Rebecca Flemming

in The Oxford Handbook of Roman Studies

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199211524
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History


More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Classical Studies
  • Classical History
  • Gender and Sexuality


Show Summary Details


Roman sexuality is only just emerging from the scholarly shadows. As the sexual domain became a valid, and increasingly vital, subject of historical enquiry, it was classical Greece that was selected to speak for the ancient world, and to challenge modern assumptions about the constitution, organisation, and valorisation of sexual desire, activity, and identity; with considerable, though certainly not uncontested, success. In the pursuit of radical difference from the present, past divisions were elided, and Rome's sexual patterns were subsumed within a classical paradigm of distinctly Greek construction. They are now breaking free, however, and more recent scholarship has been concerned, quite precisely, with demarcating and exploring definitively Roman sexual territories. This article explores the most recurrent themes to emerge from the recent scholarship on Roman sexuality. It discusses the sharp division, and clear double standard, between men and women as sexual subjects; the Roman sexual order; and Musonius's views about the ongoing conundrum concerning women, sexuality, and subjectivity.

Keywords: Rome; sexuality; sexual desire; sexual subjects; sexual order; Musonius; women; subjectivity

Article.  8716 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical History ; Gender and Sexuality

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.