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

more than the placement of brothels was. The location of some erotic art, to be sure, was economically motivated, in the sense that it was meant to attract and please the patrons of baths, bars, and brothels. For the same reason, prostitutes worked in many of these same venues. This fact makes the connection recently established by Guzzo and Scarano Ussani between explicit representation of sex and places where it was sold all the more attractive. Honor and Erotic Art 133 N Chapter Five M THE FORCES OF LAW AND ORDER Corpora Vestales oculi meretricia cernunt, nec domino poenae res ea causa fuit. —Ov. Tr. 2.311–312 vice versus squad If a policy of moral zoning was in fact established in the Roman Empire, its implementation almost certainly would have been the responsibility of the aediles in the capital and their equivalents in towns outside Rome. Such a role in designing and enforcing a policy of this kind logically raises the question of comparison with other cultures, where the police or other of‹cials enjoyed similar responsibilities. Unfortunately, if there is a case to be made that the aediles and their like resembled something like the modern vice squad, the comparison will not stand—unless one looks not at the goal of regulating or repressing prostitution but, if anything, at the results that have been achieved. Rome’s lack of zoning regulations may thus be compared with the failure of such regulations in more recent periods. Before we assess the state of affairs for Rome, let us grasp the essence of the modern regulationist trend, which began in early nineteenth-century Paris and was widely imitated, or at least found parallels, elsewhere.1 In the United 134 1. The fundamental study of nineteenth-century French regulationism is by Corbin, Women for Hire (1990). See also Harsin, Policing Prostitution (1985); Bernheimer, Figures of Ill Repute (1989); Clayson, Painted Love (1991). States, for example, a series of municipal campaigns sought to push prostitution to the edges of the urban landscape, both in the absolute sense and in relation to legitimate businesses and respectable neighborhoods. In a way the idea was to render the visible invisible.2 The thesis of moral zoning assumes a model for Rome of the formation and implementation of rules with which I ‹nd myself in broad sympathy.3 It must be admitted, however, that this model is dif‹cult to reconcile with some broader historical assumptions often made about the nature of law ‹nding and administration in the Roman Empire.4 According to the latter, it might seem anachronistic to argue for a regulationist regime at Rome that embraced such zoning. To put the matter in the form of a double question: Were the Romans capable of designing an effective system of moral zoning? And on a deeper level, were they capable of developing anything we might recognize as public policy regarding prostitution?5 constructive policy A negative response to the second question would, of course, make the ‹rst unnecessary. For this reason, the second question will be the focus of my discussion . What is needed is a de‹nition of public policy with which most historians will agree and that is reasonably clear without being culturally speci‹c, either to ancient Rome or to the modern West, for example.6 Our best resort The Forces of Law and Order 135 2. See Hobson, Uneasy Virtue (1990) 25. 3. See, for example, Laurence, Roman Pompeii (1994) 80, who states, while drawing a link between the law’s treatment of popina and brothel, “There was a distinction between the morally good elite and the rest of the population. This is important, because the elite controlled, managed and enforced the law and imposed their will upon the population of the city.” These premises seem fairly unassailable to me. I also emphatically agree with Wallace-Hadrill, “Public Honour and Private Shame” (1995) 56, when he writes that “. . . ideologies could indeed shape the life of a Roman city.” Elsewhere, Wallace-Hadrill, “Emperors and Houses” (2001) 132, sketches a link between policy and political form that in my view cries out for further study. 4. For a primitivist perspective on public-health legislation, see Cilliers, “Public Health” (1993). 5. The second question is put, albeit in even broader form, by Bradley, “Prostitution” (2000) esp. 473–75. Space limitations allow me to do but scant justice here to his query. 6. In the case of the latter, the point is to avoid anachronism...

pdf

Additional Information

ISBN
9780472025824
Print ISBN
9780472113620
MARC Record
OCLC
615639427
Pages
392
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-11
Language
English
Open Access
N
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.