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Signs of Virginity – Testing Virgins and Making Men in Late Antiquity - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Signs of Virginity: Testing Virgins and Making Men in Late Antiquity

Michael Rosenberg


The notion that bleeding “should” accompany the “loss” of female virginity—a mode of thinking about virginity that encourages male sexual aggression—is so widespread that it is often taken for granted. Yet, Michael Rosenberg argues in Signs of Virginity that this idea is a specific product of Deut. 22:13–21. Deuteronomy’s violent virginity has held sway in Jewish and Christian circles more or less ever since, but Rosenberg points to two writers—Augustine of Hippo and the rabbinic collective that produced the Babylonian Talmud—who, even as they perpetuate patriarchal assumptions about female vi ... More

Keywords: virginity, masculinity, sexual violence, Talmud, rabbinic literature, Augustine, early Christian

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780190845896
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190845896.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Michael Rosenberg, author
Assistant Professor of Rabbinics, Hebrew College

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