Seller: ancientgifts (4,661) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 382493420939 Sex or Symbol: Erotic Images of Greece and Rome by Catherine Johns. NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title. DESCRIPTION: Hardcover: 160 pages. Publisher: British Museum; (1982). In 1786, Englishman Richard Payne Knight, a gentleman-scholar whose avocation was the study of ancient cultures, published “A Discourse on the Worship of Priapus”, an erudite description of phallic votives still used in worship in a small Italian town at that time. In 1808, editor Thomas Mathias termed Knight’s discourse “one of the most unbecoming and indecent treatises which ever disgraced the pen of a man who would be considered a scholar and philosopher”. Such outraged reactions to attempts to study the erotic art of the classical world continued in the Victorian era, when even sculpted deities, if depicted nude, had to be draped or otherwise rendered “modest” before they could be brought before the eyes of an easily shocked public. All objects from ancient cultures that were shaped or decorated in a manner deemed improper by the severe standards of the cay were categorized as obscene. Collected by some “shameless” connoisseurs, they were locked away in special collections in the museums where they were stored, and even the scholar who wished to make a serious study of them was forced to beg for permission for a viewing. In “Sex or Symbol”, Catherine Jones casts aside such prejudice to explore the role that sexual imagery played in the ancient world and to examine erotic art and artifacts created by the Greeks and Romans between the sixth century B.C. and the fourth and fifth centuries A.D. Beginning with a lively account of how prudery has suppressed and distorted the evidence for this important aspect of classical civilization, Johns demonstrates not only how widespread such sexual imagery was, but also how much of this “obscene” art was not primarily erotic to its creators and the contemporaries, but reflected primitive fertility notions, religious concerns, or in some cases, simply lighthearted fun. By examining erotic art within its social, cultural, and religious context, Johns shows why such art has been gravely misunderstood. Her frank and intelligent discussions illuminate not only the ancients’ attitudes toward sex, but also the prejudices and preconceptions of the recent past. CONDITION: NEW. New hardcover w/dustjacket in mylar sleeve. British Museum (1982) 160 pages. Unblemished, unmarked, pristine in every respect. Pages are pristine; clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread, though of course it is likely that the book was leafed through a few times while in the bookstore. From the outside the covers and dustjacket evidence very mild edge and corner shelfwear, including very mild edge crumpling/creasing to the dustjacket spine head and heel consequence of sitting on a bookshelf for thirty-five years. Notwithstanding that the likelihood that the book was flipped through a few times while on the bookseller's shelf, the condition of the book is entirely consistent with new stock from an open-shelf book store (such as Barnes & Noble, or B. Dalton, for instance) wherein patrons are permitted to browse open stock, and so otherwise "new" books might evidence a little handling/shelf/browsing wear. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! Selling rare and out-of-print ancient history books on-line since 1997. We accept returns for any reason within 14 days! #1767.2d. PLEASE SEE IMAGES BELOW FOR SAMPLE PAGES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEW: REVIEW: Explores the role that sexual imagery played in the societies of ancient Greece and Rome, with emphasis on the contrast between sexual attitudes in the ancient world and more recent history, when these images were suppressed. Superbly illustrated with 125 black and white and 38 color images of erotic art and artifacts from the Greek and Roman periods. Catherine Johns is a Curator, Department of Prehistoric and Romano-British Antiquities at the British Museum, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. Her main professional interests are in Roman jewelry, metalwork, and Arretine and Samian pottery. She is co-author of “The Thetford Treasure”. Contents (Chapter Headings): 1) Collectors and Prudes. 2) Fertility and Religion. 3) The Phallus and the Evil Eye. 4) Dionysus and Drama. 5) Men and beasts. 6) Men and Women. 7) Conclusions. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: Entertaining and thoughtful, this book graphically portrays an area of Greek and Roman life that was an embarrassment to the eighteenth and nineteenth century scholars discovering these objects in their classical collections. At a time of sexual prudery such material was viewed as unsuitable for serious study and removed from public display. With 125 black and white and 38 color illustrations, “Sex or Symbol?” shows that while overt sexual representations were common in painting, sculpture, pottery, jewelry and other minor arts, not all the objects that shocked the Victorians had an erotic purpose. Catherine Johns demonstrates that many had a religious and apotropaic function as well as reflecting the classical delight in erotic art for its own sake. They also shed light on the social mores of the time, in particular the wide range of sexual behavior acceptable in classical antiquity. REVIEW: Investigating overt sexual representations in the art of Greek and Roman life, Johns explains that many of the objects which Victorians found shocking were not all intended to have an erotic purpose. Many had a religious and apotropaic function, and also shed light on social mores of the time. A learned and lively book, Catherine Johns writes with complete knowledge of her subject. REVIEW: An extremely important and very serious study of an important theme. Explores, without prejudice or prudery, the role that sexual imagery played in Greek and Roman societies. Explores religious concerns, primitive fertility notions and just plain light-hearted fun. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: Catherine Johns begins her book by saying that there is a difference between the modern understanding of sex and the ancient one. Her thinking here is call into question our ideas of "obscene", and she points out that sexual images were used in ancient times as symbols of fertility or symbols to ward off evil. In so doing she provides a pictorial survey of the variety of sexual symbols found in the Greco-Roman world and in this regard she makes her book outstanding. For example, on pages 72 and 73 she shows phallic symbols used as a pendant and as amulets. One amulet shows the combination of three symbols of luck: the phallus, the crescent, and the hand. Page 110 may show a political satire which pokes fun at Cleopatra. And page 82 shows a beautiful silver dish which depicts Pan dancing. There are 160 some odd illustrations in this book and it is the illustrations which make it worth reading. REVIEW: Informative, Scholastic, Thought-Provoking, and Lively. Not only is this a splendid resource about an until recently sadly neglected part of ancient studies, erotic artworks, but it is also a historical reference on Victorian scholarship, and a warning about the perils of putting modern culture and preconceptions ahead of the truth found in scientific and historical studies. I could continue singing the praises of this book for several more screens of text. Instead, I will simply recommend that anyone reading this review go on to read this book. I always ship books Media Mail in a padded mailer. This book is shipped FOR FREE via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). All domestic shipments and most international shipments will include free USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site and free insurance coverage). A small percentage of international shipments may require an additional fee for tracking and/or delivery confirmation. If you are concerned about a little wear and tear to the book in transit, I would suggest a boxed shipment - it is an extra $1.00. Whether via padded mailer or box, we will give discounts for multiple purchases. International orders are welcome, but shipping costs are substantially higher. Most international orders cost an additional $12.99 to $33.99 for an insuredshipment in a heavily padded mailer, and typically includes some form of rudimentary tracking and/or delivery confirmation (though for some countries, this is only available at additional cost). There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Rates and available services vary a bit from country to country. You can email or message me for a shipping cost quote, but I assure you they are as reasonable as USPS rates allow, and if it turns out the rate is too high for your pocketbook, we will cancel the sale at your request. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are sent via insured mail so as to comply with PayPal requirements. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. That’s why all of our domestic shipments (and most international) shipments include a USPS delivery confirmation tag; or are trackable or traceable, and all shipments (international and domestic) are insured. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world - but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE." Condition: NEW Book. See detailed condition description below., Material: Paper, Provenance: Ancient Rome, Publisher: British Museum (1982), Pages: 160, Size: 11 1/4 x 9 x 1 inches; 2 1/4 pounds.