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Sexual Life in Ancient Greece / Edition 3

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First published in 2001. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

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Editorial Reviews

This companion volume to characterizes the difference between Greek and Roman sexual practices this way: "The inmost nature of the Greeks is naked sensuality, which, indeed, rarely become brutality<-->as in the case of the Romans.." Licht, who taught at Leipzig University between the two World Wars, explains that Greek love, an exultant creed of sensuality, was of three major kinds: women for men, men for women, and men for boys. Even in the latter kind of love, the gods mimicked their creators. Heracles, for example, was a noted voluptuary (as well as an ascetic hero) with 14 boy-lovers. Sex and class were said to be as intertwined as men and boys in a statement by Heracleides Ponticus, a philosopher-student of Plato, who affirmed that voluptuousness is a right reserved for the governing classes, toil the condition of slaves and the poor. Subject areas include marriage and the life of women, the human figure, festivals, the theater, religion, erotic literature, masturbation, lesbianism, prostitution, male homosexuality, and perversions. The index is extensive. Distributed by Columbia U. Press. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Examines the influence of sexuality on human creativity, discussing the role of women, attitudes toward the human body, more.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780710307026
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 3/28/2001
  • Series: Kegan Paul Library of Sexual Life
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.69 (w) x 8.77 (h) x 1.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Professor Hans Licht taught at Leipzig University, Germany, between the two World Wars.

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Table of Contents

Editorial Note 11
Abbreviations 13
Introduction: Greeck Ideals of Life 15
Marriage and the Life of Women 29
1 The Greek Woman 29
2 Marriage Customs 46
3 Additions and Supplementary Information 62
The Human Figure 80
1 Clothing 80
2 Nakedness 87
3 Gymnastics 90
4 Beauty Contests and Further Remarks on Nakedness 95
5 Bathing 98
Festivals 101
1 National Festivals 101
2 Other Festivals 108
3 The Androgynous Idea of Life 118
4 Further Remarks on the Popular Festivals 123
The Theatre 126
I Attic Tragedy 126
1 Aeschylus 127
2 Sophocles 129
3 Euripides 130
II Attic Comedy 131
1 Pherecrates 132
2 Eupolis 132
3 Aristophanes 134
4 Alexis 139
5 Timocles 140
6 Menander 140
III Satyric Drama. Pantomime. Ballet 144
Dances, Games, Meals, etc. 151
Religion and Erotic 167
Erotic in Greek Literature 217
I The Classical Period 218
1 Epic Poetry 218
2 Lyric Poetry 220
3 Prose 224
II The Hellenistic Period 232
1 Poetryx 232
2 Prose 248
III The Period of Transition 249
1 Poetry 249
2 Prose 252
IV The Post-Classical Age 254
1 Sophistic: Geography: History: Writings of Various Kinds 254
2 The Love-Romance and Love-Letters 258
Megara to Bacchis 264
3 Philosophy 265
V The Last Period 266
1 Poetry 267
2 Prose 271
The Love of the Man for the Woman 277
Masturbation 283
Tribadism 286
Prostitution 297
1 General Remarks 297
2 Brothels 298
3 Hetairae 304
4 Superstition in Matters of Sex 325
5 Lucian's Dialogues of Courtesans 336
6 Temple Prostitution 345
7 Further Remarks about the Hetairae 351
Male Homosexuality 365
1 General and Introductory 365
2 Terminology 367
3 Boyhood and the Greek Ideal of Beauty 369
4 Boyish Beauty in Greek Literature 371
5 Boyish Beauty in Greek Art 378
6 Analysis of the Greek Ideal of Boys 381
7 Further Phases of the Greek Love of Boys 384
8 Male Prostitution 385
9 The Ethics of Greek Love of Boys 388
10 Negative and Affirmative Opinions 393
11 History of Greek Love of Boys 396
12 Local Details 402
I Epic Poetry 406
1 The Mythical Pre-Historic Period 406
2 The Epic Cycle 407
3 Hesiod 408
4 Phanocles 408
5 Diotimus and Apollonius 409
6 Nonnus 409
II Lyric Poetry 412
1 Theognis 412
2 Plato 413
3 Archilochus and Alcaeus 413
4 Ibycus 414
5 Anacreon and the Anacreontea 414
6 Pindar 416
7 Theocritus 417
8 Trifles from other Lyric Poets 419
III The Poems of the Anthology 420
1 Straton of Sardis 421
2 Meleager 422
3 Asclepiades 425
4 Callimachus 426
5 The Other Poets 426
IV Prose 429
1 The Love of Boys in Greek Mythology 432
2 Joke and Jest, based on Homosexuality 433
3 Trifles and Supplementary Remarks 435
Perversions of Greek Sexual Life 438
1 Voyeurism 438
2 Transvestitismus 439
3 Exhibitionism 439
4 Pygmalionism 440
5 Flagellation, Sadism, Masochism 441
6 Sodomy 443
7 Nekrophilia 443
Supplement 444
1 The Sexual Organs and Kallipygy 444
2 Castration, Circumcision, Infibulation 445
3 Aphrodisiacs 450
4 Obscene Terms and Obscenities 451
5 Incest 452
6 Scatology 454
7 Trivialities and Supplementary Notes 457
Retrospect 458
Index 461
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