A painting from the ancient Egyptian tomb of Niankhkhum and Khnumhotep, royal servants whom some scholars have interpreted to be lovers.
Writing about same-sex relationships and gender beyond a strict male-female binary was more common in ancient Greece and Rome than students assume, a scholar writes.
Helen Mirren playing Caesonia in Tinto Brass’ 1979 historical drama film,
Following a number of films featuring debauched emperors, it is nowadays commonplace to associate the Greek-Roman antiquity with orgies. But is this historically accurate?
An incantation bowl with an Aramaic inscription around a demon from Nippur, Mesopotamia.
From snake-like creatures with claws to jealous virgin ghosts, female monsters have long been a part of women’s lore. Such figures were Intimately tied to childbirth, sexuality and child mortality.
Pollice Verso (With a Turned Thumb) by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1872).
Phoenix Art Museum
Death was always a possibility, but gladiator combat was controlled by referees.
A Woman Drinking, Andrea Mantegna. about 1495-1506.
The National Gallery, London.
Despite wine’s centrality to the everyday life of the Romans, the ancient sources continuously attest it was a problematic drink when consumed by women.
An artist’s depiction of the temple at La Chapelle-des-Fougeretz as it would have looked in the first century AD.
Marie Millet, INRAP
There may have been a main god or goddess at many temple sites, but there was a clear tendency to worship a range of deities.
Adele James in Netflix’s Queen Cleopatra.
Courtesy of Netflix
The modern soundtrack and dialogue feels far more anachronistic and intrusive than the diverse casting.
Richborough Roman Fort with the newly reconstructed gateway.
Courtesy of English Heritage
The gate has been built on the site of an actual Roman gateway, thought to date to the invasion of Britain in AD 43.
Roman mosaic illustrating a winemaking scene from the fourth century CE at Santa Costanza, Rome.
This exciting newly excavated complex illustrates how elite Romans fused utilitarian function with luxurious decoration and theatre to fashion their social and political status.
Preparation of actors for a satyric drama, from the House of the Tragic Poet, Pompeii.
Collecting choice Latin lines is easy – the difficulty is trying to work out what they add up to. And women, in particular, come off badly in this collection of Latin’s greatest hits.
The Colchester vase, dating to the later second century AD.
The Colchester vase contains the remains a male of about 40 years of age and not of local origin. Could he have been a gladiator?
Mosaic in the entrance to the caldarium of the House of Menander, Pompei, 1st century A.D.
Even if Ovid leaves it out, the female sex organ is well-attested in Greek and Latin medical literature.
The wooden phallus discovered at Vindolanda. Wooden Phallus
Courtesy of The Vindolanda Trust.
There would have been plenty of time during the long, dark, Northern nights for ancient Roman shoemakers to indulge in side hustles.
The recently discovered 2,000 year old Roman dildo barely makes a dint in the long-standing history of sex-toys and aids.
The atrium of the House of the Vettii, Pompeii.
Courtesy of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii
Sexuality in Ancient Rome was more preoccupied with power dynamics than it was with gender – as an expert in visual cultures of sexuality explains.
‘The Nativity,’ circa 1406-10, by Lorenzo Monaco.
Heritage Images/Hulton Archive via Getty Images
The idea of virgin birth has been part of Christianity since the start, but its significance has shifted over time.
Archaeology students and ULAS staff from University of Leicester carefully clean the fully exposed Trojan War mosaic.
Rutland’s Roman villa caused a media storm when it was first discovered in 2020 – now researchers have returned to uncover even more surprises.
The coin bearing the head of the mysterious Sponsian.
Disregarded as ‘fakes’ for decades, new analysis of coins bearing the face of a mysterious emperor is providing answers about a heady gap in Roman history.
AP Photo/Alastair Grant, Pool, File
The British crown is the only surviving European monarchy that retains a coronation.
Laurel was an ancient symbol of medicine, the arts and the end of war.
naphtalina/E+ via Getty Images
Just in time for this year’s Nobel Prize announcements, here’s how the symbolism of a plant associated with the god Apollo lives on in modern-day laureates.