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Durham University

School of Modern Languages & Cultures

Events in Modern Languages & Cultures

Professor Daniel Newman presents his book The Sultan's Sex Potions at the Bradford Literary Festival

23rd May 2015, 09:15, Bradford Literary Festival

Arabic erotic literature has a long and rich history, which goes back as far as the ninth century. Far from being the pursuit of prurient pornographers, eroticism and sexuality received considerable attention from scholars. The Sultan’s Sex Potions was written by Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī (1201–1274), one of the leading scientists of the age, and is part of a group of works devoted to aphrodisiacs as well as sexual practices and positions. Sober and measured in tone, the treatise was intended as a manual and guide, to be used by those afflicted with various sexual ailments, especially impotence, for self-healing, without resorting to a physician. It was composed at the request of the ruler and so its potions, electuaries, syrups and enemas enjoyed a ‘royal warrant of appointment’ to arouse the lust for coitus and enhance sexual potency.

Professor Newman will present his translation and edition of this work at the Bradford Literary Festival on Saturday 23 May 2015

Contact daniel.newman@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.