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Gender, Marriage and Intimate Relationships in the Ancient World
February 28, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - March 30, 2023 @ 4:00 pm£4.00 - £30.00
This is a course of ten one-hour lectures by Prof Maria Chester on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4 pm.
We shall study how marriage, prostitution and homosexuality were viewed in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Japan, China, Greece, Rome, India, and the Americas.
Course overview and further details:
In order to study and understand attitudes to gender, marriage and sex in ancient societies we need to approach this subject without modern prejudices. Sex was an important part of life: from birth to death and rebirth. The gods themselves were earthy enough to copulate. Sexual desire was considered a divine force that ensured the continuity of gods, humans and all other animate beings. We shall study how marriage, prostitution and homosexuality were viewed in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Japan, China, Greece, Rome, India, and the Americas.
Attitudes to sex and reproduction reveal a lot about ancient societies and how they viewed the world. India, for example, played an important role in the history of sex – they treated sexual intercourse as a science. Sexual education can be studied in their art and literature. In ancient Japan, sex was not taboo and Japanese women were not brainwashed into thinking of sex as frightening, shameful or humiliating as were Western women after Christianity. In ancient Rome sexual acts that are considered taboo in modern times, including orgies, homosexuality, incest, prostitution and bestiality, were openly practised.
We shall see how social norms changed due in part to the practice of Judaism and Christianity. The Christian faith took sexual practices very seriously and created rules and boundaries, supposedly from the mouth of God himself.
TUE 28 FEB – SEXUALITY IN MESOPOTAMIA
THU 02 MAR -SEXUALITY IN ANCIENT INDIA
TUE 07 MAR-SEXUALITY IN ANCIENT EGYPT
THU 09 MAR- SEXUALITY IN ANCIENT GREECE
TUE 14 MAR-SEXUALITY IN ANCIENT ROME
THU 16 MAR- SEXUALITY IN ANCIENT JAPAN
TUE 21 MAR-SEXUALITY IN ANCIENT CHINA
THU 23 MAR-SEXUALITY IN ANCIENT MESOAMERICA
TUE 28 MAR- SEXUALITY IN ANCIENT PERU
THU 30 MAR – CONCLUSIONS
Lectures will be delivered via Zoom. If you haven’t used Zoom before, please go to www.zoom.us and look at the tutorials. Once you have booked, you will find the invitation in Eventbrite on the Online Event Page. We will also send out the invitation by email 24 hours before the meeting starts.