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Middle aged men who had homosexual relationships with each other were despised. Perhaps Prioleau sensed this weakness in her thesis.
They had the right to kill helots during this period. In fact, the Athenians seemed to have regarded boys as not quite sexually determined.
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This kind of conflict in views, moreover, is probably absolutely normal within any culture on any important question. Men of either age group who didn't grow out the relationships were frowned upon. The homosexuality of Athenian aristocrats might then seem of a piece with behavior that rejected social think Spartan and Persian affectations and religious traditions of the city think Mutiliation of the Hermes.
Prioleau really hits her stride, however, once she begins her profiles of more individualized seductresses, primarily women of European and American history though a few non-Westerners, such as Cleopatra, sneak in. To shore up her point, she makes contemporary feminism into a bit of a straw foil, repeatedly asserting that modern feminists are antisex "despite babe feminism" and have plunged women into "the plague years. Author Betsy Prioleau, a self-described former Southern belle who has taught classes in "The Seductress in Fiction" at Manhattan College in New York, seems to have both the social and academic credentials to tackle the topic.
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There are a of observations we can make. No one knew if a boy "gave in. In fact Athenian notions about honor were inextricably linked with Athenian notions about sexuality. On the other hand, a man demonstrates his virility by overcoming a father's precautions and taking the girl. For a man to be submissive was to act like a woman and to lose his honor.
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But the game boys and their lovers played was very complicated as well. It is important to note that this is how some Athenian men described these relationships, not how they lived them. In Prioleau's condensed version, Sand, usually noted for her incredible literary output, becomes "every man's nightmare of a sexed-up Mother Hubbard. Proper conduct of these relationships required that very young boys be free from any such eroticization, and that even with age-appropriate just before the age when boys start to get their first facial hair boys, a boy's father approves of the relationship.
Practice raids on helots were part of the training. We should also question whether there is a "class" analysis of the Greek love.
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But often the author's emphasis on sexual dominance tilts these three- to four- portraits toward silliness. We have virtually no archeological and no literary sources after the archaic age written by Spartans.
The older partner was the erastes, the "lover" and perhaps sexually dominant partner. If the object of the dominent Athenian's affection was a slave Athns foreigner, Athenians didn't give a damn. If the education process failed, they would grow up to be femine, corruptible, and a disaster for the city.
They just knew better than to say so [Cf. When the boy grew to manhood, if he pursued a career in politics, his enemies would be quick to use the charge that he had been a prostitute.
A young boy coming of age in Athens, accordingly, faced the same dilemas that young girls face in ours i. It is entirely possible that a of Athenian men had homosexual relationships that would seem "romantic" to us.
Small percentage of male pop were citizens ["Equals"] whose primary functions were to serve the city as warriors. The zero-sum game of honor that men in Athens played was particularly complicated because a there was no tradition of courtship between men and women marriages were arranged; b girls were married at very young ages and lived under extraordinary supervision until married; c at least in aristocratic circles, married women were supposed to live lives of virtual seclusion.
In many cultures, men compete to acquire Atehns demonstrate their honor by pursuing women.
Informative `seductress' loses some allure by lecturing
It is equally important to note that different Athenians held different views on the topic and that these views could and did conflict considerably. It's a fake adversity, set up to legitimize her argument for seduction, and it isn't even necessary. Land was alloted to citizens and was supposed to return to the state on a citizen's death [often circumvented]. A more seductive book would not have needed to pick a fight, or belabor its points, to teach us that.
Many of these women, she notes in her profiles, needed to seduce, to be loved and desired, in Lookinv to obtain Athes or social freedom. Adult males were required to attend common meals [syssitia] in order to maintain their citizenship.
If homophilic practices were confined to aristocratic circles, ordinary Athenians might have viewed Socrates and his rich friends with npnsexual disdain and suspicion. Male children at the age of seven were taken away from the family and raised in a military academy style of training until the age of She starts back in prehistory, with an overview of the Mother Goddess, the sexy, fertile deity who may or may not have ruled neolithic humanity. These profiles are amusing and, although larded with quotes from other works, make up the best part of the book.
Third, the Athenians themselves, appear depending on class, to have held different attitudes. The most important function of these relationships was to educate young men into the demands of their identities as aristocratic members of a democratic community.
First, our own culture enjoys a variety of attitudes toward homosexual relations that range from tolerance to violent supression. Second, while Athenians or at least aristocratic Athenians encouraged young men to welcome the attention of older men, these relationships were not necessarily sexually active. One can always use role models who teach us how to charm and how to win others over, despite unconventional backgrounds or looks or methods.
Boys in Athens, played the tAhens of fr. Drawing heavily on materials ranging from the works of Ovid to those of Germaine Greer, Prioleau parades a panoply of so-called seductresses before us, pointing out that most lacked traditional beauty and, instead, made their marks through brains and personality.
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Hence the thing for boys. More specifically, some have argued that these relationships taught young aristocrats to negotiate difficult issues of power. Preoccupied with physical and military training.