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Homosexuality• E. M. Foster states: homosexuality was “the vice of the Greeks” -fifth and fourth-century Athens -integral part of social life. -normal practice
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• Found in Greek Tragedies/Plays• Found in Mythical stories of Greek Gods• Found in public forms of literature, art, and sculpture from Athens: ex: The Symposium - Plato/Socrates
Dominant form of homosexuality in Greece: QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. ---> sexual relations between a man and a boy -the boy = passive partner
QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.• Erastest (elder man) would have the Eromenos (young boy) as his sex partner, and become his mentor. -Symposium = gathering place where philosophers would drink and discuss knowledge -youth wanted to be invited to these symposiums - symposiums were regarded institution of Athens - there was never a word to describe homosexual practices: ---> they were simply part of aphrodisia = love -which included both men and women.
people question if this behavior was consensual.
QuickTime™ and a decompressorare needed to see this picture. asserts that: -Sympoisums was regulated by the State as an institution of knowledge. - the eromenos (young) attempted to obtain moral wisdom and strength -viewed as a significant educational system in Ancient Greece
QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.- arises from discovered artifacts -prove that men of the same age would engage in sexual behavior together as well. - It is known because the erastes(adult) always was showed with a beard - artifacts have been found showing two eromenos(youths) without beards engaging in homosexual behavior QuickTime™ and a -homosexual behavior wasn’t solely for decompressor are needed to see this picture. exchanging sex for knowledge
-dominant in Greek civilization among the upperclasses ex: much of Athenian love life took place in public places - many vases show intercourse in the public place -not a single written statement exists that people objected to this behavior
QuickTime™ and a decompressorare needed to see this picture. » Ancient Greek Gods: How we came to have homosexual and heterosexual soul mates (I recorded the story--double click)
• Homosexual relationships between adult men did exist However -at least one member of each of these relationships disregard social conventions by assuming a passive sexual role• Ancient Greeks did not believe sexual orientation was a social identifier as Western societies do presently.• Greek society did not distinguish sexual desire or behavior by the gender of the participants -but rather by the role that each participant played in the sexual act
• Came before the rise of political organization• Communities were organized according to age groups• When it came time for a boy to make the transition into adulthood --> to "become a man," the boy would leave his community and accompany an older man for a period of time as kind of a rite of passage• The rite of passage after political organization evolved, no longer involved the boys leaving their communities, but rather they paired up with older men within the community. -These men played an educational and instructive role for the youth
A social code governed Greek pederasty:*Duty of the adult to court the boy whose taken his interest• Socially appropriate for the boy to withhold from sexual behavior to ensure that the elder male was not simply interested in him for sex• The adult males would have genuine emotional affection for the boys and wanted to mentor them i.e. following the pederastic paradigm (rules of pederasty in gov)
• Famous philosopher from Athens• In 348 B.C. Plato asserts - there is a widespread practice of homosexuality in Athens• In Plato’s writings, Socrates the character, is always Plato
Cont… QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.• notably referred to as practicing in homosexuality himself – Socrates in all his writings is an apparent homosexual However - Plato advocated laws to regulate homosexual behavior because he believed homosexual relations derived from being enslaved to pleasure• Knowledge was of the up most importance in Greek life not pleasure -so Plato created “platonic love” ---> love without the pleasure of sex sex was distracting
- Plato portrays Socrates as boy crazy- He states, when “Socrates is in the company of beautiful boys, he loses his senses.”- Plato says, “Some sort of mania (divine madness) took possession of Socrates and he lost his dominant interest in knowledge”- Socrates says that the only way he could be distracted was by asking difficult questions to these boys and teaching them philosophy- So, according to Plato, Socrates sublimated his passion (…and that is exactly what Plato did in reality, he controlled his passions because he did not want to give in to the enslavement of pleasure over the importance of knowledge)
QuickTime™ and a decompressorare needed to see this picture. • asserted a metaphor: – “Procreation, he says, can be earthly and spiritual, just like love. After all, love can be physical” (aimed at the beautiful body of a boy) “and spiritual” (which he believes is on a higher level) – This last type of love can be described as longing for something good and possessing it – The true erastes (adult) will prefer the beauty of the soul above that of the body. -- Instead of a material/earthly parenthood (the procreation of children) he prefers the spiritual type, which is the creation of virtue and knowledge. --The eromenos (youth) understanding grows and eventually he will be able to see a beauty that is above all earthly standards --Philosophically, by spiritually loving a beautiful beloved, the lover reaches an understanding of absolute beauty
• “the only type of real love is the love between two men” -Homosexual love is related to education and gaining knowledge -making it superior to other types of love
dedicated two of his dialogues to this specific subject of homosexual behavior in Ancient Greece:• The Symposium and The Phaedrus.• We will focus on QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.
• In most of Plato’s writings, he presents himself in the story as Socrates in which Socrates is presented clearly homosexual.• Even though homosexual behavior was prominent and accepted for the aristocratic class, some like Plato, did not let themselves participate in the behavior because the exchange of knowledge was always the most important = “one’s absolute” -homosexual pleasure distracted one’s ability to reach the “absolute”
• a collection of ideas on love by Socrates and other philosophers• Ends by stating that homosexuality is a condition: – Aristophanes says, three kinds of beings exist: “that of the male, the female - and androgynous”
Cont….*Zeus(Greek God) is said to have cut these three beings in half so that they each seek their other sexual counterpart, or in the case of composite being, their own sex*Aristophanes describes the latter as being such to prefer their own gender, in which he includes lesbianism, and commends
Many speeches in The Symposium speak of apredisposition towards homosexualityExamples…• The Speech of Pausanias• The speech of Socrates• The Speech of Alcibiades• From Plato’s other work about homosexuality, Phaedrus, give indications of how homosexuality was thought of in Greek philosophy
• two kinds of Eros exist: 1) heavenly and beautiful 2) vulgar and base - The better is homosexual, the worse QuickTime™ and a decompressor is mere lustare needed to see this picture.
states… “the common people have degraded homosexual love by making it merephysical attraction. Real love is love of the beautiful soul, good character, and intelligence. It must be practiced with grace, for it aims at virtue and wisdom. This Eros is good for the individual and the State”
Cont…“The freedom given to the lover by both gods and men according to our custom is immense” (183c) -Pausanias speaks passionately in defense of homosexuality -Socrates and Agathon have a love almost more famous than Athens itself
• Socrates says: “Conquest is deemed noble, and failure shameful. And as for attempts at conquest, our custom is to praise lovers for totally extraordinary acts -- so extraordinary, in fact, that if they performed them for any other purpose whatever, they would reap the most profound contempt” (182e)
(209c-d; 210e-211e)-Socrates asserts that “the highest purpose of love is to become a philosopher” (a lover of wisdom) -Socrates’ speech is the most significant because it contains the most evidence of sexual behavior in Ancient Athens
- Eros is not good and beautiful in itself- Eros is in fact a mean between opposites - Love cannot, therefore, be a god, but rather some thing halfway between “the immortal and divine and the mortal”.“Eros is a seeker after beauty and truth, and thus after wisdom”.“Eros impels humanity to seek beauty, but the love of mind for mind and of soul for soul is more lasting than the physical side of Eros” ---> Progression: - Love of one physical body (beauty) - Love of all physical bodies (abstract beauty) -Love of beautiful activities -Love of beautiful intellectual activities -Love of absolute beauty. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.
The Speech of (215a-222b) Alcibiades described his Pederastric experience as trying to be courted by Socrates. *Alcibiades states “I think you’re the only worthy lover I have ever had -- and yet, look how shy you are with me! Well, here’s how I look at it. It would be really stupid not to give you anything you want: you can have me, my belongings, anything my friends might have” (for a sense of how much it was appropriate for a lover to give up for his love)
Cont… QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.“Nothing is more important than becoming the best man I can be, and no one can help me more than you to reach that aim. With a man like you, in fact, I’d be much more ashamed of what wise people would say if I did not take you as my lover, than I would of what all the others, in their foolishness, would say if I did”
Selections from the Phaedrus (231c-240c)• “Eros deserves to be honored because of his antiquity, as the source of many blessings, and in particular as the Patron of homosexual love. Love of man for youth stimulates noble and courageous deeds. An army composed of lovers would be invincible. Lovers will give up their lives for each other”
Cont…• Eros = chief cause of virtue and happiness• Eros is seen in terms of military prowess and courage. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.
Speech• Eros is a healer - Originally the human race had three sexes, double-male, double-female, male- female.• When humans became a threat to Zeus, he weakened humans by separating their halves with his thunderbolt. Ever since, the halves have been searching for their natural mate:• The worship of Eros will bring healing in man and eternal happiness through the reunion of the separated halves.
People think that homosexuality and sexual deviance is a new phenomenonThe FACT is that those things have been around as long as humans!!!! QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.