James Jope, independent scholar in Classics

For my profile, click here. For my complete bibliography, click here.

My contribution on ancient philosophy, Platonic and Roman Influence on Stoic and Epicurean Sexual Ethics, appears in Blackwell's Companion to Greek and Roman Sexualities. Here is the abstract:

If philosophy has been a series of ‘footnotes to Plato’, sexual philosophy has swung between his ambivalent signals praising now eros (followed by the modern homophile movement), now abstinence (embraced by Christianity). However, recent scholarship has turned to other historical forgers of Western sexual ethics, particularly the Stoics. Their founder Zeno, like Plato, felt free to propose radical sexual innovations. Epicureans too held unconventional, albeit less revolutionary, views. But Roman Stoics embraced and perpetuated more conventional values. The contrasting approaches of the Greek Plutarch and the Roman Musonius when advocating companionate marriage suggest an abeyance of critical thinking in Rome, explained by Roman tradition, changes in the economic status of philosophers, and the Stoics’ pursuit of patronage.

 Details here.

Featured papers

Authenticity of the Lucianic Erotes: This paper, which began with a presentation at a conference on the Second Sophistic at Laval University in 2007, argues for the authenticity of the work by Lucian. It is published in the Spring 2011 issue of Helios. You can also read it here.

"Lucian's Triumphant Cinaedus and Rogue Lovers", Helios 36, 1 (2009) examines two neglected texts of Lucian which illustrate his relevance for our understanding of ancient social values relating to sex, and the relevance of ancient sexual conventions for interpreting his own work. In Dialogues of the Dead 19 (numbered as in the Loeb edition), Lucian, following Cynic values, reveals a more tolerant attitude towards pathic sexuality than most sources, by eliciting unconventional admiration for a cinaedus who outwits his legacy hunters. And a study of Alexander the False Prophet 5 in view of conventional Greek expectations regarding pederasty casts new light on the interpretation of that controversial work. You can read this paper by clicking here.

 "A Latinist looks at Botanical Latin": Text of a paper read at the APA annual meeting in 2005. To read this, please click here.
“Lucretius’ Psychoanalytic insight: his notion of Unconscious Motivation”, Phoenix 37 (1983) 224-238: A special version of this article with translations of the Latin is posted on this site. Click here.

Featured Book Reviews

My review of The Greeks and Greek Love: A Radical Reappraisal of Homosexuality in Ancient Greece by James Davidson published in the May 2008 issue of Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide was subjected to such severe editorial revision that it no longer reflects my views. Read the original, unedited version here.

My review of Werner Krenkel’s collected papers, Naturalia non turpia, is published in Mouseion Series III, vol. 7, 2007, no. 3, 277-282.  It is available at “Project Muse”, but can also be seen here.

My review of Craig A. Williams, Roman Homosexuality: Ideologies of Masculinity in Classical Antiquity (here), and my review of Arnold A. Lelis, William A. Percy, and Beert C. Verstraete, The Age of Marriage in Ancient Rome, (here). 

To leave this site and read my review of William Armstrong Percy III, Pederasty and Pedagogy in Archaic Greece, click (here)

My review of G.E.R. Lloyd, The Delusions of Invulnerability: Wisdom and Morality in Ancient Greece, China and Today, is published online in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review. This review was written in collaboration with sinologist H. Lyman Miller. To read it, click here.

My review of Geert Roskam, Live Unnoticed (Lathe biosas): On the Vicissitudes of an Epicurean Doctrine, is published in Bryn Mawr Classical Reviews. To read it, click here.

My review of Adam Bartley, A Lucian for Our Times, is published in Bryn Mawr Classical Reviews. To read it, click

My review of Wolfgang Kullmann, Naturgesetz in der Vorstellung der Antike, besonders der Stoa: eine Begriffsuntersuchung. Philosophie der Antike can be read here.

Donald Lateiner et al., Roman Literature, Gender and Reception (Festschrift for Judith Hallett) is reviewed here.

Rosario Moreno Soldevila, Juan Martos (ed.), Amor y sexo en la literatura latina. Suplementos de Exemplaria Classica, 4. is reviewed here.

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