Virtual Tour

Sexuality and Gender in the Roman World – Tuesday 26 January

Tuesday 26 January

7 AM NZDT (Wednesday 27 January)

With Dr. Eireann Marshall

In the early days of excavations in the Vesuvian cities, the authorities put everything they deemed to be erotic in a Secret Museum which was later bricked up in 1849 because the contents seemed too scandalous. The creation of this collection, which is now the Secret Cabinet in the Naples Archaeological museum, emphasises the differences between ancient and modern notions of sexuality. Images which could pass off as pornography in modern times were sometimes placed in the most public areas of elite houses because their notions of what was appropriate to put in public view is so different from our own. Using footage from the Vesuvian cities as well as Rome, this online lecture/virtual tour will consider artefacts and paintings put on display in houses in the Roman world and will explore how individual sexuality was defined.

We will examine how Romans tended to define sexual identities on the basis of people’s roles in sexual acts – whether they are active or passive – rather than identifying people’s sexual identities on the basis of their proclivities. This lecture will also look at the ways in which gender was defined, as well as the roles assigned to the different genders. We will see how women could play important roles in the economies of Roman cities, just as elite women could take on active roles in the public running of these cities, albeit it behind the scenes.

Virtual Tour

Our virtual tours cover a wide array of historical and art-history topics, ranging from antiquity to the early modern period. We explore a variety of historical topics, from the every day life in ancient and early modern cities to representations of power. Exploring both world famous sites and those unknown to most, these lectures will bring history and the history of art to life through tailor made HD filming, as well as perceptive lecturing and lively discussions.

The virtual tours last 60 minutes followed by another 30 minutes of Q&A with our lecturers who will be delighted to answer any of your questions live.

Your Lecturer

Dr Eireann Marshall

Dr Eireann Marshall is a Research Associate and Associate Lecturer with the Open University. She has published a number of articles on Ancient North Africa, and co-edited volumes on 'Death and Disease in the Ancient City' and ‘Women’s influence on Classical Civilisation’. Eireann has led many tours for specialist tour operators, to Italy and North Africa. In 2019 she was awarded Wanderlust Magazine's Top History & Culture Guide at its World Guide Awards.

Event Details

Date: 26 January 2021

Start time: 18:00 GMT

End time: 19:30 GMT

Venue: Zoom Lecture


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