The Poetics of Eros in Ancient Greece [NOOK Book]

Overview

The Poetics of Eros in Ancient Greece offers the first comprehensive inquiry into the deity of sexual love, a power that permeated daily Greek life. Avoiding Foucault's philosophical paradigm of dominance/submission, Claude Calame uses an anthropological and linguistic approach to re-create indigenous categories of erotic love. He maintains that Eros, the joyful companion of Aphrodite, was a divine figure around which poets constructed a physiology of desire that functioned in specific ways within a network of ...

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The Poetics of Eros in Ancient Greece

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Overview

The Poetics of Eros in Ancient Greece offers the first comprehensive inquiry into the deity of sexual love, a power that permeated daily Greek life. Avoiding Foucault's philosophical paradigm of dominance/submission, Claude Calame uses an anthropological and linguistic approach to re-create indigenous categories of erotic love. He maintains that Eros, the joyful companion of Aphrodite, was a divine figure around which poets constructed a physiology of desire that functioned in specific ways within a network of social relations. Calame begins by showing how poetry and iconography gave a rich variety of expression to the concept of Eros, then delivers a history of the deity's roles within social and political institutions, and concludes with a discussion of an Eros-centered metaphysics.

Calame's treatment of archaic and classical Greek institutions reveals Eros at work in initiation rites and celebrations, educational practices, the Dionysiac theater of tragedy and comedy, and in real and imagined spatial settings. For men, Eros functioned particularly in the symposium and the gymnasium, places where men and boys interacted and where future citizens were educated. The household was the setting where girls, brides, and adult wives learned their erotic roles--as such it provides the context for understanding female rites of passage and the problematics of sexuality in conjugal relations. Through analyses of both Greek language and practices, Calame offers a fresh, subtle reading of relations between individuals as well as a quick-paced and fascinating overview of Eros in Greek society at large.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Bypassing Foucault's paradigm of dominance and submission, applies an anthropological and linguistic approach to re-create indigenous Greek categories of love. Finds Eros, the joyful companion of Aphrodite, to be a divine figure around which poets constructed a physiology of desire that functioned in specific ways within a network of social relations. Translated from the Italian published by Laterza and Figli in 1992. Some of the material originated as conference presentations. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400849154
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 8/18/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Core Textbook
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 1,280,913
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Claude Calame is Professor of Greek Language and Literature at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. He is the author of several works translated into English, including "Choruses of Young Women in Ancient Greece" and "The Craft of Poetic Speech in Ancient Greece." This current book, "The Poetics of Eros in Ancient Greece," was originally published in Italian translation.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi
Foreword xiii
Preface xvii
Note on Translations xix
List of Abbreviations xxi
TRAGIC PRELUDE The Yoke of Eros 3
PART ONE: THE TOPICS OF EROS 11
CHAPTER I The Eros of the Melic Poets 13
1. The Actions of Bittersweet Eros 14
2. Physiologies of Erotic Desire 19
3. Strategies of Love 23
4. A Variety of Passions 29
5. Metaphors for the Assuaging of Desire 33
6. The Erotic Charms of Poetry 36
CHAPTER II The Eros of Epic Poetry 39
1. Scenes of Mutual Love 39
2. Scenes of Seduction 43
3. Beguiling Words 46
PART TWO: THE SYMBOLIC PRACTICES OF EROS 49
CHAPTER III The Pragmatic Effects of Love Poetry 51
1. The Erotic Functions of Melic Poetry 52
2. The Loves of Alexandrian Writers 56
CHAPTER IV The Pragmatics of Erotic Iconography 65
1. Figurative Representations of Love 65
2. The Functions of Erotic Images 72
PART THREE: EROS IN SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS 89
CHAPTER V Eros in the Masculine: The polis 91
1. The Propaedeutic Practices of the Symposium 93
2. Erotic Practices of the Palaestra 101
CHAPTER VI Eros in the Feminine: The Oikos 110
1. An Intermediate Status: The Hetaira at the Banquet 111
2. The Transition to Maturity: The Young Wife 116
CHAPTER VII Dionysiac Challenges to Love 130
1. The Institution of Comedy 133
2. The Institution of Tragedy 141
PART FOUR: THE SPACES OF EROS 151
CHAPTER VIII The Meadows and Gardens of Legend 153
1. Eroticized Meadows 154
2. The Orchards and Gardens of Aphrodite 157
3. Flowers, Fruits, and Cereals 160
CHAPTER IX The Meadows and Gardens of the Poets 165
1. The Metaphorical Spaces of Love 165
2. The Ideal Domains of the Gods 167
3. Religious Gardens 170
PART FIVE: THE METAPHYSICS OF EROS 175
CHAPTER X Eros as Demiurge and Philosopher 177
1. Eros as a Cosmogonic Principle 178
2. Erotic Forms of the Initiation to Beauty 181
3. Love as a Metaphysician 186
CHAPTER XI Mystic Eros 192
1. Eros in the Orphic Theogonies 193
2. The Mystic Aspects of Eros 195
ELEGIAC CODA Eros the Educator 198
Bibliography 201
Name Index 207
Subject Index 211
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