Guide Sex in Antiquity: Exploring Gender and Sexuality in the Ancient World (Rewriting Antiquity)

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  1. Content Metrics
  2. The bisexuality of Orpheus - Enlighten: Publications
  3. Sex in Antiquity
  4. Lezersrecensie van 'Sex in Antiquity'
  5. Exploring Gender and Sexuality in Antiquity: The Trial and Consciousness of Callon

It would have been better if they had been in full color, but presumably that would make the book even more expensive. There are three sections. The first, a short one, is on the Near East, and then the other two are on Greece and Rome.

Content Metrics

The papers mostly address issues of normativity, power, and categories of gender and sexuality. They are often illuminating for modern debate.

Gender and Sexuality in the Ancient World

We are particularly focused on how to think about being gay or straight, bisexual or pansexual, male, female, non-binary, consent, assault, pressure to have sex, modesty, the legalization of sex work, and of course trans rights. Sexuality in the ancient world is fascinating because it was not influenced by the anti-sexual ideology of Christianity, and it was a time when people seemed to view sex as far less shameful.

The bisexuality of Orpheus - Enlighten: Publications

But it was still loaded with meanings, and there were many ideals for how people should behave in marriage, and about virginity. Many of the chapters address the difficult topic of the engagement of young people in sexual activity with adults in the ancient world, asking to what extent if any there were rules about how young they could be, which young people could be involved, whether their willingness was any factor at all in the activity. There are related questions addressed in the book about prostitutes and wives.

Many papers address male-male sexual activity: it has been a standard interpretation of ancient sexual practices that the male is expected to be agent of sex and cannot be passive, so men can have sex with boys or male slaves, but they cannot have sex with equal men.

Sex in Antiquity

Some of the papers explore the boundaries of this idea, and to what extent it is possible for there to be sexual love between two men of equal status. None of the papers take a strong moralizing tone, but there are questions about how much we should respect Ancient Greece as the foundation of Western Civilization, as it used to be thought of, and still is, to an extent.


It is clear that the ancient world was patriarchal and brutal, and even if there were elements of democracy, most of the population was exploited and excluded from power. They may have produced great achievements in city building, architecture, technology, literature and poetry, philosophy, and art, but insofar as these cultural elements not only reflect but also promote a fundamentally hierarchical view of people, can we admire them? In a parallel way, is there anything to admire or learn from in the ancient practices of sexuality?

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The work is written in straightforward, everyday language [19] [4] and makes no attempt at literary artifice. Three fragments of the manual from Oxyrhynchus attributed to Philaenis have survived. Philaenis the Samian, daughter of Ocymenes, composed this book for those who wish to live their life with knowledge gained scientifically, not unprofessionally. She toiled The second and third fragments come from the beginning of the second column on the scroll: [3].

On Seductions : Now, the seducer must come to the woman untidy and uncombed, so that he does not seem to the woman to be a man who takes much trouble On Kissing Boehringer states that the discovery of these fragments only prove that a genre of sexual writings existed in antiquity [9] and emphasizes that this treatise does not prove that Philaenis herself was a real person or that there was ever an "original" sex manual written by her. The structure of the treatise attributed to Philaenis resembles that of the later poetic Ars Amatoria by the Roman poet Ovid [19] and it is generally thought that Ovid probably drew on it for inspiration.

There comes in addition to these things the sign of shamelessness, this obelisque erected by my lecherous limb.

Right up to it, the puella — I almost said her name — is accustomed to come with the one who shags her cum suo fututore , and, if she has not completed all the positions described by Philaenis tot figuris, quas Philaenis enarrat , she leaves, still itching for it pruriosa. According to Boehringer, this poem indicates that girls, or puellae in Latin, may have read some kind of writings or discourses attributed to Philaenis.

The Roman epigrammatist Martial , who wrote in the late first century AD, uses a fictional character named Philaenis in his satires, [15] [26] [25] who may have been partially based on the persona of Philaenis of Samos.

Lezersrecensie van 'Sex in Antiquity'

Pudicat pueros tribas Philaenis et tentigine saevior mariti undenas dolat in die puellas. That tribade Philaenis sodomizes boys, and with more rage than a husband in his stiffened lust, she works eleven girls roughly every day. The women say, the men say: women's liberation and men's consciousness : issues in politics, work, family, sexuality, and power. Sinnott, with chapters by Joan S. Rabin and Michael T. Other Authors: Masterson, Mark, editor. Rabinowitz, Nancy Sorkin, editor.

Exploring Gender and Sexuality in Antiquity: The Trial and Consciousness of Callon

Robson, James James E. Rewriting antiquity. Machine generated contents note:pt. IAncient Near East 1. Solvang 4. Too young too old? IIArchaic, classical and Hellenistic Greece 6. Was pederasty problematized? Before queerness?