Skip to main content

Stifling ‘Scare Figures’

By H. Christian Blood

Supposing the kinaidos is a trans woman, what then? For several decades now, the science of classical antiquity has fruitfully engaged with, on the one hand, gay and lesbian studies and queer theory (Dover, Foucault, Winkler, Halperin, Richlin, Parker, Williams), and on the other, feminism and feminisms (Gold, Hallett, Rabinowitz), thereby transforming our understanding of sexuality and gender in the ancient world and also in our discipline.

“Sex and Homosexuality in Suetonius’ Caesares”

By Molly M. Pryzwansky

B. Baldwin declared that Suetonius is “adamantine in his hostility towards male homosexuality” (503). Rightly cautioning against psychological inferences, Baldwin continues that since “diatribes against homosexuals are such a Roman commonplace,” Suetonius’ “tone need not be more than a conventional motif” (503). While Baldwin’s verdict initially appears valid, a reconsideration of key passages in the Caesares together with scholarship on Roman imperial ideals both in- and outside Suetonius’ text (e.g., Wallace-Hadrill, Bradley, Noreña) leads to a more nuanced assessment.

“The Art of Not Loving”

By E.Del Chrol

Cupid is a rapist. A predominant model of erotic attraction is that of a pathogen: the lover, observing an attractive physical feature or social action, is infected through the eyes, and is laid low. The body is unwillingly penetrated, the lover is taken by storm, the lover is feminized. Eros’ nosopoietic effects are both physical and social; lovers waste away and behave like women.

“Mature Praeceptor Amoris Seeks Tops (Discreet): Desire and Deniability in Tibullus 1.4”

By Robert Matera

Tibullus 1.4 is ostensibly a poem about aging men trying to attract the affections of boys, but a coded solicitation of a different sort is legible at verses 77-8. This paper argues that the poetic Ego of Tibullus 1.4, an adult man, uses ambiguous wording to express his desire to be sexually penetrated by other men without running afoul of social conventions and the generic conventions of Roman elegy, both of which proscribed this desire.

“Stupra et caedes: Homosexuality, Women’s Rituals, and the State in Livy’s Bacchanalian Narrative”

By Vassiliki Panoussi

In Livy's narrative of the Bacchanalian affair of 186 BCE (39.8-20), we see a process through which Roman society's views on religious and sexual norms are brought to coincide with practices by means of legal restrictions. The celebration of the Bacchic mysteries, a religious activity primarily belonging to the sphere of women, spills over to the sexual practices of male citizens, especially those of young age.