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"Sex in the Ancient World" Pompeii Documentary - History Channel


In the backstreets of Pompeii there is an extraordinary sight: the physical remains of a bejewelled, upper class woman entwined with the twisted torso of a Roman gladiator. Frozen in time, their passionate and doomed embrace opens a window through which we can start to survey the whole of Classical sexuality. This was a time in which men enjoyed unequalled sexual freedom; cavorting with courtesans, maid servants, and streetwalkers - and in which women were categorised as material either for marriage or pleasure. Evidence for this divide exists everywhere, like the perfectly preserved prostitutes' sandals designed to leave arrows with the words `this way' imprinted on the dusty streets.