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Lecture 3

Antiquity LECTURE 3.docx

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Regina Hoeschele

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LECTURE 3, September 25, 2012 Sex and gender in the Ancient World (In classical Athens!!!!!!!!) PENIS AS A SYMBOL HAS A RELIGIOUS FUNCTION = APOTROPAIC, warding off evil. = Symbol of potency =The bigger/heavier, the more fruitful = ITHYFALIC=erect penis Priapus: - Fresco of Priapus (in the House of the Vettii) - symbolizes fertility - Statue of Priapus used as a fountain - Prayer to a deity, to get husband’s penis erect (inscriptional hymn to priapus) - “Biggest advantage of my dick is that no woman can be too wide for me” (Carmina Priapea) 79 AD, Mount asubias erupted, and the lava came down on Pompae, preserving everything Image of Mercury at the entrance to a bakery: Big penis means rich, good, wealthy Anything dirty would be left in latin, never translated into English because women and children can be harmed. Idea is that the only person who could bare that literature is the educated male. Roman tintinnabula: a wind chime, a representation of priapus(penis is a beast where he is fighting with it. Or also a penis with a wing) When Pompae was discovered, sexually themed objects were found (wall paintings with sexual scenes), things locked away into a secret cabinet where sexual things were sealed so nobody could open it - GAVENATUS? Pan, deity that inspires panic in people (Pan and she-goat) All men and woman are fallas* made of obscene jokes - Comedy is linked to the God dianitus, part of ritual connected to fertility - In past, relation to male fallas = strong. The way we look and males and females is influenced by our society. - Discourse * institutionalized way of thinking. We are all part of society, and our way of thinking and talking about issues is defined by discourse. Even if you defy yourself, you are still involved with it. Sexuality is one of these things. Historical Construct: - Michel Foucault, FR philosopher, “sexuality must not be thought of as a knd of natural given which power tries to hold in check, or as an obscure domain which knowledge tries gradually to uncover. It is the name that can be given to a historical construct.” IMPORTANT OBSERVATION - What we think of is diff from what the ancients think of Discourse of Power: Adult active male vs. Inactive passive partner (non-male: woman or teenage boy) - active vs. passive - male vs. female/boy - passive male = woman - teenage boy can be a viable sexual partner (like a woman) - Adult male active: politics, life, family = penetrator - Teenage boy/women is not yet there, the penetrated - Masculinity associated with ability to withstand desire, which is connected to something feminine. You don’t have self control. Women are full of lust, must be domesticated (negative stuff associated with female, positive stuff with male) - Penetration practice Pederastic Seduction* Love for boys (boy b/w childhood and adult hood: ADOLESCENCE) - Erastes (lover, a grown up man, penetrating partner) and eromenos (beloved: youth, feminine part, not yet grown up to be a man) - Tapos*widespread idea: talks about fact that you can only desire a boy until he grows his beard - Symbol for growing up - Compare this to homosexuality (modern concept, not an ancient phrase) - 2 males that are both adults (desire). Problem if 2 males together in past, because one is not taking on his active role “KINAIDOS (passive homo)” - Lesbians in past is a bigger problem: Threat because there is a female wanting to act in the active way, they don’t conform to the female roles Greek Herm* Another curiosity! - Pillars with image of only the bust + fallas - Function of designating borders. If you came upon a herm, they would convey a moral message - Later on had portrays of politicians on them (perfectly normal for the ancients) Scandle! 415 BC, PELOPENESIAN war! - Athens fighting against Sparta. In the context, Athens decides to go to Sicily (dumb, because defeated). In the night, all the herms were mutilated (all penises cut off), perhaps to mean a bad sign. - HERMOKOPIDAE SCANDLE (the ones who cut off the penis from the herm) Baubo, Terracotta figurine from Preiene, hymn to Demeter, Iamci disposes her genitals - Magritte, Le Viol (1934) In Antiquity* Adultery is when a man is sleeping with a married women - Heterosity = more than a sexual relationship - Why is better to sleep with a boy as apposed to a girl - Older male and boy = education, but hidden -
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