Cities as affective and emotional spaces. Erotics and love in Rome and Pompeii (Haug)

Brothel, Pompeii


The aim of the project is a topography of affect and emotion. Emotionally charged forms of action (e. g. the correlate of sexuality, lust, and love) are to be located within urban topographies.  It is the public, not the private space, which is in the focus of this study.

Therefore, the project focuses on two different cities for which different sources are at hand: Rome for which we have a large number of written sources at hand (Ovid, Properz, Martial etc.), and Pompeii with a dense archaeological record (for sexscapes: brothels; cellae meretriciae; paintings, graffiti, terracotta plaques, sculptures etc.). The sources allow for an opposition of a theory of decorum – the appropriate design of space with regard to specific forms of behaviour – and a concept of deviant behaviour.