Sexuality in Ancient Greece and Rome

Sexuality in Ancient Greece and Rome

By (author) Marilyn B. Skinner

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"Sexuality in Greek and Roman Culture" is the first comprehensive survey of ancient Greek and Roman sexuality. This title 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. It introduces readers to the bitter theoretical debates that have been fought about gender and sexuality in the classical world. The material is ordered chronologically. This title draws parallels between ancient sexual ideology and contemporary culture. It also draws on literary, artistic and archaeological sources, as well as secondary scholarly sources. It was theoretically sophisticated and skillfully argued, yet accessible.

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  • Paperback | 376 pages
  • 170.18 x 254 x 33.02mm | 675.85g
  • 22 Feb 2005
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • BLACKWELL PUBLISHERS
  • Oxford
  • English
  • 1
  • 0631232346
  • 9780631232346
  • 537,292

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Author Information

Marilyn B. Skinner is Professor of Classics at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Her previous publications include Catullus' Passer: The Arrangement of the Book of Polymetric Poems (1981), Roman Sexualities (co-edited, 1997), Catullus in Verona (2003), and Vergil, Philodemus, and the Augustans (co-edited, 2004).

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Review quote

"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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Back cover copy

"Sexuality in Greek and Roman Culture "is the first comprehensive survey of ancient Greek and Roman sexuality. Drawing on literary, artistic, and archaeological evidence, as well as on scholarly sources, it 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. Different class and gender perspectives are taken into account as far as they can be recovered. The book also introduces the bitter theoretical battles that have been fought over ancient sexuality, particularly regarding what ancient societies believed about sex and sexual orientation. The author draws comparisons between ancient sexual ideology and contemporary culture, encouraging readers to understand the relationship between social institutions and personal sexual conduct. Designed for a general audience, "Sexuality in Greek and Roman Culture" is written in an elegant and accessible style. It offers sophisticated insights into complex social issues.

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