Added: July 8, 2006 – Last updated: February 4, 2017


Author: Elisabeth Vikman

Title: Ancient Origins

Subtitle: Sexual Violence in Warfare, Part I

Journal: Anthropology & Medicine

Volume: 12

Issue: 1

Year: April 2005 (Published online: October 19, 2010)

Pages: 21-31

ISSN: 1364-8470 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1469-2910 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Ancient History | Ancient Near East, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome | Types: Wartime Sexual Violence / Ancient Warfares



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Abstract: »Sexual violence frequently occurs in warfare. The focus here is on its perpetration throughout history, beginning with ancient Greek, Roman and Israeli societies. Many references to sexual violence in modern literature appear in studies on siege warfare. Rape has also been discussed as a main topic. The current paper explores how violence is described by ancient authors—Homer, Herodotus, Livy, Hebrew prophets and others—and in which contexts it occurs. What contemporary attitudes to these actions are conveyed by the sources? Did violations follow patterns as to how and when they were executed or did they take place at random? Was individual, physical gratification the sole motive? Ancient historiography and prose was researched and modern theories applied for the purpose of interpreting cases in greater detail. This investigation showed that ancient sources held multiple, often contradictory attitudes to sexual violence. In addition, apparent chaos in the battlefield appears more structured than expected and physical satisfaction offers only a partial explanation to the violence. In conjunction with the second part where modern evidence is discussed, the current papers provide an historical, cultural and psychological insight into the persistence of sexual violence and its influences.« (Source: Anthropology & Medicine)


  The Israelites (p. 22)
  The Greeks (p. 24)
  The Romans (p. 27)
  Conclusion (p. 29)
  Notes (p. 30)
  References (p. 30)

Note: Vikman, Elisabeth. »Modern combat: sexual violence in warfare, part II.« Anthropology and medicine 12 (2005): 33-46. – Bibliographic Entry: Info

Wikipedia: Ancient history: Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, History of ancient Israel and Judah | Sexual violence: Types of rape / Wartime sexual violence