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Introduction

Mark Golden and Peter Toohey
in Sex and Difference in Ancient Greece and Rome
Published in print: 2003 Published Online:
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
March 2012
DOI: 10.3366/
ISBN: 9780748613199 eISBN: 9780748651016 edinburgh/9780748613199.003.0021
Item type: chapter

This book offers a selection of scholarship on sex and gender in ancient
Greece and ancient Rome, beginning from the end of the eighteenth
century, a time of turmoil and ferment. The model of separate spheres
– women relegated to private sphere, men to public sphere – never
worked particularly well for Rome. Men, especially citizen men, occupied
the public sphere of the community, both literally – they alone ranged
freely throughout the Greek and Roman worlds – and metaphorically, as
participants in politics, litigants in courts, theater audiences. Women,
contrariwise, were restricted to the home. Meanwhile, sex occupied
a separate sphere of its own, sometimes the province of specialists
in ancient medicine, at others the pastime of collectors of curiosa, of
investigators into sexual positions, sex sellers, the erotic vocabulary.
These fields have been transformed by the work of the past forty years,
first Kenneth Dover's, then, following in his footsteps, that of Michel
Foucault. This book explores sexuality and gender in the ancient world,
focusing on how the roles and spheres of the sexes were divided.

Classical Greek Attitudes to Sexual Behaviour
K. J. Doveri

in Sex and Difference in Ancient Greece and Rome
Published in print: 2003 Published Online:
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
March 2012
DOI: 10.3366/
ISBN: 9780748613199 eISBN: 9780748651016 edinburgh/9780748613199.003.0005
Item type: chapter

The Greeks regarded sexual enjoyment as the area of life in which the
goddess Aphrodite was interested, as Ares was interested in war and
other deities in other activities. Sexual intercourse was aphrodisia,
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001. but the obsessive desire for a particular person was eros or love. resistance to sexual desire. pagan sexuality. a picture whose details will have to be filled in at some later point if this aspect of ancient Greek social relations is ever to be understood historically. Our own culture has its myths about the remote past.‘the things of Aphrodite’. The Social Body and the Sexual Body† David Halperin in Sex and Difference in Ancient Greece and Rome Published in print: 2003 Published Online: Publisher: Edinburgh University Press March 2012 DOI: 10. The social body precedes the sexual body. focusing on inhibition. Sexual desire could be denoted by general words for ‘desire’. shame and fear by the Christians destroyed a golden age of free. and Greek philosophy and sexual intercourse. by virtue of their political standing. That most pagans were in many ways less inhibited than most Christians is undeniable. a declaration of social identity. class and status.0001 Item type: book Page 2 of 3 . Sexuality. This chapter provides a picture of the cultural formation underlying the classical Athenian institution of paederasty.0006 Item type: chapter Plato's testimony and Caelius Aurelianus's testimony combine to make a basic conceptual and historical point. This chapter explores attitudes to sexual behaviour in classical Greece. and sexuality itself is a modern invention. Sex and Difference in Ancient Greece and Rome Mark Golden and Peter Toohey Published in print: 2003 Published Online: Publisher: Edinburgh University Press March 2012 DOI: 10. fearless. women's segregation and adultery. commercial sex. Homosexuality presupposes sexuality. Sex in classical Athens was a manifestation of personal status. and one myth which dies hard is that the ‘invention’ of sexual guilt.003. in the hierarchical structure of the Athenian polity. for cultures not shaped by some very recent European and American bourgeois developments. Homosexuality presupposes sexuality because the very concept of homosexuality implies that there is a specifically sexual dimension to the human personality.3366/ ISBN: 9780748613199 eISBN: 9780748651016 edinburgh/9780748613199.3366/ ISBN: 9780748613199 eISBN: 9780748651016 edinburgh/9780748613199. is not a cause but an effect. sexual behaviour did not so much express inward dispositions or inclinations as it served to position social actors in the places assigned to them. homosexuality.

first by Sir Kenneth Dover. And then the subjects were transformed. women kept to the home. While men occupied the public sphere of the community. ranged through the Greek and Roman worlds and participated in politics. Sex occupied a separate sphere. then by Michel Foucault. including four chapters translated from German and French. In so doing. courts. focussed on how the roles and spheres of the sexes were divided. theatre and sport. it sheds light on aspects of ancient lives and thought. The book charts and illustrates the evolution of scholarly investigation of a once-hidden aspect of the ancient world. Page 3 of 3 . if they took place at all. For centuries. discussions of sexuality and gender in the ancient world.This book collects and introduces some of the writing on sexual behaviour and gender differences in ancient Greece and ancient Rome. in scholarly terms restricted to specialists in ancient medicine.