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Celibacy and Religious Traditions$
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Carl Olson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195306316

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306316.001.0001

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 Celibacy in the Greco‐Roman World

 Celibacy in the Greco‐Roman World

Chapter:
(p.21) 2 Celibacy in the Greco‐Roman World
Source:
Celibacy and Religious Traditions
Author(s):

Willi Braun

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306316.003.0002

Citizens of ancient Greece and Rome were expected to reproduce, whereas violators of this guideline were penalized by governmental legislation. An exception was made for the Vestal Virgins and the eunuch‐priests of the Cybele cult because of their religious office. The obligation to reproduce hides a cultural conviction that sexual pleasure was potentially dangerous and antisocial because orgasm was associated with epilepsy and loss of vital spirit.

Keywords:   sex, Vestal Virgins, danger, reproduce, Cybele cult

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