By Bruce S. Thornton
Eros: the parable of historical Greek Sexuality is a arguable e-book that lays naked the meanings Greeks gave to intercourse. opposite to the romantic idealization of intercourse dominating our tradition, the Greeks observed eros as a robust strength of nature, possibly risky, and wanting keep watch over via society: Eros the Destroyer, now not Cupid the Insipid, fired the Greek imagination.The destructiveness of eros should be visible in Greek imagery and metaphor, and within the Greeks’ attitudes towards girls and homosexuals. pictures of affection as hearth, illness, storms, madness, and violence—Top forty music clichés for us—locate eros one of the unpredictable and lethal forces of nature. the attractive Aphrodite embodies the fascinating hazard of intercourse, whereas femmes fatales like Pandora and Helen symbolize the dicy charms of woman sexuality. And homosexuality typifies for the Greeks the scary energy of an indiscriminate urge for food that threatens the soundness of tradition itself.In Eros: the parable of old Greek Sexuality, Bruce Thornton bargains a uniquely sweeping and finished account of historical sexuality freed from presently trendy theoretical jargon and pretentions. In its conclusions the ebook demanding situations the distortions of a lot fresh scholarship on Greek sexuality. And all through it hyperlinks the cautious attitudes of the Greeks to our present-day matters approximately love, intercourse, and relatives. What we see, eventually, are the origins of a few of our personal perspectives in addition to a imaginative and prescient of sexuality that's might be extra sincere and mature than our personal harmful illusions.</Div>
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Additional info for Eros: The Myth Of Ancient Greek Sexuality
They make their escape with the fleece and, after further adventures, return to Greece as husband and wife. Once again, "love" has conquered all. Told in this fashion, the story of Jason and Medea is easily understandable in terms of our modern assumptions about love and sex. We find it admirable that Medea would give up her Either and country for love. Our sexual idealism tells us that such intense sexual passion is a good, perhaps the Good, in comparison to which all other goods become insignificant, and for the attainment of which any sacrifice is justified.
Herodotus says that the Spartan Pausanias, commander of the combined Greek forces that defeated the Persians at Plataea in 479, had an "eros" to be a tyrant over all of Greece, a desire that led him to marry a Persian princess. Once again, sex is found implicated in other irrational and destructive desires, here the lust for political power beyond the accepted bounds of the city-state whether oligarchic or democratic. Even the "objective" Thucydides can take advantage of these connotations of the word.
Once more the phrasing and imagery are Homeric. Homer, telling of the time the bowman Heracles shot Hades during some shadowy dispute perhaps arising out of Heracles' filching of the infernal watchdog Cerberus, uses a similar expression, "pierced with pains," to describe the god's suffering from Ms arrow wound. Literary references, though, serve to communicate better the experiences of life. Archilochus's reference to bones being pierced recalls for us Alexander's wound and suggests that the poet's metaphor reflected a common painful reality for ancient warriors.