Books on Ancient Roman Sexuality Posted by on Mar 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

For some reason we have always been fascinated by ancient Roman sexuality. In previous times, the discussion of ancient Roman sexuality was either covered up or ignored. In other cases, it has been sensationalized. There are countless books on the subject matter, and depending on how you feel (embarrassed or interested), here are some books you might want to read…

There are several books on the study of ancient Roman sexuality through art. One such book is Looking at Lovemaking: Constructions of Sexuality in Roman Art, 100 B.C. – A.D. 250 by John R. Clarke. The author put in a wealth of photos so if you’re a visual reader, you’ll like this book. Basically the author tries to answer what sex meant to the ancient Romans. He uses ancient Roman art as a way to show that the ancient Romans were not uptight when it came to sex.

The Garden of Priapus: Sexuality and Aggression in Roman Humor by Amy Richlin. This book studies ancient Roman humor and the use and frequency of sexual innuendo in ancient Roman humor. The author uses countless examples through literature and poetry to show that the ancient Romans were outspoken and not hung up about using sexually explicit humor. Some of the examples may make you cringe, so if you’re the type that gets easily offended, this might not be the book for you.

Prostitution, Sexuality, and the Law in Ancient Rome by Thomas A.J. McGinn is a good book for those who like to know the technical side of ancient Roman sexuality. The author tries to show that prostitution in ancient Rome was not as criminalized or shunned as it is in some societies today. He deals with issues of women prostitutes, slave prostitution and how all these issues were interpreted by ancient Roman law.

Hollywood has a habit of showing ancient Roman emperors as crazy and promiscuous men. A book called Sex Lives of the Ancient Emperors by Nigel Cawthorne reveals all the sordid details about the emperors that could ever want to know. You can get a biography of each emperor and learn about the rumors surrounding their lives, but if you want a book compiling all the details of the emperor’s sex lives, then you might be interested in this book.

The Latin Sexual Vocabulary by J.N. Adams is a scholarly book on sexual terminology. If you’ve wondered about certain key phrases in Catallus’s poetry and couldn’t find them in a regular Latin dictionary, then buy this book. This book contains all the slang and euphemisms about sex or anything related to the matter, and is a technical guide to all the words that are embarrassing in any language.

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