Episode 5 – Sex Workers in Ancient Rome

It’s here! Our examination of sex workers has arrived.

Your doctors tackle the issues surrounding the topic of sex work in ancient Rome.

Part of this process is acknowledging the significant difference between our world and the world of ancient Rome. The language and terminology in this episode reflects in part when the episode was recorded and in part the differences in the way this subject is discussed in history rather than cultural studies.

Turning to the big questions:

  • What evidence do we have for the subject of sex workers and sex work?
  • And what ideas did the Romans have about the oldest profession?

Listen in to find out more!

Sex and Prostitutes

sex worker sex workers prostitution ancient rome
Erotic scene. Provenance: Pompeii, Terme Suburbane, VII.16.a. Currently held by the National Archaeological Museum, Naples. Image courtesy of Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons

Interested in learning more about sex work in ancient Rome? You might find the following are a good place to get started:

Sources for Sex in Ancient Rome


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Drs R and G laugh and spar their way through the ancient Roman world!

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