Sexuality in Greek and Roman Culture by Marilyn B. SkinnerSexuality in Greek and Roman Culture is the first comprehensive survey of ancient Greek and Roman sexuality.
Covers a wide range of subjects, including Greek pederasty and the symposium, ancient prostitution, representations of women in Greece and Rome, and the public regulation of sexual behavior.
Introduces readers to the bitter theoretical debates that have been fought about gender and sexuality in the classical world.
The material is ordered chronologically.
Draws parallels between ancient sexual ideology and contemporary culture.
Draws on literary, artistic and archaeological sources, as well as secondary scholarly sources.
Theoretically sophisticated and skillfully argued, yet accessible.
Illustration by Peter Butler. Along with intellectual accomplishments those of creature comforts represent a second significant benchmark for Greek civilization. By the end of the Hellenistic era Greek or Greco-Roman households attained a standard of comfort and permanence which was unsurpassed until modern times. Solid insulated walls, ceramic roofs, paved floors, interior kitchens, cisterns, and sewerage disposal all made living more tolerable. Every facet of household sanitation and food preparation was done by hand, however, and required significant hours of human labor energy to complete. The evidence indicates that the primary labor contributions to these endeavors, most particularly in the maintenance and development of domestic quarters in Greek society, were performed by women. W e begin the discussion of Greek gender relations, therefore, by contemplating the built environment where Greek women were likely to have spent most of their time.
Arthur-Katz Marilyn. Sexuality and the body in ancient Greece. Anthropologie des mondes grecs anciens , vol. The subject of Sexuality and the Ancient Greeks occupies a peculiar status in the European imagination -one which is not wholly explained by re- ferencing the position of prestige ordinarily assigned to ancient Greek culture as the fons et origo of the Western tradition. But this same notion was also the founding principle of a liberalizing and Anglican Victorian Hellenism opposed as much to the Roman form of classicism as to the Catholic form of Christianity. This racial conception of the Greek essence, developed in Germany in the mid- nineteenth century and imported into England through the school reforms associated with the names of Thomas and Matthew Arnold, was important.
Is that because female homoeroticism was less popular? All three of these characters were born women, and have the parts of a woman, yet Megillus identifies themself as a man. One might argue that we have seen other figures who portray themselves as the opposite sex in some of the past plays we have read. Agathon often sang in a higher, soprano voice, to emulate the female characters he was writing for. Similarly, Agathon was also treated somewhat poorly for unabashedly presenting himself as effeminate and participating in homosexual relations with other men as the passive partner.
When exploring the ancient Greek ideas surrounding homosexuality one is bound to come across numerous accounts of male same-sex relations., Women in the ancient Greek world had few rights in comparison to male citizens.
In classical antiquity , writers such as Herodotus ,  Plato ,  Xenophon ,  Athenaeus  and many others explored aspects of homosexuality in Greece. The most widespread and socially significant form of same-sex sexual relations in ancient Greece was between adult men and pubescent or adolescent boys, known as pederasty marriages in Ancient Greece between men and women were also age structured, with men in their thirties commonly taking wives in their early teens. It is unclear how such relations between women were regarded in the general society, but examples do exist as far back as the time of Sappho. The ancient Greeks did not conceive of sexual orientation as a social identifier as modern Western societies have done. Greek society did not distinguish sexual desire or behavior by the gender of the participants, but rather by the role that each participant played in the sex act, that of active penetrator or passive penetrated.
James Robson does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. A new exhibition at the British Museum promises to lift the lid on what beauty meant for the ancient Greeks. But while we gaze at the serene marble statues on display — straining male torsos and soft female flesh — are we seeing what the ancients saw? The feelings that beautiful faces and bodies rouse in us no doubt seem both personal and instinctive — just as they presumably did for the ancient Greeks who first made and enjoyed these artworks. But our reactions are inevitably shaped by the society we live in. Greek attitudes towards sex were different from our own, but are all those myths about the sex lives of the ancient Greeks true?