It includes the history of marriage in general, to give readers a reference point for the ceremonies and traditions for same-sex relationships in the time periods. And I'm not just talking about homosexual unions which are not called marriages here with good reason but unions of all stripes from antiquity to the middle ages.
The first edition cover featuring a depiction of a 7th-century icon of Serge and Bacchus now in the Kiev Museum of Eastern and Western Art. Paperback —. Boswell goes into extreme detail on the linguistic differences between Greek and Latin, and how the limitations and translations can be interpreted.
It is not fluffy, it is not an easy read. Reviews in academic, peer-reviewed journals were mixed, with some scholars arguing that Boswell's translation of key terms was incorrect.
For in Same-Sex Unions in Premodern EuropeYale historian John Boswell, one of our most respected authorities on the Middle Ages, produces extensive evidence that at one time the Catholic and eastern Orthod At a time when strictures against homosexuality are the subject of impassioned debate, this groundbreaking work of scholarship has generated extraordinary controversy.
Bosnia and Herzegovina. The name field is required. Mar 26, Paul rated it it was ok Shelves: non-art-photoreviewedhistory. While I can't read any of the languages of the original texts and I seriously wish I could and therefore can't make a truly solid argument as to the veracity of his findings, what I can see is the meticulous care he's taken to research and support all of his theories.
Boswell does not pull back from noting weaknesses and areas where information simply is not known, and in fact includes about a hundred pages of appendices with the ancient documents in question in the original languages and in translation, with extensive notes, so that others can both follow and challenge him.
This does not mean that the interested reader should not scale this mountain. London Review of Books. Stay in Touch Sign up. The Christian Century. He died inage
Paperback , pages. I haven't had this kind of eye-opening experience since college: The kind where you walk away realizing how small-minded you've been, because there's a much larger gap between your so This book did an enormous amount of work opening my eyes to how truly differently people in the past viewed romantic relationships, including marriage.
I'm a massive nerd, so that probably contributed, but I found it understandable if you have the concentration to ignore the Greek and Latin footnotes , intelligent, and, at times, very funny. Taking that approach it seems that it had little trouble blessing the relationships that were presented to it, and urging chastity which might mean faithfulness to each other, and might mean refraining from sex within the relationship too , but also not concerning itself too much with the questions of sex.
I gave this four instead of five stars because this book covers the entirety of Europe and such a long time span that I often felt a bit lost and had to reread passages to connect the place, time, and content. Wealthy men could enter into one or more different types of erotic, sexual or romantic relationships with women; they could use those who were slaves or servants who were under their domination for sexual gratification, hire a prostitute, hire a concubine, or marry a woman either monogamously , or in many cases, polygamously.