Roman Sexualities

Roman Sexualities


Edited by Judith P. Hallett, Edited by Marilyn B. Skinner

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  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 154mm x 230mm x 22mm | 508g
  • Publication date: 28 December 1997
  • Publication City/Country: New Jersey
  • ISBN 10: 0691011788
  • ISBN 13: 9780691011783
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: 1 table
  • Sales rank: 1,043,837

Product description

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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Review quote

"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

Table of contents

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