Thomas A. J. McGinn

in Prostitution, Sexuality, and the Law in Ancient Rome

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9780195161328
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199789344 | DOI:

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This introduction discusses the subject of the book, namely the legal rules affecting the practice of female prostitution in Rome during the central part of its history, a period extending from approximately 200 BC to AD 250. The book looks at the origins and content of the legal norms created for prostitution. The aim is to examine these norms in relation to the wider social context, discuss how the legal and political authorities were able to adapt this to society's needs, and illustrate crucial issues relating to marginal groups, marriage, sexual behavior, the family, slavery, and citizen status, especially the status of women. Prostitution, for years a marginal theme in historiography, stands at the center of some fundamental modern concerns with past societies.

Keywords: law; nonlegal evidence; honor; shame; prostitution; sexuality; ancient Rome

Chapter.  9594 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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