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Disrupting the Norm: Sodomy, Culture, and the Male Body in Peter Damian’s Liber Gomorrhianus

Disrupting the Norm:Sodomy, Culture, and the Male Body in Peter Damian’s Liber Gomorrhianus

Boyd, David Lorenzo

Essays in Medieval Studies, vol. 11 (1994)

Abstract

Written for Pope Leo IX around 1049, Peter Damian’s Liber Gomorrhianus decries homosexual sodomy. Damian, an avid ecclesiastical reformer based in central Italy, employs conventional moral, biblical, theological, and rhetorical arguments against the unmentionable vice, and through them hoped to persuade the pope to depose ecclesiasts who practiced this illicit sexual activity, whether in the form of masturbation (singular or mutual) or intercourse (interfemoral or anal the latter being its most severe species).

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