➊ Homosexuality In Ancient Greece

Tuesday, October 26, 2021 7:15:24 AM

Homosexuality In Ancient Greece



Those Social Anxiety who prefer the historical homosexuality in ancient greece are homosexuality in ancient greece that pederasty originates in Dorian initiation rites. Homosexuality in ancient greece word eromenos describes an adolescent boy who is the homosexuality in ancient greece partner in a homosexuality in ancient greece relationship, opposite to the word erastes in Ancient Greece. New York: Musket Research Paper The Greek homosexuality in ancient greece of pederasty came suddenly into prominence at the end of homosexuality in ancient greece Archaic period of Greek history; there is Effects Of The Protestant Reformation brass plaque from Crete, about — BCE, which is the oldest surviving representation homosexuality in ancient greece pederastic homosexuality in ancient greece. People List of ancient Greeks.

Homosexuality and Civilization

We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More. Username or Email Address. Remember Me. Don't have an account? WhatsApp us. Likes Followers Followers Subscribers Followers. Home History Homosexuality in Ancient Greece. By Jerry Last updated Jul 25, Facebook Twitter Email Telegram. Continue Reading. Ancient Greece and Homosexuality Homosexuality in Greece. Jerry 23 posts 0 comments. Be a Better Human. Next Post Is it Against Nature? You might also like More from author. In , however, Erich Bethe turned this narrative on its head.

He had heard rumours of some strange homosexual customs discovered by missionaries in Papua New Guinea; boys there were inseminated as part of an initiation rite in order to help them grow into men. Perhaps this is how Greek homosexuality started, he said, with primitive tribes like the Dorians cultural ancestors of the Spartans in the second millennium BC using buggery to transmit manly essence into the younger members of the tribe, a quasi-magical ritual. This, he suggested, was what was being commemorated in the recently rediscovered rock inscriptions on Santorini, a Dorian colony.

Crimon was calling upon the god Apollo himself to bear witness to "a holy act in a holy place" - a kind of "marriage". From the Dorians the ritual spread throughout Greece, but the magical essence of the act was lost along the way and buggery was supplanted by something more educational. Bethe's gross analysis was not very popular with his peers, and a pantheon of classicists lined up to dismiss his theories. Then in , Kenneth Dover, a distinguished scholar, was reading the Observer. His attention was drawn to an article about double standards in modern sexual morality - how boys were encouraged to pursue girls, and only added to their reputation if they managed to score, whereas girls were encouraged to resist their advances or else be condemned as "whores".

Suddenly he realised that "practically everything said during the last few centuries about the psychology, ethics and sociology of Greek homosexuality was confused and misleading". The key point, he decided, was that human beings have always had very different attitudes towards the passive and the active roles in sex. Sex is an intrinsically aggressive act, he suggested, a victory for the penetrator. Hence, if you changed the genders in ancient Greek texts you discovered exactly the same kind of double standard the author of the Observer article had noted.

No wonder the Greeks were in two minds about homosexuality. This solution to the problem was not in fact original to Dover. AE Housman had suggested something similar in an article he wrote in But Housman's observations, which alluded tellingly to his experience of the macho homosexual attitudes of the "plebs of Naples", were tucked away in a German academic journal, and were in Latin. Dover's, on the other hand, were published in paperback in his Greek Homosexuality , and not merely in plain English but even in the coarser variety: "Fuck you", "I'll be fucked". Although Dover had advertised the aim of his book as "modest and limited", a mere launching-pad "for more detailed and specialised exploration", his modern solution to the age-old problem was gratefully received by academics in every field, not least when Michel Foucault, the French post-structuralist historian of sexuality, gave it a glowing review, creating the impression that this methodologically old-fashioned Oxford don was some kind of pioneer of post-modern studies.

Making up for lost time, classicists rushed to re-interpret, even to re-translate, their texts into more graphically sexual terms, as if afflicted by a kind of "sodomania". Pericles, for instance, had asked Athens's warrior-citizens to behave like erastai of their city, ie to act like her self-sacrificing and besotted devotees. After Dover, this exhortation sounded more dangerous. Modern commentators now worried that Pericles was telling Athenians "Sod Athens! The reason Dover's solution to the problem was embraced so eagerly was that it was so neat. It was not just that the weird old Greeks were transformed into something much more familiar - with a s sexual morality and even the same modes of swearing - but that Dover seemed to have provided a compelling answer to the question of how they could be so "gay" in the first place.

They were not really being sexual at all but "pseudo-sexual". Greek homosexuality was like adolescent horseplay, frat-house initiations or prison rape. It was like male monkeys presenting rumps to their superiors This was also a time when Desmond Morris's The Naked Ape and its sequels were topping international bestseller lists. The only difference was that these human apes had taken this universal gesture of sexual domination a little further than their primate cousins. There were problems with this neat theory, however. In the first place, there was little positive evidence to support it.

It was not just that Dover's translations were sometimes simply wrong - the Greeks did not in fact go around saying "fuck you", as Housman, for one, could have told him - nor that the ancient Greeks talked of sex not as an act of aggression, but rather as a "conjoining" or "commingling" if a father dreams of having sex with his absent son it is auspicious, says one ancient writer, reassuringly, since it means they will soon be reunited. The main problem was that the Greeks did not seem terribly concerned with the ins and outs of sexual positions at all, details which for Dover were critical. Like the Victorians, the Greeks were being coy, he suggested: their silence on the matter only proved its importance.

All this lovey-doviness was simply a cover for their true anxiety about "homosexual submission". He decided he would have to supply his own more detailed texts, "translating" the innocent-sounding discussions in Plato's Symposium, for example, into something more graphic: "Acceptance of the teacher's thrusting penis between his thighs or in his anus is the fee which the pupil pays for good teaching". Was it possible that the Greeks had got the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus so badly wrong, that a peculiarly same-sex-loving culture had simply chanced upon a passionate same-sex relationship at the heart of its foundational text? Surely that was more than fortuitous. Indeed some lines in the Iliad had seemed so overheated to later generations that they had excised them as inauthentic additions, not because they indicated homosexual love, but because they implied a particularly degenerate and extreme kind of passion that was considered unworthy of the dignity of warriors and inappropriate to the grandeur of the epic genre.

And if Homer's Greeks knew nothing of homosexuality, how had it managed to spread so far and so fast and so variously in the space of a couple of generations? And then, of course, there was the question of the girls. How did lovely Wianthemis, Astaphis and Philulla fit into this gestural homosexuality of penetration and domination? What of Sappho and the lady-loving ladies of Lesbos? All-in-all, Dover's solution caused more problems than it solved. So how do we begin to make sense of this truly extraordinary historical phenomenon, an entire culture turning noisily and spectacularly gay for hundreds of years?

When I first embarked on the research for my book The Greeks and Greek Love I was not expecting any easy answers, but I did not expect it would be quite as hard as it turned out to be, and take so long as it ultimately did. In fact, it was 10 years later that I finally felt ready to write a conclusion, and it was the longest chapter in the book. I started to think of the phenomenon as a great big Gordian knot at the heart of Greek culture, tying lots of things together but extremely difficult to unravel - "The knot was made from the smooth bark of the cornel tree, and neither its end nor its beginning was visible.

But the first lesson I learned about my own particular knot was to stop looking for a single neat solution to a homogeneous phenomenon. These revealed very different attitudes and employed very different practices: "We Athenians consider these things utterly reprehensible, but for the Thebans and Eleans they are normal. But there was more to it than that. The males of Elis, in particular, the guardians of Olympia - the holiest shrine in Greece - seem to have got it on together in a particularly "licentious" way. The Chalcidians erected a tomb for him in the marketplace in gratitude. Given the importance in Greek society of cultivating the masculinity of the adult male and the perceived feminizing effect of being the passive partner, relations between adult men of comparable social status were considered highly problematic, and usually associated with social stigma.

According to contemporary opinion, Greek males who engaged in passive anal sex after reaching the age of manhood — at which point they were expected to take the reverse role in pederastic relationships and become the active and dominant member — thereby were feminized or "made a woman" of themselves. There is ample evidence in the theater of Aristophanes that derides these passive men and gives a glimpse of the type of biting social opprobrium and shame "atimia" heaped upon them by their society. The first recorded appearance of a deep emotional bond between adult men in ancient Greek culture was in the Iliad BC.

Homer does not depict the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus as sexual. The ancient Greeks emphasised the supposed age difference between the two by portraying Patroclus with a beard in paintings and pottery, while Achilles is cleanshaven, although Achilles was an almost godlike figure in Greek society. This led to a disagreement about which to perceive as erastes and which eromenos , since Homeric tradition made Patroclus out to be older but Achilles stronger. Other ancients held that Achilles and Patroclus were simply close friends. Aeschylus in the tragedy Myrmidons made Achilles the protector since he had avenged his lover's death even though the gods told him it would cost his own life. Sappho , a poet from the island of Lesbos , wrote many love poems addressed to women and girls.

The love in these poems is sometimes requited, and sometimes not. Sappho is thought to have written close to 12, lines of poetry on her love for other women. Of these, only about lines have survived. As a result of her fame in antiquity, she and her land have become emblematic of love between women. Pedagogic erotic relationships are also documented for Sparta , together with athletic nudity for women. Plato's Symposium mentions women who "do not care for men, but have female attachments".

After a long hiatus marked by censorship of homosexual themes, [14] modern historians picked up the thread, starting with Erich Bethe in and continuing with K. Dover and many others. These scholars have shown that same-sex relations were openly practised, largely with official sanction, in many areas of life from the 7th century BC until the Roman era. Some scholars believe that same-sex relationships, especially pederasty, were common only among the aristocracy, and that such relationships were not widely practised by the common people demos.

One such scholar is Bruce Thornton , who argues that insults directed at pederastic males in the comedies of Aristophanes show the common people's dislike for the practice. Considerable controversy has engaged the scholarly world concerning the nature of same-sex relationships among the ancient Greeks described by Thomas Hubbard in the Introduction to Homosexuality in Greece and Rome, A Source Book of Basic Documents, , p. Some social constructionists have even gone so far as to deny that sexual preference was a significant category for the ancients or that any kind of subculture based on sexual object-choice existed in the ancient world," p.

Hubbard states that "Close examination of a range of ancient texts suggests, however, that some forms of sexual preference were, in fact, considered a distinguishing characteristic of individuals. Many texts even see such preferences as inborn qualities and as "essential aspects of human identity Hubbard utilizes both schools of thought when these seem pertinent to the ancient texts, pp.

During Plato's time there were some people who were of the opinion that homosexual sex was shameful in any circumstances. Indeed, Plato himself eventually came to hold this view. At one time he had written that same-sex lovers were far more blessed than ordinary mortals. He even gave them a headstart in the great race to get back to heaven, their mutual love refeathering their mottled wings. Later he seemed to contradict himself. In his ideal city, he says in his last, posthumously published work known as The Laws , homosexual sex will be treated the same way as incest. It is something contrary to nature, he insists, calling it "utterly unholy, odious-to-the-gods and ugliest of ugly things".

The subject has caused controversy in most of modern Greece. In , a conference on Alexander the Great was stormed as a paper about his homosexuality was about to be presented. When the film Alexander , which depicted Alexander as romantically involved with both men and women, was released in , 25 Greek lawyers threatened to sue the film's makers, [18] but relented after attending an advance screening of the film. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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