The Priapus Poems Erotic Epigrams from Ancient Rome
- List Price: $37.00
- Binding: Hardcover
- Publisher: Univ of Illinois Pr
- Publish date: 05/01/1999
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.