Ancient Obscenities: Their Nature and Use in the Ancient Greek and Roman Worlds
Dorota Dutsch, Ann Suter
University of Michigan Press, Nov 18, 2015 - History - 356 pages
Ancient Obscenities inquires into the Greco-Roman handling of explicit representations of the body in its excretory and sexual functions, taking as its point of departure the modern preoccupation with the obscene. The essays in this volume offer new interpretations of materials that have been perceived by generations of modern readers as “obscene”: the explicit sexual references of Greek iambic poetry and Juvenal’s satires, Aristophanic aischrologia, Priapic poetics, and the scatology of Pompeian graffiti. Other essays venture in an even more provocative fashion into texts that are not immediately associated with the obscene: the Orphic Hymn to Demeter, Herodotus, the supposedly prim scripts of Plautus and the Attic orators. The volume focuses on texts but also includes a chapter devoted to visual representation, and many essays combine evidence from texts and material culture. Of all these texts, artifacts, and practices we ask the same questions: What kinds of cultural and emotional work do sexual and scatological references perform? Can we find a blueprintfor the ancient usage of this material?
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action Adams Aeschines aischrologia anasyrma ancient Apollodorus argues Aristophanes Athenian audience Bakhtin Baubo bodily waste Burton cacator Caesar camp Carey Catullus chapter Cicero cinaedi Classical comic context culture defecation Demeter Demosthenes discussion epigram erotic example expurgated female functions Gauls gender gesture gorgoneion graffiti Greek Halliwell Hellenic Henderson Herodotos Hipponax Hobson Homeric Hymn humor Hymn to Demeter Iambe iambic invective Jansen joke Juvenal Juvenal’s Koloski-Ostrow language Latin laughter Lindsay Lindsay’s literary male Martial Medusa mockery modern Moormann moral Naevolus narrative narrator norms notes obscenity Old Comedy Oxford passage penis performance phallus Pistoclerus Plautus poem poetry Pompeii Priapus reader reading refer Richlin ritual obscenity Roman Rome Rosen Satire Satires of Juvenal scatological scatological graffiti scene scholars sexual shit Smithers social speaker speech story suggests Suter taboo term tion toilets trans translation triumph songs unexpurgated urine verbal verse Vettii woman women words