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CLA 219.L10.09.Notes

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Regina Höschele

CLA 219 – W OMEN INA NTIQUITY R. H ÖSCHELE 10/09/12 **Midterm, 10/16 for 1h in the classroom – no lectures afterwards - Lectures and readings, TERM LIST – everything talked about in class! - NO long essay involved - Definitions, short/long answers, passage and image analysis (R E)CONSTRUCTIONS OFSAPPHO - Famous Greek poetess - No manuscript from Sappho, only quotes from other authors and recently found papyrus fragments - Sappho is a Lesbian – literally (from island of Lesbos in Greece) and sexually (i.e., from what can be gleaned from her poems) o Homo-erotic desire towards other women evident in her words  Thus the term “lesbian” – in its modern use – derived its meaning from that fact th  Late 19 c. – start to use the term this way - “Sapphic” is the adjective form to denote female homo-eroticism in poetry - “Tribade” is the (Greek) old word for female homosexuals o Tribune = to rub o Tribbing (? - google) - Lesbiazein ~ to act like a lesbian (German?) o Ancient meaning – to give oral sex - Lesbos island associated to female homosexual love o Which is taboo in ancient times - Risqué topic because females are taking on active, dominant roles – usurps the patriarchal society, as well as threatens masculinity of males, their dominant positions in society - Pseudo-Lucian, Erotes – rejection of female homosexuality o Philaenis associated with pornographic manual – suspicious sexual activity - Martial, nasty epigrams to female homosexuals o Epigram 1.90 – woman seemed like a Lucretia (chaste) but really was a homosexual  Male speaker horrified by this sort of activity  Attributed her to Theban riddle ~ Oedipus and his incestual affairs with his own mother – horror of this equated with female homosexual activities o Epigram 9.26 – lesbian Philaenis presented as ‘macho’ – like a man, less feminine  Got dirty, had lots of sex with boys and women, participated in athletic activities, excessive eating and drinking  Almost a pun when speaker told her to have the gods give back her mind – ‘mentes’ (mind) is close to ‘mentum’ (penis) - Lucian, Letters of Courtesan (is it Lucian or Alkiphron? – google) o Lesbian seduction, rich lesbians, hetaeras as musical escorts  “Born a woman but really a man” – “husband” (lesbian lover) o Lucian invites you to imagine the highly-charged, erotic scene the character was describing then breaks it off before the really ‘interesting’ details  Aposiopesis (literary device in erotic poetry) nd th th - Sappho is from the 2 half of the 7 and early 6 c. BC o Lived in Mitylene in Lesbos o Supposedly married – talked about a daughter in one of her poems o Origin of the female voice in Antiquity (i.e., earliest source)  Having only fragments of her works makes he intriguing th o Celebrated as the 10 muse – goddesses of inspiration, of the arts (9 of them, daughters of Zeus) o Lyric meters are meters that are sung – Sappho’s poems written this way o 9 lyrical poets in Antiquity were written down in a canon – canonical poets included Sappho (only woman)  One of them Stesichonus – the guy who blamed Helen for the Trojan War and was blinded for it be her father Zeus - Sappho is the prototype of female homosexual o Had some kind of all-female community at Lesbos in which she was the leader o Thiasos – school for girls – with Sappho as headmistress – to learn womanly duties, prepare for marriage o Homo-erotic bonds between Sappho and her students o Sounds like pederasty – assumption that female homosexuality is rampant in all- girl’s school is projected unto Sappho as way of explaning her state  No mention of schools or teaching in Sappho’s works  Inspired paintings – Sappho and Erinna; Henry-Auril painting of tribade acts - Philology (‘love of words’) – study of language - German philologist thought that Sappho must be ‘cleansed’ o To save the poetess, remove all the sexual content (male scholarly concept) o Assumed that Sappho is a boarding-school mistress – no sex whatever - Sappho, though,
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