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The Priapus Poems: EROTIC EPIGRAMS FROM ANCIENT ROME
by:Richard W. Hooper
Unmistakable by virtue of his exaggerated phallus, Priapus - one of Rome's minor fertility gods - inspired a host of epigrammatic poems that offer one of the best primary sources for the study of ancient sexuality. Despite their apparent frivolity, the Priapus poems raise basic questions of class and gender, censorship, and the nature of obscenity. The...
Unmistakable by virtue of his exaggerated phallus, Priapus - one of Rome's minor fertility gods - inspired a host of epigrammatic poems that offer one of the best primary sources for the study of ancient sexuality. Despite their apparent frivolity, the Priapus poems raise basic questions of class and gender, censorship, and the nature of obscenity. The god's self-conscious indecency placed him squarely in the realm of comedy, but his role as guardian of fertility also gave him a deep religious significance. Richard Hooper's introduction explores this important duality and places the poems in their historical context. Essentially graffiti clothed in the refined forms of classical poetry, "The Priapus Poems" offers the reader "a trip to Coney Island in a Rolls Royce." Hooper's lively translation makes these playful poems available for the first time to the nonspecialist in an appealing, elegant, and readable version. This edition includes the original Latin texts as well as a commentary on classical references and textual problems.
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