Classical Studies 3400E Chapter Notes -Hedonism, Sophrosyne, Phallus

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Satyrs or silenoi are the male followers of the god dionysus. They are imaginary inhabitants of the wild, unrestrained in their desire for wine and sex. Thus satyrs are ambiguous creatures: grotesque hedonists and yet the immortal companions of a god. Satire has no connection with satyr: the latin word satura means a mixture or a hodge- podge. Some characteristics of satyrs: they"re usually portrayed naked. Satyrs rarely have hooves most have tails however. Satyr anatomy is rather selectively portrayed by the vase-painter. They go from being very equine/ donkey-like to somewhat more human in appearance. But their animal nature is not forgotten. They are often bearded and beetle- browed: there are links to donkeys in the fact that they are ithyphallic (permanently erect) and macrophallic. Donkey is the closest animal to them in anatomy and lewdness. The greeks prefer a discreet penis of small size. This is reflective of sophrosyne, the greek ideal of self-controlled manhood.

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