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Ancient Rome and the Construction of Modern Homosexual Identities$
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Jennifer Ingleheart

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199689729

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199689729.001.0001

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Lesbian Philology in Early Print Commentaries on Juvenal and Martial

Lesbian Philology in Early Print Commentaries on Juvenal and Martial

Chapter:
(p.38) (p.39) 1 Lesbian Philology in Early Print Commentaries on Juvenal and Martial
Source:
Ancient Rome and the Construction of Modern Homosexual Identities
Author(s):

Marc D. Schachter

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199689729.003.0002

This chapter on classical reception within the Renaissance considers a hitherto unexplored source for ideas about sex between women in early modernity: early print commentaries on Martial and Juvenal. These neo-Latin commentaries, treating topics such as Sappho and the figure of the tribade, confirm some of what we already know from scholarship on female homosexuality in the period, while suggesting the need to modify certain other received ideas. In particular, there is no mention in such scholarship of oral sex between women in the period, despite the extensive discussion of cunnilingus between women found in these commentaries. This chapter discusses the reasons why commentaries on such well-known authors in humanist circles have not received more attention, and the consequences of these texts for the study of the history of sexuality.

Keywords:   early print commentaries, Renaissance, neo-Latin, female homosexuality, cunnilingus, tribade, Sappho, Juvenal, Martial, history of sexuality

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