My initial observation may surprise those who claim some close generic affinity between the ancient and modern romance. There is no dichotomy between lust2 and true love, as in the modern pulp romance (Radway 1984: 134): this genre is not concerned with deceit. Instead marriage, in some senses, functions as a thematic telos. Beauty engenders desire, often characterised as ”(UZM,3 which requires fulfilment in sex and marriage. For the protagonists at least, marriage is generally characterised as a relationship initially based on erotic attraction, which is frequently tested but proves itself strong enough to withstand all the diverse attacks made on the couple’s fidelity. Having proved themselves faithful to their partners’ interests, the relationship/marriage can be seen to have developed beyond the initial erotic impulse into a spiritual union which no longer takes so much account of physical appearance. Nearly all characters – even bandits – aim at marriage: Thyamis in the Aithiopika may be the ultimate bourgeois bandit, but even the rough Trachinos and monstrous Peloros want to marry Charikleia. The few characters, such as Anchialos and Psammis, who do not conform to this pattern become illustrative of generic attitudes to class and race. Marriage thus functions as a social index, with those who do not aspire to the state most expressive of adherence to civic values automatically relegating themselves to the margins of society. It is telling in this context that gender does not become an important factor; even sexually aggressive and menacing females such as Manto and Kyno are represented as seeking marriage with the hero as the ultimately conventional solution to their socially transgressive desires.