In Bed with the Ancient Greeks
Sex and Sexuality in Ancient Greece
As the poet Theocritus wrote, ‘We are not the first mortals to see beauty in what is beautiful’. In this thorough survey of ancient Greeks’ attitudes to love, sex, marriage and adultery, Chrystal brings together mythology, literature and visual art with evidence from medical writings, sex manuals, and religious, philosophical and magical texts. The book ends with discussion of the Greek sexual vocabulary and an extensive bibliography listing ancient sources and modern scholarship. Sexually explicit.
Women in Ancient Greece
Seclusion, Exclusion, or Illusion?
Most histories of Ancient Greece focus on male protagonists, implying that women were a secluded, excluded part of society. Paul Chrystal questions this assumption, investigating the lives of Ancient Greek women writers, philosophers, artists and scientists, and their experiences of love, marriage, religion and death. Drawing on Homer, Hesiod and others, he demonstrates that women’s roles were far more nuanced and complex than previously portrayed.
Women at War in the Classical World
Ancient warfare is often assumed to have been the exclusive preserve of men, but Chrystal draws attention to the important roles played by women throughout Greek and Roman military history. He considers female commanders who were directly involved in strategy and tactics, including Cleopatra and Artemisia, as well as the countless thousands of ordinary women who came into contact with the military, as soldiers’ wives, camp followers or as non-combatant victims of war.
A Drink for the Devil
After petroleum, coffee is the most traded commodity in the world, with over 7 million tonnes produced annually. By 2015, when this book was written, Britain had more than 20,000 coffee shops, and the sector was still growing. This book records the history of what a pope called ‘the Devil’s drink’, the rise of the coffee house in 18th-century Europe and the global industry today.
In Bed with the Romans
Writers' lurid tales of their rulers' sex lives are a familiar part of our image of ancient Rome, but how reliable are these accounts and what can such stories tell us about Roman attitudes to sexual behaviour and morality? Drawing on twelve centuries of evidence from literature, inscriptions, graffiti, medical handbooks, legal texts, magic spells and frequently explicit visual arts, this wide-ranging account explores the Roman view of love, marriage, childbirth, homosexuality, prostitution and infidelity.