Controlling Desires: Sexuality in Ancient Greece and Rome

Controlling Desires Sexuality in Ancient Greece and Rome Historians of ancient Greece and Rome are sometimes hesitant to engage with the well documented fact that Greek and Roman men regularly engaged in same sex sexual relations with younger men In a simil

  • Title: Controlling Desires: Sexuality in Ancient Greece and Rome
  • Author: Kirk Ormand
  • ISBN: 9780275988807
  • Page: 331
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Historians of ancient Greece and Rome are sometimes hesitant to engage with the well documented fact that Greek and Roman men regularly engaged in same sex sexual relations with younger men In a similar vein, scholars have constructed elaborate social explanations for Sappho, a 6th century woman from the island of Lesbos who wrote passionate poetry about her erotic relatiHistorians of ancient Greece and Rome are sometimes hesitant to engage with the well documented fact that Greek and Roman men regularly engaged in same sex sexual relations with younger men In a similar vein, scholars have constructed elaborate social explanations for Sappho, a 6th century woman from the island of Lesbos who wrote passionate poetry about her erotic relations with a number of women, in order to avoid her apparent sexual orientation On the other hand, in recent times the Greeks and Romans have occasionally been idealized as prototypes of modern homosexuality or bisexuality In this engaging, cross disciplinary book, Ormand argues that the Greeks and Romans thought of sex and sexuality in ways fundamentally different from our own Ormand s exploration of Greek and Roman sexual practice allows readers the opportunity to see how attitudes and beliefs about sex sexuality, in short functioned in the early civilizations of the West, and how those attitudes reveal the unspoken rules that defined public and private behavior.Ormand treats Greece and Rome in separate sections, with ample cross references and comparisons Within each section, individual chapters focus on different types of texts and visual arts Just as sexuality is presented differently in our legal cases than it is on television sitcoms, or supermarket tabloids, the reader will naturally find that the Greeks and Romans talk one way about sex, love, and marriage in legal speeches and another way in comedies, satires, and philosophical texts Ormand s analysis takes into account changes in attitude over time, as well as different modes of presenting a complex and interconnected set of social beliefs and behaviors.

    One thought on “Controlling Desires: Sexuality in Ancient Greece and Rome”

    1. Don't be intimidated by the topic, this book is totally accessible and readable. Whether you are interested in the ancient world or just in better contextualizing contemporary ideas about sexuality, this book is great. He gives plenty of examples, and provides some endnotes to further reading, but it seems clear he intended for this book to be read by beginners as well as academics, and keeps the prose light and readable while walking you through concepts that will let you talk about this easily [...]

    2. "Greek men viewed Persian men as suspiciously feminine, in part because Persian men wore pants." 5"Greeks and Romans thought of sexual roles differently than we do--that, in effect, their sexual universe was oriented on a different set of axes than ours is." 6"The first point we must note about this debate [between a man with a strict preference for female-objects and a man with a strict preference for male-objects in Pseudo-Lucian's 'Erotes'], in any case, is clear: This is not an argument betw [...]

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