Chapter

Introduction

Mark Golden and Peter Toohey

in Sex and Difference in Ancient Greece and Rome

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780748613199
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651016 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748613199.003.0021
Introduction

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This book offers a selection of scholarship on sex and gender in ancient Greece and ancient Rome, beginning from the end of the eighteenth century, a time of turmoil and ferment. The model of separate spheres – women relegated to private sphere, men to public sphere – never worked particularly well for Rome. Men, especially citizen men, occupied the public sphere of the community, both literally – they alone ranged freely throughout the Greek and Roman worlds – and metaphorically, as participants in politics, litigants in courts, theater audiences. Women, contrariwise, were restricted to the home. Meanwhile, sex occupied a separate sphere of its own, sometimes the province of specialists in ancient medicine, at others the pastime of collectors of curiosa, of investigators into sexual positions, sex sellers, the erotic vocabulary. These fields have been transformed by the work of the past forty years, first Kenneth Dover's, then, following in his footsteps, that of Michel Foucault. This book explores sexuality and gender in the ancient world, focusing on how the roles and spheres of the sexes were divided.

Keywords: Kenneth Dover; Michel Foucault; sex; gender; sexuality; sexual behaviour; ancient Rome; ancient Greece; private sphere; public sphere

Chapter.  10060 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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