An Introduction to Sex and Prostitution in Ancient Rome

An Introduction to Sex and Prostitution in Ancient Rome : The History of Prostitution

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An Introduction to Sex and Prostitution in Ancient Rome - The History of Prostitution by William W Sanger. Our earliest acquaintance with the Roman laws governing prostitution dates from the reign of the Emperor Augustus, but there is abundant evidence to show that prostitutes were common in the city of Rome at the time when authentic history begins. It does not appear that religious prostitution was ever domiciled in Italy, though in later times the festivals in honor of certain deities were scandalously loose, and, to judge from the Etruscan paintings, the morals of the indigenous Italians must have been disgustingly depraved. In the comedies of Plautus, which are among the oldest works of Roman literature which have reached us, the prostitute (meretrix) and the bawd (leno) figure conspicuously. They were thus, evidently, in the third century before Christ, well-known characters in Roman society. When the Floralian Games were instituted we have no means of knowing (no credit whatever must be placed in the puerile stories of Lactantius about the courtesans Acca Laurentia and Flora; but it is certain that the chief attraction of these infamous celebrations was the appearance of prostitutes on the stage in a state of nudity, and their lascivious dances in the presence of the people; and there is evidence, in the story that the performance was suspended during the presence of the stern moralist Cato, that they had been long practiced before his time.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 48 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 2.79mm | 117.93g
  • Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1514118777
  • 9781514118771