By Alastair J. L. Blanshard
Intercourse: Vice and Love from Antiquity to Modernity examines the effect that sexual fantasies in regards to the classical international have had on glossy Western culture. Offers a wealth of knowledge on intercourse within the Greek and Roman worldCorrelates the examine of classical sexuality with sleek Western culturesIdentifies key influential subject matters within the evolution of erotic discourse from antiquity to modernityPresents a major and thought-provoking subject with nice accessibility
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Extra info for Sex: Vice and Love from Antiquity to Modernity (Classical Receptions)
This is the story of the young man who was so overcome with desire for the statue that he tried to have sex with it, leaving a stain on the statue’s legs as evidence of his attempt. Stories about men having sex with statues (both male and female) occur with surprising frequency in antiquity. Oscar Wilde, attuned to such stories, has the eponymous hero of his poem Charmides break into a temple, undress the statue of Athena (‘Till from the waist the peplos falling down, Left visible the secret mystery, Which to no lover will Athena show, The grand cool ﬂanks, the crescent thighs, the bossy hills of snow’), ‘paddle’ the throat of the statue with kisses and press ‘his hot and beating heart upon her chill and icy breast’.
They demonstrate the broad range of reactions that classical 14 Roman Vice bodies elicit, from scorn to emulation. They also demonstrate the impossibility of ever fully controlling the reactions. The best one can hope for is to be able to steer them in the desired direction. The strong correlation between sex and nudity has important implications for the construction of Greece and Rome. For along with the ﬂuted marble column, naked statues are one of the most ubiquitous signiﬁers of classical antiquity.
It would be a category hermetically sealed off from other systems of representation, almost a ‘God’s-eyeview’ depiction of an individual. The practice of athletic nudity would constantly reafﬁrm its associations with youth, agility, strength, virtue, and Greek-ness. Unfortunately, for any ﬁrm notion of ‘heroic nudity’, naked bodies started appearing in other less salubrious circumstances. In vases designed for the playful environment of the symposium, the all-male drinking party, we ﬁnd a number of naked bodies.