In the Greek Romances by Achilles Tatius (Leucippe and Clitophon) and Heliodorus (An Ethiopian Tale), the virginity of the central heroine is not only central, but curiously problematized. In this article I explore the ways that these two novelists construct the plot of Romance around the tension between the heroine's physical integrity, and the reader's desire to know about her sexual experience. Both authors display considerable cunning in maintaining this tension, ultimately defining virginity as a state which can never be fully known, except in the moment of its loss.
Ormand, Kirk. 2010. "Testing Virginity in Achilles Tatius and Heliodorus." Ramus 39: 160-197.
Ramus: Critical Studies in Greek and Roman Literature