New PDF release: The Politics of Immorality in Ancient Rome

By Catharine Edwards

ISBN-10: 0511518552

ISBN-13: 9780511518553

ISBN-10: 052140083X

ISBN-13: 9780521400831

ISBN-10: 0521893895

ISBN-13: 9780521893893

This ebook addresses the query no longer how immoral the traditional Romans have been yet why the literature they produced is so preoccupied with immorality. the trendy snapshot of immoral Rome derives from historic bills that are principally serious instead of celebratory. faraway from being empty commonplaces those accusations constituted a robust discourse wherein Romans negotiated conflicts and tensions of their social and political order. This research proceeds through an in depth exam of a variety of old texts (all of that are translated), exploring the dynamics in their rhetoric, in addition to the ends to which they have been deployed. Roman moralising discourse, the writer indicates, might be noticeable as particularly curious about the articulation of anxieties approximately gender, social prestige and political strength. person chapters specialize in adultery, effeminacy, the immorality of the Roman theatre, sumptuous constructions and the hazards of delight.

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98 Cicero writes of the hypocrisy of Appius, when the latter, as censor, concerned himself with the sexual misbehaviour and luxurious possessions of his fellow senators {Ad fam. 100 But Cicero's claim should not be taken as an indication that morality was not a real issue in disputes between members of the Roman elite. Leading Romans habitually accused one another of luxury and sexual immorality and were in turn accused of hypocrisy. Accusations of immorality were a fundamental part of the political vocabulary of the elite in ancient Rome.

R. E. Fisher 'Hybris and dishonour' G&R 23 (1976) 177-93. For a discussion of allegations concerning the vices of emperors, see Wallace-Hadrill 1983: 157-8, 171-4. g. Friedlander 1964 11:284-5 ( = Eng. tr. 11 145). 109 Cf. Veil. Pat. 4; Pliny, Paneg. 45-6. , educational institutions, churches and so forth... With... qualifications taken into account, we can call this prescriptive ensemble a 'moral code'. 110 Foucault's distinction between prescription and behaviour is in some ways a useful one, but prescription, too, is a process, an aspect of behaviour.

In the later republic, it became fairly common for wealthy young men to spend some years in Athens or other intellectual centres of the Greek world to complete their formal education. W. Daly 'Roman study abroad' AJPh 71 (1950) 40-58; Rawson 1985a: 3-18. N. D. Balsdon Romans and aliens (London 1979). On Roman attitudes to philosophy, see Miriam Griffin 'Philosophy, politics and politicians at Rome' in Jonathan Barnes and Miriam Griffin eds. Philosophia togata (Oxford 1989) 1-37. Cf. Cic. De rep.

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The Politics of Immorality in Ancient Rome by Catharine Edwards


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