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In the book is he just translating ancient texts or is he telling the stories himself? They cram in absolutely everything. The footnotes are just amazing. If you want to know all the Greek myths then definitely read it. Take it in chunks. No, absolutely not. He was just steeped in the whole thing. Adele is one of my favourite writers for children and teenagers. Ithaka is part of a loose trilogy based on the Odyssey , the Iliad and the Aeneid.

So Ithaka is written from the point of view Penelope, who is waiting for her husband, Odysseus, to come back from the Trojan War? I think if you wanted to get a teenager into the whole Greek myth thing again — having done it at school earlier — perhaps this book would be a good way in. Yes, he took some of the key Greek myths and made them into these wonderful stories. I could have chosen a straight translation. This is how they were meant to be heard! Ovid would have read them out loud to people, and that is how they would have heard them, he would have performed them.

Like Ted Hughes, Padraic Colum was a poet. I think for me, the thing that links all these books, apart from the actual stories, is the way that language is used within them. In this one too, the way he uses language is wonderful. The illustrations too. The gods, for instance, are always either married to their sister or their daughter.

I had to skate over that quite a lot in Atticus. Everybody wears Nike shoes, she was the Greek goddess of victory. Did you ever read Ambrosia creamed rice? I know. There are several different versions of that particular story. I chose to include it when I wrote about it. I quite liked it. I now give it as a present whenever any of their friends has a birthday. The thing is that if they have them in their heads now, it will actually serve them for life. There are meant to be only x number of stories in the world, and these are pretty much templates for all of them….

Everybody always asks me this. I like the story of Nyx, and the fates. An armistice was signed at Moudania, in Anatolia, on 11 October A conference of all the powers interest ed in restoring peace to the Near East met in Lausanne in January The Turkish-Greek accord that resulted on 30 January provided for the repatriation of all civilian internees on both sides regardless of number, as well all of the Turkish prisoners of war and an equal number of Greek prisoners of war.

The remainder of the Greek prisoners of war were to be repatriated after signing the peace treaty, which took place on 24 July The Turkish-Greek conflict caused hundreds of thousands of persons of Greek origin to flee Asia Minor, while thousands of people of Turkish origin fled Thrace for Turkey. In January and February and again at the beginning of , ICRC delegates visited prisoners of war and civilian detainees on both sides.

The majority of the detainees were civilians, mainly women, children and old men. Representatives of the Hellenic Red Cross made regular visits to those places and distributed aid. At the end of its round of visits, the ICRC called for the old men, women, children and breadwinners in particular to be repatriated first. These repatriations began shortly after the ICRC mission. As these persons had no personal effects, they were provided with clothing by the Turkish Red Crescent.

At the end of his visit, the ICRC delegate distributed aid in cash and kind. The confining of her hair signified the harnessing of her sexuality within marriage. Her weaving of the tunica recta and the hairnet demonstrated her skill and her capacity for acting in the traditional matron's role as custos domi , "guardian of the house". Because men could enjoy sexual relations outside marriage with relative impunity, it has sometimes been assumed that satisfying sex was not an expectation of Roman marriage.

Sexual intimacy between a married couple was a private matter, and not usually the subject of literature. A wedding hymn by Catullus, for instance, praises the love goddess Venus because "nothing is possible without you". I am seized by an unbelievable longing for you. The reason is above all my love, but secondarily the fact that we are not used to being apart. This is why I spend the greater part of the night haunted by your image; this is why from time to time my feet lead me the right expression!

Pliny adopts the rhetoric of love poetry, conventionally directed at an illicit or hard-to-attain lover, as appropriate for expressing his wedded desire. Although it was a point of pride for a woman to be univira , married only once, [] there was no stigma attached to divorce. Speedy remarriage after divorce or the death of a spouse was common and even expected among the Roman elite, since marriage was considered right and natural for adults.

While having children was a primary goal of marriage, other social and familial bonds were enhanced, not excluding personal companionship and sexual pleasure between husband and wife, as indicated by marriages involving women past their childbearing years. The Trojan royal couple Hector and Andromache became a mythological trope of wedded sex. Latin love elegy focuses on their sex life rather than the tragic end of their marriage with Hector's death at the hands of Achilles.

An epithalamium by Catullus [] paints the wedding night as a time of ripe eroticism, spiced with humorous and bawdy songs from the guests. The husband is reminded that "good Venus" has blessed him, since he can now desire openly what he desires, and need not conceal a "good love". The couple is encouraged to enjoy themselves as they please ludite ut lubet ; the goal is to produce children soon.

A pair of paintings in a bedroom of the Casa della Farnesina has been interpreted as "a narrative of the modest bride becoming the immodest lover—perhaps fulfilling a ribald male fantasy". Some literary passages suggest that a newlywed might break off his outside sexual relations for a time and focus on bonding with his wife in the hope of starting a family.

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Legally, however, a Roman husband did not commit adultery when he had sex outside marriage as long as his partner was considered sexually available; sexual misconduct stuprum was adultery depending on the status of a female partner. A character in a play by Plautus expresses a man's sexual freedom in comic terms:. No one prohibits anyone from going down the public way publica via ; as long as you do not make a path through posted land , as long as you hold off from brides, single women, maidens, the youth and free boys, love whatever you want.

A married or marriageable woman and young male citizens are off-limits, just as if they were the property of someone else, [] and in fact adultery as a crime was committed contrary to the rights of the paterfamilias to control his household. For a married woman, no infidelity was acceptable, and first-time brides were expected to be virgins.

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Following the collapse of the Republic , moral legislation became part of the new political order under Rome's first emperor, Augustus. The appeal to old-fashioned values cloaked the radical overthrow of the Republic's participatory political institutions by top-down, one-man rule. Scholars have often assumed that the Lex Iulia was meant to address a virulent outbreak of adultery in the Late Republic. An androcentric perspective in the early 20th century held that the Lex Iulia had been "a very necessary check upon the growing independence and recklessness of women".

Personal anxieties about infidelity, within marriage or not, are reflected in magic spells intended to "fix" defixiones or bind the other person's erotic attachment. One magical papyrus from Roman Egypt recommends placing the heart of a hoopoe on a sleeping woman's genitals to induce truthful answers; another says that the tongue of a hen placed on her lips or breast will cause her to reveal the name of the man she loves. Literature of the Late Republic and Principate , particularly the satires of Horace and Juvenal , offer various depictions, or perhaps fantasies, of how a wronged husband might subject his wife's lover to humiliation and punishment.

In these literary treatments, the adulterer is castrated, beaten, raped by the husband himself or his slaves, or penetrated anally with a mullet , a type of prized fish cultivated by elite Romans as a leisure activity otium. References to such acts do not appear in the letters of Cicero nor the histories of Tacitus , and may be fictional exaggerations. The cultivation of a laissez-faire attitude as a sign of urbanity may have prompted the provision of Augustus's adultery law that required a husband to divorce his wife and bring formal legal charges against her, or face charges himself for pimping lenocinium.

Sexuality was a "core feature" of ancient Roman slavery. In this situation why on earth should he refrain from sodomising his houseboys? A Roman could exploit his own slaves for sex, but was not entitled to compel any enslaved person he chose to have sex, since the owner had the right to control his own property. A slave's sexuality was closely controlled.

12 Greek Gods and Goddesses

Slaves had no right to legal marriage conubium , though they could live together as husband and wife contubernales. An owner usually restricted the heterosexual activities of his male slaves to females he also owned; any children born from these unions added to his wealth.


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If an owner found that his male slave was having a sexual relationship with a free woman, the law required that he warn the couple three times to break it off. If the affair continued, he had the right to take ownership of the woman. Not even Messalina or Sallust 's Sempronia is accused in the hostile sources of having sex with a slave. Despite the external controls and restrictions placed on a slave's sexuality, Roman art and literature perversely often portray slaves as lascivious, voyeuristic, and even sexually knowing.

Freeborn Romans who fell into slavery were supposed to be protected from sexual exploitation, as indicated by two different stories recorded by ancient historians. According to Livy , debt slavery nexum was abolished as a direct result of the attempted sexual abuse of a freeborn youth who served as surety for his father's debt [] with the usurer Lucius Papirius. The boy, Gaius Publilius, was notably beautiful, and Papirius insisted that as a bond slave he was required to provide sexual services. When Publilius refused, Papirius had him stripped and whipped.

The youth then took to the streets to display his injuries, and an outcry among the people led the consuls to convene the senate. The law thus established that the integrity of a Roman citizen's body was fundamental to the concept of libertas , political liberty, in contrast to the uses to which a slave's body was subject. Some sexual protections could be extended to slaves. The conduct of slaves reflected generally on the respectability of the household, and the materfamilias in particular was judged by her female slaves' sexual behavior, which was expected to be moral or at least discreet.

This decorum may have limited the exploitation of female slaves that were part of the familia. Although concern for the slave's welfare may have been a factor in individual cases, this legal restriction seems also to have been intended to shield the male citizen owner from the shame or infamia associated with pimping and prostitution. The ne serva covenant remained in force for subsequent sales, even if the buyer was initially unaware of it, and if it was violated, the illegally prostituted slave was granted freedom. Prostitution was legal throughout the Roman Empire in all periods.

Prostitutes in Rome had to register with the aediles. Despite what might seem to be a clear distinction as a matter of law, the jurist Ulpian opined that an openly promiscuous woman brought the status of prostitute upon herself, even if she accepted no money. Encouraged to think of adultery as a matter of law rather than morality, a few socially prominent women even chose to avoid prosecution for adultery by registering themselves as prostitutes.

Confused status frequently results in plot complications in the comedies of Plautus and Terence. Obstacles to love arise when a young man falls in love with, and wishes to marry, a non-citizen prostitute, and are overcome when the young woman's true status as a freeborn virgin is revealed. The well-brought-up freeborn virgin is marriageable, and the non-citizen prostitute is not.

Elaine Fantham has observed that prolonged military campaigning in Greece and Asia Minor had introduced Roman men to a more sophisticated standard of luxury and pleasure, perhaps reflected by comedy: the young man acts out his infatuation with an expensive courtesan instead of a family slave or common prostitute.

Prostitutes appear in erotic art in Pompeii and Herculaneum , including wall paintings from buildings identified as brothels, in which they are often nude except for a strapless bra strophium. The paintings illustrate various sexual positions that contradict some scholarly claims about the preferences of Roman men in heterosexual acts. They were the only Roman women who wore the toga , the distinctive dress of a free Roman male. This crossing of gender boundaries has been interpreted variously.

Prostitutes were among those persons in Rome categorized as infames , enjoying few legal protections even if they were technically not slaves. In the Roman moral tradition, pleasure voluptas was a dubious pursuit. The Stoic moralist Seneca contrasts pleasure with virtue virtus :. Virtue you will find in the temple , in the forum , in the senate house , standing before the city walls, dusty and sunburnt, her hands rough; pleasure you will most often find lurking around the baths and sweating rooms , and places that fear the police , in search of darkness, soft, effete, reeking of wine and perfume, pallid or else painted and made up with cosmetics like a corpse.

Roman ambivalence toward physical pleasure is expressed by the infamia of those whose bodies provided it publicly. They served the pleasure of others. They were tarnished by exposure to the public gaze. Those labeled infames singular infamis were liable to corporal punishment, usually reserved for slaves. Actors were sexually ambiguous, in part because they could imitate women, [] [] and were attractive to both men and women.

The dictator Sulla had a long-term affair with an actor; [] Maecenas , the arts patron and advisor to Augustus , was in love with an actor named Bathyllus ; [] and women of the Imperial family are alleged to have had affairs with actors. A man who enjoyed receiving anal sex or providing oral sex, often characterized as a cinaedus , might also be stigmatized as infamis , though if he was a citizen he could retain his legal standing.

A few of these residences have rooms decorated with pornographic art [] not differing from that found in identified brothels; in some cases, an erotically decorated room has its own exterior door to admit visitors [] who would normally enter the home through the main doors leading to the atrium, where the family displayed ancestral images and other trophies of respectability. Just as notorious was that party arranged for Metellus Scipio when he was consul and for the people's tribunes—by Gemellus, their tribunicial errand boy.

He was a free man by birth, but twisted by his business to play the servant's role. Society gave a collective blush: he established a whorehouse in his own house, and pimped out Mucia and Flavia , each of them notable for her father and husband, along with the aristocratic boy Saturninus. A banquet not for honoring consul and tribunes, but indicting them!

The existence of sex clubs may provide background for Late Republican political smears about public figures whose party guests included prostitutes, [] and for the notorious Imperial whorehouse Caligula established on the Palatine , where he prostituted married women and freeborn youths.

Around 90 positions for intercourse are recorded in the ancient world. The Latin terms are Ovid's, from his description of how the most aristocratic households displayed erotic paintings among their art collections.


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  5. Astrology was thought to influence one's preferences and pursuits: people born when the sun, moon, and planets were in certain astrological signs [] were supposed to be inclined toward secret vice or "unnatural" forms of intercourse, or to becoming pathici. Lucretius observes that sex acts may have different purposes. Prostitutes employ certain movements aimed at giving their customers pleasure and at avoiding pregnancy. Wives wishing to conceive are advised against moving vigorously during intercourse, since such movements "knock the ploughshare from the furrow and misdirect the sowing of the seed".

    The basic obscene verb for a man having sex with a woman is futuo , "I fuck.

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    Thomas Habinek has argued that "Ovid invents the category of the heterosexual male", since it was considered normal for a Roman man to have same-sex relations. Sexual pleasure, he emphasizes, should be mutual, [] [] and he advises men not to conclude the sex act without enabling their female partner to achieve orgasm. In one passage, he seems to be recommending simultaneous orgasm:. But don't you fail your lady, hoisting bigger sails, and don't let her get ahead of you on the track either; race to the finish together: that's when pleasure is full, when man and woman lie there, equally vanquished.

    Ovid recommends it for the petite woman, as a tall woman may not wish to seem too towering in relation to the man. In art, the mulier equitans convention has the woman posed frontally to expose her body in full to the viewer, often emphasizing her depilated pubic area. The significance of this position in Roman culture has been interpreted variously.

    Kenneth Dover thought it might represent the relative sexual emancipation of Roman women. The position is also called Venus pendula conversa , "perpendicular Venus with the woman facing toward the man "; for its reverse Venus pendula aversa , "perpendicular Venus with the woman facing away" , the man lies down with the woman on top, but she turns her back and faces his feet. This version is rarely mentioned or depicted, but is found in Roman art set in Nilotic Egypt. Relief with inscription []. An equestrian metaphor is also found for the cinaedus "riding" on top in anal sex, [] [] and at least once of lesbians who "take turns riding and move with the Moon as witness".

    The Latin verb for " to penetrate anally, bugger " is pedicare. The object was usually but not always male. Pedicare was a blunt and non-euphemistic word, and can be used in a threatening manner, as notoriously by Catullus in Carmen 16 , or in general to mean " fuck you ". Common metaphors are ficus , "fig" , and anus , "ring," which was considered a decorous term and was standard in medical texts.

    Men were said to "take it like a woman" muliebria pati , "to undergo womanly things" when they were anally penetrated, but when a man performed anal sex on a woman, she was thought of as playing the boy's role. The figura veneris in which the woman crouches to lift her buttocks, called "the lioness", may be intended for anal penetration, since boys in Greek art can be portrayed in the same position; with a female partner, it may be difficult to distinguish in art from a tergo rear entry.

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    Os impurum , "filthy mouth" or "impure mouth", was a term of abuse especially for those who provided oral sex. It was a convention of obscenely comic verse that oral sex caused bad breath that was nearly toxic. Because of the stigma attached to providing physical pleasure, a man who performed oral sex on a woman was subject to mockery. Cunnilingus typically appears in Roman art only as part of a reciprocal act, with the woman fellating her male partner in some variation of the "69" position. The woman who receives cunnilingus is tall and shapely, well-groomed, and brazenly nude except for jewelry.

    The male figure is relatively small, crouching subserviently, and fully clothed; he has an anxious or furtive look. There is some evidence that women could hire male prostitutes to provide cunnilingus. Graffiti at Pompeii advertise the prices male prostitutes charged for cunnilingus, in the same price range as females performing fellatio; however, the graffiti could be intended as insults to the men named, and not as actual advertisements.

    The Latin verb fellare is usually used for a woman performing oral sex on a man. Irrumatio is a forced form of fellatio, almost always against another man. Forcing someone to be a receptacle for oral sex was proof of virility, something to boast about, as indicated by the Priapeia and the poems of Catullus and Martial.

    It was also threatened as a punishment, [] particularly for adulterers. Group sex appears in literary sources, graffiti, and art. In his retreat at Capri, he put together a bedroom that was the theater of his secret debauches. There he assembled from all over companies of male and female prostitutes, and inventors of monstrous couplings which he called spintriae , so that, intertwining themselves and forming a triple chain triplici serie connexi , they mutually prostituted themselves in front of him to fire up his flagging desires.

    Most threesomes depict two men penetrating a woman.

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    A medallion from Roman Gaul shows two men reclining on a bed, one on the right and one on the left, with their legs extended under a woman between them. Another shows a woman "riding" a man who reclines, while a man standing behind her parts her legs to enter. A far less common variation has one man entering a woman from the rear while he in turn receives anal sex from a man standing behind him, a scenario found in Catullus, Carmen 56 as well as art.

    Catullus makes it clear that this concatenation was considered humorous, [] possibly because the man in the center could be a cinaedus , a male who liked to receive anal sex but who was also considered seductive to women. Foursomes also appear in Roman art, typically with two women and two men, sometimes in same-sex pairings. One example of a foursome from the Suburban Baths at Pompeii demonstrates what Romans saw as the superior role.

    A woman on the far right kneels beside a bed to perform cunnilingus on a woman lying on it; this woman in turn fellates a man who kneels above her. The man is himself receiving anal sex from a fourth figure, who is represented as the "victor": he acts only to fulfill his own sexual gratification without providing it to others, and looks directly at the viewer with a triumphant wave of the hand. A Latin epigram by the Gallo-Roman poet Ausonius 4th century AD is a riddle that depends on familiarity with the configurations of group sex:.

    Masturbation is little noted in the sources for Roman sexuality. Masturbation was a longstanding if infrequent theme in Latin satire; one of the few surviving fragments of Lucilius , Rome's earliest satirist, jokes about a personified penis Mutto whose girlfriend Laeva "Lefty" wipes away his "tears". The etymology of the Latin verb masturbari is vexed. It has been argued that it is a compound of turbare , "agitate", and mas , "male", in an otherwise unattested usage for "penis".

    The mythological tradition is full of sexual encounters between humans and animals, especially mortal women and gods in the guise of animals. Bestiality is a particular characteristic of intercourse with Jupiter Greek Zeus , who visits Leda as a swan and Europa as a bull. Satyrs , known for their sexual voracity, are often pictured with bestial features.

    Mock bestiality is recorded as a form of sexual roleplay in Imperial Rome. Nero is supposed to have enjoyed a form of bondage with either male or female partners in which he dressed in animal skins to attack their genitals, just as condemned prisoners were bound and attacked by wild animals in the arena see Damnatio ad bestias. There is some indication that violent sexual encounters, like other mythological scenarios, were acted out as punitive entertainments in the arena. In his chapter on anthropology and human physiology in the encyclopedic Natural History , Pliny notes that "there are even those who are born of both sexes, whom we call hermaphrodites , at one time androgyni " andr- , "man", and gyn- , "woman", from the Greek.

    In contemporary English, "hermaphrodite" is used in biology but has acquired pejorative connotations in referring to people born with physical characteristics of both sexes see intersex ; in antiquity, however, the figure of the so-called hermaphrodite was a primary focus of questions pertaining to gender identity. Pliny observed that while hermaphrodites were once considered portents prodigia , in his day they had become objects of delight deliciae ; they were among the human curiosities of the sort that the wealthy might acquire at the "monsters' market" at Rome described by Plutarch.

    In the mythological tradition , Hermaphroditus was a beautiful youth who was the son of Hermes Roman Mercury and Aphrodite Venus. He spurned her, and she pretended to withdraw until, thinking himself alone, he undressed to bathe in her waters. She then flung herself upon him, and prayed that they might never be parted. The gods granted this request, and thereafter the body of Hermaphroditus contained both male and female. As a result, men who drank from the waters of the spring Salmacis supposedly "grew soft with the vice of impudicitia ", according to the lexicographer Festus.

    Depictions of Hermaphroditus were very popular among the Romans. The dramatic situation in paintings often elicits a " double take " on the part of the viewer, or expresses the theme of sexual frustration. In a few works, Hermaphroditus is strong enough to ward off his would-be attacker, but in others he shows his willingness to engage in sex, even if the satyr seems no longer inclined: []. Artistic representations of Hermaphroditus bring to the fore the ambiguities in sexual differences between women and men as well as the ambiguities in all sexual acts.

    Hermaphroditus gives an eternally ambiguous answer to a man's curiosity about a woman's sexual experience—and vice versa. Hermaphroditus stands for both the physical and, more important, the psychological impossibility of ever understanding the feelings of the beloved. Hermaphroditus is a highly sophisticated representation, invading the boundaries between the sexes that seem so clear in classical thought and representation.

    Macrobius describes a masculine form of "Venus" Aphrodite who received cult on Cyprus ; she had a beard and male genitals, but wore women's clothing. The deity's worshippers cross-dressed, men wearing women's clothes, and women men's. In several surviving examples of Greek and Roman sculpture, she is found in the attitude anasyrmene , from the Greek verb anasyromai , "to pull up one's clothes".

    Among the displays were portrait galleries of female writers and of courtesans; a series of images illustrated freakish births that had served as war omens. In general, intellectuality and culture are represented as feminine and Hellenized, while war and politics are Roman and masculine. Sexual conquest is a metaphor widely used by the Romans for imperialism, [] but not always straightforwardly for Roman domination.

    Horace famously described the Romans as taken captive by captive Greece: the image of Roman culture colonized from within by a civilization they had defeated but perceived as intellectually and aesthetically superior might be expressed by myths in which a man raped, abducted, or enslaved a woman but fell in love with her, as embodied for instance by Achilles and Briseis. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. See also: Raptio. For indeed, at the very moment of possession, the hot passion of lovers fluctuates with uncertain wanderings and they are undecided what to enjoy first with eyes and hands.

    They tightly press what they have sought and cause bodily pain, and often drive their teeth into little lips and give crushing kisses, because the pleasure is not pure and there are goads underneath which prod them to hurt that very thing, whatever it is, from which those [torments] of frenzy spring. See also: Fascinum. See also: History of male circumcision.

    Main article: Homosexuality in ancient Rome. See also: Women in ancient Rome. See also: History of lesbianism , Tribadism , and Homosexuality in ancient Rome. Newlyweds [] attended by a servant: the bride remains fully clothed and demur Casa della Farnesina, Rome, c. See also: Marriage in ancient Rome. For the legal aspects, see Adultery in ancient Rome. Further information: Slavery in ancient Rome. Main article: Prostitution in ancient Rome. See also: Venereum. Main article: Irrumatio.

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    See also: History of masturbation. Main articles: Hermaphroditus and Aphroditus. The accounts of breast mutilation occur in Christian sources and iconography, not in Roman art and literature. They say that he cut off the genitals of his father, Heaven , and that when these were cast into the sea Venus was engendered, taking the name Aphrodite from the foam [Greek aphros ] from which she formed.

    They interpret this to mean that when chaos existed, time did not, since time is a fixed measurement computed from the rotation of the heavens. Hence Kronos, who as I said is Khronos, is thought to have been born from heaven itself. Because the seeds for engendering all things semina rerum omnium after heaven flowed down from heaven, and because all the elements that fill the world took their start from those seeds, when the world was complete in all its parts and members, the process of bringing forth seeds from heaven for the creation of the elements came to an end at a fixed moment in time, since a full complement of elements had by then been created.

    The capacity for engendering living things in an unbroken sequence of reproduction was transferred from water to Venus, so that all things would thenceforth come into being through the intercourse of male and female": Macrobius, Saturnalia 1. From the late Republic until the rise of Christian dominance in the later Empire, there is clear evidence of mixed bathing. Some scholars have thought that only lower-class women bathed with men, or those such as entertainers or prostitutes who were infames , but Clement of Alexandria observed that women of the highest social classes could be seen naked at the baths.