One-Night Stands, Binge-Drinking And Bathhouses: The Love Lives Of Ancient Romans

10/16/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Mary Beard Times Online

Roman sexual culture was different from our own. Women, as we have seen at Pompeii, were much more visible in the Roman world than in many other parts of the ancient Mediterranean. They shopped, they could dine with the men, they disposed of wealth and made lavish benefactions. Yet it was still a man's world in sex as it was in politics. Power, status and good fortune were expressed in terms of the phallus. Hence the presence of phallic imagery in almost unimaginable varieties all round the town.

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