Sex in Antiquity
Exploring Gender and Sexuality in the Ancient World
Looking at sex and sexuality from a variety of historical, sociological and theoretical perspectives, as represented in a variety of media, Sex in Antiquity represents a vibrant picture of the discipline of ancient gender and sexuality studies, showcasing the work of leading international scholars as well as that of emerging talents and new voices.
Sexuality and gender in the ancient world is an area of research that has grown quickly with often sudden shifts in focus and theoretical standpoints. This volume contextualizes these shifts while putting in place new ideas and avenues of exploration that further develop this lively field. This broad study also includes studies of gender and sexuality in the Ancient Near East which not only provide rich consideration of those areas but also provide a comparative perspective not often found in such collections. Sex in Antiquity is a major contribution to the field of ancient gender and sexuality studies.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Ancient Near East
1. Susan Ackerman ‘I Have Hired You with My Son’s Mandrakes’: Women’s Reproductive Magic in Ancient Israel
2. Roland Boer From Horse Kissing to Beastly Emissions: Paraphilias in the Ancient Near East
3. Stephanie L. Budin Fertility and Gender in the Ancient Near East
4. Gwendolyn Leick Too Young - Too Old? Sex and Age in Mesopotamian Literature
5. Elna K. Solvang Guarding the House: Conflict, Rape, and David’s Concubines
Part 2: Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic Greece
6. Alastair J.L. Blanshard Fantasy and the Homosexual Orgy: Unearthing the Sexual Scripts of Ancient Athens
7. Claude Calame Relations of Sex and Gender in Greek Melic Poetry: Helen Object and Subject of Desire
8. Monica S. Cyrino Of Love and Bondage in Euripides’ Hippolytus
9. Dorota Dutsch Dog-Love-Dog: Kynogamia and Cynic Sexual Ethics
10. Kathy L. Gaca Ancient Warfare and the Ravaging Martial Rape of Girls and Women: Evidence from Homeric Epic and Greek Drama
11. Allison Glazebrook ‘Sex Ed’ at the Archaic Symposium: Prostitutes, Boys and Paideia
12. Simon Goldhill Is There a History of Prostitution?
13. Edward M. Harris ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ in Women’s Desire
14. Andrew Lear Was Pederasty Problematized? A Diachronic View
15. Sheila Murnaghan Naming Names, Telling Tales: Sexual Secrets and Greek Narrative
16. Walter Penrose Before Queerness? Visions of a Homoerotic Heaven in Ancient Greco-Italic Tomb Paintings
17. Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz Melancholy Becomes Electra
18. James Robson Fantastic Sex: Fantasies of Sexual Assault in Aristophanes
Part 3: Republican, Imperial and Late Ancient Rome
19. Sandra Boehringer What is Philaenis the name of? The Identity, Function and Authority of an Unnamed Figure
20. Daniel Boyarin Friends without Benefits; or, Academic Love
21. Matthew Fox The Bisexuality of Orpheus
22. Hunter H. Gardner: Curiositas, Horror, and the Monstrous-Feminine in Apuleius’ Metamorphoses
23. Barbara Gold The Remaking of Perpetua: A Female Martyr Reconstructed
24. Judith P. Hallett Making Manhood Hard: Tiberius and Latin Literary Representations of Erectile Dysfunction
25. Deborah Kamen and Sarah Levin-Richardson Revisiting Roman Sexuality: Agency and the Conceptualization of Penetrated Males
26. Mark Masterson Toward a Late-Ancient Physiognomy
27. Kelly Olson Toga and Pallium: Status, Sexuality, Identity
28. Amy Richlin Reading Boy-Love and Child-Love in the Greco-Roman World
29. Steven D. Smith Agathias and Paul the Silentiary: Erotic Epigram and the Sublimation of Same-Sex Desire in the Age of Justinian
30. Craig Williams The Language of Gender: Lexical Semantics and the Latin Vocabulary of Unmanly Men
Mark Masterson is Senior Lecturer of Classics at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He is author of Man to Man: Desire, Homosociality, and Authority in Late-Roman Manhood (2014). He has published articles and book chapters on Statius, Vitruvius, the Historia Monachorum, Eugene O’Neill, Emperor Julian, St. Augustine and current New Zealand health policy, and the state of masculinity studies in Classics. He is currently completing a monograph on same-sex desire between Byzantine men, entitled Between Byzantine Men: Desire, Brotherhood, and Male Culture in the Medieval Empire.
Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz is Professor of Comparative Literature at Hamilton College, USA. Author of Anxiety Veiled: Euripides and the Traffic in Women (1993) and Greek Tragedy (2008), she has co-edited Vision and Viewing in Ancient Greece, with Sue Blundell and Douglas Cairns (2013), Feminist Theory and the Classics, with Amy Richlin (Routledge, 1993), Among Women: From the Homosocial to the Homoerotic in the Ancient World, with Lisa Auanger (2002), as well as From Abortion to Pederasty: Addressing Difficult Topics in the Classics Classroom, with Fiona McHardy (2014), which won the Teaching Literature Book Award 2015. She is one of the co-editors and translators of Women on the Edge: Four Plays by Euripides (1999).
James Robson is Senior Lecturer in Classical Studies at the Open University, UK. His previous publications include Humour, Obscenity and Aristophanes (2006); Aristophanes: An Introduction (shortlisted for the Anglo-Hellenic League’s Runciman Award, 2009); Ctesias’ History of Persia: Tales of the Orient (with Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones; 2010) and Sex and Sexuality in Classical Athens (2013).
"A bold and far-reaching collection of articles from some of the most perceptive and influential scholars in the field. This volume embraces the recent re-examination of gender as a critical category of meaning when thinking about sexual behaviors and the culturally produced meanings of sex; as such this book should significantly broaden the field of inquiry concerning ancient sexuality, while sharpening the theoretical positions that inform current debates."
Kirk Ormand, Oberlin College, USA
"Sex in Antiquity appears at a timely moment. This monumental collection of original essays marks the close of a retrospective period and the emergence of exciting new lines of enquiry. It makes two decisive contributions: first, by broadening the established range of the field to include work on the Near Eastern and Judaic sex/gender systems; second, by questioning supposedly settled conclusions on numerous topics, including female desire, impotence, male passivity, pederastic relations, prostitution, queerness, and rape. Its publication will undoubtedly create a second wave of enthusiasm for studying ancient gender and sexuality."
Marilyn B. Skinner, University of Arizona, USA
"[T]he editors of and contributors to this volume offer insightful and sometimes unexpected conversations that take place between current and past scholarship, and provide opportunities to explore the trajectories that scholarship on sex, sexuality, and gender in antiquity might now take... Overall, [the volume] offers thoughtful reflections on how current scholarship on gender and sexuality in antiquity got to where it is today and provides new avenues of inquiry."
F. Mira Green, University of Washington, USA, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"This volume is absolutely superb: from cover to cover, 30 chapters and an introduction, it is a tour de force ... The contributions are informative, insightful, articulate and well researched ... the book is an impressive and important work and a necessary read for scholars of the ancient world and sexuality studies."
Darlene M. Juschka, University of Regina, Canada, The Classical Review
"The broad range of chapters investigates important historical and societal issues in ancient Near East, the Greek world, and the Roman world, such as prostitution, assault, rape and war, and pederasty. We also learn about a bizarre range of subjects – such as debatable cases of reproductive magic in the Hebrew Bible; the use of flour in Mesopotamian midwifery; the language of unmanliness in Latin; the Christian martyr Perpetua, and much much more."
Lucia Marchini, Minerva November/December 2018