The Brothel of Pompeii: Sex, Class, and Gender at the Margins of Roman Society

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Cambridge University Press, May 23, 2019 - Art - 243 pages
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In this book, Sarah Levin-Richardson offers the first authoritative examination of Pompeii's purpose-built brothel, the only verifiable brothel from Greco-Roman antiquity. Taking readers on a tour of all of the structure's evidence, including the rarely seen upper floor, she illuminates the subculture housed within its walls. Here, prostitutes could flout the norms of society and proclaim themselves sexual subjects and agents, while servile clients were allowed to act as 'real men'. Prostitutes and clients also exchanged gifts, greetings, jokes, taunts, and praise. Written in a clear, engaging style, and accompanied by an ample illustration program and translations of humorous and haunting graffiti, Levin-Richardson's book will become a new touchstone for those interested in the history of women, slavery, and prostitution in the classical world.
 

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Contents

Approaching the PurposeBuilt Brothel
5
ARCHITECTURE
13
MATERIAL FINDS
31
GRAFFITI
40
FRESCOES
64
THE UPPER FLOOR
81
MALE CLIENTS
99
FEMALE PROSTITUTES
111
MALE PROSTITUTES
129
Excavation History and Material Finds
149
Notes
163
Bibliography
217
Index Locorum
233
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About the author (2019)

Sarah Levin-Richardson is Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics at the University of Washington. Her research has been supported by fellowships from the American Academy in Rome and the Andrew Mellon Foundation. Her co-written article 'Lusty Ladies in the Roman Imaginary' received the Barbara McManus Award for Best Published Paper from the Women's Classical Caucus in 2017.

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