Pornography and Representation in Greece and Rome

Pornography and Representation in Greece and Rome

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This collection of essays represents one of the very few large-scale applications of feminist theory to Greco-Roman antiquity. It is unusual in that texts and works of art are considered jointly. The essays consider Greek tragedy and major figures such as Aristophanes, the Roman historian Livy and the poet Ovid from a feminist perspective; they take into account the new work being done on ancient novels; and they deal with previously neglected topics such as the anthologist Athenaeus, and the fragments of erotic handbooks (the ancient pornographers).show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 24mm | 539.99g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • halftones
  • 0195067231
  • 9780195067231

Back cover copy

Can the pornographic be said to have existed in Greece and Rome? This new group of essays points to some striking similarities between our culture and those of the ancient world, challenging Foucauldian assumptions about the nature of sexuality. Covering such topics as vase painting, tragic and comic drama from fifth-century Athens, Hellenistic philosophy and sex manuals, Roman history, poetry, wall-painting, representations of gladiatorial combat, and romance novels, the contributors approach sexuality from both sides of the feminist pornography debate, including the use of film theory. A path-breaking application of feminist theory to the study of Greek and Roman cultures, this book offers new insight into the notion of sexuality in the ancient more

Review quote

This is a very good collection indeed. It includes a variety of approaches to pornography, covers a wide range of materials from painting and mosaics to tragedy and the ancient novel, gives attention to presentations both of sex and of violence, as well as to the intersection of the two domains, and shows considerable sophistication in modern theories of pornography and the oppression of womnen. Some of the ground covered is quite fresh (e.g. the attention given to Athenaeus or to the ancient sex manuals), and more familiar works are freshly interpreted...As a set, the papers make a substantial contribution to classical studies, bringing to bear a complex feminist perspective in an informed, clear, compelling way. This is very much needed, and should have considerable appeal to classicists, feminist critics and students, and to anyone interested in antiquity and sexuality. David Konstan, Professor of Classics, Brown University Richlin's introduction to the volume questions several of our standard tactics in reading the classical canon of texts ... in the context of mainstream classical scholarship, it amounts to a new agenda and a demand for a new set of reading practices ... a brilliant new reading of one of the most neglected texts of ancient literature; here, to continue Athenaeus' metaphor, is the proof of the pudding. Times Literary Supplementshow more

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