The Garden of Priapus Sexuality and Aggression in Roman Humor

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  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1992-08-20
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Statues of the god Priapus stood in Roman gardens to warn potential thieves that the god would rape them if they attempted to steal from him. In this book, Richlin argues that the attitude of sexual aggressiveness in defense of a bounded area serves as a model for Roman satire from Lucilius to Juvenal. Using literary, anthropological, psychological, and feminist methodologies, she suggests that aggressive sexual humor reinforces aggressive behavior on both the individual and societal levels, and that Roman satire provides an insight into Roman culture. Including a substantial and provocative new introduction, this revised edition is important not only as an in-depth study of Roman sexual satire, but also as a commentary on the effects of all humor on society and its victims.

Table of Contents

Toward a History of Sexuality
Feminist Work Within Classics
Philology, the New Historicism, and the Foucauldian Theory of Sexuality in Antiquity
Through the Garden and Back
Roman Concepts of Obscenityp. 1
Apologiaep. 2
Decorum in Prosep. 13
"Four-Letter Words"p. 18
Stainingp. 26
The Erotic Ideal in Latin Literature and Contemporary Greek Epigramp. 32
Puerip. 34
Mistressesp. 44
The Content and Workings of Roman Sexual Humorp. 57
Descriptive Analysis: The Priapic Modelp. 57
The Genres of Roman Sexual Humorp. 64
The Subjects of Roman Satirep. 65
Other Models for Satire: Judgmental Analysisp. 70
Graffiti, Gossip, Lampoons, and Rhetorical Invectivep. 81
Graffitip. 81
Gossipp. 83
Lampoonsp. 86
Rhetorical Invectivep. 96
Literature Based on Invective: Invective against Old Women, Priapic Poetry, and Epigramp. 105
Invective against Old Womenp. 109
Priapic Poetryp. 116
Epigramp. 127
Appendix: The Date and Authorship of the Carmina Priapeap. 141
Catullus, Ovid, and the Art of Mockeryp. 144
Catullusp. 144
Ovidp. 156
Sexual Satirep. 164
Luciliusp. 164
Horacep. 174
Persiusp. 185
Petroniusp. 190
Juvenalp. 195
Conclusionp. 210
Appendix 1. The Evidence on the Circumstances Surrounding Adultery at Romep. 215
Appendix 2. The Circumstances of Male Homosexuality in Roman Society of the Late Republic and Early Empirep. 220
Invectivep. 220
Erotic Poetryp. 222
Some Real-Life Evidencep. 223
Idealsp. 225
Notesp. 227
Bibliographyp. 261
Addenda and Corrigendap. 273
Additional Bibliographyp. 292
Index of Passages Citedp. 295
Index Verborump. 307
General Indexp. 311
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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