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Dildos and other sexual aids are frequently mentioned in ancient literature and depicted on pottery, while didactic sex manuals were popular, as were more general advice books such as the Ars Amatoria

I am confused by "as were", I guess this is a kind of inverted sentence, maybe a regular order would be

as more general advice books such as the Ars Amatoria were

but I am not sure about my guess, can anybody help me parse this sentence?

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  • it is saying 'didactic sex manuals were popular and more general advice books such as the Ars Amatoria were ALSO popular'. 'As' is used to mean 'at the same time'.
    – thelawnet
    Commented Apr 9, 2023 at 6:06
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    As a general rule, this kind of "inversion" (reversing subject and object after as) is far more likely in relatively formal contexts. Hence He's here, as am I is more formal / literary than ...as I am (but those are both much more formal than ...and so am I). It's just a stylistic choice, that doesn't affect the meaning. Commented Apr 9, 2023 at 11:54
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    'In the same way' rather than 'at the same time'. Commented Apr 9, 2023 at 12:56

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This is an inversion, triggered by the word "as". The same inversion can also be triggered by "so".

Italy produces many excellent wines, as does Spain.

(= and Spain does too) (example online)

This is fairly formal. The phrase following "as" is the subject, and would take the subject form of the verb and pronoun: "He is happy, as am I".

So in your example the phrase "more general books...Ars Amatoria" is the subject of the clause, "were" is the verb and heads the clause, the complement is implied from the previous phrase to be "popular". The meaning is, "Sex manuals were popular and more general books were popular too."

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  • thank your answer,your are very helpful,while so many people in this site did't take my question seriously
    – CN.hitori
    Commented Apr 10, 2023 at 9:14

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