Book

Ancient Rome and the Construction of Modern Homosexual Identities

Edited by Jennifer Ingleheart

Published in print October 2015 | ISBN: 9780199689729
Published online October 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780191814044 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199689729.001.0001

Series: Classical Presences

Ancient Rome and the Construction of Modern Homosexual Identities

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This volume analyses the importance of ancient Rome in the construction of post-classical homosexual identities. The book explores the contested history of responses to Roman homosexuality, in areas including literature, the visual arts, popular culture, scholarship, and pornography. Much has been written about the contribution of ancient Greek homosexuality to modern discourses of homosexuality, but this volume argues that Rome has been largely overlooked in this respect. It explores the demonization of Rome and the attempts to write it out of the history of homosexuality by early activists such as John Addington Symonds, who believed that decadent, licentious Rome had corrupted ideal (and idealized) ‘Greek love’. The volume also interrogates the identification with Rome by men and women who have sought an alternative ancestry for their desires. It asks what it means to look to Rome instead of Greece, theorizing the way in which Rome itself appropriates Greece, and the consequences of such appropriations and identifications, ancient and modern. It argues that Rome has been central to homosexual desires and experiences, and the discourse surrounding them, from early Christian responses to the sexual incontinence of the emperors, to learned discussions of lesbian cunnilingus in Renaissance commentaries on Martial and Juvenal, to the use of Rome by the early sexologists, to modern pornographic films that linger on the bodies of gladiators and slaves. By interrogating the desires that create engagements with the classical past, this volume illuminates both classical reception and the history of sexuality.

Keywords: Roman homosexuality; Greek homosexuality; classical reception; history of sexuality; homosexual identity

Book.  384 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Romosexuality in Ancient Rome and the Construction of Modern Homosexual Identities

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Lesbian Philology in Early Print Commentaries on Juvenal and Martial in Ancient Rome and the Construction of Modern Homosexual Identities

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The Invention of (Thracian) Homosexuality in Ancient Rome and the Construction of Modern Homosexual Identities

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Winckelmann’s Legacy in Ancient Rome and the Construction of Modern Homosexual Identities

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Of That I Know Many Examples… in Ancient Rome and the Construction of Modern Homosexual Identities

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The Reception of Rome in English Sexology in Ancient Rome and the Construction of Modern Homosexual Identities

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Roman Receptions/Receptions of Rome in Ancient Rome and the Construction of Modern Homosexual Identities

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Putting the Roman Back into Romance in Ancient Rome and the Construction of Modern Homosexual Identities

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Sex and the City in Ancient Rome and the Construction of Modern Homosexual Identities

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Roman Homosexuality in Historical Fiction, from Robert Graves to Steven Saylor in Ancient Rome and the Construction of Modern Homosexual Identities

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