Among Women: From the Homosocial to the Homoerotic in the Ancient World

Women's and men's worlds were largely separate in ancient Mediterranean societies, and, in consequence, many women¹s deepest personal relationships were with other women. Yet relatively little scholarly or popular attention has focused on women¹s relationships in antiquity, in contrast to recent interest in the relationships between men in ancient Greece and Rome. The essays in this book seek to close this gap by exploring a wide variety of textual and archaeological evidence for women's homosocial and homoerotic relationships from prehistoric Greece to fifth-century CE Egypt. Drawing on developments in feminist theory, gay and lesbian studies, and queer theory, as well as traditional textual and art historical methods, the contributors to this volume examine representations of women¹s lives with other women, their friendships, and sexual subjectivity. They present new interpretations of the evidence offered by the literary works of Sappho, Ovid, and Lucian; Bronze Age frescoes and Greek vase painting, funerary reliefs, and other artistic representations; and Egyptian legal documents. Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz is Margaret Bundy Scott Professor of Comparative Literature at Hamilton College, where she also coordinates the Kirkland Project for the Study of Gender, Society, and Culture. Lisa Auanger is an editor of the Bibliography of the History of Art at the Getty Research Institute.


"This book is the most thorough account of female homoerotic materials from the ancient Mediterranean I have yet seen in English. . . . I can easily see it becoming a standard work on ancient female homoeroticism."
John S. Rundin, Assistant Professor of Classics, University of Texas at San Antonio

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