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

The aim of this project is to create 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 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 enable the juxtaposition of two different modes of action within a theory of decorum – the appropriate design of space with regard to specific forms of behaviour, on the one hand, and a concept of deviant behaviour on the other hand.

Brothel Pompeii

Project by Prof. Dr. Annette Haug




Fieldwork + Activities


Participating Institutions