The Greeks & Greek Love: A Bold New Exploration of the Ancient World

The Greeks Greek Love A Bold New Exploration of the Ancient World For nearly two thousand years historians have treated the subject of homosexuality in ancient Greece with apology embarrassment or outright denial Now classics scholar James Davidson offers a brill

  • Title: The Greeks & Greek Love: A Bold New Exploration of the Ancient World
  • Author: James Davidson
  • ISBN: 9780375505164
  • Page: 222
  • Format: Hardcover
  • For nearly two thousand years, historians have treated the subject of homosexuality in ancient Greece with apology, embarrassment, or outright denial Now classics scholar James Davidson offers a brilliant, unblushing exploration of the passion that permeated Greek civilization Using homosexuality as a lens, Davidson sheds new light on every aspect of Greek culture, fromFor nearly two thousand years, historians have treated the subject of homosexuality in ancient Greece with apology, embarrassment, or outright denial Now classics scholar James Davidson offers a brilliant, unblushing exploration of the passion that permeated Greek civilization Using homosexuality as a lens, Davidson sheds new light on every aspect of Greek culture, from politics and religion to art and war With stunning erudition and irresistible wit and without moral judgment Davidson has written the first major examination of homosexuality in ancient Greece since the dawn of the modern gay rights movement What exactly did same sex love mean in a culture that had no word or concept comparable to our term homosexuality How sexual were these attachments When Greeks spoke of love between men and boys, how young were the boys, how old were the men Drawing on examples from philosophy, poetry, drama, history, and vase painting, Davidson provides fascinating answers to questions that have vexed scholars for generations To begin, he defines the essential Greek words for romantic love eros, pothos, philia and explores the shades of emotion and passion embodied in each Then, exploding the myth of Greek boy love, Davidson shows that Greek same sex pairs were in fact often of the same generation, with boys under eighteen zealously separated from older boys and men.Davidson argues that the essence of Greek homosexuality was besottedness falling head over heels and making a great big song and dance about it, though sex was certainly not excluded With refreshing candor, humor, and an astonishing command of Greek culture, Davidson examines how this passion played out in the myths of Ganymede and Cephalus, in the lives of archetypal Greek heroes such as Achilles, Heracles, and Alexander, in the politics of Athens and the army of lovers that defended Thebes He considers the sexual peculiarities of Sparta and Crete, the legend and truth surrounding Sappho, and the relationship between Greek athletics and sexuality.Writing with the energy, vitality, and irony that the subject deserves, Davidson has elucidated the ruling passion of classical antiquity Ultimately The Greeks and Greek Love is about how desire homosexual and heterosexual is embodied in human civilization At once scholarly and entertaining, this is a book that sheds as much light on our own world as on the world of Homer, Plato, and Alexander.

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      Published :2018-09-20T05:42:53+00:00

    1 thought on “The Greeks & Greek Love: A Bold New Exploration of the Ancient World”

    1. Topical propaganda posing as historyThis is as bad as a so-called history book can get. For a generation now, devotees of ancient Greek culture have had to grind their teeth while modern gays of the semi-educated variety have laid bogus claim to be its heirs, consoling themselves that surely no academic would ever stoop to lending them his authority. Now one has done just that.Everyone with a rudimentary knowledge of Greek history has always known this claim to be nonsense. Greek homosexuality w [...]

    2. Here's my concession to gay pride weekend. I saw this in a display at the library and I thought, "People write such nonsense on this subject, but this book is hefty and tome-like, so perhaps it will be sensible." Well, it isn't!Every time he uses the word "stripling" - which is often - he capitalizes it. He spins first-person narratives about what it might have been like to be abducted in fifth-century Crete. However, I must admit that I have continued to read it, in a good-lord-listen-to-this-o [...]

    3. Too much personal investment?James Davidson is a renowned classicist but sadly I feel that too much personal emotional investment in this topic has rather stilted or skewed his usual insightful readings. Romanticising the Greek ideal of elite masculine 'homosexuality' is not so much a reappraissal, I fear, as a throw-back to a more C19th view of the Greeks a la E.M.Forster et al who found a legitimisation of their own feelings.I don't find the idea of male/male sex at all problematic but I don't [...]

    4. An amazing re-examination of same-sex relationships and practices in ancient Greece, which manages to upend virtually everything we've come to believe was common (for instance, Davidson debunks the idea that the typical relationship was between an older man and a youth, pointing to evidence such as restrictions against "age-classes" mixing to conclude that the members of a couple were more likely 2-4 years apart in age at most). While at times the text can be heavy going and confusing for a non- [...]

    5. Taken as a whole, Davidson's theories and readings are too speculative to be convincing and the book lacks sufficient focus. However his critiques of past scholarly treatment of ancient greek homosexuality are interesting and cogent, and the strongest part of the book.

    6. Ooof this was a long slog. I think you need to be a classicist and/or a philologist to fully appreciate this text. I am neither. It is well-written (i.e style of prose), but that's all I'm qualified to say.

    7. A mass of interesting material, and an attractive narrative style (although it is a serious academic tome and not by any means a light read).This is a revisionist work but what it does is illustrate complexity rather than offer solutions. We learn that nothing is as straight as it seemed - if Greek homosexuality was essentially pederastic then why the legal protection for minors? Why were relationships between adults of the same age group supported and encouraged in some contexts but subject to [...]

    8. ILL unbelievably fascinatingTOC from Worldcatpt. I. The Greeks had words for it. Eros in love -- Grace, sex and favors -- Age-classes, love-rules and corrupting the young -- pt. II. Sodomania. Sexing up the Greeks -- Sex versus homosexuality -- Language as a mirror of the world -- pt. III. Greek love and Greek religions. Ganymede rising -- Noonday Phaedrus, Cephalus at dawn -- Pelops and Hyacinthus at new year -- pt. IV. Men of war. Achilles and Heracles -- Crete and Sparta -- The secrets of Eli [...]

    9. Explores the topic of legendary (and often infamous) "Greek Love" (aka male homosexual relationships). According to this author's research, there wasn't one simple tradition. Male-male romance and sex ranged from a usually-chaste adoration similar to the medieval "courtly love" tradition to outright male prostitution and everything in between: close friendships, wild crushes, intimate relationships and de-facto marriages. Surprise, surprise: "Greek Love" was as complex and baffling asdern love a [...]

    10. It was a rather messy text at times, not the clearest read by all means. But it has its moments. There is fascinating information contained within the book, and the ending, especially, was very interesting. Davidson eventually put the Greeks into perspective with the Celts, the Irish, the Indo-Europeans, Scandinavians, and the Aryans (historical). That alone is a worthy development. He also finally mentioned Mycenaean palace culture, and the chariot-pairs from the early first millennium BCE, -- [...]

    11. I learned more from this one book about the greed of capitalists and how far from its ideology the GOP fell like milkweed seeds blown by an October zephyr over the meadows into a shallow creek to flow away to a lake and sink water logged to the bottom not to grow but maybe, just maybe to sprout if ever the lake dries up. Pinchot was a hero, Pulaski too, the Pulaskis are axes with hoes on the other end. Pulaski invented it and didn't get the patent. He got nothing from the GOP in office. Taft was [...]

    12. This is an academic book, huge and dense, lots of footnotes. I just dipped into it here and there. Davidson is a great writer though - very entertaining. His overall goal is to look at same sex relationships in ancient Greece calmly and curiously as a correction both to the earlier generations of scholars who were scandalized by it and the scholarship of the last twenty years which went in the opposite direction and suddenly insisted that every mention of male-male love should be interpreted as [...]

    13. In my college days I read K.J. Dover's Greek Love, and believed every word of it. It seemed bold and eye-opening at the time. Now more than a generation later, Davidson shows how limited and misstaken it was. Davidson's revisionist tome is both erudite and enjoyable, if long. At times he rides a few hobby horses a little too long (going on a bit about Foucault or Margaret Mead, for example, which takes away from the main narration and thesis).

    14. Read via inter-library loan. Probably the best and most definitive work on the subject I've yet seen. A bit dry at times, but fascinating reading. Please note that the topic is Greek *love*, not just sex, so anyone expecting the titillation of reading a book about sex is due for some disappointment! Anyway, worth reading for Classicists, especially Hellenists.

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