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Traditionally, scholars have approached Roman sexuality using categories of sexual ethics drawn from contemporary, Western society. In this 2006 book Dr Langlands seeks to move away from these towards a deeper understanding of the issues that mattered to the Romans themselves, and the ways in which they negotiated them, by focusing on the untranslatable concept of pudicitia (broadly meaning 'sexual virtue'). She offers a series of nuanced close readings of texts from a wide spectrum of Latin literature, including history, oratory, love poetry and Valerius Maximus' work Memorable Deeds and Sayings. Pudicitia emerges as a controversial and unsettled topic, at the heart of Roman debates about the difference between men and women, the relation between mind and body, and the ethics of power and status differentiation within Roman culture. The book develops strategies for approaching the study of an ancient culture through sensitive critical readings of its literary productions.Read more
- Offers an important new approach to Roman sexuality and sexual ethics through a full and wide-ranging study of the concept of pudicitia
- Makes extensive use for the first time of Valerius Maximus' large collection of exemplary historical narratives about sexual morality in the Memorable Deeds and Sayings
- Accessible to a wide readership, including those interested in the history of sexual ethics more generally, with all Latin translated and explained
Reviews & endorsements
"There are certainly fewer scholarly works on all the serious (and original) philosophizing and theorizing undertaken by the Romans on the sexual self. Langland's long tome, then, certainly addresses a gap in classical-cultural studies. ... All her readings are thought-provoking..."
Daniel Orrells, The Classical BulletinSee more reviews
"...Langlands's work is superb, not only demonstrating superior selection and deployment of representative texts but also providing consistently compelling analyses...this excellent text is a must-read..." --Garbriel Rupp: PsycCRITIQUES
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- Date Published: February 2009
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521109000
- length: 408 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 23 mm
- weight: 0.6kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Sexual virtue on display: the cults of pudicitia and honours for women
2. Traditional narratives and Livy's Roman history
3. Valerius Maximus: the complexities of past as paradigm
4. Subversive genres: testing the limits of pudicitia
5. Declamation: what part of 'no' do you understand?
6. Sexual virtue on display II: oratory and the speeches of Cicero
7. Imperial narrative, imperial interventions.
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