Start Date

28-4-2015 10:30 AM

End Date

28-4-2015 11:45 AM

Disciplines

Ancient History, Greek and Roman through Late Antiquity | History of Religion | Social History

Subjects

Christianity -- Rome, Male homosexuality -- Rome -- History, Homosexuality -- Rome

Abstract

Attitudes towards sexuality are deeply influenced by the intricate interplay between religion and social values. How do polytheistic and monotheistic societies differ in how they view sexuality? In the pre-Christian days of the early Roman Empire, polytheism fostered a remarkable tolerance toward both same-sex relations and various expressions of sexuality, as evident in social expectations, literature, and written law. In contrast, a closer examination of the Roman Empire’s transition from a polytheistic to Christian society in the 4th and 5th centuries reveals that the rise of Christianity corresponded with, and likely contributed to, increasingly strict attitudes towards homosexuality.

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Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/15221

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Apr 28th, 10:30 AM Apr 28th, 11:45 AM

Christianity's Influence on Attitudes toward Homosexuality in the Roman Empire

Attitudes towards sexuality are deeply influenced by the intricate interplay between religion and social values. How do polytheistic and monotheistic societies differ in how they view sexuality? In the pre-Christian days of the early Roman Empire, polytheism fostered a remarkable tolerance toward both same-sex relations and various expressions of sexuality, as evident in social expectations, literature, and written law. In contrast, a closer examination of the Roman Empire’s transition from a polytheistic to Christian society in the 4th and 5th centuries reveals that the rise of Christianity corresponded with, and likely contributed to, increasingly strict attitudes towards homosexuality.