Book picks similar to
Bisexuality in the Ancient World by Eva Cantarella
A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome
Alberto Angela - 2007
A crowd of onlookers gathered around a slave driver. The wondrous plenty of banquets where flamingos are roasted whole and wine flows like rivers. The silence of the baths and the boisterous taverns . . . Many books have dealt with the history of ancient Rome, but none has been able to bring its readers so near to daily life in the Imperial capital. This extraordinary voyage of exploration, guided by Alberto Angela with the charm of a born story- teller, lasts twenty- four hours, beginning at dawn on an ordinary day in the year 115 A.D., with Imperial Rome at the height of its power. The reader wakes in a rich patrician home and discovers frescoes, opulent furnishings and richly appointed boudoirs. Strolling though the splendors of the Roman Forum, one overhears both erudite opinions from learned orators and local ribaldry floating out from the public latrines. One meets the intense gazes of Roman matriarchs strolling the streets, looks on as a banquet is prepared, and is afforded a peek into the sexual habits and fetishes of Roman patricians and plebs. For all those who have ever dreamed of traveling back in time, Alberto Angela's narrative style will come as a welcome change to dry historical tomes. Rich in atmosphere and historical information, A Day in Ancient Rome is a voyage into a world both distant to us in time and surprisingly near in its habits, mores, and passions.
Inseparable: Desire Between Women in Literature
Emma Donoghue - 2010
Emma Donoghue brings to bear all her knowledge and grasp to examine how desire between women in English literature has been portrayed, from schoolgirls and vampires to runaway wives, from cross-dressing knights to contemporary murder stories. Donoghue looks at the work of those writers who have addressed the “unspeakable subject,” examining whether such desire between women is freakish or omnipresent, holy or evil, heartwarming or ridiculous as she excavates a long-obscured tradition of (inseparable) friendship between women, one that is surprisingly central to our cultural history.Donoghue writes about the half-dozen contrasting girl-girl plots that have been told and retold over the centuries, metamorphosing from generation to generation. What interests the author are the twists and turns of the plots themselves and how these stories have changed—or haven’t—over the centuries, rather than how they reflect their time and society. Donoghue explores the writing of Sade, Diderot, Balzac, Thomas Hardy, H. Rider Haggard, Elizabeth Bowen, and others and the ways in which the woman who desires women has been cast as not quite human, as ghost or vampire.She writes about the ever-present triangle, found in novels and plays from the last three centuries, in which a woman and man compete for the heroine’s love . . . about how—and why—same-sex attraction is surprisingly ubiquitous in crime fiction, from the work of Wilkie Collins and Dorothy L. Sayers to P. D. James.Finally, Donoghue looks at the plotline that has dominated writings about desire between women since the late nineteenth century: how a woman’s life is turned upside down by the realization that she desires another woman, whether she comes to terms with this discovery privately, “comes out of the closet,” or is publicly “outed.”She shows how this narrative pattern has remained popular and how it has taken many forms, in the works of George Moore, Radclyffe Hall, Patricia Highsmith, and Rita Mae Brown, from case-history-style stories and dramas, in and out of the courtroom, to schoolgirl love stories and rebellious picaresques. A revelation of a centuries-old literary tradition—brilliant, amusing, and until now, deliberately overlooked.
K.J. Dover - 1977
But throughout generations of education in ancient Greek philosophy, drama, poetry, politics, and art, a crucial aspect of the ancient Greek world has come to be overlooked, avoided, distorted, or denied--the role of the homosexual relationship. K.J. Dover's scholarly, thorough, and fair study is a landmark in the opening of the issue to the public.
Gods, Graves and Scholars: The Story of Archaeology
C.W. Ceram - 1949
Ceram visualized archeology as a wonderful combination of high adventure, romance, history and scholarship, and this book, a chronicle of man's search for his past, reads like a dramatic narrative. We travel with Heinrich Schliemann as, defying the ridicule of the learned world, he actually unearths the remains of the ancient city of Troy. We share the excitement of Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter as they first glimpse the riches of Tutankhamen's tomb, of George Smith when he found the ancient clay tablets that contained the records of the Biblical Flood. We rediscover the ruined splendors of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the wonders of the ancient wold; of Chichen Itza, the abandoned pyramids of the Maya: and the legendary Labyrinth of tile Minotaur in Crete. Here is much of the history of civilization and the stories of the men who rediscovered it.From the Paperback edition.
Susan Stryker - 2008
Chapters cover the transsexual and transvestite communities in the years following World War II; trans radicalism and social change, which spanned from 1966 with the publication of The Transsexual Phenomenon, and lasted through the early 1970s; the mid-'70s to 1990-the era of identity politics and the changes witnessed in trans circles through these years; and the gender issues witnessed through the '90s and '00s. Transgender History includes informative sidebars highlighting quotes from major texts and speeches in transgender history and brief biographies of key players, plus excerpts from transgender memoirs and discussion of treatments of transgenderism in popular culture.
The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World
Catherine Nixey - 2017
Far from being meek and mild, they were violent, ruthless and fundamentally intolerant. Unlike the polytheistic world, in which the addition of one new religion made no fundamental difference to the old ones, this new ideology stated not only that it was the way, the truth and the light but that, by extension, every single other way was wrong and had to be destroyed. From the 1st century to the 6th, those who didn't fall into step with its beliefs were pursued in every possible way: social, legal, financial and physical. Their altars were upturned and their temples demolished, their statues hacked to pieces and their priests killed. It was an annihilation.Authoritative, vividly written and utterly compelling, this is a remarkable debut from a brilliant young historian.
How Do We Look: The Body, the Divine, and the Question of Civilization
Mary Beard - 2018
Focusing in Part I on the Olmec heads of early Mesoamerica, the colossal statues of the pharaoh Amenhotep III, and the nudes of classical Greece, Beard explores the power, hierarchy, and gender politics of the art of the ancient world, and explains how it came to define the so-called civilized world. In Part II, Beard chronicles some of the most breathtaking religious imagery ever made—whether at Angkor Wat, Ravenna, Venice, or in the art of Jewish and Islamic calligraphers— to show how all religions, ancient and modern, have faced irreconcilable problems in trying to picture the divine. With this classic volume, Beard redefines the Western-and male-centric legacies of Ernst Gombrich and Kenneth Clark.
The Pink Line: Journeys Across the World's Queer Frontiers
Mark Gevisser - 2020
No social movement has brought change so quickly and with such dramatically mixed results. While same-sex marriage and gender transition is celebrated in some parts of the world, laws are being strengthened to criminalize homosexuality and gender nonconformity in others. A new Pink Line, Gevisser argues, has been drawn across the world, and he takes readers to its frontiers.In between sharp analytical chapters about culture wars, folklore, gender ideology, and geopolitics, Gevisser provides sensitive and sometimes startling profiles of the queer folk he’s encountered on the Pink Line’s front lines across nine countries. They include a trans Malawian refugee granted asylum in South Africa and a gay Ugandan refugee stuck in Nairobi; a lesbian couple who started a gay café in Cairo after the Arab Spring, a trans woman fighting for custody of her child in Moscow, and a community of kothis—“women’s hearts in men’s bodies”—who run a temple in an Indian fishing village.Eye-opening, moving, and crafted with expert research, compelling narrative, and unprecedented scope, The Pink Line is a monumental—and vital—journey through the border posts of the world’s new LGBTQ+ frontiers.
Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America
Lillian Faderman - 1991
Using journals, unpublished manuscripts, songs, news accounts, novels, medical literature, and numerous interviews, she relates an often surprising narrative of lesbian life. "A key work...the point of reference from which all subsequent studies of 20th-century lesbian life in the United States will begin."—San Francisco Examiner.
The First Fossil Hunters: Paleontology in Greek and Roman Times
Adrienne Mayor - 2000
But what if these beings were more than merely fictions? What if monstrous creatures once roamed the earth in the very places where their legends first arose? This is the arresting and original thesis that Adrienne Mayor explores in The First Fossil Hunters. Through careful research and meticulous documentation, she convincingly shows that many of the giants and monsters of myth did have a basis in fact--in the enormous bones of long-extinct species that were once abundant in the lands of the Greeks and Romans.As Mayor shows, the Greeks and Romans were well aware that a different breed of creatures once inhabited their lands. They frequently encountered the fossilized bones of these primeval beings, and they developed sophisticated concepts to explain the fossil evidence, concepts that were expressed in mythological stories. The legend of the gold-guarding griffin, for example, sprang from tales first told by Scythian gold-miners, who, passing through the Gobi Desert at the foot of the Altai Mountains, encountered the skeletons of Protoceratops and other dinosaurs that littered the ground.Like their modern counterparts, the ancient fossil hunters collected and measured impressive petrified remains and displayed them in temples and museums; they attempted to reconstruct the appearance of these prehistoric creatures and to explain their extinction. Long thought to be fantasy, the remarkably detailed and perceptive Greek and Roman accounts of giant bone finds were actually based on solid paleontological facts. By reading these neglected narratives for the first time in the light of modern scientific discoveries, Adrienne Mayor illuminates a lost world of ancient paleontology. As Peter Dodson writes in his Foreword, "Paleontologists, classicists, and historians as well as natural history buffs will read this book with the greatest of delight--surprises abound."
The Universe, the Gods, and Men
Jean-Pierre Vernant - 1999
Beginning with the creation of Earth out of Chaos, Vernant continues with the castration of Uranus, the war between the Titans and the Olympian gods, the wily ruses of Prometheus and Zeus, and the creation of Pandora, the first woman. His narrative takes readers from the Trojan War to the voyage of Odysseus, from the story of Dionysus to the terrible destiny of Oedipus to Perseus's confrontation with the Gorgons.Jean-Pierre Vernant has devoted himself to the study of Greek mythology. In recounting these tales, he unravels for us their multiple meanings and brings to life the beloved figures of legend whose narratives lie at the origin of our civilization. With remarkable psychological acuity, Vernant presents a picture of the world as the Greeks understood it. The relationship between the human and the divine -- realms that have always been intimately connected -- and their place within a world of potent natural forces are evoked effortlessly in a narrative that retains the magical quality of myth and reads with the compelling momentum of a good novel.
Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community
Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy - 1993
Based on thirteen years of research and drawing upon the oral histories of forty-five women, authors Kennedy and Davis explore butch-femme roles, coming out, women who passed as men, motherhood, aging, racism, and the courage and pride of the working-class lesbians of Buffalo who, by confronting incredible oppression and violence, helped to pave the way for the gay and lesbian liberation movements of the 1970s and 1980s. Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold captures the full complexity of lesbian culture; it is a compassionate history of real people fighting for respect and a place to love without fear of persecution.
The Sacred Band: Three Hundred Theban Lovers Fighting to Save Greek Freedom
James Romm - 2021
At stake was freedom, democracy, and the fate of Thebes, at this time the leading power of the Greek world. The tale begins in 379 BC, with a group of Theban patriots sneaking into occupied Thebes. Disguised in women’s clothing, they cut down the agents of Sparta, the state that had cowed much of Greece with its military might. To counter the Spartans, this group of patriots would form the Sacred Band, a corps whose history plays out against a backdrop of Theban democracy, of desperate power struggles between leading city-states, and the new prominence of eros, sexual love, in Greek public life. After four decades without a defeat, the Sacred Band was annihilated by the forces of Philip II of Macedon and his son Alexander in the Battle of Chaeronea—extinguishing Greek liberty for two thousand years. Buried on the battlefield where they fell, they were rediscovered in 1880—some skeletons still in pairs, with arms linked together. From violent combat in city streets to massive clashes on open ground, from ruthless tyrants to bold women who held their era in thrall, The Sacred Band recounts “in fluent, accessible prose” (The Wall Street Journal) the twists and turns of a crucial historical moment: the end of the treasured freedom of ancient Greece.
Six Memos For The Next Millennium
Italo Calvino - 1988
Here is his legacy to us: the universal values he pinpoints become the watchwords for our appreciation of Calvino himself.What should be cherished in literature? Calvino devotes one lecture, or memo to the reader, to each of five indispensable qualities: lightness, quickness, exactitude, visibility, and multiplicity. A sixth lecture, on consistency, was never committed to paper, and we are left only to ponder the possibilities. With this book, he gives us the most eloquent defense of literature written in the twentieth century as a fitting gift for the next millennium.