Sexual Life in Ancient Greece

Sexual Life in Ancient Greece

by Hans Licht
     
 

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From Ancient Greece, modern Western civilisation has derived many of its artistic philosophical and political ideals. But, in certain areas of sexual tolerance and inventiveness, we still have much to learn from the land and age which produced the most flourishing and creative culture of the ancient world. Professor Hans Licht, in this erudite and fascinating book,

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Overview

From Ancient Greece, modern Western civilisation has derived many of its artistic philosophical and political ideals. But, in certain areas of sexual tolerance and inventiveness, we still have much to learn from the land and age which produced the most flourishing and creative culture of the ancient world. Professor Hans Licht, in this erudite and fascinating book, discusses in full every aspect of the Ancient Greeks' sexual life. Through literary, historical and artistic evidence, he presents an accurate, detailed picture of the position of women in Greek life, the erotic element in Greek religion and literature, the institutions of prostitution and make homosexuality and the more arcane sexual deviations indulged in by the Greeks. Particularly intriguing is his discussion of the Hetairae, female prostitutes who offered intellectual as well as sensual stimulation to their clients.

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Booknews
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 (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780837184647
Publisher:
Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
Publication date:
01/01/1976
Pages:
556

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