The Greeks at Home

The Greeks at Home - CHAPTER 3 I mtroduction. 9 6 1....

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Unformatted text preview: CHAPTER 3 I mtroduction. 9 6 1. Overview THE CREEKS AT HOME ( Newark Ixcellent sum- In Joe ford 2005). at Dorothea £ R. Lloyd). I f l and was the e conomic f oundation of a ncient Greece, t he oikos, " house/family" ( root of our w ord economic) was its social f oundation. The oikos was broader than o ur c oncept o f f amily, because i t included slaves, close r elations, and the house a nd its c ontents. N onetheless, t he basis o f the oikos was a monogamous u nion o f man a nd woman to produce and r ear l egitimate children. We therefore begin w ith G reek r elationships between the sexes. G E N D E R RELATIONSHIPS: IDEALS AND R E A L I T I E S T hroughout Greek h istory, v irtually a ll the men who wrote our texts a greed o n a few p oints about marriage. Men should wed around the age of t hirty; w omen, as teenagers. Brides s hould be virgins (no man w ould m arry a woman who was not). A m arriage (Figure 3.1) was contracted between a groom and the p arents o f his brideto-be, who gave t heir daughter a d owry t o help set up the new household. A wdfe s hould obey h er husband and not act independently, e xcept w ithin t he oikos, w here she w'as r esponsible f or preparing food, rearing children, and producing cloth. Laws varied f rom polls t o polls, b ut usually women owned l ittle o r no real estate, t he basic e conomic r esource. I n most cities, laws l imited w omen to t rivial f inancial transactions a nd denied them access t o the legal system, an all-male p reserve. Some a ncient a uthors took it for granted that h usbands w ould beat d isobedient wives ( although no source a ctually describes a b eating). O f course, a ll our sources are texts p roduced by men for men. Scrappy evidence suggests t hat some females f ound ways around the laws on property and used males t o get access t o the courts. Scholars have assiduously examined the few dozen lines t hat survive of the extraordinary, almost unique, f emale p oet Sappho, w ho lived 29 < '.hapler 3 Figure 3.1 A woman, named asThalea, prepares for her wedding on a redfigure pyxis, a box for keeping trinkets, circa 440 B . C . A servant (off photo to the right) offers the bride a chest, perhaps containing toiletries, while another approaches from behind to tie her hair with a ribbon. A third servant stands on the far left. Notice the bronze mirror on the wall, indicating an interior setting. a r o u n d 6 00 u . c , h o p i n g t o d etect evidence f o r a f emale v i e w p o i n t o n g ender, b u t l ittle c a n be s aid except drat t h e t o n e o f h e r p o e t r y is s i m i l a r t o t hat o f h e r m a l e cont e m p o r a r i e s . S a p p h o c elebrates l ove a n d m a r r i a g e as w o m a n ' s p r i m a r y c o n c e r n s ( Figure 3 . 2 ) . She a ddressed some p o e m s t o o t h e r w o m e n , suggesting t o r eaders s ince R o m a n times ( b u t n ever t o G reeks) t h a t s he c elebrated h o m o e r o t i c love: h e n c e o u r t e r m ksbian ( because S appho l ived o n t h e i s l a n d o f L esbos). H o w e v e r , h e r voice is n ever personal; S he w r o t e p o e m s t o be m e m o r i z e d a n d p e r f o r m e d b y o t h e r s a t w e d d i n g s , t h e o n l y t i m e i n a r espectable w o m a n ' s l ife w h e n h e r s exuality c o u l d b e p u b l i c l y c elebrated w i t h o u t s hame. T h e m e n m ay have m a d e t h e r u l e s , b u t t he respectable w o m e n — m o t h e r s , g r a n d m o t h e r s , a u n t s — e n f o r c e d t h e m . O u r m a l e s ources o f t e n r e p r e s e n t w o m e n as a n e vil i n f l u e n c e , v i r t u a l l y a s eparate s pecies. S uch m isogyny ( " h a t r e d f o r w o m e n " ) is a n i m p o r t a n t t h e m e i n G r e e k c u l t u r e . H e s i o d j u s t i f i e d i t w i t h a s tory o f h o w Zeus, r u l e r o f t h e g ods, created t h e d r e a d e d r ace o f f emales t o p u n i s h m e n f o r h a v i n g accepted t h e t h e f t o f fire f r o m h eaven ( F i g u r e 3 . 3 ) . Z eus says " I ' l l give another g ift To men, an evil t hing l o r d ieir d elight, a nd a ll w ill love this r u i n i n t heir hearts." So spoke t he f ather o f m en and gods, and laughed. H e t old Hephaestus^ q uickly t o m i x earth a nd water, and t o p ut i n i t a voice a nd h uman power t o m ove, t o make a face l ike an i mmortal goddess, a nd to shape t he lovely figure o f a v irgin g irl. 'Hephaestus: T he l ame, u gly g od o f c raftsmen (better k nown today by his R oman name V ulcan). T he Greeks at Home Figure 3.2 Sappho, as imagined by a r e d - f i g u r e p a i n t e r a r o u n d 4 6 0 B .C., perhaps 150 years after she f l o u r i s h e d . T h e f i g u r e is l a b e l e d " S a p p h o . " She sits o n a folding chair and studies a papyrus with a poetic t e x t ( w e c a n n o t r e a d it). A w o m a n s t a n d i n g b e f o r e her o f f e r s t h e lyre that accompanied m a n y forms of G r e e k p o e t r y . Sappho. Detail of a Greek vase painting, c. 440 B.C. The Granger Collection, New York. A thena was to teach the g irl to weave. a nd golden Aphrodite" to pour charm u pon h er head, and p ainful, s irong desire, a nd body-shattering cares. Zeus o rdered, t hen, t he k iller o f Argos, Hermes," to put in sly manners and the morals o f a b itch. T he son o f Cronus s poke, and was obeyed. T he lame g o d m olded earth as Zeus d ecreed i nto t he image of a modest g irl, gray-eyed A thena made her robes a nd h ell, d ivine S eduction and the Graces gave h er golden necklaces, a nd for her head t he Seasons wove spring flowers i nto a c rown. H ermes Ihe messenger p ut i n her b reast lies and persuasive w ords and cunning ways; t he h erald of the g ods t hen named the g irl P andora.'' Tot the gifts which all the gods 0 0 c ° Athena; T he v irgin goddess o f war and handicrafts, who sprang f ully f ormed f rom Zcus's h ead. "Aphrodite: T he beautiful goddess o f sexual a ttraction (Roman Venus). "Herm.es: Messenger o f the gods, a nd god of t rickery, t rade, and travel (Roman Mercury); Argos was a m onster w ith a h undred eyes t hat Hermes k illed. ° Cronus:The son of ( Iron us was Zeus. ° lame god: H ephaestus. ° Pandma: " all-gifted." C hapter 3 Figure 3.3 Epimetheus, brother of Prometheus, takes Pandora's hand as she rises from the earth; on a red-figure Athenian krater (winemixing vase), circa 450 B . C . On the far left, Zeus oversees his plan to punish man by inventing woman. The messenger god Hermes carries his wand and wears a magic cap and shoes. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, England, U.K. h ad given her, this r u i n o f m ankind. T he d eep a nd total trap was now complete: t he father sent t he g ods' fast messenger t o b ring t he g ift t o E pimetheus. A n d E pimetheus forgot t he w ords h is brother said t o take n o g ift f r o m Zeus, b ut send i t b ack, so t hat i t w ould n ot injure men. H e took t he g ift a nd understood, t oo l ate. B efore t his time men l ived u pon t he e arth a part f rom s orrow and f rom p ainful w ork, f ree f rom disease, w hich brings t he death-gods i n . B ut now t he w oman opened up t he j ar a nd scattered p ains and evils among men. I nside the j ar's h ard walls remained o ne t hing, H ope, only, which did n otflyt hrough t he o pening. T he l i d stopped her, but all d ie o thers flew, t housands o f t roubles, wandering t he e arth, T he earth is f ull o f evils, a nd the sea. 0 J "Epimetheus: E pimetheus (epe-me-thus), a m ortal whose n ame means " afterthought," was t he brother o f P rometheus (pro-mc-thus, "forethought") a nd was c onstantly being t ricked. E pimetheus ended u p m arrying Pandora, a nd all h umans d escend f rom t heir u nion, "jar: A pparcntiy a g ift f r o m Zeus. A m edieval mistranslation l ed to the phrase "Pandora's b ox." T he Greeks at I l ome Diseases c ome t o v isit m en by day a nd, u ninvited, c ome a gain a t n ight b ringing t heir pains i n silence, for t hey were d eprived o f speech by Zeus t he wise. A n d so t here is no way t o f lee t he m i n d o f Zeus. H esiod, Works and Days 57-105 ( D. W ender) H e s i o d m akes w o m e n ' s i n f e r i o r i t y a n d d a n g e r o u s i n t e n t i o n s p a r t o f Z eus' c osm i c p l a n t o p u n i s h w i c k e d m o r t a l s , e m b o d i e d i n t h e l ovely b u t u n t r u s t w o r t h y f e m a l e P a n d o r a ( " a l l - g i f t e d " ) , so c alled b ecause m a n y gods e n d o w e d h e r w i t h g ifts. Later Greek writers offered m o r e nuanced interpretations. T h e most interesting w as w r i t t e n s oon after 4 00 B . C . b y X e n o p h o n (zen -o-fon), a n A t h e n i a n aristocrat a n d p rofessional soldier, as p a r t o f a l a r g e r treatise d e s c r i b i n g a f i c t i o n a l conversation b e t w e e n S ocrates a n d a m a n n a m e d I s c h o m a c h u s (is -kom -a-kus). F i g u r e 3 .4 s upp o r t s X e n o p h o n ' s observations. " I've g ot a q uestion o n t his too, Ischomachus," I [Socrates] said. " I ' d be v ery glad i f you c ould t ell m e w hether y ou p ersonally taught your w ife h ow to be a m odel w ife, o r Figure 3.4 Women drawing water from a well house; on an Attic black-figure vase, circa 530 B . C . One woman fills her amphora while two others, jugs balanced on their heads, gossip. A third woman faces the other way. Drawing water was a regular chore. C hapter .3 w hether w hen h er parents gave her to you she already knew how to manage her sphere o f r esponsibility." " How on e arth c ould she k now t hat w hen I received her, Socrates?" h e asked. "She wasn't yet fifteen years o ld w hen she tame tome, and in her l ife u p t ill t hen considerable care h ad b een taken that she s hould see and hear as l ittle as possible. D on't y ou t hink o ne s hould be c ontent i f a ll she knew was how to t urn w ool i nto a c loak, and all she'd seen was h ow w oolspinning is assigned to the female servants? I was content, Socrates," he added, "because w hen she came, she'd been excellently coached as far as her appetite was concerned, and t hat seems t o me the most i mportant t raining, f or the husband as w ell as the w ife." " What a bout all the o tiier t hings she needed to k now, Ischomachus? . . . Please t ell i ne w here y ou s tarred, Ischomachus," 1 said. "What d id y ou teach her first? I ' d rather hear you describe this than the most spectacular a tideiir c ompetition o r horse-race!" " All r ight, Socrates," said Ischomachus in r eply. " I w aited u ntil s he'd been broken i n a nd was tame enough for a conversation, and then I asked her something along the f ollowing l ines. ' Tell m c, my dear, have y ou r ealized vet w hy I m arried you and w hy v our p arents gave you to mc? I mean, I know, a nd it's clear to you too, t hai it w ouldn't have been d ifficult f or each of us to have f ound s omeone else to share our beds. Rut for my p art, I was considering w hom i t was i n my interest to gel as the best p erson to share my home w ith a nd my c hildren, a nd y our p arents had y our i nterest al heart. So I chose y ou, and y our p arents apparendy preferred me 10 a ll other eligible candidates. Now, as far as c hildren are concerned, wc w ill w ait to see if the god grants us any before t hinking a bout h ow best t o b ring t hem up. One of the advantages we w ill share w ith each other is having t hem to s upport us and look after us as w ell as they can w hen we g row o ld. B ut what we share now is this home of runs, and wc share i t because I make all my income available for b oth o f us, and you have deposited all d iat y ou brought w ith y ou i n the same c ommon p ool." T here's no need to add up w hich o f us has made the greater c ontribution q uantitatively, b ut wc much appreciate t hai w hichever of us is die betLer partner c ontributes m ore q ualitatively.' "To t his, Socrates, m y wife r eplied, ' What assistance can I be to you? What can /do? It's all up to y ou. M v mother t old m e that my job was to be responsible' " 'Yes, my dear, of course,' I said. ' My f ather gave me the same a dvice. But y ou s hould k now t hat responsible people of cither sex s hould act i n such a way as to ensure that their property- is i n die best possible c ondition a nd is increased as much as f air a nd honest d ealings p ermit.' ' " A n d w hat can I do to increase our estate?' asked my w ife. "Can you see a nything I c an do?' '"Yes, I surely can,' 1 r eplied. 'You can try to u tilize to the best o f y our a bility t he t alents w hich t he gods have i mplanted i n you and society approves.' ' "What talents do you mean?' she asked. ' "Ones w hich, i n my o pinion,' I s aid, 'are far f rom w orthless—unless the jobs over w hich t he queen bee o f a hive presides are worthless! I ' l l t ell y ou w hat I ' m g etting at, my dear. I t hink t hat the gods exercised especially acme d iscernment i n establishing die particular p airing w hich is called "male" and "female," to ensure that, w hen t he partners cooperate, such a pair may be o f the utmost m utual b enefit. I n the first p lace, this p airing w ith each other is established as a procreative u nit so that animal species m ight n ot die o ut. I n the second place, human beings, at any rate, are s upplied w ith t he means to have s upporters i n their old age as a result of this p airing. I n the t hird p lace, human l ife, u nlike t hat of other animals, w hich live i n the open, obviously requires shelter. But if people are to have something to store in this shelter, then they need someone to w ork o ut i n t he o pen: p lowing, s owing, p lanting, a nd p asturing arc all open-air jobs, and they are the sources o f the necessities o f l ife. " Now, w hen these necessities have been brought under cover, then i n t u r n t here is a n eed for someone to keep them safe a nd to do the jobs for w hich s helter is r equired. L ooking a fier newborn c hildren r equires shelter, as docs m aking b read f rom g rain a nd c lodies f rom w ool. T n t he f orm o f a d owry, c onventional in Greek marriage. T he Greeks at Home '"Because b oth of these d omains—indoor and outdoor—require work and attention, t hen the god, as I see it, directly m ade w oman's nature suitable for the indoor j obs a nd tasks, a nd m an's n ature suitable for the outdoor ones. F or he m ade t he masculine body a nd m i n d more c apable o f enduring cold and h eat a nd travel and military expeditions, w hich i mplies that he ordained the outdoor work for man; and the god seems t o mc to have assigned t he indoor work to woman, since h e made t he f emale b ody less capable i n these respects. " And k nowing that he had m ade i t the woman's natural j o b to feed newborn c hildren, he apportioned to her a g reater f acility for loving newborn infants than he did to m an. A n d because he had assigned to the woman the work o f looking after the stores, d ie god, r ecogni7ing t hat t imidity is no disadvantage i n such work, gave a l arger share o f f earfuhiess t o woman than he d i d to man.'" X enophon, The Estate Manager 7.4r-20 ( H . T reddenick, R. Waterfield) U n l i k e H e s i o d , X e n o p h o n d oes n o t r e p r e s e n t w o m a n as m a n ' s p u n i s h m e n t , b i n d oes b elieve t h a t the g ods m a d e m e n s u p e r i o r to w o m e n : t o u g h e r , m o r e discip l i n e d , a n d m o r e suited to a n o u t d o o r l ife. Y et m a r r i a g e is a p a r t n e r s h i p . T h e h u s b a n d is i n c o n t r o l , yes, b u t he a n d his wife m u s t w o r k together. A v i r t u o u s husb a n d can e d u c a t e h is wife so t h a t h e r c o n t r i b u t i o n to t h e h o u s e h o l d b e c o m e s e q u a l to his o w n . S ocrates is so i m p r e s s e d by the d e s c r i p t i o n t h a t he interjects, " G o o d h eavens. I s c h o m a c h u s ! O n y o u r e vidence, y o u r w i f e has a m i n d as g o o d as a man's!" A n o t h e r A t h e n i a n w r i t e r , A n d o c i d e s ( an -dos -i-dez) ( f o u r t h c e n t u r y B . C . ) , g ives a d i f f e r e n t a c c o u n t o f I s c h o m a c h u s ' w ife a n d tells us h e r n a m e , C h r y s i l l a . I n X e n o p h o n ' s v e r s i o n , she h a p p i l y stays h o m e , t r y i n g t o live u p ro I s c h o m a c h u s ' s tandards. I n A n d o c i d e s ' v e r s i o n , she b egins a n affair w i t h a m a n n a m e d Callias, w h o m a r r i e s I s c h o m a c h u s ' d a u g h t e r w h i l e sleeping w i t h C h r y s i l l a — h i s o w n m o t h e r i n - l a w — a t t he s ame t i m e ! C h r y s i l l a t h e n m oves i n w i t h C allias a n d his wife ( h e r d a u g h t e r ) . T h e d i s t r a u g h t d a u g h t e r attempts suicide b e f o r e l eaving Callias, w h o t h r o w s o u t C h r y s i l l a , n o w p r e g n a n t w i t h h is c h i l d . L ater, Callias t akes C h r y s i l l a b ack a n d adopts t h e i r son, a n d they all live t o g e t h e r ( t h o u g h p e r h a p s n o t h a p p i l y ) . P erhaps X e n o p h o n i d e a l i z e d C h r y s i l l a to e x e m p l i f y w h a t h e ( a n d m a n y A t h e n i a n m e n ) t h o u g h t m a r r i a g e ought t o be l i k e . SEXUALITY I s c h o m a c h u s says t hat h e c hose h is wife b ecause s he was "the b est p erson to s hare m y h o m e a n d m y c h i l d r e n . " A wife's success w as j u d g e d largely by h e r ability to p r o d u c e s ons. A f t e r a l l , a s table p o p u l a t i o n r e q u i r e d the a verage w o m a n t o h ave f o u r or five live b i r t h s , as we h ave s een; d u r i n g p eriods o f p o p u l a t i o n g r o w t h , as i n the fifth c entury, the a verage was s even t o e i g h t . M a r r i a g e f o l l o w e d s wiftly o n m e n a r c h e , p regnancy s wiftly o n t hat. M o s t w o m e n r e m a i n e d p r e g n a n t o r n u r s i n g f o r t h e i r w h o l e m a r r i e d lives. M ale w r i t e r s o f t e n r e f e r to s exual a ctivity i n m a r r i a g e as " w o r k , " the w o r k o f p r o d u c i n g h eirs. I m p r e g n a t i o n they saw as a f a r m e r p l o w i n g s eed i n a f i e l d . S ex outside m a r r i a g e was available to m e n i n various f o r m s , b u t was a c atastrophe f o r w o m e n . M a n y m e n o w n e d slaves, a n d s exual r elations between m aster a n d slaves ( f e m a l e a n d m a l e ) w ere c o m m o n p l a c e . B u t a d u l t e r y w i t h a f ree w o m a n was dangerous. T h e w o m a n ' s g u a r d i a n — h e r father, h u s b a n d , b r o t h e r , o r s o n — c o u l d , a n d s ometimes d i d , k i l l t he a d u l t e r e r ( t h o u g h he usually spared (he adulteress). Most poleis t o o k 35 36 Chapter 3 s teps t o p r e v e n t r e t a l i a t i o n f r o m t u r n i n g " i n t o b l o o d - f e u d s by i m p o s i n g heavy fines o n t h e adulterer. I n A t h e n s , f o r e x a m p l e , the f i n e f o r a d u l t e r y was twice t h a t f o r r ape, a p p a r e n t l y b ecause a r apist c o m m i t t e d a o n e - t i m e a ssault, w h i l e a s educer t u r n e d a w o m a n ' s m i n d a gainst h e r oikns, i n f l i c t i n g a p e r m a n e n t s car o n a n o t h e r m a n ' s p r o p e r t y a n d r e p u t a t i o n . Worse s till, a s educed w ife m i g h t pass o f f the a d u l terer's son as a l e g i t i m a t e heir, t h e r e b y stealing the e n t i r e h o u s e h o l d . P rostitutes were a m o r e attractive s ource o f sexual pleasure f o r t h e male, a n d t h e r e were m a n y o f t h e m i n m a j o r poleis l i k e Athens a n d C o r i n t h . G reeks d i v i d e d p rostitutes i n t o two c ategories: heLairai, o r " courtesans," a n d pornai, o r " w h o r e s " ( r o o t o f /Jomography. " w h o r e - w r i t i n g " ) . A c o u r t e s a n n a m e d A spasia ( as -pas -e-a), P ericles' m istress, conversed w i t h t h e day's l e a d i n g intellectuals, a n d Plato j o k e d t h a t s he w r o t e s ome o f P ericles' s peeches. A f ew c ourtesans m a d e f o r t u n e s f r o m t h e i r t rade. B u t most sex-workers were pornai ( singular f o r m , pome), w hose lives w e r e n o t g l a m o r o u s ( F i g u r e 3.5). Comic writers i n fifth-century Athens make prostitution sound fun-filled, b u t w e o ccasionally g l i m p s e a n o t h e r side. T h e f o u r t h - c e n t u r y A t h e n i a n speechwriter A n d o c i d e s fells o f a slave g i r l w h o slept w i t h h e r master. H e g o t t i r e d o f h e r a n d d e c i d e d to sell h e r to a b r o d i e l ( m o s t parnaiwere s laves). T h e slave was so t e r r i f i e d t h a t s he p o i s o n e d h i m a n d , accidentally, a v isiting f r i e n d t o o . W h e n h e r p l o t was d iscovered, she was t o r t u r e d a n d e x e c u t e d . W e k n o w l i t t l e a b o u t Greek b r o t h e l s . A possible b r o t h e l o f a r o u n d 400 B.C. h as b e e n f o u n d i n A t h e n s , b u t its i d e n t i f i c a t i o n r e m a i n s c o n t r o v e r s i a l ( i t is n o t obvious Figure 3.5 An aging pome masturbates a client; from a red-figure Athenian kylix, circa 5 10 B . C . Phintias (Painter), "Attic Red-Figure Kylix," The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California. Malibu 80. AE31 © The J. Paul Getty Museum. T he Greeks at Home w h a t a rchaeologists c o u l d d i g u p to p r o v e that a n a n c i e n t b u i l d i n g was used f o r c o m m e r c i a l s ex). T h e A t h e n i a n b u i l d i n g h a d a maze o f small r o o m s , a n d f i n d s i n c l u d e m a n y images o f A p h r o d i t e , t he sex-goddess, a n d o r n a m e n t s f r o m A sia M i n o r a n d t h e n o r t h e r n Balkans, the source o f m a n y slaves i n G reece. O t h e r f i n d s suggest t h a t t h e b u i l d i n g w as a n i n n a n d a center f o r w e a v i n g — o t h e r s ides o f b r o t h e l l i f e , a c c o r d i n g t o l i t e r a r y s ources. G r e e k m e n also h a d sexual r e l a t i o n s w i t h b oys a n d , occasionally, w i t h m e n o f t h e i r o w n age. I n m o d e r n times, m a l e h o m o s e x u a l i t y is sometimes coyly called " Greek l o v e , " b u t G r e e k s ame-sex r e l a t i o n s h i p s were d i f f e r e n t f r o m m o d e r n h o m o sexual behavior. Tn its usual { a n d usually respectable) f o r m , a m a t u r e male was the s exually active p a r t n e r ( t h e erastes, o r " l o v e r " ) , w h i l e a p r e p u b e s c e n t passive p a r t n e r ( the eromenos, o r " b e l o v e d " ) received t h e e rect p enis o f the erastes b e t w e e n his t h i g h s ( so-called i n t e r c r u r a l i n t e r c o u r s e ) . Such p ederasty ( "boy-love") g r e w o u t o f t h e s ocial e n v i r o n m e n t o f t h e G r e e k s ymposium, o r " d r i n k i n g p a r t y , " w h e r e p r e p u b e s cent males served w i n e a n d p r e p a r e d t o b e c o m e m e n . I t was, however, s h a m e f u l to r e m a i n a n eromenos a fter sexual m a t u r i t y . T h e f i f t h - c e n t u r y B . C . c o m i c p o e t A r i s t o phanes savagely r i d i c u l e d m e n w h o p u t themselves i n the p o s i t i o n o f a w o m a n , t h a t i s, w ere t h e r e c i p i e n t s i n a n a l i n t e r c o u r s e w i t h o t h e r males. I n G r e e k pederastv, t h e a d u l t erastes i n t r o d u c e d h is y o u n g e r eromenos t o the ways o f p o l i t e society, establishing social contacts f o r h e l p later i n l ife ( F i g u r e 3 .6). I f the eromenos w as wealthy, t a l e n t e d , f r o m a f a m o u s f amily, o r p a r t i c u l a r l y h a n d s o m e , he w o u l d r e f l e c t back h o n o r o n t o his erastes. S ome G reek w r i t e r s , n o t a b l y Plato, t h o u g h t t h a t t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s h o u l d r e m a i n c haste ( h e n c e t he expression "Platonic l o v e " ) , f o c u s i n g o n i n t e l l e c t u a l d e v e l o p m e n t ; o t h e r s t h o u g h t that t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s h o u l d b e e x p l i c i t l y s exual b u t c o m e to an e n d w h e n the eromenos r e a c h e d p u b e r t y a n d t he first t races o f a b e a r d a p p e a r e d . Figure 3.6 Pederastic scene; from an Attic black-figure kylix, circa 530 B . C . An older erastis touches a younger eromenos. 37 38 Chapter 3 W e k n o w a f a i r a m o u n t , t h e n , a b o u t male s exual l i f e , b u t o u r s ources, w r i t t e n b y m e n , say l i t t l e a b o u t f e m a l e s exual l i f e . A t h e n i a n law r e q u i r e d t h a t w o m e n c o n v i c t e d o f a d u l t e r y be d i v o r c e d , w h e t h e r t h e i r h ushands w a n t e d U o r n o t . T h e a dulteress was disgraced a n d s ent b ack t o h e r parents, i f they s till l ived. S he was a lso f o r b i d d e n t o a t t e n d p u b l i c religious festivals, the equivalent o f m ales b e i n g b a n n e d f r o m p o l i t i c a l l i f e . W i t h l i t t l e c hance o f f i n d i n g a n ew h u s b a n d , w o m e n c a u g h t i n a d u l t e r y f aced r u i n a n d poverty. O ccasionally, c o m i c w r i t e r s j o k e d a b o u t f r e e w o m e n h a v i n g sex w i t h m ale s laves, a n d c o m e d i e s a n d vase p a i n t i n g m a d e g reat p lay o u t o f w o m e n f i n d i n g p leasure i n d ildoes. M a n y erotic i l l u s t r a t i o n s s u r v i v e — o n l y J apanese a r t showed a parallel c o n c e r n w i t h s exual a n d p o r n o g r a p h i c art. O f c ourse, s uch v essels w ere p a i n t e d f o r m ale a m u s e m e n t . T h e i l l u s t r a t i o n s s uggest t hat the G reeks w ere n o t p r u d i s h a b o u t s ex, b u t they were m e a n t f o r m e n ' s eyes a l o n e i n the s ometimes l i c e n t i o u s e n v i r o n m e n t o f the s y m p o s i u m . True, i n a rt m e n are usually s h o w n n a k e d , u n l i k e i n a ny e arlier s ociety, b u t such c o n v e n t i o n s d o n o t appeal to a p r u r i e n t , interest. R espectable w o m e n i n art, by contrast, are c l o t h e d u n t i l t he f o u r t h c e n t u r y B . C . , t o r i t w as s h a m e f u l to see a w o m a n ' s body. S ome m e n felt t h a t r espectable w o m e n s h o u l d be v e i l e d i n p u b l i c . P arents w ere a n x i o u s f o r d i e s afety o f t h e i r c h i l d r e n ' s b odies, a n d strict rules p r o h i b i t e d s e d u c t i o n w i t h i n t he g y m n a s i u m , w h e r e m e n a n d b oys w ere n a k e d a n d f emales f o r b i d d e n . G reek e rotic art p r o b a b l y r epresents g e n eral G r e e k a ttitudes t o w a r d sexuality n o b e t t e r t h a n c o n t e m p o r a r y p o r n o g r a p h y r epresents m o d e r n attitudes. ADULTS AND CHILDREN A c c o r d i n g t o E u r i p i d e s , o n e o f the g reat t ragedians o f f i f t h - c e n t u r y B . C . A t h e n s , c h i l d r e n w ere t h e c e n t e r o f l ife, " B o t h the b est o f m o r t a l s a n d t hose w h o are n o b o d i e s l ove c h i l d r e n . T h e y d i f f e r i n m a t e r i a l things. S ome h ave p r o p e r t y a n d s ome d o n o t ; b u t t he w h o l e r ace is c h i l d - l o v i n g . " Typically, m a r r i e d c ouples w ere s u r r o u n d e d by s mall c h i l d r e n f o r m o s t o f t h e i r lives together. D i f f e r e n t poleis i m p o s e d d i f f e r e n t e d u c a t i o n s a n d c ustoms o n t h e i r citizens. S parta, e specially, was d i s t i n c t . We w i l l d iscuss S partan c ustoms i n d e t a i l i n C h a p t e r 10, " A T ale o f T w o A r c h a i c Cities: S parta a n d A t h e n s , 7 0 0 - 4 8 0 B . C . " W e k n o w far m o r e a b o u t A l l i e n s t h a n o t h e r pokis, b u t can p e r h a p s g eneralize a b o u t " Greek c u s t o m s " f r o m o u r study o f A t h e n i a n c ustoms. T h e b u r d e n o f c h i l d - r e a r i n g f e l l o n the m o t h e r . X e n o p h o n explains: T he husband both supports his partner i n childbearmg and provides for the children t hat are to be born everything that he thinks w ill be an asset t o them in l ife, a nd he provides it as f ully as he can. The wife conceives a nd c arries this burden, bearing the weight o f it, risking her life and g iving u p a share o f her own nourishment. A n d after all her t rouble i n carrying the child for the f ull time and bringing it to b i r t h , she feeds a nd cares f or it. a lthough the child has n ever d one her any good and does n ot know who his benefactor is. He c annot even communicate what he wants; his mother's attempts to supply w hat w ill be good for the child and give p leasure d epend o n her power of guessing. A n d she goes o n rearing him for a long time, p utting u p w ith d rudgery day and night, w ithout k nowing whether she w ill receive any gratitude. X enophon, Mariurirs of Socrates 2.2.5 ( H. T reddenick, R. Waterfield) T he Greeks at Home B i r t h a n d t h e f i r s t few days o f l i f e were hazardous f o r c h i l d r e n a n d d a n g e r o u s to t he m o t h e r . T h e r e w ere n o hospitals, let a l o n e e p i d u r a l s o r c aesarian s ections, b u t m idwives n o d o u b t h a d p l e n t y o f e x p e r i e n c e a n d t h e f o l k w i s d o m t h a t c omes f r o m e x p e r i e n c e . A l l the s ame, E u r i p i d e s , i n his tragedy t h e Medea, h as t h e h e r o i n e p r o c l a i m t h a t she w o u l d r a t h e r stand t h r e e times b e h i n d a s h i e l d i n b a t t l e t h a n give b i r t h once. F athers h a d t h e r i g h t to d e c i d e w h e t h e r to k e e p n e w b o r n b abies o r to e xpose t h e m to d i e . O u r i n f o r m a t i o n is p o o r , b u t a p p a r e n t l y girls were e x p o s e d m o r e t h a n b oys. U n w a n t e d b abies w ere l e f t i n a w e l l - k n o w n spot t h a t s lave-traders w o u l d c h e c k a n d w o u l d e i t h e r d i e o f e x p o s u r e o r be sold i n t o a l i f e t i m e o f servitude. M a n y prostitutes b e g a n l i f e i n this way. T h e f a m o u s m y t h o f O e d i p u s b egins w i t h h is b e i n g exp o s e d t o d i e as an a ccursed c h i l d . W a n t e d b abies w h o s u r v i v e d t h e i r f i r s t few days u n d e r w e n t r i t u a l s t h a t b r o u g h t t h e m i n t o the c o m m u n i t y i n a f o r m a l way. T h e m o s t i m p o r t a n t was t h e hidromia, amp- o r " r u n n i n g a r o u n d . " H o l d i n g t h e b aby i n his arms, t h e f a t h e r w a l k e d a r o u n d t h e h e a r t h , p r e s e n t i n g t h e b aby t o H estia (hes -ti-a), g oddess o f t h e h e a r t h ( h e r n a m e m eans " h e a r t h " ) . T h e amphidromia e stablished t h e c h i l d ' s l e g i t i m a c y a n d its f u t u r e s tatus as a c i t i z e n . F r i e n d s a n d n e i g h b o r s b r o u g h t gifts o f o c t o p u s a n d cuttlefish. T h e parents h u n g an olive branch outside the f r o n t d o o r i f the c h i l d w as a boy, a n d a t u f t o f w o o l f o r a g i r l . W h a t e v e r the sex, they s m e a r e d t h e walls w i t h b l a c k tar to t u r n a way h o s t i l e spirits r eleased b y t h e b l o o d y f l u i d s t h a t a t t e n d childbirth. M a n y parents n a m e d t h e c h i l d at this f i f t h - d a y festival, b u t t hose w h o c o u l d aff o r d t o h o l d a s econd p a r t y delayed n a m i n g u n t i l t he dekate, t he " t e n t h day," w h e n w o m e n d a n c e d a n d h o n e y c akes w ere p assed a r o u n d . U n l i k e i n m o s t m o d e r n societies, G reeks g ave c h i l d r e n o n l y o n e n a m e , used i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h t he f a t h e r ' s n a m e — f o r e x a m p l e , " Pericles, s on o f X a n l h i p p o s . " F i r s t b o r n s ons o f t e n Look t h e i r f ather's f a t h e r ' s n a m e ; o t h e r s ons c o m m o n l y t o o k variants o n t h e i r f a t h e r ' s name. A s i n o u r o w n w o r l d , n ames w e n t i n a n d o u t o f f a s h i o n . G r e e k m e d i c i n e was s u p e r i o r to o t h e r s i n t h e a n c i e n t w o r l d , b u t r i d d l e d n onetheless w i t h s u p e r s t i t i o n . F o r e x a m p l e , G a l e n , a f a m o u s second-ccntury-A .D. d o c t o r (see C h a p t e r 2 1 , " H e l l e n i s t i c C u l t u r e , 3 2 3 - 3 0 B.C."), a dvised a gainst g i v i n g b abies p r o t e i n - r i c h c o l o s t r u m , the p r e m i l k f l u i d w h i c h c omes f r o m a mother's b reast b e f o r e t h e m i l k i tself a n d prevents i n f e c t i o n . Families t h a t c o u l d a f f o r d i t g ave t h e i r c h i l d r e n to w e t n urses, a l t h o u g h m o t h e r s ' m i l k i s b est. S w a d d l i n g was c o m m o n , a l t h o u g h i t can d e f o r m b o n e s i f b abies h ave a p o o r d i e t . D o c t o r s r eco m m e n d e d w e a n i n g at d a n g e r o u s l y early o r d a n g e r o u s l y late a ges, h a r d l y e ver a t a p p r o p r i a t e o nes. M i c r o s c o p i c a nalysis o f t e e t h shows t h a t m o s t G r e e k c h i l d r e n experienced periods o f malnutrition. W h a t e v e r the m e d i c a l disadvantages, i ntense b o n d s m i g h t d e v e l o p between a c h i l d a nd its w et nurse. A w e t nurse i n a play by Aeschylus says: r M y o wn Orestes, he wore me out. I r aised h i m , taking h i m f r o m h is mother. O h , t he many and troublesome tasks w hen he cried oul to me in die night w aking m e up, fruitless tiiough I endured them . . . F or you must nurse the senseless t hing 40 Chapter 3 l ike a d u m b beast t he best y ou can, W hat else can you do? While s till i n diapers, a babe has no speech at all, whether it is hungry, o r t hirst)', o r wants to make water. T he young insides o f children go on their own way. O ften I c ould t ell, b ut j ust as often I was deceived a nd h ad to wash the child's linen, as much l aundry-maid as nurse. P erforming these t win d uties, I raised up Orestes f or his father. A n d now to learn, cursed that 1 am , . . t hat h e is dead! Aeschylus, UbnHon Bmrers 7 49-63 ( B. B. Powell) B oys a n d girls were r e a r e d t o g e t h e r u n t i l s omewhere between five a n d s even, s p e n d i n g m o s t o f t h e i r t i m e w i t h t h e i r m o t h e r s . A t this age, t h e y m i g h t l e a r n t h e i r l etters ( t h o u g h even i n A t h e n s , w here literacy was most w i d e s p r e a d , p r o b a b l y o n l y o n e m a n i n t e n , a n d far fewer w o m e n , c o u l d r e a d ) , b u t p r o b a b l y spent most o f the t i m e h e l p i n g a r o u n d the h ouse a n d p l a y i n g . Ball g ames w ere p o p u l a r , a l t h o u g h t h e b est b alls available were i n f l a t e d p i g s ' bladders. T h e y were n o t v e r y r o u n d b u t c o u l d b e i m p r o v e d by h e a t i n g i n t h e e m b e r s o f a fire. T h e r e were b o a r d g ames t o o , a n d g ames w i t h d ice a n d the squarish shaped k n u c k l e - b o n e s o f pigs (astragaloi), w h i c h a dults used f o r g a m b l i n g . r D e a t h o r divorce o f t e n e n d e d m a r r i a g e s w h i l e c h i l d r e n were s till y o u n g . M e n t ypically d i e d t e n to f i f t e e n y ears a fter they m a r r i e d , i n t h e i r forties. T h e i r widows e i t h e r m o v e d b ack i n w i t h t h e i r b i r t h f a m i l y o r r e m a r r i e d , l e a d i n g to a l l k i n d s o f l egal c o m p l i c a t i o n s . Far m o r e c h i l d r e n were o r p h a n s t h a n i n o u r w o r l d . W e a l t h y orphans h a d g u a r d i a n s to l o o k after t h e i r e states, w h i c h c o u l d l e a d to a c r i m o n y a n d , w h e n t h e c h i l d m a t u r e d , y ears o f lawsuits. P o o r o r p h a n s r e l i e d o n relatives, alt h o u g h i f t h e f a t h e r h a d b e e n k i l l e d i n war, they m i g h t get c o m m u n i t y s u p p o r t . F o r m ost o r p h a n s , l i f e w as v e r y h a r d . I n t h e cities, they easily f e l l i n t o t h e u n d e r w o r l d o f p rostitutes a n d thieves. A r o u n d t he age o f s even, b oys a n d girls w h h parents to s u p p o r t t h e m began to b e s egregated. M o s t boys n o w spent m o r e t i m e i n t h e fields ( w i t h t h e i r fathers i f they w ere l u c k y ) , a n d girls l e a r n e d t h e w e a v i n g a n d h o u s e k e e p i n g skills they w o u l d n eed as wives. I n wealthy families, boys ( a n d a few girls) g o t f o r m a l s c h o o l i n g , c o n c e n t r a t i n g o n p o e t r y (especially H o m e r ) , r h e t o r i c , a n d music. A n educated m a n was e x p e c t e d to have s ome s kill i n t hese a reas, b u t n o t t o o m u c h . M o s t professionals i n p r i m a r y e d u c a t i o n were slaves, a n d n o o n e w a n t e d to be s k i l l e d e n o u g h to be mist a k e n f o r a slave. E d u c a t e d slave c h a p e r o n e s a c c o m p a n i e d s c h o o l c h i l d r e n at all times a n d h e l p e d t h e c h i l d r e n w i t h t h e i r studies. T hese slaves a n d t h e s choolmasters s pent a l o t o f t i m e j u s t k e e p i n g t h e i r p u p i l s u n d e r c o n t r o l . Physical p u n i s h m e n t was c o m m o n , a l t h o u g h a ristocratic boys were n o t always h a p p y b e i n g slapped a r o u n d by s laves. T h e r e are stories o f p u p i l s a t t a c k i n g t h e i r t eachers: I n m y d r , H eracles k i l l e d h is music t eacher b y u s i n g h is lyre as a c l u b , t h e n was a c q u i t t e d o n g r o u n d s o f s elf-defense! W i t h t h e o nset o f p u b e r t y a r o u n d f o u r t e e n , this k i n d o f s c h o o l i n g e n d e d . T h e r e w as n o t h i n g l i k e w h a t we tiiink o f as h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n . By t h e late f i f t h c e n t u r y , w ealthy y o u n g m e n c o u l d attach themselves to intellectuals, sometimes f o l l o w i n g t h e m a r o u n d a n d l i s t e n i n g to t h e m talk, at o t h e r times h i r i n g t h e m f o r a fee, b u t few d i d t his. T he Greeks at Home I n m a n y city-states, boys spent at l east a c o u p l e o f y ears b etween t h e i r f o u r t e e n t h a n d e i g h t e e n t h b i r t h d a y s i n f o r m a l m i l i t a r y t r a i n i n g u n d e r the supervision o f mat u r e m e n . T h i s t r a i n i n g i n v o l v e d g a r r i s o n d u t y a n d e x p e r i e n c e s leeping i n t h e r o u g h , as i f o n c a m p a i g n . S uch b e h a v i o r was most r e f i n e d i n S parta (see C h a p t e r 10). G reek l i t e r a t u r e is f u l l o f stories o f c o n f l i c t between fathers a n d r e b e l l i o u s t eenage s ons, a n d an A t h e n i a n legal s peech b y D e m o s t h e n e s d escribes]uvenile d e l i n quents c a l l i n g themselves "the h a r d - o n s " g o i n g a r o u n d at n i g h t a t t a c k i n g o l d e r c i t i zens. L i k e most p r e m o d e r n s ocieties, poleis h a d n o p o l i c e , b u t d e p e n d e d o n fathers a n d o t h e r o l d e r k i n to c o n t r o l w i l d m a l e t eenagers. G irls, by contrast, were already m a r r i e d a t this age a n d u n d e r t h e c o n t r o l o f a h u s b a n d ( a n d t h e husband's m o t h e r ) . T echnically, boys b ecame a dults a n d were a d m i t t e d to t h e ranks o f t h e c i t i z e n w a r r i o r s a t age e i g h t e e n . Fewer t h a n h a l f w o u l d h ave a l i v i n g f a t h e r by t h e n a n d mayhave already b een m asters o f t h e i r o w n affairs f o r s ome t i m e . KEY TERMS oikus, 2 9 S appho, 29 m isogyny, 3 0 X e n o p h o n , 33 p ederasty, 37 symposium, 37 amphidromia, 3 9 H estia, 39 A spasia, 36 FURTHER READING Dover, Kenneth, Greek Homosexuality ( Cambridge, MA, 1 978). T he book that made scholarly study o f this held r espectable. A classic. G arland, R obert, Daily Life of the Ancient Greeks ( Westport, CT, 1 998). E xcellent survey of all aspects o f everyday l ife. T he best i ntroduction t o many of the topics i n this chapter. G olden, Mark, Children and Childhood in Classical Athens ( Baltimore 1 990). M uch the best survey of the evidence. H alperin, D avid, Jack W inkler, and Froma Z eitlin, eds., Before. Sexuality ( Princeton 1 990). I mportant c ollection of essays o n different aspects o f sexuality in G reece. H ubbard, T homas. Homosexuality in Greece and Rome: A Sourcebook of Basic Documents ( Berkeley 2 003). C ollects Greek and L atin texts that i n f o r m us about same-sex a ctivities. , Creek I m>e Reconsidered ( New York 2 000). F our scholars r econstruct G reeks' a ttitudes t oward pederasty and their evolution. P atterson, Cynthia. The Family in Greek History ( Cambridge, MA, 1 998). G ood survey. Ancient Texts Aeschylus, The Oresfeia ( New York 1984: tr. Robert Fagles). A eschylus' t rilogy o n the House of A treus. H esiod, Works and Days a nd Theogony. I n Hesiod and Theognis ( Harmondsworth, L'K, 1973; tr. D orothea Wender). The basic p oetic a ccounts o f the origins of mortals and immortals. P lato, The Symposium ( Harmondsworth, UK, 1951; tr. W. H a m i l t o n ) . Entertaining account o f a d rinking p arty and sexual mores i n early fourth-century B . C . A thens. X enophon, Conversations of Socrates (New York 1990; eds. H ugh T reddenick and Robin W aterfield). .Some o f the best sources f or daily l ife a nd values in Athens, early f o u r t h c entury B . C . ...
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This note was uploaded on 11/27/2011 for the course EUH 2000 taught by Professor Klepper during the Fall '11 term at Santa Fe College.

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