Greek and Roman Sexualities: A Sourcebook (Bloomsbury Sources in Ancient History)


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With this law, there seemed to be a simultaneous approval from the state coupled with a degradation of the workers themselves.

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Even though the Republic was allowing the workers to profit from sexual acts, they could still be condemned by the citizens themselves for these actions. The feelings toward prostitutes and the laws that came about to regulate them are very similar to the chicken and egg debate. Were the laws restricting prostitutes responsible for the social rifts, or was it the social rifts that caused the laws? As stated earlier, there was a hierarchy within the prostitutes of Rome. The most soughtafter and expensive women were called meretrix while the sex workers who charged less for their work were called scortum, and sometimes lupa wolf.

He made a statute that required prostitutes to register for both tax and identification purposes. This tax made it a lot less common for part-time prostitutes to continue with the profession.

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The amount they owed did not change relative to how much they worked, so a prostitute who charged a lot less would have to pay the same amount of money to the state as a worker who was able to charge more for their work. At first, Caligula collected the profits from this tax via the publicani without regard to whether or not the taxpayer lived in Rome. The job was eventually transferred to the Praetorian Guard body guards to the Roman emperors for those who resided in Rome.

Outside of Rome, the money was collected from ordinary army troops and then transferred over to the emperor. This way of collecting money was used for security and ensured that the maximum profit was collected. The army was the largest source of manpower that the emperors had, as well as the most intimidating.

It would have been extremely hard to collect the money from such a large empire any other way. The creation of a tax specifically designated for prostitution resulted in a major shift in attitude towards sex workers and what they did. While prostitution was extremely popular until Caligula came into power, the workers were still looked down upon for their impure line of work. Once the tax was enacted, this view was altered dramatically.

Thomas McGinn, a professor of classics at Vanderbilt University, puts it perfectly, claiming that by creating a profit from sexual commerce, in a way, Caligula legitimized prostitution. Caligula appeared to put prostitution in the same category as legitimate businesses because he also implemented taxes on taverns, food, slaves, and artisans. Caligula was the first emperor to have written references to sex into a Roman tax law. Essentially, the tax was an income tax, the type of tax that was imposed on most other professions at the time.

The latter reasoning seems more likely, due to the fact that Caligula also created taxes for other legitimate businesses in Rome. In summary, he did not discriminate by just taxing pimps and prostitutes. No matter the reasoning behind it, Caligula got the idea for this tax from other places in the empire. Apparently Caligula, like many other Romans, had a fascination with other cultures and civilizations, and this was something that may have affected the statutes he passed.

Sex & Prostitution in Ancient Greek & Rome Documentary "Sex in the Ancient World" Pompeii

The tax on prostitution was one of the most effective taxes enacted by the state. Taxes on other businesses, for the most part, were abolished once the emperor following Caligula, Claudius who ruled 41 C.

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Read Greek and Roman Sexualities A Sourcebook Bloomsbury Sources in Ancient History Ebook pdf

He even refunded some of the tax dollars back to the businesses. The tax on prostitution was not abolished, though, because Claudius felt it was too profitable to eliminate. Severus Alexander, a later emperor, was able to use the proceeds of the prostitution tax for the construction of buildings in Rome during his reign C.


  • Greek and Roman Sexualities: A Sourcebook / Edition 1.
  • Einander verstehen: Gedichte und Geschichten über Mütter, Kinder und andere Chaoten (German Edition);
  • The Social Effect of the Law on Prostitutes in Ancient Rome.

The fact that emperors following Caligula continued to enforce his legislative act for about years just goes to show how important it was to the state, and how long the changes in attitude towards prostitutes lasted. Although the Christian emperors were following a new religion that seemed to look down upon sexual promiscuity, they kept enforcing the tax and collecting money from it. Despite the fact that the Christians may have left it in effect just for monetary reasons, by doing so they continued to subtly support prostitution. This alleged attitude shift does not necessarily mean that the entirety of the Roman population was suddenly accepting of prostitution, but rather that the legitimization of sex work made it seem more tolerable in the eyes of the people.

This thoughtless process directly shows the change in opinion towards prostitutes. The earlier laws regulating what prostitutes and pimps could or could not do limited them both legally and socially. By restricting their actions, the Roman population assumed that prostitutes were subpar. They believed people who had laws enacted specifically upon them did not deserve to be considered full citizens because they legally were not considered as such.

When Caligula came into power, he seized the opportunity to create a plethora of taxes to help raise money for the state, the most successful being the tax on prostitution. While initially the people of Rome believed prostitution was acceptable albeit morally questionable when they benefited from it, the laws enacted in 40 C. Ultimately, these laws effectively altered the social view of prostitution to a legitimate form of business in ancient Rome. Ibid, 9. Ibid, Bibliography Barrett, Anthony.

W. K. C. Guthrie

Caligula: The Corruption of Power. Yale University Press, Chrysostom, Dio. Edited by Jennifer Larson. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, Johnson, Marguerite and Terry Ryan. See details. See all 3 brand new listings. Buy It Now. Add to cart. Be the first to write a review About this product. About this product Product Information Since the publication of Foucault's History of Sexualitythe volume of Classical scholarship on gender, sexuality and the body has steadily increased in tandem with the expansion of these topics in other areas of the Humanities.

This volume will provide readers with a substantial selection of primary sources documenting sexualities, sexual behaviors, and perceptions of sex, sexuality, gender, and the body among people in the ancient Greco-Roman world. The coverage will begin with Homer in the eighth century BCE and will focus most heavily on Classical Greece and Rome from the Republic to the early Empire, though sources reflecting societal changes in later antiquity and a selection of Jewish and Christian readings will also be included. Authors will include Hippocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Galen, Ovid and Plutarch, with each chapter including one or two substantial 'focal' readings.

Greek and Roman Sexualities: A Sourcebook by Jennifer Larson

The materials will include poetry, history, oratory, medical and philosophical writings, letters, and inscriptions, both public and private. Additional Product Features Dewey Edition. Show More Show Less. Any Condition Any Condition. See all 5. No ratings or reviews yet. Be the first to write a review. Best Selling in Nonfiction See all. Unfreedom of The Press by Mark R. Levin , Hardcover Blue Book of Gun Values 40 40th Edition. Sabatine Ringbound, Revised Edition, Save on Nonfiction Trending price is based on prices over last 90 days.

Greek and Roman Sexualities: A Sourcebook (Bloomsbury Sources in Ancient History) Greek and Roman Sexualities: A Sourcebook (Bloomsbury Sources in Ancient History)
Greek and Roman Sexualities: A Sourcebook (Bloomsbury Sources in Ancient History) Greek and Roman Sexualities: A Sourcebook (Bloomsbury Sources in Ancient History)
Greek and Roman Sexualities: A Sourcebook (Bloomsbury Sources in Ancient History) Greek and Roman Sexualities: A Sourcebook (Bloomsbury Sources in Ancient History)
Greek and Roman Sexualities: A Sourcebook (Bloomsbury Sources in Ancient History) Greek and Roman Sexualities: A Sourcebook (Bloomsbury Sources in Ancient History)
Greek and Roman Sexualities: A Sourcebook (Bloomsbury Sources in Ancient History) Greek and Roman Sexualities: A Sourcebook (Bloomsbury Sources in Ancient History)

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