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Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! In this study, Stephanie Budin demonstrates that sacred prostitution, the sale of a person's body for sex in which some or all of the money earned was devoted to a deity or a temple, did not exist in the ancient world.

The Myth of Sacred Prostitution in Antiquity by Stephanie Lynn Budin

Reconsidering the evidence from the ancient Near East, the Greco-Roman texts, and the Early Christian authors, Budin shows that the majority of sources that have traditionally been understood as pertaining to sacred prostitution actually have nothing to do with this institution. The few texts that are usually invoked on this subject are, moreover, terribly misunderstood. Furthermore, contrary to many current hypotheses, the creation of the myth of sacred prostitution has nothing to do with notions of accusation or the construction of a decadent, Oriental "Other.

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The study of sacred prostitution is, effectively, a historiographical reckoning. It provides a good grounding for students studying Ancient Greece and Rome to explore this hotly debated topic.

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While there will be no doubt be those who dispute Budin's claims regarding the existence of sacred prostitution, there is no disputing the high level of scholarship which underpins her argument. It should be read both by those who maintain that sacred prostitution existed and by those who remain sceptical. The book is a thrilling expose' of historiography at its worst.

Budin's book investigates both the ancient Near East and the Mediterranean world. As such, it breaks new ground, as most previous similar studies have dealt exclusively with Mesopotamia.

The Myth of Sacred Prostitution in Antiquity

She collects together and analysis in context all references associated with sacred prostitution, making the book essential reading on the topic. In general, she is convincing in her conclusion that sacred prostitution has no historical authority and that scholars have wrongfully manipulated evidence to support such an institution. The study of sacred prostitution is, effectively, a historiographical reckoning. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 4. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book.

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