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Homosexuality in Greece and Rome: A Sourcebook of Basic Documents Paperback – May 12, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0520234307 ISBN-10: 0520234308 Edition: 0th

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Homosexuality in Greece and Rome: A Sourcebook of Basic Documents + Making Sense of Sex: Attitudes towards Sexuality in Early Jewish and Christian Literature (Attitudes to Sex in Early Jewish and Christian Literature) + The New Testament on Sexuality (Attitudes Towards Sexuality in Judaism and Christianity in the Hellenistic Greco-Roman Era)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 575 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (May 12, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520234308
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520234307
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #763,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"Professor Hubbard has had the generosity and good sense to include fragmentary as well as complete texts, and inscriptions and graffiti as well as properly literary works. The translations by divers hands faithfully represent an enormously wide range of genres and both high and colloquial styles, and the Greek and Latin texts are intelligently grouped into ten chapters by period and subject-matter, each introduced and annotated by the editor. There is an excellent selection of illustrations, including the fetishistic Roman-period Warren Cup recently purchased by the British Museum, that depicts both pederastic sodomy and voyeurism."—Paul Cartledge, author of Spartan Reflections

"It would be difficult to find a way to overstate the value of Hubbard’s contribution to our study of ancient sex and sexuality. Even those who think they know all about these topics are in for some surprises when they explore this vast collection of primary texts from the ancient Mediterranean world. Students, too, will find a great feast of information spread before them. The selection is comprehensive, and the English translations are carefully chosen. My first question, as I began to understand the nature of the sourcebook I held in my hands, was: Why has no one done this before?"—John T. Kirby, author of Secret of the Muses Retold

"Hubbard has achieved a remarkable feat. He has collected the literary and historical (and some artistic) evidence documenting same-sex eroticism in ancient Greece and Rome, in all its varieties. He introduces these sources to the general reader by period and author and analyzes controversial issues such as essentialism vs. social constructivism and the very rubric homosexuality, and he traces changing attitudes toward diverse homoerotic practices. His Sourcebook provides readers with just the right amount of background on changing social and political contexts from Greece to Rome, and introduces the full range of scholarship on a broad and important topic. It will fascinate and educate all those interested in the history of sexuality and, in practical terms, it will facilitate teaching and research in Gay Studies and indeed in Cultural Studies and Ancient History."—Nancy Felson, author of Regarding Penelope: From Character to Poetics

From the Back Cover

"Professor Hubbard has had the generosity and good sense to include fragmentary as well as complete texts, and inscriptions and graffiti as well as properly literary works. The translations by divers hands faithfully represent an enormously wide range of genres and both high and colloquial styles, and the Greek and Latin texts are intelligently grouped into ten chapters by period and subject-matter, each introduced and annotated by the editor. There is an excellent selection of illustrations, including the fetishistic Roman-period Warren Cup recently purchased by the British Museum, that depicts both pederastic sodomy and voyeurism."-Paul Cartledge, author of Spartan Reflections "It would be difficult to find a way to overstate the value of Hubbard's contribution to our study of ancient sex and sexuality. Even those who think they know all about these topics are in for some surprises when they explore this vast collection of primary texts from the ancient Mediterranean world. Students, too, will find a great feast of information spread before them. The selection is comprehensive, and the English translations are carefully chosen. My first question, as I began to understand the nature of the sourcebook I held in my hands, was: Why has no one done this before?"-John T. Kirby, author of Secret of the Muses Retold "Hubbard has achieved a remarkable feat. He has collected the literary and historical (and some artistic) evidence documenting same-sex eroticism in ancient Greece and Rome, in all its varieties. He introduces these sources to the general reader by period and author and analyzes controversial issues such as essentialism vs. social constructivism and the very rubric homosexuality, and he traces changing attitudes toward diverse homoerotic practices. His Sourcebook provides readers with just the right amount of background on changing social and political contexts from Greece to Rome, and introduces the full range of scholarship on a broad and important topic. It will fascinate and educate all those interested in the history of sexuality and, in practical terms, it will facilitate teaching and research in Gay Studies and indeed in Cultural Studies and Ancient History."-Nancy Felson, author of Regarding Penelope: From Character to Poetics

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By William A. Percy on November 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
Thomas Hubbard has produced the most significant anthology about Greek and Roman homosexuality ever. I had wanted to do such a book twenty years ago, but I lacked the skill. A master of the Greek tongue, he found the best translations of texts often misunderstood or bowdlerized, and when he couldn't find any, he translated them himself or commissioned others to do so. He additionally placed extensive and erudite introductions along with very useful bibliographic notes at the beginning of each of chapter. Each chapter is well footnoted, and as Hubbard says in his preface, "The footnotes are geared to a general undergraduate audience that has little previous knowledge of classical civilization and may need explanation of basic cultural artifacts or historical references. The notes also include points of interpretation, which should interest both the general and the more knowledgeable reader."

He effectively demolished the absurdities of John Boswell and David Halperin, and criticized the less reprehensible but still erroneous theses of Dover and Foucault. True, Hubbard did not do much with lesbianism, but then it didn't appear often in the sources. His subtle but devastating attacks on social constructionists, extreme feminists, lesbiterians, and Socarides, the other (dying-off) old-time American Freudians, and the child abuse industry make his work not only intellectually unassailable but socially and legally relevant. It is the first of its kind and will not conceivably be surpassed. Reviewers and others may over time be able to add a few items or even quibble a bit with the translations offered. It is plausible, at the most, that a second edition may be needed in a decade or two.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jane on August 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is a long book but it is so skilfully written that the reader looks forward to the next page! It is broken up with little stories, poems, arguments and anecdotes from famous names and not so famous names all in different stages of wooing a boy.

It is interesting to read about Socrates, Plato and poems from ordinary men trying to woo their love interest. Some successfully..other poems show the anger with the boy or the loss of his love.

There are wonderful arguments and debates regardinge the erastes/eromenus relationship. There are anecdotes about cross-dressers, lesbians, male prostitutes, lesbians (not so much) and spurned lovers. There are lessons on how to be successful courting a boy...what to look for and what to expect. Only families of the wealthy allowed their boys to be courted.

There were many rules of courtship and in this world the boys' virtue is protected by the father until he approves of the suitor..or the boy accepts.

The descriptions of where men can meet boys: the gymnasia, the baths, and sleeping outside a potential lovers door!

The poetry is some of the most beautiful I have ever read.

So much information but easy to digest. So much was uncovered (excuse the pun)

It was wonderful to read actual notes and speeches from Socrates,Plato and others. It provided a vivid snapshot of male love in Ancient times.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Dale W. Boyer on November 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is an exhaustive, absolutely fascinating compendium of a vast number of ancient texts, all of which make reference to classical attitudes concerning homosexuality. The array is fascinating, the conclusions myriad. For anyone who really wants to get down the the nitty gritty of ancient opinions -- or to see what day to day ancient life was like -- this book is indispensible.
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