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Masculine PluralQueer Classics, Sex, and Education$
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Jennifer Ingleheart

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198819677

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198819677.001.0001

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In Decent Latin

In Decent Latin

Dialogus. Jocundus: Robertus

(p.89) 1 In Decent Latin
Masculine Plural

Jennifer Ingleheart

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses Bainbrigge’s Latin dialogue between two schoolboys, in which an older boy introduces the younger to the pleasures of sex. It explores Bainbrigge’s treatment of sex in the light of much less sexually frank contemporary examples of clandestine homoerotic writing (including E. M. Forster’s Maurice), and argues that Latin was crucial in allowing Bainbrigge to discuss homoerotic desires and acts in a frank, yet still coded manner. It explores parallel examples of Latin’s use as a homoerotic language and interrogates how Bainbrigge’s sexual vocabulary draws on classical Latin as well as a longer tradition of neo-Latin pornographic works. The chapter’s conclusion explores the queer temporality of Bainbrigge’s hybrid classical/modern world and his parody of erotic pedagogy. It also analyses Bainbrigge’s comments on the censorship of sex in the classical schoolroom, and on classical education more broadly.

Keywords:   Latin, neo-Latin, pornographic work, sex, schoolboy, classical education, clandestine homoerotic writing, sexual vocabulary, queer temporality, erotic pedagogy

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