Eros

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Overview


Eros: The Myth of Ancient Greek Sexuality is a controversial book that lays bare the meanings Greeks gave to sex. Contrary to the romantic idealization of sex dominating our culture, the Greeks saw eros as a powerful force of nature, potentially dangerous, and in need of control by society: Eros the Destroyer, not Cupid the Insipid, fired the Greek imagination.The destructiveness of eros can be seen in Greek imagery and metaphor, and in the Greeks’ attitudes toward women and homosexuals. Images of love as fire, disease, storms, insanity, and violence—Top 40 song clichés for us—locate eros among the unpredictable and deadly forces of nature. The beautiful Aphrodite embodies the alluring danger of sex, while femmes fatales like Pandora and Helen represent the risky charms of female sexuality. And homosexuality typifies for the Greeks the frightening power of an indiscriminate appetite that threatens the stability of culture itself.In Eros: The Myth of Ancient Greek Sexuality, Bruce Thornton offers a uniquely sweeping and comprehensive account of ancient sexuality free of currently fashionable theoretical jargon and pretentions. In its conclusions the book challenges the distortions of much recent scholarship on Greek sexuality. And throughout it links the wary attitudes of the Greeks to our present-day concerns about love, sex, and family. What we see, finally, are the origins of some of our own views as well as a vision of sexuality that is perhaps more honest and mature than our own dangerous illusions.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813332260
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 0.68 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Bruce S. Thornton is professor of classics and chairman of the Department of Foreign Languages at California State University at Fresno.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
A Note on Translation
Introduction: "Custom the King of All" 1
1 The "Tyrant of Gods and Men" 11
2 The Golden Child of the Bloody Foam 49
3 Pandora's "Foul Tribe of Women" 69
4 Monsters of Appetite 99
5 Taming the Beasts 123
6 Erotic Technology 139
7 Wives and the Order of the House 161
8 Eros the Pedagogue 193
Conclusion: Dissing Eros and Aphrodite 213
Abbreviations 221
Notes 227
Critical Bibliography 245
About the Book and Author 269
Index 271
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