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Roman Homosexuality: Second Edition [Paperback]

Craig A. Williams
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 1, 2010 0195388747 978-0195388749 2
Ten years after its original publication, Roman Homosexuality remains the definitive statement of this interesting but often misunderstood aspect of Roman culture. Learned yet accessible, the book has reached both students and general readers with an interest in ancient sexuality. This second edition features a new foreword by Martha Nussbaum, a completely rewritten introduction that takes account of new developments in the field, a rewritten and expanded appendix on ancient images of sexuality, and an updated bibliography.

Frequently Bought Together

Roman Homosexuality: Second Edition + Homosexuality in Greece and Rome: A Sourcebook of Basic Documents + Greek Homosexuality: Updated and with a new Postscript
Price for all three: $85.64

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Editorial Reviews


"This book may do more for the understanding of classical sexuality than any since Kenneth Dover's Greek Homosexuality of twenty years ago."--Times Literary Supplement

"This is an important and ground-breaking study."--Choice

"This book by Craig A. Williams combines lucid analysis of the protocols governing male sexual behavior in ancient Rome with comprehensive documentation from literary sources.... It is a landmark work of scholarship and should prove accessible to scholars of all disciplines."--American Historical Review

"This indispensable book persuasively sets forth gender identity, not sexual orientation, as the fulcrum of male sexual significance in Roman society."--Religious Studies Review

About the Author

Craig A. Williams is Associate Professor of Classics, Brooklyn College, City University of New York.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 471 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (February 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195388747
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195388749
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #625,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book! November 10, 2010
I first discovered this gem in my school's library. Intrigued by the cover and the great reviews it received I decided to give it a try. I must say that Williams does a great job of sorting out the details and different aspects of Roman homosexuality. He infuses the work of previous scholars while offering his own. The book is both serious yet humorous making it a source of history that can be read by many. I highly recommend this book to anyone with desire to know more about the history of Roman homosexuality.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of William's Roman Homosexuality August 16, 2012
The second edition opens with a great little introduction by Professor M. Nussbaum, who helps tie this work contextually to similar works in the study of sexuality (Greek, Roman and modern) written in the last twenty years. She demonstrates the reasons for reading this work in particular.

Williams is as thorough-going as I could ask for. His work not only provides an understanding of the dynamics of Roman non-heterosexual practices, it also illuminates the basic framework of theories of desire and love, as well as the apparent legal structures surrounding and checking the sexual acts described. The work is a successful partner to Dover's Greek Homosexuality.

William's work also introduces the reader to much of the Roman sexual vocabulary, and includes scores of passages from relevant verse. I'm tackling Catullus just now, and, for better or worse, I understand precisely what it means to tell a Roman, "irrumabo"--both literally and in light of its social implications.

The book also attempts an analysis of male gender. Since this isn't totally coupled with a male sexual practices (in my opinion), Williams is smart not to press the point to dearly. It isn't his central thesis, yet he develops it so that he can correctly tie it to the thesis he's defending.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly and Insightful and Entertaining May 16, 2012
By Roman 1
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The subject of the book was what first drew my attention along with the beautiful cover depicting the Roman myth of the relationship between Zeus (in the form of an Eagle) and the beautiful Ganymede. This book is NOT for the common man. The work is extremely well written but scholarly in content and diction. You must be well read to fully reap the benefits of such a work. I consider myself to be well read, having a bachelor's degree in history, but this book proved its worth when I realized there was still a wealth of information about ancient Roman society which I was completely unaware existed. Well researched and founded in fact--not speculation. The book proves once and for all that the society many have deemed depraved, was not that at all. If you have any interest in this subject matter or just a sense of curiosity, this work is for you. But be warned; it is not easily read without the necessary educational background.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely rigorous March 2, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent, rigorous, most up to date, thorough and trustworthy source of the understanding of (mostly) male "homosexuality" (though Craig Williams admits the culturally historical problems with this term) through the interpretation of ancient Roman Classical texts.
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