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Gender and Sexuality in Ancient Greece Or why Plato Loved Socrates!

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Presentation on theme: "Gender and Sexuality in Ancient Greece Or why Plato Loved Socrates!"— Presentation transcript:

1 Gender and Sexuality in Ancient Greece Or why Plato Loved Socrates!

2 The Evolution of Gender and Sexuality in the Ancient World  Gender and Sexuality Before the Classical Era –Sapho and Lesbos –The Greek “Dark Ages”  The Removal of Women from the Public Sphere  The Rise of Pedastry  Evidence of Male Relationships –And Women’s Relationships Remain Obscure  Is Greek Homoerotic Practice Homosexuality or Pedophilia?

3 Ancient Greece before the Classical Era BCE Minoan and Mycenaean Civilizations BCE Age of Calamities and Greek Dark Ages BCE Archaic Period BCE Classical Period –Persian War, BCE –Peloponnesian War, BCE BCE Spartan Period BCE Athens Golden Age BCE Hellenistic

4 Minoa and Mycenae The Forerunners of Ancient Greece

5 Minoa, BCE

6 Cultural Explosion on Crete

7 Sea Trade and the Aegean

8 Thera and the End of Minoa

9 Mycenae, BCE

10 The Palace at Mycenae

11 Mycenaean Writing

12 The Megaron and Mycenaean Frescoes

13 Artifacts from Mycenae

14 Dirty Dishes: The Rise of Athens and the Greek Empire Or Why They Held the Olympics in the Nude

15 Sappho, Lesbos and the Diminishing Power of Greek Women

16 The Island of Lesbos Sapho and Alkaios

17 The Poetry of Sappho "Seizure" To me he seems like a god as he sits facing you and hears you near as you speak softly and laugh in a sweet echo that jolts the heart in my ribs. For now as I look at you my voice is empty and can say nothing as my tongue cracks and slender fire quick under my skin. My eyes are dead to light, my ears

18 Key Terms Thiasos – finishing school for girls Didaskalos – School Mistress Tribades – Homosexual Women (savage, uncontrollable, dangerous) Pederasty – Love of Young Boys Erōmenoi – Young men loved by adult males Erastai – Adult male lovers of boys Pais – boys Hetairēsis – Prostituting One’s self Pornos – Male Prostitute Pornē – Female Prostitute

19 The Persian War, BCE

20 The Athenian Polis

21 Agora

22 Mass and Elite in Athens

23 The Origins of Pederasty Homeric Greece: Gender and Sexual Roles are Fluid/ Women are part of the public sphere: Ulysses and Nausicca The Rise of City States and the Codification of Law Isolates Women in the Home Rites of Passage: Separation, Liminality, Incorporation Pederasty and the Making of Citizens

24 Plato and Aristotle

25 The Evolution of Historical Thinking on the Subject of Pederasty Oldest Explanation: Greek Homosexuality a Function of a Lack of Women The Relationship of Martial Societies to Male Love and Bonding Males as “Happily Homosexual in Youth and “Happily Heterosexual” as Adults The Initiation of Greek Boys into Citizenship, Philosophy, and the Public Sphere Socrates and the Elevation of Spiritual Love over Physical Love

26 So Was it Just About Penetration Between the Thighs?: The Graffiti of Thera “Here Krimon had anal intercourse with his pais, the brother of Bathycles”

27 Courtesans and Prostitutes Courtesans were professional companions with skill in the arts of music, dancing, conversation and poetry. Coveted for banquets/symposiums as escorts, they may engage in sex, but they are equivalent to high-priced escorts and call girls today. Prostitutes could be and were anything from street walkers to workers in brothels, but their skill sets were confined to sexual acts.

28 Courtesan and Male Prostitute

29 The Law of Hetairēsis If an Athenian has prostituted Himself, according to the law, he cannot serve as one of the nine archons, not hold any priestly office, nor exercise the function of public advocate or magistrate, either inside or outside the city whether chosen by election or lot. He cannot be dispatched as a herald, or express his opinion, or be associated with public sacrifices of wear the crown, or enter within the purified boundaries of the Agora. If he does any of things after being convicted of hetairēsis, he shall be put to death.

30 Hetairae

31 Peloponnesian War Pericles and the Two Pronged Strategy The Plague of 430 BCE The Massacre at Melos, BCE Shift of Strategy – Alcibiades and Sicily, BCE

32 Tragedy and Comedy Bringing Women Back In: Lysistrata by Aristophanes


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