Podcast of the event available here

Professor Tim Parkin, The University of Melbourne

Sexual health is a topic of global concern for both specialists and the general public in the twenty-first century. Such open awareness and debate around topics such as contraception and sexually-transmitted diseases are usually seen as recent phenomena. However, the history of attitudes towards sexual health has a much longer history, and much of it is grounded in the classical world. Following the (alleged) arrival of syphilis from the ‘new world’, for example, medical writers and doctors of Europe were heavily influenced by much earlier Greek and Latin texts. But what of ancient times themselves? In this seminar I shall seek to explore knowledge of, and attitudes towards, as well as treatment of, sexually-transmitted diseases in antiquity. I shall also consider how classical discourse shaped subsequent understandings, attitudes and practices. How did the Greeks and the Romans think about their sexuality in terms of physical and mental health? How did perceived and real sexual health affect men and women’s status in society? To what extent did the advent of Christianity change attitudes towards sexual health?

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About Classics and Ancient History Seminars

Event details

  • The seminars take place at 4pm, in the Michie Building (09), Room 536
  • Seminars are also on Zoom. Send an email to Duncan Keenan-Jones (d.keenanjones@uq.edu.au) for the link.
  • Upcoming seminars can be found here.
  • Please be aware that we are still operating under Covid-19 regulations during public events. Masks are no longer required at UQ locations - however, UQ strongly encourages mask wearing when physical distancing is not possible. UQ strongly encourages all campus attendees to be up to date with vaccinations. And finally, those who are feeling unwell, have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the previous 7 days or have been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 7 days, are asked not to attend this seminar.
  • For those attending in person, if you would like to join us for drinks and/or dinner afterwards at UQ’s St. Lucy's from 5:15 pm, please RSVP by email to Duncan Keenan-Jones (d.keenanjones@uq.edu.au) by 9am on the day of the seminar.
  • Please also contact Duncan Keenan-Jones should you have questions about the event.

The Friends of Antiquity, an alumni organisation of the University, runs its own series of public lectures, which take place on Sunday afternoons. The Friends’ program for can be found at https://alumni.uq.edu.au/friends-of-antiquity