Full Text

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN. Sexuality in the Roman Empire

Amy Richlin


Subject Roman History » Roman Empire

Key-Topics sex, sexualities, slavery, sources

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631226444.2006.00022.x


Extract

The Roman Empire: vast in space, long in time. How can we imagine something as elusive as sexuality over that wide expanse? Since the 1970s, classical scholars have been thinking about sexuality in the ancient Mediterranean, but most have focused on Greeks from Athens and Romans from Rome. Thanks to the interest taken in the subject by Michel Foucault in his last work, discussion has often revolved around questions Foucault found important, especially pederasty and sexual identity ( Foucault 1988 ; for overviews, see Edwards 1993 ; Larmour et al. 1998 ; Skinner 1996 ). But in order to get an idea of sexuality as a whole in the Roman Empire as a whole, we need to dolly back. Let me propose a thought experiment: the Kinsey II Expedition to the Roman Empire. Afire with the possibilities opened up by the invention of a reliable time machine, Kinsey II and his crew of Lab-coated assistants have grabbed their clipboards and questionnaires and are about to set out on an immense project. They will fan out to all parts of the Roman Empire, starting in the year 14 ce and returning to antiquity at 70-year intervals: 84, 154, 224, 294, 364, 434. Much as they wish they could carry on to the fall of Byzantium, they have decided to take the end of the empire in the West as a stopping point. They have devised a simple questionnaire: 20 questions. Imagine their findings on an enormous grid, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top