1) Look at the fr. of Archilochus. What are some things you noticed in this poem?
He is sleeping with his ex-fiancée’s sister; there is a reference here tocoitus
interruptus. Archilochus of Paros (approximately the same date as Sappho; 680/640
BCE) was famous throughout antiquity for his stinging wit with which he lashed his
enemies and sometimes his friends, and for what appeared to be carefree admissions
of outrageous conduct such as fleeing from battle and abandoning his shield, or
compromising young ladies. The ‘Cologne epode’ discovered in 1974 is another in a
series of sexual poems involving Neoboule and her sister. The ancients understood
that Lycambes, their father, had engaged Neoboule to Archilochus but later recanted
— he revenged himself by writing a series of poems recounting the sexual adventures
he and his friends had had with Neoboule and her sister. This (so the legend goes)
caused Lycambes and his daughters to hang themselves from shame.
2) What sexual positions show up in the literature? Archilochus: missionary
(interesting since it is not often shown in art). AP 5.55: equestrian? Woman on
3) Are there any references to oral sex? Plenty. See handbook.
4) How are the female participants portrayed in this literature? (some are eager;
5) What metaphors are used for sexual intercourse? (sailing, riding/horses). The
woman or the man is variously described as the rider) Is sexual language ever used
as a vehicle for abuse? Yep— see Hipponax especially 2
6) Is impotence mentioned? (see also Male Body section)
7) How is female genitalia described? “a bed of roses,” “grassy meadows,” “blooming
flowers.” Doesn’t this imply a non-depilated vagina?
8) Are there references to female orgasm? Possibly: see AP 5.55
9) Are there references to adultery or illicit sex? See AP 5.126 (p. 30); Hipponax p.
10) Sexual positions: