Sexuality in Greek and Roman Literature and Society: A Sourcebook (Routledge Sourcebooks for the Ancient World)
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This Sourcebook contains numerous original translations of ancient poetry, inscriptions and documents, all of which illuminate the multifaceted nature of sexuality in antiquity.
The detailed introduction provides full social and historical context for the sources, and guides students on how to use the material most effectively. Themes such as marriage, prostitution and same-sex attraction are presented comparatively, with material from the Greek and Roman worlds shown side by side. This approach allows readers to interpret the written records with a full awareness of the different context of these separate but related societies. Commentaries are provided throughout, focusing on vocabulary and social and historical context.
This is the first major sourcebook on ancient sexuality; it will be of particular use on related courses in classics, ancient history and gender studies.
King of Thebes. Desirous of making love to Zeus in his transcendent form, she was consumed by fire; cf. Gantz 472–79. 16 Alcmene, daughter of Electryon, King of Mycenae, and wife of Amphitryon, originally from Tiryns, later King of Thebes; cf. Gantz 374–78. 17 Demeter is a powerful deity of agriculture and, like Zeus and Hera, an offspring of Cronus and Rhea. On the incest, cf. n.10. 18 From the union with Leto (daughter of Coeus and Phoebe) came Apollo and Artemis. 19 Cf. Hes. (Th. 886–923) who
(cf. Campbell 2:25). Here he compares the impact of Eros with the violent workings of a blacksmith. (1) Again Eros struck me like a blacksmith wielding an enormous hammer (2) and bathed me in an ice cold torrent. (3) Notes 1 Cf. MacLachlan 1997 (198–212). Sexuality in greek and roman society and literature: a sourcebook 36 2 The poet is contrasted with the fiery hot metal, passively lying on the anvil, and struck by the hammer of the blacksmith/Eros. 3 After hammering hot metal into shape,
doorkeeper of the bedroom, could be euphemistically equating his long feet with the size of his penis. 7 Hymenaios is both wedding god and wedding song. He instructs young men to hoist a lofty canopy over the nuptial proceedings. 8 Contains similar innuendo to Fr. 110(a), here with respect to the ‘size’ of the groom. Page suggests that this extract may well be from ‘a song presumably recited by the assembly which went in procession from the bride’s house to the bridegroom’s after the ceremonial
can, usually do. (3) 780 Now, unless I send the pimp a gift today, I’m going to have to drink ‘fuller’s fruit’ tomorrow. (4) Sexuality in greek and roman society and literature: a sourcebook 104 O dear, how small (5) I am, even now, for that sort of activity, and yet, by Pollux, wretch that I am, I’m so terribly afraid of him, so that if someone were to offer anything heavier than my hand, (6) 785 even though they say it can be managed with a lot of groaning, it seems I’ll have to be able to
in the same house as the seducer’s target sets the scene for the sexually charged narrative that follows. The fact that the object of desire describes the girl, whom she suggests as an alternative, establishes her own unreadiness for a sexual encounter (cf. Van Sickle). 4 He begins his seduction by praising the girl’s mother and ends his attempt at enticement by claiming how he might have sex with her without taking her virginity (i.e. ‘The Divine Thing’). 5 He tries to persuade the girl by ideas