Since the middle of the eighteenth century, the classical world has been seen as foundational and exemplary to Western civilization. However, the Greeks never invaded and colonised western and northern Europe the way the Romans did, and, conversely, Greece was a difficult place to reach for modern travellers well into the nineteenth century. Inevitably, therefore, the links with ancient Greece were a product of the imagination: an exemplary civilization, in its politics, arts, and culture. There was one problem, however: the Greeks, it seemed, enjoyed pederastic relations. And not only this: one of Athens' most famous teachers, Socrates, was attracted to boys. Daniel Orrells offers a fresh, original examination of how modern thinkers in Germany and Britain, who were so invested in a model of history that directly traced the European present back to an ancient Greek past, negotiated the tricky issue of ancient Greek pederasty.
About the Author
Daniel Orrells is Associate Professor in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Warwick.
Table of Contents
1. Paiderastia and the Contexts of German Historicism
2. Translating the Love of Philosophy: Jowett and Pater on Plato
3. The Bewildering Case of John Addington Symonds
4. Trying Greek Love: Oscar Wilde and E. M. Forster's Maurice
5. Freud and the History of Masculinity: Between Oedipus and Narcissus
Conclusion: The Truth of Eros and the Eros for Truth