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Sexuality and Gender in the Classical World: Readings and Sources

Sexuality and Gender in the Classical World: Readings and Sources

Laura K. McClure (Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-470-75553-2

Apr 2008, Wiley-Blackwell

336 pages

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This volume provides essays that represent a range of perspectives on women, gender and sexuality in the ancient world, tracing the debates from the late 1960s to the late 1990s.

List of Illustrations.



Editor's Introduction.

Part I: Greece.

1. Classical Attitudes to Sexual Behaviour. (K. J. Dover).

Source: Aristophanes' Speech from Plato, Symposium 189d7-192a1.

2. Double-Consciousness in Sappho's Lyrics. (J. J. Winkler).

Sources: Sappho 1 and 31; Homer, Iliad 5.114-132; Odyssey 6.139-85.

3. Bound to Bleed. Artemis and Greek Women. (H. King).

Excerpts: Hippocrates, On Unmarried Girls; Euripides, Hippolytus 59-105.

4. Playing the Other: Theater, Theatricality, and the Feminine in Greek Drama. (F. Zeitlin).

Sources: Sophocles, Women of Trachis 531-587, 1046-1084; Euripides, Bacchae 912-944.

Part II: Rome.

5. The Silent Women of Rome. (M. I. Finley).

Sources: Funerary Inscriptions: CE 81.1-2, 158.2, 843, 1136.3-4; ILS 5213, 8402, 8394; CIL 1.1211, 1.1221, 1.1837.

6. The Body Female and the Body Politic. Livy's Lucretia and Verginia. S. R. Joshel.

Sources: Livy, On the Founding of Rome, 1.57.6-59.6.

7. Mistress and Metaphor in Augustan Elegy.(M. Wyke).

Excerpts: Propertius, 1.8a-b and 2.5; Cicero, In Defense of Marcus Caelius 20.47-21.50.

8. Pliny's Brassiere.

Source: Pliny, Natural History 28.70-82.

Part III: Classical Tradition.

10. "The Voice of the Shuttle Is Ours." (Patricia Klindienst).

Source: Ovid, Metamorphoses 6.424-623.



  • Explores the fascinating world of sex and gender roles in the classical period.

  • Accessible to general readers whilst encouraging them to confront new theories and methodologies, and contemporary assumptions about gender and sexuality.

  • Provides teachers with a means of introducing theoretical readings of ancient sources to undergraduates.

  • Gives a general overview of the history of gender studies in classics.

  • Includes primary sources to enable readers to engage with the evidence themselves.

  • Covers not only women in antiquity, but also masculinity and sexuality.