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Power and Eroticism in Imperial Rome


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Table of Contents

1. The erotics of imperium; 2. Romancing the stone: the story of Hadrian and Antinous; 3. Compromising traditions: the case of Nero and Sporus; 4. A match made in heaven: Earinus and the emperor; 5. Mistress as metaphor: a dialogue with Panthea; 6. And so to bed...

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This book explores how Roman imperial power was constructed and contested through the representation of sexual relations.

About the Author

Caroline Vout is Lecturer in Classics at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Christ's College, having previously taught at the University of Nottingham. She studied at Newnham College, Cambridge and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London and has been a Rome Scholar at the British School at Rome. She has published widely on aspects of Roman imperial culture and curated the exhibition Antinous: the Face of the Antique at the Henry Moore Institute in summer 2006.


'... her lively account shows how residents of the empire gained a sense of collective identity ... by sharing jokes, gossip and fantasy about the emperor's sex life.' Times Literary Supplement '... Caroline Vout represents the latest iteration of 1980s-style gender studies which started in classical scholarship with Michel Foucault's History of Sexuality. Reading eclectically across imperial historiography, epigram, satire and sculpture, Vout seeks to explain the role played by the erotic imagination in the maintenance of imperial rule.' Times Literary Supplement 'This exemplary work not only transcends the 'chronicles of Roman debauchery' so characteristic of coffee table books and semi-popular works, but paints an enlightened and subtle picture of Roman society at so many different levels of perception and interaction.' Dr Mark Merrony, Minerva

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