Looking at Lovemaking Constructions of Sexuality in Roman Art, 100 B. C. -A. D. 250

ISBN-10: 0520229045
ISBN-13: 9780520229044
Edition: N/A
Authors: John R. Clarke
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Description: What did sex mean to the ancient Romans? In this lavishly illustrated study, John R. Clarke investigates a rich assortment of Roman erotic art to answer this question--and along the way, he reveals a society quite different from our own. Clarke  More...

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Book details

List price: $45.95
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 4/16/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 389
Size: 6.75" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.892
Language: English

What did sex mean to the ancient Romans? In this lavishly illustrated study, John R. Clarke investigates a rich assortment of Roman erotic art to answer this question--and along the way, he reveals a society quite different from our own. Clarke reevaluates our understanding of Roman art and society in a study informed by recent gender and cultural studies, and focusing for the first time on attitudes toward the erotic among both the Roman non-elite and women. This splendid volume is the first study of erotic art and sexuality to set these works--many newly discovered and previously unpublished--in their ancient context and the first to define the differences between modern and ancient concepts of sexuality using clear visual evidence. Roman artists pictured a great range of human sexual activities--far beyond those mentioned in classical literature--including sex between men and women, men and men, women and women, men and boys, threesomes, foursomes, and more. Roman citizens paid artists to decorate expensive objects, such as silver and cameo glass, with scenes of lovemaking. Erotic works were created for and sold to a broad range of consumers, from the elite to the very poor, during a period spanning the first century B.C. through the mid-third century of our era. This erotic art was not hidden away, but was displayed proudly in homes as signs of wealth and luxury. In public spaces, artists often depicted outrageous sexual acrobatics to make people laugh. Looking at Lovemakingdepicts a sophisticated, pre-Christian society that placed a high value on sexual pleasure and the art that represented it. Clarke shows how this culture evolved within religious, social, and legal frameworks that were vastly different from our own and contributes an original and controversial chapter to the history of human sexuality.

John R. Clarkeis Annie Laurie Howard Regents Professor of History of Art at the University of Texas, Austin. He is the author ofArt in the Lives of Ordinary Romans(UC Press, 2003),Roman Sex(2003),Looking at Lovemaking: Constructions of Sexuality in Roman Art,100 B.C.- A.D. 250(UC Press, 1998), andThe Houses of Roman Italy: 100 B.C.- A.D. 250: Ritual, Space, and Decoration(UC Press, 1991).

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction
The Cultural Construction of Sexuality
Greek and Hellenistic Constructions of Lovemaking
The Augustan and Early Julio-Claudian Periods (27 B.C.-A.D. 30)
Representations of Male-to-Male Lovemaking
Representations of Male-to-Female Lovemaking
Sex and the Body of the Other
Pompeii: The Neronian and Flavian Periods (A.D. 54-79)
The Display of Erotica and the Erotics of Display in Houses
The Display of Erotica and the Erotics of Display in Public Buildings
Italy and the Provinces: The First through the Third Centuries
The Invention and Spread of Sexual Imagery through the Roman World
Conclusions
Notes
Glossary
A Guide to Classical Texts
Bibliography
Index

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