Un-Roman Sex explores how gender and sex were perceived and represented outside the Mediterranean core of the Roman Empire.
The volume critically explores the gender constructs and sexual behaviours in the provinces and frontiers in light of recent studies of Roman erotic experience and flux gender identities. At its core, it challenges the unproblematised extension of the traditional Romano-Hellenistic model to the provinces and frontiers. Did sexual relations and gender identities undergo processes of "provincialisation" or "barbarisation" similar to other well-known aspects of cultural negotiation and syncretism in provincial and border regions, for example in art and religion? The 11 chapters that make up the volume explore these issues from a variety of angles, providing a balanced and rounded view through use of literary, epigraphic, and archaeological evidence. Accordingly, the contributions represent new and emerging ideas on the subject of sex, gender, and sexuality in the Roman provinces.
As such, Un-Roman Sex will be of interest to higher-level undergraduates and graduates/academics studying the Roman empire, gender, and sexuality in the ancient world and at the Roman frontiers.
Table of Contents
1. Venus’ mirror: reflections of gender and sexuality in the Roman Empire
Tatiana Ivleva and Rob Collins
Part I: Seeing (beyond) sex
2. On a knife-edge: an image of sex and spectacle from Roman north-west Europe
3. More than just love and sex: Venus figurines in Roman Britain
Matthew G. Fittock
4. His and hers: magic, materiality, and sexual imagery
Part II: Representations and performance of the fFeminine (or is it?)
5. Barbie-bodies and coffee beans: female genital imagery in the Mediterranean and the north-west provinces of the Roman Empire
6. Female status and gender on Roman frontier in Britain: between representation and reality
7. Dressed for death? A study of female-associated burials from Roman-period Slovenia
Part III: The stuff of "man"
8. Coming out of the provincial closet: masculinity, sexuality, and same-sex sexual relations amongst Roman soldiers in the European north-west, first–third centuries A.D.
9. The phallus and the frontier: the form and function of phallic imagery along Hadrian’s Wall
10. Egyptian faience flaccid phallus pendants in the Mediterranean, Near East, and Black Sea regions
Alissa M. Whitmore
11. Roman and un-Roman sex
Tatiana Ivleva has a special interest in the study of provincial corporeal culture in its various embodiments, ranging from personal dress adornments made of copper alloy and glass to the epigraphic visibility of sexual and other relationships. As a material culture specialist of the Roman frontier and provincial regions, her research showcases the power of the everyday objects in disentangling the past activities of the inhabitants at the edges of the Roman world. Her publications include Embracing the Provinces: Society and Material Culture of the Roman Frontier Regions (2018) and papers on migration and mobility, family formations in the Roman army, and experimental archaeology. Tatiana is Visiting Research Fellow at Newcastle University, UK.
Rob Collins is a specialist of Roman frontier studies and small finds, with a particular focus on late antiquity, and his research explores themes of identity, place, and regionality. His monograph, Hadrian’s Wall and the End of Empire (2012), was the first comprehensive study of a late Roman frontier. Other publications include Hadrian’s Wall 2009–2019 (2019), Roman Military Architecture on the Frontiers (2015), and Finds from the Frontier (2010). Rob is a Lecturer at Newcastle University, UK.
"With enthusiasm, vigor, and courage (for, as the editors say, provincial archaeology remains a conservative field), this volume's contributors fill in the holes in the Kinsey II survey with small finds. [...] The collection consists of nine chapters, along with an introduction by the co-editors and a conclusion by the art historian Sarah Levin-Richardson - an inspired choice, grounded in the work she has done to restore subjectivity to the writers of Pompeii's most explicit sexual graffiti." - Amy Richlin, sehepunkte
"[A] necessary addition to the growing scholarship on the study of Roman erotic art, filling in a massive lacuna by focusing on Roman provinces and frontiers in the early centuries of the Empire... Un-Roman Sex is a must-read for any scholar of the Roman period, as well as for anyone studying gender, sex, or the body in history. This important volume not only adds to our understanding of the larger Roman world, but also reminds us that Roman culture did not develop exclusively in Italy. There was constant exchange between the center and periphery of the Roman Empire, which resulted in a great amount of diversity in the material record throughout it." - Katherine A. P. Iselin, University of Missouri, USA, in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2021