Ancient Rome and the Construction of Modern Homosexual Identities

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2015-12-08
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Much has been written about the contribution of ancient Greece to modern discourses of homosexuality, but Rome's significant role has been largely overlooked. Ancient Rome and the Construction of Modern Homosexual Identities explores the contested history of responses to Roman antiquity, covering areas such as literature, the visual arts, popular culture, scholarship, and pornography. Essays by scholars working across a number of disciplines analyse the demonization of Rome and attempts to write it out of the history of homosexuality by early activists such as John Addington Symonds, who believed that Rome had corrupted ideal (and idealized) 'Greek love' through its decadence and sexual licentiousness. The volume's contributors also investigate the identification with Rome by men and women who have sought an alternative ancestry for their desires. The volume asks what it means to look to Rome instead of Greece, theorizes the way in which Rome itself appropriates Greece, and explores the consequences of such appropriations and identifications, both ancient and modern. From learned discussions of lesbian cunnilingus in Renaissance commentaries on Martial and Juvenal, to disgust at the sexual excesses of the emperors, to the use of Rome by the early sexologists, to modern pornographic films that linger on the bodies of gladiators and slaves, Rome has been central to homosexual desires and experiences. By interrogating the desires that create engagements with the classical past, the volume illuminates both classical reception and the history of sexuality.

Author Biography

Jennifer Ingleheart, Senior Lecturer in Classics, Durham University

Jennifer Ingleheart is Senior Lecturer in Classics at Durham University.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
List of Contributors
Introduction: Romosexuality: Rome, Homosexuality, Reception, Jennifer Ingleheart
1. Lesbian Philology in Early Print Commentaries on Juvenal and Martial, Marc D. Schachter
2. The Invention of (Thracian) Homosexuality: the Ovidian Orpheus in the English Renaissance, Jennifer Ingleheart
3. Winckelmann's Legacy: Aesthetics, Decorum, and the Hellenization of Rome in the Eighteenth Century Reception of Homosexuality, Matthew Fox
4. 'Of that I know many examples ...': On the Relationship of Greek Theory and Roman Practices in Karl Heinrich Ulrichs' Writings on the Third Sex, Sebastian Matzner
5. The Reception of Rome in English Sexology, Jana Funke and Rebecca Langlands
6. Roman Receptions/Receptions of Rome: Walter Pater's Marius the Epicurean, Daniel Orrells
7. Putting the Roman Back into Romance: The Subversive Case of the Anonymous Teleny, Jennifer Ingleheart
8. Sex and the City: Petronius' Satyrica and Gore Vidal's The City and the Pillar, Nikolai Endres
9. Roman Homosexuality in Historical Fiction from Robert Graves to Steven Saylor, Craig Williams
10. 'Gay' Pompeii: Pompeian Art and Homosexuality in the Early Twentieth Century, Sarah Levin-Richardson
11. The Role of Roman Artefacts in E. P. Warren's 'Paederastic Evangel', Jennifer Grove
12. Rom(e)-antic Visions: Collecting, Display and Homosexual Self-fashioning, Caroline Vout
13. The Erotic Eye: Cinema, Classicism, and the Sexual Subject, Alastair J. L. Blanshard
14. The Kisses of Juventius and Policing the Boundaries of Masculinity: The Case of Catullus, Ralph J. Hexter
15. 'Too Gross for Our Present Notions of Propriety': Roman Homosexuality in Two Nineteenth-century Translations of Martial's Epigrams, Craig Williams
General Index
Index of Classical Authors Cited

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