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were published under the name of famous heterai (courtesans), and circulated in Rome.

The robustly sexual Milesiaca of Aristides was translated by Sisenna, one of the praetors of 78 BC.

Sexuality in ancient Rome, and more broadly, sexual attitudes and behaviors in ancient Rome, are indicated by Roman art, literature and inscriptions, and to a lesser extent by archaeological remains such as erotic artifacts and architecture.

It has sometimes been assumed that "unlimited sexual license" was characteristic of ancient Rome; Verstraete and Provençal express the opinion that this perspective was simply a Christian interpretation: "The sexuality of the Romans has never had good press in the West ever since the rise of Christianity.

In the popular imagination and culture, it is synonymous with sexual license and abuse." Roman society was patriarchal (see paterfamilias), and masculinity was premised on a capacity for governing oneself and others of lower status, not only in war and politics, but also in sexual relations.

(Virtus), "virtue", was an active masculine ideal of self-discipline, related to the Latin word for "man", vir.

Many Roman religious festivals had an element of sexuality.

The February Lupercalia, celebrated as late as the 5th century of the Christian era, included an archaic fertility rite. At certain religious festivals throughout April, prostitutes participated or were officially recognized.

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The Vestal Virgins, the one state priesthood reserved for women, took a vow of chastity that granted them relative independence from male control; among the religious objects in their keeping was a sacred phallus: The men who served in the various colleges of priests were expected to marry and have families.Hypersexuality, however, was condemned morally and medically in both men and women.Women were held to a stricter moral code, and same-sex relations between women are poorly documented, but the sexuality of women is variously celebrated or reviled throughout Latin literature.Forms of expression with lower cultural cachet in antiquity—such as comedy, satire, invective, love poetry, graffiti, magic spells, inscriptions, and interior decoration—have more to say about sex than elevated genres, such as epic and tragedy.Information about the sex lives of the Romans is scattered in historiography, oratory, philosophy, and writings on medicine, agriculture, and other technical topics.

The Vestal Virgins, the one state priesthood reserved for women, took a vow of chastity that granted them relative independence from male control; among the religious objects in their keeping was a sacred phallus: The men who served in the various colleges of priests were expected to marry and have families.

Hypersexuality, however, was condemned morally and medically in both men and women.

Women were held to a stricter moral code, and same-sex relations between women are poorly documented, but the sexuality of women is variously celebrated or reviled throughout Latin literature.

Forms of expression with lower cultural cachet in antiquity—such as comedy, satire, invective, love poetry, graffiti, magic spells, inscriptions, and interior decoration—have more to say about sex than elevated genres, such as epic and tragedy.

Information about the sex lives of the Romans is scattered in historiography, oratory, philosophy, and writings on medicine, agriculture, and other technical topics.

The corresponding ideal for a woman was pudicitia, often translated as chastity or modesty, but a more positive and even competitive personal quality that displayed both her attractiveness and self-control.