acadia University

“A cultural history of ancient sexuality that is necessary reading for classicists wanting an introduction to this relatively new field, but also of interest to specialists outside classics because of her concern to demonstrate how constructions of ancient sexuality are similar to, yet different from, modern western conceptions of sex and gender.”
Journal of the Classical Association of Canada

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781444349863
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 8/19/2013
  • Series: Ancient Cultures Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 707,580
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Marilyn B. Skinner is Professor of Classics Emerita at the University of Arizona. Her research has focused on notions of gender and sexuality in the ancient world. She is the author of Clodia Metelli: The Tribune’s Sister (2011), and co-editor of Narrating Desire: Eros, Sex, and Gender in the Ancient Novel (with M. P. F. Pinheiro and F. I. Zeitlin, 2012), and The New Sappho on Old Age: Textual and Philosophical Issues (with E. Greene, 2009).

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Maps xii

Preface to the First Edition xiv

Preface to the Second Edition xvii

Acknowledgments xxi

Abbreviations xxiii

Chronological Charts xxxv

Maps

Introduction: Why Ancient Sexuality? Issues and Approaches 1

Thinking about Sexuality 4

Sex Changes 6

Checking the Right Box 11

The Language and Ethos of Boy-love 17

Foul Mouths 27

Conclusion 32

Discussion Prompts 34

Further Reading 35

1 The Homeric Age: Epic Sexuality 37

The Golden Goddess 39

Dynamics of Desire 46

The Baneful Race of Women 49

Love under Siege 53

The Beguilement of Zeus 57

Alternatives to Penelope 60

Achilles in the Closet? 68

Conclusion 70

Discussion Prompts 74

Further Reading 74

2 The Archaic Age: Symposium and Initiation 76

When the Cups Are Placed 78

Fields of Erotic Dreams 82

Singing as a Man . . . 99

. . . and Singing as a Woman 95

Boys into Men 62

Girls into Women 113

Conclusion 122

Discussion Prompts 126

Further Reading 127

3 Late Archaic Athens: More than Meets the Eye 128

Out of Etruria 130

Lines of Sight 134

Flirtation at the Gym 136

Party Girls 143

In the Boudoir 153

Bride of Quietness 157

Conclusion 159

Discussion Prompts 161

Further Reading 162

4 Classical Athens: The Politics of Sex 166

More Equal than Others 169

Pederasty and Class 175

Interview with the Kinaidos 187

In the Grandest Families 198

Criminal Proceedings 206

His and Hers [or His] 209

Conclusion 218

Discussion Prompts 221

Further Reading 222

5 The Early Hellenistic Period: Turning Inwards 224

Court Intrigues 230

Medicine and the Sexes 235

From Croton to Crete 241

Safe Sex 247

Athenian Idol 255

Conclusion 263

Discussion Prompts 268

Further Reading 269

6 The Later Hellenistic Period: The Feminine Mystique 271

Disrobing Aphrodite 272

Hellenes in Egypt 277

Love among the Pyramids 283

To Colchis and Back 293

Desiring Women – and their Detractors 296

Conclusion 303

Discussion Prompts 308

Further Reading 309

7 Early Rome: A Tale of Three Cultures 311

The Pecking Order 314

Imported Vices 318

Bringing Women under Control 322

Butchery for Fun 333

Conclusion 338

Discussion Prompts 341

Further Reading 342

8 Republican and Augustan Rome: The Soft Embrace of Venus 344

Only Joking 347

Young Men (?) in Love 353

Mother of All Empires 362

Domestic Visibility 376

Going Too Far 378

Conclusion 382

Discussion Prompts 387

Further Reading 388

9 Elites in the Empire: Self and Others 390

Risky Business 394

Boys Named Sue 400

Them 403

Roads to Romance 410

‘Greek Love’ under Rome 415

Roads to Nowhere 420

Conclusion 429

Discussion Prompts 433

Further Reading 434

10 The Imperial Populace: Toward Salvation? 436

The 99% 441

Gravestones and Walls 445

In the Eye of the Beholder 453

“O Isis und Osiris…” 460

Christian Continence 471

Things Fall Apart 475

Conclusion 480

Discussion Prompts 485

Further Reading 486

Afterword: The Use of Antiquity 488

Glossary of Terms 527

Index

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