The most important primary texts on homosexuality in ancient Greece and Rome are translated into modern, explicit English and collected together for the first time in this comprehensive sourcebook. Covering an extensive period—from the earliest Greek texts in the late seventh century b.c.e. to Greco-Roman texts of the third and fourth centuries c.e.—the volume includes well-known writings by Plato, Sappho, Aeschines, Catullus, and Juvenal, as well as less well known but highly relevant and intriguing texts such as graffiti, comic fragments, magical papyri, medical treatises, and selected artistic evidence. These fluently translated texts, together with Thomas K. Hubbard's valuable introductions, clearly show that there was in fact no more consensus about homosexuality in ancient Greece and Rome than there is today.
The material is organized by period and by genre, allowing readers to consider chronological developments in both Greece and Rome. Individual texts each are presented with a short introduction contextualizing them by date and, where necessary, discussing their place within a larger work. Chapter introductions discuss questions of genre and the ideological significance of the texts, while Hubbard's general introduction to the volume addresses issues such as sexual orientation in antiquity, moral judgments, class and ideology, and lesbianism. With its broad, unexpurgated, and thoroughly informed presentation, this unique anthology gives an essential perspective on homosexuality in classical antiquity.
1. Archaic Greek Lyric
2. Greek Historical Texts
3. Greek Comedy
4. Greek Oratory
5. Greek Philosophy
6. Hellenistic Poetry
7. Republican Rome
8. Augustan Rome
9. Later Greco-Roman Antiquity
Thomas K. Hubbard is Professor of Classics at the University of Texas, Austin, and author of The Pipes of Pan: Intertextuality and Literary Filiation in the Pastoral Tradition from Theocritus to Milton (1998) and The Mask of Comedy: Aristophanes and the Intertextual Parabasis (1991), among other books.
"Professor Hubbard has had the generosity and good sense to include fragmentary as well as complete texts, and inscriptions and graffiti as well as properly literary works. The translations by divers hands faithfully represent an enormously wide range of genres and both high and colloquial styles, and the Greek and Latin texts are intelligently grouped into ten chapters by period and subject-matter, each introduced and annotated by the editor. There is an excellent selection of illustrations, including the fetishistic Roman-period Warren Cup recently purchased by the British Museum, that depicts both pederastic sodomy and voyeurism."—Paul Cartledge, author of Spartan Reflections
"It would be difficult to find a way to overstate the value of Hubbard’s contribution to our study of ancient sex and sexuality. Even those who think they know all about these topics are in for some surprises when they explore this vast collection of primary texts from the ancient Mediterranean world. Students, too, will find a great feast of information spread before them. The selection is comprehensive, and the English translations are carefully chosen. My first question, as I began to understand the nature of the sourcebook I held in my hands, was: Why has no one done this before?"—John T. Kirby, author of Secret of the Muses Retold
"Hubbard has achieved a remarkable feat. He has collected the literary and historical (and some artistic) evidence documenting same-sex eroticism in ancient Greece and Rome, in all its varieties. He introduces these sources to the general reader by period and author and analyzes controversial issues such as essentialism vs. social constructivism and the very rubric homosexuality, and he traces changing attitudes toward diverse homoerotic practices. His Sourcebook provides readers with just the right amount of background on changing social and political contexts from Greece to Rome, and introduces the full range of scholarship on a broad and important topic. It will fascinate and educate all those interested in the history of sexuality and, in practical terms, it will facilitate teaching and research in Gay Studies and indeed in Cultural Studies and Ancient History."—Nancy Felson, author of Regarding Penelope: From Character to Poetics