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Book: Jesus and Addiction to Origins

Chapter: 8. Sex, Gender and Empire: Virgins and Eunuchs in the Ancient Mediterranean World

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.39245


In light of the anti-familial figure of the eunuch-priest and the vestal virgin (both spectacular investments in celibacy), this chapter argues that the oft-supposed centrality and stability of “the family” in Greco-Roman antiquity belongs as much to the realm of ancient and modern desire and mythmaking than to historical reality.

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