The ancient Greeks’ sexual life as depicted in literary, historical and artistic evidence, has become a major subject of interest over the past decades among scholars and laities.
The erotic life of the ancient Greeks was open to various sexual pleasures, which gave birth to modern misconceptions about the art of their sexual activities, such as in the case of rape, which didn’t have the same meaning in ancient Greece as today.
Homosexuality, masturbation, orgies, prostitution and taboo-less sex were all part of the ancient Greek world, whose appreciation for nudity was depicted in many male artifacts.
In her latest book recently released under the title The Joy of Sexus – Lust, Love and Longing in the Ancient World, Vicki León attempts in a total of 89 true tales to inform her readers in a detailed fashion about the sex life of ancient Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians and other people who lived long ago across the Mediterranean.
According to the publisher’s note, León goes far beyond of modern beliefs about sex in ancient times, taking readers on a randy tour of aphrodisiacs and anti-aphrodisiacs, contraception, nymphomania, bisexuality, cross-dressing, and gender-bending. She explains citizens’ fear of hermaphrodites, investigates the stinging price paid for adultery despite the ease of divorce, introduces readers to a surprising array of saucy pornographers, and even describes the eco-friendly dildos used by libidinous ancients.
Love also gets its due, with true tales of the lifelong bonds between military men, history’s first cougar (an older woman chasing a younger man) and her devoted relationship with Julius Caesar, as well as the deification of lovers.
The book also sheds light on sodomy, poly-sexuality as well as the role of kissing and marriage in ancient civilizations. Publishers Weekly has already issued a Starred Review on the book describing it as “a snappy ride into the stunning, sometimes barbaric, and always entertaining sexuality of the ancient world [...] not covered in high school textbooks.”
The 320-page paperback book was published on Jan. 29 by Walker & Company.