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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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The Reception of Rome in English Sexology

The Reception of Rome in English Sexology

Chapter:
(p.109) 5 The Reception of Rome in English Sexology
Source:
Ancient Rome and the Construction of Modern Homosexual Identities
Author(s):

Jana Funke

Rebecca Langlands

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199689729.003.0006

Rome is a significant site in the late nineteenth-century sexological construction of modern figurations of homosexuality, although so far it has been overlooked. Although sexological discussions of Rome are often less elaborate than those of Greece, Roman sexualities proved central to the sexologists’ interest in diverse types or subcategories of ‘homosexuality’ or ‘sexual inversion’, and Roman history and literature enabled sexologists to develop and reinforce distinctions between, for example, congenital homosexuality and cultured or degenerative sexualities. The chapter focuses on Havelock Ellis and John Addington Symonds, and their dialogue with continental sexology, exploring the representation of Greek and Roman sexualities, and analysing the conflicted ways in which Rome is integrated into the narrative of an affirmative history of male homosexuality that begins to emerge in sexological writings of the period.

Keywords:   John Addington Symonds, Havelock Ellis, male homosexuality, nineteenth-century, sexual inversion, degenerative sexualities, congenital homosexuality, sexology, continental sexology

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