In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

speaking areas of Europe, a development that also occurred in southern France and northern Italy.165 The authority of Augustine and Aquinas was so total and, one may say, consistent with the cultural matrix of the time that there is typically little or no justi‹cation for these developments found on record until long after the fact. A rare exception took place in Krakow, where the citizens sought an opinion from a Dominican professor in 1398 before establishing a municipal brothel.166 We have to wait as late as 1433 for an exposition of motive from the city authorities in Munich.167 It was simply taken for granted that municipally regulated prostitution was the lesser of two evils, the greater one being the overthrow of chastity and public order dreaded by Augustine. For all of their importance in this period, policies zoning prostitution reached their zenith in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when concern with moral pollution and social instability was—if only partially— subsumed into a fear of sexually transmitted disease.168 The Romans themselves appear to have been utter strangers to this apprehension of contagion both medical and moral. Evident lack of concern over the spread of disease might be explained by reference to the existence among them of less-virulent forms of sexually transmitted diseases and/or inadequate medical knowledge. But what is the reason for their apparent indifference to what any of us might regard, with justice, as the moral challenge of brothels and prostitutes? Zoning Shame 111 165. Schuster, Frauenhaus (1992) 36, dates the ‹rst foundation to Lucerne in 1318, with a wave cresting in and around 1400. For foundations in France and Italy, see Schuster, 39–40. 166. Schuster, Freien Frauen (1995) 184. 167. Schuster, Frauenhaus (1992) 40–41, 199, 209. 168. Here, too, there was no uniform approach to zoning. See Evans, “Prostitution” (1976) 111, 117–18; Walkowitz, Prostitution (1980) 34, 41, 58, 78, 103, 130, 179, 183, 229; Goldman, Gold Diggers (1981) 59–63, 147–48; Rosen, Sisterhood (1982) 78–80; Mackey, Red Lights Out (1987) 188–92, 199 (which discusses problems in legally evaluating damages arising from the “moral taint” of prostitution), 208 n. 56 (which notes a house did not actually have to be disorderly to qualify as a “disorderly house” under the law); Corbin, Women for Hire (1990) 54–60, 84–86, 205, 317, 322–25, 333; Mahood, Magdalenes (1990) 18, 116; Clayson, Painted Love (1991) 15; Gilfoyle, City of Eros (1992) 313–14; Best, Controlling Vice (1998) 5; Gibson, Prostitution and the State2 (1999), 136–37, 240 n. 93 (which describes an informal clustering of brothels, much like the Roman model). For a late twentieth-century perspective, see Gorjanicyn, “Sexuality and Work” (1998) 181–84. N Chapter Four M HONOR AND EROTIC ART Saepe supercilii nudas matrona severi et veneris stantis ad genus omne videt. —Ov. Tr. 2.309–310 pornography as representation To understand the Roman elite’s sufferance for brothels in their midst, it is useful to consider the Romans’ “tolerance” of erotic art in many venues even our secular culture might ‹nd problematic.1 Explicit sexual scenes were on view in a number of settings and thus were easily accessible to upper-class women and children. They could be found in aristocrats’ bedrooms, dining rooms, the reception areas known as tablina, peristyles, gardens, and so forth, as well as on household objects used by both sexes (and all social ranks), such as terra-cotta lamps, Arretine bowls, and (for the rich) silver cups, and objects thought primarily, or even exclusively, favored by women, such as mirrors.2 112 1. Brendel, “Erotic Art” (1970) 3–69, ‹gs. 1–48 (at 6 [cf. 8]) lists Greece and Rome as one of only ‹ve “. . . places and periods in which, for a time at least, erotic situations were depicted directly and factually as well as with a degree of frequency, originality of variation, and on a level of quality suf‹cient to command attention . . . .” See also Myerowitz, “Domestication of Desire” (1992) 133, 135, 138, 146; Jacobelli, Terme Suburbane (1995) 83, 86, 89, 90, 92, 98; Clarke, Looking at Lovemaking (1998) 12–13, 61–82, 91–118; Zanker, Pompeii (1998) 17; De Caro, Gabinetto segreto (2000) esp. 12, 30–34; Varone, Erotismo a Pompei (2000) 40–53; Jacobelli, “Pompeii” (2001). 2. See Brendel, “Erotic Art” (1970) 45, 47; Zevi, “Arte” (1991) 270; Myerowitz, “Domestication of Desire” (1992) 139, 142, 156 n. 9; Riggsby, “Cubiculum” (1997) 39; Cantarella, Pompei (1998...


Additional Information

Print ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.