Sexuality in Greek and Roman Culture

Sexuality in Greek and Roman Culture

Marilyn B. Skinner

Language: English

Pages: 464

ISBN: 1444349864

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


This agenda-setting text has been fully revised in its second edition, with coverage extended into the Christian era. It remains the most comprehensive and engaging introduction to the sexual cultures of ancient Greece and Rome.

  • 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
  • Expanded coverage extends to the advent of Christianity, includes added illustrations, and offers student-friendly pedagogical features
  • Text boxes supply intriguing information about tangential topics
  • Gives a thorough overview of current literature while encouraging further reading and discussion
  • Conveys the complexity of ancient attitudes towards sexuality and gender and the modern debates they have engendered

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physiological terms, therefore requires investigation. The lofty and self-serving assertions of oligarchic ideology made the protocols of boy-love an easy target of ridicule. It is no surprise, then, that comedy raises a laugh by debunking such pretensions: all professed advocates of chaste pederastic erôs are shown as hypocrites, all boys yield out of venality. To cite one example of how Aristophanes discredits the posturing of aficionados of pederasty: in the central scene of Clouds

balanced explanation of the controversy. This is another example of the way questions more than two millennia old, like Plato’s view of same-sex intercourse, can explode anew. Throughout this section I purposely refer to Alexander’s homeland as “Macedon,” not “Macedonia.” 3 Pomeroy (1997: 108–14) discusses the appearance of funerary foundations beginning in the late fourth century. As described in inscriptions, the wealthy set up funds to ensure that offerings for the dead would continue to be

other. Conclusion As we noted in the introduction, romantic love could at least temporarily fill the vacancy left by the disappearance of other social institutions that once facilitated male bonding. At Athens, for example, the decline of the old propertied families and the concentration of power among plutocrats in league with Macedonian �royalty had displaced pederasty from its former privileged position. Meanwhile, in those Greek cities of Asia Minor that had been recently Hellenized and,

be performed only for procreative purposes – were freely circulating in Greece by the Hellenistic era. Pederasty as a practice, though culturally accepted, had long been questioned as well, particularly where changes in civic institutions had made the formation of friendships between older and younger male citizens politically insignificant. Pythagorean doctrine on the duties of husband to wife, including fidelity, was originally the teaching of a marginal sect, but, by the early imperial era,

it reads hê pais, “the girl” (pais, “child,” may be used of either sex, but the article is feminine). Since that �publication (Yatromanolakis 2005) the vase has already received considerable attention (Nagy 2007: 239–40, 2009: 193–5; Yatromanolakis 2007: 88–90, 103–10). Whatever the precise �implications of the linked images, the overall scheme, including the inscription, evokes “the sociocultural institution of pederasty” and assimilates Sappho into a “pederastic paradigm” (Yatromanolakis 2005:

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