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The Garden of Priapus : Sexuality and Aggression in Roman Humor - Amy Richlin

The Garden of Priapus

Sexuality and Aggression in Roman Humor

Paperback

Published: 20th August 1992
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Statues of the god Priapus stood in Roman gardens to warn potential thieves that the god would rape them if they attempted to steal from him. In this book, Richlin argues that the attitude of sexual aggressiveness in defense of a bounded area serves as a model for Roman satire from Lucilius to
Juvenal. Using literary, anthropological, psychological, and feminist methodologies, she suggests that aggressive sexual humor reinforces aggressive behavior on both the individual and societal levels, and that Roman satire provides an insight into Roman culture. Including a substantial and
provocative new introduction, this revised edition is important not only as an in-depth study of Roman sexual satire, but also as a commentary on the effects of all humor on society and its victims.

"The Garden of Priapus was the first, and still is the best full-scale study of sexual language and humor in Roman poetry. Fully alert both to the linguistic and literary nuance of the poetry and to the social and psychological attitudes of its audience, Richlin gives us a penetrating and provocative view of an important but neglected aspect of Roman antiquity. This new edition is a most welcome event for anyone interested in Latin literature and the modes of its engagement with the Roman world."--Jeffrey Henderson, Boston University "A comprehensive, frank, and bold analysis....Abundant insights from today's social sciences, together with references to numerous modern sex 'types' and studies on sexuality and verbal obscenity, support Richlin's observation and...underlie her concern...that in our own society and in antiquity sexual humor may 'serve not only to reinforce, but possibly to exacerbate aggressive tendencies.'"--Choice "The author's command of the primary texts and relevant scholarly literature is evident throughout....The book is well crafted and reveals aspects of Roman literature that had until recently been considered inappropriate for wide dissemination and discussion. For many it can add a new dimension to their understanding and teaching of Roman literature and civilization."--Gerald Erickson, University of Minnesota "By insisting on the prescriptive function of obscene and aggressive humor in Latin literature, by observing its close connection to basic social structures and its links with other modes of discourse, both subliterary and elevated, Richlin has achieved a major methodological breakthrough."--Marilyn Skinner, University of Arizona "Important study...The book remains a major treatment of Roman sexuality and of Roman society more broadly. Richlin presents admirably a vital aspect of an imperial, cosmopolitan, and highly influential culture...Beautifully typeset Greek and latin quotations. Richlin's writing is virtuosic and vigorous: worthy of her often mind-boggling material."--Journal of the History of Sexuality "The Garden of Priapus was the first, and still is the best full-scale study of sexual language and humor in Roman poetry. Fully alert both to the linguistic and literary nuance of the poetry and to the social and psychological attitudes of its audience, Richlin gives us a penetrating and provocative view of an important but neglected aspect of Roman antiquity. This new edition is a most welcome event for anyone interested in Latin literature and the modes of its engagement with the Roman world."--Jeffrey Henderson, Boston University "A comprehensive, frank, and bold analysis....Abundant insights from today's social sciences, together with references to numerous modern sex 'types' and studies on sexuality and verbal obscenity, support Richlin's observation and...underlie her concern...that in our own society and in antiquity sexual humor may 'serve not only to reinforce, but possibly to exacerbate aggressive tendencies.'"--Choice "The author's command of the primary texts and relevant scholarly literature is evident throughout....The book is well crafted and reveals aspects of Roman literature that had until recently been considered inappropriate for wide dissemination and discussion. For many it can add a new dimension to their understanding and teaching of Roman literature and civilization."--Gerald Erickson, University of Minnesota "By insisting on the prescriptive function of obscene and aggressive humor in Latin literature, by observing its close connection to basic social structures and its links with other modes of discourse, both subliterary and elevated, Richlin has achieved a major methodological breakthrough."--Marilyn Skinner, University of Arizona "Important study...The book remains a major treatment of Roman sexuality and of Roman society more broadly. Richlin presents admirably a vital aspect of an imperial, cosmopolitan, and highly influential culture...Beautifully typeset Greek and latin quotations. Richlin's writing is virtuosic and vigorous: worthy of her often mind-boggling material."--Journal of the History of Sexuality

Introduction
Toward a History of Sexuality
Feminist Work Within Classics
Philology, the New Historicism, and the Foucauldian Theory of Sexuality in Antiquity
Through the Garden and Back
Notes
Bibliography
Roman Concepts of Obscenityp. 1
Apologiaep. 2
Decorum in Prosep. 13
"Four-Letter Words"p. 18
Stainingp. 26
The Erotic Ideal in Latin Literature and Contemporary Greek Epigramp. 32
Puerip. 34
Mistressesp. 44
The Content and Workings of Roman Sexual Humorp. 57
Descriptive Analysis: The Priapic Modelp. 57
The Genres of Roman Sexual Humorp. 64
The Subjects of Roman Satirep. 65
Other Models for Satire: Judgmental Analysisp. 70
Graffiti, Gossip, Lampoons, and Rhetorical Invectivep. 81
Graffitip. 81
Gossipp. 83
Lampoonsp. 86
Rhetorical Invectivep. 96
Literature Based on Invective: Invective against Old Women, Priapic Poetry, and Epigramp. 105
Invective against Old Womenp. 109
Priapic Poetryp. 116
Epigramp. 127
Appendix: The Date and Authorship of the Carmina Priapeap. 141
Catullus, Ovid, and the Art of Mockeryp. 144
Catullusp. 144
Ovidp. 156
Sexual Satirep. 164
Luciliusp. 164
Horacep. 174
Persiusp. 185
Petroniusp. 190
Juvenalp. 195
Conclusionp. 210
Appendix 1. The Evidence on the Circumstances Surrounding Adultery at Romep. 215
Appendix 2. The Circumstances of Male Homosexuality in Roman Society of the Late Republic and Early Empirep. 220
Invectivep. 220
Erotic Poetryp. 222
Some Real-Life Evidencep. 223
Idealsp. 225
Notesp. 227
Bibliographyp. 261
Addenda and Corrigendap. 273
Additional Bibliographyp. 292
Index of Passages Citedp. 295
Index Verborump. 307
General Indexp. 311
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195068733
ISBN-10: 0195068734
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 20th August 1992
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.34 x 15.6  x 2.59
Weight (kg): 0.55
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: Revised