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In this important book Giulia Sissa looks at sensuality and sexual desire in the Greek, Roman and early Christian worlds, demonstrating how modern concepts of sexuality emerge from the practices and theories of the ancient world. In contrast to other recent scholars, Sissa emphasizes the centrality of heterosexual desire and passion in the classical period, arguing that the importance of homosexuality has been over-emphasized.Drawing widely on the literature and philosophy of the time, Sissa examines each culture in turn and challenges many of our assumptions. In particular, she draws a distinction between pleasure and desire in the ancient world, and analyses in detail the different ways in which men and women were seen to experience erotic feeling, looking closely at the portrayal of transgressive women such as Medea, Clytemnestra and Jocasta. Fresh, thoughtful and often provocative, this is a striking new analysis of the sexual attitudes that lay at the heart of the classical and post-classical world.