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Sex: Vice and Love from Antiquity to Modernity

ISBN: 978-1-4051-2291-7
236 pages
April 2010, Wiley-Blackwell
Sex: Vice and Love from Antiquity to Modernity (1405122919) cover image


Sex: Vice and Love from Antiquity to Modernity examines the impact that sexual fantasies about the classical world have had on modern Western culture.
  •  Offers a wealth of information on sex in the Greek and Roman world
  • Correlates the study of classical sexuality with modern Western cultures
  • Identifies key influential themes in the evolution of erotic discourse from antiquity to modernity
  • Presents a serious and thought-provoking topic with great accessibility
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations.


Part I Roman Vice.

1. Introduction.

2. Naked Bodies.

An introduction (less than successful) to the naked body.

The Naked Body in Greece.

Naked Romans.

The Love of Art and the Art of Love.

3. Obscene Texts.

Illustrating the Unspeakable.

Talking Dirty.

4. Erotic Rites.

The Myth of the Orgy.

Locating the Erotic in Roman Religion.

5. Imperial Biography.

The Private Lives of the Caesars.

Explaining Roman Gossip Culture.

Part II Greek Love.

6. Introduction.

What is 'Greek Love'?: Scenes from a Courtroom I.

7. Greece.

The Loves of Hellas.

The Platonic Vision.

8. Rome and the West.

Greece under Rome and Rome under Greece.

Greek love burns briefly, but brightly.

9. Renaissance and Enlightenment.

Giving Birth in the Beautiful.

The Pursuit of Love.

10. Nineteenth-Century and Beyond.

Greek Love Triumphant.

Sapphic Love.

A Mixed Legacy.

11. Epilogue.

Scenes from a Courtroom II.

Notes and Further Reading.



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Author Information

Alastair J. L. Blanshard is a senior lecturer in Classics & Ancient History at the University of Sydney. He is the author of Hercules: A Heroic Life (2005).
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“The book is helpfully provocative and certainly helps to explain the enduring appeal of Grecece and Rome in contemporary (erotic) culture.”  (INTAMS review - Journal for the Study of Marriage & Spirituality, 18 January 2012)

"Recommended. Graduate students/faculty." (Choice, 1 March 2011)

"This book is enjoyable and informative . . . it would be of especial interest to students of reception studies and the history of sexuality, but there is also much material that is useful to the classical scholar". (Bmcreview, 26 April 2011)

"It is because of the personal narratives - as well as the sophistication, wit and learning of the whole enterprise - that this book is highly recommended reading." (Times Higher Education, 30 October 2010)

"This is a sharply witty and provocative guide to ancient sexual transgression - and to our modern fantasies, dreams and projections about Greek love and Roman orgies." Simon Goldhill, Cambridge University

“From George Washington unclad as a Roman prince, to the cult of Plato’s Symposium in nineteenth-century England, to cinematographic fantasies of Roman orgies, Alastair Blanshard explores how the Moderns became fascinated with classical sex, Roman vice and Greek love. Often ironic, never naive and always a pleasure, this book reveals the enduring appeal of Greece and Rome in our erotic culture.”
Giulia Sissa, University of California at Los Angeles

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Sex: Vice and Love from Antiquity to Modernity (US $43.95)

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