Sex: Vice and Love from Antiquity to Modernity

Sex: Vice and Love from Antiquity to Modernity

Hardback Classical Receptions (Hardcover)

By (author) Alastair J.L. Blanshard

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Product description

Sex: Vice and Love from Antiquity to Modernity examines the impact that sexual fantasies about the classical world have had on modern Western culture. * Offers a wealth of information on sex in the Greek and Roman world * Correlates the study of classical sexuality with modern Western cultures * Identifies key influential themes in the evolution of erotic discourse from antiquity to modernity * Presents a serious and thought-provoking topic with great accessibility

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Author information

Alastair J. L. Blanshard is a senior lecturer in Classics & Ancient History at the University of Sydney. He is the author of Hercules: A Heroic Life (2005).

Review quote

The book is helpfully provocative and certainly helps to explain the enduring appeal of Grecece and Rome in contemporary (erotic) culture. (INTAMS review - Journal for the Study of Marriage & Spirituality, 18 January 2012)"Recommended. Graduate students/faculty." (Choice, 1 March 2011) "This book is enjoyable and informative ... it would be of especial interest to students of reception studies and the history of sexuality, but there is also much material that is useful to the classical scholar". (Bmcreview, 26 April 2011) "It is because of the personal narratives - as well as the sophistication, wit and learning of the whole enterprise - that this book is highly recommended reading." (Times Higher Education, 30 October 2010)

Back cover copy

With startling clarity, the classical world is invoked both as the home of sexual freedom and a haven for wanton acts of sexual perversity. "Sex: Vice and Love from Antiquity to Modernity" examines the profound impact that sexual fantasies about the classical world have had on modern Western culture, and looks at the ways in which various cultures have used classical erotica to locate and articulate their own erotic discourse. In this provocative new study, Alastair Blanshard offers rich insights how our perceptions of vice and love in antiquity continue to shape the roles of sex and sexuality in modern culture.

Table of contents

List of Illustrations. Preface. Part I Roman Vice. 1. Introduction. 2. Naked Bodies. An introduction (less than successful) to the naked body. The Naked Body in Greece. Naked Romans. The Love of Art and the Art of Love. 3. Obscene Texts. Illustrating the Unspeakable. Talking Dirty. 4. Erotic Rites. The Myth of the Orgy. Locating the Erotic in Roman Religion. 5. Imperial Biography. The Private Lives of the Caesars. Explaining Roman Gossip Culture. Part II Greek Love. 6. Introduction. What is 'Greek Love'?: Scenes from a Courtroom I. 7. Greece. The Loves of Hellas. The Platonic Vision. 8. Rome and the West. Greece under Rome and Rome under Greece. Greek love burns briefly, but brightly. 9. Renaissance and Enlightenment. Giving Birth in the Beautiful. The Pursuit of Love. 10. Nineteenth-Century and Beyond. Greek Love Triumphant. Sapphic Love. A Mixed Legacy. 11. Epilogue. Scenes from a Courtroom II. Notes and Further Reading. Bibliography. Index.