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Skip to main content. You're using an out-of-date version of Internet Explorer. Log In Sign Up. Heaven for me, hell for the "others": An agenda on sex and body from Sassanid Persia Oxbow, An agenda on sex and body from Sassanid Persia. An agenda on sex and body from Sassanid Persia Maryam Dezhamkhooy and Leila Papoli Yazdi Introduction According to archaeological evidence and written sources, it is supposed that the Sassanid Empire 3rd—7th century AD had a hierarchical worldview and was interested in controlling public and private domains Daryaee, , xvi.
It seems that the Sassanid Empire invented social strategies to control aspects of social life, including sexuality. The present research investigates how the Sassanid power structure tried to influence or control the sexual life of ordinary people. Control of the body and sexual behaviours are historical facts in ancient societies as well as in modern ones, as Foucault , — has shown so convincingly. The main inquiry, here, is: Was it connected to political domination, making the latter possible and easier to execute?
Keeping in mind that technologies of power had not been developed to the extent we know them today, could top-down control and direct oppression in an ancient society with a pyramidal structure act as a mechanism for the reproduction of a sexual discipline? That is, was sex-control one of the means to integrate the subjects of the Sassanid polity? The present chapter assesses the range and goals of structural sex-control in the Sassanid period via material culture and textual sources.
The process of sex-control will be read in relation to religious institutions, power structures and propaganda in order to assess the historical roots of sex-control from a contextual viewpoint.
To create a contextual understanding of Sassanid sex-control, this chapter concentrates on the perception of religion and its interaction with power.