The Garden of Priapus: Sexuality and Aggression in Roman Humor

Paperback | April 30, 1999

byAmy Richlin

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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 toJuvenal. 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 andprovocative 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.

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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 toJuvenal. Using literary, anthropological, p...

Amy Richlin is at University of Southern California.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9.17 × 6.18 × 0.98 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195068734

ISBN - 13:9780195068733

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"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 virtuosicand vigorous: worthy of her often mind-boggling material."--Journal of the History of Sexuality