Booth: In Bed with the Ancient Egyptians. hb

  • In Bed with the Ancient Egyptians.
  • Booth, Charlotte
  • Hardback, 304 pages, 234 x 156 mm. 2015
The ancient Egyptians were very open towards sex and it featured heavily in religion, mythology and artwork. In an ancient culture that has become increasingly sexualised in its modern-day representation, Charlotte Booth demystifies the myth surrounding Egyptian sex. She draws on archaeological evidence and the written record to build up a picture of sex in the time of the pharaohs.

Aspects of sex from ideal beauty and ideas of sexuality to the importance and representations of fertility in artwork and religious ideology are examined. Marriage, divorce and adultery will be discussed along with prostitution and homosexuality. Even to the dead, sexuality and especially fertility were particularly important, and how to ensure a fertile and active afterlife was a feature of many funerary texts.

To a society open about sex, sexual health was obviously considered important and often the Egyptians turned to the physicians for aphrodisiacs, contraceptives and fertility aids. Many of these seem bizarre to the modern mind but make fascinating reading. The sex lives of pharaohs from Akhenaten and his famously beautiful queen Nefertiti to Cleopatra will feature as Booth provides a glimpse into this extremely personal but fascinating aspect of Egyptian lives.