Greek Homosexuality: Updated and with a new Postscript / Edition 2

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Overview

To what extent and in what ways was homosexuality approved by the ancient Greeks? An eminent classicist examines the evidence--vase paintings, archaic and classical poetry, the dialogues of Plato, speeches in the law courts, the comedies of Aristophanes--and reaches provocative conclusions. A discussion of female homosexuality is included.
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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review

A landmark study...One cannot underestimate the importance of Mr. Dover's book. With philological brilliance and scholarly objectivity, he presents facts that can no longer be ignored. It is a step closer toward understanding the complex nature of the Greeks, whom we claim as cultural fathers. It is also a step closer to understanding human nature.
— Erich Segal

Classical World

An unprejudiced description of the homosexual phenomena depicted by classical Greek artists and writers has long been an urgent desideratum. Dover's book fills this need successfully. In its collection and interpretation of the ancient evidence it will be indispensable for broader and/or more specialized explorations of the sexual aspects of Greek art and society.
— Jeffrey Henderson

Washington Post
In Greek classes past teachers used to slide quickly over the exact nature of the relationships between men and boys in ancient Athens... In this expert, candid, and wry study all is made clear.
American Historical Review

Greek Homosexuality provides—finally—an unvarnished look at Athenian homosexuality...[It is] now the standard volume on the subject.
— John Scarborough

New York Review of Books

Dover's is an authoritative discussion; he is a philologist of great stature with wide achievement as editor, commentator, and literary critic...The subject was one which needed to be exposed to the light of day; we can be thankful that it has been done by a great scholar and one who treats the subject without prejudice.
— Bernard Knox

New York Times Book Review - Erich Segal
A landmark study...One cannot underestimate the importance of Mr. Dover's book. With philological brilliance and scholarly objectivity, he presents facts that can no longer be ignored. It is a step closer toward understanding the complex nature of the Greeks, whom we claim as cultural fathers. It is also a step closer to understanding human nature.
Classical World - Jeffrey Henderson
An unprejudiced description of the homosexual phenomena depicted by classical Greek artists and writers has long been an urgent desideratum. Dover's book fills this need successfully. In its collection and interpretation of the ancient evidence it will be indispensable for broader and/or more specialized explorations of the sexual aspects of Greek art and society.
American Historical Review - John Scarborough
Greek Homosexuality provides--finally--an unvarnished look at Athenian homosexuality...[It is] now the standard volume on the subject.
New York Review of Books - Bernard Knox
Dover's is an authoritative discussion; he is a philologist of great stature with wide achievement as editor, commentator, and literary critic...The subject was one which needed to be exposed to the light of day; we can be thankful that it has been done by a great scholar and one who treats the subject without prejudice.
New York Times Book Review
A landmark study...One cannot underestimate the importance of Mr. Dover's book. With philological brilliance and scholarly objectivity, he presents facts that can no longer be ignored. It is a step closer toward understanding the complex nature of the Greeks, whom we claim as cultural fathers. It is also a step closer to understanding human nature.
— Erich Segal
New York Review of Books
Dover's is an authoritative discussion; he is a philologist of great stature with wide achievement as editor, commentator, and literary critic...The subject was one which needed to be exposed to the light of day; we can be thankful that it has been done by a great scholar and one who treats the subject without prejudice.
— Bernard Knox
Classical World
An unprejudiced description of the homosexual phenomena depicted by classical Greek artists and writers has long been an urgent desideratum. Dover's book fills this need successfully. In its collection and interpretation of the ancient evidence it will be indispensable for broader and/or more specialized explorations of the sexual aspects of Greek art and society.
— Jeffrey Henderson
American Historical Review
Greek Homosexuality provides--finally--an unvarnished look at Athenian homosexuality...[It is] now the standard volume on the subject.
— John Scarborough
Booknews
**** The casebound original, 1978, is endorsed by BCL3. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674362703
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1989
  • Edition description: Updated and with a new Postscript
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,092,767
  • Product dimensions: 6.11 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface

Abbreviations

PART I: PROBLEMS, SOURCES AND METHODS

1. Scale

2. The Visual Arts

3. Literature

4. Vocabulary

PART II: THE PROSECUTION OF TIMARKHOS

A. The Law

1. Male Prostitution

2. Penalties

3. Status

4. Hubris

B. Manifestations of Eros

1. Defences against a Charge of Prostitution

2. Eros and Desire

3. Eros and Love

4. Following and Fighting

5. Homosexual Poetry

C. Nature and Society

1. Natural Impulse

2. Male and Female Physique

3. Masculine and Feminine Styles

4. Pursuit and Flight

5. Courtship and Copulation

6. Dominant and Subordinate Roles

PART III: SPECIAL ASPECTS AND DEVELOPMENTS

A. Publicity

B. Predilections and Fantasies

C. Comic Exploitation

D. Philosophical Exploitation

E. Women and Homosexuality

PART IV: CHANGES

A. The Dorians

B. Myth and History

Postscript, 1989

List of Vases

Bibliography

Index of Greek Texts and Documents

Index of Greek Words

General Index

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2005

    Misguided Thinking

    Dover reopened in Greek Homosexuality (1978) the study by classicists of a subject disdained since 1933, when Hitler crushed the German Homosexual Emancipation Movement. However, Sir Kenneth denigrated Greek pederasty by claiming that it was merely lustful. He hypercritically refused to use sources dating from after the 4th century ¿ even Plutarch¿s Lives, which, like the works of Lucian and Diodorus, notoriously cited and paraphrased lost classical sources, which themselves often relied on earlier oral and written accounts. This simplified the crotchety don¿s task and distorted his conclusions. His ¿book¿ is really a collection of four essays. The longest and most original are about erotic vases and a seamy lawsuit involving a kidnapping. How such a skimpy selection of sources could be expected to yield a valid thesis defies reason. Nicknamed ¿Bend-over Dover¿ by undergrads, Sir Kenneth, unlike so many other Oxfordians, seems never to have experienced a homosexual act, except once when, according to his autobiography, he was buggered while on military duty in Alexandria and complained that it hurt. He was led astray by his intended collaborator, the Canadian shrink Devereux, who taught him the distorted Freudian thesis that homosexuals are sexually retarded, i.e., that we don¿t fully mature from the oral and anal phases to the phallic. Sir Kenneth¿s homophobia was well documented a few years ago by James Davidson in the February 2001 issue of Past and Present. ¿The Prosecution of Timarkhos¿ takes up 100 pages (19 -109) ¿ one half of the text. It is an extended commentary, a specialized task at which Dover is a master. The best things about the book are the illustrations, the analyses of the vase paintings, and the 30 pages of appendices.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2004

    Very turgid; it's a chore to read

    A book written in the full-blown academic style where double-negatives and excessive words abound. Convoluted sentences that require several re-readings to get their meaning are the norm. I can't help but wonder if he was paid by the word for this book. Nevertheless it's chock full of good information. I just wish it had been written by someone who writes well and cares for the English language and his readers.

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